The Toy Story franchise represents the ultimate Pixar legacy. The series set the stage for the golden age of computer animation while retaining the innocent charm of traditional animated films. Whether you like all of the sequels or only some of them, or the amazing shorts on Disney+, it’s hard to disagree that they don’t capture the original movie’s charm. Toy Story’s follow-up movies have been arguably more meaningful and entertaining than the original.

Buzz Lightyear appears in Toy Story 4.“Toy Story Buzz Lightyear”by peter bryan jenkins is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Since the very beginning (1995), the Toy Story cast has been strong and includes big stars like Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Joan Cusack as Jessie, and  Annie Potts as Bo Peep.

Given its multi-generational appeal, it’s the perfect concept for a themed party, whether it’s a kids birthday party, a Halloween party, baby shower, or simply a movie fan watch party. In what other situations are the adult and child attendees equally impressed by a given party’s theme? Below, we offer a variety of suggestions for planning and throwing a Toy Story birthday party that’s out of this world!

Party Invitations

The Toy Story fun should begin long before guests arrive at your party. Give your guests a taste of what’s to come with a cute invite featuring a few recognizable characters. Invites should include essential details, including the party’s date, time, and address. Don’t forget to include an RSVP date and address so you can keep on top of your guest list.

You can find a lot of great custom invitations from places like Zazzle and Etsy and even a Toy Story invitation from Novel Concept Designs. Or you can find some amazing free Toy Story printable invitations by searching online, such as these templates from Drevio and Dolanpedia.

Birthday Costumes

Costumes make for a fun Toy Story 4 party.

“Toy Story…”by Stephen O is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Depending on your preferences, your invitations may also include instructions for costumes. While these are rarely an outright requirement for Toy Story parties, they can be heavily encouraged to ensure that attendees are thoroughly immersed in their Pixar dream world.

Given the vast range of characters featured in Toy Story, finding a costume shouldn’t prove too difficult. Woody and Buzz Lightyear getups are available at virtually any costume shop imaginable, but purchasing a brand new outfit may not prove necessary. A pink outfit and a mask can form the ultimate Hamm, while a cute dress and shepherd’s crook allow any little girl to take on the character of Bo Peep. Cowgirls, aliens, and dinosaurs are also welcome.

Toy Story Party Favors

Everyone loves party favors and there’s not shortage of options when you’re talking about Toy Story. A Toy Story shirt or sweater could serve as a wonderful party favor that kids can instantly wear to feel more festive. If you go this route, request that attendees include their shirt size with their RSVPs.

You can also buy some fun Woody and Jessie cowboy hats and cowboy bandanas, which will make for great pictures as the party goes on.

For filling party favor bags, you could include some fun items like Toy Story balloons,  mini figurines, stickers, slinkies (or little slinky dogs if you can find them), and plastic forks and pipe cleaners (for a Forky craft – see this easy tutorial). Set up a party table and set these bags out as the ultimate party pack!

Toy Story Party Decorations

When guests arrive at your Toy Storyparty, they should feel as if they’ve entered a different world — one in which toys call the shots. The right decor can make all the difference. Color is critical; not only do the toys themselves boast bright hues, but their surroundings are also vibrant. Balloons and streamers help, of course, but ideally, your party’s decorations will be personalized. Balloon garland at the door can really set the scene right as people join the party. And oversized Toy Story cutouts featuring the guests’ favorite characters will quickly get the point across. You can also order some immersive Toy Story theme backdrops from us  to create a photo booth for some fun photos that everyone will remember. If you need some ideas, how about Andy’s room, Pizza Planet, Sid’s backyard, Sunnyside Daycare, or Second Chance Antiques!

Mr. Potatohead is ready for Toy Story 4.

“DSCN0749”by girl_named_fred is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Don’t forget the dining area; Toy Story plates, napkins, and tablecloths can punch up any room. If possible, include centerpieces to bring each table to life. Whether you prefer the DIY approach or something a bit simpler, these Toy Story party centerpiece ideas may help:

  • Etch-a-Sketch photo frames surrounding pictures of the birthday boy or girl
  • Giant Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads
  • Flowerpots adorned with green army men
  • Homemade Forky centerpieces

Toy Story Treats and Beverages

No party is complete without tasty treats at the dessert table. Cookies are always a winner, of course, and options abound. Mr. Potato Head forms the basis of an especially entertaining treat. While Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head cookie cutters are available online and in several stores, the effect can also be created with a steady hand, several colors of fondant, and tiny candy mustaches.

Toy Story themed cake and cupcakes.

“Toy Story 3 II”by Cupcakes Under Cover is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Cupcakes decorated in honor of both classic and current Toy Story characters are an excellent option. Equipped with plenty of green frosting, you can easily create cupcakes resembling the beloved aliens of the first movie. And don’t forget Toy Story cake toppers (or smaller cupcake toppers) and candles, which you can easily find on Amazon.

Of course, if your party includes a movie marathon, you can always keep it simple with traditional snacks such as popcorn. Whether you opt for kettle corn, a cheesy variety, or the usual buttered version, this snack will be highly appreciated.

A movie-themed Toy Story cake is essential, especially for a birthday party. The opportunities are endless. Go classic with Woody or Buzz Lightyear decorations or Rex decor for the dinosaur fans. These are easily pulled off by a professional printing shop. If you’re determined to decorate on your own, invest in a pack of green army men to adorn a cake featuring green or brown frosting.

Most Toy Story parties are naturally in honor of kids. That doesn’t mean, however, you need to be boring with your beverages. Whether or not your drinks include alcohol, they can quickly bring festive vibes to this special occasion. Bright green martian drinks are ideal for bringing Toy Story’s aliens to life. Otherwise, feel free to recreate Hollywood Studios’ beloved Prospector’s Punch, which can be a kid-friendly fruit punch or spiked for adults.

Party Games and Activities

Pin the tail on Hamm is a fun Toy Story game.

“858”by Shing Yan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

With toy in the name of the movie, there really is no shortage of for games and entertainment. At a kid’s party, many of these will look familiar. If you invest in a Toy Story pinata, one of your party’s top games can double as decor. Likewise, a poster of Hamm makes for a fun take on pin the tail on the donkey: pin the curly tail on the pig. Otherwise, beloved Toy Story 2 character Bullseye can form the basis of pin the tail on the horse.

Charades could be a great option for creative, theatrical kids. Choose a few key characters or scenes to act out. Toy Story Pictionary is also a great option for artistic types. Instead of depicting concepts on a whiteboard or with pen and paper, use an Etch-a-Sketch to get the point across. Crafty kids will enjoy making their own Forky toys, much as Bonnie did in Toy Story 4.

If you prefer something a bit simpler, gather attendees in a circle for a game of telephone. Choose a favorite Toy Story quote such as “To infinity and beyond” and introduce it quietly to the first contestant, who must then repeat the phrase in a whisper for the next person — and so on.

Still on the hunt for an activity? Why not simply sit back and enjoy the movies? These films can either serve as the central activity or play in the background as guests enjoy other activities.

For an adult party, a movie marathon could form the basis of an excellent drinking game. Viewers can take a drink every time:

  • Woody’s string is pulled
  • Mr. Potato Head bids adieu to part of his face
  • A human arrives and the toys suddenly fall to the ground
  • Woody and Buzz Lightyear argue

At a G-rated party, kids are welcome to play a family-friendly version of your favorite drinking games. Instead of downing shots, create a movie scavenger hunt, in which kids hunt for movie ‘treasures’ such as Easter eggs or favorite quotes.

Ultimately, the best Toy Story  party will require a playful spirit. Embrace your inner child and celebrate the goofiness that has made Toy Story such an enduring hit over the years

We hope our list Toy Story birthday party ideas helped to get your creative juices flowing! Ready to amp up your party? Cutouts could make all the difference. Reach out today to learn more about our big head and life-size offerings — and how they can transform your party.


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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