2014 has been a different year for Vinylmation, gradually during the year, there has been a huge slow down on the amount of new releases. We have seen the size of a 3” series reduced by a third and even the Juniors have had their case sizes reduced, edition sizes have been cut and there there has only been 1 9” and a few twin packs released, but to counter-balance we have seen dozens of Eachez.
Its been a big talking point, some people have claimed the hobby was dying, many others enjoyed the slow down to catch up and many used the slow down to sort their collections out. Disney had said they wanted to bring the chase back and only sell what is popular. It seemed liked Vinylmation was indeed in a slow down period, the days of weekly new releases seemed a thing of the past.
Then August hit.
Suddenly, Disney throw a mountain of new releases at us at once, with the following all set to come out in August:
- Sleeping Beauty (8)
- Villains 5 (8)
- Halloween Eachez (1)
- Halloween Twin Pack (2)
- Park 14 (8)
- Park 14 Twin Pack – Cranium Command (2)
- Marvel 2 (12)
- Animation 5 (8)
- Haunted Mansion – Mickey & Friends (6)
- Star Wars – Donald & Goofy Twin Pack (2)
Not including variants, we have over 57 Vinylmations coming out in a month. That’s a lot.
Throwing over 6 different blind box series at us within a month seems insane at first glance. There isn’t going too many collectors who can go out and buy everything next month, which brings forth many questions, why are there so many out at once?
Production change-over. This year, Disney has been moving some production of Vinylmation from China to Vietnam, check the bottom of some of the newer releases like Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and you will see it says “Made in Vietnam”. There could be a number of reasons why production has been moved to another country, lower costs, to stop scrappers, increase quality, etc. I think this changeover could be one of the reasons why we have had a slower release schedule, it makes sense to drop back a little during transitional phases and if there have been some delays in production, it might explain why we are getting lots at once.
Holiday. The holiday shopping season is soon to be upon us, stores are slowly getting ready for the busiest time of the year and Disney are loading their shelves with brand new merchandise for this period. Many of these new releases are going to be sat on the shelves for the rest of the year and many appeal to the masses.
Disney Store. Both the Sleeping Beauty and Villains 5 series are Disney Store products, so these could be part of a different schedule to the Park team, now that the two teams share many of the same releases.
Certain releases such as the Halloween and Haunted Mansion – Mickey & Friends are tied into events taking place such as the 45th Anniversary and the Not So Scary Halloween Parties, so those could almost be viewed as bonus releases to tie into those events.
Its also worth noting that with the smaller set sizes, it does mean Disney can release 3 new series and actually take up the same amount of space and produce the same amount of figures as 2 full sets. For example, 3 x 8 sets = 24 new figures, so Villains 5, Animation 5 and Park 14 produce the same amount of figures as Animation 4 and Park 12. So it can appear like we have more series but Disney are actually making the same amount of figures.
Other theories include Disney wanting to get out all the figures they announced at last years Reflections of Evil event before this years Imagination Gala, but that is probably less likely.
Personally, I think August is a mixture of a few things, a couple of delays and the desire to stop up the stores at the parks and across the country for the holiday season.
One thing is for sure, people need to prioritise what figures they want and plan ahead, some figures could be around for a while and others might not. If you can hold out, some will eventually be reduced at the outlets or online, but the main thing is to buy what you like and to only spend what you can afford.
What do you think?