Saturday, August 16, 2014

My Thoughtful Spot - Revealed/Concealed Vinylmation

The "Revealed/Concealed" concept has been a new creation in the Vinylmation world this year, after the introduction of the "Eachez" concept last year. These are both new spins on blind boxing, designed to breathe life into the hobby and increase the excitement and anticipation of blind boxing. In this post, I'm going to share my thoughts on Revealed/Concealed Vinylmation.

The first time we saw this style of blind boxing, was back in March when the Topiaries series was released. In that series, revealed/concealed functioned more like a combo topper, a concept we were already familiar with. The difference being you had to pick up what seemed like a combo topper when you bought a blind box from the Topiaries series.

I liked all of the figures in the Topiaries series, with Donald being my favorite and Sorcerer Mickey being my least favorite, just because I think collectors have had their fill of that platform after the 2013 Poster Art Series and 2014 Sorcerer Mickey. But what I didn't like about Toparies really was the revealed/concealed concept. $12.95 is pricey if you want to blind box most of the figures you want, but with Topiaries, you had no choice but to pay $24.95 per blind box (because you were getting two figures) and you would be guaranteed multiples of Sorcerer Mickey. Even buying 2 blind boxes would leave you with one extra Sorcerer Mickey and you'd have $50 less in your wallet.

I'm still not sure where Disney thought they were going with this. What is more attractive about blind boxing when you have to pick up the same figure over and over just for a chance of getting a new figure at the same time? Everyone who bought more than one Topiaries blind box has a Sorcerer Mickey they don't want, so who can you trade with? Especially if you have several. I really don't think revealed/concealed worked with this series at all. It certainly stopped me from buying any blind boxes. On the flip side, it did make the concealed figures more valuable, probably for that reason. Few people wanted to risk blind boxing. I won't say revealed/concealed ruined this series, aside from that method of blind boxing, the figures are fantastic. But I will say that it was a huge drawback that ended up being a deal-breaker for me. I still don't own any of these figures, as much as I would like them.

The next time we saw Revealed/Concealed Vinylmation was with the recently released Haunted Mansion Mickey & Friends series. This time around I think the concept worked a lot better. There is still a revealed figure on top and one of four concealed figures inside, retailing for $24.95 each. Mickey and Minnie dressed as Haunted Mansion Cast Members are undoubtedly popular figures, making them perfect as the revealed figures in this series. Many collectors will want them, so having multiple extras will be easy to trade. Furthermore, this time around there are 2 revealed figures. You could pick up Minnie and then Mickey, which makes it possible to buy 2 blind boxes and have 4 different figures, which was not possible with Topiaries. A much better use of $50.

As with a lot of things, I think there's pros and cons to revealed/concealed. I did not like it at all for Topiaries. I don't think it really worked, although perhaps from Disney's perspective it did. Topiaries did sell out quickly online. But I think the quick sell out could be attributed to the wonderful design of the series instead.

However, I think revealed/concealed had more positives in Haunted Mansion Mickey & Friends. You could easily pick up two figures that you want guaranteed (if you like the revealed figures that is) and try your luck at another two concealed figures. Just adding that extra revealed figure makes so much difference to the way the concept works, and can encourage more blind boxing by those who perhaps don't want to take a 1 or 2 in 6 chance of pulling their favorite figure.

I'm interested to see if and how Revealed/Concealed Vinylmation continues.

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