This past week saw the release of two different Oswald Eachez blind boxes, the first was the Easter Limited Release figure which was released at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World as well as online and the other was the Trading Night Oswald that was only released at Disneyland’s D-Street.
Oswald just brings out the craziness in people and this past Friday saw the Vinylmation community pushed to its limits, up first we have the Easter Oswald that isn’t a Limited Edition item so there could be upwards of 2000 to 3000 of these little blind boxes available (or just 500! we just don’t know). One of the biggest issues with the term “Limited Release” is that people aren’t sure what it means and Disney is using this term more and more. We used to call these open edition figures since it didn’t have a limited edition size, but now Disney has tried spicing up Vinylmation with the addition of the chase. This figure sold out on Disneystore.com in minutes as people tried to get hold of him. Both D-Street’s seemed to have limited stock, but being Limited Release means, they could keep bringing out more and more.
By adding the variant factor, people are buying tons of these blind boxes in the hope of getting the variant, resulting in loads of common figures flooding the secondary market such as with the RunDisney and 2014 Mickey’s which are also limited release. So often if your after the common, just hold out a little and it shouldn’t be too hard to get hold of.
One of the biggest issues with Oswald, is the expectation that the value will continue to rise like the Classics chaser. As more and more Oswald figures are released, I’d expect the prices to drop as we see more and more Oswald figures.
Then we have the madness of how Disneyland handled the release of the Trading Event Oswald Eachez. I wasn’t there in person, but the reports from people online and from messages sent to me, it sounds like the release was handled poorly with people staying up most of the night to line up, when other people had been told they weren’t aloud to. There was also some pins being released at the same time which resulted in one big line and wristbands being handed out to pin collectors. Resulting in lots of unhappy Vinylmation collectors being unable to get a Trading Night Oswald and lots of people hit social media to complain about how the situation was handled by Disneyland Security.
It looks like Walt Disney World’s events are going to be slightly different as they’ve announced that the merchandise will be available at the trade night itself rather than in D-Street.
But I think, no matter how Disney distributes the Trading Night vinyls, they are still going to be extremely sought after and will always leave some collectors disappointed as a Limited Edition of 500 blind boxes is extremely low, that’s without the variant factor. The variant factor means people want as many blind boxes as humanly possible to see if they can get hold of the rare LE50 figures. The Eachez concept is there to make people buy more than one and on such a Low LE, that instantly means people will go crazy.
If you look at how the Eachez line has sold since they kicked off last summer with the D23 Expo figure, they have all seemed to have sold extremely well, including the limited release ones like 2014, RunDisney and Easter Oswald. Disney have hit a home run with these figures, the variant factor has increased sales without a doubt, if these figures had been in a open window box, they wouldn’t have sold as well or maybe not sold out as quickly.
These Trading Night figures are setting a new standard for a hot item, we could see this every month for each event and people will be disappointed, there is no getting away from that. For collectors like myself who live away from the parks, we are going to have to pay through the nose for those figures or have extremely helpful friends, I know many collectors away from the parks that have pretty much written off getting the Trading Night figures. If your local to the parks, I know if I was able to get hold of a spare figure, I would be trying to trade for the next figure from the opposite coast.
Older collectors have said that this release was how Vinylmation used to be years ago, huge lines outside of D-Street and figures being extremely popular with quick sell outs. But over the years, that slowly went away as Disney overproduced too much product, meaning many collectors never had to deal with these kind of issues until recently. Many collectors have got used to low priced figures that had been discounted and the idea that you could just “wait”. Those days are long gone in my eyes, sure the odd figure or series will be eventually discounted, but the Eachez line is carving out its own path, the factor factor and lower LE numbers are changing the hobby.
Some collectors don’t like it, but as Vinylmation has grown and evolved, with thousands more collectors each year, it’s not surprising that this has happened.
What do you think?