Across the Pond – A Total Surprise – 110th Anniversary?

acrossthepondLast week, the European Disney Stores (.co.uk/fr) went down for some maintenance and upon their return, there was the return of the Spooky 2 set (which while it sold out online month ago, its been filling up shelves around the country for month) and a very unexpected new release, the 110th Anniversary blind box series appeared on the site.

At 6:45am in the morning while I was lying in bed before getting up for work, I popped onto the website to see what had happened to the site during the update and had to take a second look at the former Japanese exclusive blind box series.  I quickly grabbed my glasses and checked again, that’s right the 110th Anniversary blind box series was on our .co.uk website.

Soon enough, I was onto my laptop to sort out an order, this was just too good an opportunity to resist. And I had lots of questions, Was it a mistake?  Was it a error?  How many does the website have?  Is it also being released in the US?  So I went through Quidco to make sure at some point in about a year (Disney aren’t the fastest at paying cashback) and ordered myself 11 blind boxes.  11 since I had already received a 110th Donald from 1Rocky in a Christmas Secret Santa.    The reason I had some doubts about this release was simply, only last month Furry Friends appeared back on .co.uk and while I placed two orders (it had a limit of 1 blind box per order), I didn’t expect them to arrive however sure enough, a Furry Friend blind box appeared (Trusty) with the second order being cancelled.

110th ukAfter I placed my order, I checked out the UK face book group to find out a little more information and it was a buzz with other UK Collectors who were up early placing orders, thinking the very same questions I was.  I proceeded with my usual breakfast routine of going through the usual sources for news and proceeded to pop the news of the unexpected release onto the Vinylmation Kingdom website.

Throughout the rest of the morning, there was lots of chatter between the UK collectors about the unexpected release.  And sure enough, by lunch time, they had sold out.  It was a completely random release and many UK collectors missed out simply because they didn’t know about it.

This unexpected release had popped onto the website and sold out in hours, something that hasn’t happened with Vinylmation in a while.  It used to be a regular thing of anything arriving on .co.uk selling out within a day or within a week, but lately they have been getting in much more stock so its much less frequent.  Other examples of fast sell outs include the London Guard, The Paris French Guy, the last La Kidada 9” and even Haunted Mansion didn’t hang around for very long.

Over the past 6 months, there has been loads of new releases popping up on the .co.uk website, but there hasn’t been this much excitement since that weekend in November where they saw fit to release Classics, Pixar and Robots 3 at once.  Nothing since has generated that much interest, the Oz Sets and especially not the non-Disney series like Zooper Heroes, Myths & Legends and High School (though every blind box series has currently sold out in the UK including Zooper Heroes, High School, & Myths/Legends).

The 110th series is obviously interesting for lots of reasons, first up, because they only got released in Japan, they have been expensive to get hold of, a few collectors have a couple to a few but generally most of us haven’t got any.  Those that paid the extra to get them from Japan obviously were a little disappointed that their expensive item suddenly was available, but that isn’t anything uncommon, many Japanese exclusives have ended up being made available in the United States such as the Geisha’s and even last years DLP Celebrations & Magic My Way figures like Leprechaun, Royal Guard etc.

These type of releases are rare, the UK doesn’t get every new release going, so its been nice getting something new especially after I haven’t done much bloxing since November as none of the recent releases appealed to me.  The 110th Vinylmation’s didn’t just sell out because they are “Japanese” , they sold well because they are Disney designs.  These are based on the main characters of Disney and sold out within hours, this is the type of product we need to see more of.

Over the past 6 months, the UK has continued to get the odd strange release, especially after the Park Authentic range launched from DLP, Theme Park Favourites were added earlier this year which never were available through Disneystore.com and older series such as a few older Junior series also got released.

I’m all for our European stores getting new vinyls however getting new items that have been out for months if not over a year in other countries is a little strange but not uncommon, its been like that for decades with the movie industry (Wreck it Ralph wasn’t out in the cinema’s here until 6 weeks ago).

Anyway you look at it, having these surprise Vinylmation’s turn up in the United Kingdom and selling out within hours is very good for the UK Vinylmation scene.   I know many of us UK collectors are very happy with this surprise release.  And here was my haul, with just a couple of doubles (Donald, which I already had)

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And the fun didn’t end there, that same evening many of my other UK collector’s took to facebook to try and trade their duplicates with a frenzied evening of trading, with a triple trade and 4 way trade later, I was able to complete my series. As unlike any other series, this was a one shot deal, there isn’t any more available in online/stores and isn’t available from the US.  This certainly was a different and unique release.

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