|There's a Figment one?! Want.|
It turns out that they're these little figurine statue things made by Disney that you can buy at the theme parks and participating Disney Stores. They're cast from vinyl and have some great animation-esque artwork. Hence the odd name.
They were introduced upon the world in 2008 when Disney said to itself "Hey, we don't have enough money! We should get more of it!" It's the only justification to these things not only having a MINIMUM retail price of $10 for a three-inch statue of Mickey Mouse, but you don't even know which figure you're getting when you buy it.
Oh, didn't I tell you that Disney finally discovered the business practice of a little company called KidRobot? They sell tiny figurines, too, but in things called "Blind Boxes." You know when you buy trading cards, and they're in a pack, so you don't know which cards you get? It's the same principle, but with a single figurine.
|A case of the "Clear" series.|
But, like with cards, you get a chance at a rare figure. Every Vinylmation box has 24 packs, and one has a "Chaser" figure. It's a figure that isn't shown on checklists and, depending on the set, nets you an assload of money on eBay.
Take this one from the recent Muppets #2 line. It's Waldo C. Graphic from Muppet*Vision 3D! A pretty neat character, and I honestly can't believe they made a figure out of this guy. Average eBay price as of writing this entry? $60, and I've seen it go much, much higher. As in, triple digit higher. I think this registers a "daaaamn" on the reaction scale.
Oh yeah, there are Vinylmation lines for just about everything related to Disney, but the most popular deal with the Theme Parks, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, what's known as "Urban," and of course, The Muppets. There's even a line for Disney Afternoon.
It's kinda like their other collectable phenomenon, Pin Trading. There's literally hundreds of those things of varying amount of money, so you're better off just collecting a certain line or anything having to do with a specific character. And, like I said, the amount of bucks you'll shell out for these things depend on the set. The Parks and Muppet lines have characters that people can actually identify, so they'll cost a pretty penny even for the common guys.
Oh, and there's lots of older sets that have been retired, too. So the older they are, the more expensive they get. I usually say wait a few years and then no one will care about them, but Disney memorabilia is always popular.
You know the worst thing about this? I'm pretty sure I've been bitten by "the bug." As I've mentioned before, I'm currently unemployed, so I really don't have the funds to get addicted to something like this. But the thrill of the hunt is something that likes to fester within me.
I buy something super-cheap, and I luck out with a chaser. I sell it on eBay, and BAM: Instant profit. Since it's Disney, you just know someone will buy it, regardless of the fact that you're pretty much robbing them. But if I don't? I got something purty to put on my mantle. Do people still have mantles? This is what I think about at night.
Should I ever get involved in this, I'd probably only get ones from the Park sets, the Muppets, and ones that I think look pretty cool, like this:
Vinylmation Figurines of a vintage Disneyland Ticket Book, with one figurine representing each kind of ticket. That's...kinda kickass. But at a $100 price tag...I feel sick, guys.
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