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.

16 Comments

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  • I love these and would consider dropping the Mickey style vinyls if these were to become an expanding series, but $20 is A LOT for a blind box. I don’t Kidrobot has ever had blind boxes that were that expensive. That may kill this line in its tracks.

  • Too much money to spend on one and you don’t know what you are getting. I don’t agree with the artists as I don’t see these as vinylmations. They may have always thought from the beginning that vinylmations were not just the mickey mold, but I’m afraid they are. Vinylmations will always be mickey in disguise to me.

  • I am not totally thrilled with these, although the other figures in the series might catch my fancy. Who knows? I don’t think $19 is bad for these. They are in TINS, which any special vinylmation that comes in a tin is what $24.95? I think thats what I paid for Mr. Toad and Statue of Liberty Minnie. You have to take into account that each figure has to have its own mold (although I am sure they will be able to reuse some portions of the molds). If I fell in love with these I would pay $19 for them. Will they have trading for these because they will be blind box? Probably eventually, the blind box idea to me isn’t a great move. It would be nice if they could have the tins that collaborate with the figure inside. But either way I can’t wait to see that the other figures will look like.

  • Blind boxe$….new de$igns…mystery chaser$…lot$ of money!
    If these are like the 3″ Vinylmations, was there any mention of “mystery” or clear trade boxes? Or did the Disney think-tank believe these to be more like the window view 9″ vinyls…buy em, keep em, no mystery trading? These really seem to be more like the Pop Vinyls – minus the ability to see what you are buing.

  • I would be more interested in these if they were window boxed, I feel it’s too much to pay when it could be something you don’t like/want. At the moment I’m happy with the set so far, however if a design comes up that isn’t my cup of tea, then I shan’t buy from the store, most likely eBay.

  • i dont see these as Vinylmations AT ALL! Really have ZERO interest in them..Try again Disney! They ruined a great thing!

  • I love the Park Series Vinylmation because I love the parks and the characters on the rides — and I do want figures of these characters. I am the type of person that has the Haunted Mansion figures sold a few years ago and thinks they are awesome. I thought I would then love this series, but I don’t. Figment looks like a gourd and Big A, looks worse than his vinylmation version. I’m going to stick with Park Vinyls even though they have been ruined by the new mold.

  • I think they should give vinyl Mickey his nose & buttons back !!!! Go back to the original mold !!!! Stop trying to change a GOOD thing!!!! VINYLMATION is all About Mickey !! U can paint anything on the original mold, they were made awesome!!! Don’t like the new mold!! And Zpark series I think?? BIG thumbs down:( don’t think outside of MICKEY !!!! This motto is horrible !!!! Remember Walt’s quote!! I HOPE WE NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF ONE THING, THAT IT WAS ALL STARTED BY A MOUSE!!!! :0 definitely will not buy Zpark series!! Mickey mouse vinylmations ONLY !!! PLEASE!!!!!

  • I was excited and hopeful for a Figment when I first saw the Yeti. Now, I am very disappointed. I am a Figment fanatic and that just isn’t Figment. What a shame. At $19 a pop, I don’t think these will become part of my collection.

  • I really, really like these.

    I’m not going to get hung up on the mold debate. Vinyls existed long before Disney stuck their toe in the water. The term Vinylmation should be bigger than just the ‘Mickey Mold’.

    Creativity should not be shackled by any restrictions. Disney has got where it is today as business by ‘breaking the mold’, I’m not going to complain if they do that in the literal sense.

    Give me Park Starz Big Al over the Park 3 Big Al any day!

    Really looking forward to seeing the remaining designs.

  • I surprised myself by buying a complete set today. I’m fine with this break from Mickey vinyl. (surely that will still go on strong) but these park characters strike me as a kind of Shag painting come to dimensional life. Anyway, I blame the giant squd. That’s what got past my defenses and put the whole set of twelve into my buying hands. And the tins are super cool. I’m game for future sets of this type, and hope this goes over well enough to justify more. (if not, well, I’ve got my squid!) The chaser is amusingly obscure, and the weakest link is a figure from “it’s a small world” that can’t manage to stand up on its tiny feet. I have to lean it up on the flowery goat that came with it. Oh well. This mouseketeer is poorer but happier.

    • As of right now, Park Starz are not sold online or at Disney Stores. They are only available at the theme parks and D-Streets. Disney has made no official announcement about if or when they will be available online.

  • Nooooooooo! I wanted to get these for my brothers as Christmas presents because we love Disney Parks. Thanks for the info.

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