Back on March 21st, various open window, open edition Vinylmation received a re-release of sorts. The vinyls included Agent P from the Phineas and Ferb series; Nerds Rock! Mickey, Minnie and Stitch; The USA Flag; and Autograph Book, Princess and Rainbow from Theme Park Favorites. We knew some of these re-releases included a transition from original Mickey platform to the current one and others received slight design alterations, but what we did not know, was they would all receive new packaging. Each one of them is in an identical box. First, they are the new, slimmer box type. Of course, each one has an open window. And, most striking to me, each box has the Theme Park Favorites logo slapped onto it.
To me, the packaging hints that this is a step further than just a re-release. It becomes almost an all-star selection of past open edition Vinylmation. I think this is significant to note for a couple reasons.
First, to all collectors worried about "value" of the original figures... this packaging sets the re-release apart from the original. Nerds Rock! for one had some of the best designed packaging for an open edition, open window series. So collectors who have the original, still have something special.
Second, this packaging seems to represent a mind set for Disney. They want to re-release out of stock open edition figures, but only ones that made them money. It is a wonderful, survival of the fittest philosophy that may shave off undesirable figures quicker from the shelves. Improving the hobby and clearing up shelf space. We know money is the bottom line, but this seems to hint toward a proactive approach to improving what is on the shelves.
Third, plain and simple, this way of packaging re-releases is very cost effective. One design for all, no matter what series they were originally released under.
Overall, I have zero problem with this move. While it is possible we may someday see an all-star selection of past blind box Park figures for a 10th anniversary with re-imagined Park 1 vinyls... I have a feeling they will stick to re-releasing open edition figures only. It is a great way to give new collectors an opportunity to pick up some older, popular figures but it also satisfies the core hobby by re-packaging and rewarding the original purchasers.