On behalf of all of the interested Disney Infinity Fans we asked Vault Of Villains some questions.
What are your real names?
Stuart and my DI wingman/wife, Katy (England)
What is the origin story of your Toy Box submission username?
I wanted something that showed our family uses the platform, "Vault", and I had to get my favorite side of Disney into it, the "Villains". Vault Of Villains was born.
What do you love about the Disney Villains? Which one is your favorite?
Growing up on Disney, I've always enjoyed the villains. For most movies it is the villains you remember most...from Jafar, Hades, Cruella and even Madame Medusa. My all time favorite Disney Villain will always be the Horned King from the Black Cauldron. It was the first Disney movie I saw on the big screen, and he scared the heck out of me....still does.
What made you decide to buy Disney Infinity?
My wife bought it for me for Christmas after a lot of hinting. I saw it in Toys R' Us on the preview base where you can place the figures. I was sold, it wasn't until after buying it that we discovered the toy box part, and we haven't stopped since.
What is your favorite play set and why?
The Lone Ranger...It is the one play set that me and my wife played every night after I bought it for her birthday. Now that's love.
Who is your favorite Disney Infinity character and why?
My favorite is Davy Jones, and he is one of the reasons I wanted the game. Since getting him, I think Dash is a great figure too. I love his little attacks. Katy's favourite is Violet because she likes being stealthy and attacking me from behind. Her other favorite is Rapunzel for the frying pan attack. She loves the DONG sound as it bounces off my head.
Which character would you like to see included that hasn't already been and why?
I just want some classic Disney Villians. Jafar, the Horned King, and Hades would be my dream triple pack. My wife would like Olaf, and if he gets hit his head would fall off.
What is your favorite power disc and why?
Mine is Headless Horseman Horse. It was my first villain power disc. Katy's favorite is Maximus.
When you hear of a new challenge, what steps do you take to make your idea for a Toy Box a reality?
First step is the concept. We plan a few ideas, and then we bounce them off each other. Then we decide the theme and begin with a base and work around it. If it needs block art that's the first thing that's built to check it looks ok and to see if when we change the sky it's in the right place and doesn't have shadowing. Next, we build the map from beginning and add terrain until we think it's big enough. Finally, it is time to make it interesting with buildings, decorations, and maybe a few bad guys. As you can see from our featured toy boxes so far each of the maps is completely different, but all toy boxes started with a simple idea that just grew.
How long did each of your featured Toy Boxes take to build?
Jafar's Wish - 22 hours (because of the block Jafar snake) Quest for Archie - 9 hours Flying Derby Day - 12 hours
What do you consider to be your specialty when building Toy Boxes?
Again, with the toy boxes that have been featured, each one has been completely different. So I wouldn't say that I have found a specialty yet. I guess the unique thing I have is making them with my wife, which helps us play testing and she finds things or comes up with ideas that I haven't thought of.
What is your favorite Toy Box that you have built? Why?
I have to say my favorite toy box that has been featured was Jafar's Wish. As soon as the Aladdin challenge was mentioned, I knew that I had to do the Jafar snake battle. I wanted the giant snake, and I loved the way that it worked out.
Tell me more about your featured toy box in the Princess challenge.
My original idea for it was the face off against three villains as you searched the kingdoms for a kidnapped princess, but my five year old had a different idea. She loves the Disney Junior show, Sofia the First. We watched an episode with Minimus and the flying derby, and I knew that what was the princess I wanted. Placing all the fans to make the horse rise and fall into the right place to make them fly over the obstacles was the hardest part as was making them shoot up the tower and come through the other side without shooting off the course.
What is your favorite Toy Box that someone else has built?
My little girl loves Santas Workshop by Enrem. She always looks for Santa even though he's never there. I enjoyed Gravity Falls by Pirate Steven. Who didn't enjoy making the gnome vomit rainbows? Epic Pirate Comabt by Tangled&tron. The map layout was amazing, and I wished I had the patience to use a unpatched game to create the epic designs...still love those ships. Flynn's Arcade by Papa Echo. I always loved Tron and everything in that map is just what I wanted. My wife's favorite is Frozen Hunt by MightyGitis. She loves Olaf, and getting to build a snowman while she sings the same song winds me up and makes me happy.
What are some of your classic Toy Boxes that have not been a featured top 5 Toy Box?
The first toy box that I ever made was a Tangled one for the Tangled challenge. It was the complete town of corona with a huge castle. It looks amazing and plays great. The only thing is that it was too big and fully maxed out the meter which means it doesn't work unless you play it just he one way. It was a learning experience
What is your dream Toy Box challenge?
I would love a Villains challenge or maybe a villains lair challenge. My wife wants a Ratatouille challenge.
Do you place any hidden tributes in your winning Toy Boxes?
We didn't do have hidden tributes to begin with, but we have started to now. We are placing a tribute in for every challenge we have that has won. In Flying Derby Day there is Jafar and Archie. Our next toy box will include pink Bullseye.
Share a story of adversity from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes that you had to overcome.
In Jafar's Wish, the beginning was meant to be a door that opened but no matter how hard I worked on it, and had it working once it was reloaded, it just opened without having to complete the challenge. So I deleted it and a block now disappears, which is activated by a replayer.
Share a funny story from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes.
I wouldn't call it funny, and I know it must happen to all of us at some point. In my Egg Hunt challenge toy box, I made a giant block art sleeping dragon it was almost complete turning certain blocks grey for the underbelly. When I hit the theme all, and I slowly had to watch my green dragon turn completely grey. After shouting "No!" at the tv, I turned it off and went to bed. To say that I am more careful and save more often is a understatement.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Toy Box Artists?
Be patient and remember it is for fun. We all love making maps that people all over the world can play, but only five a week can be picked. If yours does not get picked, don't give up. As long as you are making them for the people who matter (yourself), and you are happy with your creation, then you were successful in the challenge. Yes it feels amazing to hear Allison count down to your name, but this is Disney and meant for fun.
Really nice interview @Vault of Villains. I am a big fan of all your toy boxes especially the Aladdin one and Flying derby day one, I delete ones I don't really think I'll go back on but I kept both of those!
Great interview! I love your toyboxes, especially the flying race one. I couldn't figure out how you got the fan under the track and terrain and still made the player go up really high. Then I realized you didnt use terrain, you used grass blocks (clever)
Featured Toy Boxes: Extreme Racing, Most Wanted, Mulan's Race
Finally! Someone mentions The Black Cauldron... that was my fav cartoon as a little kid... but the thing is I was too scared to watch the whole movie. But then I still told everybody that Black Cauldron was my fav and I remember having a bunch of Black Cauldron stuff. There was an old Sierra PC Adventure game based on The Black Cauldron... I loved that game. *whispers* Actually, The Fox and the Hound was my fav childhood cartoon, but then I didn't tell anyone that, so everybody still thinks it's The Black Cauldron. LOL.
LOL. And just tonight I accidentally hit the Theme All button... I fake yelled, "KAAAHHHNNN!" and then I just sat there and watched my entire map go Colby Desert color.
IMO the music that plays when you ride the Headless Horseman's mount is the coolest music in the entire DI game.
And I still don't think I've seen a better use of block art than your giant end boss Snake in your Aladdin map.
And I think you are unique in that every member of your family has been directly involved in getting one of your toy boxes featured.
And thanks for mentioning my Pirate map... it just feels so weird that so much people have more featured maps than me now. I kinda feel like M Night Shyamalan... two hits... and then nothing. LOL.
@itsmechicken Yeah it took a lot of time getting all those blocks to fit just right to cover any holes and making sure those fans where working correct. ( on a side note near the Up house there is some boxes that cover a hole I couldn't fix)
@tangled&tron. Glad you enjoy the snake as much as I did building it. Labour of love as was my sleeping dragon in Dragon Quest which also got featured. And agree with the headless horseman music, such a shame you can't pick it for theme music. But don't worry about getting featured again, I've seen your work and know your time will come.
22 featured toy boxes, latest VENICE: Saint Mark's Square- famous cities
@ShakaDaSky Thanks for the mention of the Maze Of Hearts featured toy box. It was the first toy box to get us a number one spot. But as mentioned in another thread the win for that one goes out to my DI wingman/wife. She designed the maze which I still have to admit looks awesome, and even though I've played it A LOT in testing I still got lost and cheated with the jet pack.
And yes I'm still getting stick that a map she created got number one first. But watch this space, we still building and who knows our next number one might be one of mine.
Mrs Vault Of Villains:- But only with my help
22 featured toy boxes, latest VENICE: Saint Mark's Square- famous cities
^ Yah, but your Aladdin map only lost to MightyGitis and your Egg Hunt map only lost to PapaEcho... so like... that's arguably comparable to a top finish in challenge that did not feature any of the Big 4 IMO.