Vinylmations became a major Disney product for collectors that want more fun from the Disney experience. Various Disney theme park stores and online stores offer special edition figures all shaped to have ears like Mickey Mouse. The cute figures feature a wild hit list of modern Disney characters, past Disney characters, and some characters that weren’t even related to Disney. The idea was concepted due to the popularity of collectibles and the trading element involved here.

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Disney incentivized the idea of trading figures at many of their stores. The ability to swap your Vinylmation for a better one added a lot of fun to the collecting aspect. Disney fanatics would even get into the habit of trading with each other online like many did growing with trading cards. We will look at some of the interesting tidbits behind the fad with 10 things you probably didn’t know about Vinylmation trading.

10 Disney parks allow trades

The various Disney parks all over the world have different attractions that make each have a special feel. Disney attempted to make Vinylmations a part of most parks by having them enter the stores. 2008 was the year the idea was created with bigger phases starting in 2010.

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Disney tried to make the trading a fun part of the park experience. Collectors were encouraged to come into the store for trades if they wanted to potentially upgrade, get rid of a figure they did not want or just wanted the fun dynamic of the trade experience.

9 Created ones can't be traded at Disney parks

Another fun dynamic of Vinylmation figures is that fans can create their own designs. Disney even started selling blank figures in different colors for creative collectors to use their own paint or props to add another layer of fun to them.

One disclaimer is that Disney will not accept the fan created Vinylmations as part of the trading process. Even if the created figures are meant to replicate another character and looks picture perfect, they are not considered official releases that can be traded at the stores.

8 Must have Disney Vinylmations logo at bottom

Another rule for the Vinylmation figures involved in trades at the Disney parks is that they must have the officially licensed logo at the bottom of the figure. There are some homemade or bootleg figures that are made as an alternative for collectors.

The logo must be there for the Disney park to accept it in a trade. Disney ensures all the Vinylmations they release will have the logo at the bottom to prove that they are official figurines. Don’t risk getting shut down if the logo is not at the bottom of your figure.

7 Can trade for mystery numbers

The original process of trading the Vinylmations at Disney parks featured a fun mystery element. Each park would have a display with figures hidden behind a collection of numbers. The customer will get the opportunity to give a figure in exchange for picking a mystery number.

There could be any figurine behind the number selected with no guarantee you will prefer the new figure. Your figure will replace it in the hidden spot behind that number with others getting to choose from it.

6 Another trade allowed in open box

Disney parks tried to create a second trade option for those unhappy with their trade involving the mystery Vinylmations. There typically will be a smaller sample size of a few other Vinylmation figures on display to choose from.

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This allows the customer to pick one of their own choices as a make good for getting an unhappy result as the mystery one. The Vinylmations involved in this trade typically feature some of the more generic figures that are easier to find since you get to pick from them.

5 They're On the decline

The popularity of Vinylmation figures featured a short run of relevance in the Disney world. Parks would see strong displays of variety in the first few years with quite a few releases planned to continue growing the options. Many parks stopped the trading altogether due to lack of interest.

Other collectibles would surpass it in various ways. Disney parks found success with Tsum Tsums being sold at half the price with a broader appeal. The Funko Pop craze added another item on the market that became a phenomenon in the collectible world. Disney started only updating the Vinylmations with mostly Marvel and Star Wars characters and fewer space at the stores.

4 Will only accept in good condition

If you wanted to try to upgrade a damaged Vinylmation figure for a better one when trading, Disney made sure to put an end to that. The condition of the figure is up to the discretion of the Disney store when trading in and must fit a strict guideline.

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Any figures that show damage or changes from the original design will not be accepted. The collector must keep the Vinylmation in good condition to have it eligible for a trade of another figure. Make sure your figure is in ideal condition before taking it to a Disney store for a trade to avoid embarrassment.

3 Most are not valuable

One factor that plays a role in the success of certain items becoming hot collectibles is the ability to provide a strong value within the first few years. Vinylmation figures just never had that appeal as they remained an item that only Disney fanatics would purchase.

The figures are worth $10 to $12 with little growth on the secondary market. Collectibles will increase in value once they sell out, but that was not the case for most Vinylmations. Unless you have a certain line together, the chances are that you won’t be able to make much money off them in the future.

2 Scrappers hurt the market

Scrappers are the name that collectors use to refer to the Vinylmation figures that were either thrown out, discarded or given away before they were released. The creation of the figures internationally featured many scrappers of figures that were damaged, missing accessories or just failed quality control.

Many of them found their way on the second market during the peak of the Vinylmation figures. Fans would buy them and attempt to trade them either at Disney stores for a real one or with fellow collectors that didn’t realize the issues. This is one of many reasons Disney started phasing out the trading elements.

1 Can only trade once per cabinet at park

The two cabinets of Vinylmation figures to trade from at Disney parks would only allow visitors one trade each. Following the mystery number trade and shorter list of open figures, you can no longer take part in any trades for that day given the limited options involved.

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Many visitors were upset when they received a weak Vinylmation in exchange for theirs and only had generic options on the second trade. It played a small role in the trading aspect of collecting Vinylmation losing its appeal. Disney found some short-term success with it, but it is now less popular at Disney parks.

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