Disney Collectable Mini Figures

A few weeks back The LEGO Group was kind enough to send me a box of their Disney collectible mini figures to review. With the Stuckinplastic #Seattletoyphotosafari just around the corner, I decided to give them away instead of keeping all that LEGO goodness to myself. (If you want to see those same figures in the wild, you can follow their journey with this tag #Seattletoyphotosfari_DisneyCMF.) Well now it’s time to pay the piper, so to speak, and review this series.

I’ll confess the Disney collectable mini figures aren’t as bad as I first imagined they would be. When this latest series was announced (or leaked as the case may be) several months back, I will freely admit I wasn’t impressed. I was stilling feeling burned with not one, but two series devoted to the Simpsons TV show. I’m a mini figure photographer – not a toy collector – which means I’m looking for new characters to tell stories. I’m not interested in re-telling classic Disney stories.

Ariel with shotgun wm
Is this a thingamabob or a whatzit?

With that said, I will admit that I love the Disney universe. I grew up with all the movies and have been to their theme parks multiple times. I wasn’t sure how a series based on these beloved characters would help me in my own personal mission to tell original (and hopefully universal) stories. I mean, how can you re-invent or re-interpret such iconic creations as Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck?

The Simpsons’ mini figures with their pastel colors and sculpted heads are still fresh in my memory.  While I many not have been enamored with the specific Simpsons figures, they were accompanied by some awesome accessories. With so many great add-ons, it almost made up for those sculpted heads. As a toy photographer I approached this series, based on classic Disney characters, with some trepidation.

There are certain aspects of this new series that has me scratching my head at the decisions behind it.  While there are certainly a fair number of figures that are exciting – Stitch, Maleficent, Cheshire Cat and Ursula – I can’t help but think we’ve already seen the Alien from Toy Story (isn’t it an exact copy?) and Buzz Light Year (the original Buzz had a much better face!). While Genie and the Little Mermaid technically are new to the CMF world, they seem very familiar. Peter Pan is lovely but he doesn’t seem to be  good fit in the mini figure world. I can’t imagine Peter Pan without his arms akimbo and his legs apart – two positions that a LEGO mini figure can’t achieve unless he’s computer generated.

Accessories are a big part of the CMF sets. While there are lots of great new hairstyles in this series, several of the figures aren’t accompanied by any accessories at all! The accessories that are included aren’t new to the LEGO universe, unless of course you count hats, bows and skirts. I wonder if this is how LEGO offset their licensing costs? Or maybe the lack of accessories is a tradeoff to such great additions as Alice and Minnie’s skirts. Speaking of strange accessory pairing, why does Aladdin have a lamp? Shouldn’t he be accompanied by his side-kick Apu instead?

One cool detail in this series, is that each character is paired with a counterpart from his or her story line which allows for some awesome play and photographic opportunities, i.e.: Mickey & Minnie, Donald & Daisy, Syndrome & Mr. Incredible. Two notable exceptions are Stich and Maleficent; where is Lilo and Princess Aurora? I would love to know the thinking behind the decision to omit these characters. Is it because they’ll be in the next series? By leaving these two characters without their natural counterparts, it certainly makes a nice lead into the next Disney mini figure series.

While a second Disney series hasn’t been announced, I have no doubt there will be one. These figures have been extremely popular; the love of all things Disney runs deep. My Instagram feed is a steady parade of wonderful photos featuring these figures, plus my local toy store can’t keep them in stock. There is no doubt that Disney and LEGO make a powerful combination.

I will say that for all my misgivings, these figures photograph beautifully. It doesn’t matter if you’re a die hard Disney fan or a casual collector, these figures offer much in terms of play possibilities. If you’re a mini-figure collector or a photographer, you’re going to want a complete set of the Disney collectible mini figures.

~ Shelly

What’s your favorite mini figure from this series and why? Feel free to add a link to the best image you’ve taken using one of the figs from this series. I would love to see what you’ve been up to.

Ursala in ditch wm
“You can’t get something for nothing, you know.”

Getting that prehistoric paycheck

Recently, Shelly wrote a post about Fair Use for Toy Photographers that got me thinking about my own brushes with selling my artwork. I’ve been interested in making money since I started making and sharing my art. Like all toy photographers, except maybe custom artists like @krash_override, I’m bound by the toys I purchase, so to profit from depicting a recognizable brand seems to be a legal gray area. Continue reading Getting that prehistoric paycheck

#StuckinPlastic, should you be using it?

Occasionally I’m asked by a fellow toy photographer if they can use the hashtag #stuckinplastic. My answer is always “yes!” But maybe I should take a moment to explain the uses of hashtags and what it means when you use ours to make sure that it’s right for you. Continue reading #StuckinPlastic, should you be using it?

Exhibition ammunition

Every picture yada yada yada

Every picture tells a story.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Yep, we’ve all heard these before.

I guess I’ve been afforded the luxury of posting images on Instagram with accompanying words. Heck, the words were what dictated my shots when I first started posted. Silly little puns. Silly little puns, with a silly little photo to accompany them. Continue reading Exhibition ammunition

The Storm Before the Calm

With less than a week to go before the Stuck-In-Plastic Meet-up I can officially say that I have begun my descent into madness.  The preparation, planning, expense and anticipation leading up to an event of this caliber are enough to drive a man straight into the plush, padded rooms of “Arkham Asylum”.  Add on the extra stressors of needing to decide which action figures to take, cleaning camera gear and remembering to pack a toothbrush alongside completing an inconceivable amount of custom action figures and I have effectively topped off my “stress Sunday” with a ripe-red cherry.  So why do we do it?  Why do we add this pressure onto an already weary body while knowingly turning our PTO Balance into a shadow of its former self?  

The answer, to me, is simple.   Continue reading The Storm Before the Calm

The Seattle Toy Photographers Meet-up

It’s hard to believe that the Seattle Toy Photographers meet-up is almost here! It seems a life time ago (nearly six months actually) when we first set the date for this meet-up. Back then it seemed like an eternity away and now its almost here! Continue reading The Seattle Toy Photographers Meet-up

Exhibition expedition

The slog to show

For those of you playing along at home, you’ll remember I recently came to terms with the fact that I am a toy photographer and that what I do, toy photography, might actually be perceived as a form of art by others.

The epiphany of appreciating that what I do might be art, couldn’t have come at a more opportunistic time. Continue reading Exhibition expedition

How to integrate LEGO photography into your con

Have you ever wondered how to integrate LEGO photography into your local con?  I know I have!  I love championing LEGO photography. I think it’s a great hobby, a wonderful creative outlet and a great way to be involved in the wonderful world of LEGO, especially if you’re not a master builder. So when I come across a great idea that helps to spread the word about our fun hobby, I want to know more and share it with you! Continue reading How to integrate LEGO photography into your con