The Buzz

19 posts from July 2011

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The Buzz Chats with Enrique Pita, Vinylmation Robots Artist

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 27, 2011 9:44 AM

Hey Buzz Readers!

Today, we had the chance to catch up with Vinylmation Artist, Enrique Pita. Enrique was actually the artist that had the initial idea to give the Vinylmation Robots series  a vintage, 1950s look. Check out our interview with him to find out more!

The Buzz: Hi Enrique! Can you please tell us a little about what you do at Disney Store?

I’m part of the Creative Team for the Disney Store; I create the look of the Styleguides for every Franchise Category.  I create unique concepts, illustrations and designs for Product Development. In addition, I’m lucky enough to be a part of the Vinylmation Team; this is the most enjoyable part of my job at Disney Store.

The Buzz: What was the inspiration behind the Robots series you designed?

My inspiration was based on the popular metal wind-up robot collector’s toys of the 1950s; the legacy of those toys kind of reminds me of how popular vinyl and vinylmation toys are today.  I love anything to do with vintage, and that's why I liked the idea of a vintage robots look with a modern twist.

The Buzz: Do the Vinylmation artists ever collaborate?

For the Robots series, I came up with the original concept and then we decided as a team that we wanted to do the wind-up robots. But, from there, we created our own robots and named them on our own.

The Buzz: Do you have a favorite Robot?

No, I like them all! They are all so unique. But, I would have to say I love Jim Valeri’s 9" Salvage-Bot, Gerald Mendez's Steampunk-Bot,  Oskar Mendez’s Communication-Bot and Marcella Lau's Silly-Bot!

The Buzz: How do you usually come up with designs?

I first do research then I sketch and concept my ideas. After, we meet as a team and once we all decide on the design concept, I proceed with the final design.

The Buzz: Have you always loved art and design?

Yes, I have always loved art and have an appreciation for design. When I was about 3-years old in Cuba, I remember my parents taking me to the only Theater “El Cinecito” that would play American cartoons from Disney, Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barbera. Then when I would come home from watching a movie, I would draw my favorite characters on any material I could get my hands on. I remember even drawing on aluminum milk bottle caps.  Since that moment, I always knew I wanted to be an artist.

The Buzz: Do you have any advice to give to future artists out there?

Never give up, be open-minded and do not be afraid to take every opportunity available to you. Always look ahead for a better future.

The Buzz: That is great advice! Are there any artists you look up to?

I look up to so many great artists --I don’t really have any preference. I look up to my teammates; they are all very talented and we are always learning from one another.  I’m very open-minded when it comes to art, and I appreciate any art that’s visually stunning.

The Buzz: Who’s your favorite Disney character and why?

Early 1928 & 1930’s Black & White Mickey Mouse because of the way he was personified by the animators. In early Mickey cartoons, Mickey is shown with different emotions: mischievous, playful, sad, happy and mad.  I think a today’s modern version of Mickey in the Epic Mickey video game, is comparable to the expressive, classic Mickey character.


Here's a look at Enrique's first Robots concept board:


About Enrique:

For Disney Store Senior Designer, Enrique Pita, it’s always been a dream to work for Disney. Born in Havana, Cuba, Enrique moved to the US in 1980 and studied commercial art design at LA Trade Tech College. Since then, Enrique used his expertise to expand his career throughout a number of industries including print press, typography, illustration and graphic design for companies like Guess, Tiltworks and Jerry Leigh. At the Disney Store Enrique creates artwork for everything from t-shirt graphics, styleguides to Vinylmation. His recent creations include Radio-Bot, Love-Bot, UltraSonic-Bot and El Elektro-Bot from the Vinylmation Robots series. An avid Disney fan, Enrique calls himself a “collector who creates collectibles”, and is proud to show off his robust collection of Disney figurines both at home and in the office.


Who's your favorite Vinylmation Robot? Have you checked our 1950's Robots video? Watch on

Vinylmation Robots Artist Signing at Fashion Valley Disney Store

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 26, 2011 4:00 PM

Comic-Con wasn't the only thing that invaded San Diego, California this past weekend, Vinylmation Robots made an invasion of their own! The Disney Store Vinylmation artists, Jim Valeri, Marcella Lau, Enrique Pita and Gerald Mendez hosted an artist signing at Fashion Valley in celebration of the Robots launch last Friday.

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                                        Jim Valeri                                                                          Marcella Lau

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                                 Gerald Mendez                                                                         Enrique Pita

Excited guests lined up at Fashion Valley to get their favorite Robots Vinylmation figures signed and some even brought their Villains Vinylmation (Did you know many of these same artists also created Villains?).


Some excited guests even had the artists sign their shirts and hats! The Robots signing provided Vinylmation fans with a chance to talk about Robots and other series with true experts, and also a great way to watch the Robots Invasion video on the big screen! (Did you notice it playing the background of the photos?)

If you visit your local Disney Store to pick up the Robots, be sure to check out the SUPER cool QR code on the Robots display, it's a great way to view the Robots video on the go, right from your mobile phone!


Have you picked up your Robots Vinylmation yet? Which is your absolute favorite? Check back at the Buzz tomorrow for another exciting behind the scenes peek into Robots Vinylmation!

From the Desk of a Robots Vinylmation Artist - Jim Valeri

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 25, 2011 9:00 AM

Hey all Robots and Buzz fans out there! Robots have invaded Disney Stores around the nation and at!

Do you ever wonder what the inspiration was behind the Vinylmation designs? Well, we wanted to share with you how the idea of Robots came about. We are so excited to welcome a special guest blogger on The Buzz today, one of the Robots Vinylmation Artists, Jim Valeri! 

In 1938, Orson Wells'  infamous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast described a terrifying  real time "alien invasion." The broadcast sparked pandemonium along the Eastern Seaboard until it was revealed to be a brilliantly crafted piece of fiction.

This week, another invasion of sorts has taken place exclusively at Disney Stores across the country but this invasion is real.....Vinylmation Robots are coming!

Our intrepid team of designers has been rummaging through hulking junkyards of pure imagination to bring these bots to life and now we're thrilled to share them with our guests.

The series was conceived as an homage to those great vintage tin robots toys of the mid 20th century...but with a modern twist here and there.

The design criteria was simple. We wanted each robot to tell a little story with detail and color, to have some sort of discernible "face", and to maintain sort of "retro" feel.

We hope you'll agree that the result is a colorfully detailed and visually diverse set of figures that will further solidify the union between machine and mankind.

We're advising Vinylmation fans everywhere to resist the urge to flee for their lives and instead....embrace the Robot invasion. 

After all, they're only three inches tall. How much damage can they really do?


Jim Valeri


About Jim Valeri – Senior Manager, Design:


Though he was born in Akron, Ohio, Jim Valeri considers himself a California native. With a degree in illustration from Cal State Northridge, Jim worked in the aerospace industry for some time before becoming an intern at Disney Consumer Products in 1994. Seventeen years later, Jim is still with the company creating Vinylmation like Cranky-Bot and Voltinator-Bot from the Robots Series. Jim also created one of the exclusive Limited Edition 9” Robots—Salvage-Bot. Art is a compulsion for Jim, so working in the creative environment of the Disney Store and making characters come to life every day is only natural.


Have you seen our Robots "Vinylvasion" video yet? Have you noticed any strange hidden things in any of the scenes? Look closely! Watch the video on

Disney Store POP! Vinyl Signing at Comic-Con

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 23, 2011 2:30 PM

We just can't get enough of Comic-Con! Our Disney POP! Vinyls are definitely a Comic-Con favorite, with some styles selling out before 10am each day. As a treat for POP! fans, Ben Butcher from Pixar held two signings at the Funko booth this past Thursday and Friday.

An illustrator and toy designer for Pixar consumer products, Ben designed the Disney-Pixar POP! characters in conjunction with Disney Store. The Comic-Con exclusive figures he created include:

                                          Sully                                                                                     Mike Wazowski
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                                 Mr. Incredible                                                                            Buzz Lightyear

On both Thursday and Friday, a long line of excited guests came to the Funko booth to get their favorite Disney-Pixar figures signed by Ben.

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All around, the signing was a success and Ben and the rest of the Disney Store team had a great time goofing around and chatting about Disney POP! with excited guests who shared their ideas and suggestions for future series. What Disney characters would YOU like to see in future POP! series?

If you follow @DisneyStore on Twitter, you might have seen some interesting tweets about POP! Buzz running into some familiar faces at Comic-Con yesterday. After the signing Buzz and I took a stroll around the Comic-Con expo floor to explore a bit and you will never guess who we ran into:


A Comic-Con guest dressed as Princess Jasmine! Such an exciting surprise! Jasmine wasn't the only familiar face we came across, we also ran into none other than, THE PLATY-BUS!

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Perry was causing quite a frenzy!

Comic-Con was an adventure for sure and Disney Store can't wait to come back again next year.

Can't get enough of great Disney artist signings? Well, San Diego guests, you're in luck! TONIGHT from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, the Disney Store Vinylmation Robots artists will be signing the new Robots Vinylmation series only at the Disney Store in Fashion Valley. See the flier below for all the details. We can't wait to see you there!

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Disney Store Unveils Exclusive POP! Vinyl at Comic-Con San Diego

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 22, 2011 11:00 AM

Have you heard the Buzz? It's Disney Store's first time at Comic-Con San Diego, and The Buzz couldn't be more excited to be on site to get the scoop on all the action. Comic-Con is like nothing we've ever seen before and we are excited to share the details with all of you!

On Wednesday, July 20th, Disney Store unveiled the Comic-Con exclusive Disney POP! Vinyls by Funko at Comic-Con Preview Night, and they started a frenzy around the Funko booth!


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Here's what makes these POP! figures different from the figures you've seen at Disney Store: Mike Wazowski glows in the dark, Sully is flocked (so he's fuzzier than ever), Mickey Mouse had metallic paint details and Mr. Incredible is wearing his chic retro blue suit (as you already know, he typically wears red).

John Balen, director of toys at Disney Store and Ben Butcher, POP! designer at Pixar and Doug Ogelsby of Disney Store were there to unveil the POP! Vinyl exclusives.

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As soon as preview night opened, guests couldn't get enough of the Disney POP! Vinyls.

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At Comic-Con Day 1, the Disney POP! didn't stop. Disney Store launched 2 more exclusive POP! Vinyls, nine-inch Buzz Lightyear and nine-inch Maleficent!


Which Comic-Con Disney POP! Vinyl figure is your favorite?

Ben Butcher signed POP! yesterday and will sign again today at the Funko booth, so if any of you Buzz readers are lucky enough to be at Comic-Con San Diego, stop by and get your POP! signed from 10am to 12pm


If you aren't at Comic-Con, not to worry! You can still get Disney POP! Vinyls at a Disney Store near you or at

Stay tuned, as The Buzz shares more fun adventures from Comic-Con this weekend! And don't forget to follow @DisneyStore on Twitter, as The Buzz and POP! Buzz visit friends around Comic-Con today!

Retweet for a Chance to Win Our Limited Edition Winnie the Pooh Plush Set!

By Official Disney Store Blogger,

 Hey Buzz Readers! 

We wanted you to be the first to know that you have a chance to win our Limited Edition Winnie the Pooh Plush Set! All you have to do is keep your eye on our Twitter handle, @DisneyStore, and retweet when we announce the giveaway.  


Who's your favorite Pooh and Pals character? Have you seen the Winnie and the Pooh movie in theaters yet?

Good luck to all who retweet! Read the giveaway rules here.

A Special Offer for Friends & Family

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 21, 2011 9:00 AM


Print out this coupon and find a Disney Store near you using our Store Locator or visit to take advantage of this amazing deal!

The Robots are Coming! The Robots are Coming!

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 20, 2011 9:00 AM

CAUTION: Vinylmation Robots have invaded our video...and Disney Store is NEXT!



Vinylmation Robots will invade Disney Stores nationwide and at on FRIDAY JULY 22nd.

The first 12 guests to purchase any Vinylmation Robots product at a Disney Store location will receive an exclusive Robots Artist Card signed by 1 of the 5 of the Disney Store Vinylmation artists. DISCLAIMER: One signed artist card per guest. Does not apply to online purchases.

Like what you are watching? Check out for the official announement and more Robots photos! Share this video on Twitter with the hashtag: #disneyvinyl. Don't forget to follow us @DisneyStore.


P.S. We are going to be at Comic-Con this weekend! Look out for live blog posts and tweets.

P.P.S There will be an exclusive Vinylmation Artist signing at the Fashion Valley Disney Store on Friday July 22nd and Saturday July 23rd.  RSVP to it on Facebook.


Who's going to be in San Diego this weekend?


They're Coming!

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 19, 2011 9:00 AM

While on set of our video these figures emerged from our mystery box! 


We have a good feeling that the video is a wrap! Could they be the stars? Check back on The Buzz!

Mystery Solved!

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Jul 18, 2011 9:00 AM

The camera man we found yesterday didn't turn out to be just any old camera man, but one of the crew members on the set of our never -before-seen  Disney Store exclusive VIDEO coming out this Wednesday, JULY 20th!



What do you think this exciting video could be about? Stayed tuned on The Buzz!