Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review

I don't know about you, but now that I've been collecting for almost 3 years, I'm interested to keep track of my progress in the Vinylmation hobby. How much has my collection grown? What are some of my best blind box pulls? My favorite trades? So I've decided to start reviewing my year in Vinylmation collecting here on my blog. This will be an annual event that I can look back on and remember my journey to collect what I love. Presenting... 2013 In Review! 

2013 Dated by Maria Clapsis

Number of Vinylmation in my collection as of this post:
3" - 98
9" - 1
Jr. - 3

My favorite Disney artist right now is:
Ron Cohee! I don't I dislike the work of any of the Disney Store or Disney Design Group artists and I love the work of several artists. But this year Ron Cohee is my runaway favorite because I have been continually amazed and impressed with Ron's work. The way he uses the Mickey canvas, the level of detail he includes, how his Disney characters in vinyl form look exactly like their animated counterparts - Ron has some incredible talent!

The upcoming set I'm most looking forward to is:
This is difficult to decide. Several series were announced at the 13 Reflections of Evil event in September, but we don't know much about most of those series at present. It's hard for me to say what I'm most looking forward to with such a lack of information on what will actually be released and what the figures those series will look like. But Haunted Mansion Mickey and Friends, Park #14, Park Starz #3, D-Tour #2 and Marvel #2 all sound very exciting. I have high hopes for those series. I'm also surprisingly liking the look of Cutesters Snow Day, I might pick up some blind boxes if they make it to my local Disney Store.

9" UP from Park #6

Holy grail that I wish I owned is currently:
Park #6 UP 9". I don't love very many 9" figures, although I like a fair number, their higher prices and bigger size isn't enough for me to buy them if I don't love them. I love the 9" UP so much that I really hope the trade or price will be right for me to add that to my collection soon. At this point in time that would complete my desired 9" collection and go perfectly with the 3" Carl and Ellie that I already own.

The vinyl that cost me the most this year was:
The individual vinyl that cost me the most was The Land 9" from Park #9. I bought this at retail price plus shipping only to find it at the outlet on my October Disney World trip. That's the way it goes with Vinylmation, you're always taking a risk on what will sell out if you wait and what will go to outlet if you don't. The set that cost me the most this year (but still a fair price) was the Tower of Terror Park #13 set, I hope it arrives soon!

9" The Land from Park #9

My favorite purchase this year was:
This is a tie between several vinyls! So many amazing figures were released this year and I was also able to fill some gaps in my collection. So my favorites are: Pixar #1 Carl and Ellie, Park #9 The Land, Park #13 Haunted Mansion Portraits, Park #13 Tower of Terror Elevator Ghosts and Elvis Stitch. But of course I love everything I've purchased this year!

The artist whose work I added most to my collection this year was:
Ron Cohee. As of this post I added 16 figures designed by Ron to my collection this year. In second place is Maria Clapsis, I added 15 of her figures to my collection, and third is Thomas Scott. I added 8 of Thomas' figures to my collection in 2013.

Blue Monorail variant from Park #12

Most proud accomplishment(s) this year was:
Pulling a Park #12 Blue Monorail variant! First time I'd ever pulled a variant and it definitely took away the disappointment of also pulling 2 figures I didn't want plus 2 doubles. I'm usually fairly unlucky with blind box pulls.

Something new I did this year was:
Trade in person with another collector at Walt Disney World - which was awesome! So great to meet other fans of Vinylmation and to see first hand the happiness and excitement they get from a trade you made with them. I also traded for fun at trade box locations around Walt Disney World for the first time which was more fun and excited than I had anticipated, a great experience!

I wonder what 2014 will bring!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Vinylmation Review - Poster Art Series Part #4

For today's Vinylmation Review, I will be taking one last look at the Poster Art Series. I have broken this post into 4 parts, and for the final part, I will be looking at the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth figures in the set: October, November and December. You can find Part #1 herePart #2 here, Part #3 here, and you might also like to read my 2013 Poster Art Series Overview Review.

Walt Disney World October poster art

I think October's poster is perfect for October with eerie black, gray and white colors and a Halloween theme. The background looks to me like it's inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas with the black swirl border and lack of straight lines. In the center of the poster we have the main attraction from the Nightmare Before Christmas movie - Jack Skellington, surrounded by creepy bats. In the front reads a poster "I'm Mr. Unlucky" an appropriate twist to the ongoing theme of luck in the Poster Art Series. Lucky and perhaps not so lucky charms feature in the poster's four corners.

October Vinylmation figure

October's poster art has been recreated wonderfully on to October's Vinylmation figure! I can't describe how the whole feel of the poster is right there on the figure: the creepy feel, the Halloween theme, how ominous it is - I love it! Jack of course is central, with his head on Mickey's and the body on the belly. He looks just like Jack Skellington and I love how his head and body were translated on to the figure (unlike the strange body proportions of Gaston and Jafar for example). The "I'm Mr. Unlucky" banner features in the same style, font and position underneath Jack and the beautiful swirl detail runs around the vinyl's feet.

The black lines from the poster's background are subtly placed behind Jack's head on the front of the figure and run around the sides and down the back of the vinyl, giving an intriguing appearance and adding some detail to the back (always a plus in my book). The four lucky/unlucky charms have been added to the front and back of both ears (another bonus - use those ears!!). Finally the bats from the poster fill the sorcerer's hat, creating a solid, flowing figure instead of having the sorcerer's hat stand out as an awkward, unrelated accessory. Overall a beautiful figure, one of my top in this series!

Walt Disney World November poster art

November's poster has a lot going on! A Day of the Dead themed skull and crossbones sits at the center of this poster, surrounded by a red and yellow background that ties in with the theme. Inside the skull are numerous drawings of famous Disney villains: Ursula, Hades, The Evil Queen, Jafar and Scar to name a few. Inside the eyes the number "2013" is written with two digits in each eye. Above and continuing below the skull reads: "El Año de Los Villanos", with a translation "The Year of the Villains" written inside the skull and crossbones. Various symbols with a Day of the Dead theme sit in the four corners of the poster.

November Vinylmation figure

Considering how much detail is in November's poster, I think the figure is disappointing. I love how the Day of the Dead look and feel has crossed over onto the Vinylmation with the style and vibrant colors. Many of the features from the poster can be seen on the vinyl: the central poster theme of the skull and crossbones is on the front of the vinyl, extending into the ears and onto the feet. "2013" is written in the eyes of the skull, with "The Year of the Villains" written in the bones and the bottom of the skull.

On the back the same skull and crossbones can be seen but this time reading the slogan in Spanish "El Año de los Villanos". More of the imagery from the poster is on the sides of the figure and also on the front and back of the sorcerer's hat. I think this can be a nice figure in itself if you like the theme, but in terms of reflecting the poster art I think it could have been better. The skull really doesn't look skull shaped and it's a shame to lose the detail of the villains since the whole idea is Year of the Villains. Considering August's poster I think more of that detail could have been incorporated.

Walt Disney World December poster art

I love December's poster! So classic and so Disney! I really love the look and feel of this poster, capturing four of the Fab 5 - Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Pluto; alongside Walt Disney World icons - The Magic Kingdom castle and logo, Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life, EPCOT's Spaceship Earth, Hollywood Studios' original logo the Earful Tower; memorabilia of the Mickey Mouse Club badge, classic Mickey ears and the old park tickets, complete with the man himself! "Twenty Thirteen" is written at the top, with "Walt Disney World Believe in Magic" written at the bottom. Faint writing can be seen in the background, as can a circular Mickey head. Finally, a strong blue border rounds off the poster.

December Vinylmation figure

December's figure reflects the poster beautifully! The same retro look and feel applies and it's wonderful to look at from all angles. I just wish there was enough space to add everything on there from the poster. The vinyl is black all over with the blue border from the poster on the sorcerer's hat, around the ears and on the arms. Goofy and Pluto are on the sides of the head, with Mickey on the front of the body and Donald on the back. On the back of the vinyl's head is the classic Mickey ears. The "Twenty Thirteen" from the poster matches perfectly on the face of the vinyl. The "Believe in Magic" slogan is written on one side of the feet.

The faint writing from the background of the poster is written across the front and back of the sorcerer's hat which I think is a great use of that space and a thoughtful inclusion of easily overlooked detail. More subtle details can be seen on the side and back of the vinyl, where the circular Mickey head shape can be seen and on the front of the vinyl where The Magic Kingdom is written. Another of my favorites in this series, however my one criticism is that I would have preferred to see the park logos (Spaceship Earth, Earful Tower, Cinderella's Castle and Tree of Life) and Walt over Mickey, Donald, Pluto and Goofy. That would have sent this figure straight to my must-have pile!


I hope you've enjoyed my four part review of the 2013 Poster Art Series. This series has really surprised me this year, I've enjoyed seeing each month's release, and reviewing the good and bad of each figure. Here's to 2013!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vinylmation Review - Mystery Bakery Mickey

For today's Vinylmation Review, I will continue reviewing the "flavors" of the recently released Mystery Bakery series by taking a look at Mickey.

Released: July 12, 2013
Blind Open Window

Mickey is my least favorite in the Mystery Bakery series, followed by the Dwarfs. In my opinion we have enough Mickey vinyls and by comparison with the Toy Story Aliens, Figment and Stitch, these just aren't as good. The frosting is pretty basic by comparison with Figment's and the Aliens' - simple yellow and orange with the letters of Mickey's name scattered across. The orange icing is a nice touch on Mickey's head, as it matches the frosting on top of the figure. I really like Mickey's expressions, I think all look true to his likeness and I especially like the mix of contemporary Mickey in color, with old school black and white Mickey with "pie" eyes.

Mickey has a red cupcake case, like his signature red shorts, and has his usual white gloves. I think all three Mickeys are great individual figures and the mix of new and old encourages collectors to pick up one of these mystery figures. However, I don't think there's any reason to pick up more than one box since the character would be the same. Unless of course you're a real big fan of Mickey!

There's really nothing wrong with these figures, they are great within themselves, I just think when you look at the other characters or "flavors" in this series, Mickey lacks a lot of detail by comparison. Certainly not the most exciting figure in the series.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Coming Soon... The 1st Annual Vinylmation Isle Awards!

As an obsessive lover of Vinylmation, I've decided that in Vinylmation Isle's inaugural year, there's no better way to honor the hobby than to award some of the best figures and artists for their contributions to the Vinylmation universe this year.

The Vinylmation Isle Awards will be an annual event, on January 1st, where I will review all of the Vinylmation releases from the previous year (Jan 1-Dec 31) and announce which figures and artists I feel deserve special acknowledgement.

Here are the categories that will comprise the Vinylmation Isle Awards:

-Favorite Disney Artist
-Favorite 3" figure that I own
-Favorite 3" figure that I do not own
-Favorite 9" figure
-Favorite Jr. figure
-Favorite Variant
-Favorite Minnie Platform
-Favorite Park Star
-Favorite figure from a Park series
-Favorite Limited Edition (individual figure or combo set)
-Favorite combo set
-Best use of ears
-Best Chaser
-Best Packaging
-Most creative idea
-Most Desired Vinylmation (individual figure or set)
-Most anticipated series
-Most under-appreciated figure, series or set
-Surprisingly Appealing (individual figure, set or series)

And finally, what would honoring all the best contributions be without awarding the not so great? There will also be an award for...

-Worst Vinylmation series produced

I hope you'll check back on January 1st to join me for the first Vinylmation Isle Awards!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Park #13 Tower of Terror Ghost Set Release

The final Park #13 set was released today at D-Streets and the Disney Store Online. This is the final Vinylmation release of 2013 and Disney are going out with a bang! This set is the very first blind box combo set, with a 1 in 10 chance of bloxing variants.

The set features four 3" figures and one Jr figure. The commons are the above pictured black and white characters from the Tower of Terror pre-show in the library. The variants (pictured below) are the electric blue ghosts from the hallway scene during the Tower of Terror ride.

This set has a Limited Edition of 1,500 with 1,350 being commons and only 150 being variants. It's been reported that this set sold out online within 5 minutes, so expect those variants to have excessive prices on the secondary market. This set retails at $69.95 and all 5 figures were designed by Ron Cohee.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Melty The Snowman

Melty The Snowman
Series: Holiday #1
Artist: Maria Clapsis
Released: September 2009

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Vinylmation Review - Jingle Smells #3

As it's almost Christmas and today's Vinylmation Review post will review the recently release Jingle Smells #3 series.

Released: October 21, 2013
Artist: Enrique Pita
Open Window

After how much I loved last year's Jingle Smells #2 series, I was looking forward to the release of Jingle Smells #3 this year. The theme for Jingle Smells #3 is Nutcrackers, with all four figures being nutcracker versions of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy. I really like the Nutcracker appearance, I think it's a very Christmassy theme and each figure looks great in Nutcracker form. All four figures also have loops and ribbon attached to their heads for you to hang them as ornaments on your Christmas tree.

Each figure, as always with the Jingle Smells series, has a different scent. This year Mickey has a chocolate cookie scent and holds a decorated cookie, Minnie has a strawberry cupcake scent and holds a strawberry cupcake, Goofy holds a peppermint lollipop and has a peppermint scent, and Donald has a sugar cookie scent and holds a decorated Christmas tree shaped cookie.

This series of Jingle Smells features 3 new scents and only 1 recurring scent - peppermint - which has been Goofy's sent for two Jingle Smells series. The scents are probably my biggest dislike with Jingle Smells #3. I think that peppermint and sugar cookie are two very Christmas appropriate scents, but chocolate cookie and strawberry cupcake should have been substituted for something else. They're not bad smells, but something like gingerbread, hot chocolate, or marshmallow (like other Jingle Smells figures) would have been better to continue the Christmas theme in my opinion.

In terms of the characters' design I really like the use of ears on Donald and Goofy. They're colorful, festive and go well with the characters' smells and accessories. It's a little disappointing that Mickey and Minnie's ears are just plain black, but I guess it works with their characters.

Overall I think this is still a good, strong Jingle Smells series, with great artwork and the return of some favorite Disney characters. It's just not my favorite Jingle Smells series.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Vinylmation Beginner's Guide - Price and Value FAQ

For today's VBG post, I wanted to answer some frequently asked questions I've read and heard asked by new collectors, specifically regarding the value and pricing of Vinylmation. All these questions link together, so if you have questions about how much vinyls cost and what their value is now and in the future, I hope these answers will help.

Q: Does a retired vinyl go up in price?
It's not a given that a retired vinyl automatically goes up in price once it's retired. This depends completely on each individual figure and its desirability/popularity in the collecting community. Several figures from the retired Cutesters series sell on the secondary market for $10 or less, whilst retired Park #1 figures will sell for upward of $100. The prices of retired vinyls depends entirely on 1. the popularity of the figure and 2. the availability - how many are being sold at any given time

Q: Do vinyls that have been out a while drop in price?
Usually yes, but this is not an automatic rule. Often vinyls that have been out for a while, regardless of whether the series is active or retired, drop in price because collectors already have them. The desirability decreases (because they're already owned) and more people have them to sell (because they've been out a while). For example, Wild West Pluto has been released for 8 months and originally retailed for $12.95, but now you can pick him up on eBay for $7 or less. However, if a vinyl is popular it will sell for potentially a lot more than original retail. For example, Ariel is the most popular figure in The Little Mermaid series and often goes for over $30 on the secondary market, her original retail price was also $12.95

The craziest sold listing I've seen on eBay - a Park #13 chaser variant sold for $1,000

Q: Why are some vinyls really expensive?
It's true, some vinyls get into crazy money, just take a look at the above picture. In summary, it's supply and demand. A lot of people want Marvel #1 Vinylmation figures, but at the same time a lot of people are selling them, and so they're going for between $20-$40 on eBay right now. Whereas the high demand for the Wild West Mickey Variant is not being met with a high number of people selling. I've only ever seen about 5 of these figures listed on eBay. As a result, high demand and little availability is causing these figures to sell for $200-$300. Compare this with the High School series, which is not a popular series, and was overproduced. These figures sell on eBay for less than $5, half their original retail price

Q: How much are Vinylmation worth?
Again this all depends on the individual figure. Is it popular? Is it readily available? I mentioned before about Marvel #1 being very popular, and so on the secondary market these are "worth" an average of $20 despite starting with a retail price of $12.95. I also mentioned how High School is not very popular and so these are "worth" more like $5 despite an original $9.95 retail price. Some people will trade common with common since technically all vinyls are worth $9.95/$12.95/$14.95 unless they're a limited edition or combo set. However other people are very in tune with secondary market prices and judge the vinyl's value based on that. Therefore people will only trade chaser for chaser, variant for variant, or multiple commons for a more popular common.

Q: Are chasers the most expensive Vinylmation?
Typically, yes they are. But again this varies between chasers. Some chasers are more desired than others and of course there's always the influence of supply and demand. Urban #3 Watermelon chaser sells on eBay for between $20-$25. That's more than your average Urban Redux vinyl sells for, but it's on par with some Marvel #1 commons - sometimes less than what you'd pay for one of those figures. But the Furry Friends Cheshire Cat chaser sells on eBay for $150-$200, far more than any common. Therefore chasers aren't necessarily the most expensive figures, it's all down to the popularity of each figure.

If you have any more questions about Vinylmation, price related or otherwise, please leave a comment and I will try to answer them in another post :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Park #13 Haunted Mansion Stretching Portraits Set Release

The first of two Limited Edition Park #13 combo sets was released today at D-Streets and The Disney Store Online. The Haunted Mansion Stretching Portraits set features four 3" figures from the first scene in the Haunted Mansion attraction (see below picture). Each figure represents one of the four portraits, all designed by Ron Cohee. This is a limited edition of 2,000 with a retail price of $59.95. This is proving to be a very popular set, as of 7am EST this morning, it was sold out online.

The Stretching Room in the Haunted Mansion

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Candy Cane

Series: Holiday #2
Artist: April Kelly
Released: December 2010

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Mickey & Minnie Broadway Combo Pack Released

Disney artist Ignacio "Nacho" Rodriguez posted a picture on Instagram yesterday of a new combo pack he's designed. The set is called "Mickey and Minnie Broadway" and is an exclusive New York release. Nacho said that Mickey and Minnie are all dressed up for a night out on Broadway: Mickey has a soft matte finish and Minnie's dress is pearlescent.

I personally think this set is perfect for a New York exclusive, so classic and original! I love Mickey and Minnie's outfits, Mickey's reminds me of Fred Astaire and Minnie's reminds me of the roaring 20's. I think their noses, expressions and "pie" eyes were a fantastic choice to continue the classic look and feel of this set. To top it all off, this set incorporates some wonderful and new accessories.

This set is available now at New York Disney Stores. Nacho did not announce the price of this set, but I would guess it's between $26.95-$29.95 like most other two 3" figure combo sets.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Store Update - The Cargo Bay at EPCOT

The Cargo Bay is located in Future World as you exit the Mission: Space attraction
(All pictures taken October 31, 2013)

Cars 2, Silly Symphony, Park Starz #2, Muppets #3, Toy Story Mania

Phineas and Ferb, Park #12

(Sorry, it's a little blurry)
Star Wars #3, Jrs in Space, Star Wars Open Edition

Sunday, December 15, 2013

New Christmas Addition

I picked up the 2013 Vinylmation Holiday Ornament at my local Disney Store last week. I think it's absolutely beautiful! So detailed, so ornate, so Christmassy! Plus, red and gold are two of the three colors we have on our tree (with the other being green) so this figure fits right in. Add the fact that it's 2013 - a special year for me (I got married!) - this was a must have.

And here's the little beauty on our tree:

I just love the Mickeys on the feet!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Vinylmation Review - Poster Art Series Part #3

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 #3, I will be looking at the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth figures in the set: July, August, September and Oswald. You can find Part #1 here, Part #2 here and you might also like to read my 2013 Poster Art Series Overview Review.

Walt Disney World July poster art

July's poster sports true iconic Walt Disney World imagery: simple rustic looking colors, with stripes in the background and the four theme park icons in the foreground (EPCOT's Spaceship Earth, Hollywood Studios' Sorcerer's Hat, Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life and the silhouette of Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle) along with Sorcerer Mickey, the platform for the poster series, surrounded by stars. "Sorcerer's Apprentice" is written in a banner across the top of the poster, with 13 for the year 2013 in the center of the banner.

July Vinylmation figure

July is definitely one of my least favorites in the poster series. It just didn't translate well from the poster to the figure. We have Sorcerer Mickey of course and that's pretty much it. The 13 from the poster's banner sits central on Mickey's chest, with some of the stars from the banner on the front of Mickey's feet. On the back we can see the silhouette of Cinderella's castle from the poster, and more the the posters stars and stripes.

Considering the amount of detail in January's, December's and especially August's figure (below), July's is disappointing. There's so many better things to have included on the figure from the poster. I would have had the park icons on the chest and the 13 on the feet or the sorcerer's hat. Even switching the castle silhouette with the 13 from the back to the front would have helped this figure. I also would have preferred more rustic looking colors than more black and red.

Walt Disney World (left) and Disneyland (right) August poster art

August's figure can only be reviewed if we look at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland's posters. Both posters have peach colored circles in the top corners, 13 with a sorcerer's hat in the bottom left corner and "Bel13ve in Magic" running across the bottom of the poster, there's also a monorail running in the foreground of both posters, along with a steam train featuring "13" on the name plate.

In the background of Disney World's poster we can see Spaceship Earth, The Earful Tower, Cinderella's Castle, rockets that look like Mission Space's X-2 Space Shuttle, a hot air balloon (which reminds me of The Land Pavilion) and finally hang gliders which remind me of Soarin'. In the background of Disneyland's poster we see the Matterhorn, Mickey's Fun Wheel, Sleeping Beauty's Castle, and once again the hot air balloon, hang gliders and rockets (perhaps Astro Orbiter?)

August Vinylmation figure

August's figure is by far my favorite in this series and went on my "Must-Have" list as soon as I saw it. Really this figure combines two posters onto one Vinylmation and couldn't be more impressive. Starting at the bottom of the figure, we have the same train as we do on both August posters - complete with the 13 name plate. Moving up the figure we see Cinderella's castle on the vinyl's face and a hot air balloon. On the sides of the figure there's the Earful Tower and Spaceship Earth on one side, and Mickey's Fun Wheel and hang gliders on the other side.

On the back of the head are the icons from Disneyland's poster: Sleeping Beauty's castle, the Matterhorn, the rockets and more hang gliders. On the vinyl's back is the monorail from both posters. Moving up again to the back of the sorcerer's hat are yet more hang gliders and the Mission Space X-2 rockets. Then on the front and back of the ears are the circles from the top corners of the posters, perfectly placed to match the poster and positioned to make a hidden Mickey.

I love the color tones on this figure too, the orange and yellow hues, the peachy background and the grey on the arms, feet and ears really create the same effect as the gray border around the poster. Outstanding attention to detail on this figure.

Disneyland September poster art

I guess September's poster is so eerie and creepy because of the 13 Reflections of Evil event, but to me this looks more like it should be October's. Nonetheless I love it! Disneyland's Haunted Mansion can be seen in the background of the poster, with ominous clouds and bats flying overhead. In the foreground is the infamous clock striking 13 (how appropriate) from the Haunted Mansion attraction, complete with creepy eyes and teeth. The slogan "It's time for Misch13f & Mayhem" features at the bottom of the poster, surrounded by gothic styled swirls and patterns.

September Vinylmation figure

In my opinion, this figure doesn't stick very closely to the poster art, especially by comparison with other figures. It's still a wonderfully designed piece despite that, but less appealing perhaps if you wanted a figure that reflected the poster accurately. The bats and clouds from the poster are seen here on both the front and back of the sorcerer's hat. In the vinyl's ears are bats from the iron fencing around the Haunted Mansion attraction.

On the front, back and sides of the figure, we see the black gothic swirls from the poster. Then on the back is the sorcerer's hat icon from the 2013 poster art and the number 13, stylized in the same was as on the slogan on September's poster. The colors used on the figure, black and purple, match the poster and run into each other perfectly to make this an appropriately eerie and haunting figure.

Oswald poster art

Oswald's poster looks like a still from an old Disney cartoon. "Oswald The Lucky Rabbit" creates attention at the top of the poster, with the rabbit himself in the center, surrounded by a yellow circle. On either side of Oswald reads "Luck 13 Since 1927". At the bottom of the poster reads the slogan "Some rabbits have all the luck!"

Oswald Vinylmation figure

This whole figure is the rabbit himself - Oswald from the center of the poster. The sorcerer's hat and ears are yellow on the vinyl figure, to match the yellow circle behind Oswald on the poster, with "Lucky 13" from the poster written in his right ear. On the sides of the sorcerer's hat we see Oswald's famous ears. The back of his head reads "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" like the top of the poster and Maria Clapsis didn't forget his tail! The Oswald figure has a distressed look to him, my guess is to make the figure look old, as if he's from a 1920s poster.

This was a must-have for some collectors but I really don't like this figure. In terms of a translation of the poster, it's done well with almost every aspect of the poster included. But as a figure I just find it boring. I don't like the distressed look and even saw people tweeting that there figure had a "bad paint job". You don't want your $14.95 figure looking like a scrapper. I also think the lack of Oswald's ears make this look more like a black and white Mickey figure. It's not Maria Clapsis' fault as an artist, the poster didn't have much going for it.

Join me again soon for Part #4 of my Poster Art Series Vinylmation Review, the final Poster Art Vinylmation Review post, where I'll be taking a look at October, November and December.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Star Wars Jedi Mickey & Emperor Stitch Release

A Star Wars Combo Set featuring Jedi Mickey and Emperor Stitch has been released today at D-Streets. This set retails for $29.95 and both figures were designed by Maria Clapsis

Animation #4 Release

Animation #4 has been released today at D-Streets and the Disney Store Online. This is a 12 figure set featuring designs by artists Ron Cohee, Maria Clapsis and Caley Hicks and others. Each figure retails at $12.95

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Toy Soldier

Series: Holiday 2010
Artist: Adrianne Draude

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Store Update: Villains in Vogue at Hollywood Studios

(All pictures taken October 30, 2013)

Park #12, Park Starz #2, Star Wars #3, Park #12 combo topper and Urban Redux #1

Star Wars #3, Park Starz #2, Fantasia, Theme Park Favorites, Mystery Bakey, Star Wars Open Edition, Toy Story Mania, Nerds Rock, 2013 Independence Day Eagle

Fantasia, Mystery Bakery, Star Wars Open Edition, Toy Story Mania, Nerds Rock, 2013 Independence Day Eagle, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Duffy #1, Mechanical Kingdom, Phineas and Ferb, MLB Series, 2013 Edition

Monday, December 09, 2013

Trade-Cation: Vinylmation Trading Log

A little while back I posted about an adventure I was planning at Walt Disney World, that I call: Trade-Cation. I was aiming to discover where I could buy and trade Vinylmation at the Walt Disney World Resort. I was also hoping to get some spontaneous trades going with fellow collectors and to check out what was lurking in the trade boxes around the parks. This post will serve as my log book of what happened on my adventure. So grab a cup of Joe and join me!

Tuesday, October 29 - Magic Kingdom
Today featured my first trade of the trade-cation. I brought along my Big Eyes Mickey figure to trade:

I headed over to the Frontierland Trading Post to see what I could trade. I found 2 clear trading boxes, but no mystery trade box at this location. (You can check out the vinyls they had for sale here). I looked at one of the clear 12 trading boxes for a figure to trade for. There were 4 High School figures, 2 Zooper Heroes figures, 2 Extreme Wrestlers, 2 Under the Big Top figures, John Carter and an Urban 5 Popcorn. Needless to say, I went for the Urban 5 Popcorn.

It doesn't surprise me that the trade box was full of junk, I was expecting it, and my reason for trading was for fun and also as an experiment to see the best figure I could pull, given that the boxes are full of junk. But it does prove my point that these non-Disney series are not what collectors want.

Frontierland Trading Post

With my new Popcorn figure in hand, I headed out, when as I left the sales desk I had my first (and what would turn out to be my only) spontaneous trade with another collector. He was a very kind gentlemen who saw me trade at the desk and asked if I wanted to trade with him. I said sure! He traded me my Urban 5 Popcorn for his Little Mermaid Ariel figure. I was really happy since I already have the Popcorn figure, but more so that I had a great and fun interaction with another happy collector.

Wednesday, October 30 - Pin Traders
For my second trade of the trip, I headed over to Pin Traders at Downtown Disney's Marketplace. I brought my Honey Hunt figure from Park 12. At Pin Traders I saw only a Mystery 15 trade box and tried my luck.

Ironically, my first pull was another Honey Hunt figure. Seeing that I had this figure already, the Cast Member told me to pick another number. I chose again and pulled the Urban Redux #2 Woolly Mammoth - common not the variant. The Cast Member put the Honey Hunt and Mammoth figures next to each other on top of the trade box and told me I could either take one or pick a third number.

I decided to take the Woolly Mammoth since I figured it was better than a High School, Extreme Wrestler or Zooper Hero figure I was at risk of pulling. I took the Mammoth and handed over my figure. The Cast Member seemed confident in what she was doing, but seemed pretty indifferent in her attitude. She also didn't explain the rules beforehand. It was interesting to note the different attitudes of cast members at each trade location.

Wednesday, October 30 - D-Street
My third trade took place on the same night as my second, but over at D-Street. I took Skippy with me, a figure from the Park #6 Alien Encounter combo set.

D-Street had a Mystery 15 trade box and a clear 3 trade box. I didn't see anything special in the clear box so I asked the Cast Member if I could trade from the mystery box. She seemed excited that I'd asked and looked in the mystery box. She said "the box is bad" and asked another Cast Member to "switch" the box. The other Cast Member ran out the back with the first box and brought out a new one. This was new information for me. I had heard about "refreshing" trade boxes, but I didn't know this meant switching the mystery box entirely at the discretion of cast members.

They seemed to have much stricter rules at D-Street, which one would expect being the flag bearer Vinylmation vendor, but from my past experiences here, I was not inspired with confidence that the staff knew the first thing about Vinylmation. The Cast Member made me surrender my vinyl before I could pick a number. She also didn't explain the rules to me before I traded.

My first pull was the Disney Cruise Line Killer Whale. I did not cruise to Alaska, so I tried to get another figure I might like. I had to give up this figure in order to choose a second number. The Cast Member told me this was my last trade (not the case at other locations, as I've already mentioned above). So I had to keep whatever I pulled this time. I pulled... Wild West Pluto. I was happy with that, it definitely could have been worse and I liked it a lot more than the whale.

Thursday, October 31 - EPCOT
This turned out to be my fourth and final trade of the trade-cation. While I'd hoped to do more trading, I just got too busy. For this trade, I headed over to Disney Traders.

I brought my Urban Redux #2 Woolly Mammoth to trade. Inside I found a Mystery 15 trade box and a clear 3 trade box. Once again I didn't see anything I liked in the clear trade box, so I asked the Cast Member if I could trade from the mystery box. This Cast Member also seemed excited that I'd asked to trade (although the Cast Member at D-Street wins the award for most excited).

My first pull was Drago Smackdownovich from the Extreme Wrestlers series. Hardly surprising, but the Cast Member did a great job of trying to make it seem like an exciting figure. I asked to pick again and the Cast Member kept Drago on top of the box and told me to pick another number. I chose a number and pulled Donald/March from the 2013 Poster Art series.

The Cast Member put Donald next to the wrestler and said I could pick for a third time. I decided to take Donald as I didn't think I'd pick anything better. I handed over the Woolly Mammoth and the Cast Member gave me Donald.

My trade figure

The Cast Member at Disney Traders was very helpful and polite. He asked me what I was looking for and checked the trade box. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, since I was trading for fun and didn't expect anything decent to be in there. I also didn't know how much he knew about vinyls so I said Star Wars in the hope that those figures (if there) would stand out to him. He looked but of course, no Star Wars figures in the box.

In-Park Trading Review
To summarize and review my thoughts on this experience and experiment, I felt that overall there wasn't anything amazing in the trade box. However, I was expecting this and I was definitely prepared to end up with A LOT worse than what I took home. Your typical outlet fodder was definitely in there but I avoided taking it. I was pleased to see so many CMs have an enthusiastic attitude toward Vinylmation trading, it made trading a lot more fun and enjoyable. I hate it when they seem thoroughly disinterested, you kinda regret asking.

I was surprised to see different rules of trading practiced since the changes in the trade boxes. I thought Disney were aiming to make the rules more uniform and that reducing the number of trade box locations would help that initiative, but it hasn't happened yet from my experience. Although the rules seemed the same at each location other than D-Street, which had its own rules, so maybe less boxes has helped. I should mention that despite the undesirable nature of the vinyls in trade boxes, they all seemed like they were in great condition which I was extremely happy about. Nothing worse than a vinyl you don't want that's also beat up.

Mystery 15 box at Villains in Vogue - Hollywood Studios

I had a great time trading and would have traded more had I had the time, but since it was my honeymoon, trading definitely took the backseat when we visited Downtown Disney and the theme parks. I was thrilled to make a spontaneous trade with another collector and what I got was absolutely shocking and outstanding in a good way. I was surprised and pleased that not every collector brings discounted outlet vinyls to trade with at Walt Disney World. I enjoyed trading with another collector much more than the trade boxes and hope to do this again.

One thing I would say to others who plan on in-park trading,  is to not take trading there too seriously. Trading was fun because I wasn't expecting to get anything amazing like a chaser, variant or something that I really needed/wanted to fill a gap in my collection. If you go in with that attitude, you might be disappointed when all you pull are non-Disney series, or discounted outlet vinyls when the Cast Member makes you surrender one of your $12.95 Park Series vinyls. However, if Disney listen to collectors and reduce the number of vinyls they make and stop producing those terrible non-Disney sets, I think these issues will eventually become a thing of the past for in-park trading.