On behalf of all of the interested Disney Infinity Fans we asked Infinity Guru some questions.
What is your real name? Country?
Hi! My name's Matt (17 years old) and I'm from the USA
What is the origin story of your Toy Box submission username?
My username when I originally signed up was my Xbox username "ToastMasterM16". I went on the Disney Infinity website and realized I could change it I was like "Thank goodness!" because I don't know why I decided to have that as a username. I wanted a name that let people know what I was doing with Infinity. Infinity Expert was taken, Infinity Pro was taken, BUT Infinity Guru was not! Little did I know that there is actually a website called "Infinity Guru" (which I am not affiliated with).
What made you decide to buy Disney Infinity?
I actually got Disney Infinity as a Christmas gift, and it was completely a surprise. I had only heard of it, and never really showed interest, but my mom knew how much I love Disney and got the Amazon bundle that had Sorcerer Apprentice Mickey. I've never been a big video game junkie (expect for Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart for the Wii), but Infinity had something about it that I really liked-- probably the toys and the the toy box. I've been hooked ever since!
What is your favorite play set and why?
My favorite 1.0 play set was probably Monsters University. I really like the film (I have 3 T-shirts, toys, and a fleece blanket), and I liked how the buildings were set up. The paintball battle against Fear Tech was really fun. I like how the team had control over Fear Tech, and since we never really saw it in the movie, it kind of felt like a sequel to the movie, which I liked a lot. Lone Ranger is a close second because of it's "open world" type of missions.
My favorite 2.0 play set was Spider-Man. It was the first play set I played and finished, and that was special to me. I really loved Nova's flying and Spider-man's web sling. Spider-man is the first 2.0 character I've made to level 15 (I still need to level ALL of my characters to 20).
Who is your favorite Disney Infinity 2.0 character and why?
Tough question! Lately I've been building with Falcon with the Ultimate Falcon power disc. I love the MCU and I think the look Falcon gets with the power disc is really sweet. I really love Donald Duck's figure design the best though, it shows his personality, but I feel his game play lacks. I love flyers!
Which character would you like to see included that hasn't already been and why?
I would like to see Tarzan. I think the web-sling ability would fit perfectly with him, but instead of a web, it would be a vine. He'd be fast, have good attacks, and be strong. We have a Tantor mount disc in the game already, but no one from his movie to ride him! When and if quadruplets are added to the game, I'd love to see Simba.
Which announced Disney Infinity 3.0 character are you most excited for?
Oh man, I've been wanting Olaf as a figure ever since I saw Frozen for the first time. When I saw him at the end of the announcement trailer I almost shouted (and I was in my school's library LOL). I'm really looking forward to the Inside Out play set because I feel the movie is going to be a big hit (I'm actually seeing the movie 3 days prior to it's actual release). Anger and Sadness seem like they are going to be really fun to play with. All of the 3.0 figures look top notch!
What is your favorite power disc and why?
I love going to Walt Disney World every summer. Whenever there is a Disney Parks inspired item, I have to have it! I really liked the Parking Lot Tram vehicle, and I can't wait to use it in the Toybox Speedway. I'm also a big fan of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and love the Lola power disc and how it transforms from a vehicle to a flying car. It was also the first 2.0 power disc I got!
What is your favorite toy in the toy box?
Definitely the text creator. Without it, my toy box's would be nothing. I love telling stories in the toy box; If I didn't have the text creator to tell it, my boxes would need to rely on strictly game play.
What made you want to build toy boxes for challenges?
I started building at the end of the 1.0 life-cycle. I think it was actually these forums that made me start building for challenges. I stumbled upon them one day learning about the Magicband unlock, and soon after I made an account. Seeing all of the other "famous" toy box artist talking about their creations made me think "You know what, if they can do it, I can too!"
When you hear of a new challenge, what steps do you take to make your idea for a Toy Box a reality?
I'm a lot less organized than a lot of the artists on here when I read their interviews, so I might sound kind of goofy... 1) I see the challenges at the beginning of the month and find out which ones interest me. 2) Research! I always make sure to look up the facts before every challenge I do. I look up character quotes, concept art, you name it. I make sure I can be as accurate to the character or challenge that I can be. 3) I always type down some ideas I have on my iPad mini and how I can make them work using creativ-a-toys. I always think of ideas right before I go to bed. I sometimes end up scratching the whole original idea, or adding something more to it. 4) I build the toy box with the big things first (starting with block art if I do it) and then I add logic, and then small decorations. 5) Test, test, test. I feel I spend more time testing and fixing my toy boxes more than I take building them. I'm sort of a perfectionist when it comes to toy box building, and I want the person playing it to experience it the way I intended it, so I always try to be sure it works properly with little to no hiccups (but townspeople have been a pain throughout 2.0 for me).
What do you consider to be your specialty when building Toy Boxes?
I would say my storytelling or the amount of time I spend building. If there's a challenge that requires you to make something up, I usually enter, because I like to tell stories. I always spend a lot of time building my toy boxes because I want them to be the best. I do research on the topic, and make sure to try to come up with something different whenever I submit a new toy box. That's why I'm so proud of all of the boxes I've made.
What is your favorite Toy Box that someone else has built?
From 1.0 I'd have to say SOARIN' by TurnerBros. I love the ride so much, and the way they made it in the toy box is spot on. They even had the golf ball fly over your head, just like the ride! Those little things really impressed me. From 2.0, I give it to Dizexplorer03's Magic Mayhem. The story was excellent, and it gave my favorite figure from 1.0 (Sorcerer Apprentice Mickey) his own mini play set. It was the first 2.0 box that I played that made me go "Wow! I can do all of that in one toy box!?"
What are some of your classic Toy Boxes that have not been a featured top 5 Toy Box?
One toy box that I was really proud of was called "Helium Hunt" and it was for the 1.0 UP Challenge. It was the first time I actually dived into logic, because once you found all 5 "shipments" around the city, Carl's house would actually fly. I actually ended up recycling it for 2.0's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. challenge, not thinking that they probably wanted the submission based off the show.
The toy box that I really wanted to place was for the Super hero training camp challenge in 1.0. It was called "Camp Incredible" and it had 4 different rooms.. Speed (Dash), Stealth (Violet), Strength (Mr. Incredible), and Stretch (Mrs. Incredible). After you successfully completed a level, it opened the next one. I really liked the idea, and thought it was a winning box, which is why I tell myself I won 6th place in this challenge!
What is your dream Toy Box challenge?
I really want a Muppets challenge. 2.0 introduced a lot more Muppet townspeople, and a Muppet's challenge would really put them to good use. I can make some mini games featuring "The Great Gonzo" have some Fozzie Bear jokes, and end it in a GLORIOUS 3 HOUR FINALE by Sam Eagle (that is a Disney Parks reference if you didn't get it).
Share a story of adversity from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes that you had to overcome.
My Candy-Inator! toy box took me over 20 hours to finish. I knew the Summit was coming up and that I wouldn't need to compete with the big-name artists, so I made sure I could make it the best I could. Getting inspiration from Vault of Villain's "Dark Apprentice" box, I made it a point to reach out to them through private message on the forums. Having now text creator in 1.0, I needed a way to tell the player what the objective of the box was. I had a block art Major Monogram with the directions to "Find" several locations. VoV informed me that I needed to use action buttons and several timers, but me being an Infinity Novice (see what I did there?) I hooked the timers to Action switches, which had a completely wrong affect. I was able to clear up the confusion, and submit it, where I got my first featured toy box!
Share a funny story from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes.
I swear, it happens almost every time (except the last few boxes I've made) I have an "OH MY GOSH.. I THINK I JUST DELETED EVERYTHING" moment... . I think that I push a button that ends up deleting the level I just spent hours working on, and as I try to reload the box I whisper "Please.. Please.. I will cry if everything just deleted..." It always ends up being fine but I really get scared thinking that all my building could just vanish by accidentally pushing the wrong button. A little drama never hurts when building.
Your Candy-inator! toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Agent P Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Candy-inator! toy box.
As I mentioned a few questions above, I reached out to Vault of Villains and asked for some help. They were very nice and quick to respond. If it weren't for them, I probably would not have placed. I got inspiration for the houses in P&F's neighborhood from Erdadi's Summer-Winter toy box, so I should also thank them. SECRETS: At the end of Phineas and Ferb's street, I purposely made a building shaped like a platypus! I also hid the Pixar Luxo Lamp in the HQ and a Mickey Topiary in the neighbors garden, because I love Pixar movies and like to look for hidden mickey's when I visit Florida.
Your FANTASIA Journey toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Fantasia Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your FANTASIA Journey toy box.
After I heard about this challenge, I did some research by finding an old DVD of Fantasia. I took pictures of certain scenes of the movie to make sure what I was building actually looked like it belonged in Fantasia. I came home late on the Tuesday night before deadline was due and did the finishing touches on this box. I wasn't pleased with it when I submitted it, because I was having trouble firing off some of the level starters and didn't know if it would work properly. It was the first box I submitted where I used INteriors. SECRETS: This toy box also has a hidden Luxo Lamp and Mickey Topiary in a 2 of the levels!
Your Storybook Castle toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Cinderella Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Storybook Castle toy box.
The story of Cinderella is known by everyone! I wanted to make a toybox that brought you through the story, but in a way that felt right. I thought of a magic castle where you could enter the story, and boom! Storybook Castle became a thing! I set it up so I could make sequels to it, which I did, and plan on doing for upcoming challenges that involve princesses. I'm going to redesign my Storybook Castle 2 on Beauty and the Beast soon, and I'm thinking of making a 3rd version for Mulan when 3.0 comes out! SECRETS: Once again, I've hid a Pixar lamp and Mickey topiary in 2 of these levels!
Your PinocchioJourney toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Fantasyland Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your PinocchioJourney toy box.
I've never visited Disneyland, but I wanted to participate in a community challenge like this one. Using the forums, I found out which rides not to make, which is pretty easy to do when you see that big-name toy box artists like Erdadi3 and Vasuri83 are taking specific rides. I noticed that Pinocchio's Daring Journey had no one assigned to it, and after I watched some POV videos of it, I took it upon myself to snatch it up. I was the only one to submit a Pinocchio's Daring Journey box, so it was basically an automatic win. This placed the week after my Storybook Castle toy box placed, which now allows me to say I had two consecutive toy boxes featured. SECRETS: Guess what, if you look closely in the Coney Island room, you'll see a Pixar lamp, and if you look in Pinocchio's village at the end of the ride, you'll find a Mickey topiary
Your Donald's Dream toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Pick a Character Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Donald's Dream toy box.
This is my favorite toy box I've made in Disney Infinity (so far)! The first day I got Disney Infinity 2.0 I started working on a ToonTown box. It was originally supposed to be a birthday party for Mickey, where you would need to defeat "Party crashers" collect "cake" for Minnie, etc. I abandoned the idea, but left the save there in case I would ever get back to it.
I started on a toy box called "Mission Stitch" for the Pick a Character Challenge and when I went to save it I scrolled through my past saves and found my "Mickey's Surprise Party" toy box and I completely stopped working on the Stitch box and chose Donald instead. The only reason the ToonTown section took place in a "dream" was because of an error on my part. I accidentally added another toy box that I couldn't delete, and quickly came up with the idea that the first box could be the introduction. After I came up with the ideas for the 5 different characters you had to help, I still feel like it needed more. I made an alternate ending and original ending that the player could choose. The original ended the box like I originally intended, while the second box brought you to a 50 enemy battle in a "nightmare."
SECRETS: You guessed it.. There is a Mickey topiary in front of Mickey's house, and if you push the button on Scrooge's Money Bin, you'll see a Pixar lamp sitting on the roof of a building. Also, I shaped one of the houses in the shape of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, as a tribute to Walt's first cartoon character!
Your Avengers Arcade toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Age of Ultron Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Avengers Arcade toy box.
I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron the weekend after it came out. It was such an epic movie, I felt I couldn't pay homage to it in just one box. I wanted to make the ending battle scene but figured out it would be too big of a task to do on my own. Instead, I figured I could plug the movie by encouraging players to use their Avengers Disney Infinity Figures! I set up an Interior with 6 different toy box doors to different levels for each figure. My personal favorite level is black widows, because I used a technique I did for my "Camp Incredible" box I made in 1.0. SECRETS: The "Iron Man Mission" level in this toy box had a tribute to the Age of Ultron movie. Instead of trying to get Loki's scepter from the Russians, I made the mission take place in the Middle East with the Mandarin instead! I probably don't even need to say what 2 things I hid in these levels But I did hide a oddly shaped tree in the "Cap's Grand Prix" level, and an icon from a certain animation company behind the Haunted Mansion in "Hulk's Bash" level.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Toy Box Artists?
If you lose, don't give up! Think outside the box with game play! Quality over quantity! Add in little details! Just by having a Red light on the corner of a street can make a difference. I think the team likes it when you put in little details and think outside of the box.