On behalf of all of the interested Disney Infinity Fans we asked some questions.
What is your real name?
Frank S. United States (New York City)
What is the origin story of your Toy Box submission username?
TheBaroness89 is a gamer tag I adopted in 2011 to always remember the person who literally saved my life. I used to call her my Baroness because she was the spitting image of The Baroness from GI Joe.
You received a Toy Box Artist of the Year award as one of the Toy Box Artists most likely to be recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. What do you think that means?
Lol in a perfect world it means potentially a future job on the Community Team making toy boxes for everyone but in actuality it probably has to do with myself and the other 2 recipients having numbers at the end of our names kind of like how SHIELD has Agent 13 and Agent 33
What made you decide to buy Disney Infinity?
I was in Gamestop one day and the trailer was playing on the monitor. As soon as I saw the Avengers fighting Frost Giants I wanted to try it. So my love for Marvel made me buy it not really knowing what Infinity was and now its my favorite game ever.
What is your favorite play set and why?
Tie: The Incredibles playset and The Avengers. I love the superhero team concept of running around the city and beating up the bad guys and eventually that showdown with Syndrome or Loki
Who is your favorite Disney Infinity 2.0 character and why?
Donald Duck hands down. If any character is me its Donald...it would actually be Donald and Mr Incredible mashed together but Donald's temperament is all me.
Which character would you like to see included that hasn't already been and why?
Indiana Jones. Star Wars is a given but Disney owns those rights and oh my god can you imagine an Indiana Jones playset ? He'd have a whip, a gun, the hat and maybe Short Round can be a side kick.
What is your favorite power disc and why? What is your favorite new toy from 2.0 ?
USS Swine Trek- because I loved the Muppet Show when I was a kid, Muppet Babies etc. hopefully one day we get a Kermit figure.
Now that I am going thru Disney Infinity 1 and can really see the difference and the new toys vs the old... LOGIC GATE..sounds geeky I know but the Logic Gate solves so many problems when you want events to happen, when you want to create animation etc
What made you want to build toy boxes for challenges?
To be honest I didn't really think about entering challenges until I saw videos of the Toy Box Summit. Knowing that all those artists had such a great time and as a bonus got to play with the Marvel figures FIRST! that was motivating...being a long time Star Wars fan I would love to qualify for the Summit and be one of the first to make a Darth Vader toy box. The only way I could see that happening is if I entered challenges and try and make a favorable impression on the Disney Infinity team. It sounds selfish but I do make it a point to create to bolster the Community content also to balance out. At last count I have 23 uploaded boxes with a goal of 100.
When you hear of a new challenge, what steps do you take to make your idea for a Toy Box a reality?
I research the theme and the important elements of it, I sketch out an idea of what it will look like and then go over the sketch again picking out areas of where I want the player to have something to do. I have the toys and textures memorized so I make notes on the sketch of what goes where-basically a blueprint. Now here is where it gets weird : I pick out the one figure who will build this toy box, find a song that fits the mood of the box and then if there is a movie or a show - I watch it right before starting on an empty box. And it has to be empty- I only feel comfortable with a blank canvas.
What do you consider to be your specialty when building Toy Boxes?
The look. I try to make every box look like a part of a playset mainly because if someone downloads the box and they don't like the story or the choice of enemies they can always rip out the logic and still have the architecture to build in.
What is your favorite Toy Box that someone else has built?
I don't have one favorite toy box. I have favorite creators and will try any of their creations. I guess if I have anything its a top five boxes that I played multiple times : Disneyland Paris, Merida's Archery challenge, Black Suit Spider-Man, Grand Prix of Kaua'i, Disney Classics Clash
What are some of your classic Toy Boxes that have not been a featured top 5 Toy Box?
I really love Capt. Jack and the Pirates of the Nether Realm from the power disc challenge and I love how Disney Princess Power Raceway turned out from the Race challenge and my Big Hero 6 Downtown Showdown 2.0 I have a special place in my heart for because it was my first toy box ever.
What is your dream Toy Box challenge?
Wow.. let me see- if it's just for 2.0 then I would like to see a challenge for Donald Duck but for any Infinity as a Dream Challenge? Original Star Wars Trilogy challenge.
Share a story of adversity from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes that you had to overcome.
When I was building my power disc challenge it was supposed to be a multi level Mr Incredible toy box. I no longer have the ability to link toy boxes and there I was with 4 finished levels that all had one storyline, satellite toys, all themed around Mr. Incredible and a day before the deadline I find out I can't link them. They made no sense separately and I almost didn't submit anything. I took the first box and spent the night remaking it to fit the entire story in one box for Mr. Incredible. Then Box number 2 became a Spider Buggy power disc entry after I inserted a race track and changed Metroville to a Mashup of Disney movies Cars, Big Hero 6, Monsters U and Marvel Universe. Box number 3 got remade into Capt. Jack and Box four became the one that got featured Stark Factory meltdown. Originally that was the final challenge level for Mr. Incredible.
Share a funny story from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes.
I had never seen Frozen and my niece and nephew wanted a Frozen toy box. So I went and bought Elsa and Anna. I get the movie and and on my phone my niece had downloaded the song Let it go. So I'm on the train going home and I decide to play the song...its catchy...in other words it stays with you in your head whether you want it or not... but there I am sitting on the train sketching an outline for the toy box, playing the song in my ears and somehow my ear phones got disconnected from my phone and now Let it go is playing full blast and I'm not surrounded by Disney fans and physically I don't fit the mold of someone who should be blasting the theme to Frozen but some girls were sitting across from me and they started singing along with the song and it was all good. At that point I realized just how powerful Frozen seems to be.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Toy Box Artists?
Umm I guess my advice would be to pre-plan as much as possible before you ever open up a new box and start laying terrain. Nothing feels worse than sitting there staring at the tv wondering what to do next. Figure out beforehand the center of your box, the theme you are shooting for and work outwards. Think of it like a movie- there is a clear beginning, middle and a good climatic ending- so know where on your map you want those things and it makes it easier to fill in the rest. Beyond that become best friends with Spark Mode because it will be easier and faster to create. I used to fly around from area to area doing it the long way and that's where mistakes would happen for me. Lastly don't rush and if you have the time open up a box and experiment with the games and logic you want to create.. if you know the game you are making then planning around the game is easier.
You had two Gravity Falls toy box submissions get chosen for featured toy boxes in the Gravity Falls Challenge. Are you a big fan of Gravity Falls? Would you like to see more Gravity Falls in 3.0?
For the challenge I binge watched season one and laughed so much- its such a great show that without Infinity I would have never discovered. If Disney wants to throw in Dipper and Mabel they won't get any complaints from me. I took to that show so hard and had so many ideas swimming in my head that I made 3 boxes. Disney denied one of them and it never got uploaded but that's my fault as I totally screwed up the logic.
Gravity Games Mocking Gnome was built on the premise of the Gnomes and their obsession with Mabel so the main game was a Gnome tossing challenge and the entire box was based on the first 3 episodes of Season One Gravity Falls. Because I'm my own worst critic I immediately hated the box and started a new one THE WITCH of The WOODS. That box is totally made up and not based on any episode. I just wanted to capture the feel of the show and make a toy box that could be played over and over without getting boring. The best thing about the challenge is that Disney gave us so many items and toys from Gravity Falls that the box makes itself the real challenge was implementing a game that fit the tone of the show. This was probably my favorite challenge until 3.0.
Your Brave: Dunbroch Highlands Festival toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Brave Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Brave: Dunbroch Highlands Festival toy box.
I was a fan of this movie, I think its under rated and I wanted to do it justice. My goal was to create games not done before in a box. I put 7 challenges in the box and for the most part they turned out great but my favorite is Jousting. I wanted to figure out how to put a joust in for some multiplayer action and it turned out alright. I also wanted to give players a game that they could play over and over and level up a character so the 1 Hit 1 kill shooting gallery was born from that idea. Again Disney gave so much from Brave that the box makes itself so I figured everyone is going to have a great looking box because we all have the same stuff so ultimately it comes down to the games within and I got lucky because there were a lot of great boxes submitted.
Your Stark Factory Meltdown toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Pick a Power Disc Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Stark Factory Meltdown toy box.
It was an accident. Turns out a great accident -but it was a Mr. Incredible final level box- I had about 2 and a half hours before deadline to alter that box from Incredible to Iron Man. I almost didn't submit it.
Your Baroness County USA: Race your face off toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Battle Race Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Baroness County USA: Race your face off toy box.
I just realized this box is number 5 for me. So now I have a huge smile on my face. Baroness County is inspired by the Baroness in my life and Need for Speed Rivals. Originally I submitted it with the title Need for Speed Infinity and it got denied. I then changed the title at 2:48 pm est and re-submitted... 12 minutes before deadline! So when it got chosen I was shocked. I played some fantastic races in this challenge and everyone submitted great stuff. I'll gladly take the Top Five nod but if I'm being honest- if Erdadi3 had submitted GRAND PRIX of KAUA'I in time.... I get pushed out of the Top Five.
Your Ronan vs Asgard toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Marvel Villains Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Ronan vs Asgard toy box.
Ever since I first played ASSAULT ON ASGARD- I have wanted to build an ASGARD toy box. Mainly because any figure that isn't Marvel can't be used in that particular toy box game...well maybe I want to see MALIFICENT v ASGARD ? maybe I want to see Stitch or Syndrome in an ASGARD themed game ? So I built this box and left it open (there is a platform underneath the play area with all the logic) so that anyone who doesn't have the toy box game or maybe some people who don't have the patience to sit down and build ASGARD, can have the freedom to use any Infinity character or rip out the logic and put in a different game but still use the play area I built.