LIGHTYEAR: Sox, The Robot Cat, Steals The Show At CinemaCon And Is Expected To Be Disney's Next Hot Toy
After an extended preview of Lightyear at CinemaCon this past week, the general consensus among audience members and industry veterans is that Sox, Buzz Lightyear's robotic feline, steals the spotlight.
Lightyear may be the origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy in Pixar's hit franchise Toy Story, but it seems another character may steal the spotlight. A preview of the upcoming film was shared at CinemaCon and one of the biggest takeaways from the first 30 minutes of Lightyear was how the character Sox attracted the most buzz.
Sox is Buzz's mechanical feline companion, presented to the astronaut as a gift after a mission goes awry. Although Sox is meant as a therapy device, the ginger and white robot cat can basically do anything Buzz requires, including monitoring his mental health and providing sleep sounds.
While Sox made his debut in early trailers for Lightyear, the extended preview during CinemaCon gave audiences an extended look at what this robotic feline brings to the movie. As reported by CNBC:
Like many of Disney’s and Pixar’s animal and robotic companions, Sox has a distinct personality and adds moments of levity during times of peril. During the preview at CinemaCon, his reactions were the ones that elicited the most raucous laughter from the crowd.
The article goes on to cite multiple industry veterans who attended CinemaCon and the general consensus is that Sox is going to be Disney's next hot toy this year. In multiple tweets, Erik Davis of Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes, wrote, "Sox the cat is gonna steal the entire movie..Disney is gonna sell SO many Sox the cat toys."
According to exhibitors and box office analysts speaking to CNBC, Sox was the "clear standout" of the animated feature. Sox is voiced by Pixar veteran Peter Sohn and is said to have a "dry sense of humor and blunt vocal delivery that is reminiscent of 'Rogue One's' K-2SO and an innocence and caring nature like Baymax from 'Big Hero 6.' He's also got a data probe in his tail a la R2-D2 that comes in handy when Buzz finds himself in a pickle."
Mattel currently holds the master toy license for the Toy Story franchise and has already created multiple plush and action figure versions of Sox. “Sox has been top of mind from the initial moment we saw the ‘Lightyear’ film,” said PJ Lewis, executive lead for Mattel’s action figure and plush division. “We knew he was much more than a sidekick and offered multiple ways to drive product innovation for the ‘Lightyear’ line. Plus, we have a few cat people on the team who were smitten.”
Will Sox become Mattel and Disney's next big toy? We'll find out when Lightyear blasts into theaters on June 17, 2022.