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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.10600655_10202878500619771_7456454387196209963_n

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.

10660158_10202878493979605_5919946297452907596_nAs 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:

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Welcome to a special bumper edition of Hits and Misses as members of the Vinylmation Kingdom community share their thoughts on a series and this week we take a look at everything that we saw at the Imagination Gala.

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Hits

RogPalmerUK – Watching from a far, the Imagination Gala looked a fun event but it was the announcements that I was excited for, there are lots of new series coming up this year that I’m excited about including the new Avengers blind box series and that both Park 15 and 16 will be coming out during the next year.  I’m also excited about seeing more Eachez, some people might not like these, but I think they are a much better idea than an open window box.  Other figures I’m looking forward to include the 60th Anniversary Park Starz Variants and more importantly, the new Designer Series 1 from Miss Mindy.  This feels like something brand new and fresh, which is exactly what Vinylmation needs.

Jason Cracraft-Windell – Can’t wait for the Mickey Cartoon Series! Looks a lot like Mike Vetrone’s custom series!    Excited for 101, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and from the Villainous Duos the Jafar and Iago set. Also a huge fan of the Chernabog D23 Eachez! Huge Congratulations to Miss Mindy on her Designer Series #1!!! Hope to see more Wonderground artists doing their own series!

David Jarrett – All the Figment love: Showcase event gift, the TN Eachez vinyl, and the golden award Park Starz. Awesome! Also liked the Peter Pan set sneak peak. Oh! And the vinyl community rallying around a crying collector’s missing shopping bag… and – with a true Disney fairytale ending – finding it! That was a *big* hit. Someone should make a movie about that.

Gerald Hawthorne – My main is park 15 and 16, ant man eachez and the avengers marvel set. I also loved the TN figures this time around. Good stuff!!!

Shea DittmanVillainous Duos Vinylmations are going to be AMAZING!!! HUGE hit for sure!!! I LOVE this series!!!

Kimberly Hawk I loved the all the singers! and the trading

Jerry Higgins – GREAT event! lots of fun every year!

WDWRobert –  The imagination Gala had so many beautifully designed Vinylmations that were available at the Gala itself and then add all the wonderful future releases how could you not say, “Take all my money please as I’ll take one of each” event! As there were so many great vinyl’s to choose, it’s hard to break each one them down and go into detail why I just love them all. Well okay there a few Misses but lets save them for later.

Figment Free Gift: This guy has always been a hit with me and I just love the 3” & 1 ½” set. The reason is simple, but the connection is huge. This “Free” Gala Figment brings to mind the original Journey into Imagination attraction where Figment is all dressed up and joyfully dancing to the music. As always for me if there is a connection to something I love in the part. I will love it no matter how it looks!

D-Tour 2: The D-Tour series or as I like to call it “The series that the Urban line should have been” I loved the 1st series and was sad they did not continue with them beyond series one. However, D-Tour 2 will finally come to fruition and I cannot wait. One thing that will be new in the addition of the Minnie platforms and as a whole the looks very creative and Tiki looking Mickey will be a must for me.

Park Starz “Figment Award”: This one is easy. 1. It’s Figment. 2. It’s Figment. 3. It’s Figment and it’s gold! Classic Mickey Mouse & Goofy: I just love the B&W versions of any and all of the Fabulous 5 and “Early Ancestors” too. That’s why I will never get rid of them, hopefully. Please release these next Friday. I will have my money ready!

Villainous Duos: Si & Am and Flotsam & Jetsam These perfectly diabolical “Twins” were in dire need of being their own selves in vinyl form. And now they are and now are twice as evil as before!

Gravity Falls Series and Twin Pack: About 6 weeks ago if you had asked me about Gravity Falls I would of said of course it does. But after catching an episode with my son I was hooked. I commend Disney for not only thinking outside the box but to throw out the box entirely. As for the actual vinyl’s them themselves they too are amazing as well. Mabel & Dipper look great on the 3” Mickey mold. Grunkle with his hat is spot on as well.

Finally there is Soos. He is my favorite and his Mickey Mouse 3” doppelganger is awesome! Mickey & Friends or “M&F” Pirates of the Caribbean Series: I just loved the M&F HM set and Disney Continues on that principal with the Pirates of the Caribbean set. Maybe not as exciting as the HM set I am still excited to collect them all.

Misses

RogPalmerUK – There was a lot of figures and series announced at the Imagination Gala that I felt, came across a little too safe.  Other than the Designer Collection, nothing seems to have taken too much of a leap forward.  Which makes sense, too many series and figures were getting discounted and I understand why Disney is being a little more conservative with their selections.  Some of the Limited Edition numbers still feel a little too high and the Eachez format could be easily overdone if they aren’t too careful, but I’m generally feeling overall, that there wasn’t anything that dreadful coming.

Gerald Hawthorne – My only misses have got to be the Half Mask Peter and anything to do with gravity falls. Milking that too hard.

David Jarrett – If you weren’t a Figment fan you might have struggled with an overkill of merch. Hopefully, you’re now a fan!

WDWRobert – Though the Hits far exceeded the Misses at the event there were still Vinylmations that I did not care for. Award Ceremony Chip & Dale: Usually Chip looks great no matter the occasion but for some reason Dale always seems to be either stoned or Drunk.

Disneyland 60th Park Starz “PS” Variants: First there were the Original Bride from the PS1 then a Sepia version and now this? Wow now that’s stretching it a bit. Then the Pirate Skeleton has the same progression and my feelings are the same. Why? Please tell me why? $$$? Imagination Gala Cast Chasers: I have just one thing to say. Dumb & Dumber. Oh and one more thing. Why?

If you would like to take part in a edition of Hits and Misses, feel free to contact me via Twitter (@RogPalmerUK), email (Roger@Vinylmationkingdom.com) or by Facebook.

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The Imagination Gala: A Magic Carpet Event!

But was it really that magical? For my second trip to a hard ticket event, it was a big improvement from last years Reflections of Evil, but there is still much to discuss. You can read the review of Reflections of Evil here:

http://vinylmationkingdom.com/2013/09/26/lucky-7-villainous-13/

Much like last year I only attended Thursdays pick up event, and the Vinylmation day on Sunday, so my experiences will be based off of those events. Since this event was themed around an awards show, I will be introducing each category and the nominees. Lets see who won! Hint….its probably me in most of them.

THE PURPLE CARPET:

Best Packing by a Vinylmation Collector:

Nominees: Pink Elephants40, Mickin16, Baltar, BlindBox28, Chaser08

Winner: Mickin16

Cameo by Mr. Nemes

Cameo by Mr. Nemes

This year I decided to let go(LET IT GOOOOO) of some of my collection since I have had a few big changes occur in my life. This time I needed some extra equipment. Last year I took 4 tackle boxes and a bag or two. This year I had 10 tackle boxes, a full backpack, and a case full of random figures. I had become a suitcase person. But hey, there is something funny about seeing guests faces after the event wondering why you are walking around EPCOT with a rolling suitcase.

Best Early Risers:

Nominees: Mickin16, Travis, People in Front of Me, Procrastinators, The Sun

Winner: People in Front of Me

People in a line for something? Must be Disney

People in a line for something? Must be Disney

Thursdays Registration didn’t officially start until 10AM, but that didn’t stop the usual early risers from getting there super early. Some collectors arrived at Coronado Springs Resort as early as 7AM to be some of the first in line. Now, this is not an uncommon experience for Disney collectibles. Some collectors will get to ESPN on a trade night event as early as 12AM for an event that starts at 6PM. Last year I got to this point at about 10:30 and I knew I wanted to get a good spot so I planned on being in line at about 8AM in which this picture was taken.

Conga anyone?

Conga anyone?

Not to be confused with about 9:15 when the picture above was snapped. When the line finally started moving about 5 min before 10, this line was extended almost around the whole room.

Best Adjustment for a trading area:

Nominees: ESPN, Contemporary, All Star Sports, Coronado Springs Ballroom, My House

Winner: Coronado Springs Ballroom

So many pins and dolls

So many pins and dolls

Those of you who attended last years event, or who read my recap above, would remember the tiny space that they allowed for trading activities on Thursdays Registration event. The tables filled up so fast and they were asking traders to condense there stuff to allow more guests to have a chance to sit. What a big improvement this year! I remember walking in to get in line and thinking that this room is huge and that it was too big and that there was going to be leftover tables. One of the better things was that they left more room between the tables and it was much easier to navigate around the room.

Winner for best supporting actress

Winner for best actress

I felt like the ratio between pin and vinyl traders increases at every event and it showed here. As I walked around I got a chance to stop at way more traders tables and if I wasn’t trading I at least stopped and had a conversation with people. This community grows stronger every event I go to and its great to see.

THE GOLDEN FIGMENTS:

Best Entrance to an Event:

Nominees: The Front, International Gateway, Run for Your Lives!, Sleep in the Ball, Princess Breakfast

Winner: International Gateway

Snub: Run For Your Lives!

Late Arrival Limo Line

Late Arrival Limo Line

This year we chose to try the front entrance of EPCOT. Not only because of the rumors that the front got in first last year, but mainly because we weren’t staying on property and drove from our house. We arrived early for the breakfast at about 6:45 and were some of the first at the front. Then when the security guards started to arrive they moved the line around to the other side and some of us were forced in the back although we had been there for more than an hour previous to some that had jumped the line. I got over that fact because security check went very fast and we were in the line above at about 7:30.

Photo: Nick Touchette

Photo: Nick Touchette

This was the line at the International Gateway. Now I was not at this location so I am not sure exactly what time they were let in the park and granted they have less of a distance to travel to the World Showplace where the Gala was held, but they definitely were there before us. The Cast Members working the Breakfast line were nice and got us all in a timely manner so it really is hit or miss comparing the two entrances. If you want to be one of the first at the boxes, its a hard call, but I would recommend the International gateway mainly because it is closer than the front entrance. The Cast Members at the front suggested we push our bags facing forward and walk to the area, however; there were a good number of guests that as soon as they saw a clearing took off and ran the 100 yard dash to the event. Although they ran their hearts out, I still saw them behind a good number of people in line so I hope it was worth it.

Least Amount of Decor:

Nominees: Mickey’s Circus, Imagination Gala, Mickin16’s House, Fairytale Hall

Winner: Imagination Gala

Winner for best Art Direction

Winner for Direction of Meh Backdrops

Compared to last years event in which the decor was the highlight of the event for me, this year left me really dissatisfied. Gone were the elaborate sets dedicated to a particular villain and in its place were what seemed just some cardboard cut outs.

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Winner for best Song: Small World of Cutouts

There was no smoke or fog when walking in. No movie clips playing. If there was an “awards show” theme present I certainly didn’t feel invited. The entertainers for the event also got annoying by the the second or third time they hit the stage to sing their sets. Some had nice voices, it was just very loud and they tried some comedy bits that just didn’t work. The piano player was great and I would have been fine if he just came out and played throughout the day instead of the singers.

A round of applause for Mickey and the Electronic Philharmonic!

A round of applause for Mickey and the Electronic Philharmonic for playing our winners off if there speeches got too long.

The one decent backdrop that was present consisted of some of the instruments that were featured in the original Imageworks location on the second floor of the Imagination Pavilion. These were from the Electronic Philharmonic exhibit in which you would wave your arms around sensors and the corresponding instruments would start to play.

Winners for best Choreography

Winners for best Choreography

I’m not sure what this display from Fantasia’s Dance of the Hours was doing here, but it was nice to see. You can see more cutout backdrops in the background. Im guessing something villainous was occurring over there.

In Memorium: Jrs. and Trade Nights

If there was one thing my wife was looking forward to it was trying to complete some earlier Jr. figures that she had not gotten yet. Much to our surprise there was no Jr. trading box or spinner at this event. None. No Jr. event chaser either. You would think maybe they were doing away with the line, but they announced another Jr. series based off of Star Wars Stormtroppers, so they are still producing them. Did they not have enough traders in the lines last year for them to deem it unnecessary to have one this year?

There was also no Trade Night figures announced or previewed for next year. At last years event we found out about the Trade Night Eachez figures and I was so excited to see Stitch and a few others. We have only had 2 official trade nights covering both coasts in 9 months with none announced (at the moment) for the rest of the year. With no figures announced does that mean they are doing away with this concept? Maybe they didn’t want to preview anything in case they don’t get a chance to hold many events for 2015. Thoughts?

Outstanding Overpriced Auction Items:

Nominees: Ebay, Facebook, Imagination Gala Silent Auction, Soethbys

Winner: Imagination Gala Silent Auction

Winner for Most Wanted Photo by Vinylmationworld.com

Winner for Most Wanted Ever
Photo by Vinylmationworld.com

Every collector loves a good auction. A chance to score some cool stuff and the chance to set your own price for it, Awesome! However I think this year Disney got a little greedy and thought that since they could upcharge us crazy amounts for other events and parties that we would have no issues paying high prices for some of these too. $1000 starting bid for a case of Furry Friends? About the same for a Little Mermaid case? Thats way over anything I could afford.

Catering provided by Bad Apple Inc. Photo: Vinylmationworld.com

Catering provided by Bad Apple Inc.
Photo: Vinylmationworld.com

This display from Villains in Vogue had a starting bid of $500. Congrats to Nicholas Robinson who won it, but still too much for me.

Winner for Best Presentation Photo:

Winner for Best Presentation
Photo:dizthrubrowneyes.com

This was really the only interesting item to me at least. With a starting bid of $1400, I thought that was fair for this item. I think it ended up going for about $1750 so congrats to whomever won this item, it looks great. With only 6 of the 20 auction lots being sold at the Gala I think they need to rethink either the items they are putting up for sale or probably more important their choices of starting amounts if they want better results next year.

Best Idea That Worked Out Only Just OK:

Nominees: Smaller Case Sizes, Urban Redux, Open Window, Vintage Vinylmation Vault

Winner: Vintage Vinylmation Vault

Seating Chart Photo:

Seating Chart
Photo:Vinylmationkingdom.com

I honestly didn’t even realize the time that the Imagination Gala store opened. I was in a trade line and saw a bunch of people start to line up for some random line, so like most Disney things I just got in line not knowing what I was in line for. We eventually found out that there was a Trade Night figure and an additional Gala figure. Then they announced the Vintage Vinylmation Vault! What excitement arose for that. For just $10 you could buy blind boxes of extinct series. YAY! Except if you were in the back half of the line forget it. By the time I got up to purchase my items more than half of the page above was crossed out. All of the worthwhile series were gone and I was left with items that I could purchase at the outlets for $3.99 instead of here for $10. I got a Cutesters 1 and Muppets 1 with hopes for the chasers since I didn’t have them yet. I would have loved to been able to purchase a Park 2,5 or Urban 4, but as they say “the earliest Mickey gets the cheese.”

Best Trade line:

Nominees: Box #5, Villains Spinner, Colored Spinner, Box #1, Thursdays Registration Line

Winner: Colored Spinner

Winner for Best Special Effects

Winner for Best Special Effects

This time around, the boxes were a lot kinder to me. I managed to hit a lot of refreshes and I had a much better time waiting in lines. The colored spinners above were the best lines because they were shorter than the regular boxes, and you had a better chance of getting some quality figures due to there being 10-12 figures in each box. I will say I feel like I saw a lot less chasers, variants, and one of a kinds pulled this year and mostly people were pulling one of the four chipmunk figures created for the event. Some traders ended up walking away with multiples of all 4. I was content with a pair of blues, since I didn’t even see an orange in any box I saw.

Best Haul:

Nominees: Mickin16, Jim Parsons, Matthew  Mcconaughey, Jessica Lange, Adel Mazeem

Winner: Mickin16

Thursdays Haul

Thursdays Haul

Sundays Haul

Sundays Haul

LOL of course its me. Thanks goes out to all the great traders and people of this community. You are all that makes this hobby fun and worthwhile.

PRESS ROOM INTERVIEW:

Overall this event was an improvement from a year ago. I had a lot more traders so I was able to make some great trades not only in the boxes but with other traders too. The decor, entertainment, and auctions were a disappointment, but if you are just there to trade over and over in the boxes I guess it doesn’t bother you that much. Im not sure what to expect with next years theme of genEARation but I hope I at least will be able to purchase/get some form of this poster because it is just awesome.

So many dates on here Photo: Destinationvinylmation.com

So many dates on here
Photo: Destinationvinylmation.com

Thanks for reading. Did you attend this years Gala? What was your thoughts? Are you excited about any particular series that was announced? Will you be going to next years event? Did you trade for any grails or get that must have figure? Comment below!

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With so many Vinylmation stories coming out of the Imagination Gala, it is hard to keep up with everything, so here are all the stories from this past few days:

Thursday 4th September

Friday 5th September

Saturday 6th September

Sunday 7th September

 

VK webcast episode 2


In this episode, I will run through all the news and previews from the biggest event in the Vinylmation calendar, The Imagination Gala.

There is lots to talk about including a look at all these shiny new Vinylmations that will be coming out in the year ahead.

  • Marvel – Avengers, Ant-Man, Peter Parker
  • Star Wars –  Series 5, Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Stormtrooper Droids
  • Peter Pan
  • Cinderella
  • 101 Dalmations
  • D-Tour Series 2
  • Mickey Mouse Cartoon
  • Designer Series 1 – Miss Mindy
  • Popcorns
  • Park Starz Variants
  • Park 15 & 16
  • Eachez
  • Villainous Duos
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • D23 Expo
  • Gravity Falls
  • Imagination Gala releases
  • and much much more

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While many of the new Vinylmation series announced at the Imagination Gala are tried and tested, there was one surprise announcement that they will be introducing a brand new series by Disney custom artists, with the first artist featuring Miss Mindy. This will be a full production blind box series.
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What do you think of this idea?

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If your a Marvel fan, there are plenty of new Vinylmations coming your way, first up we have a Ant Man Eachez due out in December and there will also be another Marvel Eachez figure released, in the form of a Peter Parker/Spider-Man figure, the variant version will feature Peter Parker without the mask. Both these eachez have a Limited Edition size of 2500 and a price of $16.95.

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10491972_10202878512940079_8201264696451807715_nAlso coming soon is a new Avengers themed blind box series which will be a 8 piece set based on the movie and there will also be a twin pack featuring War-Machine and Iron Patriot which will be out in December 2014, have a LE size of 1500 and a retail price of $29.95.

Are you excited about any of these?

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There is plenty of love for Disney’s new show, Gravity Falls and not only have we seen Mabel featured in the recent Animation 5 and has her own Eachez figure coming out in the winter. Disney have also announced during the Imagination Gala that there will be a Gravity Falls blind box series that was designed by Caley Hicks & Thomas Scott and will be available in December.
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There will also be a Gravity Falls twin pack featuring Dance Dipper & Smile Dip Mabel
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Are you a fan of Gravity Falls?