Saturday, November 30, 2013

Vinylmation Review - Poster Art Series Part #2

For today's Vinylmation Review, I will be continuing to look at the Poster Art Series. I have broken this post into 4 parts, and for Part #2, I will be looking at the fourth, fifth and six figures in the set: April through June. You can find Part #1 here and you might also like to read my 2013 Poster Art Series Overview Review

Walt Disney World April poster art

The more I look at April's figure, the more detail I see. The figure's Sorcerer Mickey hat serves as the top turret of the castle in April's poster, complete with the orange/yellow two-tone colors. All around the vinyl we see the same colors shown on the poster: blue, yellow, orange, red and white. There's also the same use of shapes: squares, triangles and the circle from the center of the poster features on the front and back of the vinyl's head. The "2013" from the bottom right corner of the poster is placed on the figure's back, while the "Believe in Magic" slogan from the top left corner of the poster is visible on the belly of this vinyl. Finally, we can see the remaining turrets of the castle on each side of this figure's head.

April 'Believe in Magic'
April Vinylmation figure

This vinyl is a superb translation of the poster art to the Mickey mold and I love the shapes and bright colors. I think is an especially artistic piece of work, as opposed to just a Disney centered figure. Not one of my favorites in this series, but a great and likable vinyl nonetheless. 

Walt Disney World May poster art

May's poster is packed with detail and many aspects of the poster have made it on to May's Vinylmation figure. The background of the poster features black and white icons of lucky charms and Disney characters and attractions. Mickey ears, dice, a dragonfly, an oriental symbol, and a pot of gold from the poster's background are spread across the whole body of the figure. Symbols from the border across the bottom of the poster can also be seen across the vinyl's body, including: a magic lamp, stars, a horseshoe, a heart, the number 7, and a four leaf clover.

May 'Luck'
May Vinylmation figure

The poster's central text "Two Thousand 13" is featured in exact replication on the face of the vinyl, while Mickey's head, taken from Mickey on the left side of the poster, can be seen on the right side of the vinyl's head. This figure's hands are also painted to be Mickey's gloves. Around the feet reads the "Believe in Magic" slogan taken from the top of the poster. This is one of my least favorite figures in this series, but that's purely because the red, black and white colors are not very appealing to me. Artistically, this figure matches the poster inspiration perfectly and is full of delicate detail.

Walt Disney World June poster art

June's poster art is relatively more basic than the poster art for other months, but I love the colors and simplicity. Central to the poster is Sorcerer Mickey's face with "Walt Disney World 2013" written inside the hat. June's Vinylmation figure has the same blue Sorcerer Mickey face, with the same detail in the hat. Around Mickey's head in the poster reads the names of Walt Disney World's four theme parks. This detail has been left off the vinyl which I think was a good call. It would have made the figure look messy. Instead the vinyl figure continues with Sorcerer Mickey's body (not featured on the poster) in the same metallic blue.

June Vinylmation figure

The stars surrounding Mickey in the poster can be seen on the vinyl's ears and feet, in the same blue, white and black colors. This not only matches the poster, but also looks magical and classic Sorcerer Mickey, reminding me of the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene in both The Great Movie Ride and Fantasia. Finally, the "Believe in Magic" slogan at the bottom of the poster features on the back of Mickey's head. I think this vinyl is not only a fantastic translation of the poster, but also a wonderful figure.

Join me again soon for Part #3 of my Poster Art Series Vinylmation Review, where I'll be taking a look at July, August and September.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Store Update: My Local Disney Store

Villains #4, Muppets #3, Monsters University

Pixar #2, The Little Mermaid, Muppets #3, Cutesters en Vogue and Urban Redux #1

The display case (featuring Medieval, The Little Mermaid and Villains #4)

Monsters University and Villains #4

The Little Mermaid, Jingle Smells #3, 2013 Holiday Decor'Mation

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Independence Day Eagle - Now $2.99!

Like many collectors, I'm not happy when I buy a vinyl full price only to find it heavily discounted just a short time later. But I can take comfort in the fact that in paying the higher price, I'm sending Disney the message that Vinylmation is a beloved collectible, that excites fans with new releases and certainly makes me need to have new figures - and fast!

If (like me) you didn't pay the original $14.95 ticket price for the 2013 Independence Day Eagle by Maria Clapsis, you might want to head over to the Disney Store Online and pick one up now for just $2.99. If the shipping didn't cost more than the vinyl I'd jump on it! It's not a must have figure for me, but for $2.99? Sold! Let's hope Disney give us free shipping as a Black Friday gift.

Price and 360 Pictures of the Park #13 Tower of Terror Set

Disney's Official Vinylmation page has released 360 pictures of the "Tower of Terror Elevator Ghosts" set today, along with the artist info and price point. Ron Cohee was the artist of all 5 figures and the combo set will retail for $69.95 when it is released online and at D-Streets on December 27. I have to say that as much as I don't enjoy parting with $70, I was expecting this set to retail for a much higher price. But $69.95 does equate to 4x $14.95 (price for most Limited Edition vinyls) 3" figures + 1x $9.95 Jr figure.

Here are the 360 pictures and names of the characters:

3" - Dewey Todd

Park 13 Tower of Terror Elev Ghost Set
3" - Carolyn Crosson

Park 13 Tower of Terror Elev Ghost Set
3" - Gilbert

Park 13 Tower of Terror Elev Ghost Set
3" - Emeline Partridge 

Jr - Sally Shine

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Collector's Space - Upcoming Vinylmation

For today's Collector's Space post, I'm going to talk about upcoming Vinylmation series that I'm really excited for.

First up, I'm pretty excited for the Park #13 Haunted Mansion Stretching Room combo set which I recently previewed. This is a set of 4 figures all designed by Ron Cohee, that draw inspiration from the portraits that stretch in the Haunted Mansion. There's currently no information about this set on Disney's Official Vinylmation website, but non-official Vinylmation websites have reported that it has a Limited Edition size of 2,000 and a retail price of $59.95. It was announced at the Reflections of Evil event that this set would release on December 20.

Back of the figures (source: DestinationVinylmation)

I'm also excited for the release of the Park #13 Tower of Terror combo set. Collectors were wondering how the previewed Park #13 bellhop figure would manifest in this series and now we know. (I knew he was the bellhop from the Tower of Terror movie!) This set is comprised of four 3" figures and one Jr figure to make a 5 piece set of the five characters from the ride. The Limited Edition size will be 1,500 with 150 of those sets being variant sets. The commons will be black and white versions of the characters as they appear in the Library pre-show. The variants will depict the characters in their "ghostly" form seen during the Tower of Terror ride.

Personally, I prefer the commons (which is lucky since I'm more likely to get those) but I wouldn't complain if I miraculously received the variants. This set's release date was announced at the Reflections of Evil event as December 27 but we have yet to be informed on the retail price. I've been saving since I heard about this set, I get the feeling it's going to hurt my bank balance.

Variants pictured top, commons pictured bottom

And finally, I'm pretty excited about the release of the Indiana Jones series. Not much is known about this set right now, other than what was announced at Reflections of Evil. The series will be based on Raiders of the Lost Ark and is scheduled to release in 2014. I'll be interested to see the case size and the artist(s) involved in this series.

Series artwork (source: DestinationVinylmation)

Obviously there are plenty more interesting and exciting vinyls coming our way, not to mention some of the amazing series that have been released recently. I just wanted to share what I'm most excited about right now. I'm almost certain that all of these series will make it to my collection. (Hopefully I can afford the Tower of Terror set and hopefully the Indy series will have a good choice of characters with amazing artwork).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Store Update: D-Street at Downtown Disney Orlando

(All pictures were taken on November 2, 2013)

D-Street in Downtown Disney's West Side

Top to bottom: Park #12 combo topper, Park #11 combo topper, Park #12

Left to right: Silly Symphony, Urban Redux #2

Left to right: Star Wars #3, Star Wars Open Edition, Park Starz #2

The display case featured the November Poster Art Series, Skater Minnie and Mickey, the Holiday Ornament Set and Santa Minnie (background) along with The Nightmare Before Christmas #2 (foreground)

Left: Jrs in Space, Park Starz #2 Gus Variant, Park Starz #2 Pirates of the Caribbean combo
Right: Disney Afternoons #2, Animation #3 Stabbington Brothers combo, Animation #3 Fox and the Hound combo, Cars 2 combo

Top to bottom: Disney Cruise Line, Flags, Theme Park Favorites, Duffy #1, September Poster Art

Top to bottom: Mystery Bakery, Toy Story Mania, Phineas and Ferb, RUNDisney

Friday, November 22, 2013

Store Update - Serka Zong Bazaar at Animal Kingdom

This is the store you enter after exiting Expedition Everest. All pictures were taken on October 27, 2013

Serka Zong Bazaar in Asia

Top to bottom: Star Wars #2, Park #12, Star Wars #3, Park #12, Silly Symphony, Urban Redux #1, Phineas and Ferb, Park #12 Combo Topper, Cars #2 combo set, Park Starz #2

Park #13 Release

Park #13 was released today at D-Streets and the Disney Store Online. This is an 8 figure set following the apparent new shift in set sizes. The series is sold in blind boxes and features work from artists: Ron Cohee, Thomas Scott, Maria Clapsis and Dave Perillo. Each figure retails for $12.95

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Cranberry Sauce

Series: Holiday #3
Artist: Maria Clapsis
Released: December 2011

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Store Update: Mouse Gear at EPCOT

(All pictures taken October 31, 2013)

Star Wars Open Edition, MLB series, Theme Park Favorites

Toy Story Mania, Mechanical Kingdom

Phineas and Ferb, 2013 Halloween Stitch, Cars 2 combo set

Park #12, Duffy, Mystery Bakery, Star Wars #3, Park #12 combo topper, Park Starz #2

Star Wars #3, Toy Story Mania, Park #11 & Park #12 combo toppers, Silly Symphony

Star Wars #3, Park #12

Jrs in Space, Star Wars #3

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Thoughtful Spot - 8 figure sets

The first time I saw an 8 figure series was Urban Redux #1 and I thought that was Disney's way of mixing up and re-vamping the Urban Series. One of Disney's original Vinylmation series, Urban was heading into the ground, becoming less appealing to collectors. Urban Redux #1 didn't appeal to me, but I don't really collect many Urban figures anyway, although I do appreciate a lot of the artwork there.

The next time I saw an 8 figure series was Cutesters En Vogue and again I thought this was Disney's way of mixing up a series that didn't seem most popular with collectors. Now we're learning that 8 figure sets might be a paradigm shift within the world of Vinylmation: Park #13 will be released as a set of 8, as will Cutesters Snow Day, Pixar #2 and Silly Symphony were released as sets of 8, and of course continuing on from before, Urban Redux #2 was also released as a set of 8.

I'm in two minds about this shift. Part of me likes it and part of me doesn't. On the one hand, I like it because it puts less pressure on a series, with 4 less figures to create each time, hopefully we'll see better quality in the figure choices. It will save collectors money, because it will be easier to complete sets with fewer figures and the cost of trays will be reduced.

On the other hand, I don't like 8 figure sets. It worries me that they could cause a decline in anticipation and enthusiasm among collectors. In a typical 12 figure set, usually I like around 3 figures, but sometimes I want as many as 8-10, however I have yet to love all 12 in a set. If a collector doesn't like 3 or 4 figures in an 8 figure series, then they dislike half the set. Would you blox for just that 1 figure you want? Maybe you would because it's better odds than bloxing for one figure in a 12 figure set. But this could cause collectors to dismiss buying smaller sets entirely if they don't like that many of the figures.

Overall, I think there are several ways to feel about 8 figure sets. I also think these smaller sets will turn out to be either a good or bad move depending on each series. Only time will tell.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Store Update: Merchant of Venus at the Magic Kingdom

(All pictures taken October 29, 2013)

Park Starz #2, Park #12, Star Wars #3, Jrs in Space

Phineas and Ferb, Park #12 combo topper, MLB series, Toy Story Mania, Vinylmation '98 Create Your Own

Park #11 combo topper, Silly Symphony, Park #12, Create Your Own, Vinylmation '98 Create Your Own

Cars 2 combo pack, Silly Symphony, Jrs in Space, 2013 Halloween Stitch, Mechanical Kingdom, Star Wars Open Edition, Star Wars #3, Park Starz #2, Theme Park Favorites, Star Wars #3, Vinylmation '98 Create Your Own

Friday, November 15, 2013

Store Update - Island Mercantile at Animal Kingdom

I'm making the pictures in this post big so you can see better. All pictures were taken on October 27, 2013

Island Mercantile in Discovery Island

Top to bottom: Jrs in Space, Park #12 Topper, Urban Redux #1 Topper, Park #12 Topper

Top to bottom: Halloween Scarecrow, Halloween Stitch, Phineas and Ferb, Star Wars Open Edition

Top to bottom: Mystery Bakery, Mechanical Kingom, Duffy #1, Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, Toy Story Mania

Top to bottom: Cutesters en Vogue, Park Starz #2, Park #12, Star Wars #2, Star Wars #3