Flight Control Buzz Lightyear
(BMT / Mattel)
Buzz was designed by Todd Kurtzer at BMT. The inspiration came from the
Milton Bradley "Starbird" space toys from the '70's,
which made different engine noises when you tilted them up and down. Buzz was even referred
to as "Starbird Buzz Lightyear" internally. Buzz has a six-way tilt
switch inside that allows the electronics to know what his orientation
is so he can make appropriate sounds and wisecracks ("are we doing the
backstroke?"). The tilt switch was borrowed from Brain Warp, another BMT
toy. Buzz also has a switch in his foot so he knows when he's standing
The original prototype had a switch in his helmet so he knew when he
bonked into the wall, which was pretty funny. Mattel apparently took it
out for cost reasons (it happens).
As with most BMT toys, Cosmodog helped to bring the prototype to life
but didn't have anything to do with the production engineering.
Buzz was so long from prototype to production that when Todd called up
to say the flying Buzz Lightyear was on store shelves my reaction was
"What flying Buzz Lightyear?" Oh, well.