Disney recently donated a Buzz Lightyear toy that has actually been in space to Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. 12-inch Buzz circled the Earth for 15 months on board the International Space Station...making it perhaps the world's first toy-turned-space-artifact.
This particular Buzz was an actual child's toy -- previously owned by the son of the Disney executive who put the partnership with NASA together. But like any astronaut, Buzz had to undergo a rigorous physical training process: his space travel mods included having his electronic insides removed and his battery case sealed shut.
"Toy Story" animator John Lasseter, who invented Buzz, was on-hand to personally gift the toy to the Smithsonian. Lasseter and Smithonian director Jack Dailey were both wearing blue gloves to handle Buzz, which was a precautionary measure in case all that space radiation made the toy suddenly come to life, spontaneously shooting lasers everywhere under the mistaken assumption that he was under attack by the evil Emperor Zurg's minions.
I'm kidding of course, but the very fact they needed gloves to hold Buzz would seem to indicate that he won't again be in the possession of any little kids any time soon. However, Buzz will have a very nice new home when he goes on display later this summer in the National Air and Space Museum's "Moving Beyond Earth" gallery, which is dedicated to the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Since Buzz was named after Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, it seems as if everything has gone full-circle!