Exclusive: Park Starz Turnaround Close-up Pictures

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At The Florida Project today, we were fortunate to get a hands-on with the newly unveiled Park Starz (Project Z) figures that were on display. Park Starz will be a set of 11+ Mystery Chaser blind tin set. They will retail for $18.95 per tin and be sold in cases of 12 (with a guaranteed set in there). Look for these to hit Disney Park stores this October. They are under the Vinylmation brand, but feature individual molds, stylized for each individual character they represent. First up, Big Al from Country Bears Jamboree.

Big Al

Park Starz is like nothing we have seen in Vinylmation. They are stylized characters from the Disney Parks around the world… and Big Al certainly has a lot of character on this vinyl. The big sad face. The huge arms holding the detailed guitar. And of course the tiny hat on top.

Big Al

From the side you see the size of this figure. For the most part, the Park Starz are about the height of a Vinylmation, three inches. They feel rather light for the bulkiness of say Al and Yeti, but they do not feel cheap in any way.

Big Al

You might be comparing these to the Funko’s Pop! Vinyl, but the difference is in the quality of the design. The Pop! Vinyl are licensed out, where Park Starz are handled completely within the Disney Design Group. After talking with these artists a few times, you realize how much they love Disney, the characters and the parks, and that shows in these designs. How about a look at the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Giant Squid…

Giant Squid

These are stylized interpretations, and the Giant Squid has a worried look like he may have just missed a sub full of guests.

Giant Squid

The tentacles have a flexible feel to them. The figure itself feels as sold as a Mickey mold Vinylmation. These figures in particular don’t have a ton of small detail, but some cool little touches like the markings on the tentacle ends.

Giant Squid

The back has a blow hole and the markings of VM for Vinylmation. I didn’t see this logo on the other figures. The great thing, is these Park Starz will be packaged in blind box tins. M.C. had a great point… most likely tins so guests can not judge the shape or size of the figure within.

Giant Squid

See what I mean about detail? They didn’t need to add the markings to the bottom of the tentacles here, but they did. Up next, Figment.

Figment

People guessed bowling pin, but instead we get Figment. He is a hit to guests everywhere, and the crown enjoyed his appearance here.

Figment

The wings and horns look great on this figure. The cool thing is, after talking to Thomas Scott and Casey Jones, is this series of Vinylmation was planned from the beginning. Thomas said he never intended for Vinylmation to be just a Mickey mold. Casey said they had a lot of fun coming up with designs and it shows here.

Figment

No word on variants in Park Starz, but Figment is ripe with possibilities for one.

Figment

A look at the bottom shows the VM logo and “made in China” stamp. No artist as it’s really a collaboration between Casey Jones (character sketches), Thomas Scott (ideas and design) and Lin Shih (sculpting). There will not, at least right now, be figures attributed to individual artists. Finally, the Yeti.

Yeti

Disney revealed a little too much 2 days before The Florida Project when they posted a picture of the Yeti, albeit in shadow.

Yeti

This Expedition Everest mascot differs from his dico Yeti counterpart as this vinyl’s arms move. So he can swipe away at passing ride vehicles to his heart’s content. These do all feel like sturdy, well produced figures that are true collectibles.

Yeti

Look at those exaggerated arms and raised eyebrows.

Yeti

The feet also have a flattened look to them. Obviously helping him to stand, it also gives the impression he is immersed in the snow he would be walking through.

Overall, this series is a welcome addition to the Vinylmation lineup. It is pricey at $19 a blind tin, but gives collectors a special alternative to the Mickey mold. You don’t have to put these next to your Mickey shaped Vinylmation on the shelf. There are plenty of Mickeys, Donalds and Goofys out there… but for park geeks, there isn’t much collectible merchandise that features park specific characters. These fulfill this need in a satisfying way.

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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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