This is part of a series of articles spotlighting the Vinylmation that were previewed at this year’s annual Walt Disney World Pin and Vinylmation trading and merchandise event, “The Imagination Gala.” The event was held at Epcot’s World Showplace from September 5-9, 2014. Today we look at the Star Wars themed releases we will see over the coming months.
Destination Vinylmation’s Ben Levitt breaks it all down and predicts what figures should be in Star Wars Series 5…
One of the biggest highlights for me during the Vinylmation previews announced on Sunday at the Imagination Gala were the multiple announcements adding on to the rapidly growing Star Wars series. As a life long Star Wars fan, naturally series 1 was my first exposure to the Vinylmation brand on a trip for Star Wars weekends back in 2011. From the limited edition packs, creative variants and 9 inches, the Disney artists have found unique ways to expand and make the Star Wars line one of the most exciting and sought after Vinylmations.
Star Wars Series 5
Release Date: 2015
Artists: Casey Jones and Maria Clapsis
First, we were given a tease for the upcoming Star Wars series 5 blind box series. I know Brendt and Nick were discussing in the podcast that this should have been the time to go into prequel territory and I have to disagree. First off, I’m with you guys, I am not a prequel hater and there are plenty of characters from the prequel films that I would like to see translated to the mold. However, since The Empire Strikes Back got a second series, I think it’s totally fair that A New Hope and potentially even Return of the Jedi get the same treatment. This may mean we are digging a little deeper character wise but I say bring it on, it never stopped the action figure collectors, so why should it stop Vinylmation collectors. So since with this series we were only given the box art featuring the TIE fighter pilot (which looks excellent by the way), lets do some speculating on whom we could see in this series.
Luke’s best friend on Tattooine. In the original theatrical release, Biggs was mentioned and only seen in the cockpit of his X-wing. For the Special Edition release in 1997, a newly added scene showed Luke and Bigg’s meeting in the hanger on Yavin IV before the Death Star assault. The 2012 blu-ray releases took it a step further and finally revealed the deleted scenes of Luke and Bigg’s friendship on Tattoine at the beginning of the film. I would love to see an X-Wing fighter Bigg’s as the common, and then icing on the cake, a deleted scene Tattoine Bigg’s as a variant., with that cape.
One of the cult favorite characters during the assault on the death star is Jek Porkins. Even though the design might be similar to the previous X-Wing pilots, I think a lot of fans would be pleased to have this guy represented here.
We got Grand Moff Tarkin in Series 2, why not add another Imperial officer by putting Admiral Motti in this set. He’s the guy that famously got choked out by Vader, so it would be great if they could incorporate that on the design somehow.
Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru
I expect to see an Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru in this set as well. I know we like to see some continuity with the ears for these sets, but it would be neat to incorporate the moisture farm for these characters. If they do not incorporate blue milk into Aunt Beru’s design; I quit.
In the last series to cover A New Hope, we got Ponda Baba, the cantina patron who gets his arm cut off by Obi-Wan. The man that really starts the whole thing is Doctor Evazan, he’s got the death sentence on 12 systems. I think he will look great next to his alien buddy; I say he’s a must for Series 5.
Even though we are getting one in the upcoming Junior troopers set, I would bet we get a 3’ Sandtrooper to go with the other 3’ troopers we currently have.
To go along with our Sandtrooper, it’s possible they attempt to put a Dewback on a 3’ platform. It might just come off looking like a dinosaur, but we will see, could be interesting. Maybe throw a sandtrooper in it’s ear to make it look like he’s riding it.
If they are going with creatures, then we probably end up seeing a Bantha as well. Do the same thing in the ear by making it look like a tusken raider is riding it. It also could look nice with our Tusken Raider from Star Wars 2.
Luke and Han disguised as Stormtroopers
I know a lot of people were doing this in the first series, but if they make new designs with the faces, it might be pretty cool to get a Luke and Han disguised as Stormptroopers in this set.
Nick mentioned it in the podcast, and I think it would be a cool idea to see medal ceremony versions of Luke and Leia. Gold suit Luke would be awesome. Honestly I don’t need a Han one because his outfit isn’t any different. Potentially they could do a hair accessory for Leia, similar to what it looks like they are doing with blue dress Cinderella. Have to have the temple of Yavin in the ears; perhaps even R2-D2 and C-3PO in the ears would be a great touch.
My idea for a chaser would be the Diogana, or more commonly known as the creature that attacks Luke in the garbage pit. The body should be the garbage pit, with the eyeball coming out into the head. It would be awesome to see Luke getting attacked in one of the ears.
Jr’s Series 13: Troopers
12 figure blind box series
Release Date: December 2014
Artist: John Henselmeire
A few Juniors Series ago, we got a Star Wars set and they went with droids. Some designs in that set worked, overall I felt that other than the fact that they are droids and are small, the idea sort of fell short. Here however, I think they knocked it out of the park. These troopers look so cool in this junior form. There is something about the designs, that just really make them pop on this platform. Taking away the key chain element is also a huge plus, especially for these. I think lining them all up together on a shelf is going to look great.
Now, there have been a lot of rumors that Stormptroopers will be in the upcoming Episode 7 film. It would be pretty awesome if the official reveal of the new look for Stormtroopers came in the form of the chaser for this series.
Star Wars Eachez
I wasn’t too fond of the first Star Wars Eachez release from Star Wars weekends this year. The R2-MK was fine, good design, and he makes a good presense during the event at the park. The problem was, we already had an R2-D2, so why would I want to keep bloxing until I got it. With these two releases they really have made it worthwhile to want to grab that variant.
Yoda 9/10 odds (LE 2250)
Ghost Yoda 1/10 odds (LE 250)
First, we have a Yoda, with a Ghost Yoda variant. The yoda looks fantastic, the most detailed yoda by far. Love that they have continued putting the planet locations in the ears. The ghost version of Yoda, while going to be tough to find, if you can grab it, will look amazing with the Ghost Obi-Wan, if you have it. Maybe eventually we can re-create that final scene from Return of the Jedi (not the DVD version though)
The second one they revealed however, is the real homerun. We have two completly different Luke designs. To me, this is what Eachez should be all about. Not a subtle change for the variant that doesn’t really make much difference, but something that really makes you want to grab that variant. Here you have Luke in his Tattoine poncho as the common.
Luke 9/10 odds (LE 2250)
Face Shield Variant 1/10 odds (LE 250)
The design looks great. The facial expression is well designed, certainly less cartoony then the series 2 version. The goggles painted on are a nice touch. The only gripe I have is, do he really need a lightsaber here? We know Luke doesn’t have a lightsaber during the scene in the film, I say it’s not needed. Now the variant here is perfect.
Luke’s first training as a Jedi occurs on the Millenium Falcon with a little training droid, and that entire scene is perfectly portrayed on this canvas. You have the interior of the Falcon in one ear, and the droid in the other. The painted on blast shield was an incredible touch. Overall this Eachez is perfect.
Star Wars Open Window
First we have the Inquisitor, the villain from the upcoming series Star Wars Rebels that will premiere on October 3rd. This design is pretty straightforward, he looks just like all of the preview photos and video we have seen from the series. The Imperial logo in the left ear is a nice touch. This is the first time a new character from the Star Wars universe has been translated to Vinylmation, but my guess is it certainly will not be the last.
Next, the Star Wars Holiday special, which aired in 1978, was a big deal at the time. It was the first new material of the rapidly growing phenomenon that was Star Wars. Unfortunately the quality of the special is not what audiences were hoping for, and over the years it has become the laughing stock of Star Wars history. However there is one highlight in the special and that is the animated segment, mainly for it being the first official appearance of bounty hunter Boba Fett.
This I think was a genius idea to put him in vinyl form. This is the origin of a fan favorite character, and the design is perfect. The color pallet matches the animation style perfectly. At Star Wars Weekends we got a vinyl of the prototype suit from original screen tests, and these will pair perfectly together.
Boba Fett Holida Special
How do you guys feel about all these upcoming releases, what is your favorite, and which are must haves?