Now that the dust has settled on the Imagination Gala, I’ve had time to digest everything we saw previewed at the event. I was so busy over that weekend putting up stories and reporting on the news coming out of the event, some times it takes a little longer for everything to sink in.
For me the previews from the Imagination Gala show that Disney has a plan for Vinylmation. It isn’t going anywhere, but at the same time, I think the term Imagination might be one thing that isn’t being used by the Vinylmation team.
That might sound a little harsh and I certainly don’t mean that the artists Imaginations aren’t in full swing while coming up with designs. Its just when I look through the list of series and figures being announced to the year ahead, there isn’t much we haven’t seen before.
There is however one exception, the Designer Series. Having custom artists take their skills into mass produced Vinylmation is a huge gamble and I really hope it pays off. We don’t know much about this series yet, but it was the only thing from the previews that could be considered “different”.
But taking that series out of the equation, it’s very easy to see that Disney has worked out what was working for Vinylmation and what wasn’t working. Anything non-Disney related seems to have finally gone. There was no mention of Cutesters nor Urban during the previews, and that might not be a bad thing. Both those brands have had a troubled past, with almost everything ending up discounted. And it looks like the Urban brand is being repackaged under the D-Tour name, with a new Mickey and Minnie themed urban feel to them. I like the idea that they are doing something different than just putting characters out and the existence of the D-Tour Series 2 does at least mean there is an alternative to the standard Mickey Mouse Vinylmation.
The Eachez have been a huge success and Disney looks to be running with that idea to the bank along with twin packs. Though the Villainous Duos sets look impressive at LE1500, we could easily have another Afternoon Series 2 or Fantasia series on our hands. And it looks like the 9″ truly is a piece of history with not a single new 9″ being planned, which is a shame. they killed it with poor design choices, too many designs, the horrible new 9″ mold, and high LE’s, meaning that something that is so impressive has wrongly been assigned to the scrap heap.
Both the Marvel and Star Wars franchises are firmly part of the Vinylmation scene now, but on first impressions, I am slightly disappointed that we have another series based on a New Hope and that they are doing an Avengers themed set. With so many Marvel and Star Wars characters, why do we need another Iron Man or Luke Skywalker? When we could have Darth Maul, Jar Jar Binks (yes, him) or characters like Guardians of the Galaxy or X-Men? Again it just feels a little “safe”. Though at least we have one new character from the new Rebels cartoon coming next year.
Last year we saw the Tower of Terror Eachez boxed set announced which got a huge reaction from the Vinylmation community and it seemed to be a big success when it was released, but there was no mention of another Eachez boxed set.
I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see anything new for the Park Starz line, churning out another Park Starz series 1 variant does come across as little uninspired, they are there to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland, it would have been cool to have seen a brand new figure. Popcorns are another line which have been given a second chance with a Eachez element, I love the popcorn brand and overall look of the figures that we are seeing this year and I like how the variants make sense.
I think some of the new series like the Mickey Mouse Shorts look very interesting and its great to see a modern take on the classic cartoon and while I don’t watch Gravity Falls, I at least like that they are doing some new characters, even if 4 Mabel figures in as many months seems overkill!.
There is lots for Vinylmation fans to be excited about in the coming year, it could be argued that the next years line up is probably one of the strongest we’ve seen, lots of pure Disney themed Vinylmation with all the less than average junk pushed to the side. I think Disney have been paying a lot of attention to what collectors want and are buying, they have moved away from the items filling up the outlets and we will probably see this trend continuing. They want Vinylmation to be a success for the long run and so do I, but I feel that maybe they’ve got a little too safe, I’m hoping we haven’t seen everything that’s coming in the year ahead and there are at least a few series like Peter Pan, Park 15 & 16 that we know very little about.
As I said, there is a lot of great looking Vinylmations coming in the year ahead and many figures from the Imagination Gala will be joining my collection, but there will be a lot that won’t be because they just don’t excite me, I’ve already got some of the 101 Dalmatians, a Peter Pan figure, a Fairy Godmother, an Iron Man, Luke Skywalker and many other of the characters announced. And for me, that feels a little weird, but maybe that’s it, I just want something new and different to add to my collection?
Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below: