DV makes friends with collectors all over the country. We would like to introduce one of our newest reporters Tom. He runs the website www.VinylmationPriceGuide.com in an effort to help fellow collectors easily reference the ‘going value’ of their figures. He will write in to DV from time to time to talk about the collecting experience outside of the US. Take it away Tom…
Since I’m from the UK, I thought I’d blog about my experiences in buying Vinylmation in the UK. I hope that anyone who lives in the UK will find my posts useful, but I also hope that those of you who don’t will also find my articles interesting, and will perhaps sympathize with collectors for whom Vinylmation is not so readily available. So, for my first ever blog post here I thought I’d discuss the various ways I have bought Vinylmation in brief, and perhaps save more in depth topics on individual methods for later posts. So, in no particular order…
Method #1 – Disney Store Online:
Those of you that live in the US will know about disneystore.com, and there’s a similar website for people in the UK – disneystore.co.uk. This is Disney’s official online store for everything Disney.
There is a limited selection of Vinylmation figures (nowhere near as many as on disneystore.com), costing £8 each. Shipping is £4.95 unless you spend over £75 (in which case it’s free). You could also buy from disneystore.com, but international shipping is ridiculously expensive.
Method #2 – Disney Stores:
The UK has quite a few Disney stores dotted around UK cities. Not every Disney store sells Vinylmation however. The Oxford Street store definitely has Vinylmation, but other than that it’s a bit hit and miss. I’ve heard reports recently that a Disney store in Birmingham has started selling them, but I can’t confirm this. If they do sell them, they only started very recently because I visited the Birmingham Bullring store a couple of weeks ago and there were none to be found there then.
Oxford St. London Disney Store display
For those stores that do sell Vinylmation, the selection to choose from will still be limited compared to stores in the US. The London exclusive 9 inch figures (bus and taxi) are exclusive to London, not to the UK in general.
Method #3 – Online Communities:
There are online forums dedicated to Vinylmation, some of which feature a specific section of the forum set aside for members to sell and trade figures with each other. These are by nature more risky than buying from Disney direct, as forums act only as a way for people to get in touch with each other, there’s nobody to turn to if someone doesn’t send you the goods. That said, many forum members will post to the UK for a reasonable price, and you’ll be able to buy figures that aren’t available in the UK.
Method #4 – eBay:
Vinylmation figures are frequently sold on eBay, you’ll find more to choose from than Disney officially sells to the UK, since you can buy from sellers in the US (although postage charges can be expensive if you do so). Even if you stick to buying from UK sellers, you’ll find some that aren’t sold by Disney officially, since people may have been to the US and brought them back with them.
Method #5 – Disney Parks:
All Disney parks sell Vinylmation. The closest park to the UK is Disneyland Paris – but the best parks to buy from (those with the best selection and cheapest prices compared with the UK) are Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. Though it obviously wouldn’t be practical to make a special trip to a Disney Park just to buy Vinylmation, if you’re heading there anyway you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to get some while you’re there.
Vinylmation Display at Disneyland Paris
That’s all the ways of buying Vinylmation for people in the UK that I can think of for now. I hope to write some more in depth posts about individual methods in the future. For now though, I hope you’ve found this article helpful, please feel free to make a comment whether you’re in the UK or not! Plus, don’t forget to visit www.VinylmationPriceGuide.com if you ever need to know exactly how much is a fair price to pay for a particular Vinylmation figure – all prices on the website are in US dollars but there is a handy currency converter on every price guide page so you should find it helpful wherever you live.