Objection: Combo Pricing
Now before I start my pricing rant I want to make one thing clear: Vinylmation pricing is NOT the domain of Steven Miller and the Disney Design Group. There is actually a separate pricing team that determines what percentage of your hard-earned paycheck you will drop on your embarrassing Mickey doll addiction.
So let’s get into some simple math. I’ll just get out the old calculator aaaand here we go:
One 9” vinylmation, typically retailing at
$39.95 $44.95 (recently jacked up.)
One 3” Vinylmation, and I’ll take the over and say $12.95
I must’ve hit a wrong number. Curse these Olive Garden breadstick-sized fingers! Let’s try this again:
One 9” vm,
$39.95 $44.95 (did I mention, just recently jacked up?)
One 3” vm, $12.95 (which we all know is a stretch for any 3” to begin with)
Curse this faulty calculator! Let me just use the trusty logic of my brain. A $45 (RJU) vinylmation plus a $13 vinylmation should by all counts cost $58. Clearly it doesn’t take a genius to figure out a reasonable price to charge for these combos. But to figure out just how much you can be pushed to spend without completely turning you off to the hobby? That’s a team effort.
It’s somewhat similar to a cellphone bill. You think you’re paying $60 for 700 minutes of phone calls and unlimited texts. But then you get your bill and see that you’re also paying an additional $6 for this fee and $7 for that fee and before you know it you’re at $90. But at least your wireless provider goes to the trouble of naming these fees, as ridiculous as they might be.
Even the whole mold issue (which we are NOT talking about here) has an official explanation from Disney, whether you agree with it or not. I’d love to hear the rationale on these combo prices, but there is none. And if the pricing team ever does give an explanation (and if it actually makes sense,) I’ll buy a Cutester Like You. That’s how confident I am.
I’ll even give the pricing team some potential explanations to choose from:
A.) This is one heck of a 3”! Little bugger cost us just as much to produce as the 9”! After all, it was hand-whittled from a single piece of Egyptian bamboo.
B.) The ears on that 9” are actually golden doubloons.
C.) We know you love that 9” so much that you’d pay double for it, but to just double the price of something for no reason looks bad so we threw in a 3”.
(Hint: its not a vowel.)
(Hint 2: Disney would never sell you a golden doubloon for less than market value.)
Its a shame Disney is marketing these great pieces to the minority of people out there with money to burn. Personally, I can’t drop this kinda money on a 9″/3″ combo when I’ve got a more important 5′/3′ combo at home.
Prediction: Cutesters, Fore!
You heard me. I think the next Cutesters set will be 11 cute little golfers with plaid shirts and goofy pants, and one not-all-that-spectacular (if recent designs are any indication) chaser. Of course, the naming/numbering of this set is contingent on Cutesters Like You being counted as an official entry in the series. Assuming it is, this creates a nice continuity in the Cutesters series; after all CLY was not up to par (bu-dum-disshhh.)
Here’s a prototype figure from the set. I found it while rummaging through a dumpster in Hong Kong.
Here’s your chance, DDG. Make fun of MY design. You owe it to Big Baby and the Gear Bears
Playstation (what? it ends in ion!): Toy Story in your Little Big Planet:
In a brief, not-vinylmation-related note for all you gamers, starting this Tuesday you can download a Toy Story costume pack and/or level pack for Little Big Planet 2. More info here. Fyi, there’s already an Incredibles pack, Pirates of the Caribbean pack, Tron: Legacy pack, and a Gonzo costume (‘The Great Gonzo’, to be precise, the same as the soon to be released 9″. Its amazing and I’ve never not used it since its release.)
Adulation: Gerald and Oskar Mendez
Now here’s a combo I can get behind! Like Archie & Peyton Manning (or if you hate the Colts as much as I do, Mosi & Lofa Tatupu) this father and son combo is making a mark in their profession. They recently worked together (seemingly a first) on the Robots series, which is also the 1st of what will be a series of, um, Robot series, according to recent remarks from Donald Ferro.
Gerald’s Security Bot is my personal favorite from the set, and I’d say it would’ve been a better chaser than plain-grey-cloudy-day-of-boredom-bot. But whatevs.
A fantastically insightful interview with Oskar can be found here, in which he even shows off his original Illustrator template for his Villains Kaa piece (one of my all time faves.) Here’s a great quote from the interview, which was done shortly before the release of Villains in January:
A: Do you face any challenges while designing Vinylmation?
O: Yes! I had to learn to simplify my artwork. The paint is imprinted on the Vinylmation piece with a machine. If my artwork is too detailed and small it might not print properly. The number of colors and the size of the Vinylmation also creates some limits to my design. But I love challenges! Sometimes people think giving an artist a blank canvas and no rules is an artist’s dream, but the truth is having restrictions is the real challenge and the real fun! When we’re given limits it makes us think, makes us have to use creativity to get what we want across. Essentially, we’re problem solvers!
Right on, bro.