When he wasn’t helping Sheriff Woody corral bad guys or annihilating aliens alongside Buzz Lightyear, Andy Davis was a normal kid.
He went to school, helped his mom with chores — and was a member of the Boy Scouts of America.
Thanks to an eagle-eyed Scout from the Northeast Illinois Council, we have conclusive visual evidence that the owner of all those playthings in the Toy Story movies was in Scouting.
Exhibit A: In the first Toy Story, released in 1995, a Boy Scout Handbook appears on Andy’s bookshelf.
Woody, Bo-Peep, Buzz — and Andy — are back this summer in Toy Story 4, which makes now the perfect time to rewatch the original Toy Story for this excellent Easter egg.
Guide to spotting the Handbook in Toy Story
To see the animated prop in question, you’ll basically need to watch the entire movie. (There are far worse ways to spend 81 minutes.)
Once you’re 1 hour and 16 minutes in, keep your eyes out for a red book on Andy’s shelf.
A Scouting volunteer named Cheri Blenniss of the Northeast Illinois Council was watching Toy Story with her son Nolan when Nolan spotted the book.
Cheri shared the cool find with her Scouting friends on Facebook.
Not since we confirmed that Ferris Bueller’s dad earned the BSA’s Silver Beaver Award have I been so excited about a Scouting-movie connection.
A way-too-deep analysis of Andy’s Handbook
Let’s assume Toy Story was set in present day, meaning Andy had the Boy Scout Handbook on his shelf in 1995, when the movie was released.
But there’s one problem: the Boy Scout Handbook didn’t have a red cover in 1995.
I know this firsthand. Like Andy, I was a Scout in 1995. I was a proud owner of the 10th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, in circulation from 1990 to 1998.
It looked like this:
And I don’t know who Greg Block is, but I do know that the 10th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook was written by Robert Birkby. (Birkby now writes Scouting magazine’s popular Ground Rules column.)
But wait, you say. Perhaps Andy was a Scouting collector, and that actually was the second edition, which did come with a red cover (and featured some classic art from J. C. Leyendecker).
To that I say: “OK, sure. Andy does like collecting cool things!”
Help solve these mysteries
Many questions remain:
- Which version of the Scout Handbook do you think Andy owned?
- Who is Greg Block?
- Is Bonnie, the girl to whom Andy donated his toys at the end of Toy Story 3, now a Cub Scout?
- Will Andy’s time in Scouting be referenced in Toy Story 4?
These are important questions, and I need your help tracking down the answers. I implore you to leave your comments below.
Thanks to John Duncan for the blog post idea.