Perhaps 9" figures have decreased because like me, not everyone has the space to keep buying them for their collection. Even if Disney released only five 9" figures a year, if I loved them all, I couldn't buy all 5 because I have nowhere to keep them. But I think Disney have reduced 9" production because they've got the wrong end of the stick. Disney have released way too many figures, not all of which were desirable, at ridiculous prices, in excessive quantities, that didn't sell, went to outlet and still barely sold. The message picked up from this wasn't, "What did we do wrong here? How could we improve?" It seemed to have been received as, "I guess these things aren't wanted anymore".
This is why the hobby needs protecting, especially when it comes to 9" figures. High prices deter the collector from buying. Don't even get me started on the $74.95 combo set prices!! All these high priced figures like Pixar #1's Crush and Squirt and Park #9's Toy Story Midway Mania went to outlet. I saw the former for $18.95 and the latter for $22.95 in a Florida outlet mall last October. Over production makes vinyls worthless.
I'm glad Disney have cut back, but I think they've cut back too far. My suggestion would be to limit the production of 9" figures to being released only with a popular series - like Pixar, Animation, Star Wars and the Park series. Within that, I would suggest only 1 or 2 figures per series, with a maximum limited edition of 1,000. Preferably 500-800. Then finally, stop with the crazy prices!! The most I want to pay for a 9" is $39.95 for a single figure, $44.95 for a combo.
Do you collect 9" Vinylmation? Are you glad Disney have cut back?