The Case Against Limited Editions

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If I were in charge of Vinylmation, and I’m not, I would get rid of Limited Edition Vinylmation Releases. Goodbye. Good riddance. LE Vinylmation, you have caused too many problems around these parts and it is time to go. I hear your voices and want to make those awesome LE figures available to you! No matter where you live. D-Street. Online. Neither work. And I’m not talking about fair. I don’t care about fair. I care about being able to collect what I like. In taking the pulse of the Vinylmation community, I think there are more true collectors out there that are more concerned about grabbing their favorite Vinylmation figures than having a figure that may be worth some cash because there are not many of them. I know I would.

Let’s take the Disney Afternoons series. An insanely popular set of figures. Maybe beyond what Disney even thought. Now when they release these at the D-Streets, locals are forced to roll out of bed, head down to Disney and wait in line for up to 6 hours in cold or heat and then be late to work. “Aw, poor Orlando local” says the Disney fan in Idaho sarcastically. This is the dedicated Disney fan who has no shot at one of these combos unless they have want to fork over triple retail at that special online auction house. So many of you cry out that releasing LEs at D-Street isn’t fair. And I can’t argue with you.

How about an online release? Oh, we have tried that… many times. Here are just some of the problems with online releases of Limited Editions. No stated release time, no purchase limits, slow computers, misplaced items online, fake sell outs, computer error. Not to mention I hate playing the get up and hit F5 game for hours. I hate it for Baseball tickets, I hate it for this. But if you are going to put LEs online, give us an exact time and date. But I say, just ditch the LEs all together.

If you are collecting because you like the figures and enjoy the chase for your favorites, then it shouldn’t matter if there are 500 or 500,000. So what would I do? Limited TIME releases. Instead of limiting the production run, I would limit the time they are on the shelves. Maybe 2 weeks. Maybe a month. Maybe 3 months. But advertise and stick to the time periods and keep the production flow coming until time is up. I would still limit same day, same guest purchases to two. These Limited Time releases have a number of effects. First, locals do not have to crowd the sidewalk on release day. Second, non-locals can plan trips to the parks around figures they really want. Third, if the release is online, it creates a less frustrating ordering atmosphere. Fourth, it takes some steam out of that cut throat aftermarket.

All that said, I would still keep around Limited Editions at events such as D23 or the Florida Project. That still makes sense to me. Those are special celebrations that have a limited number of people attending. No sense not capping those. And many times, even after the RSP and on-site sales, product is left over and goes for sale at the parks. I would also keep LEs on 9″ figures and Ear Hats. That seems to work, even for the most popular. 1000 seems like a great number. There were still more of the “sold out” Up figures at D-Street Orlando a week later.

So there you go. I don’t need ’em. I’d rather be able to purchase all the figures I like and want. Other than Events, 9″ and Ear Hats, NO MORE LIMITED EDITIONS!!! Who is with me?

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About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.

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