Spotlight On: Custom Artist Project Sidekickz Artist Brian Shapiro

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The Custom Artist Project is a group of 11 of the best custom Vinylmation artists in the world who have come together to make their own blind box series. Series 1 is called “Sidekickz” and is a mix of different Disney sidekicks from films or TV. It will be released on October 6th. Each day leading up to the release, we will spotlight a different artist from the series. Today we spotlight custom artist Brian Shapiro.

Philadelphia, PA


What Disney Sidekick did you choose?
I chose Creeper from Disney’s movie, The Black Cauldron, which was released in 1985.

Why did you choose that sidekick?
Sadly, The Black Cauldron was not much of a hit for Disney, but I really enjoyed it as a kid.  It’s based on a great series of books by Lloyd Alexander.  Because the film is not as popular as some of Disney’s biggest hits, there is very little merchandising.  When there is merchandise, commonly pins, it usually features the visually striking villain, the Horned King, or the lovable heroic sidekick, Gurgi.  In fact, these two appeared together in a Vinylmation 9″/3″ combo set a few years ago for the movie’s 25th Anniversary.  That’s actually when I got the idea to do the Horned King’s sidekick, Creeper.  Creeper is a hilarious, goblin-like underling with a mix of Igor and Gollum in him.  He is horribly abused by his master, and you can’t help but sympathize for the guy, even though he’s evil.  I think he has the most humorous moment at the end of the movie (SPOILER ALERT) when he realizes the Horned King is gone forever.  At first he laments that his master is gone, and then realizes that hey, he is GONE, and starts laughing and celebrating!  Going back to the set released by Disney, I thought it was amazing, but I thought Creeper should have been in there with the Horned King.  When I was invited to participate in the Custom Artist Project, I immediately wanted to do Creeper as my Sidekick!  I also thought it would be cool to make a Black Cauldron accessory to accompany him!

Favorite Disney Movie?
That is tough!! My favorite animated film is Beauty and the Beast, and my favorite live action film has to be a tie between TRON and The Black Hole.

Favorite Disney Theme Park Attraction?
The Haunted Mansion is my all time favorite.

Favorite aspect of working on the Mickey shaped canvas?
After three years of doing Vinylmation customs, I really have come to appreciate just how adaptable the Mickey shaped canvas is for creating just about any character.  If you design it right, you can make tall, short, thin, or chubby characters fit by playing with their wardrobe and accessories.  You can also give the illusion of flatter faces or snouts.  As for the ears, I used to find them the most perplexing part of the mold, but now, I consider them the best.  The ears can be used to place eyes, pointed ears, and antennae, or they can be used to set the scene by providing a sense of the background environment.

Thank you, as always, for your generous spotlight of my Vinylmation work!

More info on the Custom Artist Project:


How to purchase: The price of one blind box is $65, including shipping within the US. We’re looking into international shipping right now, but it will probably be another $5-10 if it works out.Paypal is going to be the accepted payment. It is limited to one household per blind box.

What you get: You will get one blind box (yes, I’m actually making boxes) with one of 24 different figures. Some figures come with accessories. You will also get 11 different cards, 1 from each artist.

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.