Vinylmation 360

About the Column

The biggest new Disney collectible craze is Vinylmation. These little vinyl figures resemble Disney characters and they're eagerly sought by thousands of folks some of whom know in their sleep the terminology, release dates, and arcane facts necessary to become a Vinylmation master. For the many who aren't so vinyl savvy, Kelly Firth is here to help. Her new column, Vinylmation 360, will indeed provide a full 360 degree experience from the bare basics of blind boxes to the tippy top of cutting-edge tips and teasingly true trivia. Ready? Get your Vinyl on!

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FROM: Vinylmation 360 Published Mondays

News and Updates Around the Vinylmation World

Vinylmation 360 takes a break from the in-depth vinyl profiles this week to provide readers with a brief overview of Disney Store.com sales, recent Vinylmation releases, and a major release mishap.


Sales Galore at DisneyStore.com

If you haven’t checked out the Disney Store’s website lately, there are a lot of great Vinylmation sales going on. You can find everything from discounted NYC exclusive 9” vinyls, to Animation 1, Holiday 2, Park 6, and Urban 7 LE 9” vinyls, to some Flag Series vinyls, 3D pins, and more. Most are 40% off retail price, with a few vinyls more steeply discounted.

A lot of these vinyls went on sale during Disney’s “Twice Upon a Year” sale, but some are recent additions to the sale pile (other vinyls went back to full retail price when the major sale concluded). If you are looking for something in particular, make sure to check out the sale! You may find something you missed or had put off due to the cost.

While sales are great and I am always happy to see them, it does and should raise concerns amongst diehard collectors for the future of the line. This many products heavily discounted all at the same time says a couple of things to me. First, that the product is not moving. Second, that many collectors will begin holding out for steep discounts before buying what they want, thus leading to even more product sitting around.

Now, don’t get me wrong-- with the rate Disney has been going with the sales combined with most vinyls not selling out for months, I’m in no rush to buy some things either until they too go on sale (Park 6 Alien Encounter 9”/3” combo set, I’m looking at you!). The problem is, a collectibles company putting in place steep and numerous discounts is generally not a good sign for that collectible line.

If Disney now sees Vinylmation as just a collection of themed toys or knick knacks, then product not moving until it is deeply discounted likely will not keep them from producing new additions to the line. However, this will send some buyers who still see the line as a collectible running for the hills. Why? Because it decreases the line’s perceived value, at present and in the future.

Longtime readers should know my stance on this topic by now-- I don’t care what any collectible is worth, as long as it is worth something to me. Vinylmation collectors who do buy with value in mind should be aware that these types of sales can lead to long-term trouble for the line as a collectible, and carefully consider their future purchases for value accordingly.

New Releases at DisneyStore.com

If you are looking for something new in Vinylmation-land to purchase, there are plenty of recent additions to the website just waiting for you and your credit card. The Park 7 online exclusive 9” Electrical Parade Dragon (an LE of 1,500) can be yours for the oh-so-magical price of $74.95. Yes, you read that right. A single 9” vinyl costs the same price as the 9”/3” combo sets have since 2008 when Vinylmation began. I think it is safe to say that you can wait on this one and pick it up once it too ends up on the Clearance pile. The design by Maria Clapsis is great! The price, however, is not.

Another Park 7 online exclusive is America on Parade, a set of three, 3” vinyls featuring Mickey, Goofy, and Donald in Colonial attire. This set is an LE of 5,000 and retails for $44.95. The price may be a lot more tolerable than the Dragon’s, but with that large of an edition size, I think this set will be hanging around for many months as well.

If you are in less of a big spending mood, Park 7’s Main Street Trolley two, 3” vinyl set is an LE of 2,500 and retails for $26.95. Also available is Park 7’s LE 1,500 River Country Goofy 9” vinyl for a more par-for-the-course $44.95. The Central Park 9” vinyl (LE 1,540) is available online and at the Times Square Disney Store for $49.95 each.

More run of the mill new vinyls cost-wise include the open window NFL series ($14.95 each) and the Chinese Zodiac Series ($12.95 each), as well as the 2012 Valentine’s Day 3” vinyl ($16.95 each).


Furry Friends are MIA

If you follow the official Vinylmation blog, then you know that the Furry Friends series was released in many Disney Stores on January 9th. The concept was a great oneā€”Take some of Disney’s most beloved furry friends (Pluto!) and some of Disney’s furry friends least represented in merchandise (Percy from Pocahontas), transfer them to vinyl form, and create a blind boxed 3” series. The concept alone was enough to make me smile, and the designs previewed on the website were fabulous!

Unfortunately, just two days after the release and several weeks before the delayed February parks release, on the morning of January 11th the Disney Store’s official blog posted an announcement that there were quality control issues with the line and the vinyls were being pulled from shelves. The post notes that they are undecided on whether or not the series will be produced again, and customers can return their vinyls for a full refund or exchange. (See the aforementioned post here: http://blog.disneystore.com/blog/2012/01/furry-friends-vinylmation-announcement.html ).

This marks the first occasion that I am aware of that a Vinylmation product made it to the shelves and was later pulled for quality control issues. I have complained in this very blog several times about paint and design issues myself and others have had with various Vinylmation figures. I did not even make it to my local Disney Store in time for this release, but some who did tell me that while there were definite paint issues, overall they were not drastically worse than other vinyls Disney has been cranking out for the past year plus (ex. Cutesters Like You).

Frankly, I find the entire situation bizarre, and if you were to ask me why I think someone suddenly sat up and noticed problems and then took such a drastic step, I could not even begin to guess. What I do know is I would suggest anyone who has any of these vinyls and does not flat out hate them should hold on to them for a bit and see if Disney really does re-release the series. If they do not, you will then have some pretty rare vinyls on your hands that you may be able to trade to others later or sell, with the appropriate disclaimers about any paint/design issues. I would especially suggest you hold on to them if you got a character you really like. Sure, they may release the series again and you may then feel like you wasted your money, but what if they do not release it again? Personally, I would not take that risk.


What are your thoughts on the recent goings-on with Vinylmation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Check back next week for an in-depth look at my all-time favorite 9” vinyl! Can you guess which one it is?


On the last Monday of every month, I'll devote this column to your questions and my answers. You can leave questions here as comments or send them directly to me.



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