You might have seen Seal Beach resident Marco Bongiorno cruising O.C. in his replica of the iconic Pizza Planet truck from “Toy Story.”
How did this project begin?
➜ My friends and I used to make short films and when we graduated high school, we still wanted to make creative projects together. We started making pop culture structures such as the Peanuts psychiatry booth and naturally we wanted to do something bigger. “Toy Story 3” had come out around the time (2010), and my friends and I realized that we were around Andy’s age and had grown up with these movies. So we bought a blue 1988 Toyota Truck for about $1,200 on Craigslist, and it started from there. I had a friend who did graphic design, one who did surfboard sculpting, and another who was really good at mechanical stuff. I wore a lot of hats and kept the project moving forward. There were a lot of times we could have given up due to scheduling conflicts and creative obstacles—I kept everyone motivated.
You were invited to drive the truck onto the Pixar Studios lot. What was that like?
➜ We encountered artists there who were just fascinated by the work that we put into the truck. Bob Pauley, who worked on the concept art for “Toy Story,” told us they never intended anyone to build the truck. So the fact that we were able to get so many little details (accurate) was amazing.
Do people think you actually deliver?
➜ I was idling at a light once, and I hear this tiny voice go “Is Pizza Planet real?” I look over and it’s a little boy peeking through the window with his older sister driving. I tell him, “Oh yeah, we’re just not delivering today.” And he’s just sitting there, his eyes as big as dinner plates, with his sister giving me the thumbs-up.
➜ We drive the truck to local events at least once a month, and we’re also planning a cross-country road trip. Lots of people from out of state follow the truck’s journey and have been asking us to visit.
All photos by Mariah Tauger