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At the Imagination Gala we found out during the Purple Talk that there will be special twin pack featuring
two classic attractions, the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. Two classic figures (The Bride and Pirate Skeleton) will be re-released as a special black and white variant edition that will be out in the Fall of 2015 to tie in with the Disneyland 60th Anniversary.
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What do you think of these Park Starz Variants?

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hits
Welcome to a brand new edition of Hits and Misses as members of the Vinylmation Kingdom community share their thoughts on a series and this week we take a look at the Park Starz 3 Variants.

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Hits

RogPalmerUK – I am a huge Park Starz fan and I have purchased every single release including all of these figures so for me they are all a hit.  There are a couple of figures that stood out as being fantastic releases including the Hitchhiking Ghost Ezra which looks perfect next to last years Gus. I just love the hitchhiking ghosts and I love how they have captured his face and the little bowler hat looks great.  I’m also really impressed with the Mission to Mars variant as its not just a variant for variants sake but also representing an entirely different attraction.

 Chris : Ezra and pirate. Nice addition to the variants from 1&2 keeping consistency for collections.

Nick – Hits: or HIT would be Ezra. Continuing the HM series the same as series one and two. Classy, simplistic, and cool.

WDWRobertPig Pirate “Black”:  When the Park Starz 2 Pirates of the Caribbean 2 pack came out I immediately bought them, as I loved their Sepia inspired look. Though as time continued on I questioned why they did them in this format and I even thought of selling them. Then when they released the Pig Pirate in the same style I was glad I decided to keep them. The look suits them well and I can’t wait to collect this set within the Park Starz series.

Hitchhiking Ghost – Ezra “Clear”: Following with the Pirate Series collecting Variants within series to complete a variant set really hit the mark. The clear ghosts look great and displaying them together really adds to the variant clear look. Hopefully Phineas will be included in Park Starz series 4.

Astronaut “Red” It took me a while to come up with a reason why they picked Red & Blue. After you leave the briefing room two groups are are lined up for their mission at one door with one group being Red and one being Blue. The variant looks great in red and the small detail of the Mission Space patch on the chest is a nice touch. Though I like this color combo I think a Red/Green Astronaut might have been a better choice?

Big Al & Trixie: Having never seen the Holiday show for the Country Bear Jamboree I did not get the purpose of this set and initially I was taking a pass on this variant set. Now I know the reason why I am excited to add this set to my collection. Thanks to YouTube I was able to experience the show and I absolutely love it. I wish they would bring the show back, but for now I will have these two to fill in the gap. I really hope that Park Starz Series 4 continues the tradition on matching regular and variant sets!

Misses

RogPalmerUK -I think the oddest choice for a Park Starz variant is the Country Bear Big Al, popping a little hat on his head, 3 years after the figure was released, just seemed to be a bit lazy and I also think Trixie’s variant is a bit weak with just some holly and some ice skating boots painted on.  Not great for $50.

Chris – Country bears and astronaut. Country bears fall flat because they aren’t really that different from the normal versions. Adding skates and baby new year outfit isn’t worth it. The astronaut is a bland figure already so the red one is really no better. Would have liked to see a Glow turtle

Nick – MISSES: or MISS is the Country Bears two pack. The biggest issue I have aside from the lack of thought put into this variant is the fact that we are still getting variants from previous series (Big Al from series one) it’s kind of lazy to “re release” older figures in a series where we could’ve seen (like Chris mentioned) a glow turtle.   Overall the variants are DECENT but lacking in creativity.

If you would like to take part in a edition of Hits and Misses, feel free to contact me via Twitter (@RogPalmerUK), email (Roger@Vinylmationkingdom.com) or by Facebook.

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7511055880165Today sees the release of some Park Starz 3 Variants including the Pirates of the Caribbean Pig Pirate and the Country Bears Twin Pack featuring Trixie & Big Al from the Holiday version of the Country Bear Jamboree.  Both these Park Starz variants have been released online through Disneystore.com and at D-Street in Disneyland & Walt Disney World.  And if buying through Disneystore.com you can get free shipping until Sunday by using the code PARKFREE.

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Here are the official details on these figures:

Vinylmation™ Park Starz Series 3 Pig Pirate

  • SKU: 400008235808

  • Retail Price: $26.95

  • Edition Size: 1000

  • Disney Parks Release Date: June 20

  • Disney Parks Online Release Date: June 20

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Vinylmation™ Park Starz Series 3 Big Al and Trixie

  • SKU: 400008235860

  • Retail Price: $49.95

  • Artist Name: Caley Hicks

  • Edition Size: 2000

  • Disney Parks Release Date: June 20

Will you be adding any of these to your collection?

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20140527-191425-69265951.jpgDisney have announced a Park Starz 3 artist signing event that will be taking place on Friday in Walt Disney World to tie in with the last release for the Park Starz 3 variants.  Park Starz 3 will be released on Friday at both DLR, WDW and online with variant editions following later this month on June 20th (Country Bears Pack & Pig Pirate) and the Hitchhiking Ghost & Mission Space Astronaut on June 27th.

Here are the details for the event:

 

Park Starz Vinylmation™ Series 3 – Artist Signing

June 27

D Street in Downtown Disney® West Side

Meet Disney Design Group artists Caley Hicks, Casey Jones and Thomas Scott who will be on hand for a special appearance signing of the Park Starz Vinylmation™ Series 3 and sets on Friday, June 27, 2014 from 5 – 6p.m. at D Street in Downtown Disney® West Side.

The artists will also sign Vinylmation™ sets from the following Park Starz 3 series:

  • Vinylmation™ Park Starz Series 3 – Big Al and Trixie
  • Vinylmation™ Park Starz Series 3 – Pig Pirate
  • Vinylmation™ Park Starz Series 3 – Mission Space Astronaut
  • Vinylmation™ Park Starz Series 3 – Clear Ezra Variant

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Will you be heading to this artist signing?

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Its a big Park Starz day with loads of information coming out including this twin pack featuring the Country Bears Big Al and Trixie.

Vinylmation™ PARK STARZ Series 3 Big Al and Trixie

  • SKU: 400008235860
  • Retail Price: $49.95
  • Artist Name: Caley Hicks
  • Edition Size: 2000
  • Disney Parks Release Date: June 20

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Will you be adding these to your collection?

eachez easter oswald

eachez easter oswaldThis 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.

buzzlightyeartradingThen 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.

mkr2 eachezBut 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.

eachezfrozenolafregThese 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?

marvel variants

marvel variants

Variants have been part of the Vinylmation collecting world for years, the madness of the hunt for the Ghost Obi Wan or the different coloured Pink Elephants from Animation 1 were all huge issues for collectors to get their heads around.

Over the past year, we seem to have had an explosion of Variants and variant fever, as almost every single blind box series in 2013 seems to have had a variant (I can only think of Little Mermaid & Whiskers & Tails..ps I don’t include the Non-Disney High School type things!)  Every time a new series comes out, some collectors go nuts to try and get all the variants.  Buying blind box after blind box or even multiple cases just in the hope of getting variants.

Throw in the current trend of cases not just having one variant, but some having multiples of the same one, mean some collectors have been going on a rampage to buy up as much as possible.

Adding Variants to blind boxes makes a lot of sense, it keeps hardcore collectors keep coming in and buying more vinyls in the hope of getting them.  It does however leave many collectors scratching their heads and thinking, why would I pay $100 for Thor with a beard? And many collectors just dismissing variants as unobtainable and moving on.

Then Disney went and came up with the Eachez idea, basically to make almost every event or single figure into a blind box with a variant.  Every thing that was once in a open window seems to be moving over to the Eachez setup.  Something I think is a pretty cool idea, it is drumming up so much more interest than a open window or tin could ever do.  It’s creating a frenzy of collectors on day one buying as many blind boxes as possible in the hope of getting the variant edition.  A LE1000 figure might have sold out quickly, but when people are buying multiples, they aren’t going to last as long.  Which is music to Disney’s ears, they just bring out a figure, it sells out and they make their money.

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The Chase is back and I think its generally a good thing that figures are more in demand and people want to get back into blind boxing.   I don’t think a LE2500 open window Olaf would have been as in demand had it not been in a blind box, nor the Festival of the Masters figure.  So from Disney’s point of view, this new blind box Eachez brand seems to be working.

But there is a darker side to these variants, people buying multiples then trying to charge people over retail for the non-variant edition, or trying to flip their extra variants to get as much cash or a hard to get Vinyl.   Many collectors have a compulsion to be complete a set or not be missing a figure, and variants feed this addiction.  Willing to pay big bucks for a variants and some collectors have cottoned onto this idea as a way of making a quick dollar.  Collectors often want to buy opened blind boxes to have a little gamble themselves, which I completely understand, its the half the thrill of buying a blind box.

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I’m not against people buying a couple of extra blind boxes in the hope of getting a variant and then trying to trade their extra normal versions.  I did the same with the Food & Wine 2013 figure, but I’ve seen people buying dozens of figures in the hope of getting variants to sell.   If I managed to blind box 2 variants, I too would be over the moon and happy to make a big trade to make the most of my luck. There isn’t anything wrong in someone obtaining two “Elastigirl” or “Summer Olaf” figures and trying to trade them for something good.  That’s a major part of trading, my problem is with people buying dozens of boxes to try and make a quick buck.

However the market does control the price, its become very apparent that while there is a rush to buy as many blind boxes as possible, as quickly as possible, it doesn’t take too long for there to be a flood of standard figures which start pushing the prices down.  If your after a Eachez figure and only want the common figure, my advice is to simply wait for the panic to drop off and you will be able to find one at less than retail.  Its simply supply and demand.

Disney are making loads more cash out of Variants and some collectors are doing very nicely out of the variant rush, but there are plenty of other collectors sitting back, looking at this and thinking “why?”  To me getting a variant is a bonus rather than an essential and I think Disney seem to have grasped a major point of Vinylmation in bringing that chase back in.

But as I mentioned, it does have an ugly side to it and I hope eventually the variant rush dies down once people start noticing a pattern of the variants often reducing in value as time goes on.

What do you think about Variants?

We have known about Crystal versions of some figures for a while.

EB Games in Australia have put up preorder page for Captain Jack, Mr Incredible and Sulley.

These are set to be released in Australia on October 31st. This is a good sign for other countries as these figures have been repackaged without the TRU logo.

Sulley & Mr Incredible are set to be released in the US on Friday but we have no date for Captain Jack yet.

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We have known about the Crystal Infinite versions of Mr Incredible and Sulley for a while but we have now got the first image of these figures and the Race into Space toy set which features a combo pack of both Lightening McQueen and Buzz Lightyear Infinite versions along with two new Power Discs that are part of the TRU exclusive range.  These power discs will probably end up being released in Series 3 that will be released in 2014.   A single Buzz Lightyear has been listed on French retailer Micromania so a single figure could be released as well at some point in the future.

All of these are exclusive to Toys R Us and both Mr Incredible & Sulley will be released on October 11th with the Race into Space toy set being released on November 1st.

Pre-Orders are now opening up at Toys R Us stores.

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What do you think of these?

 

Thanks to Puddin from DisneyInfinityFans.com for the information.