Its the end of the year and its time to go back and look at what has happened in the UK/Disneyland Paris in regards to Vinylmation. Its been a very slow year for European Collectors, releases have been erratic with very little promotion and the UK market has dropped off considerably. Comparing to 2013, the UK has had only 25% of the releases in 2014, until a few days until Christmas when suddenly we had a flurry of last minute releases, many of which were older series.
Here is a list of UK releases:
- Sleeping Beauty
- Villains 5
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol
- Star Wars 4 *
- Aladdin Juniors
- Jungle Book
- Big Hero 6
- 101 Dalmatians
- Villains 3 (Re-Release)
- Marvel Series 1 (Re-Release)
- Pixar 2 (Re-Release)
Other releases in Disneyland Paris included
- Tinkerbell Eachez
- Cutesters En Vogue
- Indiana Jones
- Valentines Twin Pack
- Animation 5
- Haunted Mansion & Friends
- Ink & Paint
- Finding Nemo Juniors
Comparing the two lists, Disneyland Paris hasn’t had a bad year, plenty of new releases but none of them were made available online, which seems like a mistake. The collectors are willing to buy but without the internet with its Facebook Groups and eBay, a UK collector isn’t going to be able to enjoy 95% of the new releases.
The UK stores have continued to dwindle and many aren’t stocking Vinylmations, but this isn’t unlike what is happening in the United States, the Disney Stores just aren’t stocking the same number of series like they used to, I believe the damage done by all the non-Disney sets have been a major reason in why the Disney Store has pulled back on its releases and Vinylmation has returned to being a “Park” item. Even Disneystore.com has a lot less items than a year ago, I remember the days of seeing close to 200 Vinylmations being available on the website, today its down to 20, though the UK site is now only offering 4 choices.
There was two surprise releases in 2015 that came out in Europe before they were available in the US (101 Dalmatians and Mickey’s Christmas Carol) which were big releases and huge surprises, especially the 101 Dalmatians set which we hadn’t heard anything about since the Imagination Gala). Disney also threw Big Hero 6 onto the site with out any promotion or banner, which would have been nice to have known about in advance.
Its a shame for international collectors as this is pushing up the cost of collecting, without being able to enjoy simple shopping through Disney directly and without expensive international shipping, prices in the UK have continued to rise.
This brings me onto a different issue within the UK community, over the past year, there has been a wild flux in terms to Vinylmation pricing, with less being released, newer items have generally become much more expensive but many collectors are selling off figures for well under retail, simply to get rid of unwanted figures. This is especially true for many of the less in-demand figures or non-Disney figures, but I do believe in time, as the releases slow down, prices will have to rise due to shipping costs. And collectors who got into the hobby when there was lots of bargains, have slowly been leaving the hobby and have been clearing out their collections. It is however causing issues with trading as less and less people have extras or blind boxes to trade.
Disney have continued their “announcements” by putting up a banner on the main page, which isn’t amazing but even in the US, Vinylmation announcements have slipped away to barely any.
One of the odd releases of the year, was Star Wars 4, which came out almost 2 months after the US release. I don’t mind extra unannounced releases, but to wait over 2 months is too long for collectors, so many of us ended up buying them from the US , which basically meant Disney shot themselves in the foot.
Vinylmation has gone through a change in 2014, less releases in general have had a drastic reduction on the amount of figures available in the UK and in Disneyland Paris, I don’t expect this to change much in the future. I would love to see more releases, especially those available in Disneyland Paris being made more freely available.
But honestly, going into 2015, I’m not expecting much, Vinylmation has changed pace and with the UK only getting Disney Store releases, we won’t see too many of these in the future as the hobby moves back to its theme park roots.
What do you think?