By Ryan Thompson
Welcome to another episode of V.E.R., or the Vinylmation Exchange Report. It’s no secret that part of the allure of Vinylmation is the ability to trade for the ones you want; however, sometimes it’s hard to be sure you’re getting a fair trade.
This article, will contain reports based on several websites that sell and trade Vinylmation in order to give YOU, the faithful reader, an idea on how hard it will be to get the figure you want as well as update everyone to the best of our ability if certain figures are sold out or close to being sold out. VER will cover “Rising stars”, or figures that are on the increase in trade value, and “sinking” stars – figures that might be on the way down, so you can grab them up or trade them before the value sinks!
This month has seen an EXPLOSION of location exclusive Vinylmations. These are the figures that can ONLY be found in one location or city, such as the newly announced Denmark exclusives. These can be some of the toughest figures to locate, and since they are mostly related to their specific location, can hold a special place in certain collector’s hearts that have a personal tie to the location.
For this particular article we are adding a “I gotta have it right now price”, which is what you would pay if you had to buy this figure immediately, without shopping or trading around. Prices for figures fluctuate dramatically, so consider that when you’re shopping for your favorite new figure!
NOTE: These do not include figures exclusive to the Walt Disney World or Disneyland parks!
1. NYC Exclusive 9″ I Love NY
Way back in 2009, when Vinylmation was in its infancy, the New York City Disneystore was the first to get its own location-specific Vinylmation. It also marks the first, and only time that this writer can recall, that the Vinylmation was “embossed” so to speak, with Mickey’s “head” done up in red bricks that you could feel. Despite only being LE450, this figure sat on the shelves… right up until the old NYC Disneystore closed, and was even part of the clearance sale. Reports indicate that the small remaining batch of these figures made the trek down to the WDW area, but they were gone and prices remained stagnant at just above cost for a long time. However, the recent rash of NYC exclusives has given a second life to this figure, (even though one of them is a near look-a-like) and its price has recently skyrocketed.
The “I gotta have it right now price?”: $200 – $300
2. Hong Kong Exclusive 9″ Castle
The Hong Kong exclusives simply came out of nowhere, the first of the foreign country specific Vinylmations, and all three offered figures that were similar to previously available (or at least announced) in the U.S.A. The Dumbo, perhaps the hardest to find trade wise because it’s US counterpart won’t be released until September is one of the first figures with a hat, but it’s the HK Castle that is the higher value, but mostly because it’s a 9 inch figure. It’s almost identical to the DLR Castle released during Park 2, only it features Mickey Mouse welcoming you to the gates of the castle in Hong Kong, and the trademark HK Fairy Dust, found on all three of the HK exclusive figures.
The “I gotta have it right now price?”: $100 – $150
3. Japan Exclusive 3″ Pirate Mickey: Hero of the Caribbean
Thanks to some bilingual Vinylmation fans, we’re able to get information off of the Japanese Disney Store website, and the release of the Pirate Mickey HOTC was one that everyone got excited for. Released near the premiere of the newest “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, collectors waited with baited breath to hear when this figure which comes in what will probably be the last (and best designed) tin, would see a release over in the States. Only, it never happened. Luckily this figure is not LE as far as any translators can tell, and a flurry of them has already made their way onto American soil. Still, the price is high, and given the upcoming Pirates series, will likely stay that way for awhile.
The “I gotta have it right now price?”: $30 – $40
V.E.R. SINKING STARS
1. NYC Exclusive 9″ Boroughs
Featuring a bunch of exciting images words, it’s no wonder this well designed yet rather boring 9 inch figure sells for less than its retail value, repeatedly. Perhaps only the hardcore of collectors or NYC fans would need this figure when compared to the flurry of other NYC figures that are… how do we put this, more “visually stimulating.”
The “I gotta have it right now price?”: $30 – $50
2. Hong Kong Exclusive 3″ Sorcerer Mickey
The Sorceror Mickey, the last of the 3 Hong Kong Exclusives features the “fairy dust” as outlined in the 9” counterpart above, but offers very little else compared to its U.S. counterpart… except that it’s not winking. That’s right, the lack of the wink is the major separator here between the two versions of Sorcerer Mickey figures available to Vinylmation fans, and while that might make it the very first, albeit unintentional, “Variant”, it also means people that have easier access to the US one have very little reason to shell out the big bucks for this one.
The “I gotta have it right now price?”: $20 – $30
3. NYC Exclusive 3″ Minnie Mouse Statue of Liberty tin
A great design, with a popular artist, from one of the most popular statues in history, sounds like an instant sellout, right? Well, no, not quite. Seriously, I want to emphasis this is a GREAT design, despite making it to the bottom of this article, and the only reason that this price is not through the roof is that there are crowds of them on the U.S. shelves. Initially a hot ticket item, the Minnie dressed as the Statue, complete with cute tiny torch, swiftly sunk in resell value. I guess everyone already has one?
The “I gotta have it right now price?”: $18 – $20
Lots of new designs will be flooding this particular market soon, and while some of them seem rather neat, it will be interesting to see how well they do in the secondary market. I really like the design of the San Fransicso “Golden Gate Bridge” for example, but without ever being there myself, will it be worth the purchase price? Time will tell, and until then… make mine Vinylmation!