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The Force is Strong with Vinylmation

posted on January 12th, 2011 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Vinylmation – Star Wars Series #1

Finally! It’s coming to a galaxy not so far, far away! The highly anticipated VinylmationStar Wars Series #1 arrives at D-Street locations this coming weekend. We have planned two special launch parties for this new series. Before I get to those event details, I spoke with Disney Design Group Artist (and member of the local Jedi Council) Mike Sullivan who gave me an inside look at how this new series was created.

Vinylmation – Star Wars Series #1

“I have been a fan of Star Wars for almost all of my life,” says Mike. “When ‘Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back’ came to theaters, I vividly remember waiting in line to see it while wearing my Star Wars tee-shirt. Needless to say, being introduced to Star Wars at an early age made me a fan for life.”

This Vinylmation series was developed especially for the Disney Parks. It will not be available for sale via the on-line Disney Theme Park Store or at local Disney Stores. Mike explained that work on the series began in 2009.

“We began with several rough sketches of characters we wanted in the series,” explained Mike. “We selected characters from ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary. With so many memorable characters in the film, it was difficult to select just 12 figures. We worked closely with the great team at Lucasfilm to make the final choices for this first series.”

Mike has worked on several other Star Wars-themed merchandise items for Disney Parks. He was particularly excited about this series.

Vinylmation – Star Wars Series #1

“This particular project was exciting and different for me since the characters had to be stylized so much to fit the Vinylmation form,” continued Mike. “I particularly like Boba Fett as he’s one of my favorite characters. I spent extra time making sure every detail on his figure was just right.”

As promised, here are the details for our Star Wars-themed release parties. In Florida, D-Street at Downtown Disney West Side will hold the first ever “midnight release party” at the close of Thursday, January 13 (so technically early Friday morning). As part of the festivities, Mike will be available to autograph figures from 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Mike will then book passage on the Millennium Falcon, and travel to D-Street at the Downtown Disney District in California on Sunday, January 16. He will autograph figures from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. D-Street will open at 8:00 a.m. that Sunday morning.

Please note that for both release parties, there will be purchase and autograph limits (we want to keep things fun for everyone). So set your course for light speed and we hope to see you at a D-Street this weekend!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney, Downtown Disney District, Walt Disney World Resort

42 Comments 8 Replies

1

Denise on January 12th, 2011 at 10:54 am

i am very upset that this series will NOT be available in the stores! i am up in new jersey & cannot just get down to disney right now! my daughter & i are HUGE star wars & vinylmation fans and would love to add this to our collection! will they be available at the times square store in nyc? the old store up on 5th avenue use to carry ALOT of the park merchandise & we loved going there when we couldn’t get our park-fix.

2

Ryan on January 12th, 2011 at 10:55 am

I have been looking forward to this series for a LONG time.

Question – The preview set at D-street WDW has some of the characters with accessories that I don’t see here, such as Darth Vader’s lightsaber, or (my personal favorite) Boba Fett’s jetpack.

Are those accessories coming with the figures, or are they variants of the figures posted?

 

Steven Miller on January 12th, 2011 at 11:23 am

@Denise – I’m sorry to hear of your disappointment. The main reason is due to contractual agreements between Disney Parks and LucasFilm. I know other fans may have the same question, so I figured I’d answer this one early.

Now for good news – fans can still order these figures via mail order.

For Disneyland Resort, please telephone: 800-362-4533

For Walt Disney World Resort, please telephone: 877-560-6477

@Ryan – I too have been looking forward to the series for a long time … long time. The top photo was actually an early shot that was created for Celebration V in August 2010. The figures on display at D-Street are the final versions. So you will see the accessories. Sadly, the rocket doesn’t fire on Boba Fett’s jet pack :-)

3

Dana on January 12th, 2011 at 11:12 am

Are they coming with the accessories?

4

Dan from MI on January 12th, 2011 at 11:21 am

Denise, think they should be on the online store. You could check there.

5

Dan from MI on January 12th, 2011 at 11:23 am

never mind, missed the part about not at stores or online.

6

Carrie on January 12th, 2011 at 11:44 am

The set is awesome. Can I ask a silly question? Do you know the approximate cost of the set? I have raised 2 S.W. fanatic collector sons. One 23, one soon to be 12. I need to see if I can ‘afford’ 2 sets! These would be great in the Easter baskets!!

 

Steven Miller on January 12th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

All – Updated the photo of Boba Fett (my bad – the original image was an early sample that I photographed a long time ago).

@Carrie – The individual figures are $11.95 each (plus tax). The entire tray of 24 is approximately $287 (plus tax).

7

allison on January 12th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

We are heading down to WDW in early February- will these ONLY be sold at the D-Street location, or will they be available throughout stores in the parks?

8

Dennis on January 12th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I LOVE these! I grew up with Star Wars! Will the figures only be available for a limited time, or will we still be able to find them at the D-Street Store if we are at Disney in September?

Thanks!

9

Joshua on January 12th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Are these going to be in clear boxes like the Nightmare Before Christmas set so you can see what you’re buying or are they blind boxes?

 

Steven Miller on January 12th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

@Allison – The initial launch will take place at the D-Street locations. After a period of time (and depending upon availability of inventory), we will spread the series to other locations throughout Disney Parks and Resorts.

@Dennis – Right on! I’ve been a fan since I was three. Dressed as a Jawa for Halloween in 1981. Awesomeness! These figures are a limited release mystery series. That means we plan to carry them for a longer period of time (clearly going to be a popular series). Eventually, they would be retired.

@Joshua – They will be a mystery box so you won’t know which figure you are getting.

10

Adam on January 12th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Looks awesome!

11

Dana on January 12th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Any news on the Animation Combo pack or Villains series release date?

12

Michael on January 12th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Question about the animation #1 Pinocchio variant: what is the rarity of this figure? A lot more people seem to be getting the donkey figure in their boxes. Can you please clarify if the human version is more rare? Thank you!

 

Steven Miller on January 13th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

@Dana – Please continue to watch this page:

http://eventservices.disney.go.com/static/vinylmation/events.html

@Michael – The Pinocchio as a real boy is more rare. We unfortunately do not share numbers on the rarity of variant figures. But if you find one you could shout, “I’m real. I’m a real boy!” :-)

13

Bridget on January 12th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I can’t wait for this I watched the movie for the first time over the weekend and now I have to buy these but can I ask you if you are going to have another vinylmation chat again soon?

14

Vanessa on January 12th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Love them! A must for any Star War collector.

15

Stuart from FL on January 12th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

A little confused. It looks like there are 11 figures plus a chase from what I’ve heard. Is a tray of 24 a complete set plus extras??

 

Steven Miller on January 13th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

@Stuart – The series is a limited release mystery set. Trays contain 24 figures. There are 11 known figures as they are pictured on the outside of the box. The 12th figure is the mystery chaser. There is only one mystery chaser per tray.

16

Shawn on January 13th, 2011 at 12:57 am

While not being a huge fan of the Vinylmation…I so want these! May have to look into the mail order :)

So much between Lucas and Disney. Should really work together and create a Star Wars based ‘Land’ at one of the parks :)

17

Christopher on January 13th, 2011 at 9:45 am

Now I just called the Walt Disney World mail order line and was informed that this series is now available but that pending availability, I would not be able to order until AFTER January 20. Can you possibly verify this because I have been waiting for this series since last year to only be told I’ll have to wait until after the line has possibly sold. Thanks!

Its unfortunate that this series was presented in such manner given the fact that the original release was for last year. As a matter of fact, it was anticipated for Celebration V and the Last Tour to Endor. Quite honestly this release has been scheduled around January with no event in mind… It would have been better to schedule it with the re-opening of Star Tours at the most, or Star Wars Weekends at the very least. I understand you can’t make everyone happy and issues with paint and getting the shipment slowed down production. Still, all in all its one case I would definitely buy, not just singles.

18

Christopher on January 13th, 2011 at 10:23 am

When will the Star Wars Vinylmations be available for mail order? According to guest services, I was first informed after the 20th, and then I was told not until next month. Is there a solid date?

19

Heath on January 13th, 2011 at 10:36 am

i’m with the thousands of people that i’m sure will be disappointed not to be able to purchase these vinyls online or at the disney store…that’s a shame…

question about the mail order process – are you able to purchase individual vinylmation blind boxes this way, or only complete trays?

 

Steven Miller on January 13th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

@Heath – I have confirmed with Mail Order that you will only be able to order whole trays of the Vinylmation – Star Wars Series #1.

20

Merrill from CA on January 13th, 2011 at 11:52 am

Will there be any variants in the star wars set like with some in the Animation series?

And why the increase in vinyls from $9.95 to $11.95… I mean I do agree the designs are awesome but does it cost more to produce them now then before?

 

Steven Miller on January 13th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

@Merrill – We periodically review pricing for all merchandise items with many partners from planning, pricing (yes, there is a division for that) and product development. Prices can change – sometimes down and sometimes up. It is a balance we continually strike for every series we release.

[waves hand] – You don’t need to know about variants :-) (LOL!)

21

Anthony on January 13th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

this is AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

22

Steven Miller on January 13th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

@Christopher – I am sorry to hear of your disappointment. Trust me, we too would have LOVED to release this series earlier in 2010. Knowing that many fans have been anticipating this release, we wanted to release it as soon as possible. The good news is that this series is planned to be around for awhile.

I spoke with our development/planning/mail order teams. The series will be released only at the D-Street locations for two weeks.

After January 28, it will be spread to additional locations (depending upon availability). As mentioned, it will be around for awhile so we have back-up orders already planned. It is at that time that orders can be placed via the Mail Order numbers listed at the top of this article. You should be able to order whole trays.

I again apologize for your frustrations and hope my information has been helpful.

23

Jennifer from NJ on January 13th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi! We will be at Disney for a long weekend January 20-23…is there a possibility that these will still be available????
My sons (6 and 3) are huge Star Wars fans,thanks to my husband!

 

Steven Miller on January 14th, 2011 at 9:48 am

A big thank you to the many fans who braved the chilly weather early this morning to attend our first ever “midnight release party” at D-Street in Florida. It was a blast for me (though I could have used some gloves).

You can see photos from the event by visiting our Vinylmation.com Blog (look for January 14 entry): http://eventservices.disney.go.com/static/vinylmation/blog.html

@Jennifer – In theory, yes. I would visit D-Street first as they will have the series until Jan. 28 when it will be spread to additional locations. We planned the series to be around for awhile. Have a wonderful trip!

24

Dana on January 14th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hi Steven (Dana A – here) :)

Glad that last night was such a success!!! Now that we know the chaser and the super chaser, they had mentioned that the variant was rarer than the chaser in the series. Which is leading us to believe that there is not a super chaser in each case. Is there any way to let us know what the edition size is for the super chaser? Thanks again and looking forward next to the Villains release :)

25

David on January 14th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Where is the best place for up to date Star Wars Vinylmation information. So far Steven Miller has been excellent answering questions here.

I’m most interested in the future of this series. What can be expect? ANH or ROTJ next? How long between series? stuff like that.

Thanks.

26

Steven Miller on January 14th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

@Dana – Aloha! Yes, there was a Mystery Chaser and the new “Super Mystery Chaser” (or variant as some would say). Unfortunately, we are not sharing numbers on the rarity or amount that were produced. I can say that “Super Chasers” are rarer than the Mystery Chasers. So your assumption of “not one in every tray” would be correct. Yet every tray will still continue to have a “Mystery Chaser.” Make sense?

@David – Many mahalos for the kind words. The Disney Parks Blog rocks! I enjoy having the ability to respond to questions in a timely manner.

You should also visit us at http://www.disney.com/vinylmation

Or you can follow us on our official Facebook page: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/exit?go2=http://www.facebook.com/vinylmation

We call this series Vinylmation – Star Wars Series #1. Naturally, one can assume there will be a series #2. I know the development team is working on things (as it takes about a year from concept to development). Each series (Park, Urban, Holiday, etc.) are planned for a variety of different time periods. Series #1 will eventually be retired. When? I heard someone quite wise once say, “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.” Or something like that :-)

27

Hannah on January 14th, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Hopefully there will be pins of ALL of the Star Wars Vinylmation series! We love our Star Wars Series 1 pins!

(We are also hoping for Vinylmation pins of the Animation and Villain series!! Hint Hint)

28

Darren on January 15th, 2011 at 9:31 am

Hi Steven, just writing to say we had a great time in the cold waiting fir the Star wars Vinylmation. We made a few new friends including yourself! We are back for mire Disney fun Tuesday before we fly home to England so hope to see you around. All our best Darren & Nicky

29

Aaron on January 16th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

May the force be with you in the sales of these.

30

Don on January 17th, 2011 at 10:14 am

The Star Wars collection is one of my favorite series yet! Great job!!!I know with only one chaser per tray of 24 you have to make a decision on which figure will be selected to be placed in each tray three times. I am glad that the Stormtrooper was the one chosen this time. How do you decide on which one is chosen or is it just random? Keep up the great work!!!

31

Bon on January 17th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Steve,
Thanks for a wonderful event…We were the Couple from Jacksonville,FL….We cannot wait for the next Midnight Release…It was a hit…Cold, but Awesome….We purchased 2 boxes and I still haven’t opened one of them….I think I’ll wait a while….BTW you were just as awesome…Thanks again…..

32

Steven Miller on January 17th, 2011 at 11:00 pm

@Hannah – You probably won’t see all of the Vinylmation – Star Wars figures. We typically don’t produce the mystery chaser figure as a pin (in order to keep it a mystery). As for Vinylmation – Animation … just wait :-)

@Darren – It was a pleasure to meet you. Glad you checked out the blog. Thank you for joining in the freezing fun of our first midnight release. I too had a blast! Hope to see you again (and gosh, I’d love to visit the UK one day).

@Don – I believe the selection of the Stormtrooper was Donald’s idea (developer for Vinylmation). Makes total sense, doesn’t it. There are so many of them in the Star Wars Universe. I wonder which figure is TK-421 and will he return to his post. :-) How the figures are selected really depends on the series. No real magical formula – just discussions between the developer and the lead designers.

@Bon – Right on! Great to see you at the event and on the internets. Thanks for driving down from Jacksonville. I concur – it was cold but such an awesome time. We’ve already started talking about future things. So stay tuned. Hope to see you at another release.

33

Jimmy on January 18th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

The real question is when is Animation #2 coming out? Animation #1 was sensational! And when are you coming to visit us on the West Coast Steven? I’m not feeling the love…keep up the good posts

34

Jenny on January 18th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Hi Steven. We just happened to stumble upon DStreet on Sunday night and were lucky enough to purchase 4 SW vinylmations(one of which was a super chaser!). We went back last night (Monday) and they had already sold out that morning. We heard one of the castmembers mention it would be another month before DStreet would get more in, but can you please confirm what you know about the next release date? Much Mahalo!!

35

Jenny on January 18th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I forgot to mention that it is the D Street in DTD Disneyland.

36

Alisa from TN on January 18th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

My son got his Friday (mom couldn’t stay up til midnight)at D-Street. They are very cool.

37

Christine on January 22nd, 2011 at 7:54 pm

You know, you said that those of us who do not live close to the parks could order the star wars vinyls through mail order… well, I tried and was told that they would not be able to take my order until January 28. And then only if there were any left at that time. That was from WDW, so I called Disneyland too, and was told the same thing but the lady added that they were already sold out so she was not sure when there would be any available. I am really disappointed. Will there be any for us to order through mail order??
Thanks

38

Timothy on January 27th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Hi Steven,

Kind of a late question on the Star Wars Vinylmation. But, will they be available at the Ear Port at the Orlando airport? I’ll be passing through, but won’t have the time to make it to D-Street.

Also, why the change to offering mostly full trays on the Disney Store website instead of offering both trays and individual Vinylmation?

Love the the Vinylmation!!!

Thanks and have a good day,

Tim

39

Michael on January 28th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Is there a Vinylmation Twitter account or an RSS feed for the blog?

40

Jonathan on January 29th, 2011 at 5:43 am

Well I stumbled upon these gems yesterday at Epcot (Orlando). They have them in Mouse Gears by the fountain. The Polynesian also has them. I bought 6 of them and pulled Darth, Yoda, R2, C3PO, Luke & Chewbacca. They are BY FAR my all time fave collection of ANY collectable. The chasers are amazing. I’m hooked. If anyone has any questions hit me up.

41

Steven Miller on February 1st, 2011 at 4:36 pm

@Timothy – They figures had a two week run at D-Street and have now been shared with multiple locations. Trust me when I say that this series will be around for awhile. It has proven most popular! A big thank you to the many fans who have added them to collections. :-)

I also spoke with the on-line store team. They continue to offer full trays and individual boxes. As inventory fluxuates, the offerings may fluxuate as well. They were looking into your comment but there has not been a change to the way they are sold via the Disney Parks On-Line Store. Star Wars, however, still won’t be available via on-line.

@Michael – We have considered it but nothing at this time. We have our official fan page on Facebook. The “blog” on Vinylmation.com is more like a journal (as it doesn’t offer the opportunity for comments like the Disney Parks Blog).

42

Caroline on February 6th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

My biggest problem is that i live in the UK and if i am lucky can get to Florida once a year. My next trip is May 19th 2011 which luckily will mean i can do the first starwars weekend.
I really want to get some Starwars Vinylmation and wonder if there would be any left by then, i recently bought the Mad hatter 9″ but it cost me the same price for postage & packing and import duties which has put me off ordering anymore online, i had missed out on ordering beast and wondered if there was any way of getting him from the parks or d steet and it being saved for my trip. I am staying in a disney hotel and wonder if you have any vinylmation or pin events/launches planned between 19th May & 1st June.

Caroline

42 Comments