11 of the best Toy Story characters

It’s a hard decision to have to make, but I’ve narrowed down the entire cast of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 to my top 11 characters (tried for top 10 but the squeaky aliens insisted on being included on account of their cuteness!).

Apologies to those toys who didn’t make the list – you’re all very special in your own way, but decisions had to be made.

Woody

Woody from Toy Story
Of course Woody must top any list of Toy Story characters as he’s our hero. Woody is an old-fashioned toy from a 1950’s cartoon show, he’s a cowboy sheriff and has a pull string to make him speak. He is Andy’s favourite toy and has been since nursery. As such he’s the leader of all the toys and sees it as his job to look after them all and keep them safe.

That is until Buzz arrives and temporarily Woody sees green. But once he’s through that little hiccup Woody shows himself to be just as nice as you hoped your toys were when you were small and convinced that they came to life. Woody has a steady lady friend in the form of Little Bo Peep and his second best friend (after Andy) is now Buzz.

Buzz Lightyear

Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story
If I had to pick an absolute favourite Toy Story character it would be Buzz. He’s the wonderfully self-deluded space ranger who really believes he can go “To Infinity and Beyond!”. Buzz is given to Andy for his 6th birthday and his gadgets and gizmos (including an LED light that he’s convinced is a deadly laser beam) impress all the toys with the exception of Woody who is very jealous at first and worried that Buzz will replace him as Andy’s favourite toy.

Buzz sees himself as a true hero from Space Command and initially sees Woody as a “sad, strange little man” but after going through a few scrapes together they become very good friends. There’s a moral lesson there for us all.

Mr Potato Head

Mr Potato Head from Toy Story
Mr Potato Head is a toy with history, in fact he was the first ever toy to be advertised on TV. First manufactured around 60 years ago, the original Mr Potato Head could probably be claiming his bus pass now.

There have been lots of different versions of Mr Potato Head in recent years including the iconic Star Wars inspired .”Darth Tater”, “Spud Trooper” and “Artoo Potatoo” along with “Spider Spud” (does whatever a Spider-Spud does..?), the mighty “Optimash-Prime” from Transformers fame and as Indiana Jones in Taters of the Lost Ark.

The Mr Potato Head of the first Toy Story film is a bit of a grumpy old man who is one of Woody’s biggest detractors, who leads the mutiny against him when Buzz falls out of the window. However in the second movie he’s a much nicer spud – perhaps largely due to the arrival of his beloved Mrs Potato Head who looks after him and packs his angry eyes “just in case” when Mr Potato Head sets off to rescue Woody.

Overall, Mr Potato Head is a good potato, he has his grumpy moment but you can’t help but love him.

Mrs Potato Head

Mr and mrs potato head from Toy Story
You know the saying – behind every good Mr Potato Head is a good Mrs Potato Head – and that’s definitely true in Toy Story.

Mr Potato Head was a grumpy bachelor in the first movie but with the arrival of Mrs Potato Head in Toy Story 2 we see a softer, happier spud emerge. Mrs Potato Head is a very maternal character who likes to look after her husband and all the other toys (she tells them all not to talk to any strange toys when they set out to rescue Woody).

At the end of the second movie we see her happily adopting the three Squeeze Toy Aliens – and Mr Potato Head will just have to get used to them!

Slinky Dog

Toy Story Slinky Dog
Slinky dog, or Slink as he’s sometimes known is a loyal and loving dachshund toy who happens to have a Slinky spring for a midsection. These makes him very helpful with some things, bungee jumping, holding onto things that are quite a distance away, stretching down from lift ceilings and the like.

However, as anyone who ever owned a slinky can testify, they are unfortunately easily over-stretched and broken. This has happened to Slinky Dog in the past but thankfully he’s always been fixed.

Hamm

Toy Story HammHamm is a wise-cracking Piggy Bank who is good friends with Mr Potato Head and is a core member of the group of toys. He is voiced by the wonderful John Ratzenberger (most famous for playing Cliff in Cheers) and his deadpan delivery means that Hamm has some of the best one-liners in the film, not least when his cork accidentally pops out and he’s embarrassed that the other toys might see him undressed.

Hamm is a worldly-wise toy which is sometimes very useful for the other toys but he can be a little pedantic at times. However, he’s instrumental in working out what happened to Woody in the second movie (not quite Crimewatch standards, but he does reconstruct the crime sceneā€¦) and he’s part of the rescue mission to Al’s Toy Barn.

Rex

Toy Story Rex
Rex is a big chunky Tyrannosaurus Rex toy who, despite his weight and fierce appearance, is one of the most nervous and sensitive toys in the films. He’s most upset when Buzz’s arm is broken in the first movie (vomiting in shock) and asks someone to cover his eyes when he can’t bear to look at something as his own short arms mean he can’t reach to cover his own eyes.

His short arms are also a problem when he’s playing video games but he does ultimately prove himself and defeat the evil Emperor Zurg.

Jessie

Toy Stroy Jessie
Jessie (Jessica Jane the yodelling cowgirl) appears for the first time in the second movie. She was Sheriff Woody’s side-kick in the TV show Woody’s Roundup and she’s very excited to finally meet a Woody doll.

She and Woody at first don’t get along, but when she opens up to Woody and tells him about her old owner who grew up and forgot about her, they become firm friends and she ultimately goes back with him to Andy’s house. Jessie develops a soft spot for Buzz and at the end of the second movie we’re left with the feeling that romance could be blossoming.

Bo Peep

Toy Story Bo Peep
Bo Peep is Woody’s girlfriend and she’s sometimes far from the innocent maiden in the nursery rhyme that she’s based on as she shows a flirty – even seductive – side when she and Woody are alone.

She’s a beautiful porcelain figurine and while you might wonder what she’s doing with Andy’s toys, it’s because she’s a perfect damsel in distress to be rescued by Sherriff Woody. Bo Peep is very loyal to Woody and is one of the only toys to believe in his innocence in the first film.

Wheezy

Toy Story Wheezy the Penguin
Wheezy the Penguin is a minor character in the second film, but he’s such a cutie I had to give him a mention. He’s a sad broken squeaky toy who now seems to suffer from terrible asthma.

He appears in the second movie as he is about to be sold in a Yard Sale. Woody rescues him but ends up lost himself and Wheezy begs the other toys to go and rescue him. At the end of the film we see him happy with a fully restored squeaker and life is good.

Squeeze Toy Aliens

Toy Story Aliens
The adorable Squeak Toy Aliens have to be on my list of top character as they make me smile every time I see them. Promotional toys from the Pizza Planet restaurant, these little green men have 3 eyes and are the simplest of souls.

They ooh and ahh and have one purpose in life – to be chosen by “The Claw” and taken to a better place. Three of them are rescued by Mr Potato Head in the second movie and are subsequently adopted by him and his wife – happy aliens!