Mickey’s Modified Mold

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Update: 4/11/11 Disney acknowledged the change in mold design today on their blog. Donald Ferro, vinylmation developer, said, “We are always striving to make the best possible figures. The first form was introduced in November 2008. As the artwork has become more complex, there were elements of the first form which made it challenging from a manufacturing perspective.”

Artist Thomas Scott said, “We have learned much since the introduction of Vinylmation. We can draw anything, but the art has to translate into printing pads and spray masks, so there are limitations. And since we are not present at the manufacturing facilities, we can’t always predict how they will choose to execute our designs. This revised form addresses a few of those more challenging areas to apply artwork. One challenging area was the space where the underside of the belly and top of the feet meet. The feet are now removable which leaves the door open for improved artwork and future accessory opportunities.”

Artist Eric Caszatt explained, “Continuous improvements are part of our Disney philosophy,” explained Eric Caszatt. “We are excited to use this form as it combines the root of Vinylmation – the Mickey Mouse shaped canvas – with design enhancements that will make future figures look even better than today.”

It looks like Disney is already into the change, but we did notice that most of the quotes were about the new removable feet, and less about the changes to the bigness of the body and the loss of details lines on the face.

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Update: DV Reporter Ryan also pointed out that Casey Jones’ Winnie the Pooh from The Florida Project will be using the new mold. After looking at the other pieces, it seems that the Hula girl (which used to be part of the event) was also the new mold, but Thomas Scott’s Dumbo (which replaced the Hula girl) seems to be the old design!

Thanks to a comment on Sea Creatures Explained by Jay Knight and a note by DV reporter Ryan, a few changes in Mickey’s Vinylmation mold have been brought to our attention. These changes, outlined below, will premier in the Sea Creatures series coming out April 22nd.

Shape

Old Shape
New Shape

First, is the general shape of the figure. You will notice the new shape is rounder and smoother. The body is a little fatter. Also, look at the space between the ears… it is shorter and rounder and the ears themselves seem more circular. The cheeks do not bubble out. And there doesn’t appear to be a large indention between the feet anymore, meaning a smoother canvas for the artist. the general shape of the feet has also been altered.

Profile

Old Nose
New Nose

In this side by side profile shot, you can see the new nose is rounded and stubby. As opposed to the protruding nose we have come used to. You can also notice in this profile, more about the new shape. Noticeably rounder in both the head and body. The ears are also attached a little differently.

Contour Lines

Old Face
New Face

Disney must have applied some anti-aging cream to Mikey, because his lines are gone. No more outlines of Mickey’s facial features in the face. Also gone…

Old Somach


New Stomach

…are the buttons on the stomach.

Hand

Old Hand
New Hand

The right hand will take on a more cupped shape and both arms look a bit slimmer as well. In this picture, you can also notice some changes to the contour of the side of the feet near the ankles.

“Overall, I think these changes are positive. Anything to help the artists provide a more true-to-concept design, I’m all for it. I do not like the nose shape change. That takes away one of Mickey’s identifiable features. I also feel the same way about the contour lines on the face and especially the buttons. Look, I know the ears are a pretty big giveaway, but in the end, these are artistic designs on Mickey and I think those changes take a small piece of that away.” – Nick

Are these changes for this series or here to stay? What do you think about these changes?

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About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.

24 Comments

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  • I am not a fan of these changes. I like that all Mickeys were painted on the same canvas. Now that the canvas has changed it will not match the rest of my collection. It looks less like a Mickey with the changes to the feet and the nose.

    However, I like the changes to the ears. Because it looks more true to form. But overall I am not happy with these changes.

  • I think they should stick to the same old vinylmations why change their shape?! I don’t like that at all I hope they don’t do that bc the new hand looks like it’s missing something like he’s supposed to be holding something so dumb if they change it

  • I definitely DO NOT like most of the changes to the new mickey figure… I agree that the nose and cheeks are less defined, which I personally think takes away from the figure itself (Mickey is Mickey, and they shouldn’t change that). The torso seems to be less cartoonish and more generic (the new figure appears to be “square-like”). I personally liked Mickey’s old face lines, because it helped guide me (and other novice artists) in designing custom vinylmations. With the old face lines, I was able to properly place the eyes/face/mouth much easier. One thing I do like in this new figure is the cupped hand which will able it easier for Mickey to hold accesories. I am a bit bummed to see the old mickey style go. :-(

  • i agree with the above comments. I really dislike the new head and elimination of the contour lines the most. Is there any chance these changes were made just to accomodate seemingly tricky to create set?

  • @Claudia, it will be interesting to see if these changes are made to the Create Your Own figures as well. And yes, the hand for accessories crossed my mind as well!

    @Kermit528, There is always the chance when it comes to Disney… we will see. I can say, the rumor of the facial contour lines going away has been a fan rumor for awhile now.

  • I don’t know what else to add that hasn’t already been said, but I thought the whole point of Vinylmation is creating art within the restrictions of the mold, not changing the mold to fit the art, or make it “easier” (which is one of the reasons I am also not a fan of add-ons.) This is cheating, in my opinion. And I agree with Mo that the new cupped hand looks like it is missing something. Sigh…

  • Gotta say I agree with yall, I don’t like these changes. Now I’m curious to see if 9″ will get the same treatment.

  • Eww. If it ain’t broke, and you’re still selling people pieces of plastic for $10-$75, why try and “improve”?! I love my vinylmation, but I feel that by changing stuff like this, as well as adding duffy, they’re ruining the seriousness and collectability of the vinylmation. Also the whole point of the vinylmation was to create on the same canvas! Now it’s like they’re switching from a square canvas to a circle canvas and expecting the two to fit together.

  • Yeah Im not feeling these at all, it takes away from the classic Mickey. I hope these grow on me. But the only reason why they did this, and willing to put money on it, is its going to be ALOT easier for artists to build designs around this new shape. Also I may note the hand has “Action Figure” grip so expect ALOT of accessories in the future. As an artist I can tell you it will be alot easier to design and paint these new figures, and I think this why they were changed.

  • In seeing all of the changes that were made to the new Mickey. I kind of loss feeling in my right hand as well to Mickey’s new hand. I do agree with accessories being used as we have all seen this already done. The real change that bothers me is the facial changes & lopping off the nose & the guide lines that are no longer existing. Yes, they will be easier to hold. The real reason I believe is that it will be easier for Chinas’ sponge screening process to be applied to the new mold. In my daughters point of view she also disagrees with the changes because children like her who want to paint their vinylmation some day will not be able to see the guide lines which means they will not be happy with their vinylmation.

  • Let me say that I am in agreement with everyone else. I HATE the changes. The way the mold looks now it takes away from Mickey. The buttons, nose, ears all those things define Mickey and now it looks like something left over that belongs in Wasteland from Epic Mickey. BRING MICKEY BACK!!!

  • I agree that this mold does look a little more bear-like. Maybe this is an experimentation or an outright attempt to use the same mold for both Duffy and the rest of our treasured Vinylmations? Perhaps that would be cost-effective production, but aesthetically defective in my opinion!
    I do not mind the hand modification if it means more accessories… I love the add-ons, whether they be wands, juniors, or frosting hats! However, I can’t cope with losing Mickey Mouse underneath all that. It can’t be a licensing issue – if Star Wars and Mickey could bond over Vinylmations, then certainly sea creatures can?

  • Ouch. Yeah not a fan of these. I was hoping that maybe it was a “Sea Creatures Only” situation because of how fish are in general. But then I saw the Pooh Bear for the FLP. So much for that idea.

    The “old” figures will have more value now. (Says the better half, and I agree). Bad mistake Disney. This is worse than the price hikes.

    Guess once I finally track down a Sonny Eclipse, I’ll trade off my extras and be done with Vinylmation. It’s a fun thing and I love it. But, they might as well go ahead and make the Duffy vinyl the official figure because it would look better at this point.

  • I hate this change….its making me a little sick really. WHY WHY in the world would you take something as Iconic as mickey mouse and loose all his key features….if you wanted a more generic looking less collectable plastic toy …then that is what you got

  • People generally are hesitant to change so with the new changes to the shape of the Vinylmation to be negative is to be expected. With that said I don’t think the change is for the better. The old design was so “Mickey” like and the new design….well, not so much. I am an avid Disney Pin Collector and have also gotten into collecting Vinylmation much to the dismay of my husband and pocketbook. I feel as if the new design will help to turn me off to Vinylmation. So in a way I am glad Disney has made the poor decision of changing the design. Thank you, Disney ;)

  • Steven Miller answered my question on the blog about 9″. “We are currently focused on the 3-inch figure using the slightly modified form” – Steven Miller.