New Vinylmation Mold: The Breakdown

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Sea Creatures Vinylmation were released on Friday. They are the first Vinylmation to feature the new mold that will be phased in over time. What follows is my take on it, and a New Mold, Original Mold side by side breakdown of the differences.

My overall opinion of the new mold is positive. From the front, it holds Mickey’s shape, has a broader canvas to show off the design and has a tighter looking fit. From the side, it does look a bit awkward, but I don’t display many Vinylmation sideways. Also, after talking to Disney, the artists, and personal observation, I want to stress an important point: This new mold is not to give the artists themselves an easier canvas to design on, what this new canvas WILL do is allow for the artists’ true conceptual designs to be more accurately represented onto a Vinylmation in the printing process.

From front on, the new mold has a broader body and head. A little bit of the roundness of the head does disappear, but more design will be featured.

Looking at the profile, more of the body sticks out in the rear on the new mold. You can also see the flatter front of the body facing out.

The nose is a much talked about difference and it is striking from the side. Look at the arms, they are much smaller and evenly shaped, allowing for more of the body canvas to be visible. This also allows for less bumps and creases to make the final printing more smooth. The arms are also more squarely placed onto the figure.

A close up of the feet reveal less of a space between the feet.

Original Mold
New Mold

Again, more design will be visible. The new feet are also more square, less rounded. Take a look at the feet area of the new mold above as compared to the original, there are less creases around the ankles, the body comes down and fills that space above the feet out… these changes, along with detachable feet (see below) allow for a cleaner paint job on the final product. I hope, this design change gives us cleaner lines between the paint colors and less mistakes.

The bottom of the feet shows off the different shape very well, with the new mold more square. Also notice the raised “Vinylmation” logo.

Top Down. The Feet and Nose differences stand out here.
With the heads off, you can see the body comes up to a thiner neck area on the new mold. There is less head overhang on the new mold, making for a cleaner line.

Here is an arms off profile.

You can see the arms on the newer mold are places more squarely on the side of the body instead of toward the rear. The body of the new mold is also slightly shorter from feet to neck, however in a heads on side by side, they look about equal… if anything, the new one taller to the tips of the ears.

Here is a view of the backs, side by side.

Original mold is slightly thiner looking and taller to the neck. Also the head peg is taller, but don’t worry Combo Contest fans, the heads seem interchangeable so far.

Right Arms side by side. 
Left Arms side by side. 

You can see how smaller all the features of the new arm are… the arm, fingers and cuff. The new arm is made to hold accessories… no questions about it.

Look at the shape of the top of the head and ears.

The new mold has a rounder shape in between the ears. The ears are also more nicely rounded. 

The ears are also attached differently. This profile shot shows a striking difference.

The new mold has straight, flat ears. The old ears were curved a bit. As a fan of artists using the ears to create backdrops or doping in symbols that relate to the rest of art, I like this design feature that displays the ears straight toward the viewer.

Bottom of detached head.

One feature that helps the artists is the detachable feet. Doesn’t detract from the look of the figure and will hopefully allow for cleaner printing of the designs.

One thing we know we will see now is uniquely shaped arms. Sea Creatures Lobster has a claw, and we know the upcoming Pirates series will have at least one hook for a hand.

When first announced, I was not excited about this new mold. Then I saw it in person, and although I’m still not “excited”, I am hopeful. I can see whey these changes were made, and overall, they seem for the better. I will wait until I get a hands on with the Pirates series to pass full judgement, as it’s hard to tell by these Sea Creatures designs what the new mold really means for the final product. I like the broader front facing canvas, but at the same time, do not like the seemingly squashed figure (although that seems mostly an optical illusion). The figures feel different, obviously smoother, and a bit softer. But the colors and designs printed very well on them. Again, if this change was done for the right reasons, I can’t wait to see what the artists at Disney deliver to us next.

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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.

30 Comments

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  • Well I don’t care how many times I see the explanation and the breakdown of the new mold, I just hate it. It may be easier to take the artist’s design and transfer it to the 3-d piece but it does not remind me of Mickey. It looks like a blob, mickey fetus, bear, chipmunk. The list goes on and on. I wish disney would listen to the people that these are made for, the buyers, and make the sea creatures the only series with this new mold. I can’t wait NOT TO BUY vinylmations that are made with the new mold.

  • while i appreciate your indepth report of the new mold…i’m still not buying any reasons for Disney ruining (for us anyway) a great hobby. They can spin it all they want in an effort to keep us buying but i can tell them for a fact that my Vinyl buying will be significantly reduced (if not entirely) by this new design. If it sounds like i’m bitter about this..its because i am.

    I’ll concentrate on getting the vinyls with the old mold that we dont have. :(

  • All this does is make it cheaper for disney to produce.But no savings for us…. i dont care what they say about it I HATE IT

    • You would think that if it is cheaper for Disney to produce that all of the new vinyls would go back to the $9.95 price. Disney has got a FLOP on their hands!!

  • I for one am seeing the positive! I just ordered the new crab/libster one, and will see how I feel once Get it, but am overall for it!

  • Decided to wait to make further judgement until having one in hand. My two sea creatures arrived today, and as much as I want to like them, I just don’t. The flat face and tiny gloveless hands just kill it for me. My daughter is calling them “marshmallow mickeys”. All the upcoming designs look really great, but this shape is going to keep me away (and I guess save me some money–unless I turn exclusively to 9″!)

  • I would rather have MORE detail on the figure itself and less detail on the artwork, then the blob they are about to release. I will NOT be buying anymore VM’s. What a shame, I really love the original vinylmation.
    Disney!! this is like changing some of the classic films! you don’t go back and add an 8th dwarf or adding “more detail” to Sleeping Beauty. Leave this new classic alone.
    Please.

  • Just looking at the NEW Sea Creature characters on DisneyStore.com. They just have no personality in the shape. That flat face with no lines is just killing me.

    The OLD design characters look like they are dressed to go to the Oscars, but the new design look like they are just dressed in different colored t-shirts standing outside watching. Again, they have NO PERSONALITY!

    I am all for an easier transfer of the artists original concept ideas to the Mickey canvas, but not at the expense of the creature that we came to know and love to collect.

    Disney has made the new hands smaller. The next thing we will see the cast members greeting us when we come into a Disney Park in small white jewelers gloves instead of big Mickey hands.

    The old design leaves the impression of a hand made look whereas the new design is looking too sterile. Please stop the madness before everything that made Vinylmations great, goes away.

  • I wonder if we will see the lobster claw reused on Davy Jones in the forthcoming pirates series ? He is in the ride on the ‘waterfall’ you go through

  • The new sculpt is poorly done and does not in any way look like Mickey. Why they didnt keep the head and shave off just the nose I do not know. Also it went from Mickey gloves to generic hands. Looks like lazy work.

  • I didn’t like the Sea Creatures when I first saw pictures of them online, but I just couldn’t put my finger on why. Then I saw a picture of the next Cutesters with the new mold and then it struck me in such an obvious way, I don’t know how I ever overlooked it!! I HATE THE NEW MOLD!! I am buying these first and foremost BECAUSE they are in the shape of Mickey Mouse!! I’m so disappointed, but my credit cards aren’t going to be!

  • i HATE the new mold, they destroyed a classic. The whole thing that first drew me to vinylmations was the mickey body with different designs painted on him. now i can see myself not buying anymore vinylmations unless they are with the old mold. it looks like someone put it together with play doe and couldn’t put any detail into it. goodbye new vinylmations and hello money in my wallet. PLEASE BRING BACK THE OLD MOLD!

  • This is horrible. There has to be a way to stop this. I went to the trading at the contemp and NOBODY not 1 person liked it.
    so disney is going to just waste the whole new pirates vinyls

    :( please dont do change them!!!

  • I am a new collector and sad that my vinylmation collecting is going to be cut short because I do hate the new mold so much. I saw the new robots series and as coool as the designs are, the new mold is too awkward and will not see any of my money

  • I checked these boards mostly to see if anyone else hated this new mold as much as I did.I hardly ever read the boards, and “never” comment.But I was so upset with the new mold I needed an outlet for my frustration.Old mold=Classy collectable,
    New mold=”Cheap” imposter!!!!

  • I’ve never been one to complain on the internet, but I’ve been collecting Vinylmation for a few years now and am absolutely *horrified* by this new mold. In my opinion, this defeats the fundamental purpose of the art of Vinylmation. What ever happened to “it was all started by a mouse”?! Now we’re stuck with collecting what looks like a chubby Voldemort fetus. This is a huge betrayal to all Vinylmation fans. :(

  • I have collected over 100 vinylmations and was planning to keep collecting . however i am greatly saddened by the new molds with their lack of,”mickey” details (buttons/gloves/ face/etc).Not knowing about the change,i purchased the robots series. While the art work is excellent,they will most likely be the final vinylmations i purchase. The new mold mickeys don’t look like the mickey we have grown to love and just don’t reflect the same family characteristics and qualities(memories/ whimsy/creativeness/ingenuity/fun/happiness )as the originals. unfortunately, disney has taken vinylmation and turned it into a,” vinylabomination”.

  • I totally agree!!! The Minnie we received for attending The Florida Project is UGLY. There is nothing cute about her at all. She looks short, fat and stubby. Like everyone else who posted, I will not be adding any more vinyls to my collection – just buying ones on ebay that I want and don’t have. Get rid of the new mold!!!!

  • Add another person to the list of those who won’t buy the new vinyls anymore. Everything Disney does is so perfect, yet they destroyed the Vinylmation experience for me. There are plenty of old ones on ebay for me to buy now.

  • Love the new mold. Always felt like humans looked like dogs (really evident in the Star Wars series). These look so much better and allow the design to look more like a design on a Mickey canvas than a design on a Mickey toy. Hope that makes sense.

  • Please please please please please please please please. Please Change this mold I HATE it

  • Disney is cutting off their nose to spite their face. No more Vinls for me! I hate the new mold!

    • I’ve been trying to like it for a while now — I still don’t. Ever since the change I have only bought sadly 2 with the new mold. Only because I like World of Motion and MVMCP.I look at them next to all my old molds and I don’t enjoy them as much. Anyway, I agree with you. Why mess with a good thing — then again they took away VMK and the magic that was Epcot in the 80’s.

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