Disney Vinylmations — I tried not to get hooked!


The first time I set eyes on a Vinylmation was December 2008; I was in the Art of Disney Store at Downtown Disney. There was a little white vinyl figure of Mickey standing on the shelf; there were actually quite a few of them. A young couple was admiring them and she announced that she just had to have one. Without trying to sound too “out of it” I asked the cast member what they were. The cast member shrugged, rolled her eyes and explained that it was a “Vinylmation”. The 3 inch white Mickey was released November 7th at the Festival of the Masters and the objective was to paint or decorate your own Mickey. Hmmm – I didn’t think I wanted to do that.


During December 2008 Disney released the first series of Vinylmations; it was called Park Series 1 and consisted of 12 different designs. The 3 inch figures were each in a blind box, you didn’t know what you were getting, and they were sold from a case that contained 24 blind boxes. Each case had 2 times 10 of the designs, 3 times one of the designs and 1 of one design that was called a chaser. Of course the chaser was not only the rare item to find but also a mystery as the picture of the chaser was not on the outside of the box or case. The first series was a limited release and when they were gone of course another series would be available.

I didn’t have any interest in these little guys at that time; I just didn’t get it. Then in April of 2009 I was at the World of Disney store in NYC and they had cases of the Urban Series 1 Vinylmations. This series was also a blind box series and you know what they say about curiosity, well my curiosity got the better of me and I bought two boxes. That was the start of a new collecting obsession for me, I had taken a bite of the apple and I was hooked.

The first box I opened was a solid gold Mickey – how boring! The second box I opened was some weird design. Well I would just trade them for something I liked, not a problem. I almost traded that gold Mickey but for some reason decided to hang on to it. I later found out it was the chaser and was a grand prize to have.

With each series of 3 inch Vinylmations released there are also a couple of 9 inch characters released. The 9 inch Vinylmations are in window boxes so you can see what you are getting. Sometimes the 9 inch Vinylmation will also have a 3 inch companion Vinylmation in the box. I try not to look at these guys; I only own one 9 inch and I want to keep it that way.

I like the 3 inch Vinylmations for a few reasons. One, they are small and easy to display; second, they are not expensive. They started out at $9.95 and are now selling for $12.95. The third reason is that you can get designs that mean something to you. For example one of my favourite Vinylmations is the Annual Passholder Orange Bird; it brings memories of the earlier days at the Magic Kingdom when the Orange Bird used to hang out at the Sunshine Terrace. Fourth, I like that there are Vinylmations to commemorate different events at Disney, like the Totem from the Alaska cruise on Disney Cruise Line and the Toy Soldier from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Last but not least they are tradable and I love meeting and trading with people; it’s a fun way to get to know people who share the Disney spirit.


By the time Park Series 2 was released in 2009 Vinylmations were catching on big! It didn’t take long for Disney to realize they had a good thing going and they started releasing more and more series. The Park and Urban series are up to number 8 now and there have been several other fun series such as Alice In Wonderland, Cutesters, Toy Story, The Muppets, Star Wars, Villains, Animations, Holiday, and Have a Laugh to name a few. These have all been blind box series and each with a coveted chaser.


There have also been several window or open box series, which means you know what you are getting when you buy it. These include Animal Kingdom, Nightmare Before Christmas, Flags, Occupations, Big Eyes, Nerds Rock and more. The open box is also used for special event Vinylmations such as the 40th WDW Anniversary series and Marathon Vinylmations and Flower and Garden, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and so on.


Vinylmations can be purchased in just about any shop at Disney but the place that has the widest variety and the newest releases is DStreet at Downtown Disney West Side. Here you can also buy other merchandise with Vinylmations designs such as shirts, purses, bags and hats.




You can also trade in the store. In most of the stores that sell Vinylmations you will find a mystery trade box and a clear trade box. The mystery trade box is black and has either 15 or 24 compartments, each holding a Vinylmation. You don’t know what is behind the number so you blind trade by picking a number and exchanging your Vinylmation for the one that is in the box behind your number. The clear boxes hold 3 Vinylmations and you can see them. If there is something in the box you want you can simply swap it with one of your own.


I like to display my collection. I found that the Shot Glass Collection Case sold at Michaels Stores is the perfect size for Vinylmations. Some of the event Vinylmations come is special boxes that I don’t open and some come in tins. I have shelves that I can display those on. But because Vinylmations are small you can tuck them away in lots of interesting spots.




I try to keep up with the different releases by following the Disney Blog http://eventservices.disney.go.com/static/vinylmation/vault.html

There is always something fun and new happening in the world of Vinylmations.

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Gary hails from Canada and he’s a lifelong Disney fan. In the 1950s he watched the original Mickey Mouse Club and The Wonderful World of Disney on a snowy old black-and-white television. Gary was mesmerized by the Disneyland that Walt introduced to the world during those Sunday night shows! In 1977 he took his young family to Walt Disney World for the first time and suddenly that Disney magic he experienced as a child was rekindled. Since then Gary and his wife Carol have enjoyed about 70 trips to Walt Disney World, 11 trips to Disneyland and 11 Disney Cruises.

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13 Replies to “Disney Vinylmations — I tried not to get hooked!”

  1. I just wanted to thank you for the tip about the shot glass case at Michaels – they work wonders!

    My daughter had no more room on her book shelf and these things are awesome! Plus, we can see them more often now that they are not in her room anymore.

    My 20 month old twins love looking at them too!

    Thanks . . . oh yeah, we SWORE we would never get hooked either, now 90+ later it’s an obsession!

  2. Oh my goodness I love vinylmation. Like you I didn’t start out wanteing them, but when the bug hit I can’t stop.

    I see you have one from park# that I have been wanting so bad. It’s the Snow White one. I watch for that one all the time. You have a great collection, thanks for sharing.

  3. Our nephew bought one on our last day at WDW, just as a last minute thing, when we were there a few years ago. We were all so excited watching him open it and discovering what he got, that his parents and my husband and I all went and bought our own!! We never expected it to be so fun. Now we all have quite a few and it is really a cute and fun souvenir. We get at least one, well, more than one :), on each trip now!

  4. Many Disney Stores also sell Vinylmation (including some of the limited edition nine inch styles), and last year began some Disney Store exclusive series (Lion King, etc). They also have a 3-unit trading box. They do not sell park-related or special event Vinylmation, however.

  5. Great article. I was never sure about them either. I didn’t “get it”. But now that you’ve shed some light on them I think I’m going to be hooked too. I bought my first one last night! 🙂

  6. We had the opposite problem – we wanted to get hooked! My sister bought us each a Muppet one back from WDW 2 years ago, and we decided to have a go at collecting all the Muppets. However we live in the UK and only come over once every couple of years.

    Imagine our disappointment when we were told they no longer do the Muppet set. We just gave up there and then so now Waldorf and Bean Bunny look VERY lonely!

    I don’t see the point in Disney starting to do something like this and ending the run after a short while-not everyone comes every year!

  7. Thank you for this article! My daughter (18) has just gotten hooked on these on our Leap Day trip – after a dozen other visits to WDW. She owns 9 (thank you outlet store, LOL!) She cannot wait until we go back in May to get more!

    I absolutely love your shot glass shelf idea. I’ll definitely be hitting up Michaels tomorrow!

  8. Started with two the first day of the 7 day trip.. well 7 days later we had 14 and we traded them back and forth till we got the whole Toy Story series .. Plus.. Well 4 months later my dad now has built a real cool shelf and painted it Disney colors, we now have over 50..My dad is crazy..hope he stops soon. I cant wait to get back and trade some of the ones i don’t need .. it is real addicting. Nerds and Toy Story are the coolest IMO..collect on !!! Emily (age 8)

  9. Yeah I tried not to get hooked on Vinylmations.

    Then I just bought one just for laughs… Then I bought another… then another…. Then another…Then I traded and then bought some more.

  10. Like you as well at first I was not really that interested in owning any of the Vinylmations. But on one of my many trips to WDW I saw a series and thought to myself these are really cute so I bought a couple. Then I came down for a trip with my 11 year old godson and he got so into them and was having so much fun trading to get the ones he wanted that I started to get involved more with them. Big mistake on my part I now have a collection of probably about 30 or more. Since there are so many different ones out there I have been trying to buy only the special event ones and others of those type. I must say they really grow on you after awhile and it is kind of fun collecting them.

  11. Only have one: the 40th Anniversary one.

    It’s special and probably the only one I’ll get, unless I attend the 50th Anniversary and they have one for that.

  12. I was intrigued with your title- I said the same thing!! I only have four Vinylmations but they all have a special meaning for me. I have the 2011 “Food & Wine” one since I was there, the “It’s A Boy” one since I just had a grandson, the “Phillies” one since I am a HUGE fan, and the “Pig” zodiac one because I am a pig collector.

    I’m TRYING not to get hooked!!

  13. Wow, it looks like you have quite a collection! I especially love the Sorcerer Mickey one!

    We only have 2 Vinylmations: Mushu and a Union Jack. I’m afraid to purchase without knowing what I’m going to get 😛

    What we really love are the Vinylmation pins! I’ve started to collect these over the last few years and I think they are so cool.