I went to Disney World a few times when I was younger. Most of my experiences there until the past few years were as a child. After venturing back recently I noticed a lot of new, different and innovative things Disney had come up with. The one that puzzled me though were Vinylmations.
I first saw these small figurines in a shop in Downtown Disney. Mind you there were hundreds of them in the shop. I was confused as to the point of them. Liking them to the beanie baby fad of my youth, but I guess for Disney fans, and went on my way.
A few weeks ago however at the WDW Marathon I saw one that I couldn’t resist!
We had arrived late to the expo (on the last day) and sadly had a small selection of marathon merchandise to choose from. I was sad after seeing some amazing shirts on our way to the expo, but was able to grab a few items I liked. While perusing the shelves I saw this little runner vinylmation. I had received an email earlier in the week explaining that this year Disney was releasing these runner vinylmations along with small medals to drape around their necks. After finding an employee I learned that every Disney race this ear would have their own mini version for the vinylmation. At that point I knew I HAD to buy it. I had decided in the year of Disney running anniversaries to run all the races they had in Disney World and now I can display my triumph with this cute little guy!
When I got home I decided that now that I own a vinylmation I should probably look into what the idea was all about in the first place. What I found was pretty interesting.
The vinyl toy began in the late 1990s in Hong Kong by artist Michael Lau. A vinyl toy is basically a blank, three dimensional canvas in a variety of shapes that artists can give a unique design to by painting onto them. In 2003 Disney did a similar concept by having celebrities like Elton John, Tom Hanks and Ellen Degeneres design six foot tall Mickey statues for Mickey’s 75th birthday. In 2008 Disney introduced vinylmation by having a bunch of artists design small 3″ and 9″ collectibles. Disney started with the Park Series #1 and went from there. Each series has 12 figurines and one remains a mystery called a “chaser” which is usually the rarest and most sought after. They also have do it yourself vinyls where the figure is solid white which you can design yourself. Each series is limited and once they are gone they are gone for good. Explanation taken from here.
I don’t see myself becoming much of a collector in the future, but after perusing through some of the websites these are my favorites.
And of course my favorite and the only other one I might get :)