The Kingdom of Cute Vinylmation series was released back in and while it's more Disneyland focused and uses unique molds for each figure, I like it. It's not a favorite series of mine, and I'm not sure that I'll be picking any up because it's based on Disneyland, but I am super happy to see more park themed released. Plus these are super cute designs!
I'm surprised to see 12 figures in this series (plus three variants) because more recently series have included only 8 Vinylmation. I think 12 works here and is the farthest thing from overkill. There are so many great figures here, having 12 I think gives you a better shot at what you want.
Things to love about this series:
It's retro - I personally love the retro feel of this set. I'm all about anything retro and this works really well in my opinion. There's a feeling of nostalgia here but several of the figures are still current offering at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, such as Space Mountain
It's cute - The designs are cute juts like the box says! I'm not always a fan of cutesy things but these really work and truly are cute. Who knew you could do that with a gargoyle?
Great mix of figures - I love that this set includes attractions (Haunted Mansion, Mad Tea Party), icons (Sleepy Beauty's Castle, the Sword in the Stone) and snacks (Corn Dog, Dole Whip). It's a well balanced collection of many must-have and must-do things at the parks
New figures - Sometimes repeats of figures are justified, but not all the time. It's great to see figures in this set that haven't been seen in Vinylmation form before, like the Sword in the Stone, Sleeping Beauty's Castle and the Mint Julep, among others
Fantastic Chaser - The Chaser in this series is perfect! So well designed, and a popular and worthy figure to chase
The Variants - There are 3 variants in this series (see them here, here and here) so if you're big into collecting variants, you have your work cut out for you! I personally think the last two are unnecessary but I'm not familiar with those attractions at Disneyland so there could be a good reason for those. The Dole Whip variant however makes total sense and is a great idea for a variant! Many people swirl (including me) that it makes a very worthy variant
Things that aren't so great:
As a veteran of Walt Disney World, I would find this set a lot more appealing if it were geared toward WDW as opposed to Disneyland. There is some overlap for sure: Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, Popcorn, Dole Whip and The Jungle Cruise, but that's not enough for me to blind box these figures with only half the set appealing to me. The Mad Tea Party does not look like Magic Kingdom's version, nor does the Skyway, so those are out.
The price - at $18.99 a blind box, I have even more reason not to gamble with my money by blind boxing these figures. I know Park Starz are that price but they seem to be much higher quality figures, and they come in fancier presentation boxes. These figures are sold in regular paper boxes like 3" Mickey mold figures. I know the Mickey Cartoon series also retails at $18.99 so perhaps that will always be the Vinylmation price point from here on out, but I think that's steep for both series. The former price of $12.95 per box was much more reasonable.
Recently I posted the bulk of my Vinylmation collection and how I display them (check that post out here). I also mentioned that I have many, many more vinyls than that and I collect in subcollections. The bulk of my Vinylmation are Park figures because that's what drew me to Vinylmation, but other figures started to catch my eye and so began my collecting of other series. Today I want to share one of those subcollections - my Marvel collection.
I grew up reading Marvel comics my whole childhood, which is part of the reason why I love the movies so much. I get to see these comics come to life and remember my happy childhood days reading the comics. My favorites were Spider-Man and X-Men, which were the two I read the most, but I also read Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Captain America.
When Disney released Mavel Vinylmation I had to get some! The series received some criticism because the figures didn't look like the movie characters, but I was pleased that they didn't. I loved that these vinyls were taken straight from the comics I knew and loved! Later duplicate figures were released of some of these characters that were designed to look like their movie counterparts. I passed on those.
I have (left to right) Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, J. Jonah Jameson, Doctor Octopus, The Green Goblin and Electro. I love these vinyls because they're comic accurate, they remind me of reading those comics as a child, and they also remind me of Marvel Superhero Island over at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure, where all of my vinyls except Iron Man feature. I think these vinyls are expertly designed by artist Thomas Scott and I love the perfect accessories three of them have!
So that's one of my subcollections that I'm very proud of and is currently sitting on my desk at home.
For this month's installment of The Backside of Vinyls, I'm looking at the Red Car Trolley from the Disney's California Adventure series. I've only been to DCA once (and that was over 10 years ago) but I love the nostalgic, old Hollywood feel of this vinyl even though I've never experienced the Red Car Trolley.
The most obvious feature on the back of this Vinylmation is Walt Disney's signature in the back of the right ear. I think this is a really cute use of the space even though (to my knowledge) it's not directly related to the attraction. On the back of the head we can see silhouettes of some of the features of Disney's California Adventure. To the far left are palm trees next to a silhouette of the Carthay Circle restaurant.
Carthay Circle is one of the more memorable eateries over at DCA and features recognizable architecture that looks great as a silhouette on the back of this vinyl. The next silhouette is California Adventure's Tower of Terror attraction, which is now Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.