Friday, July 29, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Series #2

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Series #2 has been released today at Disney Pin Traders, Star Wars Galactic Outpost, D-Street, the Launch Bay and the Disney Store Online. This is a an 8 figure set with 7 commons and a chaser, plus two variants it seems. The entire set was designed by artist Billy Davis and each blind box retails at $14.99.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Lifeguard

Series: Cutesters at the Beach
Artist: Patty Landing
Released: February 2012

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Vinylmation Review - Park Starz #4

I was thrilled to see the return of the Park Starz line with the release of Park Starz Series #4! I've posted before on how it took some time for me to come around and appreciate Park Starz figures since their literal break of the mold was an adjustment to my love of uniformity. I'm glad to see that Park Starz have not gone the way of the 9" Vinylmation and that this set keeps to high expectations, bringing the usual mix of current characters and extinct attractions from Disney Parks across the world.

Reasons to love this series:
  • Strong set - Park Starz #4 is a 12 figure set, which is bigger than the usual set size of 8 figures these days. Despite the higher number of figures, this set is still very strong and high quality, with no obvious undesirable characters
  • Original characters - Most of the characters in this set have already been a Vinylmation in the past and are appearing as Park Starz figures for the first time (Ace, the Iguanadon, Pirates of the Caribbean dog, etc.) however, there are still some original characters entering the Vinylmation world for the first time, including the It's A Small World girl and penguin, Mr. Potato Head as he appears in Toy Story Mania, and the reindeer from Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
  • Variants - Park Starz series have previously sold variants separately as a Limited Edition figure or set. For this series, the variants have been seeded in to the regular blind boxes, in the same way variants are found within regular Vinylmation series. That has really mixed things up and made this set more appealing. On top of that, the artists made some great choices when picking variants for this set. Yes there's the usual sepia Pirates of the Caribbean variant, but I love the Cadaver Dan variant! So appropriate and perfectly executed! 
  • Appealing to everyone - With characters from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disney, I think there's something for everyone in this set
  • Great balance of old characters mixed with new - I mean this in two ways: firstly, the characters that we've already seen as Vinylmation have taken Park Starz form in a new and exciting way. (I especially love the Colonel and the Dapper Dan!) Secondly, I mean there's a good balance of current attractions represented, like It's A Small World and the Iguanadon from Dinosaur, mixed with old favorites from attractions no longer in existence, like the Colonel and Communicore
  • Creative designs - I love the mold shapes and colors, and the only characters I couldn't instantly recognize were from parks that I hadn't visited. Great work from Thomas Scott, Casey Jones and Caley Hicks! 

Things that aren't so great:
  • Personally, the Phantom Manor figures and the chaser don't appeal to me since I haven't ever visited Tokyo Disney, and I haven't been to Disneyland Paris in over 10 years
  • I think mixing the variants in to the regular set instead of selling them separately adds to the number of people who will blind box the set and keep it popular, but I wish I could save myself the money and buy it separately like I've done in the past
  • I also don't find the sepia Pirates of the Caribbean dog variant very appealing. If you've started collecting these I can see how that would make a pretty cool continuation of your set, but I haven't bought any so far and I'm started to get bored of how repetitive that variant style has gotten

Overall, I really do love this set! I think Park Starz has come back with a bang and I really hope I can pick up all of the figures I want from this set. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Hot Dog

Series: Urban #8
Artist: Dan Howard
Released: December 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Vinylmation Dreaming - Captain EO

Welcome to another Vinylmation Dreaming post, where I talk about Vinylmation that I hope are produced someday. Today I want to share my idea for a Captain EO Vinylmation. Captain EO seems to be a love it or hate it attraction. It had two runs at Walt Disney World (1986-1994 and 2010-2015) and now that it's second run has sadly come to an end, I think it's time for this extinct attraction to be immortalized as a Vinylmation.

I found a Captain EO Vinylmation by custom artist Justin Marshall, and I think his design would be just perfect! While the obvious option would be a vinyl of Michael Jackson as Captain EO, using his image may be an issue. Either way, I think Justin's design is far more creative. He used the body, arms and legs of the figure for the Captain EO logo, with a background of outer space and stars. I love the metallic colors he's used! The head represents the black screen of the theater, with purple 3D glasses on the face to represent the audience watching the 3D attraction.

Another neat feature of Justin's design is the silver glove on the vinyl's head, a wonderful nod to Captain EO himself. I think this design would work incredibly on either a 3" Vinylmation figure, or as a 9" like Justin created. Maybe this could be part of the MIA Park #15 set?

Or even an Eachez with Captain EO and the Supreme Leader:

It could even be a 9"/3" or 3"/Jr. combo with Captain EO's sidekick Fuzzball:

I would buy any form of a Captain EO Vinylmation for sure! I hope one day one of these ideas comes to fruition.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Vinylmation Stories - Toy Story Alien

Toy Story is one of my favorite Disney movies, so naturally, I'm also a big fan of the Toy Story Mania attraction over at Disney's Hollywood Studios. When I discovered that a Vinylmation set had been made for Toy Story Mania, I knew I needed at least one of those in my collection to remind me of the attraction.

The Toy Story Mania series is based on Andy's drawings which you see while waiting in line for the attraction. While Woody and Buzz are much more memorable, my favorite vinyl in the series was the Alien. I think he looks just perfect as one of Andy's drawings. And so the Alien was added my Vinylmation collection!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

Series: Muppets #1
Artist: Monty Maldovan
Released: February 2010

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Backside of Vinyls - Trader Sam

For today's installment of The Backside of Vinyls, I'm taking a look at Trader Sam from Park #13. Of course for the most part, Trader Sam is the same on the back as he is on the front. We can see the back of his skirt, his arm and leg decorations, and the umbrella in his ear. But a small little detail on the back of this figure is what I want to bring your attention to today. I've had to remove Sam's hat in order to show you this detail better, but don't worry, I haven't lost this important accessory!

If you take a look in the back of Sam's left ear, you can see a sign that reads, "Sale 2 for 1!" Now while that's not an actual sign next to Trader Sam on the Jungle Cruise, this is a reference to the Jungle Cruise Skipper's joke that Trader Sam has a great deal going on right now, "Two of his heads, for one of yours". This small detail is a great use of what would otherwise be blank space in the ear, and a detail that big fans of the Jungle Cruise will get a kick out of. Until next time!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Patriot

Series: Holiday #2
Artist: Maria Clapsis
Released: December 2010

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Collector of Habit - Fantasmic

For today's installment of Collector of Habit, I'll be suggesting collecting Fantasmic themed Vinylmation, after the nighttime show at Disney's Hollywood Studios. By my count, there are over 46 different characters in Fantasmic, so in the interest of keeping this blog post manageable, I will not be listing them all. (If you can believe it, not all of those characters exist in Vinylmation form anyway). Instead, I will be listing the more major characters from the show as suggestions for starting a Fantasmic themed collection.

In order of appearance, why not start with Mickey from Park #7, the star of our show in the outfit he first appears in:

Mickey gets the party started in his Sorcerer outfit from Park #5:

I think Jiminy Cricket is a pretty memorable Fantasmic character, as the imagery on the water moves on to Monstro, so why not add him from Animation #2:

Next our first Villain appears on the stage, Radcliffe from Pocahontas and Villains #1:

Later on in the show when the princesses pass by on floats, Ariel and Prince Eric can be seen from The Little Mermaid series:


Then the second villain makes her way on stage, the Evil Queen from Snow White and Villains #2, who talks to the Magic Mirror from Park #5 before becoming a witch from Villains #1:


Another big bad villain appears shortly afterwards on the water projection to the Night on Bald Mountain score - it's Chernabog from Villains #3:

Followed by Jafar from the Aladdin series, who then turns into a snake:

Then Maleficent  from Villains #4 takes the stage before turning into a dragon from the Sleeping Beauty series:


Thankfully, Mickey as the Brave Little Tailor from Park #9 saves the day by defeating Maleficent. He then returns to celebrate with friends aboard Steamboat Willie:


If you're a big fan of Fantasmic, you might want to choose some of these figures for your Vinylmation collection. Until next time!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

Star Wars Legion Series 2 Release

The second Star Wars Legion series has been released today at the Disney Store Online. There are 5 common figures plus a mystery chaser, to make a total of 6 figures in the series, making the second series smaller than the original 8 figure series released last year. Each blind box retails at $12.95

Friday, July 01, 2016

Star Wars #6 Max Rebo Band Eachez Release

The Star Wars #6 Max Rebo Band Eachez has been released today at Disneyland, the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disney Store Online. This Eachez has a limited edition size of 1,500 meaning there are 1,350 common figures and only 150 variant figures. The common figure (pictured left on the box) is Sy Snootles with a 9 in 10 chance of being in the box. The variant figure (pictured right on the box) is Droopy McCool with a 1 in 10 chance of being in the box. Both figures were designed by artist Billy Davis and each blind box retails at $16.99.