4

In Toy Story 4, Woody makes the remark to Gabby that he was manufactured in the 50s at his best guess.

If this is the case, he’s MUCH older than Andy. Thus there’s no way Andy and Bonnie were his only kids. If he was manufactured during Andy’s day as a kid it would’ve been the late-80s to early-90s.

Is there any in or out-of-universe explanation for Woody’s lack of memory, before Andy?

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    Thus there’s no way Andy and Bonnie were his only kids this seems little bit over-statement. there could be for numerous reasons. Andy being first ti buy him, not have been putting up for sale and had to wait long time in storage etc... – Vishwa Jul 5 at 3:53
  • I was expecting this to be about how in Toy Story 2, he has no idea he's merchandise for a TV show made in 1957. (I'm not reading what's in the spoiler tag as I haven't watch Toy Story 4 yet.) – F1Krazy Jul 5 at 10:35
  • It's entirely possible for a toy to be manufactured and then left in a box somewhere and not used for decades. Heck, when they met the Prospector in Toy Story 2 he was still in his box. – tbrookside Jul 5 at 12:17
9

I hate to bring the conversation to a dark place, but there's no way to answer this without going into the tragic back story told to Mike Mozart by his late friend Joe Ranft, the head of writing for Pixar and Toy Story, regarding Andy's family. Mike Mozart recounted the story to the host of the SuperCarlinBrothers YouTube channel. The entire story can be found on CBR.com

It turns out the name "Andy" written underneath Woody's foot actually refers to Andy Sr., the father of the child Andy from the first three Toy Story films. It's revealed that Andy Sr., who doesn't appear in any of the films, contracted polio as a child, so all his belongings were burned for safety. However, he managed to save three toys, locking them away in a trunk: Woody, Mr. Potato Head and Slinky Dog. Andy Sr. lived to be an adult, marrying Molly and fathering their son Andy Jr.

As polio can be known to do, it struck again later in Andy Sr.'s life, forcing Andy and his family to move back to his parents' house, where he eventually passed away. Before he died, however, he managed to introduce his son to the trunk that contained his old toys. Sometime after the funeral, Andy Jr. opened up the trunk, finding Woody, Mr. Potato Head and Slinky.

Well, when Andy Jr. opened the trunk, the toys didn't actually realize this was a different Andy. They assumed Andy Jr. was the same boy that was forced to lock them away decades prior.

Confirming Mozart's account, the intro to the first Toy Story indicates Andy Jr. looks a lot like Andy Sr. did as a kid, as evident in pictures hanging on the wall that show a similar-looking child, wearing glasses. The film takes place shortly after the death of Andy Sr.

The SuperCarlinBros video can be found here.

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    This would make a lot of sense. I’d never thought to look at the wall hangings on the 1st film – MissouriSpartan Jul 5 at 15:10
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    Mozart started telling this story after Joe Ranft died so there is no way to confirm that Ranft actually gave this as a reason. According to Andrew Stanton who was one of Toy Story's writers this isn't true. twitter.com/andrewstanton/status/878729189540728832 – Legion600 Jul 6 at 0:58

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