Monday, October 7, 2013

Where in the World do You Vinyl? Reflections on Reflections of Evil

by Ben and Brendt

Hello!!! And welcome to a brand new installment of “Where in the World do You Vinyl”!! In this column I’m going to discuss my experience at the biggest trading event of the year, Reflections of Evil, which also served the role of being my first-ever trading event!!! (and, in essence, my first artist signing as well).

Well the dust has settled, the trading is over, and I have waited in my final line.  What an event it was!!! The only day I attended was Sunday, as I had to fly down to Florida and it was difficult to miss multiple weekdays.  But I did get to attend the breakfast, which offered an exclusive Daisy Vinylmation, as well as coveted exclusive time inside the arena to attempt the trader boxes.  For most traders, most of the time spent at ROE took place waiting in line at a shot at the trader boxes, which offered cast exclusives as well as retired variants, chasers, and even unreleased prototype vinyls.  There were two junior lines as well.  I was lucky enough to pull a few of the cast chasers, but my luck pretty much ended there.  Someone I was waiting with pulled a Phineus variant and was kind enough to trade him to me, as he wasn’t really looking for Haunted Mansion vinyls.  There was also a lot of controversy surrounding what people were pulling from the boxes.  A lot of attendees were complaining that they weren’t getting their money's worth, and if you had an experience like that we would love to hear about it in the comments.  Needless to say, most of my trading took place in the lines, where fellow traders were more than happy to pull out their stash at the prospect of getting something they needed.

There were also tables set up where tons of people had their traders lying out.  Almost every vinyl imaginable was out there and I didn't realize just how many vinyls I needed to have in my collection.  I was lucky enough to trade for one of my all-time grails, the Park 1 Fireworks!! I also checked off a couple of commons that I needed to finish up sets.  Most traders were very kind and took most of my offers with very little haggling needed.

One of my highlights from the event was getting to meet the wonderfully talented artists who design these figures that we love so much.  Artists that were there were Thomas Scott, Casey Jones, Ron Cohee, Monty Maldovan, and Eric Caszett.  I was able to talk Marvel with Thomas Scott, which is something that he is very passionate about.  I told Ron Cohee how much I loved his Pixar set, and even got him and Montee Maldovan to sign my Scare Pig and Pascal variants.  The excitement on their faces when I pulled out these vinyls was just plain awesome.  Even Maria Clapsis was there making an unscheduled appearance!!! She was walking around the line signing whatever people wanted and just talking vinyls with them.  It was very cool.

But the main event, of course, was the Vinylmation preview with Thomas Scott.  We got some truly spectacular news about all of the new sets coming out in 2013 and 2014.  There is surely something for everyone.  After having to sit on my computer the past two events watching the news trickle in, it was pretty cool to see the breaking news first hand.  Some highlights for me are the must have Marvel two-pack coming out, Pixar 2, Toy Story 2, Indiana Jones, and the new spin on making virtually every Limited Edition vinyl coming out have a variant.  Hopefully this will prevent these sets from sitting on D-Street shelves for months and maybe help them retain some of their value.

I’d also like to discuss the sets that were available there.  I know they had a lot of initial negative feedback, but I happen to like every ROE exclusive vinyl.  I think they are all well designed, burst with color, and look great in person.  I even picked up one of those Meet and Greet Mickeys, and I’m glad I did.  It’s a cool souvenir from this awesome event, and I even got it signed by the artists.  The only problem was that I had to register for the event on Sunday and had to carry them around the whole time.  Very exhausting when you also have about 40 traders on you.  There was also a surprise for us, as some of the new Nightmare Before Christmas vinyls were on sale ahead of schedule.  Lots of people bought them and it was very cool to see them being traded around.

All together, it was an amazing experience.  I got to meet wonderful people, including Nick and Zoe from this very site, get some awesome new vinyls, and eagerly anticipate what I’ll be clamoring over next.  If you are on the fence about going to one of these events, I whole-heatedly recommend going. There’s nothing else like it.

A couple of things I noticed from the Vinylmation preview:

  • Dead platforms? -  I did not see a single 9-inch, Vinylmation 95, or Popcorn previewed.  Are these just formats that will sit in the history books of Vinylmation, never to be seen again?
  • 8 is the new 12 – Besides Villains 4, Marvel, Animation 4, And Star Wars 4, every major set that is coming out is now an 8 figure set.  I think this is a great idea, less filler, easier to finish sets, more opportunity to purchase more vinyls.
  • Where were the villains? – It was great that NBC2 went on sale there, but I really wanted to buy some Villains 4.  Even still, they weren’t even MENTIONED in the Vinylmation preview.  How can you have an event themed around villains and not even discuss this set?
  • The Disney Store sets – It seems like Disney finally got the hint and are no longer producing non-Disney sets like Medieval, Under the Big Tops, and High School.  Hopefully this will have a rippling effect on trading, as BOGO vinyls won’t litter trading boxes anymore.

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences from Reflections of Evil as well!!!! Post in the comments any stories or thoughts you’d like to share!!!

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