Pixar’s household classic series Toy Story has touched the hearts of people, young and old, across the world. Since the first movie’s release in 1995, the three feature movies have grossed nearly $2 billion worldwide, and a fourth movie set for release in 2018 has children and adults alike excited to revisit the charming, fantastical world.
Last week, ubiquitous skate sneaker manufacturer Vans hinted at a collaboration with the franchise in a short stop motion video on its Instagram page. The video said all it needed to with few words, relying on both parties’ iconic images instead. A pair of Vans’s signature waffle-cut gum soles walks across the screen and stops in the middle of the frame, where the name “ANDY” can be seen written on the bottom of the right sole with the “N” childishly written backwards (a reference to the character Woody, who has his first owner’s name scrawled under his right boot). The video got a hefty amount of exposure and was viewed more than 280,000 times.
This week, the collection was formally revealed, and fans have a lot to look forward to. Vans has gone all out for the collaboration, breaking out at least 10 different Toy-Story-themed adult-sized sneakers in six of its most beloved silhouettes. Six of the featured pairs sport all-over prints of well-known characters and images, like an Era decorated with the ever-present three-eyed aliens and a Slip-On depicting Sid’s gang of mutant toys.
Even more exciting, though, are the shoes that make creative use of different patterns, colors, and textiles to approximate characters’ costumes. Woody is channeled in two different pairs. There is a brown leather Sk8-Hi with hum midsole designed to look like his signature boots as well as an Old Skool with leather, denim, cow print, and yellow windowpane accents that pay homage to his entire getup. The other half of the film’s heroic duo, Buzz Lightyear, also embellishes an Old Skool. A purple sole and green heel counter, toecap, and leather accent showcase Buzz’s signature colors, and eyelets in blue, green, and red mimic the buttons on his chest, completing the look.
Evidencing Toy Story’s universal appeal, the collection also offers patterned sneakers in toddler sizes for new fans who were not around for the original release, and the footwear is also accompanied by a range of apparel including hats, socks, and backpacks. Though the two brands seem disconnected in their core demographic, the seamless combination showcases their shared youthful vibe and ability to capture audiences of all ages.
What do you think of this collection, and are you excited for the franchise’s fourth installment? Let me know here or on Twitter @BillChangNY