Not everyone likes Vinylmations. Some think they’re creepy. Others think they’re silly. Still, many find them fun to collect. No matter what your opinion on these three-inch figures is, you will want to check out the new Park Starz 3 collection which includes fan favorites from Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Continuing with what appears to be Disney Merchandise Group’s new-found realization that guests are looking for items that celebrate park icons and attractions (no, I don’t mean that infamous Sorcerer’s Hat), this new series of Vinyls pays homage to the likes of the Haunted Mansion to Journey into the Imagination’s Dreamfinder. Take a closer look below to see if your park favorite is included!
I don’t know why it has taken so long, but Disney is finally recognizing the fact that regular park guests develop an appreciation for the little things that make their vacations special. Take the Dole Whip, for example, which took nearly two decades to be memorialized on a piece of merchandise. What about the Mickey Bar? This chocolatey piece of frozen art has been synonymous with a Disney vacation since before I was in elementary school and only landed on an item a few years back – a small cloth tote bag; yes, I own it. The fact that Disney has only recently had the light bulb moment that guests want merchandise specific to their experiences in the parks is beyond me. Now that this time has come though, we all can celebrate.
Vinylmation’s Park Starz falls into this category. The first series was released in 2011 and included fan favorites such as Jose from The Enchanted Tiki Room, dolls from It’s a Small World, the bride from The Haunted Mansion, and even Mr. Funnmeister and the robot butler from the now defunct Pleasure Island and Horizons respectively. In 2013, Park Starz 2 hit the shelves with even more friends – the disc man from Tapestry of Nations, Rex from Star Tours, the redhead from Pirates of the Caribbean, Florida’s Orange Bird, and Wally Boag from Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue.
As the momentum and popularity for the figures grew, guests began to predict what would be included in the next series and found out just a few weeks ago. The collection includes 11 known figures and one “chaser” that will be difficult to find. Each comes in a blind-sealed box:
- Astronaut from Space Mountain
- Abominable Snowman from Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Trixie from Country Bear Jamboree
- Turtle from Main Street Electrical Parade
- Sonny Eclipse from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
- Dreamfinder from Journey into Imagination
- Barker Bird from Enchanted Tiki Room
- Irish Boy & Cactus from It’s a Small World
- Caveman from Spaceship Earth
- Pirate & Pig from Pirates of the Caribbean
- Ezra the Hitchhiking Ghost from Haunted Mansion
- Polynesian Tiki (Chaser)
In true Disney fashion, Series 3 also includes limited edition variants of a few figures; these have boxes showing which character you will receive. Two have already been released – Pirate & Pig and Holiday Big Al & Trixie with the latter reminiscing of the Christmas Country Bear Jamboree show so many of us remember. The two remaining variants will be released Friday, June 27 and feature a clear Ezra and a Mission: SPACE astronaut. On this day, three Disney Design Group artists who designed figures in this series – Thomas Scott, Casey Jones, and Caley Hicks – will be at D-Street in Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World. There, they will be signing figures and talking with fans from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This would be a fun way to check out Park Starz and talk with some of the gurus behind it. If you’re in Disneyland, you can also find the figures at D-Street in Downtown Disney.
In the end, I think that both Vinylmation collectors and Disney fans will find Park Starz 3 as fun mementos of a recent visit to the parks. I love how they paid attention to what I like to call “Classic Disney Parks” and celebrated some of the icons that make vacations special. Just like the new merchandise at Marketplace Co-Op, this collection is a great addition to what we can bring back home. What would you like to see included in next series of Park Starz? Share your ideas in the comments below!