In its sprawling campus in Emeryville, California, Pixar makes magic happen. There, animators bring your favourite characters to life, host screenings, and sell super exclusive merchandise out of its Pixar Studio Store.
The store is somewhat of a holy grail for fangirls and boys. While you can buy Pixar-related goods from Disney’s online store, the campus store can only be accessed by guests. There, the company sells books, T-shirts, plush toys, and collectibles only available on site.
During a recent trip to Pixar HQ for an early screening of its upcoming film “Inside Out,” I got a rare look inside.
The Pixar Studio Store is located inside the Steve Jobs Building. The late visionary acquired Pixar from Lucasfilm Ltd. in 1986, and stayed on as CEO and majority shareholder until Disney bought the studio 20 years later.
Inside, the atrium is beautiful.
A few familiar faces greet you. “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University” stars Sulley and Mike are dressed for school.
“Toy Story” duo Buzz Lightyear and Woody are made entirely of LEGO bricks.
The detail is unbelievable.
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They even got the swirl on Buzz’s chin!
Alas — the store calls to me like a siren. It’s smaller than I anticipated.
But the merchandise did not disappoint.
Few symbols represent Pixar quite like the Luxo Ball. The bouncing ball appeared in the studio’s first-ever short, “Luxo, Jr.,” co-starring two lamps, and has made cameos in feature-length films since.
Look familiar? Watch the short here.
I bought a $US7 pin version of the Luxo Ball.
Most of Disney-Pixar’s movies were represented in some shape or form. This wine glass set paid tribute to “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Cars,” and other classics.
These action figures made even the most villainous antagonists so darn cute.
Edna from “The Incredibles” was one of my favourites.
2013’s “Monsters University” was the most recently released Disney-Pixar film, so the store had oodles of collectibles dedicated to that franchise. Here’s an MU foam finger.
And a licence plate holder to show your MU pride on the road.
These Scream Canisters, used in “Monsters, Inc.” to contain “scream energy” that the monsters collect by scaring kids, held limited edition watches.
Now the Pixar Studio Store is readying for its next sure-to-be hit, “Inside Out.”
If you get a chance to visit the Pixar Studio Store, it most definitely warrants a shopping spree.
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