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If you are a parent, there is a really good chance that you’ve been singing “Let It Go” for roughly two years.  There is an even better chance that you are possibly “Frozen-ed out” by now.  The movie was released 2 years ago, yet this Disney money train shows no signs of stopping.

We now have the new Frozen Fun located at California Adventures,  plus the newly released Frozen short, and the announcement of new movie Frozen 2. With this extreme popularity and success, many Vinylmation fans were sold the minute they heard a new Frozen Vinylmation set would be released.  Before photos were released, many of us had ambitions of buying a set and collecting all of these impossible to fail Vinylmations.  After all, look at the Anna/Elsa box set.  There is no way this new Vinylmation set could let us down.  It’s gotta be a no brainer.  Then we saw the pictures….6387047711606-1

Once the pictures hit the internet, I was disappointed.  I tried desperately to get excited for this set. I looked at the pictures sideways, upside down, from far away, from up close.  Anything to change my perspective and persuade myself that I truly need this set. No matter what I did, I could not get myself to want this set.

The set consists of Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven, Kristoff, Hans, and the Trolls. We now also know that the chaser is Summertime Olaf.  Out of the entire set, I would say that this chaser is my favorite piece.  But that’s not saying much given the competition within the set. When compared to the Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast sets, these Vinylmations just didn’t do this hit movie the justice it deserves.

Of course, this is just one man’s opinion, but it seems like this is the general consensus behind this set.  How do you feel about this set?

Marvel-Villains-Lineup

This past week, Disney Infinity 2.0 has seen some new Villains added to its roster in the form of the Green Goblin from Spider-Man plus from the Guardians of the Galaxy we have seen Ronan The Accuser and Yondu released.

Each of these figures can go into their respected play sets and can also be used within the Toy Box 2.0. Abe and Roger share their thoughts on the figures and characters.

green goblin packaging
Green Goblin

Roger – The Green Goblin was the one Villain, I was excited to add to my collection from the announcement because I’m a huge Spider-Man fan and the figure looks amazing. Its huge and there is some great attention to detail, while I’m not as familiar with the Ultimate version, this figure is one of my favourites, it looks evil and that’s what I want from a Villain. The Green Goblin is great fun to play in the game and offers a perfect reason to jump back into the Spider-Man playset to replay as the main villain. The Green Goblin is great for close up attacks and his bombs are also extremely powerful, plus he has a awesome jump ability that looks cool. It’s a shame his glider wasn’t available at launch and was a big disappointment, but hopefully this will be fixed soon. Overall rating – 4 out of 5.

Abe – Green Goblin has one of the coolest looking faces on a figure. Yes, he might be ugly, but the detail of the ugliness is pretty well executed. I love his posture and the look of his armor. The glider woulda looked cool on the figure too, but he still is awesome.

Green Goblin looks clunky, but he moves very well. You can almost feel the weight of his armor when he moves to throw a punch or to dodge an attack. His “stand still” animation is quick and bug like, almost like stitch. I love the smirk on his face too.

His regular attack displays his brute force. Lots of using his entire arms to throw punches. It kinda feels like Hulk a bit, but his look makes it a bit unique. His trigger attack is him throwing his Bola Bombs. This looks recycled from Jack Skellington and his Pumpkin Bombs. Anyways, the bombs are cool when leveled as he throws two together. Plus he puts his body into the throw and spins when he throws it. Pretty cool. His special ability is green electricity coming out of his hands. Looks like a “Sith” attack if you ask me. Hint of things to come? Maybe…

3.5 out of 5 (WHERES MY GLIDER?)

ronan packaging

Ronan

Abe – Love the details of this figure. All the ridges on his clothing, the two long strands of his cape, his painted face, and his epic hammer. This figure stands out very well thanks to his look and weapon. Perfect paint jobs were hard to come by, but when you find a good one, he’s golden.

Ronan is very fluid with his movement and attacks. The purple glow from his hammer and the way he uses it just makes this figure cool to play with. Love how he stands with the hammer on his shoulder with his “stand still” animation. He’s kinda funny too.

Ronan makes use of his hammer very well in his attacks. His trigger attack is cool to look at and can be powerful when fully charged. His regular attack is unique because of the fact that he uses a hammer. It does make Ronan a special figure as he is one of the few to have a large weapon at all times (aside from thor). His special attack is….well not so special. He has a cloaking ability that felt kinda lazy due to the fact that a few other figures already share this special ability. An amazing special attack would have made this possibly my favorite figure. Sadly, that is not the case.

4 out of 5

Roger – Ronan is one of those characters that I didn’t have a huge connection with, I felt in the movie that he was a pretty 1 dimensional character, so wasn’t that excited to get him for Disney Infinity, but once I popped him down and started swinging around his huge hammer and knocking enemies flying, I was quickly turned. He is big and powerful, the blasts from his hammer are extremely strong, especially if they are charged up and having a super jump, means he can get around pretty quickly. Maybe not a figure I’ll use all the time but he is a great addition to the Infinity team. Rating – 3.5 Out of 5.

yondu packagin

Yondu:

Abe: Yondu looks pretty fierce. I love his coat and its cohesive look it has with Star-Lord’s. It is unbuttoned of course, to expose the arrow. Love the paint job on his face too. Warning, some of the figures were painted with cross-eyes so make sure he’s looking at you spot on.

Yondu jumps around much like Star-Lord, but he has his arrow that gives him a different look all together. I really with his arrow would have been animated coming out of his coat because just seeing it appear above his head looked odd. The arrow still moves around pretty well so I still like it.

Yondu is “hands on” with his combat. His regular attacks are all fists and he is quick, almost ninja like. But when he’s sick of throwing punches, his arrow comes out. His arrow attacks are cool. He has a finishing attack that makes him roll backwards and dish out three arrows. His pounce attack also leads him to unleash his arrow throwing fury. His trigger attack is all arrows, and when you level it up, it reminds me of the movie when he hits multiple enemies really fast. His special attack is cool. It looks like they recycled part of Captain America’s special attack, but only the beginning. Yondu releases a giant circle of arrows but they never come back. They do reach far distances which is pretty cool.

4.5 out of 5

Roger – Yondu is that strange choice, that rare character that doesn’t fit into the heroes category nor the villains, Abe and Me had a long conversation in our latest podcast about Yondu’s history and that might explain my lack of interest in this character. Compared to Ronan and the Green Goblin, he isn’t as powerful, but his arrow is a pretty impressive weapon that Guardians fans will love, but for me, he isn’t a top choice for future plays. Can’t put my finger on why, but I just enjoyed using the other villains more. Rating 3 out of 5.

Here are some unboxing videos of the 3 figures plus Roger shares his thoughts on the figures:



And in these gameplay videos, Abe shares his thought on the characters and takes a look at each figures abilities and Skill Tree:



What are your thoughts on Ronan, Yondu and the Green Goblin?

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Recently both Walt Disney World and Disneyland saw releases of a new Eachez featuring a Mickey Waffle, both figures had a limited edition size of 1000 with a variant ratio of 1 in 10.  There were some differences in some of the details like the variant and also each had a different logo on the back.

Here are two videos of the unboxing of each Eachez, along with my thoughts on the figures:

Walt Disney World

Disneyland

 

What do you think of these Eachez?

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The Vinylmation Critic Editorial: BIG HERO 6 REVIEW!

For those of you who have been living under a rock, or haven’t been touched by Disney’s terrible marketing, Big Hero 6 came out today!

So my review is gonna be full of spoilers but here are a couple short spoiler-free sentences for those of you who want to remain unspoiled: Animation, YAY! Story, eehhh…

So let’s get talking!

Entering Spoiler zone! 

Let’s start by talking about the short that accompanied this movie, Feast.

Feast was an okay short. The story was really generic and honestly, disappointing. I expected a lot from Disney coming after Paperman, and this just wasn’t up to par with that short. Heck, not even with Get A Horse. The reason why is because it just seemed random. Like, it was someone in the break room telling a quick thought without an editor or a critic around. It didn’t feel like it was ready to be displayed to the public. It just seemed like an afterthought. I, and my friend, completely forgot about it when we left the movie. 2/5

Now, BIG HERO 6!

Wow! What a beautiful looking movie. Before watching this movie, I had dinner with my friend and we were reminiscing about Frozen. I mentioned to her that I thought that Disney is still lacking in the animation department. Their animation just isn’t as good as their storytelling. I had exhibited this problem with both Wreck it Ralph and Frozen. I even remember seeing the animation on the trailer for Illumination’s Minions and thinking that they’re better at animation. So throughout all of that, why did Disney, a small fish, jump into a tank full of sharks? Well, because of the storytelling. BUT I am happy to report that Disney is finally up there with the quality of animation. This is a BEAUTIFUL movie. The background animation is absolutely stunning, especially the skies and clouds. San Fronsokyo looked amazing, but the animation came a full circle when we finally saw what that vortex looked like. That looked pretty amazing! I also have to mention that the animation done on those microchips was also stunning. However, all that said, Disney is still lacking on the character animation. I just think that their characters look so plain and simple. There were some scenes where I thought I was watching a cut scene from a video game. That is not what a Disney movie should be compared to! So while they did perfect the background animation, they really need to work on their character animation.

So what else did I like about the movie, well, this was one of the few movies that are aimed at children that deal with the loss of a loved one. If you think about it, this isn’t a movie about a gang of superheroes trying to solve a problem, it’s a story about a young boy dealing with grief. It doesn’t just show kids that it’s completely normal for them to go through this stage in life, but also, that they have people to support them. They have people to comfort them, people to sooth their pain, and most importantly, celebrating your loved ones for who they were, instead of only grieving about them. There are however a couple of downsides to this aspect of the story. As much as I loved this, I was kinda sad because we never really got a quiet moment with Hiro and Tadashi’s friends. I really wanted one heartfelt moment, a scene where they all sat down and talked about Tadashi and how much he meant, and still means, to them. They could have added this scene right after reconciling with Baymax and Hiro. Although, the scene where they were comforting Aunt Cass was devastating.

The other problem I had with this angle of the story was that it deteriorated the movie from being about the other 4 heroes. This movie truly felt like a movie about a boy and his robot, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that the inclusion of the other characters was completely unnecessary.  We never really see them go through any character arcs, no development to their abilities, and not an explanation. We had to sit through the god awful Fall Out Boy song while we saw the characters getting their superhero gear together. We never got an explanation on what they do, pretty shocking considering the main audience is supposed to be children. We never got the chance to truly get to know the characters. Why did they even decide to continue being heroes? It didn’t make sense to me and felt really forced.  I really expected more from Disney, and the more I look back it , the more I realize that the reason why the characters were never marketed was because they are just simply not in the movie long enough. Kind of like Elsa from Frozen. So what about the characters did I like and didn’t like?

  • Honey Lemon: She is probably my favorite of the group. I really loved the creativeness of her powers. That purse was pretty cool, but why did we only get to see it’s insides once? Also, a lot of the things that she was doing seemed unrealistic to me. I felt that they needed to flesh out her powers more. And speaking of that, where was the impressive arc that I thought we were gonna get?
  • Go Go Tomago: Make way for the stereotypical tomboy girl who blows bubble gum, acts cool, and has an empowering phrase… Seriously.. “Women Up”… What were they thinking? Go Go was a stereotypical character and nothing new was really added to her character. I knew she was going to be the one character to break in the end and hug Hiro, because they need to break through the exterior of her character. Her powers seemed cool though. But yeah.. just a cutout. Nothing new.
  • Wasabi: OCD guy. That’s it. That’s all I know about his character. He didn’t really do much so, let’s just end it at that.
  • Fred: You know, I thought he would be another TJ Miller annoying character, but I kind of liked him. I mean, he did have some really annoying scenes, but the majority of his character was good. I do however think that he was the most useless of the group. They really didn’t need him in there, except for the money, I guess?

And let’s talk about the advertised story, the one involving the villain. You know, I was really looking forward to this villain. I thought that we might, get a genuinely terrifying villain, which we haven’t seen in a long time in a Disney movie. And honestly, he is visually terrifying, but nothing beyond that. The big reveal was expected and I instantly knew what and why he was doing. I mean, why else would he do it? I thought the mask was really well done, but again, he’s not really a villain. There wasn’t enough focus on him. Sadly, the movie was way too in love with Baymax and Hiro that it just ignored everyone else!  I really wanted want more out of him, and there were some really impressive scenes that I liked, like the whole car chase scene. Him Jumping over the bridge and re-connecting with the microchips was pretty darn cool to see. But at the end of the day, he just remains a one note villain that serves a very cliche and tired sub-plot. I wanted more out of him.

The climax of the movie was also surprisingly tame and lame. I got the impression that we were gonna get a fight above the clouds, and a really cool one, but instead, there wasn’t anything thrilling. I remember sitting there starting to get bored, because it was just tamed. It wasn’t exciting as much as it should have been! And the big twist in the end with the daughter being alive was just unnecessary.  It was completely pointless and stole time from the other superheroes.

I want to talk about Baymax going evil, but I also don’t want to cross that line. This was a very cliche scene that I was hoping wouldn’t be in the movie. We already had an animated movie that had a similar scene, and it was definitely stronger in that movie.

Also, let’s discuss the score by Henry Jackman a bit. Actually, I’ll just say one thing. If you liked the score of WiR, then this is essentially the same score. If I had to hear both of them, I wouldn’t be able to distinguish them. It was very generic, and didn’t add anything to the movie. Maybe my opinion of it will change once I see it again, but there wasn’t any piece that just held my attention.

Lastly, the after credits scene, while silly, is totally worth staying for. It’s one of the best that I’ve ever seen and pretty darn smart. So make sure you stick behind for that!

Ultimately, I look at this movie in two different ways:

  1. This is a movie about a boy dealing with death and grievance. And I do believe that the movie succeeded.
  2. This is a movie about a group of superheroes, because it was called Big Hero 6. And I don’t think that the movie succeeded from this aspect.

So I have to give this movie a solid 7/10. That might change in a day to an 8, because I’m still debating whether 7 is fair. But we’ll see. I do think that you have to see it in a movie theater. The animation is breathtaking and the 3D adds a bit to the movie.

 

So what did you think of the movie? Comment down below on any questions or just your thoughts. I am very interested in hearing them!

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Infinity2_Logo_H500pxOn Launch Day (Sept. 23rd in the U.S.), I managed to devote my day to Disney Infinity 2.0….playing the game myself, but also getting the chance to see my kids (10-year old son and 8-year old daughter) get their hands on it as well.  Below are my lengthy thoughts and feelings from Day 1 of play:

Playsets — At this point, I have played in Avengers for 1 hour and Spider-Man for 30 minutes (watched my kids play Spider-Man more than I actually got to).  I’m obviously not very far into the game yet…but here goes:  If I had not read any reviews about the playsets, my Day 1 commentary would be completely positive.  At this point, I have had a blast in the playsets.  I have played a lot of LEGO games (which I enjoy) and noticed I quickly went into destroy-everything mode as I charged through Avengers Tower, picking up blue sparks everywhere I could.  JARVIS quipping in my ear was really cool and the music was well done.  The ENTIRE time I was playing through the Tower mission, I felt this sense of urgency — between the music and the alarms going off, I really felt like I’ve got to stay focused…bad things are going to happen if I don’t get the job done (and yet I still destroyed everything in sight to get my sparks).

Once I got outside, I had fun out in the open world where I could breathe, ride a motorcycle and chop down some more baddies.

I have acquired probably 75% of the crossover coins at this point…they are not hard to come across, but still got me very excited every time I found one (love the dialogue that comes with them).

Found a couple bonus boxes (can’t believe there are 100 of these guys floating around!).  At this point, I don’t know what they do, but I want them all!!!

I have played one challenge (a motorcycle race) and really like the new style  — more like 1.0 Adventures than 1.0 Challenges.  Instead of making me do the Challenge 3+ times to get my Easy, Medium, and Hard completions…you can earn Bronze, Silver, or Gold anytime you play as long as you hit the appropriate goals.  I generally enjoyed playset challenges in 1.0; so I believe that enjoyment will carry-forward in 2.0   [I am definitely going to need to learn the cityscape better so I can maximize my efficiency]

While playing with my daughter, we discovered a Vs. Mode at the top of Avengers Tower.  You may not ‘get’ anything out of performing this, but it sure was a ton of fun getting to have a PvP moment in the midst of a well-designed playset.  [For the record, my 8-year old daughter and I ended up in a tie…I’m already plotting my vengeance]

SpiderMan_3-LSo, that’s basically my playset time — I ‘may’ eventually be disappointed in the total story time (as I have read many complaints about so far)…but simply based on what I have done so far and where I am currently at in the game, I am Loving it!

The skill trees are really exciting as well.  I love that at least one of the special moves can be purchased pretty quickly.  I am loving these special moves.  They have turned me into a game-player who is obsessed with 2 things — Purple sparks (I feel like I’m constantly needing to get my figure juiced back up again) and Hordes of Enemies — so I can watch the Beauty That Is a special move taking out multiple enemies in one fell-swoop and then rejoicing in the barrage of multi-colored sparks that are all mine to collect, afterwards.

The variability of character skills already has me thinking about how/when I want to use certain characters.  I watched my kids play some of the Spider-Man playset before I got a chance…when it came my turn, I decided to start with Nick Fury — seemed to me that Spidey’s web-slinging and Nova’s flying were more of a hindrance inside of a building — I’ll focus on those two characters more when I get into the wide-open New York landscape.

 

So…I am a big fan of the additions that have been made to 2.0 figures.  I’ve always enjoyed leveling up figures, but it really has a purpose now and truly makes the process enjoyable and desirable [I can see that next special move in the horizon and I really want the points to go get it!]   :geek out:

ascardToy Box Game Discs

I have had an opportunity to play the training session and the first level of both the Assault on Asgard and Escape from the Kyln game discs.  During the first level of the Asgard ‘tower defense’, I made it to Wave 4 — allowed myself to get distracted — and lost.  Maybe that’s a good thing.  My respect for the Frost Giants has gone up (I had too much Thor-like self-confidence apparently) and will make sure I do a better job of using my turrets and other weapons in the future.  With that said, the gameplay was very fun and I look forward to tackling these levels more in the future.

More importantly, I had the opportunity to watch my son play through the first level later on in the day.  And this hurts me to say it…but he totally made me look like an amateur.  Only once (at the beginning when he was still figuring things out) was his precious Asgardian item ever in danger.  He had his weapons lined up in a way to maximize Frost Giant annihilation and just mowed through each Wave with ease.  The best part was the little clap he would give as each wave completed — I could tell he was enjoying the game and really getting a sense of accomplishment out of his success.

Escape from the Kyln – My expectations were high for this game disc…ever since the April 30th announcement, this has looked like a blast.  With one level down, I still believe this assessment to be true.  I played with Rocket Raccoon [and his key-finding sidekick].  I was very impressed with the length of this one level and that you really have to keep track of where you are, what you need to acquire next, and oh yeah…avoid the barrage of baddies that are waiting everywhere.  With the variety of skills between figures (as previously stated), I really enjoy the combat side of 2.0 and this game disc is a perfect place to vent your toy-power aggression.

I do still need to get a better handle on how reviving works.  My sidekick was defeated toward the end of the level and I attempted to revive him.  The process took long enough that I ended up dying in the process [really hacked me off, too…but at least it gave me a chance to put Groot on the portal and have fun with his crazy, cool maneuvers].

These two game discs look to be a blast and I’m excited that I have many more levels on each one to progress through, let alone testing the variability of gameplay through multiple plays with different figures.  [Later on in the life-cycle of 2.0, I have a feeling I will be running through these levels with different figures to track their scores – create my own little game disc tournaments, I’m thinking]

Donald Duck Toy Box8-LThe Toy Box

I actually spent more Day 1 time in the Toy Box than I initially planned.  Some of that time was spent on a quick session of adding all my 1.0 figures and playsets to 2.0.  I was rushing through this process, but stopped on two figures – Wreck-It Ralph and Holley (wanted to check out a Cars figure) – to see their skill trees.  I’ll start with Holley, where I was curious what kind of “new skills” they could actually come up with for the vehicle figures.  For the most part, you are adding value (I suppose) to their weapons, health, boost ability, and jump ability.  I picked some skills for Holley but have yet to test them.  It will be interesting to see whether these are just skills in name or if they come across as true upgrades to the Cars characters.  For Ralph, I was pleased with the new items they were able to give the old 1.0 figures – things like power slams, super jumps, increased damage…  These may not be huge additions, but it is still great to see your old figure do something new AND I feel like this is a good step in making sure 1.0 figures can try to compete at the level of 2.0 figures.

After some Marvel gameplay and getting 1.0 figures added, I made sure to check out the ‘updated’ Hall of Heroes and the new Hall of Super Heroes.  For me, this was the main area of 2.0 where I came away feeling disappointed.  While the new Hall of Heroes is expanded, it somehow feels smaller and less grand in the process.  I am hoping that more quality time to roam around will change these feelings.  For the Marvel side, though, the area of disappointment is just a MISS to me.  I do NOT like the holograms: a) the holograms do a poor job of displaying the likeness of the character…statues look much better and b) the bronze, silver, gold lights at the bottom are a very weak reward for leveling your character to certain points.  In 1.0, there was a sense of enjoyment in watching your Bronze statue turn Silver and then returning to the Hall again to watch him/her turn Gold.  Now…I get a new light at the bottom of a poorly-displayed hologram.  ::shrug::

Introduction to the Toy Box – This was another enjoyable aspect for me.  First off, as a big Disney fan, it was very enjoyable to get to interact with various Disney townspeople…and they did a great job of picking which characters would be your Hosts for certain areas of the Toy Box.  What did this introduction section accomplish?  At a very basic level, it did a good job of introducing players to new aspects of 2.0 and for a brand new player to even more basic aspects of the game that as old-timers take for granted.  The reward of unlocking new toys helped keep a “completionist” like myself excited about moving forward through the tutorials to see what prize I would get next (hint: the 2nd prize and the last prize were the really exciting ones for this guy).  Beyond the basics, this Introduction does a great job of showing you little tidbits of what is possible in Toy Box 2.0 – things like a beautiful Agrabah scene, luscious jungle environment, a playful cityscape, the new treehouse, and even the new upgrades to rail slides and track pieces.  On top of all that, there was even the opportunity to keep fighting bad guys and continue earning My Precious colorful sparks.

As part of this introduction, you get a chance to follow Cogsworth into the MyINterior portion of the new Toy Box 2.0.  This was my least favorite part of the day to be stuck with being the tag-along 2nd player…but when it was my turn to go through the Interiors tutorial, I had a blast.  There are so many awesome Disney townspeople running around and so many wonderful unlocks that could potentially send a Disney fanatic into Excitement Overload.  I predict MANY-an-hour in the future in which my 10-year old and 8-year old will spend building INteriors toy boxes, creating houses of varied levels of imagination.  It’s going to be great!  Personally, I did not finish this section of the tutorials, so look forward to progressing further and unlocking more awesome toys.

Speaking of awesome toys, I am really pleased with the new Toy Store system that has been implemented.  Instead of random vault spins, I can gather sparks during gameplay (thank you LEGO games for teaching me to bash everything) and surf through the numerous pages of toys in the store to start collecting the toys I want the most – and right now, I really want BUILDERS!  Toward the end of the day, I thought I had a lot of spark currency (approximately 13,000).  I wiped that all out quickly during a shopping binge to buy some Race Track builders and the ‘monkey’ Rails helper.  It pleases me to know that there are still a whole lot more toys that I can strive to purchase as I gather more blue sparks in the days ahead.

As for the Toy Box itself – the Toy Box as we 1.0ers generally think about it – starting with a blank landscape and building our own worlds…  I honestly did spend much time in this section of the game → my focus being on structured gameplay, tutorials, and unlocking more Toy Box items.  I’ve seen enough, though, to feel confident in saying that Toy Box 2.0 is going to be awesome…potentially even EPIC.  I was initially concerned about the inability to use the wonderful builders that were shown to us back at the big 2.0 reveal; later discovering that you unlock/purchase these builders as you progress through the game (whew!)

What I have seen in just a few minutes that made me/my family excited = a) the enemy generator seems to have been beefed up a little better AND with these new Marvel figures/skill trees, I could have hours of fun just battling a constant barrage of baddies (you may have noticed a theme with me…) and b) the first time my son discovered a 1.0 building set that had been upgraded was quite a joy – he had placed down Doof’s Evil Inc. building and noticed an INfinity button at the bottom.  He eagerly ran over to press it and was quite pleased to sit that the top of Doof’s building can now open and close.  It may not be much, but it is a simple upgrade that helps bring the Toy Box to life that much more.

I did try to take a little time on Day 1 to venture into some of the Downloadable Content.  My first attempt was ‘Fight Fighters’.  You had me at Gravity Falls, Community Team…well-played.  While neatly-designed, the downfall of this toy box is that it is almost unplayable as 2-person co-op on the same TV.  Absolutely no viewing space to see what you are doing…hopefully it plays much better in online co-op.  I also played the MightyGitis ‘I.Am.Groot.’ toy box.  I recall seeing this one from Toy Box Summit so was happy to get to play it for myself.  Flying around in the Milano was a blast…plus this is such a beautifully designed toy box.  There are currently 8 more available and am looking forward to playing the rest, including the new ones that will come out weekly…AND I HAVEN’T EVEN CHECKED OUT ANY OF MY FRIENDS’ SHARED TOY BOXES YET!  So much content in 2.0 – not sure how I’m going to handle it.

Infinity Gauntlet

Infinity Gauntlet

Power Discs

Lastly, I would like to discuss power discs.  My family opened 13 power disc packs on Launch Day.  To start, I am really pleased with the distribution I am seeing so far.  The likelihood coming across duplicates (especially within a single box) seem to be much lower.  Out of 26 discs, we got 22 unique power discs…so only 4 duplicates…and 2 of those 22 were rares (Yondu and Ghost Rider).  Beyond that, though, I feel that the DI team has stepped up the value of power discs for 2.0

In 1.0, I was excited about power discs, but ended up using them less often than I expected.  Powers ended up being ignorable.  I picked two that gave me the alchemy combo I desired and just always used those same two round discs.  The toys were cool, but most of the weapons ended up being beaten out by toys I unlocked in the game.  My favorite toys were horses and vehicles – but overall, my favorite 1.0 power discs were Customization pieces; the ability to change the appearance of a toybox with new terrains and skydomes.

In 2.0, we are still getting great customization discs, but the value of the circular discs has definitely increased.  Costume discs are a blast – I get to see some of my characters in a different look without having to go out and buy a variant figure.  Team-ups are a ton of fun and will quickly become go-to power discs for my everyday gameplay.  Why in the world would I ‘not’ play with a team-up player warming-up to come assist me at some point.  White Tiger is cool; Yondu takes care of business; but watching Ant Man shrink, grow, and pummel is the Real Deal.  On top of that, we now have event discs that you can put under your character as well.  Instead of bland powers, these are discs that provide tangible (and cool!) assistance when you need it the most.

Geek-tastic moment:  Upgrading your figure to have a special move…having a team-up disc under you…and an event disc as well – the opportunities for Epic Enemy Evisceration are so awesome.

fwb_infinity2_no-cta_20140724In conclusion, I spent a full day either playing or getting to see my kids play 2.0 and we barely scratched the surface…but what I scratched has me itching to spend countless hours in the days, weeks, months ahead playing this New and Improved version of Disney Infinity.

Playsets look beautiful and are fun so far – I’m exciting about hunting down the hundreds of collectibles and trying to perfect my skills in the various challenges.

Toy Box Game Discs are a blast.  Gameplay is fun and challenging – plus this area really convinces me that I need to get better at my gameplay and increase my character skills so I can prove my worthiness on the field.

Toy Box 2.0 is mammoth – so many awesome new toys; excellent new logic pieces and templates; great additions to old pieces – plus, INteriors, Door Linking, and Builders!!  And now I can get a hold of even more community content than before!

Power Discs – yes, they still take up space and they are still in blind packs; but I believe they carry more value and are actually exciting to use now.

Hall of Heroes – well, I guess I had to have something negative to say.  Please take away my Marvel holograms.

 

  • John Crocker (crocko33)

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It is unmistakeable how much a movie’s score can affect and guide your emotions. For instance, one can’t listen to the first three seconds of the Star Wars theme song by John Williams without getting excited and pumped up to be taken to a galaxy far, far, away.  Or try listening to the intro notes of the Harry Potter score without thinking about Hogwartz and Diagon Alley.  You just can’t.  Great movie scores go hand in hand with great movies.  Pixar has capitalized on this idea with their symphony performance of Pixar in Concert.

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With Pixar in Concert, the fancy symphony hall is transformed into a mini Disney playground.  What is usually a solemn and professional atmosphere is replaced with laughter and Disney magic.  When I first walked into the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, I was greeted by a gentleman playing Disney songs on a piano while kids and parents were singing along.  A chorus of kids sang as “Let it Go” echoed through the usually reserved halls.  Throughout the reception area, life size figures of my favorite Pixar characters were scattered throughout as people lined up to take pictures with them.  Even the navigational signs were replaced with pictures of the characters from our beloved films. “Of course I know where balcony seating is!  The sign with Queen Elinor from Brave showed me the way!”

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I was lucky enough to go on a night where Brad Bird was hosting.  The name may not sound familiar, but you definitely know his work.  Bird was the writer and director for The Incredibles and Ratatouille.  Before the performance and after intermission, Bird enlightened us to some great behind the scene stories regarding his masterpieces and the music behind them.

As for the performance, it was an unreal way of experiencing Disney/Pixar. Each Pixar film had an approximate 10 minute montage played on the big screening while the San Francisco Symphony performed the accompanying score.  What bewildered me was how watching the films in this manner allowed us to laugh and cry at the same jokes and emotional scenes we’ve known for years as if it was our first time experiencing them.  For example, even though most of the audience has watched all of the Pixar films, this didn’t stop the crowd from bursting into laughter when Woody used Buzz’s helmet to light the match at the end of the original Toy Story.

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One of the challenges of the night was deciding when to watch the montage on the big screen versus when to watch the conductor and the symphony execute their virtuoso performances. Since it was hard to not watch Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and the other classics on the big screen, I opted to watch the symphony during their performance of the two Cars movies; a franchise I’ve never been too into. Seeing the conductor Sarah Hicks perform was nothing short of magical in itself.  It was amazing to see her move in rhythm while pointing and directing the musicians with her baton.  I felt like I was watching Mickey Mouse execute his magic on the brooms during The Sorcerers Apprentice scene in Fantasia.

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The highlight of my night was watching Carl and Ellie’s “Married Life” montage.  I knew the roller coaster ride of emotions I was in for, but that still didn’t prepare me or anyone in the audience.  When the music slowed down and we saw a young Carl with his hands on the shoulders of a slumped over and crying Ellie, my heart sped up and I had to hold back the tears.  After the entire segment, I knew I wasn’t the only one.  You could hear scattered sniffles and noses being blown all throughout the auditorium.

If Pixar in Concert comes to your town, I would highly recommend it as a romantic date night or a fun filled family outing.  It was an absolutely great time for me and my wife and we will definitely take the kids next time Pixar in Concert comes back to San Francisco.

 

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As you all probably already know, Vinylmation collectors and traders Graham and Claire were featured on episode three of the Hoarder Next Door on Channel 4.  We have spoke to them before and were featured in our Collectors Spotlight before finding out they were going to be on the show! With the episode since been shown on Channel 4, we wanted to bring you our very own review of the episode!

This review is purely only on Claire & Graham’s story only, in the episode.

The program kicks off with a quick preview of the stories in the episode, showing many previews Claire & Graham’s massive collection and even showing some of the 25th Anniversary Vinylmations! (Which I, myself, got excited about!) About fifteen minutes in, after the break, their story starts.

Capture 2It starts, explaining the definition of a collector compared to hoarder. Then it fades to a Graham and Claire’s house in Essex. Claire shows off the whole of her collection, as well a saying that Vinylmations are her current fad! Every inch of there home is covered with some form of Disney item or memorabilia, which is unbelievable on a massive extent. (Even their bed covers were Disney themed!) Graham explains how he wants his own space and that he wants it to be partly cut down for room.

The experts later come into the episode with help. The experts firstly analysed the house with amazed, gob smacked faces due to the extent of their collection and how its taken over the house. The experts help Claire to sort her Disney collection out in the study and spare room. They sort it into three piles, stuff to keep, stuff to sale and stuff to give to charity. They one of the areas they focused on was the large scale of plush toys, including a massive Stitch and Sulley. While sorting it out, Claire even questions why she even brought some of the Disney memorabilia she has. Claire in the end fills twenty bags and boxes!

Capture 4The study is later emptied for Graham to take over and Claire can’t help herself to try and help. She attempts to place some items on the shelf but instead knocks over Marvel Lego. This brought a comedy element to the program, even though its wasn’t deliberate, which made my whole family laugh! The collection in the spare room was also organised and brought order to the room.

Me and my whole family thoroughly enjoyed the story featuring Graham and Claire. A comedy element as well as serious element all played part in the story which brought the enjoyment to it. We all loved to point out all the Disney characters we could see in the episode as well as pointing out the many different Vinylmation series’ they had on display. The episode I would recommend for anyone at any age, with a big heart for Disney to watch it. Its an amazing, inspirational episode which all can enjoy!

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Note – This Episode will be available for a limited time for United Kingdom residents through Channel 4 Video On Demand

Don’t forget to check out our interview with Graham and Claire as well as their feature on the Collection Spotlight, here on Vinylmation Kingdom.

Did you watch the episode? Let us know in the comments!

toy story 2

 

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Toy Story is without doubt one of the most popular movie franchises Disney has, it launched Computer Generated Animation and including Toy Story in Disney Infinity makes perfect sense.  Not just in terms of the amount of pounds it’ll bring in for Disney but Disney Infinity is essentially a version of Toy Story.

You have a bunch of random toys thrown together and played with, that is Toy Story!

This play set is probably the most eagerly awaited set for Disney Infinity and could have easily been included in the Starter Pack, but I understand the reasons why they went with this option.

With two figures included in this set, Buzz and Jessie, the first thing that comes to mind when I first saw this announced was how they had put Woody as a stand alone character, its not rocket science that it makes people buy him as well as you can’t have Buzz without Woody, but I still think its a very harsh way of getting extra money out of people as I’ll be honest, I can’t see Jessie being the number 1 choice to play with for most people.  The minute my wife saw what I was buying in the supermarket, she instantly said it was wrong how they have packaged this set, which I kind of agree with.  If my wife had this thought straight away, I’m sure parents across the globe are saying it too.

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But lets get down to the actual figures themselves, Buzz Lightyear is now probably my most favourite figure from the entire Disney Infinity range, it just oozes awesomeness and in a strange turn of fate, the figure looks almost identical to the Cake Topper we had for our Wedding (I didn’t want a guy in a Tuxedo so went with Buzz Lightyear instead!)   Jessie is a fine solid figure but as I mentioned before, with Woody being a fantastic figure as well, I can’t see me using this one much.

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The actual play set is a lot different to how I imagined it to be, its a completely stand alone piece, set on an alien planet from the Star Command universe, you have a similar job of running around, building buildings, collecting orbs and completing challenges.  Having spent so long in the Toy Box fighting Zurg’s robots, I had expected a lot more combat in this game, much like with the Incredible’s play set. Though there are a few Combat simulations to battle the robots, but it feels like that was thrown in on the side and on the very last mission.   So at first I was a little disappointed with the early part of the game as it wasn’t as good as I had hoped for.  But as I played through the game, it became much more enjoyable especially once the Jet Pack and Jump Pack got involved.   toystory-3-e39bb630678ca782c1eeed349cdb0d04Perhaps the biggest bug for me is how all three characters have the exact same method of attack, throwing Pixar balls, it just felt a bit lazy on the developers side to have done this.  Buzz Lightyear has a lazer on his arm yet he has to throw a ball, once you’ve got the lazer gun, things improve but then that’s already available as a Power Disc.  Again this is down to expectations, most of the play sets have a different feel to them and this one just left me thinking, it feels like a cocktail of the other ones, all just mixed together to create a rather pleasant experience but maybe not one that knocks your socks off.

Fans of Toy Story will love this play set as all the main characters pop up at some point and the Little Green Men are constantly providing little missions to keep you busy and some of the toys like the shrink and grow goo guns are neat.  I also thought the little Sea Horse ride on character was a nice addition but with only one little adventure, it feels like a missed opportunity.  This play set has kept me entertained for well over 12 hours by the time I go through and unlock everything, complete every challenge, find every little thing in the play set.  It’s possible to rush through the play set but if you take your time and do everything, there is plenty to do.

The Toy Story play set is a great addition to Disney Infinity and is going to be very popular, taking the game away from their normal universe is a great idea and leaves the door open for another Toy Story play set.  Toy Story is a great play set but maybe I expected more but I have to admit, running around riding Bullsye or flying around with the Jetpack is a lot of fun!  Toy Story fans will love it!

What do you think?

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