I think this is a wonderful 12 figure series with every character I think you could possibly want. You could add to those figures with the Flowers set:
I think the flowers are fantastic for big Alice in Wonderland lovers! They look just like the flowers in the movie and are taken from a very memorable scene. You could also add the various phases of the Cheshire Cat with this twin pack:
This twin pack is incredible! I love the use of clear to show the Cheshire Cat as he disappears, and the expressions on their faces. Incredible! Dinah from the Whiskers & Tales series is adorable and belongs in any Alice fan's collection:
You could also mix up your collection by including some Alice in Wonderland themed 9" figures:
In today's Collector's Space post, I'm going to be talking about my Vinylmation Holy Grails. But let me start by backing up and explaining what that means if you're not familiar with the term. A Holy Grail or a grail, is what some Vinylmation collectors use to describe figures they want that are highly sought after. (Think Indiana Jones!) It could be because the figure is hard to find, has a low Limited Edition size, is expensive to buy on the secondary market, is an exclusive to an event or city, or a combination of those factors.
Here are my Holy Grails that I hope to finally own one day:
This set is a Limited Edition of 500 and was released at the 13 Reflections of Evil trade event in September 2013. This is a grail for me because it retails for upward of $80 against it's original retail price of $44.95. It's also hard to find sometimes, with either no, or only 1 listing at any given time on eBay.
This guy is a grail for me because he can be pretty pricey. He typically ranges from $50-$80 when the figure is new on eBay, after an original retail price of $18.95. You can get better deals every now and again if you keep watch.
Crossroads is one of the early 9" Park series releases and has a very low Limited Edition size of 350, making it very expensive on the secondary market, selling for around $300 on eBay. Maybe one day I'll find a lower price or have a spare $300.
This Vinylmation has a Limited Edition size of 500 and I have NEVER seen it on eBay despite searching for a while. That's why this is another of my grails. I have never been able to find it, but I really want it!
This Vinylmation set is being sold new in box, although the box has some creasing and dents. That would bother me for the fantastic price of $34.99! Plus the seller has 100% positive feedback. This set is currently listed at prices ranging from $39-$130 and the figures originally listed for $74.95. Check it out here on eBay.
Not too long ago, we received news that trade boxes were to be removed at the Disney Parks. Ever since then, rumors have been circulating that the trade box removal marks the beginning of the end for the hobby. Trading is the foundation of Vinylmation. Blind boxes were created to be a thrill, an adrenaline rush, but also a tool that made you get involved in trading. The theme parks were also the hub of Vinylmation. You could buy endless sets at the parks, including some Limited Edition and exclusive sets that were not released online. To remove the ability to trade at the center of the Vinylmation universe was just incomprehensible to many, including myself.
I still don't know the reason why, but I have speculated in this post. I can see why this move would lead you to believe that the hobby is dying, but let me give my thoughts on why I believe it isn't.
Reason #1 - The Popularity of Eachez
This concept was created in 2013 to breathe life in to the hobby after many unpopular series were released and sent to outlet. It worked and it's still working. Every Eachez sells out online (with the exception of one) and is very popular at the parks. This has got to be profitable for Disney. For starters, they retail $4 higher than a regular Vinylmation, coupled with the fact that the 1 in 10 chance of pulling a variant means collectors typically buy at least one.
Reason #2 - Strong Upcoming Sets
The Marvel Avengers series is right on the horizon, there are plenty of Vinylmation scheduled to be released throughout Star Wars Weekends, Park #15 and Park #16 were announced at the Imagination Gala, and Vinylmation have been previewed to accompany the Disneyland 60th Anniversary merchandise. Not to mention that some recent releases have been fantastic too! I think the Villainous Duos sets have all been awesome, the Animation sets were well done, D-Tour #2 was appealing and with the popularity of Marvel, the Red Hulks set that was released last week was a fantastic addition too. Apart from Frozen, Disney have not dropped the ball or given up on the quality of Vinylmation.
Reason #3 - The Demand is Still There
There are so many collectors who still want to buy Vinylmation and I'm sure Disney knows that. Not everyone is giving up. Trade Events have been popular, Vinylmation are still selling, secondary market values are holding overall - the market still exists for Vinylmation. Yes some will go to outlet, lots of things do: mugs, t-shirts, phone cases, but Disney hasn't stopped producing that merchandise just because they've gone to outlet. Obviously people will still buy them, but there is only so much a collector can and wants to buy. Part of that is on Disney to figure out supply vs. demand and produce accurately in accordance with those levels.
So what is happening? Here's what I think. Disney has shifted their focus to other things. That doesn't mean they've given up, or are ending Vinylmation, it just means they are putting more effort in to other areas. Where? Tsum Tsum. The latest Disney craze is Tsum Tsum and Disney is trying hard to get the message out and promote them. There are bags, purses, t-shirts, mugs and phone cases with the Tsum Tsum brand, as well as three sizes of plush toy.
It's the circle of life. When Vinylmation were released, I had no idea pins were still around. Everywhere I looked was Vinylmation and Disney tried hard to build the brand with a website, events, and of course merchandise. Pin trading wasn't replaced, it was just pushed into the background by a new craze - Vinylmation. Pin trading continues to exist now and I think the same will happen with Vinylmation. Vinylmation isn't being replaced or discontinued, it's just being pushed to the background while Disney promotes a newer craze. Vinylmation looks like it's going downhill because Disney has shifted it's focus, but just like with pins, that doesn't mean a nail in the coffin for Vinylmation.
There have been some much needed changes with Vinylmation that might also look like it's dying. For example, fewer sets are being released. But believe me, that helps the hobby. We don't want more than we can handle, and we don't want more Zooper Heroes and Nursery Rhymes. But like I said before, take a look at some of the upcoming releases - just awesome! The state of the hobby has been turning around.
I wouldn't panic Vinylmation fans! I for one am not giving up.
There is no release date given, or retail price, but we can see from the box that the set will have two 3" figures: Nick Fury and Agent Coulson, as they look in the Marvel movies and in the TV show of the same name. The set will also have a Limited Edition size of 1,500.
I would anticipate that this set will be released soon, around the same time as the release of the Avengers Vinylmation series and the Age of Ultron movie (May 1). As soon as I hear more I'll share it here at Vinylmation Isle, so please follow for updates!
Today is the anniversary of the day I bought my first Vinylmation! I joined the hobby and started collecting Vinylmation 4 years ago exactly. Here's an update on what my collection looks like after 4 years...
I currently own:
3" Vinylmation - 125
9" Vinylmation - 2
Jr. Vinylmation - 5
Park Starz - 9
I know it's still a relatively small collection, and many collectors have gained far more figures in a much shorter space of time than I have, but I am loving the size of my collection. I really don't want it to get too big otherwise I won't be able to display them all.
If you're interested in seeing how much collection has grown in the past year, check out my 2014 update.
Today is the second birthday of this blog - Vinylmation Isle. I created this blog 2 years to the day, and I am very happy to see it still going strong. My vision was that it would be a place to keep track of the happenings in the Vinylmation universe. I wanted to announce releases, preview upcoming figures, share my reviews, report on news stories, and share my personal thoughts and feelings. I am thrilled that I can do exactly that here.
I still love to escape to this corner of the internet where I can talk all about my favorite hobby! I want to thank everyone who follows this blog and visits regularly. I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my posts. I hope you will keep stopping by and that I will see you here next year for the blog's third birthday!
If you've been around this blog for a while, you probably know that I'm not the biggest fan of Vinylmation Jr. I think they started out pretty weak in comparison to the 3" and 9" lines, and I thought the keychain was kinda weird. Having said that, newer series such as Finding Nemo have really been changing my opinion there.
Reasons to love this series:
I think it's pretty fun! Look at all the bright colors!
There's a good selection of characters - Obviously the main characters are here: Nemo, Marlin and Dory. There are also memorable characters such as Bruce the shark, Darla, Squirt, the seagull and the angler fish
Great use of clear - I really love he clear bodies and ears to show the sea. It looks fantastic!
Things that aren't so great:
The cartoony look - I think Darla, Nemo and the angler fish look pretty true to life, but many of the other figures are a little too cartoony for my taste. In my opinion Marlin, Dory and Bruce don't look like they do in the movie, especially when you compare them to the Pixar #2 figure
I think this series has really stepped up the Jr. series game, but I would have preferred to see Finding Nemo as a 3" series.
The Park #4 Leopard comes from It's A Small World and I just can't get enough of him! For starters, I think he was an excellent character to choose. Out of all the dolls and other animals, I think he is very memorable with his bright colors and flowers. In Vinylmation form he is perfect! From his facial expression and accurate colors, down to the incredible detail on this figure of the rain falling in his ears! For those who aren't familiar with the Leopard, here he is in action on the happiest cruise that ever sailed:
I had to have this figure for two reasons. Firstly, I love It's A Small World. I really do. I think it's adorable! I also grew up in three different countries so it has personal meaning to me. During my many Small World trips, I have always remembered seeing that cute flowery leopard with his pink umbrella, so I instantly recognized this figure. I think he is an awesome choice for a Vinylmation!
Secondly, he has been done amazingly well. Just look at that nose and those whiskers! I love how the flowers look the same with some being bold and others being a more faded, pale color. I already mentioned the awesomeness of the rain falling in his ears, but I'll say it again because it's a unbelievable attention to detail! Great job Monty Maldovan!
And there you have it. That's the story of why I own the Park #4 Leopard.
This figure is being sold brand new in box by seller TheLuckyPenny on eBay. I have purchased from this seller many times over and highly recommend them! Goofy is listed for $12-$35 right now on eBay, but you can purchase him here for just $9 including shipping.
The Frozen Vinylmation series has been released today at the Disney Store Online and is slated to release Friday at D-Street locations. This blind box set has 6 common 3" figures, plus one 3" chaser and 3 Jr. figures. The artist Sulam Kang designed all the figures and each blind box retails for $12.95
I've said before that I've been thinking a lot about 9" Vinylmation recently. I guess I've been more appreciative of them every since their production declined. I've decided in this post to put together my list of honorable mentions from across the Vinylmation 9" spectrum:
I think Crossroads is an awesome idea for a figure! It's also neat that it's a real Walt Disney World fan's vinyl. For those who haven't visited Hollywood Studios, I don't think it means a whole lot, and possibly isn't even recognizable. But Crossroads is the first thing I see when I enter that park, which is why I love this figure. I think the Carnotaurus is a perfect choice for a 9"! He's a huge dinosaur and very aggressive, which is captured wonderfully on this figure with it's bigger size. As for Test Track, I can't imagine a better way to translate that attraction onto a Vinylmation.
A trash can is a great idea for a Vinylmation and I love the bright colors of the Fantasyland trash can. I think this could have been done on a 3" figure, but the 9" of course brings out the detail. The arms are jut perfect for the trash cans side panels! The World Showcase vinyl is a fantastic EPCOT memory. I love how all 11 countries of the World Showcase and Future World have been captured together on a 9" Vinylmation! Peter Pan's Flight is another fantastic Vinylmation! I love the sail of the ship on the head and the silhouettes across the moon. The stars on the foot are a perfect touch and you should seriously check out the detail on the back!
Fantasmic is yet another wonderful idea for a Vinylmation. The positioning of Mickey so that the fireworks come out of his hands and into the ears is absolutely perfect! (This is another figure where you need to check out the back!) Alien Encounter is awesome, what a great tribute to this extinct attraction! The alien is so incredibly detailed that this definitely deserves to be a 9" figure. The Animal Kingdom crate is a pretty neat idea. The crate looks realistic and I love the note on the front. I think this could have worked as a 3", but is much better to see the detail on a 9".
The Main Street Electrical Parade is another wonderful vinyl. It's hard to see in this picture but the figure has some "sparkles" across it that really make it look like electrical lights. The detail is great, and while it could have worked on a 3", the 9" platform was the way to go for sure. The 25th Anniversary Castle is a great idea for a vinyl, very memorable to veterans of Walt Disney World. The Yeti is amazing! I love that Vinylmation! It looks almost fluffy, but at the same time menacing. I can feel the chill of Mount Everest when I look at it. Much more appropriate as a 9" figure.
I love the feel of the Toy Story Mania Vinylmation. I feel like I'm looking at the ride car, ready to step inside for a round of plate smashing! So detailed and I love the colors! Grizzly Peak is great too. It's interesting to me to see how they brought back the old Mickey mold for this 9" after it seemingly switched for Park #8 only. Mickey's extended facial features make this figure a perfect reflection of the California Adventure landmark. The Pin Trading 10th Anniversary is neat because it takes the anniversary of one hobby (pins) and combines it with a newer hobby - Vinylmation. It's like Mickey is pin trading with his own lanyard! Neat! And the back has a nice touch too.
Sandy Claws is such an awesome idea for a Nightmare Before Christmas 9". Again, this could have worked on a 3", but with the real Sandy Claws already a 3" figure, that might have been confusing and looked like two of the same. You can really see Jack's face and smile on this bigger figure. Jumba is a great idea for a 9" too, I think a villain deserves to be bigger! The 9" platform really brings out the colors (I love the metallic looking paint used on him!), the galaxy in his ears, and of course his many eyes! You might be asking why Crying Alice is on my list, I'll tell you, it's more about the combo set she comes with. It's so perfect to have 9" Alice, a Jr. Alice figure, plus the East Me cookie and Drink Me cup all together. I think everyone remembers that scene from the movie.
There's not really anything super special about the Toy Story Alien, and it has been done as a 3" figure too, I just think it works great as a 9" and I love the Aliens! (OooooOOOOoooooh!) It's awesome to have that cute face bigger! Again, Zurg is a villain and as such deserves a 9" platform so he can be more villainous. He has also been created as a 3" more recently, but I love him as a 9" too, it really works. Lastly, there's Crush. He is yet another 9" that also exists as a 3", but I love how much more detail is on the bigger figure. The facial expression is perfect, I love the patterns on his shell, and the bubbles and waves in his ears.
And that's my roundup of some of the best 9" Vinylmation figures! I will post another round up of my Top 10 favorite 9" vinyls soon!