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. 

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