If you've seen any of the previews for Pixar's forthcoming movie, the terrific "Toy Story 3," you've no doubt caught wind of one of the new toys in the trilogy's roster of playthings: Lots-o-Huggin' Bear.
The movie opens on June 18, and until then viewers won't have much of a sense of how Lotso figures into the film's full story line. Suffice it to say, Lotso is a leader at Sunnyside Day Care, the new home of the stars of Pixar's 11th feature, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Hamm, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, and others.
But what's Lotso's history? Well, when you see the movie, you'll find out how Lotso came to end up at Sunnyside. But what about the generic Lots-o-Huggin' Bear--the branded toy that one could--fictionally, of course--have bought at the store? After all, unlike Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head--but like Woody and Buzz, et. al--Lotso is the creation of the filmmakers at Pixar.
As part of the ramped up marketing campaign for the movie, Pixar has now released two vintage-looking Lots-o-Huggin' Bear commercials, including one "from" Japan. Of course, these are purely made up, but they certainly have the look of ads that one could have seen years ago on T.V. As Scott Beale at Laughing Squid put it, the ads were "made to look like 1980s TV--commercials recorded to VHS."
Of course, as is the case with most of the--ahem--made from whole cloth toys we've seen in the "Toy Story" series so far, what was a fictional toy before will now become a real one as Pixar and its Disney parent look to market Lotso like crazy. The question is: will the Lots-o-Huggin' Bears that you will be able to buy in real toy stores come with their noses pre-rubbed bare?