More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

A Vinylmation Toy Story

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

Toy Story Vinylmation

I loved playing with toys when I was little. I still enjoy playing with toys only now they include more technology and are more expensive. Like many parents, I took my kids to see Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” on opening day in 3-D. Besides being a wonderful film, it brought back many memories of toys I played with when little. Now a whole new generation of “kids” (yes, the little ones and those that refuse to grow up – you know who you are) will be happy to see the latest Vinylmation “toys” – the Toy Story series. I spoke with Thomas Scott, lead designer for Vinylmation, about this new series.

“Work began on the series in summer 2009,” explained Thomas. “I suggested an entire series saluting the trilogy of Toy Story films. This gave me a range of characters to select from including some characters not featured in the newest film.”

Toy Story Vinylmation

The series will be sold as a Limited Release mystery set. In other words, there are 11 known designs and one Mystery Chaser. Lin Shih from Disney Design Group worked with Thomas on the packaging. He digitally illustrated the Buzz Lightyear and Woody characters on the packaging using the same techniques used by the animators of the Toy Story films.

Thomas explained the key component to what makes the Toy Story series different than other Vinylmation series.

“New in this series are accessories,” continued Thomas. “I thought to make this series work, we needed some key accessories like Buzz’s helmet. And if Buzz Lightyear had a helmet, then Woody and Jessie would need hats. These accessories were essential to making the characters more recognizable.”

Toy Story Vinylmation

I personally love Buttercup (as unicorns rule!). I asked Thomas about his favorite design.

“I like Big Baby,” Thomas said. “When I was designing the characters last summer, I didn’t have many details about the storyline. I only had character model sheets to reference, and Big Baby was the one character that I was drawn to the most.”

Toy Story Vinylmation

Anytime we create merchandise featuring Pixar characters, partners at Pixar review the designs to ensure character integrity is maintained. This is similar to how all Disney character merchandise is reviewed by Disney trained artists. Thomas talked a little about the partnership.

“Ben Butcher is our contact at Pixar,” continued Thomas. “He was an outstanding partner who was very enthusiastic about Vinylmation and helped me to select characters for the series. It was because of his support that this series was created.”

Speaking of partnerships, with the launch of the Vinylmation Toy Story series, we have taken Vinylmation from a Disney Parks initiative to a Walt Disney Company initiative. Select Vinylmation series will soon be sold in select Disney Store locations as well as Disney Parks. Vinylmation will also continue to be sold on our Disney Parks On-Line Store. Look for the Vinylmation Toy Story series coming to Disney Parks in late July/August.

Now if you will excuse me, it’s play time.


  • These look like they will be my favorite by far! Just wondering, will there be one of the little green aliens? They’re the best characters in the movies!

  • Gotta love Vinylmations. A few cents of plastic going for tons of money!

  • I was at the (re)opening of the new Disney Store in Montebello Towne Center, and this store is amazing. I love the imagination park design! I think what fans will enjoy the most are the selection. This Disney Store had these Toy Story Vinylmations last week during it’s opening. Chances are they are sold out right now because they were selling like hot cakes! People were buying them by the cases! They also had the Have a Laugh series featuring characters from the Have a Laugh cartoons. I didn’t get any for myself, but I did take a look at all these new designs and they are so cool!!! In this Disney Store they’ve also got some of the vintage and couture line. This is as close to Disneyland you will get in a shopping mall! I love it there, and I recommend visiting this store! 🙂

  • These are really cool!! I’m still not 100% sold on the idea of not knowing which one you get. But Some of these Vinylmations are really neat 😀

  • best series yet! i want all of them! 🙂

  • They are awesome 🙂

  • Thank you Steven for the report and Thank you Thomas for the designs. This by far is my favorite series to date. Keep up the great work.

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