My four-year-old son loves all things Buzz Lightyear at the moment, but he's too young to understand that Buzz isn't a "real" toy. He was invented for the movie Toy Story (1995), and the toy came later. Although, in all honesty, I suppose there isn't much difference. As I was watching the new movie Toy Story 3, I was struck by how comfortable and familiar all these toys have become, whether they were invented for the movie, or lifted from childhood memories. The point is that a good toy will always inspire us to play well. Following is a list of real toys that made it into the movies.
Mr. Potato Head (Hasbro/Playskool, 1952)
Inventor George Lerner came up with the idea for this by, of course, sticking things into real potatoes, and that was how the original toy was sold: a collection of stuff, including feet, hands, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, moustache, hats, glasses and even a pipe (!), that kids could stick into real potatoes. The original sold for 98 cents. Apparently, it was the first toy advertised on television. In the 1960s, he became plastic, and in the age of "politically correct," he stopped smoking. And yes, he also got his Mrs. Potato Head. Don Rickles provides the voice in the movie.