Across The Pond – Is Collecting In The UK Going Backwards?

Recently I decided to have a clear out of some of my personal collection, thinning out the heard a little by refocusing my collection and while at first I decided to spend to buy a few hard to find rare Vinylmations including a couple of Park 1’s, I decided that I would use my money a little more wisely and decided to book a sneaky few day trip to Disneyland Paris for my wife & I in June.

VKParisDonaldI hadn’t sold that many Vinylmations in the past and trying to clear out some of collection through Facebook and eBay, but I quickly discovered that selling Vinylmation at the moment isn’t ideal.

One of the things I discovered is that while some Vinylmations are still holding their value, there has been a really big drop off on many figures. Vinylmation prices on the secondary market always tend to go up and down, so that’s nothing new but usually the UK market has been a little less affected compared to the USA, as we generally have much less choice and also we tend to have to pay higher for our figures due to higher shipping costs/customs etc.

But recently there have been lots of Vinylmations selling for much lower than normal and often its the same figures being offered up for sale and I think one of the big reasons for this is that over the past 6 months, the UK has only had a couple of new releases and people have begun to reevaluate their collections, thinning out things they maybe don’t like as much as they thought or with some collectors, getting out of the hobby altogether. For every person that leaves the hobby, usually someone else enters, so that’s nothing new.

acrossebayuk2However, the general decrease in the price of many of the figures on the secondary market isn’t anything unknown, but it used to be primarily anything non-Disney or had been severely discounted in the US (which always made me chuckle as by the time we added shipping/customs or had someone bring them home on holiday, they would still cost much more than the discounted price). But now many Disney themed figures have also been selling for much less than retail and one big reason for this, I believe is with so many people trying to sell their figures at once, the market has been flooded, bringing down the overall price. While some figures have retained their value, seeing people offering new releases for under retail in the UK is still a new concept.

If you went back 18 months, almost every single figure would be £8, it was like a magical UK figure, that’s what they cost in stores, that’s what they got sold for. And often figures would cost more than that, especially if they had never been released in the UK, as even buying them at D-Street at $14 (including tax) worked out more than £8. Let alone if they came from Disneyland Paris where they would cost over £10 each.

Now the price on many figures has been plummeting, but some figures have continued to hold higher values but with so much competition from sellers, it has brought down the overall price.

But I’m not sure this trend will continue here in the UK. As us European’s see less releases, collectors are starting to go back to how collecting was like a few years ago when I first started, generally being more picky about their purchases due to higher shipping costs since impulse buys were less frequent and generally buying less blind boxes because it just wasn’t cost effective. Buying extras to sell on, just often isn’t worthwhile any more and trading is becoming extremely difficult as people are collecting differently.

uk vinylmation may 14

Collecting in the UK has certainly changed over the past 6 months and I think 2014 is going to be very different, it is very different collecting away from the parks in general but with Disney stores not stocking Vinylmation any more and less new releases, things have taken a huge step backwards. Vinylmation collecting in the UK has without doubt got harder for many new collectors who didn’t mind a flutter on a new blind box or had got used to having at least half of all new releases.

Collectors who joined in during the past couple of years had a great selection of vinyls and often some fantastic deals from US collectors due to the “discount” era, but as we head into the second half of 2014, things are very different and its probably going to push many collectors out of the hobby, Disney are making it harder for UK collectors and while the secondary market is currently awash with cheap vinyls, it won’t last as newer figures become much more rarer across the pond.

What do you think?

Comments are closed.