Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Thoughtful Spot - Old Mold vs. New Mold

I know some people might be tired of discussions involving new and old molds, but with the upcoming release of Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story, I've been inspired to share my opinions on the mold change. I think my take on the debate is somewhat different to the opinions most commonly voiced. Real quick for those who might not know the difference between the molds, here's a quick explanation of the differences, with picture examples.

  • Old Mold (pictured right) has Mickey's facial features: outline of the face and the nose. It also features Mickey's outfit: his shorts complete with buttons and Mickey's gloves. The old mold is slightly taller in height
  • New Mold (pictured left) has no outlines of Mickey's facial features, the face protrudes less and the head is slightly smaller. The new mold body is slightly wider and a little more chubby. The new mold's feet are bigger, hands are smaller and the new mold's hands are in a different position, with no glove marks
Notice the different hand shapes, the right hand is in the shape of a C on the new mold (pictured left) and the left hand is more straight and flat on the old mold (pictured right)

I have 2 main opinions on the mold change:
  1. Having two different molds disrupts my Sheldon Cooper like desire for consistency in my collectibles. It's weird to me sometimes to look at my collection and instantly spot how some of my vinyls look different to each other, because they're on two different molds. It's not my preference, but I love my vinyls and so I deal with it
  2. I don't dislike either of the molds. I love them both. My only issue really is that I think it's weird when you see a mix of both in a collection, especially a mix grouped together. There are figures that look best on the old mold and there are figures that really only work on the new mold, as I'm about to explain.

I am in favor of both molds. I like the original "Mickey" mold and also the new mold and I like both for different reasons.  I like the old mold because I think some characters look better on that platform. Their characters, shapes and features really work well on the old mold. But, there are some figures, that with my apologies to their artists, just don't look great on the old mold. You work with what you've got, it's no one's fault. For instance:

Disney Afternoon's Doug
The drawn on Doug nose makes his face look really weird to me with Mickey's nose sticking out also

Park #5 Carousel of Progress John
I love this figure, I own this figure, but it took me a long time to get over the face. The Mickey nose makes John's face look distorted, like his mouth is really his chin or something

Here are some examples of figures that I think probably look better on the old mold:

Park #6 Troll
The old mold works well here to emphasize the Troll's nose

Nerds Rock Figment
I think the glasses really only work with the old mold's nose to help keep them in place. On top of, Mickey's nose really works well as Figment's nose here in my opinion

Park #4 It's A Small World Leopard
Pretty much any character with a good nose works well on the old mold! This vinyl has been done amazingly on the old mold and I really think it could not have been done anywhere near as well on the new mold

And then of course (more obviously) Mickey looks better on the old mold:
Park #4 SpectroMagic Mickey vs. Park #7 Magic Kingdom Mickey

But then the flipside is, that there are also figures that I think only work on the new mold and I really like the new mold for that reason. In my opinion, the old mold would have distorted the features of these characters. Doug and Carousel Of Progress John would have looked much better on the new mold I think. Here are some examples:

Park #8 Blizzard Beach Snowman
The face and sunglasses just wouldn't have worked on the old mold and just think about they could have done the nose on that mold

Park #9 Dapper Dan
I subscribe the the view that 9 out of 10 times, humans are portrayed better on the new mold and the Dapper Dans are case in point. Their noses and mouths would not have looked right on the old mold

Animation #3 Stitch
This is the only Stitch Vinylmation that I think looks true to the likeness of Stitch. That's partly due to Ron Cohee, but also due to the flexibility of the new mold

Animation #3 Pascal
This is not the perfect vinyl, but that's not because of the new mold. I think Pascal would have turned out a lot worse on the old mold

But equally, there are figures that I think would have looked great on either mold, such as:

Park #6 Walt Disney World Road Sign
Made on the old mold, considering the lack of facial features, I think this vinyl would have come out great on either mold

The Monorails
I think the monorails look great on the old mold and I think they could have looked just as good on the new mold instead

Park #5 Haunted Mansion Clock
One of my favorites, I think this vinyl would still be a favorite on the new mold

And finally (although I could continue)
Park #6 Clapboard
Pretty much the same story, I'm sure it would have looked great on the new mold as it does here on the old mold

Change doesn't bother me in the sense that both shapes are still Mickey. Those that know nothing about Vinylmation are still able to recognize new mold figures as being "Mickey shaped". The only thing that really annoys me about the mold change is that it's a change. I like consistency, so when I bought my first new mold Vinylmation, I could tell that it looked different and it took me a while to adjust to that, before those figures stopped sticking out in my collection of old mold vinyls. Obviously as my collection grew and more new mold vinyls were added, that helped the adjustment.

Overall, I like both molds and own both molds. I am over the change now, but would still have preferred consistency. I think I might lean slightly toward favoring the new mold, simply because I think it's much easier to make old mold vinyls look good on new molds, than it is to make new mold figures look good on old molds, 99% of the time.

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