Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Kevin Flynn

Series: TRON Legacy
Artist: Eric Caszatt
Released: March 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Vinylmation Review - Adventureland Jr. Series

I love spending time in Adventureland, so when an Adventureland Jr. series was released I was instantly interested and excited to see what figures would be a part of that set. I always prefer 3" figures over Jr. figures, but I think this set is extremely high quality and it certainly drew me in, despite being a Vinylmation Jr. series.

Reasons to love this series:
  • Fantastic designs - I love the cute and colorful designs on all the figures in this series! They are bold, eye catching, and they accurately represent the bright colors of Adventureland. On top of that, each figure looks exactly as it should: the Tiki Room birds are true to life, and the expression on the Orange Bird is spot on
  • Great mix of characters - I think there's something for everyone in this set. There are more obvious characters like Jose, Michael, Pierre and Fritz, plus the Jungle Cruise Hippo and Elephant, in addition there are some more unknown characters for hardcore fans such as myself, including the Tiki Room drummer, Tiki Room Totem, the Skull from the Jungle Cruise, and Rosita, and of course, everyone loves the Orange Bird! 
  • Appealing chasers - there are 2 chasers in this series: the Tiki Room Drummer and Fritz. If you don't care for the Tiki Room, then I guess neither would be appealing chasers, but on the whole I think both designs are incredibly strong and each one appeals to a different type of collector. Most people will recognize Fritz and those who are bigger fans will recognize and chase after the Tiki Room Drummer too

Things that aren't so great:
I really don't have a single criticism of this series. There are some figures that appeal to me much less than others, but I don't think a bad design or character choice exists here. I think this set is fully representative of Adventureland and I think it's a job well done for artist Caley Hicks who designed this entire set. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Vinylmation Stories - Crush

I'm still in a Finding Nemo mood, so this week I'll be telling the story of how Crush joined my collection. Crush is from Park #11 which is actually a Park Series based on attractions from Disney's California Adventure. But Crush is equally applicable to fans of Walt Disney World as Turtle Talk with Crush (the attraction this figure is based on) features also at The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot.

I remember being blown away the first time I saw it. Even though Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor had opened before and uses the same technology, I still couldn't believe the bright colors of the tank, how it really did look like we were staring into a deep tank filled with sea creatures, the witty way in which Crush interacted with us, and how funny his jokes were.

Due to audience participation, this show is never the same twice. The impressive technology coupled with my love of Finding Nemo makes this a can't miss attraction for me when I visit Epcot. When I saw that a Vinylmation had been designed to reflect this attraction, he was a must-have for me. Ron Cohee's artwork is flawless as always, and this figure looks identical to Crush. To top it all off, we have bubbles in one ear and of course the microphone in the other ear to link to the attraction.

So that's why Crush joined my collection! As a side note, I think it would have been awesome to have had a variant figure of Crush with the above expression, wearing the bikini top!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Marvel Rocket Raccoon Eachez Release

The Marvel Rocket Raccoon Eachez has been released today at D-Street, Walt Disney World and the Disney Store Online. These figures have a Limited Edition size of 1500 meaning there are 1,350 common figures and 150 variant figures. The common figure is Rocket Raccoon (pictured left) with 9 in 10 odds of being pulled, and the variant figure is Rocket in his vintage uniform (pictured right) with 1 in 10 odds of being pulled. Both Vinylmation were designed by artist Thomas Scott, and each blind box retails at $16.99.

Frozen Eachez #3 Marshmallow Release

Frozen Eachez #3 Marshmallow has been released today at D-Street, Walt Disney World and the Disney Store Online. These figures are limited release, meaning there is no set number of figures. The common figure is Marshmallow (pictured right) with 9 in 10 odds of being pulled, while the variant figure is Marshmallow wearing Elsa's tiara (pictured left) with 1 in 10 odds of being pulled. Both Vinylmation were designed by Maria Clapsis, and each blind box retails at $14.99

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Pumbaa

Series: The Lion King
Artist: Jim Valeri
Released: July 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Collector's Space - Cubeez: A Useful Vinylmation Accessory

In today's Collector's Space post, I'll be talking about how I found Cubeez to be a very useful Vinylmation accessory. I had not heard of Cubeez until I stumbled upon them one day while visiting my local Hallmark store. Initially, I didn't understand the appeal. They're square shaped tins with different designs, many are Disney characters, but equally you can find the Muppets (not technically Disney) and Peanuts characters also. You can put stuff inside them, and stack them, but what would you put in them? Where would you stack them?

Not knowing what I would personally use them for, I left the store without buying any Cubeez. I was definitely drawn in by their cuteness, the Disney character designs, and their bright colors, but I didn't think I really needed any.

Time passed and I noticed a couple things in my Vinylmation collecting. First, I had a bunch of Vinylmation collectors cards from my figures that I didn't know what to do with. Being an avid collector, I didn't want to throw them out, but I had no idea where to keep them, so they were scattered everywhere: in drawers, in boxes with figures, in Ziplocs, the list goes on.

(The bottom slides out of the tin to allow for inside storage)

Second, I was starting to collect more Jr. figures and again, I didn't know where to keep them. They're pretty small and I didn't want them to get lost or damaged, so I needed a good place to keep those. Thirdly, I had purchased some 9" figures that came with buttons - where would I keep them? That's when Cubeez returned to mind. They would be perfect for keeping all of these Vinylmation accessories, the cards and the buttons, along with Jr. figures.

(Nemo holds my Vinylmation buttons)

I visited my local Hallmark store again and I was in luck, they had an offer on Cubeez! They had a wonderful variety of designs and if you bought 3, you'd get one free. So I got 4 Cubeez. I decided I would use one for my Vinylmation Jr. figures, one for my Vinylmation buttons, one for my Vinylmation collectors cards, and one for my Vinylmation pins.

(Dory holds my Vinylmation Collector Cards)

As you can see, I chose Nemo, Dory, Sulley and Mike. The Cubeez have worked out perfectly so far as a Vinylmation accessory! They're cute, I love their colors and how the designs look 3D from a certain angle, and they look really cool all stacked together. If you've been wondering what to do with some of your Vinylmation paraphernalia like the buttons and collectors cards, I highly recommend them!

(Mike Wazowski holds my Jr. Vinylmation)

A word of caution though, as I've covered in a previous post, Vinylmation are incredibly fragile and that's often overlooked with Jr. figures especially. If you do plan on using Cubeez for your Jr. figures, I would recommend wrapping them before putting them all together in the tin. The vinyls could rub against each other, and/or the inside of the tin and cause scratching, chipping, and paint transfer between figures. As you can see from my picture, I have one of my in a small Ziploc. I also wrap them in bubble wrap.

(Sulley holds my Vinylmation pins)

A similar word of warning if you put Vinylmation pins in your Cubeez as I have in the above picture. It's possible that they may scratch the inside of the tin, especially if you don't have rubber backed clasps. You may want to put your pins in Ziplocs to avoid this. If you are interested in using Cubeez yourself, they are available for purchase in-store and online, at a retail price of $7.95 each.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Park Starz #4 Release

Park Starz has made a triumphant return with Series #4 released today at D-Street, Disney Pin Traders, and the Disney Store Online. This blind box series has 11 common figures plus a mystery chaser. Artists Casey Jones, Caley Hicks, and Thomas Scott designed the figures and each blind box retails at $18.95.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Dory

Series: Pixar #2
Artist: Enrique Pita
Released: November 2013

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Backside of Vinyls - Bruce

In honor of Finding Dory being released on Friday, I pushed June's Backside of Vinyls post back a week and chose a Finding Nemo theme!

Bruce is of course the shark from Finding Nemo who tries very hard to stick to the motto "fish are friends, not food". The back of this Vinylmation is just a continuation of the front. We have the back of Bruce's body and his tail on the back of the vinyl's head, then on the arms of the figure are both of Bruce's fins, and the backs of the ears show waves from the sea.

On the back of the figure's body, we can see black of the deep sea Bruce swims in, along with bubbles. The neat touch about the backside of this vinyl is that on the right side of the back of the body, one of the bubbles is a hidden Mickey. That little detail is really what makes the back of this figure all the more interesting.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Throwback Thursday - World of Motion Sea Serpent

Series: Park #7
Artist: Maria Clapsis
Released: October 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Vinylmation Beginner's Guide - Vinylmation Jr. Display Ideas

Vinylmation Jr. figures don't seem to be as popular as their 3" counterparts, and I think part of the reason for that is collectors not knowing what to do with them. For me personally, I was not initially drawn to Vinylmation Jr. due to their smaller size and attachment to a keychain. I like to display my 3" figures on shelves, and Jr. figures always seemed more difficult for me to display. 

If you are also wondering how you can display Jr. Vinylmation, look no further! I hope to give you some inspiration and ideas in this post. 

(Not my collection)

The most obvious way to house your Jr. Vinylmation is in a display cabinet like in the picture above. Ikea has some fantastic display cabinets for your Jr., 9" or 3" Vinylmation. The Jr. figures in this display case are then arranged on a multi-level display box (available at the Container Store) that fits within the shelf.

If you'd like to use the keychain to display your Jr. figures, you can buy or create a pinboard and hang your Vinylmation on the pinboard using thumbtacks:

(Not my collection)

Another great idea is to use a shadowbox for your Jrs, like in the picture below. You could even use this same idea with cubbies.

(Not my collection)

As for me personally, I am currently storing my Vinylmation Jr. until I can decide on the best way for me to display them. I will post later on how I store them and add a link to that post here. I also use my Vinylmation Jr. as keychains very carefully and occasionally in order to preserve them. If you would like to read about how to preserve your Vinylmation, especially Jr. figures when using them as keychains, you should read this post.

I'm sure there are plenty of other creative ways to display your Jr. Vinylmation that I haven't covered here, but I hope this has given you a good start and inspired you to think of your own ideas!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Vinylmation Stories - Wicket

Today I'll be telling the story of why I added Wicket from Star Wars #3 to my collection. For starters, I'm a pretty big Star Wars fan. I love the movies and the score, I have a ton of Star Wars clothing and shoes, and I even have a Star Wars themed bathroom. But my passion for Star Wars does not mean I automatically buy every Star Wars Vinylmation released. I still like to stick to my favorite Walt Disney World attractions in Vinylmation form.

Wicket was the first Star Wars series Vinylmation that I purchased, and I decided that he had to join my collection because 1) Who doesn't love Ewoks? 2) He's just too adorable and 3) even though he doesn't appear in the Star Tours attraction, he reminds me of the exterior to Star Tours because it's themed to Endor, Wicket's home planet.

When I look at Wicket I think back to one of my favorite Hollywood Studios attractions - Star Tours, and that's what collecting Vinylmation is all about, the memories they bring. I have also had a great time taking pictures with Wicket at Hollywood Studios, which you can see here. I love his chubby little face, big eyes, adorable expression, and the Endor foliage in his ears. I'm very happy to own Wicket.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Captain America: Civil War Series Release

A Captain America: Civil War Vinylmation series has been released today at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and the Disney Store Online. This is an 8 figure blind box set featuring 7 commons, 2 variants and a chaser. Artist Thomas Scott designed the entire series and each blind box retails for $12.99

Star Wars Eachez #7 - Princess Leia Release

Another Star Wars Eachez has been released today at D-Street, Star Wars Galactic Outpost and the Disney Store Online. Both figures are of Princess Leia on Hoth with the common figure pictured left (9 in 10 odds) and the variant pictured right (1 in 10 odds). The Eachez has a Limited Edition size of 2,500 meaning there are 2,250 common figures and 250 variant figures. Artist Thomas Scott designed both Vinylmation and each blind box retails at $16.95

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Unicorn

Series: Fantasia #2
Artist: Thomas Scott
Released: November 2012