Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Year in Review: MC Remembers the Un-Remembered

Each day this week, someone from the Destination Vinylmation staff will give their Top 10 list from 2011. The lists can include just about anything from figures to sets to headlines to personal moments. Please feel free to comment with your favorites and memorable stories from the past year as well. (Other lists: Nick, Annemarie, Zoe, Claudia)
Podcast Host / Writer

I thought I'd make my list a bit different from everyone else. I took the other four lists and used them to create a fifth list, "Those who have yet to be named." So here is my list of the Top Ten As Of Yet Unmentioned of 2011.

10. Park 7
A full set of 12 figures that represent one single park seems crazy, but by all accounts this set has been a success.

The collective thematic design of the set and packaging takes the Park series a step forward. I'll talk more about cohesion in the next part, but I like how they did this set. Thank you Disney. I can't wait til Park 8!

9. Small World Juniors 4

I don't collect Juniors, but if I did, this is the set that I would start with. Until this set, the Juniors sets were themed, but almost randomly. This set, by Thomas Scott, perfectly showed how much detail could be on a junior, as well as how cohesive and Disney-fied a set of juniors could be.
I'm glad this idea is continuing with the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set scheduled for release in 2012.

8. Variants
This happened by surprise early this year, and we had a direct connection to it. At the Star Wars event outside D-Street in January, Nick pulled the very first (and to date one of the coolest) variants... Ghost Obi-wan.
No one knew it even existed until Nick's Obi-wan (and his hand) were tweeted around the world. It was a great time to be a Vinylmation collector and that moment has almost never been topped.

7. 1st DeeVee Awards
Along with our Anniversary (see below) we got a chance to produce our first awards show. Not only was the writing and production fun (and hard work, just ask Nick) but we also got to invite a lot of friends to present the awards. The awards themselves were a great chance to poll the public and see what they were thinking. We had so many more ballets then we ever thought we would. It made it difficult to count the votes, but we loved how many people responded. Congrats to all the nominees for this year's DeeVee awards. It's an honor just to be able to nominate you!

6. D23
Back in August, Nick and I both attended the D23 event in Anaheim, CA. The biggest Disney fan event showed us new video games, attractions, and t-shirt designs; but the most interesting part was the new Vinylmation that were revealed. Along with them we got to meet Thomas Scott again (he gave me a signed Bearded Man) and Alex Maher (designer of the DLR Poster set and various pins), both of whom were the nicest people. Another cool part of the convention was meeting up with all our online CA friends. Including meeting Zoe for the first time in person. This would have been higher on the list, but I'm sure my cold later in the trip was caught during the Con.

5. Non Vinyl Accessories

Accessories are always an interesting part of any one's collection. With Combo Contest #3 around the corner, the new mold's accessories are going to be thrust out front and center. But until this year, all the hats and glasses have been vinyl. Starting in January (at various times depending on when the Disney Store decided to release them) accessorizing was taken to the next step... non-vinyl pieces. It started with the skirt of the 9" Hippo and will continue with the bow on the back of Marie from Furry Friends. I applaud the "outside of the box" ideas like this from the Disney Artists that allow for the interesting approaches in design that are now being implemented with more frequency.

4. Foreign/13 Piece Sets
Location Exclusives took a new step this year with several full sets being offered in foreign countries. What were only single Vinylmations in the past (like Caribbean Hero Mickey), now are fulls sets (both Zodiac sets, and maybe the future Paris set) based and released in other nations. Not only that, but now several of those sets have multiple chasers. Just when we finally thought we knew all their moves, Disney Vinylmation busts out a new one.

3. Cast Traders
This year saw the arrival of 2, well 3, different Cast Trader Variants. Starting with the two WDW 40th Anniversary variants and continuing with the Florida Project exclusive Orange Bird, we now have several pieces that you can only get from trade boxes.
Thanks to Chris for this pic
While I'd find it amusing if we could actually trade with Cast Members wearing lanyards filled with Vinylmation, these pieces we rare, but not too hard to get (if you went to the appropriate events.) What will come next? Will the two new Nerds be Cast Member Traders only?

2. First 3" Princess Announced
Finally, after years of waiting, we have confirmed proof of the first 3" Princess. This might seem like an odd choice, but everyone I know continues to ask when the princesses are coming.
Now we have an answer. January 30th. When will the next be announced?

1. The One Year Anniversary of Destination Vinylmation
I can't believe that the website and the podcast both lasted a few months, let alone a full year (and more)! We've had so much fun doing both, not to mention all the great people we've meet. A giant thanks to everyone for such a great 2011 and here's to 2012!

If you haven't already, post your Top Ten list for 2011 right here in our comments sections and share with us your opinion!

Animation 2 Vinylmation Explained

Animation 2
Release Date: January 13
Where: D-Streets and Disney Stores
Price: TBA

Artist Signing
January 13, 2012 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
D-Street Orlando
The artists currently scheduled to attend include Mike Sullivan, Casey Jones, Monty Maldovan, Thomas Scott, Adrianne Druade and Eric Caszatt.

Please leave your thoughts below... here's mine. Character selection is phenomenal! Love the mix of classic and computer animation with some shorts and TV tossed into the mix. It's also a nice 50/50 mix of main to supporting characters. Overall, after seeing some recent releases, I expected a tiny bit more in the detail. I think most of these are great designs, but I'm not sure they stand up to the sets we saw released in late 2011 and will see in early 2012. That being said, most are spot on capturing the film character. The artist star of this set is Casey Jones. He designed 5 of the 12 known figures and 3 of my personal favorites... Donald, Sebastian and Jose Carioca. He also used the ears better than any artist in this set. The inclusion of Kim Possible, a TV character, makes me excited about future set lists. Disney talks about 2 variants... what do you think they will be?

Bambi (1942)
Artist: Casey Jones
The skunk is drawn well and true to the character. I could use more, but the green ears well represent the forest backdrop. (more than white)

Jungle Book (1967)
Artist: Adrianne Draude
Although I like the Disney Afternoon version better, Adrianne really captured Baloo's happy go lucky face.

Chicken Little
Chicken Little (2005)
Artist: Monty Maldovan
We have now seen new mold sets with lots of detail and shading, so I feel I want more and this is an example that falls a little flat for me. I would expect some show of feathers on the head. But I love, love, love the falling sky reference in the ears!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Artist: Monty Maldovan
Perfect. If your not going to go stylistic, I like when artists try to capture the character in the style they were originally done. This seems to capture the simple yet beautiful art of this classic Disney film.

John Henry
John Henry (2000)
Artist: Mike Sullivan
The most obscure choice in the set. This character is based on a 10 minute Disney short. Really like the hammer and the expression on the face.

Kim Possible
Kim Possible (2002-2007)
Artist: Thomas Scott
I applaud the awesome character choice. I like the way the face is drawn and I can see design wise why the pants had to come up so high, but go look at the Light Up set Rapunzel for how the hair can frame the face to slim it down. But i'm very happy she was included.

Jose Carioca
Three Caballeros (1944)
Artist: Casey Jones
Yay! So glad he is recognized here. Great face. Fantastic hat. The stars in the ears finish this one off very well.

The Little Mermaid (1989)
Artist: Casey Jones
What a perfect use of different vinyl features! The claws are welcome here. The blue clear ears and feet to give the water and bubble effect!

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
Artist: Mike Sullivan
Not only did they do a tail, but the did it right.

Tinker Bell
Peter Pan (1957)
Artist: Casey Jones
No offence, but don't get another Tink here. I understand there are a ton of back stage designing, production and scheduling that we don't know the timeline of, but this is just a lesser but almost identical version of the Park 7 Tink:

Donald Duck
Fantasia 2000 (2000)
Artist: Casey Jones
Best Donald face yet by a Disney Artist! Great choice for a character and I love the use of rain in the ears and drops of water all around the head. This Donald is from the Noah's Ark scene in the Fantasia update.

Mystery Chaser

Your thoughts?

Combo Topper
Jiminy Cricket
Pinocchio (1940)
Artist: Bob Holden
This is Bob's first Vinylmation and a great job. Jiminy fits the mold well and the artist did a great job with proportions. The hat is magnificent. I hate to do this... but umbrella seems to be a no brainer. We will see.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Maleficent Reaction

Update: 12/29/11 Patrick got a positive response from the Disney Store soon after we posted this article: Just to give you an update, has giving me the option of returning for credit, full refund or keep it and get 15% off.  I chose for the refund naturally.

We just posted an article pointing out the difference in how certain NOAH Vinylmation are advertised. Along those lines, we received an email from a listener Patrick who purchased the $650 NOAH Vault 28 Online exclusive 9" Hand Painted Limited Release Maleficent Vinylmation. Here is what he wrote:

I recently just received my Custom Noah Maleficent from I was very excited and looking forward to this piece ever since I saw preview photographs of it from the Villains Event back in November at Disneyland.
NOAH 9" Maleficent on display at Villains Event at DLR

NOAH holding the 9" Maleficent he designed

After opening and looking at my NEW Noah. I noticed something didn't look right. The colors for the flames and Dragon weren't as vibrant as what Noah showed off at the event and what was advertised on I really felt mislead by Disney and Noah.
Picture from product page on

Notice how vibrant the yellow flames and dragon are. The colors pop out to you. The flames are even bigger and filled. Now if you look at the piece I have received, the piece is very dark and monochromatic. I need to shine a very bright light close up to see the piece or take it outside in the bright sun. The flames and dragon head yellows are very flat.
9" NOAH Maleficent Patrick received in mail

9" NOAH Maleficent Patrick received in mail

Also if you look back at the Villains Rotten Apple Piece, the “V” on the face is totally different from what he previewed. You can even see the Preview “V” on his website. It looks totally different from what he sold. At least that piece, I saw what I was buying so I accepted the difference. With Maleficent I had no choice.

As you know, accepts no refunds, exchanges or returns. If you read the reviews on the product page, I’m not the only one not satisfied about this piece. Spending money on these customs are not cheap. I think I should get for what I was showed and paid for.

That was the email we received from Patrick. We would like to note, that the Disney Store does state that no two of these NOAH Vinylmation will be exactly the same. However, based on the pictures he gave us, the product Patrick received seems to have a significantly different final look than the advertised product.

Did anyone else get the NOAH Maleficent Vinyl Online?

(Below is a screen capture of the three reviews posted on the Disney Store as of 12/28/11. Click to enlarge.)

Exclusive WDW Fantasyland Construction Aerial Photos

by Nick LoCicero

Why hop on Dumbo and peak over the WDW Fantasyland expansion construction fence when I can hop aboard a news chopper and see it from 1,500 feet? I hope you enjoy these exclusive pictures just as much as I enjoyed taking them on Wednesday. I posted these at and have many more WDW pics to share from that flight, but these I wanted to get to you right away.

Spotlight On: Custom Vinylmation Artist Shannyn

Shannyn wanted to share this Christmas Vinylmation Custom treat with everyone:

Three vinyl Snowmen

A great looking "snow" texture on these.

The stick arms are painted on like that are coming out of the snow.

The ears are adorned with snowflakes and a bird.

2011 Year in Review: Claudia Remembers "A New Era in Collecting"

Each day this week, someone from the Destination Vinylmation staff will give their Top 10 list from 2011. The lists can include just about anything from figures to sets to headlines to personal moments. Please feel free to comment with your favorites and memorable stories from the past year as well. (Other lists: Nick, Annemarie, Zoe)
Custom Artist / Writer

I have collected “things” ever since I could remember, but my collections have always been random… I began collecting stickers and erasers when I was a child. While in college, I loved anything Garfield. As an adult, I began acquiring Disney and Pixar items at a steady rate… but it was nothing like collecting VINYLMATION!

As we approach the end of this year, I would love to share with you what I call “NEW ERA OF COLLECTING: MY GREAT VINYLMATION EVENTS OF 2011.”

10. My First Vinylmation
My twin sister surprised me with a small gift in February 2011; it was a 3 inch figure that looked like Pinocchio.
 It was then that I was introduced to VINYLMATION! Needless to say, this was when my addiction for these little Disney figures began (and it was downhill from there for my wallet!).

9. Trading
I am a researcher, so naturally, I went online and looked-up everything I could about vinylmations. Thanks to Google, I found Destination Vinylmation. Everything I needed to know about vinylmations was in one entertaining website. It was there that I learned about the March Trade Event coming up at the Contemporary Resort within Disney World! The trade event was scheduled to begin at 6pm, but as an early bird, I arrived at 4pm. Sitting by the front door, I began to talk to other collectors, and found out that I was not alone with my obsession for these little guys. I was not there to trade, because my entire collection consisted of 2 Vinylmations (Pinocchio donkey ears, and Marie the cat); instead, I was there to learn about this new hobby and to make friends… and that is exactly what I did. The room filled very quickly, and between the pin and vinylmation collectors, it was a full house that night! I was on Vinylmation OVERLOAD! There were tables and tables FULL of Vinylmations…as far as my eyes could see. I heard some of the pin traders complaining about the “Vinylmation collectors’ invasion.” I had a blast, and after the event was over, I went home to make my list of “must-have” Vinylmations.

8. Camping for Vinyl
My first Vinylmation “camp-out” was on May 27 for the highly anticipated Disney Afternoon Duck Tales. Since I had missed out on the Talespin set, I was determined to get my hands on the Scrooge McDuck & Launchpad McQuack set. D-Street was not scheduled to open until 10:30am, but my gut feeling told me to get there extra early…so I arrived in Downtown Disney at approximately 6:45am to find a line of 15 people by the door.
 I quickly rushed to take my place, and began to talk to other people anxiously waiting in line. I was so happy to get this set, and it is now proudly displayed alongside my other DA sets. From all the Disney Afternoon sets, Duck Tales was the easiest one for me to acquire, because as popularity for the DA sets grew, so did the early lines (not to mention the Goof Troop online disaster).

7. Meeting the Artists
By the following trade event at WDW on May 20, my vinylmation collection had grown tremendously and I was more than ready to wheel-and-deal. I had my wish list in hand, and my “traders” neatly organized in several tackle-box trays. I had a blast…I was able to get many of the vinyls on my wish list, and made new friends. An added bonus was when I met the Disney Artist, Lisa Badeen. She was standing next to me at one of the trading tables, and a fellow collector was asking her to sign her vinyl… I was intrigued, and so I moved closer to listen-in… Apparently, Lisa was trying to trade a Vinylmation and the trader kindly asked for her autograph on one of vinyls she designed. Afterwards, I approached Lisa and congratulated her on her creative designs. Here are some of the vinylmations Lisa Badeen has designed: P1 Teacups, P3 It’s a Small World chaser, U2 Chocolate Mickey Bar, and U5 Pink Rock Star.

6. Customs
As my obsession for vinylmations grew, so did my desire to make my own customs. By the end of May, I had completed several retro-style Minnie & Mickey Mouse customs. To my surprise, they caught the attention of Destination Vinylmation’s founders, Nick and MC. They decided to do a “Spotlight” on my customs, and I was on cloud 9! Here is a link to the article in case you wish to read more about it: I also made a video of my customs in case you wish to view it:

5. Star Wars
When I heard that the Star Wars set was being re-released, I was so excited to get my hands on my very own case. As an added bonus to the release, the Disney Artist who designed this set, Mike Sullivan, was coming to Hollywood Studios for a signing event on May 28! I knew I could not miss this, so I quickly rushed through the crowds to buy my case and get in line. I picked out the 2 vinyls I wanted Mike to sign: Darth Vader and Obi Wan (he was signing 2 vinyls per person).

4. Pirates of the Caribbean
One of my favorite rides at the Magic Kingdom is Pirates of the Caribbean, so I immediately knew I was getting a full case of POTC once I knew of its release (July 1st). In addition to its release, the designer of this amazing set, Casey Jones, was present to sign his new creations. Here is more information, pictures, and video of the event:

3. Up Figure Release
If you know me, you know that one of my top movies ever is Disney Pixar’s UP! So on June 24, I made sure to be 1st in line at the release of the 9 inch UP vinylmation. I arrived at D-Street at 5:30am, and I was over-joyed to find no one in line! As time grew closer to the store opening, I noticed that Maria Clapsis was standing across from D-Street. I immediately went over to Maria, and asked her what she was doing? She replied: “I am waiting to buy my UP vinyl.” I insisted that she go first, but she kindly refused by stating: “I don’t want to upset anyone who has been waiting in line.” I walked back to the store-front and asked the others if it would bother them to have MARIA CLAPSIS go first, and NO ONE objected. I then walked back to Maria, and insisted that she go first… Again, she kindly refused with the same reasoning as before. It was now 10:30am, and the doors were opened, but everyone in-line refused to enter before Maria Clapsis did. Finally, Maria caved-in and took her rightful place in-front!

2. Meeting Artist Randy Noble
On July 29, my family and I decided to go to Downtown Disney and mingle with the tourists. We ate some tasty food at the Earl of Sandwich, and afterwards, we walked over to the Art of Disney to find that RANDY NOBLE was doing a special appearance and signing to promote his new artwork. Fortunately, I had several of my Vinylmations with me, because you never know when a good opportunity will present itself; plus I also bring extras with me to trade at blind-boxes throughout Downtown Disney. So, I asked Randy if he would sign one, and he said “I can sign all of them if you like…” I was ECSTATIC! Here are a few pictures of that day:

1. The Florida Project
My most amazing and exciting moment/event as a vinylmation collector this year has to be the Florida Project held on September 11 at the EPCOT Center. I arrived with my entire arsenal of vinylmations, and my two trusty assistants, my husband and my nephew. The lines were long, but they were moving fairly fast.
This was the MOTHER of all trade events. There were multiple trade boxes that were being filled with the best vinyls (variants, chasers, and the FL Project exclusive Orange Bird Cast Chaser). Along with the trade boxes, there were games, presentations, sneak peeks, and so much more.
After trading multiple times at the trade boxes, I had the chance to meet with several of the Disney Artists and get their autographs: Maria Clapsis, Casey Jones, Monty Maldovan, Thomas Scott, Lin Shih, and Caley Hicks. They were gracious enough to sign my recently completed custom, which I call her “#1 Disney Fan.” If you would like to see a video of this, please go to:
Once my vinyls were signed, I went over to the tables and set-up my trading display. As my family watched over my vinyls, I made my rounds amongst the other traders. I was able to acquire many of the missing pieces to my sets. However, it was getting increasingly harder to get the older pieces, because other people were doing the same thing. All in all, it was a great trading event…one I will NEVER forget!

Through my Vinylmation collecting journey, I have met so many wonderful people and have made long-lasting friendships. I am proud to say I am Vinylmation obsessed, and I don’t plan to quit any time soon.

I hope you all have a HAPPY NEW YEAR filled with chasers and variants!!!!!