Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Barnstormer

The Backside of Vinyls has taken a short break, but I'm now back to my regularly scheduled programming of weekly posts on a Tuesday. Welcome back to those of you following along each week! I sure appreciate ya!

This week I'm looking at the back of Eric Caszatt's Barnstormer Vinylmation from Park #5. I love the color and detail on this figure! This vinyl is inspired by Goofy's Barnstormer coaster in Mickey's Toontown Fair, which still exists in what is now New Fantasyland.

 Starting as always with the back of the figure's head and ears. Starting on the back of the ears and moving down to the top of the head are the blue roof shingles from the top of the barn. Also on the back of the head is a yellow banner that reads "Barnstormer", taken from the banner that hangs off the back of Goofy's crashed plane at the entrance to the ride (pictured above). I love the way it waves across the back of the head and how the font is exactly the same, down to the letter "O" being drawn in smoke.

On the back of the body, is the most memorable part of the ride - the Goofy shaped hole made by Goofy crashing in to the barn with his plane. In the picture above we can see the famous Goofy hole that the coaster travels through. Amazingly, it looks exactly the same on the back of the vinyl as it does in person. It even has the back of the ride car, Goofy's plane, sticking out as it travels in to the barn. Finally, even the feet of the vinyl have color and detail, starting on the front of the Vinylmation and continuing on to the back. The colored fence around the barn, which can be seen on the bottom right corner of the second picture, runs all around the vinyl's feet.

Not a millimeter of space is wasted on this figure. Absolutely beautiful!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vinylmation Stories - Catastrophe Canyon

Following the news that The Backlot Tour has now closed at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I decided to tell the story on why I added the Catastrophe Canyon Vinylmation from Park #13 to my collection.

When I was a kid, there was a lot more to see on The Backlot Tour than there has been in more recent years. There was also an in-person host, who would narrate the attraction and point out all the cool new props along the way. I remember seeing props from Star Wars, 101 Dalmatians, even the queue had more costumes and movie props. For me, it was an attraction not to be missed when I was little.

One of my favorite things to see was of course Catastrophe Canyon, but I also loved seeing Walt's plane and the Earful Tower. I have so many memories of walking through the queue (an attraction in itself), seeing the sights of the backlot, and then getting wet in Catastrophe Canyon. We would always take our tour around lunch time and at the end of the ride get lunch at The Backlot Express. (After lunch we'd spend time at the Honey I Shrunk The Kids playground, but that's another story).

The Backlot Tour became somewhat of a tradition when we would visit (what was then) the Disney-MGM Studios, so it only seemed right that this Vinylmation joined my collection. Now that the attraction is extinct, I'm even more pleased that it has immortalized in Vinylmation form.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Wheezy

Series: Toy Story #1
Artist: Thomas Scott
Released: June 2010

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Vinylmation Birthday

Today is my birthday! I was hoping to get some Vinylmation and luckily I did! Here are the figures I was given as birthday gifts today:

My absolute favorite of the figures I got - General Knowledge and Buzzy from Park #14

A penguin from Muppets #2, not something that was on my want list, but I do love the Muppets. A very sweet gift from my younger brother who does not know very much about Vinylmation. I LOVE the box artwork! I will have to figure out what to do with that (any suggestions?)

And my favorite Spider-Man villain - Electro from the recently released Marvel #2

Friday, September 19, 2014

Park #14 Combo Topper Release

The Park #14 Combo Topper has been released today at D-Street locations and The Disney Store Online. This is an open window Spacesuit Mickey figure on top of a blind box Park #14 figure. The boxes retail for $24.95 a pack.

Vinylmation Review - Park Starz #3

Released: June 6, 2014
Blind Box Series

Many collectors were excited to see the release of Park Starz #3 this year. It included a second hitchhiking ghost, a second country bear, another It's A Small World installment, plus new characters including a float from the Main Street Electrical Parade, and repeated characters taking the Park Starz mold for the first time. Collectors love the unique nature of the Park Starz mold and I think this is a well rounded series.

Reasons to love this series:
  • It has the perfect mix of old and new - what do I mean by old? Well, we've seen a Tiki bird before, It's A Small World characters, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Country Bear Jamboree, and Hitchhiking ghosts, but the figures in this series are still new creations within those categories. Secondly, if you're a fan of those attractions, these figures will help you grow those collections. I think it would be awesome to have all 3 hitchhiking ghosts, to have a whole Country Bear Jamboree set and all of the Tiki Room birds! But, if you're looking for something fresh, this series does boast 4 brand new characters and variants
  • Imagination - I think the artists really used their imagination with this series to pick some fantastic character choices. I just love the Main Street Electrical Parade turtle float, the Spaceship Earth Caveman and the Dreamfinder!
  • Re-invented characters - we've seen the Matterhorn Yeti before, Dreamfinder as a 9", Ezra the hitchhiking ghost, and Sonny Eclipse on the regular Mickey mold, but they all look fantastic debuting on their own Park Starz mold. I don't think anyone is sad to see repeats of these figures in this series
  • A chaser worth chasing - the Tiki figure from the Polynesian Resort logo in my opinion is a wonderful choice for a chaser. It's fun, it's new, it's expertly executed, and you can pretend it's a figure from Adventureland if you prefer. I think this vinyl appeals to a wide range of collectors and makes a worthy chaser
  • Exciting variants - Maybe exciting is too strong a word, since the variants don't really appeal to me personally, but I think other collectors are fans. I think a sepia Pig Pirate figure was a good choice because it can be added to the other sepia Pirates figures to continue the set. It also sold out surprisingly quickly online. The same goes for the clear Ezra variant, I guess those are popular. I think that the red astronaut variant was a really smart idea. The blue and red astronauts do look similar and it may seem the color change was insignificant and arbitrary, but actually changing the color makes each figure a different attraction. The blue is Space Mountain and the red is Mission Space. Adding the Mission Space logo to the red variant is a perfect touch to complete the figure. I also love the Big Al and Trixie variant because I think it's a beautiful holiday set in itself, and fans of the extinct holiday version of the Country Bear Jamboree will definitely appreciate

Things that aren't so great: 
  • The price - apologies, but I have to mention it. While it's not exactly related to the design and quality of the series, it is a huge drawback to Park Starz. These figures are still 3" and although the tins are pretty and attractive, does anyone blox this series and keep all the tins? Even if you do, are they worth the extra money? I have yet to pick one of these up because they're $18.95 each. I would prefer to buy them on the secondary market and make sure I get the figures I want. $12.95 is bad enough, I'm not going to fork out $18.95 and risk getting an unwanted figure
  • Repetition - I guess a downside to this series if you've had enough of seeing pirates, bears, yetis and Tiki birds is that they still feature in this series. Every Park Starz series so far has had figures from Pirates of the Caribbean and It's A Small World. I wouldn't blame some collectors for getting bored

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Duffy

Series: Duffy
Artist: Monty Maldovan
Released: June 2012

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Collector's Space - My Imagination Gala Highlights

Many Vinylmation collectors are aware that last week, September 5-7, the annual Walt Disney World Vinylmation and Pin Event took place at EPCOT - this year titled "The Imagination Gala". Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event myself, although I tried hard to make it happen. Hopefully one year I'll be able to finally go. Although I wasn't personally there, I was keeping track of all the happenings on Instagram and Vinylmation websites, and from what I've seen online, this year's event looked miles better than last year's Reflections of Evil event. But that's another story.

As always, the event was filled with plenty of news, updates, pictures and previews, so I wanted to share what I consider to be the highlights of the event. The upcoming releases that I am most excited about!

(Photo Credit: Destination Vinylmation)

Maybe it was the Figment theme of the Imagination Gala that made it look so great to me. He is by far my favorite Disney character! The feeling that I got from following the event online made it look professional, well organized and a lot of fun. (Not to mention how jealous I am of everyone who purchased a Vintage Vinylmation Vault blind box! But again I digress...)

Let's start with the first previewed set I saw, a Lilo and Scrump set that will accompany the recently released Animation #5 series:

(Photo Credit: Vinylmation World)

This set is scheduled to release in November for $29.95 and was designed by Ron Cohee. Lilo looks like she jumped right out of the film! She looks exactly like she does in the movie and I have wanted a Scrump Vinylmation for years! So excited for this set.

The next set I saw was the Haunted Mansion Blonde & Medusa set:

(Photo Credit: Vinylmation World)

This set was designed by Casey Jones and has a limited edition size of 1,000. There are so many possibilities for Haunted Mansion Vinylmation and it's an extremely popular attraction. I am so pleased that more merchandise is being released (not just vinyls) and that it's all been tastefully done. I don't think Haunted Mansion vinyls have been exhausted yet because they've all been such fantastic quality.

These two figures come from paintings in the hallway of the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom. At first you see the painting of the blonde, in what looks like a Roman forum, then when the lightning flashes, she changes into a Medusa. This set is due to release in January 2015 for $29.95. I'm very excited to see such a great idea for a set released!

Another interesting announcement was the upcoming set Pirates of the Caribbean Mickey & Friends:

(Photo Credit: Destination Vinylmation)

Similar to the recently released Haunted Mansion Mickey & Friends, this will be a 5 figure revealed/concealed set featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Stitch. It follows the way in which the Topiaries was released. Mickey will be the one revealed and the other 4 figures will be concealed inside the blind boxes.

It's a great idea for a series, especially considering how popular the Haunted Mansion set was, however I thought Disney had made progress by adding a second revealed figure in the aforementioned set. I'm sad to see that a step backward has been taken with this set, in that there is only one revealed figure again with Pirates of the Caribbean. This series will release in December for $24.95 per blind box.

I'm also excited to see this fantastic Vinylmation be released, a Mickey Waffle Annual Passholder Eachez:

(Photo Credit: Vinylmation World)

This Vinylmation will be released in Walt Disney World and Disneyland in October for $16.95 a blind box. The above picture shows the common figure with the ratio of 9/10. It's a Mickey waffle covered in chocolate syrup on a Disney plate. The below picture shows the variant figures with the ratio of 1/10. The figure on the left is the Disneyland variant - a Mickey waffle with powdered sugar. The figure on the right is the Walt Disney World variant - a Mickey waffle with whipped cream. I just love the detail of the resort plates!

(Photo Credit: Vinylmation World)

I am also excited to finally know more about D-TOUR #2! You may recall that it was first previewed one whole year ago at the Reflections of Evil event. It's still not been released but at least now we know the details.

(Photo Credit: Vinylmation World)

This will be an 8 figure set of 7 commons plus a chaser, with figures on both the Mickey and Minnie platforms. The artists who took part in designing the series are: Maria Clapsis, Caley Hicks, Anne Marie, Sara Hall, Thomas Scott and Eric Caszatt. They will be released in blind boxes this time for $12.95 each in October. I love the Queen Minnie figure so much! She goes perfectly with King Mickey from the first D-TOUR series.

Now let's look at the Holiday 2014 Vinylmation. I love seeing what Disney has in store for Christmas Vinylmation each year! First up is another 2 figure combo set, this year it's Mickey and Minnie:

(Photo Credit: Vinylmation World)

The 2014 Mickey and Minnie Holiday Snowmen will be released in October for $29.95. The set was designed by Rachel Bristol and will have a limited edition size of 2,500. I think this is a really cute holiday set that would go well with Santa Minnie and Mickey released in 2013 and 2012 respectively.

(Photo Credit: Destination Vinylmation)

I absolutely love this Gingerbread Duffy Bear! Nothing says the Holidays like decorated gingerbread and while I've never particularly cared for the Duffy Vinylmation line, this figure is just perfect! So Christmassy, so Disney, so cute! I can't wait to see this released and I will be picking it up. Designed by Caley Hicks, it will be released in October for $16.95.

Finally, while it's not a must-have for me, I really like the idea and the artwork of Holiday 2014 Christmas Tinkerbell Eachez: 

(Photo Credit: Destination Vinylmation)

This red outfit will be the common figure with 9/10 odds and the picture below shows the variant figure wearing a green outfit and winking, with 1/10 odds. I think this is a great idea because Tinkerbell is a popular character, especially for Walt Disney World merchandise, and she hasn't been used to death in the Vinylmation world. The artwork is very well done and Tinkerbell looks great in a Christmas outfit!

(Photo Credit: Destination Vinylmation)

Ron Cohee designed these figures and they will also be released in October, for $14.95 a blind box.

There are other upcoming releases that I am not overly interested in adding to my collection, but I'll quickly mention because I think they have been done very well: Star Wars Luke Skywalker Eachez and Yoda Eachez, the Iron Patriot and War Machine set,, and some of the Villainous Duos sets: Pain & Panic, Flotsam & Jetsam, and Jafar & Iago.

Those are my highlights, the Vinylmation I am most excited about having followed the Imagination Gala online. What Vinylmation releases are you looking forward to?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Vinylmation Stories - Troll

I won't get started on the announcement about Maelstrom, but I will be talking about the story behind why I own the Park #6 Troll Vinylmation in today's post. The Troll Vinylmation is based on the troll statue that can be found as you exit the Maelstrom attraction through The Puffin's Roost store.

Me and my nieces with the troll statue in the Norway Pavilion in 2013

The Norway Pavilion has always been my joint favorite country with Morocco, so I loved this Vinylmation from the start. It represents the Pavilion perfectly, who could forget that big nose? I think it's a great choice for a Park Vinylmation and an especially great way to create a figure for Norway. It was always a must-have figure for me.

Me in Geiranger, Norway with the same troll statute in EPCOT in 2012

In 2012, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a trip to the real Norway, where I fell in love with the Pavilion even more, and the country itself. I also loved my Park #6 figure even more, and had a new appreciation for it when I found that same troll statute in a small town on a fjord called Geiranger. Now my figure also serves a souvenir and reminder of my Norwegian adventure.

And that's why the troll joined my collection. Now that Maelstrom is about to become a thing of the past, I will hold on to him and cherish him even more. Don't you think Casey Jones also did a great job of making him look cute?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Toy Story #2 Release

Toy Story #2, the second series in the Toy Story Vinylmation line has been released today at D-Street locations and the Disney Store Online. This is an 8 figure series of 7 commons and a chaser. The series was designed by artists Maria Clapsis and Ron Cohee. Each blind box retails for $12.95

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday - EPCOT 2000

Series: Park #7
Artist: Thomas Scott
Released: October 2011

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Sci-Fi Dine In

Today I'm looking at the back of the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Vinylmation from Park #4. Everything I would expect to see on this vinyl has been included by Randy Noble. The front of the figure is the accurately detailed entrance sign, while the back shows off the inside of the restaurant.

The back of the head is the main attraction, the big theater screen at the front of the restaurant. The back of the ears represent the starry night sky in the background of the theater. A key and beautiful detail that Randy didn't overlook. Then on the back of the vinyl's body is one of the dine-in cars, with the shadow of guests sat inside enjoying their dinner and a movie.

So much fantastic detail has been included her, down to the Sci-Fi license plate on the back of the car. Arguably the back of the figure is better than the front. Another amazing, well-rounded Vinylmation. Great job Randy Noble! 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Collector of Habit - Figment

Welcome to a new edition of Collector of Habit where I share ideas of themes for collectors, to help them decide what Vinylmation figures to collect. As the Imagination Gala is in full swing over at Walt Disney World this week, for today's post I've chosen to suggest collecting - Figment!

There are several figures of Figment across the Park and Park Starz series, as well as in other series like Mystery Bakery and Nerds Rock. Take a look at these different Figment Vinylmation you can collect.

Dreamfinder and Figment

Park #7 Spacesuit Figment and the Spacesuit Figment Variant

Cupcake Figments

Nerd Figment


If you're as a big a fan of Figment as I am, you might consider adding some (or even all) of these Figment figures to your Vinylmation collection. Until next time!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Nerd Stitch

Series: Nerds Rock
Artist: Doug Strayer
Released: June 2012

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Backside of Vinyls - Master Planning

The Master Planning Vinylmation is one of the figures in the Imagineering series that was released at the D23 Expo last year. It shows the original plans for Walt Disney World mapped out on the front and the back side of this vinyl rounds of the figure nicely.

On the back of the head "Project X" is the name given to the plans for Walt Disney World. After the creation of Disneyland, Walt wanted to keep his plans and ideas for Walt Disney World a secret, and so it was known as "Project X". Final phase preliminary plot plan explains what this vinyl is.

The legend on the back of the body also continues to explain the front of the vinyl, showing the monorail, resorts, hotels and residential areas. Moving down to the feet, we  can see a scale of the map. Let's not forget the ears, no space has been wasted on the back of this Vinylmation! The vinyl's right ear shows the grid of the map, while its left ear shows a compass.

This is an extremely detailed and well-rounded Vinylmation figure. Kudos to David Buckley.