In Sid’s bedroom, Woody struggled to free himself from his milk-crate prison, but it wouldn’t budge. Across the desktop, the once-proud Buzz Lightyear was still shamefully taped to the cheap rocket. “Psst! Hey, Buzz!” whispered Woody.
No response. Woody picked up a stray washer and tossed it at Buzz, trying to get his attention. Clink! The washer struck Buzz’s helmet. Slowly, he looked over.
Woody waved wildly. “Hey! Get over here and see if you can get this toolbox off me!” Buzz just looked away.
“Oh, come on, Buzz. I can’t do this without you. I need your help,” pleaded Woody.
“I can’t help,” Buzz said flatly. “I can’t help anyone.”
“Why, sure you can, Buzz. You can get me out of here and then I’ll get that rocket off you, and we’ll make a break for Andy’s house,” said Woody.
“Andy’s house. Sid’s house.” Buzz shrugged.
“What’s the difference?”
“Buzz, you’ve had a big fall. You must not be thinking clearly!” exclaimed Woody.
“No, Woody,” Buzz responded. “For the first time, I am thinking clearly. You were right all along. I’m not a space ranger. I’m just a toy. A stupid, little, insignificant toy.”
“Wait a minute,” Woody said. “Being a toy is a lot better than being a space ranger.”
“Yeah, right,” Buzz said.
“No, it is!” Woody insisted. He pointed through the window toward Andy’s room. “Look, over in that house is a kid who thinks you are the greatest, and it’s not because you’re a space ranger, pal, it’s because you’re a toy. You are his toy!”
Buzz looked down at himself, at his plastic parts and fake control panel. “But why would Andy want me?”
Woody sighed and shook his head. “Why would Andy want you? Look at you! You’re a Buzz Lightyear! Any other toy would give up his moving parts just to be you. You’ve got wings, you glow in the dark, you talk, your helmet does that… that whoosh thing. You are a cool toy.
“As a matter of fact,” he went on, “you’re too cool. I mean—what chance does a toy like me have against a Buzz Lightyear action figure? All I can do is…” Woody pulled his own string.
“There’s a snake in my boots!” his voice box chirped. Woody shook his head in disgust. “Why would Andy ever want to play with me, when he’s got you?” He sighed. “I’m the one that should be strapped to that rocket.”
Woody slumped against the milk crate, his back to Buzz. On the floor, Buzz raised his foot. He could still read ANDY through the dirt and scuff marks on the sole of his space boot. Buzz glanced back at Woody, a look of determination spreading across his face.
“Listen, Buzz, forget about me. You should get out of here while you can.” When Buzz didn’t respond, Woody turned around.
Buzz was gone.
Suddenly, the milk crate began to shake. Woody hung on and looked up. With the rocket still taped to his back, Buzz stood on top of the crate, trying to push the toolbox off.
“Buzz! What are you doing?” Woody asked. “I thought you were—”
“Come on, Sheriff,” Buzz said, grunting.
“There’s a kid over in that house who needs us. Now let’s get you out of this thing.”
Together they began to push the milk crate. It started to budge, but it moved very slowly.
By now the sun was rising, warm and bright, drying up the night’s rain. Suddenly, Buzz and Woody heard the rumble of a vehicle pulling into Andy’s driveway.
“Woody! It’s the moving van!” exclaimed Buzz.
“We’ve got to get out of here—now!” cried Woody.
Buzz pressed back against the wall and pushed the toolbox with his feet. The toolbox began to move! With every shove, the milk crate inched out over the edge of the desk. When the gap was wide enough, Woody jumped through and landed on the floor below.
“Buzz! Hey, I’m out!” he called. But Buzz didn’t hear. He kept pushing, until… CRASH! The toolbox and the milk crate fell off the desk and landed right on top of Woody.
Buzz glanced at Sid—miraculously, he was still snoring away—then ran to the edge of the desk. “Woody!” he whispered. “Are you all right?”
Woody crawled out from the rubble of tools, a little wobbly, and waved. “I’m fine.… I’m okay,” he called up to Buzz.
BRIIIIIIIIINNNGG! The alarm clock rang. Woody dropped back under the toolbox, and Buzz fell limp on the desk. As Sid sat up, his eyes brightened.
“Oh, yeah! Time for liftoff!” He threw back the covers, grabbed Buzz, and bolted from the room. The second Sid was gone, Woody leaped to catch the door before it closed. He pulled it open.
“GRRRRRRRRR!” There stood Scud! The dog pounced… but Woody slammed the door shut just in time.
“Okay, what do I do? Come on, Woody, think!” He looked around the room and discovered that the mutant toys had come out of hiding.
“Guys!” Woody exclaimed. The toys scattered like frightened mice.
“No! Wait! Listen!” Woody called. “There’s a good toy down there and he’s—he’s going to be blown to bits in a few minutes all because of me. We gotta save him!” He paused and motioned with both arms for them to come closer. “But I need your help.”
The toys stayed hidden. Woody noticed Babyhead timidly peeking out from under the bed.
“Please. He’s my friend,” Woody pleaded. “He’s the only one I’ve got.”
Babyhead crawled out of the corner and banged on the side of Sid’s bedpost. Slowly, the rest of the mutant toys emerged from the shadows and gathered around Woody.
Woody knelt in the middle. “Thank you,” he said to Babyhead. Then he turned toward the others. “I think I know what to do. We’re going to have to break a few rules, but if it works, it’ll help everybody.”
In the backyard, Sid came out of a shed carrying a bunch of materials under his arm. He dropped them next to Buzz.
“Launchpad is being constructed!” he said with a menacing chuckle.
Meanwhile, back in Sid’s bedroom, Woody studied a diagram of the Phillipses’ house constructed out of stray dominoes and Scrabble pieces. He pointed to his makeshift map as he began to call out directions. “All right, listen up. I need Pump Boy here. Ducky here. Legs?” The toy fishing rod with fashion-doll legs strolled up.
“You’re with Ducky.” Woody jerked a thumb at a duck-head Pez dispenser with a baby-doll torso and a suction-cup base. “Roller Bob and I don’t move till we get the signal. Clear?” The mutants all nodded.
“Okay, let’s move!” commanded Woody. Ducky and Legs pulled the metal faceplate off a heating vent and disappeared inside.
Several other toys stacked up like a bizarre totem pole to reach the doorknob. Woody jumped onto Roller Bob, the skateboard with a soldier’s head and arms attached to its front. “Wind the frog!” he shouted. A race car with baby arms began to wind up a little tin frog mounted on monster-truck wheels.
Scud was still barking outside Sid’s door. The toys manned their positions. Their eyes were on Woody, whose arm was raised. “Wait for the signal.”
Meanwhile, Ducky and Legs had crawled through the heating ducts to the front of the house. Ducky tied the end of Legs’s fishing line around his waist. They removed the porch-light socket. Then Legs lowered Ducky through the opening.
Dangling by the front door, Ducky began to swing back and forth. At last, he swung far enough to reach his target—the doorbell. Dingdong! Back in Sid’s room, Woody lowered his arm to signal the other toys. “Go!” The toys yanked open the door. The windup frog was let loose. The plastic amphibian zipped between Scud’s legs and flew down the hallway. Barking madly, the dog chased it.
Out front, Ducky rang the bell again. “I’ll get it!” the toys heard Hannah shout. She opened the front door, only to find that no one was there.
Behind Hannah, the windup frog zoomed down the stairs with Scud in close pursuit. The frog hurtled off the last step, speeding between Hannah’s legs and out the front door. Hannah spun around when she heard Scud chasing Wind-up Frog. Ducky dropped down and nabbed Wind-up Frog with his arms. Then Legs reeled them in.
Scud burst between Hannah’s legs, knocking her down as he raced onto the porch. He stopped and looked around, barking crazily, then looked up at the frog disappearing into a hole in the porch ceiling. With a growl, he realized he’d been tricked. He tried to scoot back inside, but Hannah slammed the front door in his face. “Stupid dog,” she muttered.
As Hannah stormed off, Roller Bob zipped into the kitchen with Woody and the other mutant toys clinging to his skateboard. “Lean back!” Woody shouted as they approached the doggie door. Roller Bob popped a wheelie, and they all flew through the small pet-door flap and crashed into the bushes outside.
The toys parted the bushes. In the yard, they could see Buzz tied to a makeshift launchpad. Sid was in the shed. Woody scurried toward his friend.
“Woody!” Buzz whispered. “Help me out of this thing!”
“Shhhhh!” Woody said. “It’s okay, everything’s under control.” He grinned confidently, then fell limp on a patch of grass a few feet away.
“Woody!” Buzz cried. “What are you doing?”
Just then, Sid came out of the toolshed. Buzz froze. “Houston, all systems are go,” Sid said, pretending to be doing a real space launch. “Requesting permission to launch—Hey!” He spotted the toy sheriff lying on the ground and picked him up. “How’d you get out here?” He looked around, confused, and then smiled. “Oh, well, you and I can have a cookout later.” He stuck a kitchen match in Woody’s empty holster and tossed him onto the barbecue grill.
“Houston, do we have permission to launch?” Sid spoke into the box of matches as if it were a microphone. “Roger. Permission granted. You are confirmed at T minus ten seconds.” Sid struck a match. “Ten! Nine! Eight! . . .” He moved toward the fuse. But before he could light it, a voice rang out: “Reach for the sky!”
Sid froze. “Huh?” He whirled around. Woody was still lying stiffly on the grill, but sound kept coming from his voice box: “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us!”
“What?” Sid said.
Sid walked over to Woody and picked him up. “Somebody’s poisoned the water hole!” said Woody’s voice box.
“It’s busted,” said Sid.
“Who are you callin’ busted, Buster?” Sid stopped and stared at Woody, eyes wide.
“That’s right. I’m talking to you, Sid Phillips,” Woody continued. Sid shook the toy, checking the pull string.
“We don’t like being blown up, Sid, or smashed, or ripped apart. . . .”
Sid gulped. “W-w-we?”
“That’s right,” Woody said. “Your toys.”
At that, the mutant toys, along with all the broken toys in the yard, rose from their hiding places like creatures in a horror movie. Sid trembled with fear as the mutilated toys surrounded him.
“From now on, you must take good care of your toys,” Woody continued. “Because if you don’t, we’ll find out, Sid. We toys can see”— Woody’s head spun around a full 360 degrees— “everything.”
As Sid stared in terror at Woody’s head, the cowboy’s rigid plastic features suddenly came to life. “So play nice,” he warned, glaring sternly at the boy.
“AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!” Sid dropped Woody as if he were on fire and bolted toward the house. At the door he bumped into Hannah. She was carrying a new doll, and she clutched it protectively.
“The toys are alive!” Sid yelled. He stared at Hannah’s doll. Hannah cringed, but Sid just smiled weakly. “Nice toy!” he said nervously.
Hannah, sensing Sid’s fear, thrust the doll in his face. He screamed. “What’s wrong, Sid? Don’t you want to play with Sally?” she taunted as she chased him upstairs.
Outside, Sid’s broken, twisted toys gathered around Woody and cheered. Woody shook the toys’ hands, if they had hands, and congratulated everyone.
“Nice work, fellas,” Woody told them. “Good job. Coming out of the ground—what a touch! That was a stroke of genius.”
“Woody!” The cowboy turned. Buzz was still tied to the launchpad. He held out a hand to his friend. “Thanks.” Woody grinned and shook hands with the spaceman.
HONK! HONK! Through the fence that surrounded Sid’s yard, they heard Mrs. Davis’s voice. “Everybody say ‘Bye, house!’” she told her children.
“Bye, house,” Andy said sadly.
“Woody! The van!” Buzz cried.
Woody freed Buzz from the launchpad. Together the cowboy and the spaceman sprinted toward the fence. The slim cowboy easily slipped through. He ran ahead and climbed onto the rear bumper of the family van. But Buzz, with the big rocket still attached to his back, got stuck in the fence.
“Just go! I’ll catch up!” Buzz shouted.
But Woody couldn’t leave his friend. He jumped down from the bumper and ran back for Buzz. Woody pushed and tugged on Buzz until he finally popped through the fence. They raced down the driveway and out into the street, where they watched the Davises’ van pull away.