Back in April, I posted about why Vinylmation isn't dead, and I still stand by what I said in that post. However, there have definitely been some changes in the Vinylmation World. Disney really seems to have given up on the Vinylmation page on the Disney Parks Merchandise website. There used to be a time when we would have detailed information on upcoming Vinylmation released about 2 months out. Now we're lucky if they post about a release the week before. The information often lacks edition sizes, artist information, and sometimes even the retail price.
Of course, there's the removal of the trade boxes too, and I'll admit I still don't understand that. It potentially makes people less likely to buy an unknown product when they can't trade it. Then again, I guess it could be argued that after the contents of the trade boxes declined so drastically, perhaps there really weren't that many people trading anyway. (I personally would still trade for the fun of it).
The Haunted Mansion Series #2 - to be released October 30
I think there are still collectors out there who take all of this to mean that Vinylmation is on its way to extinction. Online forums have closed, other Vinylmation websites have stopped posting, there are more figures available at cheaper prices on eBay... but I'd like to reiterate why I think Vinylmation isn't dead.
Like I said in my last post on this issue, my honest opinion is that Disney is always going above and beyond trying to promote their latest craze. At one time it was pins, then it was Vinylmation, then I think you could even say it was Duffy The Disney Bear, and now it's Tsum Tsum. There was a time when all you saw was pins, then all you saw was Vinylmation, and now all you see is Tsum Tsum. Pins never went away, and so I think Vinylmation will be here to stay too.
Pixar Series #3 will be released October 16
I think Disney lacks the energy to promote Vinylmation because they're using it all to promote Tsum Tsum instead. All this leads to my main point which is: Vinylmation are still being released and the series being produced are still strong. While we aren't getting many previews - and that is made much worse by not having a trade event this year - at least we still have some great releases. Aladdin was just what fans called for, the Designer Series was beautifully done, and now we have some other fantastic series on the horizon: The Haunted Mansion Series #2 and Pixar Series #3.
While we don't know much (of course) at this stage, Pixar #3 will be released on Friday this week, and The Haunted Mansion #2 will be released October 30. I'm sure collectors will love both! I'm already excited to see the other Haunted Mansion figures, and I will be picking up two figures from the Pixar series for sure!
Overall, I think the proof that Vinylmation is still going strong lies in the constant stream of releases (we've had at least one a month), and the popularity of the series that are being released. I believe the artwork is great, and the figures that have been chosen will be gladly received by collectors.