By Devo CabDisney
If you are anything like me, you can manage to somehow work Disney into your everyday life. Maybe it’s the wallpaper on your phone, the t-shirt that you wear, or the music that you listen to in the car. Maybe it’s the posts you read on Facebook, or using the My Disney Experience app to check out wait times in Magic Kingdom (even though you aren’t there.) Perhaps it’s in your Disney collection.
I don’t know about you, but I have quite a large collection of Disney movies and memorabilia. At one point in my life, if it had anything to do with Disney, I bought it! And when I had collected enough that my Disney collection room could no longer hold my collection, I decided to slow down a bit. I became much more selective.
So one day when I walked into my local Disney Store and noticed these little Mickey Mouse shaped toys called “Vinylmation,” I thought “these are cute, but who would want them?” They reminded me of the cow or horse statues that were huge several years ago. You know what I’m talking about, they were all the same cow or horse statue but were each painted differently. Cute concept, but can you imagine how much space that kind of collection would take? So now Disney is doing it as well but this time with a basic Mickey Mouse statue made from vinyl and each is painted differently, usually based on other Disney characters or themes. Yep, that’s cute. But then they put them in a boxed wrapper and you have no clue which one your buying until you’ve already paid for it and opened the box. Who’s crazy enough to do that? I determined within myself at that moment that I was not going to be one of the crazies to fall for such a thing.
That was many, many months ago, and today I have to wonder if there’s some sort of Vinylmation support group for addicts. Yes, I gave in and became one of those crazies. Like many addictions, it started out small and innocent, but quickly grew into a bigger issue. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many I now have, but I would love to share my addiction with you, in hopes that you will become hooked as well!
If you are unaware of the Vinylmations I speak of, allow me to inform you! As I said, they are Mickey Mouse shaped figures, obviously made from vinyl. Disney first released these highly popular items in 2008. These figures may be purchased in multiple places in the parks, online, or at participating Disney Stores. There are many different collections and styles to choose from. I feel like the designers have gone out of their way and have done a tremendous job with the different designs. The figures are sold in boxes that reflect the specific collection that the figure belongs to. Inside you’ll find that the figure is sealed inside a foil wrapper.
Most of the time, you’ll find Vinylmation figures sold individually in the paper boxes. But there are special collections with multiple figures in one box and sometimes you can even see inside and know what figures you’re purchasing. There are large figures, small figures, and chasers. Sometimes you’ll even find figures that are not shaped like Mickey. Usually these are reflective of attractions in the parks.
This process of blindly buying a figure and then opening the wrapper to be completely surprised by its contents is one of the many reasons I love these figures now. But what if you now have duplicates or you received the only one in the collection that you did not want? Fear not! This is the other part that’s kind of addicting. These lovely figures are tradable! Much like the famous pin trading, you can trade Vinylmation among friends! But the fun doesn’t stop there! When you are at the parks or a participating Disney Store, you can trade with that particular store. Most locations will have a small clear box with about three figures inside and you can trade there. Many places will have wooden boxes with numbered doors. Here you can trade for another Vinylmation, but you will be doing so blindly. Now, as scary as that may sound, it’s actually not. I’ve traded and received some pretty cool figures this way.
Here’s my Vinylmation trading tip! While there is a charm to trading your Vinylmation at a Disney park, most of the time, that isn’t going to be possible. As I said before, participating Disney Stores will have a small clear box of figures from which to trade. However, if you ask, some stores actually have tubs full of Vinylmation figures. Usually you can just dig through the tubs and pick out the ones you want. Just be aware, not all stores will do this and not all stores will carry Vinylmation.
Vinylmation collecting and trading is so much fun, but highly additive! If you don’t already have one, you should! They are a great addition to any Disney collection, the process is fun, and it can even lead to great conversations and meeting new people! I highly recommend them!