Thursday, August 19, 2010

disney delves into steampunk...

... with a new vinylmation series devoted to the genre, according to the Disney Vinylmation blog.  An example of what the series may look like can be seen in the photo below:

image source: Disney Parks blog
 A few questions needed to be answered before I could fully grasp this news:

1) Why do the figurines look like they have a Mickey Mouse body?

Yes, this was my first question, and one I wanted answered more than anything else. True, Mickey Mouse is a recognizable trademark of Disney, the perfect idea for any sort of Disney collectible series, and one that seems to unify the collectibles on the website, no matter how different they were.  But I could not find the answer to this question on the website, at least until I found explanations for my other inquiries:

2) What is "vinylmation?"

According to the site's FAQ section:
Vinylmation™ is a fun and affordable collectible designer toy created by Disney Theme Park Merchandise. At its core, Vinylmation™ is about creative expression and the mysterious thrill of the chase.
That did not help much, as I had already figured out it had something to do with collectible figurines.  So I just went one down on the FAQs and found my next question:

3) "Where does the name Vinylmation" originate?"

The answer?
"Vinylmation" is a combination of the word "Animation," which is at the heart of The Walt Disney Company, and the word "Vinyl," which is the medium upon which creativity is expressed. Vinyl + Animation = Vinylmation™.

The current Vinylmation™ Figure form we use is shaped like Mickey Mouse but does not represent the "character" Mickey Mouse. In other words, we aren't "dressing up" Mickey Mouse to look like something. This form is seen as a blank three-dimensional canvas upon which our Disney artists can express creativity from many angles.

I must say, I am impressed with the idea now that I understand it.  Disney can make money off of a variety of creative figurine designs with one unifying feature to make them all relevant to one another.  That, and the fact that such a franchise as this one recognizes the steampunk genre is very promising for the future of the genre.

Now what if steampunk goes mainstream?

But I will leave such musings for another blog post, as its much bigger than Disney's announcement.

According to the Vinylmation blog, the steampunk series of figurines is slated to come out in early 2011.

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