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.

15 Comments

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  • great article well said guys, hey were you able to feature my comments on a future episode, an article something.

    I dont like the limited edition stuff, makes it too much of a hassle for most collectors and with the whole discussion you have to be there on that day to get it.

  • Im with you guys…..limited time releases and they should keep limited edition stuff at paid events etc….

  • everything you say is true who can get to London,Sanfranciso,Orlando on the drop if a hat or who has got the MONEY to go

  • Am I the Disney fan in Idaho mentioned. I believe I am the only collector in Idaho that I know of. Haha, I agree with you for the most part, but I do like the hard to get items. It makes trading and collecting more exciting, but I wish it was done in a better way. Thanks for all that you do!! And thanks for the Toy Story Cards!!

  • For one Disney will never end the “limited”. Why..Capitalism, they love to make a ton of money in one day and not have to have anymore made.

    Yes I have had to pay double retail on some of the limited ones, but i have also stopped collecting the Disney Vinylmations. They pushed to many out to fast, and the raising and lowering of prices.

    The actually crate or case I got was the Star Wars. And will prob be my last as I like you hate getting up, driving and dealing with the jerks/Ebayers that love to make money off of the ones that love and enjoy for what they are. A great collectable..

    I have always rising the BS flag on disney and their “Limited” vinylmations. For one they are not numbered, and 2 we really dont know if 1000 are made, how do we know there isnt 5000 out there? We will never know.

  • It wouldn’t be collectable if there were infanite amounts. That’s what a collector goes for something that hardly anyone or no one else has. If you don’t like it go back to buying hotwheels

  • I don’t like the fact that the LE #’s are so low on the extremely popular sets such as the Disney Afternoon. I think the more expensive things such as 9″ and Steam Park are fine being LE since not many people can or need to drop the $$$ on 2 at a time. The idea of limited time release is a really good one. I hope someone is listening.

    BTW as a collector it does feel good knowing that you are 1 of 1000 people to have something that is a LE

  • If you could buy anything you want, why would you trade?

    If things were “limited time”, what would Disney do with the left overs? Send them to the outlet store? Trash them?

    I prefer the LEs. I like the chase. I like that I have a $300 Wall-E on my shelf that I paid $25 for.

  • Well said, although I agree with most people’s perspectives that Disney will NEVER end the LE trend with Vinylmation. They simply need to make the system better, which I can see they are trying to do, but still needs a lot more work. My issue has always been with releasing certain Vinyls ONLY at the D-streets in DL and WDW. Locals will buy them, then sell them at an inflated price on eBay because the other 95% of Vinyl fans live far, far away from the parks. I experienced that with Sam Eagle and had to buy it off eBay, because the vinylmation blog said they would not be sold online. If they could somehow improve the online system, perhaps by hiring someone with half-a-brain to design and run it, and release some amount of each vinyl that is a limited edition, it might make things better. Also, in order to do this, perhaps they could just increase the LE size so that there is still a limited amount, but more people have a chance at getting them.

  • It is very difficult to do a limited time release. There are two scenarios that play out:
    1. Disney underestimates the demand. End result – upset client base
    2. Disney over-estimates the demand. Excess is sold at cost to outlet and value of figure drops. End result – upset client base

    I guess theoretically they could guess the demand correctly. There is no scenario that makes everyone happy. You cant mass produce everything. Look at Park 3, almost worthless to most collectors. Why? Because it was WAY over-produced. I think the extremists would have a different view if they were on the other side of the transaction.

  • I absolutely hate the LEs. Mostly because of the people who just want to make money off them and purchase as many as they can just to wind up ebaying them at double or triple to the actual retail value. While they sell the item to someone who is sitting at their computer, some other Vinylmation fan stood in line for 6 hours just to be told that the item is sold out.

    I don’t collect Vinylmations because they’re collectors items, I think they’re cute and fun.

  • Lets stop the hate they are bringing a legitimate point here.

    It seems everyones on a good case on this one

    Capitalism mean limited edition items to them

    I hate when people think they can get away of making huge business of Disney items, however some people I do understand why they do this, others whatever.

    Anyway, I also hate the edition sizes. Come on 1000 for the Disney Afternoon sets. These sets should have been open edition. Im not saying make it limited outta like 10000 or even 5000 sets. At least give the fans an opportunity to snag on out within a week or a time period after rather than putting them through the gauntlet just for one day and spend that kind of dough for what Disney deems as a limited edition items.

    These are not pins, Pins are a disaster now…look how much the Florida project stuff is now…sure they are better quality and are packaged nicely than other items but still. They are all over the place, pin releases are coming left to right, pin collectors are having a headache come on Disney. They can do better than that

  • rather than eliminate them, I say, for those who are FOR eliminating them, just pretend LE don’t exist. all the CONS that you have mentioned can easily be rectified by ignoring the existance of LE.

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