Saturday, December 29, 2012

Spotlight On: Custom Vinylmation Artist Rust This World

Destination Vinylmation: So far you have created a 9 inch Hades, Ursula and Maleficent for what you are calling your "Epic Villains" series. Is it possible to pick a favorite out of this trio?
Rust This World: I like different things about each one, but it's hard to top Ursula's giant tentacles. I tried to do something special with the sculpting for each figure in this series so that they really transform the Mickey shape.

DV: Which one was the hardest design to execute?
RTW: They have all been challenging. The sculpting of Hades' feet was pretty tricky, as were Ursula's tentacles. There's a really high level of detail in the painting as well. These figures are just all around more complex than anything else I've done.

DV: I like the cohesive look. Did you have this in mind the whole time or did it spring from the Ursula design?
RTW: I made Ursula back in August when I found the tentacles in a store. She became probably the most popular design I've ever done. When it was announced that the big annual trade event in WDW would be villains-themed in 2013, I decided to make an entire set using a similar style. The whole style is based around big, detailed, and heavily sculpted figures.

DV: What event did you create these figures for?
RTW: I'm planning on attending the Reflections of Evil event next summer and want to have a big villains-themed showing.

DV: Do you have more planned for this series? 
RTW: Since I have until September, I'll definitely try and get several more made.
Facebook is
and Twitter is @rustthisworld

Artist Cesar Diaz Giveaway!

Before we get to the free stuff, Cesar wanted to share this custom with everyone.

It is Mr. Incredible and his car! People sure are doing amazing things with that Vinylmation 95 platform. OK, Giveaway time! This week Cesar is giving away a custom 3D pin of Stitch disguised as Mickey.

To win this little guy you have to do the following...

1. You must like his Facebook page to be eligible for the giveaway
2. You must leave a comment under the picture that says....
"I would like to win a Stitch 3D pin" (one comment per person please)

Giveaway starts now and will end next Saturday Jan 5th at 10am PST. Cesar will then use a random generator to pick one winner. Good luck everyone!

Holiday 1 Photoshoot

Here are photos of the first Holiday series taken around Walt Disney World. Can you tell where they were each taken?

Friday, December 28, 2012

New, Moved and Head Scratching Release Dates

This update, not going to lie, hurt my brain a little bit to process. Disney certainly does not make it easy for us. By the way, side note, and probably why I am in a bad mood while writing this... Did anyone else see that the WDW Premium Annual Passholder discounts will drop to 10% as of January 1, 2013? So as my discount gets cut in half, I can tell Disney that not only will they be getting less money from me at renewal, but I'll be sure to purchase at least half as much merchandise as I normally do. Anyway, how about those release dates... They changed some days. Changed some locations. Added new dates and even duplicated some. Take a look.

The Disney Vacation Club Exclusive 3-inch figure (Open Edition / Retail: $14.95 ) was moved from a January 11th release date to February 15th in the parks only. It is still supposedly set for a January 11th online release. The design of this figure is not known at this time, but is presumed to be from this this concept art.

As I have been presuming for a few weeks, the January 10th release of the 3" Run Disney figure (Commemorative / Retail: $12.95) and WDW Marathon Weekend Mini Medals (Open Edition /Retail: $1.95) will be at the Clubhouse Store at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during the Expo that takes place before the races. How do I know these releases better than Disney itself? The odd part is, they kind of took away the part about it also being available at D-Street in Orlando. I say "kind of" because, well here is the exact wording: "ESPN Clubhouse Shop, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex t Downtown Disney West Side in Florida". Um, ya, ESPN is not at Downtown Disney. However, there is a later posting on the Events page about the Mini Medal accessories being released at D-Street Orlando on January 22nd. But that still still leaves the 3" figure. I presume it will also end up at D-Street, if not on the 10th, then by the weekend. The 3" Run Disney figure remains on the release slate for January 10th at D-Street Anaheim  The January 13th signing with artist Maria Clapsis also remains in place for 5-7pm at D-Street Orlando.

On February 1st, the February 2013 Poster Art 3-inch figure by Patty Landing (Edition Size: 2,013 / Retail: $14.95) will be released at both D-Streets. In an exciting turn of events, the exact same figure is also listed for a February 11th release... but only in Anaheim  Sorry Orlandonians, you only get it once. Here is a look at the calendar art and Vinylmation figure.

On February 22nd, both D-Streets will receive a new 2013 Easter 3" figure designed by Billy Davis (Commemorative / $14.95). No photos of this design as of yet.

The left coast D-Street will also get a Mad T Party, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, 3-inch figure set (Edition Size: 1,500 / $24.95). No photos of this design as of yet either.
Photo from  Loren Javier's flickr

Lastly, the Disney Vinylmation Facebook page store will get the Fantasia Series # 5, Baucchus & Donkey from The Pastoral Symphony, 3-inch figure set (Edition Size: 1,500 / $24.95). We did not know until this posting what characters were in sets 5 through 8. I wish they accompanied this release info with a photo, but they did not. So here they are from the movie itself.

Episode 102 Lightning McQueen

Ep. 102 Lightning McQueen

This week we had lots of fun breaking news. The announcement of a follow up to Furry Friends. The early release of Myths and Legends. Monorails in Disney trade boxes. New Japan releases. And artist signings for the 2013 series and WDW Marathon.
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MC's Top Ten Vinylmation Stories of 2012

It's the end of 2012. Time to look back and reflect on the year that was in Vinylmation. At the end of each year, Nick and I come up with our top ten lists. To try to bring you a different side of things, we make these lists up of things we personally feel are remarkable from the past year... instead of trying to pick what a majority may see as the biggest stories. We also want to invite you to submit your lists as well. Just email them to Please include your name and hometown.

MC's 2012 TOP TEN

10. Lambert Announcement
A perfect start to this list. Lambert is a great childhood memory of mine. There are a million smaller characters out there and this year Disney has started to delve deeper into their world of characters. Lambert, as part of Whiskers & Tails, shows just how much farther they are willing to go to hit some great niche characters. Another example would be the two packs from Fantasia by Thomas Scott.

9. Variants
This year, like each year before, the Disney Artists have outdone themselves with their designs. This also includes chasers and more importantly variants! This year we saw some amazing Mickey platform variants, including the Haunted Mansion Ghosts and the 2012 DeeVee Winner Park 9 Dapper Dans. But there were also other variants in the Vinylmation arena, four Park Starz variants and two Popcorns. I can't wait to see what they do next year.

8. Star Wars Disney Chracters
A great combination of two beloved franchises. And when you get Maria Clapsis to design them, they come out great. Well done Disney. Remember this. Now get us Marvel. (But thank you for announcing Muppets 3!)

7. Clown Jr
At Mickey's Circus we got a special treat. Like the year before, they had a 3" figure that you could only get as a cast trader. This year, in addition to that 3" figure, we also got a Jr figure as a cast trader. Two cast traders and two separate lines just added to the joy of the big yearly trade event.

6. Oswald / Classics
Sometimes things are so perfect that when they come true they are glossed over because they just make so much sense. I feel that way about the classics set and more specifically Oswald. I put them on this list so that we can cheer for them one more time. This is the perfect set. Great characters, great history, and great design. More accessories then any set, ever. Perfect. Also worth mentioning is the over all push from Disney over the last year with Oswald from Oswald ear hats to Oswald's second video game appearance in Epic Mickey 2.

5. LE Special Packs
In the past, LE's were 9" figures or 9" figures with 3" combos. With prices rising, these sets made less and less sense financially for me as a collector. Then we got new LE sets like the 6 piece Kitchen Kabaret from Park 7 or the Big Bad Wolf set from Animation 2. These sets allow the Disney artists to give us groups of characters all at the same time. Usually characters that would not do well as part of a 12 piece set. Oh, and I love Star Wars 2 getting an LE Hologram Leia!

4. Rhino
I know I already talked about LE sets, but 2012 DeeVee winner for Best Accessory, Rhino, is the ultimate example of how cool these LE sets can be. The imagination to create the ball was inspired. I will always cheer for outside of the box thinking like that. 

3. Robots 3
Almost the perfect example to conclude my thesis on Disney characters. The first two Robot sets sold only all right, and the buzz was light. But when Disney announced that Robots 3 would include Disney characters, the people near me at Mickey's Circus were ecstatic. Remember this Disney and Disney Stores, new out of the box sets are great, but don't forget it's the Disney-ness of your toys that keeps people wanting more.

2. Director Mickey

This figure won the DeeVee for Best 3" Figure. There is no question to why. The figure had a great combination of a unique figure, unique location, and great accessory. But what I think took it over the top was the combination of the classic Mickey Mouse with the ideas and look of Walt himself that made this figure a fan favorite.

1. Customs
This past year I've had even more interaction with custom artists and have been able to acquire more customs then ever before. I implore all of our listeners to check out any of the artists we've shown on the site, or any you've found on your own, and get your own custom. There's nothing better then giving a custom piece to someone you love. (Even if you didn't paint it yourself.)

Fantasia 3 Online

Fantasia 3 came online today. Check out the backs of the figures. Both are Dinosaurs which I have always enjoyed. $24.95 for the combo pack of two. They should also show up in D-Streets later today.

How many of the Fantasia sets have you gotten so far?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nick's Top Ten Vinylmation Stories of 2012

It's the end of 2012. Time to look back and reflect on the year that was in Vinylmation. At the end of each year, MC and I come up with our top ten lists. To try to bring you a different side of things, we make these lists up of things we personally feel are remarkable from the past year... instead of trying to pick what a majority may see as the biggest stories. We also want to invite you to submit your lists as well. Just email them to Please include your name and hometown.


10. Ron Cohee
The addition of Ron Cohee to the Vinylmation section of the Disney Design Group team is already a huge success. He certainly has an eye for translating an animated character onto the Mickey platform. His take on the younger versions of Up's Carl and Ellie are nothing short of phenomenal  He offered his talents to many of the Pixar series figures and also designed for Mickey's Circus and Phineas and Ferb. He is a talent worth watching and I hope he is involved with any Animation or animated movie series the DDG does from this point forward. His talents can be seen on Disney Parks merchandise resort wide. You can check out his blog here. I especially like how he depicted his own family riding the bobsleds on the Matterhorn pin he designed

9. Lack of Epcot 30th and New Fantasyland Vinylmation
When Buena Vista Street and Cars Land opened at Disney's California Adventure earlier this year, they had an impressive group of Vinylmation figures produced for the event. The two large Walt Disney World events this year did not. They did have some one-of-a-kinds, but no Disney produced figures to commemorate the occasion. Do I want to spend more money? Not really. Would I have dropped some cash for vinyls at those events. Most defiantly.

8. Carl and Ellie
Take a beloved film. Exclusivity. And a touch of drama. And you have one of the top headlines of 2012. First, people have been clamoring for Pixar Vinylmation. This Carl and Ellie combo perfectly captured two wonderful characters in their youth from a wildly popular film. Next, this combo was touted as a ComicCon release. The whole manner in which the ComicCon vinyls were sold is another story all together, but it was not pretty. They were sold online. Orders were not fulfilled  Same old Disney Store story. But my focus here is on the figures themselves. Perfectly designed little three inch pieces of art.

7. The Dapper Dans
I'm not into variants, but this foursome from Park 9 is nothing short of brilliant. Perfect design, execution and use of variants. I had to collect them all.

6. The Many New Shapes of Vinylmation
We have had a true explosion in the variety of Vinylmation offered to guests. This year alone we were introduced to Monorails, Duffy, Popcorns and Vinylmation 95. Park Starz was only last December. And in September we saw that mysterious shadow figure of a new platform to come! I personally love Popcorns and hope they are here to stay. Park Starz has become my favorite Vinylmation series. And the customs on Vinylmation 95 are just outstanding. Not to mention all the creative accessories seemingly made for just one figure. And how about the different ways of packaging the combos such as the Cinderella storybook. I am very excited about the future of Vinylmation.

5. Furry Friends
It was all about the paws. A beautifully designed set by the Disney Store artists with wonderful character selection and brilliant packaging. Furry Friends had the chance to go down as one of the most beloved sets in Vinylmation history. Instead, the designs were overshadowed by production problems. Scratched paint and dirty figures were common place. As more and more blind boxes were opened over the first few days of release, it became clear Disney had a real "opportunity" on their hands. I say that jokingly as they kept referring to the obvious problem in such positive terms to angered guests. A $5 gift card pacification would not settle the issue this time. Furry Friends was pulled from shelves nationwide. Just a note: Furry Friends made my list even before the news of Whiskers and Tails, the follow up series, was leaked to collectors. The news of what is basically Furry Friends 2 solidifies this as one of the biggest stories of the year.

4. 100 Episodes of Destination Vinylmation
We made it past the two year mark and have now done over 100 episodes! I honestly didn't know what would come out of creating Destination Vinylmation with MC. What came of it are lasting friendships, enjoyable meet ups and a lot of fun times helping to deliver information to collectors. Thank you to everyone who makes our site and podcast possible.

3. Photoshoots
I love photography as a hobby. I've wanted to do photoshoots at the parks with Vinylmation ever since I picked up my first figures. This past year, Austin and I took it to the next level by taking practically ever figure released to Walt Disney World at one time or another. I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures as much as I did taking and editing them. One of the pure joys in taking these photos was the opportunity to explore details of the parks and resorts I would have otherwise never have stopped to see. I may have endured some strange looks while laying on the ground taking pictures of a toy, but it was all worth it.

2. Classic Collection
When taken as a whole, possibly the greatest set of Vinylmation ever produced. This is artist Eric Caszatt's masterpiece. Each figure is literally without flaw. AND we top it all off with an Oswald chaser! This set stands as the shining example of Vinylmation as art.

1. One on One interview with Maria Clapsis
From day one, the Maria Clapsis designed Vinylmation stood out to me. Time and time again I would flip over a figure and her name would be on the bottom of the feet. At Star Wars Weekends this year, Maria was on hand signing for guests in conjunction with the release of her Disney Character Star Wars set. M.C. and I had planned to record that weekend's podcast at Disney's Hollywood Studios to commemorate the event. So I put out a request for an interview with my favorite artist. I was thrilled when the interview was approved. We sat and talked all about her artwork and her inspiration. It was a fascinating interview. Something I will never forget.

Monorail Sightings Confirmed in Trade Boxes

A few Walt Disney World guests have been finding a surprise in some clear trading boxes around Downtown Disney.
As rumored last week, some of the unreleased Monorail Urban Vinylmation are being made available for trade in clear trading boxes. The photo above was found on Vinylmation Exchange. You can trade a Mickey shaped 3" figure for the Monorail if you wish. No word on how or why these are being made available. A lot of unreleased Monorails from this series were sold via silent auction at Mickey's Circus in September.
A number of questions do arise from this development. Is this how they decided to get rid of a certain amount of inventory from a series they decided not to sell? How many of these are sitting back there? Are these just production samples or actually from a larger quantity produced? Is this a test to see if further Monorail series will be produced? Send us your pictures of Monorails inside trade boxes or ones you pick up!

Myths and Legends Chaser

Click image below to reveal the Disney Store's Myths and Legends Chaser. It was posted on the Vinylmation Exchange Facebook page by Daddyand Chloe Dee W. This set has no official release date from Disney, but is beginning to show up for sale in some Disney Stores around the country.