I asked John Balen - Director, Merchandise Toys & Hardlines for The Disney Store - what they thought about the reception of Disney collectors at Comic-Con. He told me, "We couldn't be more thrilled. We're also seeing not just Disney fans, but movie and comic fans getting excited about these figures." There was good reason for them to be excited. Not only were they able to get the only Frankenweenie merchandise available, but they also had a chance to purchase versions of Sully from Monsters, Inc. that have never been made before. These were based on early renderings made by Pixar during the development of Monsters, Inc. that you can see in The Art of Pixar book.
Other Comic-Con exclusives released were their new 'So Tasty' series, with each figure representing food items. To keep with the Comic-Con theme, they also released the cosplay inspired San Diego Comic-Con Boy and Girl set.
That doesn't even touch the surface of everything that was available. There were plenty of other Comic-Con exclusives that fans were sure to snatch up while at the Funko booth. You can see some of them below.
|I was luck enough to be given this little fella.|
While some may wonder why theme park items would be popular at Comic-Con, I'm surprised it hasn't been offered sooner. I mentioned to John, and he agreed, that the same fans who go crazy for comics and movies are also huge fans of going to theme parks, and also looking for collectibles there.
There have been many times where I've seen Comic-Con exclusives that you can only get in San Diego, that suddenly are available at the company's online store after the convention. So I asked John how exclusive their Comic-Con items were. "Once they're sold out here, that's it. If, by some chance, something doesn't sell out, we will make it available later at the Disney Store online. The only other chance would be that if we suddenly find a box buried under empty boxes that we didn't open."
It does appear that they sold out of all of their exclusives, so an online auction is you're only shot.
With the reception they had this year I asked John if The Disney Store is considering a larger presence at Comic-Con. "As a matter of fact we've already had people here discussing that. So you never know."
What I do know is that their series of Vinylmation and POP! Vinyl figures have a huge future that is only as limited as the artists who create them. From what I've seen, there is no lack of inspiration for them, so rest easy fans. They'll be around for a long time.
To glimpse more of the exclusives, and see what is coming up for Disney's vinyl series, visit the official sites for Disney Vinylmation and Funko. You can also find out more about what happened at Comic-Con by visiting The Disney Store's official blog.
A huge thank you to John, and his team from The Disney Store, for showing me around at Comic-Con.
What say you?
All Images: Disney