About the Author

Bob McLain is an author, editor, and publisher who lives in Pennsylvania but resides in Disney. His first trip to Disney World was in 1973, riding in the back seat of a big car, and his last trip was in 2010, riding in the front seat of a small car. He published his first magazine (about play-by-mail games!) while still in high school and then wrote for others to pay the bills. Now, he's writing for himself, mostly on his marvelous and magical site, DisneyDispatch, but elsewhere, too. Bob plans to move to Florida this year. Of course, he also said that last year.

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Vinylmation My Way

by Bob McLain

The real action in Vinylmation these days is creating your own. Disney sells blank Vinylmations for you to craft into virtually anyone or anything. Thousands of these custom creations exist. Some are, well, it's best not to say what they are, but many are outstanding: often as good as what you can buy from Disney. We're rounding up the best custom Vinylmations and presenting them here, three times each week, with a word or two of commentary from their designers.

Madame Medusa

APR 2 The Devil's Eye Diamond! Remember? It was the object of Madame Medusa's evil desire in the 1977 Disney film, The Rescuers. Enjoy Medusa in all her mean majesty, courtesy of Vinylmation designer Michael Pahlow's custom prowess.


MAR 19 Here's a little quiz for you. Think of Toy Story 3. Think of the characters. Now name five of them - fast! Buzz, Woody, sure, everyone knows them. But did anyone remember Chuckles? When it comes to Vinylmation, Disney didn't; but Tayner did!

King Leonidas and Secretary Bird

Michael Pahlow presents a custom pair from Bedknobs and Broomsticks

MAR 13 There are two kinds of Vinylmation custom: The first kind is a work of love. The creator has done a good job. The custom looks like what it's supposed to look like, and it can perch on any shelf with pride. Most Vinylmation customs fall under this category. The second kind is a work of art. And that's what we have here... MORE


Tayner gives Oswald back his mojo (plus video!)

MAR 12 Mention Mickey and see what happens. But now Oswald is the subject of his very own custom Vinylmation, courtesy of Tayner, who has also produced a seriously cool stop-motion video that answers the oft-asked question: what do your Vinylmations do when you're not around? Here's Tayner on why and how he designed his Oswald... MORE

The Death Star

Celeste takes Mickey to the Dark Side

MAR 6 Celeste isn't playing games. No cute little characters for her. She has taken Mickey places where Minnie never could. In space, they never hear you squeak - unless you're aboard Mickey's awesome vinyl Death Star. Here's Celeste on why and how she designed her Death Star custom: "Foremost, I am a huge fan of Star Wars... MORE


Caroline McCormic goes under the sea for Vinylmation inspiration

MAR 5 After a succession of villainous vinyls, including Maleficent, Diablo, and the Grinch, let's relax under the sea: Caroline McCormic's custom Flounder wouldn't harm a haddock or scare a squid. Here's Caroline on why she chose Flounder as her first custom and how she built him. The first Disney movie I... MORE

Maleficent and Diablo

Michael Pahlow builds two customs as beautiful as they are evil

FEB 26 If you ask me, Maleficent is misunderstood and could easily become the fairest in the land were it not for the horns and the green skin and the wide-open yellow eyes. Michael Pahlow's custom Maleficent Vinylmation brings forth her cold beauty without sugar-coating her black soul. With Maleficent is her... MORE

Duffy the Bear

Today's custom Vinylmation comes with its own how-to video

FEB 24 This is a tough one for me. Everyone knows my bitter feelings for Duffy the Bear. I don't like bears, in general, but Duffy is an especially cunning member of his species. I won't let it stand in the way of presenting today's custom Vinylmation. It is, of course, Duffy the Bear. And you know what: if... MORE

Indiana Jones

Today's custom Vinylmation STILL hates snakes

FEB 22 Given the popularity of the Indiana Jones show at Hollywood Studios, it's surprising that Disney has not released an Indy Vinylmation. Or VINDYmation. (Sorry!) Maybe it's a licensing thing. Whatever it is, it's not a good thing, and another reason why custom Vinylmations are such a cool... MORE


Today's custom Vinylmation has 'ear-round' appeal

FEB 19 Unlike the nasty Grinch, this snowman doesn't want to steal your presents or snare your soul. It seems happy knowing it'll never melt - until the Grinch finds it and breaks out a blowtorch. And check out its hat. Impeccable fashion sense. Why did Jeff Heimbuch create a Vinylmation snowman? For a very good... MORE

Enchanted Tiki Drummer

Today's custom Vinylmation is a little tiki masterpiece

FEB 17 The detail on these tiki drummers is phenomenal. The 'wood' looks weathered, the teeth look toothsome, and the eyes hypnotic. UnclePez also provides the ultimate tiki experience: duelling drummers. And check out those drums: they're not Vinylmation, they're clay. A tiki drummer needs his drum, and... MORE

The Grinch

Today's Vinylmation custom is red, green, and really mean

FEB 15 So shoot me: Christmas is over. And yet here's the Grinch, the very first custom Vinylmation featured in this column, when really I should have chosen Cupid or maybe Eros. But the Grinch is wearing red, the color of love, and his skin is green, the color of jealousy. Absent a Hallmark... MORE