While in the United States, the new smaller cases have been sneaking into people’s collections for most of the year, this past November, they eventually hit the UK when both Pixar 2 and Park 13 got released.
Cutesters En Vogue did get a Disneyland Paris release but we never saw Silly Symphonies, Nightmare Before Christmas 2 or Urban Redux. So it was interesting to see how these two releases effected UK trading habits. As in our larger US Trading Group, it was much harder to keep track of the impact the smaller cases had.
It was very noticeable with having smaller series sizes, trading/selling etc seemed a bit calmer, with 4 figures less to trade for, it almost felt a little easier to trade with other collectors looking to complete their series. The same manic rush to complete a set was the same but as people tended to buy a bulk amount of blind boxes, they then only needed a figure or two to complete the set.
Those 4 less figures per series did have a instant change in habits, people also seemed to be more inclined to pick up a figure or two in store (Pixar 2) as their chances of getting the one they wanted was much higher.
There was a bad effect however on the filler, with smaller cases, the filler is now much more likely to show up in a blind box, with a 3 in 16 chance, meant it was much harder to trade/sell this figure, however pretty easy to get hold of, should you not blox it. Unless Disney make different figures the filler (which seems to be the case with Park 13), this will continue to happen.
In the long run, it’s going to take a while for new routines to kick in and I know some collectors aren’t happy about the reduction in series size, but I think its generally a good thing. In November and December, we have had Pixar 2, Park 13 and soon to have Animation 4 released in the UK, which is very good. Had Animation 4 been a smaller set as well, I could buy all 3 series for the same amount as buying 2 full 12 sets. Which is ultimately what they want, to release more series but to make less vinyls.
I’m convinced this move to smaller sets is for the good, it does however increase the chances of people buying cases, I brought a case of Pixar 2 because I wanted the whole series and my brother wanted at least half the set, meaning I only had a few to get rid of. Yet when I brought 16 Park 13 blind boxes, I was sent 16 blind boxes which luckily turned out to be a whole case but without the actual tray. So bBuying cases is still a risk in the UK as you might select 16 blind boxes, but it doesn’t guarantee you will get sent a case, so its still a big gamble and selling on figures isn’t as easy as with anything, you might be able to sell/trade the more popular figures but selling on the less than popular figures can be a little harder.
There are some advantages of the smaller cases such as if you only want a few figures, usually there is a flood of people trying to sell their duplicates at lower than retail as more people start buying cases. But that is also a disadvantage for those buying cases, especially if you get left with a coupe of figures each time.
There are bound to be issues with a change, we have got used to the old system and especially in the UK as we have seen more and more people come into the hobby as well as a much larger selection of figures available, the hobby continues to evolve.
What are your thoughts on the Smaller cases?