Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Collector's Space - Collecting Vinylmation Pins

Have any of you Vinylmation fans out there noticed that there are Vinylmation Pins? I'm sure a lot of you have. I had noticed they existed, but didn't really pay much attention to them. I don't know when or how they're released, if every Vinylmation series has a corresponding pin set, or how much they retail for. But in the last couple weeks I've noticed Vinylmation pins more and more and it's got me thinking about collecting them.

I'm in two minds about it. I used to collect pins, I think I've said before how my dad brought me home my very first pin on a Mickey lanyard when I was 9 or 10 and I went from there. I bought pins for all the rides and characters that I loved, but then had so much fun trading them that I kind of ruined my collection by trading for the fun of it and taking practically any pin. Now I still have a few pins that I love, but I also have a handful that I don't really care for.

I shifted my focus to Vinylmation and didn't really look back at my pin collection. I can't display them as easily as vinyls and they're not as easily accessible to me either. But now I'm wondering if I should revamp my Disney pin collection by adding some Vinylmation pins? It would be a neat way to pay homage to some of my favorite Disney attractions and enable me to have a pin version of some of the more expensive and elusive vinyls that I'd like to get my hands on.

But on the flip side, I'd still have a problem displaying them. In what way could I display the pins? Plus, the money I'd spend on those pins would reduce my Vinylmation budget.

So I'd like to hear from you! Do you collection Vinylmation pins? How do you decide which ones to buy? How do you display them? Do you trade them? Help me make a decision on whether I should start a Vinylmation Pin collection.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Star Wars #4 Rancor and Keeper Set Release

Today the Star Wars #4 Rancor and Keeper combo set has been released at the Walt Disney World Resort for Star Wars Weekends. This set includes a 9" rancor figure and a 3" figure of his keeper from Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Both figures were designed by Casey Jones. The set retails for $59.95 and has a limited edition of 1,000.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Han Solo

Series: Star Wars #2
Artist: Maria Clapsis
Released: August 2012

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Sage of Time

The Sage of Time is one of the vinyls from the Tapestry of Nations Set in Park #7. This was one of my all time favorite shows at Walt Disney World! I love the detail that went into this vinyl, especially on the back. The Sage of Time had intricate detail on every inch of his costume, so I'm glad Casey Jones extended that detail on to the back of this vinyl.

As you can see from this picture, the Sage of Time has a long cape with what looks like an old fashioned time piece on the back. This beautiful detail has been replicated exactly on the back of this Vinylmation. Another example of a vinyl I love the back of, just as much as the front. Great job Casey Jones!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vinylmation Stories - Tumble Monkey

Tumble Monkey
Series: Park #12
Artist: Maria Clapsis

The Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom is definitely one of my favorite shows. It's spectacular! Performed amazingly well, it's entertaining and worth seeing over and over again. I definitely wanted a Vinylmation that would capture the essence of the show for my collection. In Park #2 there was a Festival of the Lion King figure that I thought was done well and I did really like. But when the Tumble Monkey figure came along, I decided to go with that one.

(Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

This figure is brightly colored and has a playful expression just like the Tumble Monkeys in the attraction. Plus, what's more memorable than the Tumble Monkeys in the Festival of the Lion King?! And so this little monkey joined my Vinylmation collection.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Vinylmation Review - Villains #4

Released: October 11, 2013
Blind Box Series

I think Villains is a great idea for a Vinylmation series! I also think that the Villains line has only improved over time. With each Villains series, there are always hits and misses for me, but overall I really think each new series brings out some fantastic figures.

Villains #4 was no exception! Villains is not a series I typically collect, although I do own Chernabog from Villains #3 (I'll get back to that in a Vinylmation story). But other series outside of my usual collecting habits are tempting me more and more these days! However, I still think Villains #4 is a great series overall. I also traded recently for Captain Gantu at my location Disney Store.

Reasons to love this series:
  • I say this a lot because often it's true, but not always, there's a great selection of characters in this series. There's a villain from Lilo and Stitch, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Hercules, Robin Hood and The Nightmare Before Christmas to name a few. Almost all of these characters have never been seen before as Vinylmation
  • So in a similar vein, but I feel it deserves its own point, we have new characters in this series. Sometimes characters get repeated across Vinylmation series and this can work if the designs are different. Other times this gets too repetitive. However the only repeat in this series is Oogie Boogie, who has completely different artwork than his previous appearance in The Nightmare Before Christmas #1 - which is awesome to see
  • Great use of accessories - Razour's hat is just incredible! McLeach has a pretty great hat accessory too. The light bulb accessory on the Frankenollie variant is also a creative touch
  • True to likeness - Razour, Pain and Panic, the Rhino Guard, Cyclops, the Sheriff of Nottingham and Maleficent all took exactly the same in Vinylmation form as their animated selves. Very impressive
  • Great use of ears - I love the dice in Oogie Boogie's ears, the Rhino Guard's clear ears, the light bulb in Dr. Frankenollie's ears and the galactic stars in Captain Gantu's ears
  • Creativity - I would never have thought of combining Pain and Panic onto one vinyl and it looks awesome!

Things that aren't so great:
  • Some of the characters just aren't to my taste. I'm not familiar with Fat Cat, The Horned King, McLeach, or Dr. Frankenollie and Cyclops is not one of my favorite characters either. But that's down to personal preference

Friday, May 23, 2014

Independence Day 2014 Goofy Eachez Released

The 2014 Independence Day figure has been released today at D-Street locations and the Disney Store Online. This is another Eachez blind box figure, with a 9 in 10 chance of the common figure being inside and a 1 in 10 chance of it being the variant figure. Both figures were designed by Monty Maldovan.

This year's Independence Day Vinylmation is Goofy, the common figure is here on the left and the variant figure is pictured on the right. Goofy has a limited edition size of 2,500 and each blind box retails for $16.95

Star Wars #4 Luke & Yoda Combo Pack Released

The Star Wars #4 Luke and Yoda combo pack has been released today at Disney's Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends. This is a two figure pack including a 3" Luke Skywalker and a Jr. Yoda figure on Dagobah, both designed by Casey Jones. The set retails at $29.95 and has a limited edition size of 2,000

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwback Thursday - X-Wing Pilot Mickey

Series: Star Wars Open Edition
Artist: Maria Clapsis
Released: May 2012

Ink & Paint Series at the Disney Store

The recently released Ink & Paint series has made it to my local Disney Store! I have to say these blind boxes are definitely tempting me! I really like the artwork on the boxes too

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Box O Bot

Today I'm taking a look at the back side of the Box O Bot vinyl from Park #13. I like what Thomas Scott did here because it's a pretty subtle touch that shows he paid attention to detail with this figure.

In the blow picture you can see the Box O Bot as he features during Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin at the Magic Kingdom. If you look at the back of the figure, you can see a green rocket with one of the Z targets on the top. Easy to miss if you're concentrating on making those shots, but Thomas Scott noticed and added it to the back of this vinyl.

In my opinion, this detail on the back completes the figure and makes the design well rounded. No aspect of the Box O Bot was left out of its transition to Vinylmation form.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ink & Paint Series Released

The Ink & Paint Vinylmation series has been released today at the Disney Store Online and at select Disney Store locations. Ink & Paint is an 8 figure blind box series that retails for $12.95 per box. This series will release at Disney Parks locations on Friday, May 23. All 8 figures in the series were designed by artist Enrique Pita.

Star Wars #4 Released Online

Star Wars #4 was released last week at the Disney Parks and has been released today at the Disney Store Online. This is a 12 figure blind box set featuring 11 commons, 1 chaser and a surprise variant figure. The set was designed by Maria Clapsis and Casey Jones, retailing for $12.95 per blind box.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Star Wars #4 Release

Star Wars #4 has been released today at the Walt Disney World Resort ready for Star Wars Weekends. This is a 12-figure blind box set, 11 common figures and a chaser. The figures were designed by Maria Clapsis and Casey Jones, with each box retailing for $12.95. This series is due to release at the Disney Store online Monday 19th May.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Star Wars #4 Eachez Release

The Star Wars #4 Eachez blind boxes have been released today at Darth's Mall for the Rebel Rendezvous event. The boxes have a limited edition of 2,500 and will continue to be sold during Star Wars Weekends while supplies last.

Pictured right is the common figure R2-MK, limited edition 2,250. On the left is the variant figure R2-D2, limited edition 250. This means there's a 9 in 10 chance of pulling the common and a 1 in 10 chance of pulling the variant. Both figures were designed by Thomas Scott and each blind box retails for $16.95

Throwback Thursday - Imperial Guard

Series: Star Wars #3
Artist: Casey Jones
Released: May 2013

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Thoughtful Spot - Testing the Eachez Concept

I think the recently released Dragon Eachez will really be a test of the popularity of the Eachez blind box concept. So far, Eachez has been pretty popular, especially the Tower of Terror Elevator Ghosts Set, Olaf and Easter Oswald. However, these are the types of vinyls people typically go nuts for, I think Eachez was merely a catalyst to make people buy these things sooner and in larger quantities than they would have done otherwise.

The Dragon Eachez is not a beloved movie character, or theme park attraction, so I don't think it will be as appealing as the vinyls I just mentioned. If the appeal to buying Eachez boxes is the concept itself - the 1/10 chance of pulling a rare, coveted variant, then these Dragon blind boxes should also fly off the shelves. Under that theory, it doesn't matter what you put in the box, it's the potential for a rare variant figure that makes people buy them.

If people start buying Dragon Eachez boxes en masse, then it would be correct to say that Eachez is a wonderful idea that can make any Vinylmation instantly more marketable. But, if this figure proves to be much less popular than its Eachez predecessors, I think Disney will need to recognize that they can't brand any given vinyl "Eachez" and instantly revive the hobby, create hype and produce a best-seller.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Big Thunder

I really like the detail on the back of this 9" vinyl from Park #2. Starting with the cactus on the back of the head:

Cacti from Big Thunder Mountain

Moving on to the tallest part of the mountain, depicted on the back of the right ear:

The mountain's peak

And of course the awesome dinosaur skeleton on the back of the body:

Not forgetting possibly my favorite part of the back side of this vinyl - the Mickey shaped cloud on the back of the vinyl's left ear! I just love hidden Mickey touches like that on vinyls. If you never looked at the back, you would never find it

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vinylmation Stories - Pirates of the Caribbean Dog

Pirates of the Caribbean Dog
Series: Park #4
Artist: Dawn Ockstadt

I've been in a real Pirates of the Caribbean mood this week. I've been listening to the ride music and sounds and looking at pictures, wishing I could ride. So I decided to tell y'all the story behind why I own the Pirates of the Caribbean Dog Vinylmation from Park #4.

I'm pretty sure I have already expressed my undying love for the attraction on at least one occasion. I've also told the tale of why I bought the Skeleton Helmsman from Pirates of the Caribbean series #1. At first I wasn't sure if I should get this vinyl, since I already had one figure from the ride and I try to be choosey with my vinyls. But after humble consideration, I thought the final jail scene was just too iconic and humorous for me to not own the corresponding vinyl. And so, he joined my collection

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Disney Store Trade

I had a great time trading at my local Disney Store yesterday. They have a clear 3 figure trade box that seems to change multiple times a week. I guess we have a strong collecting community here! There's the usual, predictable vinyls in there that people don't want from time to time. But I've seen other, more desirable figures in there too.

When I visit a couple times in a week, there's always at least 1 new figure in the box, sometimes all 3 are different from the last time I visit. That really keeps me coming back! Yesterday I took my Wild West Pluto that I picked up trading at Walt Disney World last year, and traded him at my local Disney Store for Captain Gantu from Villains #4. I wanted that figure, but not enough to try my luck at blind boxing or to buy from the secondary market. Very pleased to have traded in store!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Chip and Dale Ewoks Set Release

Another Star Wars combo pack has been released today at D-Street locations in Disneyland and Walt Disney World - the Chip and Dale Ewoks Set - two 3" Vinylmation of the chipmunks dressed as lovable Ewoks. The set retails for $29.95 with a limited edition size of 1,500. Costa Alavezos is the artist who designed both figures.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Tusken Raider

Series: Star Wars #2
Artist: Casey Jones
Released: August 2012

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - The Jungle Cruise

From the ride that inspired this blog series, today's Backside of Vinyls post features The Jungle Cruise or Elephant Bathing Pool vinyl from Park #3. I don't think I saw the back of this vinyl until I owned it and I think Maria Clapsis has done a fantastic job all around with this figure! On the back of the head is the python from the beginning of the ride:

Moving down the back of the vinyl to the body, we can see a Jungle Cruise boat heading toward the famous waterfall, where you might just see the backside of water:

Then finally, to make the back side of this vinyl even more amazing, a hippo hiding in the water has been added to the bottom right of the figure, taken from this scene:

I absolutely love this vinyl! It got my attention from just the front, but seeing the back made it one of my favorites and a must-have. A perfect representation of one of my favorite Disney attractions.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Dragon Eachez Release

The Dragon Eachez figure has been released today at D-Streets and The Disney Store Online. This is a limited release (meaning exact quantity of figures produced has not been announced) blind box retailing for $14.95 a box. There is a 9 in 10 chance of pulling the black figure on the right, and a 1 in 10 chance of pulling the gold variant on the left. We do not currently have any artist information on these figures.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Happy 25th Birthday Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Today celebrates the day Disney's Hollywood Studios first opened at the Disney MGM Studios on May 1, 1989. My Hollywood Studios Vinylmation collection gathered together to wish the park a happy 25th birthday

Throwback Thursday - R2-D2

Since May at Walt Disney World is the month of Star Wars Weekends, I've decided to theme all of my Throwback Thursday posts this month to Star Wars vinyls. Enjoy!

Series: Star Wars #1
Artist: Mike Sullivan
Released: January 2011