Annemarie’s Furry Friends Review

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I feel compelled to preface this review with two things. 1) It’s going to be pretty harsh. 2) I hold none of the artists/designers culpable for my disappointment.

The event was good, there weren’t as many people there as I expected, having never been to a Disney Store Vinylmation event. The only other event I’ve been to was the Thomas Scott Alice signing at D-Street in Disneyland, and it seemed more crowded. Not complaining about this at all, it was pretty well organized and everyone was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and if they didn’t know something they would go find out and report back, which I thought was nice. I got to meet Zoe, so it was nice to finally meet her! And all the artists were great, it was really nice to meet them all and they gave everyone ample time to chat (perhaps TOO ample in some cases) but everyone seemed pretty happy with that aspect.

What we (and I say we because I chatted with several other collectors who felt the same way) were upset about, as I’m sure anyone reading this article has been hearing throughout the day, was the production quality of Furry Friends. It is atrocious. Honestly, I hate to say it, but they felt more like Happy Meal toys than Vinylmation. The printing was sloppy, the colors were bleeding, and they were just plain filthy. Some look actually gross.

Marie looks like she threw up on herself. Poor Marie!

Oliver is my favorite (look at those eyes!) but not much care went into his printing process. You can actually see the collar through the tag.

What’s the point of the clear ears if they look like this? Just plain sloppy!

Look at Max’s feet! No comment.

You can’t see it very well in this photo (sorry!) , but there is a FINGERPRINT on Pegasus’s tail.

The wings come right off. Not secured in any real way, also very flimsy. You can see the finish is different on Pegasus’ feet than on the rest of his body, which I can’t say anything other than it just looks unfinished. Those smudges/ scratches came right out of the package!

Even the chaser looks terrible. The paint is poorly printed, and the edges aren’t smooth at all. I fear the value of this chaser will be diminished by the poor quality.

Not all was bad, though. The event was fun and the artists were happy to be there. With Jim Valeri:
Everyone was happy to sign my packaging:

And let’s not forget the donation to ASPCA, which is a silver lining in all this, I suppose.

All in all, you all already know how I felt about Furry Friends (I ended up caving and getting a case, since I’ll be painting over most of mine anyway… also the case was purchased before I saw the quality. No exchanges or refunds!). The designs are great, but I’m not very satisfied with the quality control. I sincerely hope someone over there sees this and figures out the problem and makes sure this doesn’t happen again. On a positive note, the design of the packaging is ADORABLE. Each box looks like a little carrying case you’d take a pet home in!

Also, no more than thirty seconds had I been home, and Mulder immediately claimed my case as his own. So Furry Friends is clearly adored by our own furry friends. :-)

Did anyone else go out to the event? Please share your thoughts and photos, if possible. I’m also curious to hear from others around the country to see if maybe this store just got a bad batch. Hopefully others will be more more lucky.

-Annemarie

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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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  • This is a great article annemarie, I was glad you mentioned the artist signing turned out to be great afterall. I wish they had on here back on the east coast especially in new york. Thats where Im from (Jersey City, NJ) 5 minutes away. I was also disappointed with the production quality on these. I was so looking forward to purchasing a couple of blind boxes. Hopefully they dont make this mistake again, alot of fans were also disappointed and shared their concerns on the official facebook page. I have a question though, are the furry friends that bad quality size that you dont recommend to add them to your collection. I still want them. Just asking?

  • I was fortunate enough to go to the artist signing, and I agree that it was a wonderful experience. I got some blind boxes, and I must agree that the quality of the vinyls weren’t very good. Fortunately, the defects on my vinyls were slight, and weren’t as noticeable as those of other buyers. I heard from one person in the UK that their vinyls were perfect and without blemishes, so South Coast might’ve gotten a bad set. On a lighter note, I pulled the chaser, which was very exciting for me since it was my first chaser pull ever! :)

  • Thanks Kevin. I think if you really like them, buy a couple blind boxes and judge for yourself if you can tolerate the quality. I got most of my set signed, which makes it a little better, but honestly they’re really awful. I was comparing one of them to, say, the Lion King set (another Disney Store set) and the difference in quality was just day and night.

  • what a bummer… I hope if there is a second batch of this set in February for the parks that they will be better quality… I was looking forward so much to this set!!!

  • I too was at the signing and very disappointed on how the quality of these were. We to took pictures of how bad ours was and I have complained to Disney. We’ll see if anything happens but doubt it.

  • Just curious, did u talk to the artist about the quality of it? I know they don’t handle that part but if I was a VM artist I would be upset to know they were doing such horrible things with my artwork. The ones that actually take their time to make unique pieces and styles to go along with the mold, it seems they would be upset that they are scuffed, dirty, printed/painted wrong and sloppy… anyways, just curious.

  • Bought several blind boxes today in new jersey. No complaints. They look fine to me except for being able to see through the collar paint job on ones like Oliver. I highly recommend the set especially because they are all so adorable. I understand the frustration on getting ones with discoloration and blemishes. I have had that issue with traded ones, but that’s not too uncommon. But buying them new is completely different and definitely an issue. Maybe it was a bad batch?

  • Don’t Buy these!!!!!That is the only complaint Disney will hear is the sound of closing wallets!The fact that they are for a cause is no excuse.I would “love” to pull a chaser on this set, but if I pulled the chaser, just to see it was defective;that would be terrible.To quote “Tron” -“The only way to win is to not play”.

  • Kelsey,
    I know a couple of the VM Designers at TDS and they are really heart broken about how these came out. The final product doesn’t look anything like the pre-production samples that they saw. They apparently don’t get to see final shipped products until the rest of the world does! Most of the time they have to buy their own pieces if you can believe it.

  • How does something like a fingerprint on a new vinyl even happen? I always assumed they were printed and packaged by machines.

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