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Some people might not know how Vinylmation first started. Back in 2003 celebrities decorated six foot tall Mickey statues as part of the “Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations” celebration. Disney had borrowed this idea from an artistic movement that had been trending across the nation (Liz Art in Orlando in 2000, Cows on Parade in Chicago in 1999, and Lions in Zurich in 1986) where cities had been asking artists to decorate copies of the same statue and place them around the city. Once then had been seen for a while they would be auctioned off. The idea of a blank Mickey canvas lead to the very first vinylmation: plain solid colored create your owns.

Yesterday, I was wondering around Orlando and saw an art installation that took a similar approach (one template, lots of artistic interpretations) and it reminded me of custom vinylmation I had seen. I asked around and here is the info I found.
This series of 80 busts of Boris Karloff are designed by 80 different artists, as a celebration of 8 decades of the Frankenstein Monster. The show will be running thru November 15th at the CityArts Factory in Downtown Orlando. All 80 busts are available for purchase with proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. More info can be found at orlandoslice.com or by called the CityArts Factory at 407 648 7060.


In fact so cool that I’m going to stop talking and just let you take a look.

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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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  • The truth is Vinylmation started because of Kidrobot. Disney followed the exact same business model that they did with create-your-own figures (like Kidrobots’ Dunnies at the time) and blind box purchasing. I do have to say that I think Disney has made it a much more fun “game” of collecting than Kidrobot ever did, but the roots of Vinylmation in Kidrobot really can’t be ignored.

    • And a lot of Kidrobot’s business plans were based on Medicom’s Kubrick and Bearbrick lines where they were blind boxed and were different designs using the same canvas.

      Disney’s not necessarily the king of original ideas (Pook-a-looz being Ugly Doll knock offs, Disney Heroes being Super Hero Squad/Galactic Heroes knock offs), but they’ve made vinylmation work in spite of it not being a very creative idea.

      • I never said that Vinylmation didn’t work, nor did I discount Kubrick. I personally am a bigger fan of Vinylmation than I ever was of Kubrick and Kidrobot. I used to collect a lot of them, but I’ve basically quit because Vinylmation is just so much more enjoyable. I’m just saying that the statement that Vinylmation is based on the 2003 Mickey artist project is inaccurate.

    • I agree that there is a whole “Vinyl” side of this history too, but I was focusing on the other side because of the particular art project. Thanks for all the info!!

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