Monday, June 30, 2014

Mail Day!

I'm so excited to finally own this Animal Kingdom set! As for Indy, he will be featured in an upcoming Vinylmation Story

(Forgive me for the bad quality of this picture, I couldn't get any decent light the whole weekend!)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Park Starz #3 Mission Space Astronaut Variant Release

The fourth and final Park Starz #3 variant has been released today at D-Street and the Disney Store Online. This variant is a red astronaut from the Mission: Space attraction at EPCOT, with the common figure being a blue astronaut from the Space Mountain attraction at the Magic Kingdom. The figure was designed by Thomas Scott with a limited edition of 1,500. It retails for $24.95

Park Starz #3 Hitchhiking Ghost Variant Release

The third variant in the Park Starz #3 series has been released today at D-Streets and the Disney Store online. This figure is a clear version of the common hitchhiking ghost Ezra, following the common and variant hitchhiking ghost, Gus, released in the last Park Starz series. The variant was designed by Thomas Scott and has a limited edition of 2,000. It retails for $24.95

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Paper Cut

Series: D-TOUR
Released: January 2012

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - The Enchanted Tiki Room

For today's post, I'll be taking a look at the back side of The Enchanted Tiki Room 9" Vinylmation from Park #4. Let's begin with the back of the head, which depicts the beautiful birds that descend from the ceiling:

Moving down to the back of the vinyl's body, we can see the colorful, floral "alter" from the center of the room. While the Tiki Room was under new management, the angry Tiki goddess Uh-Oa would rise out from it:

And finally, inside the back of this vinyl's ears, we can see the Tiki God Drummers from the back of the Tiki Room:

Here's a closer look at the Drumming Tiki Gods:

(Photo Credit:

I love the back of this vinyl! Between the front and the back, this Vinylmation covers every facet of the Tiki Room attraction. Spreading out this colorful detail over the front, back and the arms makes this figure just perfect!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Vinylmation Stories - Snowman

Series: Park #8
Artist: Casey Jones

I have spent many a happy hour over at Disney's Blizzard Beach water park. I think a ski resort theme is so creative for a water park! I've raced my brothers on the Downhill Double Dipper, braved Summit Plummet (wedgie free with admission), and crammed my family, including my grandmother, into a tube for a ride on Teamboat Springs. I collect Vinylmation for the memories they hold, so I just had to have one that reminded me of all my memorable trips to Blizzard Beach.

In Park #8, the perfect vinyl came along - a Snowman - one of the the snowman family members you can find toward the entrance of the park. Casey Jones really thought outside the box with this one. The obvious choice would have been the Ice Gator, who I also love and still would have bought, but choosing one of the snowmen was a great idea and still an instantly recognizable figure from Blizzard Beach.

And so, the Blizzard Beach Snowman joined my collection!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Free Shipping on Disney Parks Merchandise

The is offering free shipping on purchases of Disney Parks Merchandise, which includes Vinylmation! Just add a Disney Parks product to your basket and use the code PARKFREE. Offer ends at 11:59pm PST on Sunday, June 22, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Park Starz #3 Big Al & Trixie Variant Release

Park Starz #3 variant set Holiday Big Al and Trixie has been released today at D-Streets and the Disney Store Online. This is a 2 figure set featuring Big Al and Trixie in their Country Bear Jamboree holiday attire, both designed by Caley Hicks. The set retails for $49.95 and has a limited edition of 2,000

Park Starz #3 Pig Pirate Variant Release

The Park Starz #3 Pig Pirate Variant has been released today at D-Streets and the Disney Store Online where it has already sold out. The variant is a sepia version of the common figure, continuing the sepia pirates variant theme from Park Starz #2. This figure was designed by Thomas Scott and has a limited edition of 1,000. Retail price is $24.95

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Snow Cone

Series: Cutesters At The Beach
Artist: Patty Landing
Released: February 2012

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Injun Joe's Cave

For today's Backside of Vinyls post, I'll be taking a look at a figure that, in my opinion, is under appreciated: Injun Joe's Cave from Park #13. Injun Joe's Cave is nestled on Tom Sawyer's Island at the Magic Kingdom, and is a place I frequented as a child searching for adventure. For those who haven't visited Tom Sawyer's Island, I can see why this vinyl would be unappealing. However, there is a lot of detail to be appreciated on this figure, especially on the back.

Let's start with the back of the vinyl's head. We can see the entrance to the Mystery Mine next to Injun Joe's Cave, with "Old Scratch's Mystery Mine" written on the top beam in Tom's handwriting.

Old Scratch’s Mystery Mine
(Photo credit:

Looking further down the back of vinyl's body, we can see the treasured jewels that can be found by those who dare to venture in to the Mystery Mine:

Old Scratch’s Mystery Mine
(Photo credit:

The details on the back of this vinyl are very memorable to me, since I spent a lot of time visiting the mine and cave on Tom Sawyer's Island. I think Ron Cohee paid a lot of attention to detail here (as always) and the detail on the back of this vinyl really improves the quality of this figure. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Vinylmation Review - Robots #4

Released: March 17
Blind Box Series

Robots is another series that I don't collect, again it's just because I can't collect everything! The Robots line has improved tremendously with series #3 and #4. While I don't personally collect them, I really liked most of the figures in series #3 and I was seriously impressed with series #4!

Reasons to love this series:
  • Accessories! Just look at Jafar and Captain Hook's hats! Hook's looks perfect and Jafar's has been expertly transformed into a robot part while keeping the essence of his character. Syndrome's cape is a wonderful addition also
  • Creativity - just look at Jafar and Scar's expressions!
  • New characters - I'm not a big Incredibles fan, but many collectors were pleased to see Syndrome in this series. I was impressed that Sid was chosen as a fresh character for the chaser
  • The Villains theme - I love that Robots #4 has a theme and that it's Villains, which is popular right now, giving the collectors what they want. To add to that, I love how Captain Hook, Scar, Cruella de Vil and Shan Yu look truly terrifying
  • Worthy chaser - Sid was done fantastically in my opinion and that, coupled with him being a new Vinylmation character, made him a desirable chaser worth chasing

Things that aren't so great:
  • Really all I can say here is that there are a lot of character repeats in this series. Great if you like to collect the same characters, but if not this could be a downside. Jafar, Cruella de Vil, Shan Yu, Captain Hook and the Big Bad Wolf have all appeared before in Villains series and Scar has appeared in the Lion King series

Friday, June 13, 2014

Star Wars #4 Jawa and Droid Set Release

The final combo set for Star Wars #4 and Star Wars Weekends 2014 has been released today at D-Street. This is a two 3" figure set of a Jawa and R5-D4 from Episode IV: A New Hope. Both figures were designed by Maria Clapsis and have a limited edition of 2,000. This set retails for $29.95

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Buffalo

Series: Animal Kingdom
Artist: Dan Howard
Released: August 2010

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Wet Paint Donald

In honor of Donald Duck's birthday yesterday, today I wanted to take a look at the back of the Wet Paint Donald Vinylmation from Park #6. This is another example of a figure that's not necessarily obvious at first glance, especially if you're only looking at the front. But, if you turn it around, you can see more clearly that this is a Disney World Wet Paint sign in Vinylmation form.

I remember seeing these signs growing up at Disney World, I particularly remember their presence at Disney's Old Key West Resort, which required constant re-painting to uphold its signature bright colors. The signs show Donald in a panic because one of his nephews has been playing in the wet paint. This Vinylmation includes so much of this sign's detail on the back: the hand prints, the dripping paint, the smudged paint, the paint brush and of course the wet paint wording.

I love the creativity of adding all of that detail on to Donald himself, instead of trying to portray a sign on a Mickey shaped figure. Fantastic back side of a vinyl!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Vinylmation Stories - Goofy's Candy Co.

Series: Goofy's Candy Co.
Artist: Thomas Scott & Maria Clapsis

I've said before that I'm not a big fan of the Jr. Vinylmation series. Many of them have been done artistically well, but I find their small size and keychains more difficult to display. If you add them to your keys, as some of my friends have done, it's not long before the paint rubs or chips off, which seems a waste of $9.95. But when the 8th Jr. series, Goofy's Candy Co. was released, the temptation was too great! With 18 figures in a Jr. series, packaged in blind boxes that retail for $9.95 each, I bought the two figures that I wanted from the second hand market. One of which was the Gawrsh figure, which is also one of the 2 chasers in the series.

This figure is sentimental for me, which is why I just had to have it. When I was younger, my dad and I would often visit the parks at Walt Disney World, just us two. A tradition that developed was my dad buying me some Goofy's Candy after we rode Pirates of the Caribbean, always our last ride before leaving the Magic Kingdom. Typically I chose Goofy Burgers that looked like this:

I would save it to eat as we waited in line for the bus back to Disney's Old Key West Resort. Sometimes I would choose other items of candy, like taffy or gummy bears, but usually I picked the Goofy Burger. When I saw the Gawrsh chaser, all of those memories came flooding back to me and they still do every time I look at it. I think of all the candy I would stare at before finally buying some and eating it at the Magic Kingdom. The happy memories triggered by Vinylmation figures are exactly the reason I collect them and why they're so special to me. And that particular memory is why I bought my first Jr. Vinylmation figure!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Park Starz #3 Release

Park Starz #3 has been released today at D-Street stores and the Disney Store Online. This is a 12 figure blind box set with 11 commons and a chaser. (The It's A Small World figure will again feature 2 figures in one tin). Later in the month 4 limited edition variant figures will be released and sold separately. The artists involved in designing this series are Casey Jones, Caley Hicks and Thomas Scott. Each blind box retails for $18.95 (gulp!)

Star Wars #4 Palpatine Release

A limited edition Emperor Palpatine figure has been released today at D-Street, designed by Casey Jones. This figure looks similar in appearance to the Obi Wan Ghost variant from Star Wars #1 and the Princess Leia Hologram figure. Palpatine has a limited edition of 2,000 and is sold in an open window box, for a retail price of $16.95.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Throwback Thursday - June

Series: 2013 Poster Art
Artist: Natalie Kennedy
Released: June 2013

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Poncho Mickey

The back side of Poncho Mickey makes this figure! When I first saw it from the front I'll be honest, I wasn't sure what it was. Then I figured out it was Mickey wearing a poncho, but from the front it doesn't look all that impressive in my opinion. Turn the figure around and the back is undeniably Mickey wearing a Disney Parks poncho.

At that point it became a whole new figure for me. Most people who've visited a Disney resort have experienced others wearing Disney ponchos - either to avoid the rain or to keep dry on Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids, so for me this figure is a classic representation of Disney Parks memories. What a creative and iconic idea for a Vinylmation! If I owned this figure, I think I'd always have it facing backwards

Monday, June 02, 2014

My Thoughtful Spot - "Open Window" is not a dirty word

I want to talk today about what I think of Open Window series. I hear a lot of collectors assume that Open Window means "outlet fodder" and/or "sub par series" and this is sometimes true. Just think of the Chinese New Year, Occupations, Sea Creatures, I Love Mickey, etc. They flooded the trade boxes (and can still be found there) and sat on outlet shelves for months.

Giant Octopus from Sea Creatures - why would I want that?

But alongside these undesirable open window series, there have been other open window series that are much more desirable: D-TOUR, Star Wars, TRON, Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary, Nerds Rock (some character of which were recently re-released), I would even say that the original Bakery series was on the more popular side. I also think the 2013 Poster Art series was pretty epic.

Animal Kingdom from the Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary series

Yes some not-so-great open window series have been released, but there have been some pretty amazing open window releases too. We can't paint all open window series with the same negative brush. It's not just open window series either, the same goes for blind box series. Just think of all the blind box flops we've seen: Nursery Rhymes, High School, Extreme Wrestlers, Zooper Heroes, Medieval, some of which didn't last a month before they became Buy One Get Ones.

The most disturbing Vinylmation I've ever seen - Nerd form the High School series

I definitely think that these bad open window series need to stop being produced, but it's not because they're open window, I feel the same about awful blind box series. It saddens me that some collectors now assume "if it's gonna be open window, it's gonna be a bad series". I know exactly why people have come to this conclusion, but I think each series needs to be assessed individually. I'll admit that the thought of Mickey's Wild West sounded like an undesirable series to me, before I had any detailed information. But when I saw the promotion posters and concept art, I did a full 180 - I wanted these! And that was a blind box series.

To clarify here, I don't want to cause offense, especially with the artists. Some of these series and figures are great pieces of art, very well done from an artistic perspective. But a lot of people collect Vinylmation as little pieces of Disney, so as scary as the Medieval dragon was and as cute as twinkle twinkle little star is, a lot of Disney collectors just don't want to own that. Myself included.

One of my favorite open window figures that I'm pleased I didn't have to blox

More care needs to be taken when choosing future series to be produced. I think it can be predicted that some ideas just won't be appealing to collectors who want Disney products and it looks like Disney are getting better at what they produce. But I also hope that collectors will be open minded too and judge a series on the merits of its theme and art, instead of the type of box it's sold in. As much as I love the excitement of blind boxing, sometimes it's nice to take a break and be able to pick up the exact figure you want from a blind box. Especially when there's only 1 or 2 figures that you want in a series.

It can also be great for enticing new collectors into the hobby. When I bought my first vinyl, I was too afraid to pick up a blind box and be disappointed with the figure I pulled. Luckily, I was able to pick up my favorite character from TRON in Vinylmation form from the TRON: Legacy open window series. Once I had a few of my favorites in hand, I was brave enough to try my hand at blind boxing, knowing I already had some figures that I really wanted.

So to summarize: open window boxes can produce wonderful figures, give collectors a break from spending a lot of money chasing down figures they want, and bring new collectors in to the hobby. While they can also hold some undesirable vinyls, I think open window boxes should continue.