When I first met Disney Infinity Executive Producer John Vignocchi, he was in Chicago for one day to promote Disney Infinity at The Taste of Chicago. Then, during Launch Weekend, I saw John in NYC both Saturday and Sunday. Just talking with him, you could tell that he is passionate with his work at Disney Interactive (he just celebrated four years with the company). He is personable and energetic, and he has a love for life and his job, a job that keeps him going which seems to be round the clock.
If you follow John on Twitter (@JohnVignocchi), you will see that, in addition to being the head of a very lucrative division of Disney Interactive, all year John has been traveling the world, attending conventions, and bringing infinite possibilities to the masses. That is why I was honored that he agreed to answer some of my questions. It took time for him to get back to me, but I feel it was well worth it.
Let’s jump right into it, shall we?
Me: Have you learned anything from the launch of Disney Infinity or subsequent releases (TRU Exclusive Discs, Jack Skellington, and Woody) that you would like to see implemented into future releases?
John: I think that we’ve learned a lot since the initial release and addressing what consumers are saying is critical to our team. We are always listening to the fans and want to improve the experience for all of you. To that end, we have heard that people want more power discs per wave. Other feedback has been how much people really enjoy the Incredibles characters and how varied their super-powers are both inside the play set and in the Toy Box. Both of these are key learnings we will take with us as we continue to grow and expand the Disney Infinity experience.
Me: We have seen early concept art with Captain America, fan art for Indiana Jones and Han Solo figures, and a screen shot with a lightsaber being used in the Toy Box… what are the odds that we will see Marvel or Lucasfilm make their way into Disney Infinity?
John: That would be very cool – but unfortunately, I cannot comment on future plans for Disney Infinity at this time.
Han Solo and Indiana Jones Fan Art by Matthew Harris (conceptibot.com)
Me: We have learned about the MagicBand granting the Dragon’s Gate in the Toy Box. What made you decide to create this “Easter egg”, so to speak? Are we going to see more Theme Park exclusives, whether it be playable Toy Box characters or unlockable Toy Box content? I personally would love to see a Figment character.
John: Yes, that is in there and it is great that everyone found it. Disney is a diversified company that brings magical experiences across multiple outlets, such as theme parks, films, television, toys and more. We are always looking for ways to surprise our guests with magical experiences like the MyMagic+ integration. Look for future Infinity-related surprises from our other partners around the Walt Disney family!
Me: By exploring the Hall of Heroes, we see that there are no more pedestals in there for characters that have yet to be announced. Are there still unannounced figures/ playsets for this version of Disney Infinity?
John: Yes, inside The Hall each playable character is represented by a pedestal. The question is: Are you sure you have found them all? :-)
Me: Based off what has been confirmed by the Disney Infinity website and what IGN.com has listed on their site, it looks like six of the ten TRU Gold Pack Power Discs will be exclusive to those packs, at least through Series 3, while the other four will be in Series 2. Will those six discs remain exclusive to the Gold Packs, or will we possibly see them in future Power Discs releases?
John: I can confirm that the first four discs will be waved into series 2 but our ultimate objective is to ensure as many fans as have access to the discs as possible.
Me: The Infinite Crystal Series is being released in Canada, and we have seen our readers in France be able to preorder some of that series. Will the Infinite Crystal Series eventually be available worldwide? Will there be other store exclusives other than the Infinite Crystal Series, aside from early exclusivity (like with Jack Skellington and Woody)?
John: Yes, the Infinite Crystal series will be available worldwide. Each region is driving the distribution strategy of those exclusive characters to best address their market. Regarding the second part of your question, there are still exclusive characters that have yet to be announced that are part of the Infinity platform. Stay tuned!
Me: Online Toy Box contests: You have already had a few of these already. How has the response been to them and what exciting things can we expect for future contests?
John: The response has been overwhelming. We have had over a million Toy Boxes downloaded and are receiving submissions each week by the thousands! We have contests planned through the end of the year, but we really want to hear from the community what kinds of challenges you guys would like to see. Feel free to hit us up in the forums – we’re always reading what you guys are saying!
So, there you have it. I probably could have asked John a lot more questions, but like I said before, he is a busy guy, and time was limited. All that said, I am sure you are as excited as I am about what John and I talked about. Though cryptic at times, his answers show that we are in for some more surprises down the road. Of course, when new information breaks, we here at Infinity and Beyond will be reporting on it. For discussion on this interview, as well as other fun stuff, don’t forget to join our Facebook group: Infinity and Beyond.
Thanks to the team over at Disney Infinity for granting me this interview, and special thanks to the main man himself, John Vignocchi, for taking time out of his busy schedule.
Have a wonderful week, everybody. I hope it’s filled with infinite possibilities and endless fun.