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.

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.

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