As a child, one of my favorite segments from The Muppet Show was “Pigs in Space” (followed by “Veterinarian’s Hospital” and the “Muppet News Flash”). I can’t get the announcer’s voice out of my head – “Piiiiigs in Spaaaace!” So, I was super thrilled to see Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork and Miss Piggy come to life as new Vinylmation figures in the second Muppets series. It was more than a year ago when I first spoke with Monty Maldovan, the Disney Design Group Artist responsible for the Muppets Vinylmation figures. I caught up with Monty to learn about what we can expect from the new series arriving at the D-Street locations in California and Florida on April 15, 2011.
“I had so many ideas that spilled over from series one into series two,“ explained Monty. “The biggest difference from the first series is the use of accessories. I actually redesigned several figures to include them.”
Zoot the saxophone player is one of the figures with an accessory (his hat is removable). I always liked that character probably because I once played the sax. Monty’s favorite character from the series is Dr. Teeth (he still has a fondness for Kermit the Frog though – who doesn’t?).
“Dr. Teeth is very colorful,” laughed Monty. “After seeing the first concept, Thomas Scott, one of the lead artists for Vinylmation, had me reduce the number of colors I selected to help with the manufacturing process. Despite the reduction, he may be the most colorful three-inch figure ever!”
The other big difference in series two is the addition of nine-inch figures. Three words – Sam the Eagle! The nine-inch figures will be released at a future date (not April 15); they include Animal (with drumstick), Gonzo and his chicken Camilla (awesome!) and Kermit the Frog sporting 3-D glasses.
“The Kermit with 3-D glasses design was originally planned to be the 3-inch mystery chaser figure for the first Muppets series,” said Donald Ferro, developer for Vinylmation. “We saved the artwork for series two after we changed the mystery chaser to tuxedo-clad Kermit to celebrate his 55th Anniversary.”
Monty told me that nine-inch figures were once considered for the first series.
“Rizzo the Rat and Gonzo with Camilla were originally planned to be nine-inch figures for Muppets series one,” explained Monty. “Rizzo became part of a Park series and we saved Gonzo until now.”
Fans in California will have the opportunity to meet Monty on Friday, April 15, at D-Street at Downtown Disney District in California. He will be signing figures from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. that afternoon. For fans in Florida, we are also holding an event on April 15 (sans Monty as we haven’t cloned him…yet. Calling Muppet Labs!). Guests can meet Disney artists Maria Clapsis, Casey Jones, Doug Strayer and Eric Caszatt from 10 a.m. to Noon at D-Street located at the Downtown Disney West Side in Florida.
I hope you have enjoyed this 500-word salute to all things Vinylmation, but mostly the Muppets. I now return you to your regularly scheduled Disney Parks Blog updates.
Last week, I got Rizzo (series 1) and Zoot (series 2).
I love the Muppets and I think that these Muppet Vinylmation figures are really cool.
I think its a great sign that Disney is willing to use the Muppets in their Vinylmation line.
Again, I am really looking forward to the new Muppet movie coming out in November!
…Ok, so I checked around a bit more, and its my understanding that the 9-inch Bolt figure will be released in Fall 2011.
Is that correct Steven?
I got a couple of Muppets Vinylmation figures today. One from series 1 and one from series 2. I ended up with Sweetums and Lew Zealand.
Until now, I have never been a big fan of Vinylmation, but these Muppet ones are just too cool to pass up!
In one of your previous blog posts, you mentioned to me that there is a 9-inch Vinylmation figure featuring Bolt. Is it still around? I have not been able to find it anywhere. Thanks.
@Hannah – There are no plans at this time for a series of pins.
@Anderson – Hmmm … from my understanding, yes. It should be released on-line. I know that inventory for the on-line store ebbs and flows like the tide. So more than likely, it was available but sold through the first shipment. The plan is to offer mostly everything we offer at Disney Parks via the on-line store (with a few exceptions). So please stay tuned as it should return.
hey there steven! i love the gonzo 9″. i don’t even like the muppets that much but he is calling to me. lol.
anyway, i did have a question about the park 6 combo packs. earlier this month, the vinylmation.com events page said that these would be released on disneystore.com, but that was taken down. do you know if the combo pack will make an appearance online? or are these just going to be available in the parks?
Muppets #2 is AWESOME!! Will there be pins???
These series 2 Muppet Vinylmation figures should really be mentioned on the Muppets’ facebook page. It would help spread the word.
Edward…Fozzie, Rowlf, and Sweetums were all part of the Muppets #1 vinylmation series that came out last year.
Thanks, Steven. Just making sure there was no real reason for the price hike, other than people being really interested in the Muppets.
I have a question about the disney store online website
They currently havent released anything yet since the 3 watches. Is there a possibility still that there will be the two 9 inch urban 6 figures the gumball and the viking, the park/urban 6 case and urban combo packs, and the jr’rs 3 series on the online store. Would you able to check with the department?
The website hasnt had anything lately in a while, and park 6 never showed up online on the april 1st release date?
I hope the 9″ make it onto DS.com as well! I’m still really bummed over the DuckTales set. 🙁
What about Fozzie and Rowlf. I’d love to see them as well Sweetums and Thog.
Steven you are indeed the hardest working person at Disney! Great job with this series and we at WDW Daily News look forward to all the new merchandise ideas you have planned for later this year!!
Thanks for the response Steven! Also, Im surprise the Disney Store in Glendale near DCP lacks the supply of Vinylmation supplies. Wish they carried much more variety and had a bigger display. Thanks again.
Steven…Thanks for answering my question about the Muppets #2 9″ vinylmation figures. Good to know I won’t have to worry about getting them for a while.
However, with regards to your answer about the Disney Afternoon series, I am still confused specifically about the DuckTales set that was released in the parks last Friday. Can you please try to find out and tell me one way or the other if specifically the DuckTales set will ever be sold online in the Disney Parks Online Store??? I would greatly appreciate it. I just want to know if I’ll be able to purchase it in the Disney Parks Online Store or if I should seek other avenues to acquire the set. Thanks.
@Lauren – Sorry for the confusion. The DuckTales set was sold only at the D-Street locations (and I believe both coasts have since sold out). We do not have plans to release the set on-line. In the future, however, there will be other on-line only sets and there will be some at D-Street only sets. The D-Street only sets will not be released on-line (like in the case of DuckTales). Hope this helps.
I’m very excited for Muppet Series 2! One of my favorites has to be Dr. Teeth! Will they only available at Disney Parks, or will they be available to order online from the Disney Store, or even available at Disney Store locations?
@Scuba – Hmmm … we periodically review retail prices and make decisions based on a variety of factors. There is actually a whole department that the Vinylmation Team partners with to determine pricing (conicidently, they are called “Pricing” :-).
@Geoffrey – These figures will be carried at Disney Parks, select Disney Stores and the on-line Theme Park Store (http://www.DisneyParks.com/Store). No ETA for the on-line option yet but stay tuned.
So what’s the rationalization for bumping the price up $3 from the last Muppets series?
So glad to see these Muppet 9″s! I do believe I’ll have to add all of them to my collection. One quick question for you Steven, will the new Mickey mold also be used for the 9″ designs in the future?
@Dil-Domine – The 9-inch figures will not be released on April 15. They will be released at yet-to-be-determined dates. Keep watching this page as we’ll post them as soon as we know:
@Lauren – We are still working on release details for the 9-inch Muppets figures, so please stay tuned. They won’t be released anytime soon if that helps. As for Disney Afternoon, you will see a mix of on-line only and at D-Store releases. Again, we are finalizing details, so please stay tuned (watch the link above 🙂
@Devin – We are currently focused on the 3-inch figure using the slightly modified form.
I am so beyond excited for this series to come out. The 9″ figures in particular look great. Love Sam Eagle and the Gonzo and Camilla set. So, just to follow up on Kevin’s question…Will the Muppets #2 series 9″ figures at some point be sold in the Disney Parks Online store (besides just the 3″ series)???
I have one other vinylmation related question. Last week the Disney Afternoon Series DuckTales 2-figure set was released in both DLR and WDW. I just wanted to know if the DuckTales set (or any future Disney Afternoon series sets for that matter) will at some point be sold online in the Disney Parks Online store??? Steven, please help! Thanks.
…And I can’t wait for the new Muppet movie in November!
Hi Steven, So will the 9″ figures also be released on Friday? Thanks
These are pretty cute. I love the Muppets!
I agree with you totally Steven that this is a great series. I can’t wait to get my set on Friday. By the way I noticed that some of the newer series that are coming out later (sea creatures especially) seem to have a different Mickey design shape. Are you going to change the shape of Mickey for all future series or just these few? Thanks for all you do and keep up the good work!!!
@Kevin – Right on! I’m so happy too to have them on Blu-ray! End of line. The Muppets #2 series will be released via the on-line Disney Parks Store. I unfortunately do not have an ETA but I will post once identified.
@Don – Thanks! You should visit the Vinylmation.com Blog today for a closer look at Sea Creatures (which arrives at D-Street locations on April 22). I love them with the fires of 47,000 suns (especially the Blacktip Reef Shark and the Hawksbill Sea Turtle):
Steven, hey did you check out my comment about the tron on blue ray. They are awesome.
Just one question,
Will you be able to order these via mail order or online because I cant make it to the parks at this time. Thanks (Referring to the 9 inch figures)
I want to thank Monty and the team, for putting the electric mayhem band and pigs in space in series 2