Inside The Vinylmation Nation.
Editor’s note: Disney loves creating collectors out of us. From pins to even theme park buttons, Disney fans around the world have something valuable that the Mouse has created. One of the new things for them to collect are Vinylmations and they are taking the world by one figure at a time.
Our guest contributor Nicole Nguyen, who is a collector herself, tells us about the Vinylmation world in the story below.
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Like Disney pins, Vinylmations (aka vinyls) have become just as popular. But what exactly are Vinylmations?
For those out-of-the-know, they are figurines (that are indeed made of vinyl) that are painted with a particular animated character or theme in mind. A combination of the words ‘vinyl’ and ‘animation’, these figures were first introduced by Disney in 2008. They are sold at Disney theme parks, select Disney Stores, both physical and online. When you receive them, you don’t know which one you’ll get as each one is part of a series shown on the packaging.
For the past several years, Disney in partnership with the many artists that design these figures have created many wonderful series. I am personally a collector and what we collectors use to find our specific Vinylmations include the following web tools:
- Official Disney Parks Merchandise Website – to check for upcoming releases at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts
- Chasing Vinylmation – to keep track of a collection or find new collections
Chasing Vinylmation’s website does an amazing job updating they Vinylmations (similar to PinPics for Disney pins) and collectors can add Vinylmations they own, have for trade, and what they want. It is a fantastic way to keep track and track down those elusive designs!
Vinylmations come in three sizes. The standard and most common is their 3-inch Vinyls. Their 1.5-inch vinyls are called Juniors and are usually keychains. Lastly, there are Jumbo Vinyls that are 9 inches. Additionally, Vinylmations have morphed from their standard Mouse shapes into other objects that include monorails and popcorn figures.
Like pins, Vinylmations also have their “Chasers” (a non-revealed design we described above), limited edition, and limited releases. Most Vinyls are called Commons, which are the revealed designs for any given series. A majority of series all come with one Chaser, depending on the design. There are also Variants. Variants are just a different style of a Common (e.g. Animation 3 Series Pascal; the common green, and the variant red).
There are other terms that come with entering Vinylmation territory like Toppers, Trays, Blox, etc. that really add to the culture of collection these figures and raise their popularity even higher.
Being collectors of Disney pins, my boyfriend and I are still in love with Vinylmations and its culture. Both hobbies can get expensive, but like pins, seek out the ones you like, and trade around.We both have our own favorites like we do with our pins. The most recent release of “Big Hero 6” to the Vinylmation family is pretty amazing, though a much smaller series of only eight figures. I personally love the “Beauty and the Beast” series and the details the artists put into them. We can definitely not forget the many “Star Wars” and Disney Parks attraction series, though I have not attempted to complete any of them!
The popularity of the Vinylmations, however, really comes down to the Disney characters that are a part of any particular series, or depending on the collector. Much like pins, if a popular character is released, it will be the most sought after, though there have been a few series that were not popular at all due to the lack of any sort of Disney-related theme to them. Still with new Disney-inspired Vinyls coming out nearly every month, the question is not when and how much, but where can we put them?!
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What do you think of the Vinylmations? Would you rather collect them instead of pins? If you collect them, what is your favorite one? What other Vinylmations should Disney release in the future? Comment below!