It's been a while, but it's time for another Vinylmation Review! Today I'm reviewing Park Starz #5, which was released in January 2017. I know some collectors still aren't sold on Park Starz figures. It took me a while. The most off-putting aspect for me is the higher price tag at $18.99 a blind box. But we now have the 5th series in the line and I think they're still going strong!
Things to love about this series:
- The return of some greats - we've already had a Vinylmation of Trader Sam, Waldo, the goat chewing dynamite and the hitchhiking ghosts, but here they are again with a new mold and looking fabulous! I love that Trader Sam actually has an umbrella, Waldo has a butterfly on his back, and Phineas the Hitchhiking ghost has a briefcase.
- The theme continues - for those collecting a specific theme, Park Starz #5 continues many of the themes the earlier Park Starz series created. There's another Pirates of the Caribbean figure, Hitchhiking Ghost, another Country Bear, and another It's A Small World pair.
- Good mix of parks represented - while this set is still Disneyland/Magic Kingdom heavy with 3/4 of the set being from those two parks jointly, Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Hong Kong Disneyland are all represented.
- New characters - this set offers a couple new characters that we've never seen before on any Vinylmation canvas. We have an elephant from the Kilimanjaro Safari, Henry (and Sammy) from the Country Bear Jamboree, and a Computer Engineer from Spaceship Earth.
- The added nostalgia - I love the inclusion of Skippy from extinct Magic Kingdom attraction Alien Encounter. It brings some nostalgia to the set and appeals to collectors like me who like to remember past attractions in Vinylmation form, as well as add current park icons to their collection. For Disneyland park goers, Henry from the Country Bear Jamboree may also serve as a nostalgic figure.
- Variants really are variants - for the first time in a Park Starz series, the variant figures are actually variants, seeded into sets in an unknown ratio as opposed to being limited edition figures sold separately, as was the former method with Park Starz.
Things that aren't so great:
I honestly think there's something for everyone here. However, the chaser for me is a huge let down. For those who haven't visited Hong Kong Disneyland (which I assume is the majority of Vinylmation collectors here in the U.S.) Albert from Mystic Manor is pretty much unknown and therefore undesirable. I know that Vinylmation are sold overseas, and so Disney wants to add characters that give a more widespread appeal, but I can't help but think that the main market for Vinylmation is here. Having said that, perhaps the chaser is the best way to go in that respect, because collectors like me who don't want that particular figure are less likely to blox it and get stuck with it. Either way I think the chaser is supposed to be one of the more sought after figures (hence the "chase") and this figure does not fit that description.
Overall I think this is a very strong set and I am glad to see Park Starz return for another series!