The Lion King Vinylmation Explained

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Lion King
Release Date: August 21 at D23 Expo; August 29 at Disney Stores
Disney Store Exclusive
Retail: TBA


Released to theaters on June 15, 1994 by Walt Disney Pictures, The Lion King is the 32nd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics. The Lion King will be released on Blu Ray on October 4th, 2011 and hit theaters once again for two weeks beginning September 16th… this time in 3D.

“First impression… this set is amazing. The detail on the figures blows me away. Rafiki stands out as my favorite. I’m a little disappointed in Zazu, but can’t place it. I will say I’m a bit disappointed in character selection, but only because I would have liked to see maybe some Lion King landscapes, or other (non main character) animals, or movie scenes. Lion King is a vibrant movie, and that is captured on the characters here, but I would have like the envelope pushed farther. Here is where I get controversial… two Hyenas here? either give us all three or none. Because as much as like New Mold, the Villains 1 Banzai doesn’t fit here. Now that you guys changed my mind this is Banzai here and not Ed, that means the chaser most likely is Ed. They wouldn’t give us 2 Hyenas, with one we already have in Villains 1, and not all 3… or would they? Just one more thing… lots of tails???” – Nick

Mufasa

Voiced by James Earl Jones

King of Pridelands and Simba’s father.

Beautiful colors and great use of the entire mold to give Mufasa a strong presence. I do not agree with the angry roar version depicted here. I think of Mufasa more as a stoic and wise leader. I would have liked to see a friendlier looking version.

Young Nala

Voiced by Niketa Calame

Simba’s best friend and later mate.

A nice clean and simple look.

Young Simba

Voiced by Johnathan Taylor Thomas

Zoe called this one! She calls him “I just can’t wait to be king Simba”. It’s young Simba with the leaves all around his head before he grows up and gets his mane. Great looking figure. I might be blasted for this, but this young Simba looks 20x better than the Animation 1 Combo Topper.

Baby Simba

Voiced by N/A

Simply a brilliant choice. Didn’t expect this one. Thank Zoe for helping figure this one out. He looks perturbed at being shown off around the Pridelands and comes complete with the markings Rafiki put on his little head.

Timon

Voiced by Nathan Lane

This guy and Pumba make this set great. The artist took the fun route with these guys, not just giving you the character, but designing a representation of classic movie scenes. Look at the animation in his mouth as it raises up and back. Perfect.Also, I like the small detail like the light brown color coming down onto the hand uneven, not a straight line at the cuff.

Pumbaa

Voiced by Ernie Sabella

Awesome! Simply a great capture. Look how big his face is. Takes up the whole figure. That’s where the artists excel in this set… using the head for the upper part of the face and extending it down into the body. Then the colors and detail on the bug as well.

Zazu

Voiced by Rowan Atkinson

Why does this one just miss for me? And no mold cracks please. They eyes and body color are captured well. I would argue that the feet need to be an orange as opposed to yellow. Maybe he needs a neck piece? Maybe, like Cruella, he needs to be painted inside the body and not fill out the body? Maybe a profile would have worked better. Big question… Sam the Eagle like tail on back?

Rafiki

Voiced by Robert Guillaume

Best figure in set hands down. Wow! Good job Disney artists. The accessory really puts him over the top. Great facial expression, coloring and placement of art.

Scar

Voiced by Jeremy Irons

Very similar to Mufasa in style, they are brothers, but Scar of course has the more menacing and dark look to him. Again, his features are perfectly captured on the mold. Pairing a roaring Scar with a roaring Mufasa does make sense.

Shenzi

Voiced by Whoopi Goldberg

One of Scar’s three henchmen hyenas.

This one looks good. The tuft of hair on the head. The menacing smile. Nicely done.

Ed Banzai

Voiced by Cheech Marin

One of Scar’s three henchmen hyenas.

Thanks for all you comments changing my mind. I thought this was a total miss as ED, because I couldn’t believe they would put another Banzai in a set after Villains 1… but they did. I’ll say, this one looks better.

Mystery Chaser

What are your guesses? Sarabi? Timon in hula skirt? Ed?

Packaging photos (darn you Disney for making me keep more empty boxes!!!):

Copyright Disney
Copyright Disney
Copyright Disney
Copyright Disney

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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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