This Robosen Buzz Lightyear Costs $999 - Oh & It's A Robot!

2 months ago   •   8 min read

By Craig Fulton
Table of contents

To infinity and...there goes my wallet.

A "smart conversational, interactive, programmable, and ultra-authentic space ranger robot" reads the marketing blurb to describe the imposing 16.5" Buzz Lightyear figure.

Yes, Toy Story has finally become a reality. And that's no surprise since the birth givers are Robosen, a genuine robotics company that has been developing robotic toys for over 15 years.

They must have watched Small Soldiers, seen the dollar signs, and run straight to their lab to jam NASA technology into toys.

And they bloody well did it. First with their own creations, such as the K1 Scout, before moving on to licenced limited edition collector pieces such as Optimus Prime and now Buzz Lightyear.

Why Buzz Lightyear?

Buzz is a great choice for Robosen. He has always been a symbol of the 'cool' toy. Blinking lights, sounds, jetpacks and space exploration. Heck yeah! Buzz is the type of toy that forced you to shake off a younger version of yourself.

Some may be disappointed that this Buzz Lightyear is based on the 2022 film, Lightyear, therefore it's not the Tim Allen Buzz you are getting here. The benefit of that is a more aesthetically fleshed-out buzz, which really does look incredible, in my opinion at least.

What does a robotic Buzz Lightyear do?

Sticking with aesthetics, Buzz Lightyear is first and foremost an excellent showcase model to add to your collection. His suit and an array of accessories, swappable hands, face and optional jetpack are incredibly faithful to the source material. All 16.5" have been lovably crafted by Robosen, with attention to specific metal textures, symbols and battle-worn damage.

Take a look at an early prototype model.

It's remarkably similar to the upcoming Hot Toys Buzz Lightyear, minus the moveable Buzz eyeballs. You are only paying $345 for the deluxe version compared to $999 for the all singing all dancing version of the Robosen Buzz. So if it's purely about aesthetics, I would go for the Hot Toy version (keep in mind it is also 4" smaller if that bothers you).

If you are looking at a Robosen Buzz Lightyear, it's all about robotics!

Over 200 sounds & actions

With 23 high-precision servo motor joints, Buzz can seriously move! With the touch of an app, or a voice command, Buzz can perform over 200+ inbuilt sounds and actions. You can see him karate chop his way out of danger, or blast away with his Space Ranger Blaster.

Check out the official Robosen Buzz lightyear Trailer

Buzz really does come to life, yet it's difficult to see from early footage how well Buzz will stand up...literally. Most of the footage has his head swivelling, and arms moving, yet we don't see too much of his leg movement.

The only movement we have seen from the legs is when he is running on his mounted stand. That means he is fixed in place, foregoing the need for balance when walking.

We've seen Optimus Prime move with a robotic step and shuffle, which is great for Optimus, as he is a Robot, but it will be interesting to see if Robosen extends their "most advanced human-like robot features" to Buzz's legs (albeit with awareness of how difficult it is to make robots walk, never mind in human-fashion).

Space Ranger Stand

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Stand

It's important to point out that the mounted stand is an excellent feature. Criticism amongst owners of Optimus Prime was that it wasn't collector friendly, certainly not in the traditional sense of showing off your prized possession.

This is because when Optimus is powered off, the servo joints don't lock, meaning you can only display him in truck mode or, what can only be described as, toilet mode.

This isn't to say that Buzz won't suffer the same fate, but early signs suggest that presenting Buzz has been high on Robosen's mind. Both flavours of Buzz Lightyear come with the Space Ranger Stand, whilst the Infinity pack also comes with an illuminated 'Space Ranger Alpha Suit Display Case'. I've only seen this recently added, which is a really nice touch.

The Illuminated Space Ranger Alpha Suit Display Case
The Illuminated Space Ranger Alpha Suit Display Case

Both have cable pass-thru, which means the stand will charge buzz and he will be ready to perform on-demand. That's an excellent shelf piece, unlike Optimus, as Buzz is ready for interaction at any time whilst also being on display.

The Space Ranger Stand promises a "variety of cool hands-free interactions" such as Buzz sprinting, which we see in the trailer. I just hope Buzz still has some movement in his legs beyond being perched on his stand.

Smart conversations

Robosen is also boasting a feature called smart conversational voice interaction. This means you don't need to start with a 'hey buzz' to get a response, something Optimus Prime owners found to be quite repetitive.

It's claimed that you can converse with an ambiguous voice command and Robosen's software will semantically match the best available Buzz response. The true challenge for this technology is a Scottish accent, therefore I would happily be a willing participant if Robosen wants to send a Buzz my way!

Programmable

This is where Robosen nail the interaction. Just like Optimus, Buzz Lightyear is fully programmable meaning that you can control each servo joint through four different programming modes (voice, manual, block-based & 3D Software) through their app.

You can build move sequences that recreate your favourite Buzz Lightyear scenes or let your imagination run riot. You also share your new sequences with other users, download other users sequences, play missions through the app and unlock new features with OTA (over-the-air) firmware updates.

Auto-Converting XL-15 Jetpack

Buzz comes with a variety of accessories depending on what flavour you pick up (more on that shortly). Amongst a variety of hand poses, faces and even Sox (unfortunately not robotic), are a range of weapons including his Lazer Blade DX, Space Ranger Blaster and Laser Gauntlet. All of this illuminates which is a really nice touch.

However, the absolute standout accessory is the auto-converting XL-15 Jetpack. The Jetpack can retract on cue, with four colour options available for the navigation lights on each wing. There are even two propulsion jets that are water refillable to make a vapour trail.

The Jet Stream feature is something we have seen from the recent Mattel Jetpack Liftoff Buzz Lightyear figure and you can pick him up for around $50. We will need to see how this suped-up robotic Buzz compares to that.

The Jetpack is the most replayed on the YouTube trailer, so it's definitely catching the eye. It's a great accessory that completes Buzz, but it's only available in the higher-cost pack, so I'll go over those options now.

How much is the Robosen Buzz Lightyear?

There are a couple of options depending on what your budget and region. It looks like pre-ordering will end on December 12 with delivery scheduled for around May 2023.

Pre-ordering allows you to put down a $99 (or £99 in the UK) deposit, with full payment required before shipping (which is free). So it gives you plenty of time to raise some funds by shifting some of your existing collection to make some room if needed.

Space Ranger Alpha Pack

The base model starts at $799 and get's you the Robotic Buzz Lightyear figure, the Space Ranger Stand, Sox, an interchangeable face and finger-pointing hands to mix it up.

Space Ranger Alpha - $799

With the Alpha pack, you get the incredible robotic Buzz Lightyear, the space ranger stand, Sox the cat and a set of interchangeable hands and faces.

PRE-ORDER

In the UK? It will cost you £829 for the Space Ranger Alpha pack.

Everything is here for the base Buzz Lightyear experience, however, you do miss out on quite a few accessories. If you can't stretch to the next pack, or if you're not fussed about the extras, then it's a great option.

Infinity Pack

The Infinity Pack delivers the full Robosen Buzz Lightyear Experience. You get everything in the Space Ranger Alpha pack and extra goodies including; the XL 15 Jetpack, Laser Gauntlet, Space Ranger Blaster, Laser Blade DX, Display Cabinet, three new sets of interchangeable hands and dog tags for you and Buzz.

Infinity Pack - $999

The ultimate Buzz Lightyear experience. It includes everything in the Space Ranger Alpha pack, along with the XL15 Jetpack, 3 new weapons, a display case, hand poses and dog tags for you and Buzz!

PRE-ORDER

It's the full experience which adds an extra layer of immersion into the in-built action sequences or when you come to create your own.

This will likely be the most popular choice, considering the extra's on offer for $200.

Should you buy a Robosen Buzz Lightyear?

Only you can really answer that for yourself. Many will look at this as an eye-wateringly expensive toy, just like others don't see the value in having a chunk of plastic vinyl sitting on a shelf. Value is subjective and everyone will have their opinion.

For Buzz Lightyear collectors, it has obvious appeal. For those looking for a modern spin on a collectible, something of a wildcard, it could pique their interest too.

What I would say is the benefit of pre-ordering right now is limited. There were early-bird and Black Friday deals that have now ended. Those deals got you an Infinity Pack for the same price as the Alpha (whilst the Alpha was also reduced by around $100).

If you're not securing a deal, the appeal of pre-ordering now is to secure your Buzz for launch. You have to really want it to do that, but it is hard to say what supply will be like at launch, so if you just want to lock it in to be safe then go for it.

If you're not absolutely certain it's for you, don't rush into it. Wait until nearer launch when early reviews will land and you can decide then if it's for you. If an offer comes along before then, great!

And if you think this is all utterly ridiculous, well, what can I say?

I've set my laser from stun to kill.

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