On behalf of all of the interested Disney Infinity Fans we asked John Reid some questions.
What is your real name? Country?
Christian Wegener (Germany)
What is the origin story of your Toy Box submission username?
I couldn't come up with a cool username so I just took my favourite animal, however monkey alone would sound weird so I just put a mister before it, changed the spelling a bit and Mr. Monki was created. I did not really choose that name just to hear Allison say it, but it was quite funny when I thought she might do it in the next episode of toy box TV.
What made you decide to buy Disney Infinity?
I played Skylanders a lot before, and I love the idea of having figurines and console gaming combined. I didn't buy DI right at the release, because I thought one expensive game would be more than enough. It was my fiance who gave me the game and the Lone Ranger playset as a Christmas gift.
What is your favorite play set and why?
Definitely the Lone Ranger. It was the very first playset I had and Lone Ranger was my first character to play with. I enjoyed that playset the most with the horses, the train, and the whole Western flair. I'm not a huge Western fan, but I liked the Lone Ranger movie. It may also be my favorite because there is a personal story behind the Lone Ranger movie. I'll give you the short version, cause it might be a bit cheesy. Before my fiance became my fiance we wanted to watch the Lone Ranger in the cinema. However, we never arrived there, my fiance prepared a wedding proposal instead. It was quite the surprise having my family and friends appear all of a sudden. So yeah, we didn't watch the Lone Ranger that day, but I wasn't that mad considering the reason why.
The playset I played the most however was the Cars playset. I love the movie and especially Mater and the playset wasn't that bad, definitely different from all the others, but maybe that's also something I liked in particular.
Who is your favorite Disney Infinity character?
Which character would you like to see included that hasn't already been and why?
Robin Hood would be nice, as an archer and swordfighter he would be great to play with I think. I'm really looking forward to Hawkeye, but having Robin would be even more exciting.
What is your favorite power disc and why?
Stitch is also one of my favourite Disney characters and even if he was not playable (yet), I wanted him at least as a power disc. So my favorite disc is the Stitch surfboard.
When you hear of a new challenge, what steps do you take to make your idea for a Toy Box a reality?
I don't really know, hard to say. Sometimes the ideas just come to my mind when I hear of a new challenge. And sometimes I just have no clue. I handled all the challenges differently. When I made Rainbow Connection i just wanted to make a race track and tried to fit in the Muppets theme. The reason I submitted for the Egg Hunt challenge was my excitement about my new Perry figure. The Western challenge was great because I could use an older toy box and just had to put some more toys in it. So basically, I don't have a plan for what I'm doing.
Your The Bridge toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Wild West Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your The Bridge toy box.
I had lots of Western themed toy boxes because Lone Ranger was my first playset and I had the parts for it first. None of them had any good gameplay parts, they were all more landscapes. I added the cinematic intro, if you want to call it that, to give it more of a story. However, I was totally confused with the replayers at some point, but I'm happy it worked somehow. Only bad thing is, that I did't get the last camera to work, the one that should show the Stallion standing on Willy's.
How long did each of your featured Toy Boxes take to build?
Something between 11 to 13 hours each.
What do you consider to be your specialty when building Toy Boxes?
I don't think I have any specialty. Maybe the fact that I try to make them playable again, or let's say having some kind of open world feeling.
Your Saving Agent R toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Egg Hunt Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Saving Agent R toy box.
I just got my Phineas and Ferb figures and I love Perry. Agent P and Doofenshmirtz are hilarious and those two are the reason why I watch P&F. Of course I wanted to make something related to P&F and the Egg Hunt wasn't hard to add.
What is your favorite Toy Box that someone else has built?
Epic Pirate Combat from tangled&tron. I played that one several times, with many different characters, even Mater. It was one of the first toy boxes I ever downloaded and I was just overwhelmed by seeing what cool stuff you could do with the toy box. I just started to build my own toy boxes back then and it was awesome to see how much detail there was in that toy box. I also played Olympus coliseum a lot. I'm a big Kingdom Hearts fan and that was kinda nostalgic.
What are some of your classic Toy Boxes that have not been a featured top 5 Toy Box?
My very first submission was for the Underwater challenge. I would call it a race track without laps, where you have to reach the goal far down below the starting line. Another one was my Wreck-it Ralph toy box for the Arcade challenge, which had a 2D jump'n'run area, a robot battle area and some shooter elements. For the Aladdin challenge I had some kind of very, very poor version of MightyGitis' one. Another one was my Big Thunder Mountain for the Disney Parks challenge.
What is your dream Toy Box challenge?
A Cars challenge would be great. Most of the challenges are made for the non-Cars character, if you're not making a race track. It would be nice to have a challenge that doesn't have to be a race track, but could be done by any Cars character.
Do you place any hidden tributes in your winning Toy Boxes?
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. It depends on how full the meter already is, but when I do, I usually put something from Cars or Lone Ranger to it.
Share a story of adversity from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes that you had to overcome.
I remember that one time my replayers had gone completely out of control for the Aladdin challenge. I think I had about 16 replayers, recorded all of them so they would spawn 4 enemies each. First time they did, but afterwards they did either nothing or randomly spawned the enemies. It took me half a day to record them and another one to replace them with enemy generators.
Share a funny story from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes.
One time I tested the Rainbow Connection with Jack Skellington and Buzz's astro blaster. I don't really know why, but it seems like the astro blaster can't go over fans, or at least not the way other vehicles do. So instead of floating gracefully over the fans it just threw me up in the air where I couldn't do anything but get out of the astro blaster. I played a little more, must have forgotten about the blaster still going up and down and crashed into it with another vehicle.
Your Rainbow Connection toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Muppets Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Rainbow Connection toy box.
When I heard about the Muppets challenge the first thing that came to my mind was the song Rainbow Connection. I have never watched the movie and only saw the TV show a few times. So Rainbow Connection was the only thing I could think of and I wanted to build a race track for a long time. Good thing I could use the Wreck-it Ralph power disc to make the track look like a rainbow and so I decided to make a three parted race track. I tried to bring in the story of one of the Muppets movies into that track and built the swamp, the desert and Hollywood. I think out of all racing tracks I made that one will always be my favorite.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Toy Box Artists?
My advice would be to always build something you want. Don't make a toy box if you just do it for the challenges. Don't get me wrong, the challenges are good to give you new ideas for building new toy boxes, but don't feel too much pushed towards one idea. Muppets challenge, never saw the Muppets movie, just wanted a race track. Easter challenge, got my Perry and basically wanted to build Danville. Western challenge, okay well, I had some Lone Ranger toy boxes already.
The point is that you should just put your heart into it. Just build whatever you want. Don't get too frustrated if your toy box is not chosen. The jury can only judge the "final product". Have you ever shown your toy box to your family or friends? Or build it together with them? They will give you the feeling that your toy box is the best, and that's what matters. I've built a very simple toy box with my little sister. Really nothing special, basically it is just Cinderella's castle and plants. However, I love that toy box, just because I saw how my sister put so much effort into it.
So just do what you like and if you can't share it with the community just share it with people right around you.
Thanks a lot for having this interview with me, it was fun to answer all the questions. I see you shortened my answer about my favorite character, but Mater was definitely the best choice I still hope Robin Hood will get his chance of joining DI, maybe also as a classic character like Donald (which is really really awesome, Donald will definitely be great to play with) I haven't played DI for a while now because I hadn't much time, but I'm definitely gonna take some time to play 2.0 no matter what It is one of the games I'm super excited about and I hope we can share more toy boxes in the future.
Oh wow... you like totally mentioned one of my toy boxes as your fav. \o/ I actually redid my EpicPirateCombat map (and Rapunzel's Rumble too)... all the logic and the map layout is the same, but I still had a bunch of room left on the meter so I used the rest of the memory just redesigning the building areas and making everything look super nice and perfect. ^_^ And above anyone else... I would have loved to have had your opinion on my Never Planet map... IMO it was my best map and my personal fav... but it never made it. (>_<)
Oh and I agree with you about your dream challenge... a non-racing Cars specific challenge would have been really cool... I loved just driving around in the Cars playset.
Also... you win for having the best reason for liking a specific playset. =D