Across the Pond – Reflections of Evil

roeWell Well Well, what a week that was, I wasn’t even at the event and I’m exhausted, so let alone all those lucky folk who were at the event.   This is the Wrestlemania or Superbowl in the Vinylmation Kingdom and its a big week for the site, trying to bring as much information to those who weren’t in attendance, as while lots of excitement is there for those at the event, people like me are just as interested in what’s going on.  So there was certainly a buzz in the air, its not possible for every Vinylmation fan to head to Epcot for the event and we are here to share the information.

But we can’t share that information without the people on the ground, so I just want to throw a huge shout out and thank you to our main guy Travis who was constantly sending me and Matt images of what was going on in Florida, both before, during and after the event.   Also on the ground was Jay Grumet who also was feeding back information for us.   I also have to give a big thank you to everyone else who was sending out information from the event such as @DizThruBrwnEyes, Vinylmation Exchange and Destination Vinylmation.   Plus the other Vinylmation sites like World, Nation and Trade City were also all sending out information, one of the great things about Vinylmation is that we all love Disney and Vinylmation, so its great that we all do generally get along and hopefully between everyone, managed to bring the best Vinylmation coverage.

The actual main presentation went a little differently than how we expected it to, with the restriction on photos/videos at the last minute meant that we changed how we were going to cover the presentation, but generally that 45 minutes as a blast, Matt was posting live on the site with Travis sending messages of what was going on while I was on Facebook/Twitter doing the same thing with information that Lisa Jackson was sending me from the event (So a big thank you goes to her, she actually took part in one of the quizzes and won a Beauty and the Beast set).   This truly was a fantastic experience and I would like to thank everyone who helped out as without everyone’s help, we wouldn’t have been able to cover the event like we did.

Ok, so now the madness has died down a little and I’ve had time to go through all the images again, scroll through all the social media and generally take a bit of time to think about the overall event.

Obviously not being there in person does change how you look at an event, much like the D23 Expo, I can only imagine what it’s like in the lines, looking at the previews and I can’t experience the atmosphere, I have heard a few grumbles online about how busy the event was, how the RSP items weren’t as good as the D23 Expo and how the trade boxes weren’t full of amazing stuff all the time.  The last one was something that stood out to me following the event, I think expectations were high that people would be pulling lots of great stuff out of the trade boxes and that certainly did happen, personally I feel expecting Disney to pull out every single Outlet/BOGOF vinyl and replace it with a high end item isn’t realistic but its a shame there was a bit of negativity about the event.  Again I wasn’t there so that’s not my own experience.

What I am excited about is what news came out of the show, to me there was lots of things I wanted to see at the event and I think most of my “wants” list came true.  I got a new Star Wars set, a new Park Starz series and probably more important of all, some differences to Vinylmation.

One of the biggest changes in 2013 has been the reduction of case sizes from the traditional 12 to 8, we have seen it a few times already in 2013 but at the show, they have really gone to town on the smaller sets, so much there looked to be only 3 series coming out (Marvel, Animation and Star Wars) with the standard 12 figures.  I think that’s a great idea to reduce the amount of figures per series, it should make sets stronger in theory but it means they can produce more different lines of figures for different people but reduce the amount of figures.  One thing I like about the smaller sets is for example, if I want to buy the Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and Toy Story #2 series, I’m buying a total of 24 figures for complete the set with the chasers, but under the old case size, for the same amount of figures, I’d only have 2 sets.  So overall with the same amount of money and space, I will now get 3 series instead of 2, which is a great thing.  It means when I have an opportunity to blind box off, I will be buying a few less blind boxes and if I’m buying a case, its less initial outlay.

Earlier in the year we found out that Vinylmation wanted to bring the “chase” back to Vinylmation and I think looking at what Disney announced during the event, that’s something they are taking seriously.  There looks to be a much stronger push for variants, which can push up sales for these figures as people want both, but for me variants have never been that important, so its not a huge thing for me.  But I know some collectors love variants and spend a ton of money trying to get one either by buying one or buying blind boxes.  The move away Open Window figures is very obvious, all those figures sat in the outlets took a while to get rid of but its pretty easy to see the open window figure is becoming a rare thing, I read online that they are planning on having only a few selected open window figures constantly available in the parks like the Theme Park Favourites from now on.  This is a good idea plus they need to have some figures out for display so people can see what they are buying into.

Continuing on with the same theme is the idea that they seem to be getting a better idea of limited edition sizes, sizes seem to be getting generally smaller, there are a few noticeable exceptions with higher numbers like Olaf and the Haunted Mansion set but generally I think reducing numbers is a good thing.   It’ll help stabilize prices on the secondary market and ensure faster sell outs for Disney, so we better get used to paying slightly higher prices.  To me it looks like they are doing as much as possible to stop items having to be reduced to the Outlets, so I think the “cheap” days could be a thing of the past for many sets.   Not sure on the LE500 on the trade night figures as they are great designs but for non-locals, these aren’t going to be that cheap.

Generally I’m pretty excited about what I’ve seen previewed for the coming year, it does seem some of the projects like the 95″ Pixar, Popcorns, Princess molds and even to some extent the Juniors and 9″‘s have been pushed to the side as they focus on making more 3″‘s with more variants and smaller cases.

I’m very positive about the forthcoming year with Vinylmation.

How about you?

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