Episode 116 Red Gear Bear

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Ep. 116 Red Gear Bear

This week we talk about Animation 3 and the upcoming trade nights. In our feature topic, we discuss what we each believe is the high point of the Vinylmation hobby to date. And in Mystery Mail Bag, we tackle the differences and similarities between the Parks and Disney Store releases.

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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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  • Another great podcast…

    Some of my favourite moments in Vinylmation include :
    Trading a Disneyland Paris, where “outlets” don’t exist in the same way, so trading is generally much better.
    Park Stars is a great move forward for vinyls.
    when older traders used to be wanted

    • Ah yes. I still have a box of Park 2, Urban 2, and Jrs 2 that I’m not sure I’ll be able to do something with. -MC

  • My favorite moments of Vinylmation Collecting is probably around Park 2, Holiday 1 and Park 3. When they had the artist signings at Art of Disney. It was much easier to trade while waiting in line. Plus all the new upcoming Vinylmation that they had on display. Not to mention the binder with concept art for future series.

  • GREAT question! I don’t necessarily agree with Nick’s comment…”the best is yet to come.” Based on Disney’s recent actions to deminish the hobby (no trade boxes, minimal trade nights, high prices) adds a perspective that Vinylmation could indeed end at some point. Everyone’s experience with collecting vinyls is different and personal. For me, the “golden era” was……

    PARK 4 (April 2, 2010) and URBAN 4 (June 24, 2010)
    Even tho vinyls started back in December 2008, for me it was a new type of collectible that was reasonably priced at $9.95, The hobby had a variety of series and creative designs. There were many WDW Trade Events that allowed you get the vinyls you needed to complete a series from other like-minded collectors. There were also many trade boxes at the resorts, parks and airport that were filled with worthy vinyls to complete or start a collection.

    STAR WARS #1 (January 13, 2011)
    At this period in time, collectors were in full throttle. The release of the Star Wars Series was valued by Disney (Steve Miller) as evidenced by the midnight release party and artist signing at D-Street. It was the coldest night in Florida that year (35 degrees) and as I stood in line I met the now famous duo – Nick & MC…who were the only ones who snagged the Obi Wan Ghost Variant that night! Priceless! By 2011 vinylmations was still a good hobby.

    During the course of of the year, it finally became clear that one could not collect and/or afford everything. The mantra was collect only the vinyls or series that you really like. Like many other collectors the Urban Series was the first to go from my collection (Urban 1 – Urban 7). As they released additional Urban series it was a relief and cost savings not having to obtain them. Trading at the Trade Boxes was not fun any more and the Trade Events became less productive.

    So it goes in the evolution of vinylmation…as old collectors fade away, new ones appear. Like Nick, I still collect the Park Series and selected Disney-themed vinyls. Less is more! I alway enjoy the WDW Trade Events because of the attendees and remote possibilities. Some day, someone will get tired of always bringing the Park 1 Red Balloon Chaser and I’d like to be the one they trade with. That would be the perfect end-game….”I’ll trade you all of my extra vinyls (150) for your one!”

  • In my opinion Vinylmation “jumped the shark” when they decided to change the mold..The original Mickey mold was one of the things that drew many of us into this hobby…and when they took that away, they took away the excitement…it’s been a mostly downhill hobby since then…

    • That seems like a point in time that would be a good reference. But I personally don’t feel like the mold is as big a factor as the other things going on at the time. More sets, more costly vinyls, more series that don’t seem interesting. -MC

      • I personally love the new mold much more than the old one, but around the same time they changed to the mold is when we started seeing sets that weren’t Disney-themed, Sales on things like BOGO or outlet stores, and price increases on things like 9″ figures, not to mention the output increasing to several sets a month. Things like that hurt the product way more than the new mold, which I actually think is an improvement.

    • I still miss the old mold. That combined with the right choice in characters is what drew me in. When I saw SMRT-1 and Figment on a vinyl I was hooked!

  • These are all awesome points, and I think we all agree on approximately when the golden age was (based on MC’s suggestion of limiting it to the hobby so far) for Disney produced vinyls. Now, looking at it from a customs standpoint, it’s hard not to believe that right now is the golden age for custom artists! The quality of the work coming out is phenomenal! Just look at the CVM entries. Artists have taken all the available molds (Mickey, V95, Popcorns, Park Starz, Monorails), no matter their popularity, and customized them in so many inspired, innovative ways. Customs have become so popular that they have become the haven for collectors looking for something truly unique to add to their collections.

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