Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vinylmation are working on their roar!

Today Disney announced that their will be a vinylmation Lion King set. In an unprecedented announcement, Disney told us not only that the Lion King set will be a 12 piece blind box set, but that it will be a Disney Store Exclusive and it will be released on August 29nd 2011! They also emphasized Mufasa!

There are plenty of characters, but they have already done a young Simba (he was the combo topper from Animation 1) and Banzai (from Villains 1). Who would you like to be in the set? Rafiki? ect....

Also, would you feel obligated to go out and find the Young Simba and Banzai to add to your Lion King set?? WOuld you want a second one of each to you could display them with the original sets and the Lion King set at the same time? (That's what I do with the Little Green Men from Park 2!!)
Let us know...
The Lion King Logo pic is from

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities

This past weekend saw the release of some city specific Vinylmation, one on each coast. The similarities end there however as the New York release was by all accounts a smooth affair. However, the San Francisco release left some unhappy costumers wondering why there were not enough Vinylmation to handle the demand. If you missed it on our podcast, Episode 027, we aired some of your comments about the SF store situation. But first, the Playwright sent in some pictures of the new NYC exclusive 3" Hey Taxi.
The colors on this figure, like its 9" counterpart, really pop!

On the back, you can see Mickey looking out at the city.

Of course, the 3" comes in the beloved tins! Nice detail inside.

Artist card is included.

NYC has already seen it's share of exclusives. Take a look here for our review last fall of the 9" Hey Taxi with close ups of all the detail it has to offer.

San Francisco was all a buzz this weekend with the release of it's first two exclusive vinyls. The first was a 9" Golden Gate Bridge with an LE of  1540.
The second figure was a 3" SF Trolly in a tin. This figure is not Limited Edition.
People lined up as early as about 1am outside a store that would open that Sunday at 11am. There was much excitement for these figures, but unfortunately not everyone would walk away with figures. Here are a few reports from listeners that were at the SF store

Cynthia, who also reported on the Sci-Fi Trading academy on the podcast, gave her report: 
"My roommate got to the store at 2 am and was 5th in line.  I was sixth - by the time the manager came out to talk to us about 10:00 am the line was at least 100 people long. The manager came down the line with two other cast members.  One of them stamped our hand, and with a pen wrote our place # on our hand by the stamp.  They had 98 of the 9" and 184 of the 3".  The limits were two 9" per person and five 3" per person.  They asked us how many we were going to buy and kept count so they would know when they were going to run out.  They let us in to the store about 10:30 am and let us start buying instead of waiting to open at 11 am.  So my roommate and I were done by 10:35.  Lots of people drove up from LA."

Marcia wrote: 
"I wanted to express my complaint and bad experience I received today. I woke up extra early to be in line by 6:00 am to get my hands on the San Francisco exclusive Vinylmation but to find out that the Disney Store did not receive their full shipment and only the people at the top of the line were going to get the Vinylmations.  We should of gotten some kind of voucher so that way when we return at least there would some kind of acknowledgement that we were present on the day it was released."

Nick J Called in with his report:
"It was pretty much a mess. They said for the 9", which are LE 1540, the store only had 100 in stock and there are probably over 200 people in line. The Cast Members did not know how many 3" they had, but they sold out of those as well. They said they will have more, but don't know when."

With Vinylmation at such heights in popularity, it is odd to me that they didn't have a hefty stock of the SF exclusive Vinylmation in hand on release day. Were you there? Did you get your hands on one? What do you think of the SF designs?

Pirates make your wallet walk the gang plank on July 1st

There's been a lot of new recently about the Pirates Party on July 1st at WDW for the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean 3" series. (The set also comes out the same day in California, but with less pomp and circumstance.)

The party starts at 10:30 AM (when the store opens) this Friday. The new 12 figure blind box series will be on sale then, for $12.95 (according to Claudia who called Disney). That series is by Casey Jones.

Also available that day will be several one of a kind Pirates themed custom vinylmations that will be sold separately. (Similar to the idea of the ones they released on CA a little bit back.) Wristbands will be handed out for these special customs. Each band is limited to purchasing only ONE custom, and all are first come first serve. (At the moment we don't have the prices of any of these officially, but I would suspect that the NOAH ones are $595.)

Here are the ones that Disney has announced...

First up, this vinyl by new artist Gary Ham. We didn't know who these was, but after checking out his blog at we really like the way this guys thinks. (Especially the Superman reference) His vinylmation is right on par with the rest of his artwork. Disney spoke to him and he explained his thoguht process for this piece, "The inspiration behind the figure was to tell a story of pirate voyage and all that they encounter while in search of treasure." The hat is interesting, as it is removable, but also fits over one ear instead of between them. I think the design looks pretty cool, but like most of this set I'm sure the price is a little out of my range. (Plus, and I hope this is on purpose, I enjoy that his name is Ham and the piece is pink!)

Another new artist to Vinylmationis Robert Lee from Check out his pirate variation. I love the M-I-C-K-E-Y on the pirate's knuckles, and the Mickey Ears on the skull and cross bones on his ear. I'd love this one as a 3" for like $25!

Jeff Lamm's piece is up next. Also a newbie to Vinylmation, Jeff's work usually focuses on Godzilla like monsters. Check out one of the many places to find his artwork, He says that he likes to create "messed up junk, heavily influences by Japanese monster toys, Ed Roth, pop art, and vintage manga. His piece is pretty straight forward. A skeleton and some jewels, although I'm not sure if the skeleton has eaten the jewels or if they are just in a pile in front of him. Jeff told Disney, "This figure was a fun piece to make. My inspiration came from the 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' model kits made back in the 70's. I always loved the action of those kits. I liked the idea of skeletal pirates defending their treasure." I really like the jewel in the right ear, reminds me of the rupees from Zelda. (I'm playing the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time right now).

Up next, two from seasoned vinylmation artist Adrianne Draude:

Two great things about this piece. One, it kinda looks like this pirate has joined a 1970's biker gang with all the black leather it seems to be wearing. Two, if you purchase this one, you'll get that extra fancy chest for your booty! (I wonder if the vinylmation fits inside.) A great figure, and it looks like Adrianne did a lot of work adding 3 dimensional elements to this piece. Gotta love the gold tooth!
The other piece from Adrianne also comes with something special. That really cool box you see there, and it even has a hinged door. I'm pretty sure this means that this piece fits inside the box. The piece isn't 3D like the previous piece, but the artwork is really cool!

The final piece (well actually pieces) are by NOAH. (If you don't know he's the guy behind those custom Disney endorsed TRON figures, as well the some Little Mermaid customs.) According to Disney, there will be six similar figures offered. We are guessing (based on historical records) that these pieces will go for about $595.00. Each piece will also (like always) come with a cool stand which also has another piece of NOAH work. A little darker and scarier then the other pieces, this piece is actually a little simple in comparison to the other pieces. (Of course that might just be the lighting in this picture.) Although, I do have to say, that skull is really really creepy!

What do you think of all these pieces? Which do you like the most? Is anyone in our audience lucky enough to be able afford and thus is looking to purchase one of these?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Steam Park Explained

Update: 7/7/11 Disney has changed the online release date from July 18th to July 22nd.

Date: 6/28/11 Disney gave out some details and packaging info today. We knew Steam Park will be released as a 6 figure set and now we know the price. It will retail for $99.95 at both Orlando and California D-Streets and will be available on July 8. The set is a LE of 1000. There will also be a small amount available at the WDW Trading Show on July 8th. (Remember that D-Street California will open at 8 AM this day for the season pass holder exclusives, so these should be on sale at that time too!) People who don't live by the parks can pick these up on July 22nd on the Some of the price point may account for the elaborate box the set comes in. Here's a look:

A very detailed box with windows looking in at the 6 Vinylmation.

"The packaging is what pushed me over the top with this set. I'll be there on the 8th ready for mine. Before the trade show of course!" - MC

Update: 4/25/11 DV reporter Ryan talked to a source today about this set. They confirmed that this will be sold as a set of 6. It is also scheduled for release "mid-summer". To us this means that the set will be similar to the packaging of Sushi and with a similar price, but that's speculation. Also speculation, Disney places this set in their "Limited Edition Set" list, which leads us to believe that this will be a LE set!

First off, love the name! We first saw references to several in this set back in the summer of '10. Then the SteamPark pocket watch came out, and it was awesome. Then nothing, for a long time. Well, now we have a few of the artist renderings of several more figures we have never seen before! (Thanks to Scuba Owl for letting us know that these pictures were up.)

This set will be sold as a set of six (without the Gears and Cogs which came in the Pocket Watch set). It is scheduled for a "mid-summer" release.

Artist: Mike Sullivan
Released: July 8th D-Streets and July 22nd Online
Price: $99.95
LE: 1000

The Magnificent Balloon

If it's big enough, and you have enough hot air, you can make almost anything fly. Just drape a net over the balloon and attach the ends to what ever you want to ride in. Be a car, a horse buggy, or even your home, Carl.
Grandson Clock

A grandfather clock is old. This is new and fancy, the cutting edge of time technology.
Steel Mickey

I'm not sure if they is a submarine, or an ancient power source. Maybe we will learn more in the future.
Steampark Cyborg

Half man, half steampunk machine. All evil! (Well, Evil is assumed)
The Engineer

I know she might just be the mechanic, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt and say that not only does she maintain the machines, but she knows enough to design them when push comes to mechanic shove. (Think Kaylee from Firefly.)
The Commandant

The leader of the good forces (we assume) and the man who can defend the world from the evil forces (if there are any). We've seen him for a while now.

Gears and Cogs (Pocket Watch)

This appears to be the 3" figure that came with the Steam Park Pocket Watch. The best of all the 3" vinylmation that came with the watches. Very cool.

What do you think of this series? What would you like to see?

Episode 027 The Little Mermaid

Ep. 027 The Little Mermaid

A great release day at D-Street was the highlight of this show. Up, Alien Encounter, and Sam the Eagle all scored big review points. We talked with Cynthia, a DV fan and Bay Area resident who went to the Sci-Fi Trading Acadamy and the SF exclusive release. As always, we have the latest news and release dates. And we answer your questions and take your comments in the Mystery Mail Bag.

Listen Now:

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Soaring High" DV Review: Sam the Eagle

9" Muppets 2 Sam the Eagle
Artist: Monty Maldovan
LE: 1500
Price: $44.95

3 for 3 today Disney. Great job. I may have been more excited to see Up. I always love tributes to extinct attractions I love. But Sam the Eagle stole the show today. Hands down, one of the top five 9" Vinylmation ever created. 

Pictures do not do the paint job justice. The colors are exquisite. As M.C. pointed out yesterday, take a close look at the beak. An amazing job by Monty to give an optical illusion that the beak is pointed down.

The USA flag colors in the ears and the feathers all around are painted on extremely well. Just an over striking figure. 

On the back, you have one of the coolest features... Sam's tail. It's a well done and sturdy piece that makes Sam stand out among other vinyls. It gives him and extra added presence that looks remarkable when posing him. 

A big win for Vinylmation today. He might be overshadowed by Animal and 3D Kermit, but Sam will end up being the best crafted of the bunch.

"Lofty Expectations" DV Review: Up

9" Park 6 Up
Artist: Maria Clapsis
LE: 1000
Price: $44.95

There was a lot of buzz outside D-Street this morning for this figure. Even though, in my eyes, two other great pieces were coming out, Up was the Vinylmation everyone wanted.

To me, it is the simplest of designs. It is just the floating house and a head full of balloons. Normally I like simple, but with such dynamic characters in Up AND no official Up Vinylmation released yet, I think myself and other fans were wondering why there were none on this piece. There is one simple answer... it doesn't need it. 

I was nervous that the Up Vinylmation wouldn't look too impressive in hand, but I was wrong. The artwork is done very well and they pulled off some good looking balloons in the head. 

And in true Maria fashion, she gives us something special near her signature. She customizes a little piece of art for each piece. On the bottom off this one is a hand drawn heart with "C + E" written in it for Carl loves Ellie. What a fantastic little touch!

Would it be cool to have a Kevin on the roof or a Carl in the window? Yes, but this is just a nice piece of artwork that represents the film well. There is a painting of the sky with a little floating up house way in the background. I love that painting. I like simple and subtle Disney merchandise. Two things here... the desire to have Up characters on vinyl and the fact that pictures don't do this one justice had me worried, but the final product is a must add to any Up's fan's collection.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Close Encounter" DV Review: Alien Encounter

9"/3" Park 6 Alien Encounter - "9 Alien and 3" Skippy
Artist: Maria Clapsis
LE: 1000
Price: $74.95

This design looked intricate from the concept art and the figure does not disappoint in person. In fact, I'd have to say I'm more impressed in person.

The 9" Alien looks absolutely fantastic. Lots of detail and great colors used on him. Take a close up look at face, I didn't notice the slimy drool oozing out of his mouth before I got the figure in hand.

Skippy is also well done. His droopy characteristics are captured perfectly by Maria.

One interesting note is that the foot is stamped "Primevil Whirl - Animal Kingdom". An interesting misprint that appears to be on everyone's Skippy.

Overall, a win in my book. A great tribute to a great attraction. Sorry Stitch, your awesome, but I loved the real Aliens that would scare the heck out of me as a kid. Just a note, no artist card is included with this combo.

Carl Fredricksen spotted by Spaceship Earth

Nick was able to snap this quick pic of Carl Fredricksen and his famous house flying by the EPCOT Spaceship Earth earlier this morning.

Sam the Eagle roosts in EPCOT

We caught Sam the Eagle from the Muppets 2 set making his roost over at EPCOT. Here are some pics.

Any Which Way But Foose

Update: 6/24/11 The artofdisney site had a second one of a kind Foose vinylmation on display. This one based on the character Ramone from Pixar's Cars.
The vinyl is based on the flame design from the side of Ramone from the first Cars movie.
Like the previous one, there is only ONE of this vinylmation and it's price is $1,500.00.

Do you like this one more or less than the Foose's first one?

6/10/11 Today Disney announced another one of a kind custom. This 9" is created by Southern California artist Chip Foose. Chip grew up designing cars and has even been seen in the reality TV show "Overhaulin'" of TLC. The design represents the lifestyle of the Huntington Beach area of California.

I like the sleekness of this figure. It's simple, but looks good. The palm trees are a great extra touch! I also like the look of the finish. Very cool!

There is only one of these, and it will set ya back $1,500.00. It's kind of a shame, because I'd totally pay $25 bucks for a 3" version of this.
Both pics copyright Disney

Astrology Vinylmation Explained

Hidden on the Sneak page of is the concept artwork for the Astrology Series. Check them all out here. Some cool things to note, both Cancer and Scopio have claws as hands! Also Leo and Taurus look amazing! It also seems like they have connected stars on some to create the constellation that they represent. We will see more when we get the turn arounds. We also expect to see these are open boxes so you can pick the one you want.

Artist: Not known
Release Date: None
Set Size: 12 Open Boxed- assumed

March 21 - April 20

The ram is the symbol of Aries.
April 21 - May 20

The bull symbolizes Taurus. Great detail on this piece. I enjoy the nose ring. And the color is amazing.
May 21 - June 20

Twins are the symbol is Gemini. I have a feeling this piece is going to make more sense from a side view. (Does this mean we are going to have to get two, so we can display both sides?)
June 21 - July 22

Cancer is represented by the crab. Check out it's hands, they use the claws that we first saw with the lobster from the Sea Creatures series!
July 23 - August 23

This is the lion. I love it. If they get the colors to look like they do here, then it will rock!
August 24 - September 22

Virgo is symbolized by "the maiden". It's also an Earth symbol.
September 23 - October 23

The scales are what represent Libra.
October 24 - November 21

It's kinda obvious, but Scorpio is presented as a scorpion. This one also used the claws as hands just like Cancer.
November 22 - December 21

Sagittarius is usually represented by an archer or a centaur. It looks like they went the centaur way here, but it should be more clear once we see the back. Will there be a quiver. Will there be another set of legs and a tail?
December 22 - January 19

I don't know what a sea-goat is. But this kinda looks like one. Right?

Waves on the bottom. Horns, and a goatee.
January 20 - February 19

Water is associated with this sign. Especially water carried in a jar (which you see spilling on the right ear).
February 20 - March 20

Always represented by a pair of fish, here is Pisces.
What do you think of these pieces? Will you get the set, or just your personal one?