Archive | February 2013

My Top 5 episodes for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Season 3)

Yes, I do watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but I do not consider myself to be A Brony. Yes, it sounds very similar to Sheldon Cooper’s claims that Amy Farrah Fowler is a girl and his friend, but not his girlfriend.

I won’t start droning on on about all the points why I watch it, but I will name a few as to just why someone like me watches this series:

1) Each of the characters has their own talents and faults. This truly bucks the old stereotype of tea parties and bad animation. Each of the main characters has personality traits that I think anyone can find relating to in some manner.

2) This isn’t one of those shows that you just plop your kids down in front of and walk away from. There’s even stuff here that some parents might grow interested in and sit down to watch. For example, in one episode that starts in a bowling alley, the showmakers included a couple stallions that looked like characters from The Big Lebowski.

3) The developer of the Friendship is Magic iteration of My Little Pony is Lauren Faust. That means nothing to a lot of people, but she originally worked on several series for Cartoon Network that some of you might have heard of. Series like The Powerpuff Girls, and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. The writing for those episodes was always catchy and entertaining to me (pity that Warner Brothers stopped distributing Foster’s on DVD after Season 2 a few years ago).

For Season 3 of Friendship is Magic, Hasbro changed up its release schedule, and only produced 13 episodes for the season (compared with 26 episodes apiece for seasons 1 and 2). The downside is there aren’t quite as many episodes to choose from, but I still managed to find enough for this Top 5 list.

Read on, to find out what I enjoyed this time around.

_____

#5 – Keep Calm, and Flutter On

Once the guest-star for this episode was announced, it became one of the most anticipated episodes of the Season. John De Lancie returned to voice the chaos creature, Discord, this time released from his stone imprisonment in hopes he can be reformed. Surprisingly, the task is given to one of the most docile of the group: Fluttershy. While the others wish to use a more strong-arm approach to change Discord, Fluttershy chooses to try and make Discord comfortable, and let him have his way a bit, in hopes this will change him.

After his subtle-yet-manipulative workings in the 2-part “Return to Harmony” opener from Season 2,  I think some were hoping for more of the same from Discord. However, the results were much different than expected. The episode still managed to have some fun with Discord, and even had a callback to “Return to Harmony,” in that Fluttershy is not so easily swayed, and neither is Discord.

While the episode has plenty of enjoyable little moments, it feels that resolving the main issue of the plot never really becomes concrete, and seems to come out of nowhere. If there had been a little more ground-work laid out, I think many could have seen the ending as being more satisfactory.

One area where some ground-work was laid out, was some background animation leading to a storypoint/revelation near the end as well. I did think that was a great way to keep secondary information flowing to the viewer without seeming like a konk on the head, and could be something that older viewers would pick up on instead of the younger ones.

_____

#4 Too Many Pinkie Pies

#4 – Too Many Pinkie Pies

When some people talk about their favorite pony characters, Pinkie Pie comes up quite a bit. The carefree, fourth wall-breaking pony is often doing plenty of off-the-wall shenanigans, and is one of the more high-strung of the main 6.

Pinkie’s big problem in this episode, is she wants to have fun with all her friends, but when it comes to choosing between swimming with Rainbow Dash, or raising a barn with Applejack, she is unable to decide, and attempts to do both. When she realizes she can’t, she then remembers a legend about a mirror-pool in the nearby Everfree Forest, allowing Pinkie to create a clone of herself (albeit single-minded in its pursuit of ‘fun’). When it seems there are more things that could be happening at the same time, Pinkie and the clone create more clones, and chaos soon reigns throughout Ponyville.

The episode took the concept of ‘too much of a good thing,’ and tried to make it funny (not to mention re-use as many older Flash animation rhythms of Pinkie’s from older episodes). It also serves as a creative way to learn about ‘prioritizing,’ something I don’t think many children’s programming adventures would talk about.

Much like “Flutter On,” resolving this episode almost feels like a mad scramble as the time left to tell the story ticks down. Some in the fandom also found the solution to resolving the Pinkie-clones situation a little extreme, but maybe that just shows how concerned some are for these characters made up of pixels and vector graphics.

After all, animation is the illusion of life, and if you can make people believe that these characters are alive, then you’ve accomplished a great illusion.

_____

#2 - Magic Duel

#3 – Magic Duel

Another fan-favorite pony returned for this episode: the light-blue pony known as (The Great and Powerful) Trixie, a boastful magician. I never did see all the hubbub regarding her character in Season 1, but I thought this episode was one that was a little more fun than it needed to be.

Trixie returns to Ponyville seeking revenge for being bested by Twilight Sparkle way-back-when. Apparently, her being exposed as a magical fraud ruined her career, leaving her wanting revenge.  Challenging Twilight to a magic duel, Twilight is unable to counter all of Trixie’s spells, and is banished from the town, which is sealed under a giant glass dome.

Unable to ask Princess Celestia for help, Twilight instead seeks out the help of Zecora, a friendly Zebra she knows in the Everfree Forest, while her friends try to find some way to fight back against Trixie.

This is one of those episodes that has many instances where you could easily go, ‘why don’t they do this,’ or ‘did they ever consider dong that?’ It also raised a furor with some fans for over-exaggerating Fluttershy’s nervousness in tense situations.

Unlike some of the episodes ranked lower on the list, I felt the ending of this one really paid off quite well, and had me wide-eyed a few times. I think that’s why it ranks so highly on this list: starts out with a decent premise, and has a pretty decent pay-off in the end.

There’s also a fun (if tragic) event that befalls Pinkie Pie, and leads to a big laugh right before the closing credits.

_____

#2 – Just For Sidekicks

As much as some episodes focus on the main story of one individual pony, there have been a few times that main storylines have been given to Twilight Sparkle’s assistant/baby dragon: Spike.

In his attempts to make a jewel cake, he unknowingly ends up eating his supply of jewels. When Fluttershy asks him to babysit her bunny named Angel in exchange for a large emerald, Spike attempts to babysit the other ponies’ pets in hopes to get enough jewels to finish his cake. However, while his thoughts are intent on satisfying his own hungry urges, he doesn’t quite realize the responsibility he’s entered into.

“Just for Sidekicks” enters into a familiar story realm when it comes to a character learning responsibility, but still finds plenty of time to be entertaining, as well as provide viewers with plenty of cameos by the other pony’s pets, a few that haven’t been seen in a long while.

It also lassos in a couple younger ponies named Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo, and manages to make their appearances feel satisfying and funny, instead of adding extra ‘filler’ to the story.

This episode was one of two written by new writer, Corey Powell, and has a decent balance overall between story, humor, and plot.

What was the other episode Corey wrote? Well, scroll on down.

_____

#1 - Sleepless in Ponyville

#1 – Sleepless in Ponyville

To me, I’m all about character development in episodes, even those that focus on one character in particular. In this case, one of the younger ponies named Scootaloo. Very little has been done with her character in previous seasons, and many had hoped she would get her own episode to tell a little more about her, as her friends Applebloom and Sweetie Belle got. The result, is Sleepless in Ponyville.

Just as Rainbow dash idolizes the pegasus flying team in the series known as The Wonderbolts, Scootaloo is in awe of Rainbow Dash and her flying skills. When Rainbow Dash notes Scootaloo’s ‘cool moves’ on her scooter, Scootaloo tells her friends that she wishes she could spend more time with her hero. They then decide to all go on a camping trip, and invite Rainbow Dash. Things seem to be going well, until Rainbow starts telling scary stories, which secretly freak out Scootaloo, causing her to be unable to sleep. Of course, Scootaloo puts on a brave face to make it seem the stories don’t scare her, but it soon starts messing with her sleep patterns.

Also of interest was that there were several callbacks to previous episodes in the series, and the character development that came forth from them. Plus, one (major) character in the series made a cameo appearance, that seemed to actually help instead of hinder a situation.

What also helps in the episode, is the concept of facing your fears, which is something that almost everyone can relate to, whether its going down a dark hall, or talking with someone regarding something important.

The episode also marked the debut of new series writer, Corey Powell. Corey’s debut to the world of My Little Pony showed a fun-yet-strong episode that truly is one of the highlights of Season 3, and as seen by my #2 episode choice, she has proven to be a surprise and welcome addition to the series’ writers stable.

This is probably the only Season 3 episode that I had no doubts in saying was my favorite. It feels well-balanced, gives familiar character interactions, feels connected to previous episodes, and also helps push forward the development of said characters as well.

_____

And those are my Top 5 episodes for Season 3. As with any rankings of things, keep in mind this is just my opinion, and does not act as some be-all/end-all to Top 5 lists for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Overall, Season 3 was good, but it felt like the height of the series fandom hit around the time of Season 2. Then again, Season 2 had a 2-parter that felt like the series’ The Dark Knight regarding its villain and story structure (minus death and ‘face-scarring clowns’). Season 3’s big 2-parter wasn’t much to write home about, but if anything, its 13th episode titled Magical Mystery Cure, brought about a rather musical-yet-questionable end to the Season, giving the series its first season-ending cliffhanger episode that is said to carry over to the first episodes of Season 4.

Speaking of Season 4, word is that when it starts up, it will return to 26 episodes, so if I decide to do another list for that season, I’ll probably up the ante to a Top 10 list.

A Peanuts Prospectus : Charlie Brown, and the Summer of Peggy Jean

I know what you’re probably thinking, and no: the title of this post is not a review of some fanfiction about Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang (besides, I abhor fanfiction!).

Viewing the recent Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit presentation that rolled into town these last few months, I began to think of some of the unrequited love that had been prevalent throughout the series.

Being that Valentine’s Day is approaching, I did consider a post regarding the fabled Little Red-Haired Girl of the series, but want to save that discussion for another time.

Throughout the 50-year run of the Peanuts comic strip, we were often treated to many situations where characters faced failure, or often were unable to get what they wanted most. Of course, Schulz wasn’t always a sadistic creator who kept his characters from victory or good times. I remember opening the newspaper in 1993, and found a panel showing Charlie Brown joyously rushing home, after having won the game for his team!

Though Charlie’s shyness and “yes-I-can/no-I-can’t” attitude kept him from meeting the Little Red-Haired Girl in the comics, he had some luck with another little girl in the summer of 1990. Going to summer camp (and taking Snoopy along), Charlie became enraptured by a little girl with a bow in her hair.

Of course, Charlie’s not one to make the first move, but Snoopy will (provided a cute girl has sweet treats for cuddly animals).

Needless to say, Charlie feels insecure, and calls home to talk to Linus. Even though he has eyes for this new girl, Linus asks him if he still has feelings for the Little Red-Haired Girl. This leads Charlie to mutter: ‘who?’

Wow. This girl must really be something to make him forget the Little Red-Haired Girl just like that!

The next day, Charlie meets the little girl in line for lunch (right), and they have a small conversation, leading to one of my favorite last-panel commentations.

It turns out that talking to this little girl has opened the door for Charlie Brown. The next time we see the two, they are sitting down by the water, and the girl tells him that her name is Peggy Jean. When Charlie attempts to say his name, he becomes so tongue-tied, that he transposes it, calling himself “Brownie Charles.”

PJ2

Needing comfort from his ‘long-distance wingman,’ Charlie calls Linus, and tells him of the progress he’s made. Of course, one mention of his “Brownie Charles” slip-up has Linus in hysterics. Though a pleasant grin spreads across Charlie’s face at the realization that even though Peggy Jean calls him by this name, he likes it.

It seems everything is coming up roses for Charlie Brown. He’s found a cute little girl he can talk to, and seems to have given himself (accidentally) a pet-name for her to call him by (akin to Sally’s ‘Sweet Babboo’ to Linus). Of course, the next day’s strip is a bit of a shocker, when Peggy Jean broaches a pretty stomach-churning question:

Wow. Any relationship is bound to come with questions, but the nervousness about a first kiss from a cute girl is nothing compared to the sheer horror Charlie faces soon after:

Yes, Peggy Jean has unleashed the ultimate test on Charlie Brown (without her knowing it). Of course, having been through this same scenario before, he searches for something to convince him that Peggy is sincere in her intentions.

He first calls Linus, asking if a girl like Peggy will pull the ball away like Lucy does…only to realize that it’s Lucy who has answered the phone!

Quickly hanging up the phone, he returns to Peggy Jean, and decides to go for it…but stops right before kicking the football, still unsure.

Making another call to Linus, he does get his friend on the line this time. Charlie asks Linus if he should trust Peggy, and Linus tells him “yes.”

Returning to the spot where she was, Charlie finds the football, but no sign of Peggy Jean. Just then, another camper comes up and hands Charlie a note (right). Needless to say, it’s a pretty bitter blow.

The next few days are pretty miserable for ol’ Charlie Brown. Dejected that he couldn’t trust a girl like Peggy Jean to hold a football, he calls Linus for console, and gets a golf analogy (“it’s all I could think of to say,” replies Linus, when Charlie wonders what this has to do with his love life).

Charlie and Snoopy then return to the small dock where they first saw Peggy Jean. As Charlie remembers her calling him “Brownie Charles,” a voice suddenly startles him and Snoopy:

Yes, Peggy Jean returned! Being the sweet girl she is, Charlie Brown’s niceness overpowered her feelings of distrust, and she gives him something to really smile about! (right)

Shortly after being reunited, camp ends, and the two say goodbye. Peggy has no problems telling Charlie Brown “I love you,” and requests that he write and/or call her.

The summer camp story arc lasted from late-July through early-August of 1990. Hopeful of Peggy Jean’s correspondence, Charlie eagerly awaited her letters after writing to her like he promised. However, by late-August, Charlie began to grow worried when nothing had arrived for him from Peggy. His worrying makes him unable to realize he caught a pop fly without looking during a baseball game, and leads Linus to think of the worst-case scenario: that the whole thing was just another summer romance, and that Peggy Jean has found a new boyfriend.

Eventually, the case of the missing letters is solved. Because Peggy Jean only knew Charlie Brown as “Brownie Charles,” that was the name she put on her letters to him. Apparently, Sally told the mailman thirty times (!?!) that there was no such person at their address by that name (and people say Lucy is deplorable!). With this realization, Charlie quickly composes an apology letter to Peggy Jean (and most likely tells the mailman that his stupid sister was mistaken). A short time later, Charlie receives a letter from Peggy Jean, and it seems she still has feelings for him! She even remembers Snoopy, and asks Charlie to give him a hug for her.

In the Winter of 1990, Peggy entered Charlie’s mind (and the comic strip) again when he decided to buy her a pair of gloves. Of course, he was shocked to find that a good pair cost $25!  To raise enough money, he ended up selling his entire comic book collection, only to meet Peggy Jean at the same store…where her Mom had just bought her a new pair of gloves.

What’s notable is this story arc actually made it into the 1992 special, It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown. It would also signify the only time that Peggy Jean would appear in animated form, but must have left some of the viewers scratching their heads. Why? Well, just look at the color of her hair!

Charlie Brown and Peggy Jean’s summer camp story had never been animated, so to the unintiated, Peggy’s appearance must have seemed quite strange (she even calls him “Brownie Charles” like in the comic story). With that reddish-blonde tint to her hair, I’m sure some viewers assumed this was the animated appearance of The Little Red-Haired Girl (FYI: TLRHG was animated in the specials It’s Your First Kiss Charlie Brown, and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown).

One of the early VHS boxes for the Christmas Special also got TLRHG and Peggy Jean confused. The lettering on the back claims that Charlie Brown “is worried about getting the perfect present for the Little Red-Haired Girl.”

Personally, when it came to the color of Peggy Jean’s hair, I imagined her as more of a light-colored brunette.

PJ16

The following Spring, Charlie Brown began to wrestle with his feelings for both Peggy Jean, and The Little Red-Haired Girl. Linus recommends that he should tell Peggy Jean about this, even though it could lead to the possibility of Charlie never being with either one in the future due to his honesty. Charlie Brown even consults Sally for help, but she also seems to be on Linus’ side on the matter.

However, Charlie’s emotional rollercoaster ride comes to a screeching halt when his letter tPJ15o Peggy Jean is returned! Apparently she has moved, and there’s no way to contact her now. One wonders why she didn’t tell Charlie Brown about this, but not everything is explained in the world of Peanuts (take Snoopy’s active imagination, for example). After his contact with Peggy Jean is cut off, Charlie soon returned to pining for the Little Red-Haired Girl, but had a brief respite with another little girl named Emily, five years later. However, that’s a story for another time.

Even though it seemed Peggy Jean was gone, she was referenced a few times afterwards. During a baseball game, Schroeder mentions that baseball has probably taken her off Charlie’s mind. Later on that fall as he waits by the mailbox, Charlie has hope that maybe Peggy has written to him, but there’s no such luck to be had.

In December of 1997, Charlie Brown’s glove-buying strips with Peggy Jean returned to the printed page in the equivalent of a comic strip rerun (no, not Linus and Lucy’s younger brother). Their appearance fell within the only time Schulz took a break from the strip, when he carved out a 5-week sabbatical to celebrate his 75th birthday.

During the final year of the Peanuts strip, Peggy Jean returned for her last appearance, in a Sunday strip for July 11, 1999 (the only time she appeared in color in the newspapers). Just like her first meeting with Charlie Brown, it happened on a dock at summer camp, but the results of this meeting don’t go so well:

Yes, apparently, Peggy Jean moved on, and what Charlie probably thought would be a welcome reunion between them seemed more like a casual greeting. One can almost sense Charlie Brown’s eagerness to rekindle their former relationship, but this iteration of Peggy Jean seems more distant than the girl we were introduced to 9 years before. The standard train of thought is that people change, and while Peggy has, Charlie hasn’t. Then again, it does seem that it can take a lot to change someone as wishy-washy as Charlie Brown.

It should also be noted that the reappearance of Peggy Jean occurred in the summer, months before Schulz would be diagnosed with colon cancer, signaling the end of his lifelong dream of cartooning. Would another little girl have entered Charlie Brown’s life if Schulz had continued to draw on into the 21st century? Or was that special moment in the summer of 1990 just that for Charlie: a special moment? We almost all have experienced one sometime in our lives.

Overall, I found Peggy Jean’s introduction in 1990 one of the more memorable story arcs of that decade. Apparently, her appearance back in 1990 had some eager to know where Schulz was going after the first few strips. A reporter from San Francisco managed to speak to Schulz about the summer camp story arc, but even at that time, Schulz was not going to give any further details, other than to say that the tone of the story was more upbeat than his normal ones.

Peggy Jean was also one of the few minor characters to make her way into Peanuts merchandise. One of which was a Westland Giftware porcelain figure featuring both Charlie Brown and Peggy Jean in a small field of flowers (right). What’s a little odd is the title of the piece, which is called Charlie Brown and the Peggy Jean. One has to wonder if maybe they had originally meant Charlie Brown and the Little Red-Haired Girl, but someone caught the mistake partway through production.

Peggy Jean also makes an appearance in the Appstore game, Snoopy’s Street Fair (left). She appears under a pink, heart-shaped tree, and if you play the game properly, Charlie will ‘fly’ over to her, and sit on a bench with her under the tree.

In some circles, Peggy Jean has earned the unofficial title of Charlie Brown’s Girlfriend. One could almost call her that, given she’s kissed him and held his hands, along with actually having verbal contact with Charlie Brown.

While the world knows all-too-well Charlie’s fascination with the seemingly unattainable Little Red-Haired Girl, I felt I should be one of the few to point out Peggy Jean’s time with him. Her appearance showed how Charles Schulz would give his characters little flashes of hope and happiness, even in the face of hardship and failure, which can often seem overwhelming at times.

I'd like to also extend a little thanks to

I’d like to extend my thanks to the Charles M Schulz Museum’s Facebook page, who provided me with some information regarding Peggy Jean’s comic appearances. Click the image above to go to their Facebook page.

Toy Review: Starspeeder 1000 Vehicle Playset

A long time ago, in a theme park far, far away, The Walt Disney Company and George Lucas teamed up to bring guests into the Star Wars universe. We wouldn’t get to shake hands with Han Solo, but would make a scheduled space flight aboard a ship known as the Starspeeder 3000, visiting worlds and places many of us had only seen on movie and television screens.

However, our intrepid pilot REX instead goes the wrong way, and very soon, sends us careening through a comet, and even sends us down the famed Death Star trench.

For many years, fans eagerly hoped that Kenner/Hasbro would make a toy based on the ride vehicle. When Star Tours was revamped in the year 2011, that wish was (kind of) granted that fall, with the release of the Starspeeder 1000 Vehicle Playset, courtesy of the Disney Parks merchandising division.

Why 1000? Well, the revamped Star Tours is (somewhat) a prequel. The ships are the same design as the 3000, albeit with a cleaner paint job, and some added accoutrements. Instead of the same journey as the previous ride, your ride journey is based on random choices from a computer system. So, you could ride Star Tours 5 different times, and never have the same experience twice. One journey may take you to the ice planet Hoth, another will put you in the center of a podrace on Tatooine, and so-on.

When it comes to the Starspeeder 1000, there’s quite a bit to cover in regards to this playset. So, let’s start on the outside.

The Starspeeder 1000 is a cool playset, and one can see that the designers wanted to make something that kids would find plenty of things to play with.

In the upper-right of the Starspeeder, is a little square button that when pressed, flips open a pair of hidden blasters under the main viewport. This also activates the blue lights on the front, and some side-blasters light up with red lights too! The button also activates sound effects, that simulate the flipping open of the hidden blasters, and blaster sounds synchronized to flash along with the side-blaster lights.

The ship also comes with its own R2-D2, though this one is little more than a stand-in/statue for the piece. Above, you can see it on the right, next to the Original Vintage Trilogy Collection R2-D2 from my collection.

Just like the Starspeeder 3000, the 1000 model has a slot for an Astromech Droid (aka an R2-unit) to fit, and help navigate perilous Star Tours journeys. The best part is that the slot can fit almost any Astromech Droid that you have! Plus, when you press down on the figure in the slot, several R2-D2 sound effects play, and the front lights on the Starspeeder turn on!

Behind the R2 port, is a small area with the designation, IC360. The compartment opens, to reveal a removable camera-droid (similar to the kind that were seen hovering around the Galactic Senate in the prequels). The camera here comes with no stand, so kids can just take it out, and ‘hover’ it around with their fingers and imaginations, as if it’s filming things around the ship.

On the rear of the vehicle, there are four action buttons, conveniently hidden on the rear gray compartment. In case you can’t find them, they are the little rectangles with two smaller rectangles on each.

The top two buttons activate the left and right rows of doors. Not only do they all open in unison, but small lights go on, and the ‘welcome’ chime from the ride plays!

The lower buttons activate voice features, with Anthony Daniels (aka C-3PO) providing the same vocals as he does on the ride.

The lower right button has C-3PO’s voice going, “Lightspeed, Artoo! Now!” This is followed by a burst of sound effects that we’ve come to know when we see lightspeed in the Star Wars universe.

The lower-left button is dependent on a couple features inside the vehicle. When you take the top off the vehicle and look behind the rear seats,

you will find a stack of 4 grey plastic cards, with several images, and little square slots along the bottoms of them.

These actually fit into a small slot at the front of the ship. Inserting a card into a slot in front of the windshield protector, the playset then adds some bravado to our Star Tours adventure. The differences in each of the slots on the bottom of each card, activates a different voice/sound effect just like on the ride! Pressing the lower-left button gives the following sounds:

For the Podracer card – (in C-3PO’s voice) “Oh my, a Podrace! I’ve always wanted to do this!”

For the Planet Hoth card – (in C-3PO’s voice) “Hold onto your circuits!”

For the Yoda hologram card – (in Yoda’s voice) “May the Force, be with you.”

For the Death Star card – (in C-3PO’s voice) “I have a bad feeling about this.”

For no card in the slot – (in C-3PO’s voice) “Thank you for flying Star Tours!”

It should also be noted that the sounds emitting from the Starspeeder are pretty loud. The speaker for the sounds is located near the rear of the ship, and may shock you the first time you press one of the buttons. This is one toy you’ll be able to hear your child playing with down the hall.

Now that we’ve blown the lid off the Starspeeder, let’s take a closer look inside.

A captain’s chair is provided, just like in the ride. However, you’ll need to provide your own pilot (whether it’s C-3PO, depends on you). The chair’s circular base also hides a hole, that can also be used for the Captain Rex figure that was released some years ago in the Star Tours action figure line. Captain Rex was the old pilot for the original Star Tours, and it’s a great touch that his figure can also be used in this set.

The front of the ship’s interior contains pre-applied decals, based on the interior of the actual ride vehicle.

Of course, some compromises will need to be made in toy designs, and the amount of seats inside the Starspeeder is one of them. The original ride vehicle seats 40 passengers, while the playset here can only seat 9.

One item that is rather annoying, is the 3-passenger seatbelts on each row. I found these to be a pain to fasten, for an adult like me who has larger hands. I think if a kid attempts to fasten the straps, it will work much easier. Two pegs/two holes fasten each of the straps, but the size of them helps make the situation more difficult.

When I was little, I remember going to a garage sale, and being in awe of a used Millenium Falcon toy the family there was selling. To me, it was a huge toy compared to a lot of the other items I had. With the Starspeeder 1000, we have a toy that is pretty big, ranking up there with the Falcon, and the AT-AT for size and fun features.

Yes, those measurements are correct: this toy is over a foot-and-a-half long.

One of the greatest things to see, is a toy that was made with the kind of care by adults who longed for a super-awesome toy themselves. The Starspeeder 1000 is the fanboy’s dream of a ship from this attraction, that definitely feels like the best ideas for a toy brought forward. There’s very little here to criticize, with the exception of the pricetag. This baby will run you upwards of $75, which I’m sure will have some thinking twice before pulling out their wallets. Originally when released, it ran with a price tag that seemed more reasonable: $55. Even so, one can imagine the upsurge in pricing due to this being a Disney Parks merchandise exclusive. Though keep in mind that this playset can only be bought in the stores on the Disneyland and Walt Disney World property, as well as through the special hotline to order Disney Parks merchandise. Bottom line: you won’t find this in stock at your local Disney Store or Target.

The Disney Parks merchandising division handles much of the Star Tours/Wars-related merchandising that one encounters inside the park. I am very happy with the amount of detail and attention they paid to the Starspeeder 1000 playset. Though one thing I think would make for a great exclusive, would be to repaint the ship, and sell it as the Starspeeder 3000 from the original ride, with its less-colorful paint job, and Captain Rex piloting us into all sorts of catastrophes.