NDI64 (1 Posts)

John has been rooted in the Disney culture from childhood. John only had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World once, at the age of 5. After returning home, he never stopped talking about it, yearning to return. His parents were worried about this “obsession,” but John began working at the age of 12 with a focus on saving up for the next Disney trip. He was able to visit Disney World at least once a year from 14 years old onward. Today, a successful entrepeneur, John was able to move from his hometown of Long Island, New York, to Central Florida to be close to the Mouse. Going to the parks still seems like fantasy to him!

Are Vinylmations driving your Disney Driven Life crazy? Join my world.

Like many other Vinylamtion collectors, I started off disliking these little artistic gems. I walked by them in many Disney retail locations with a resentful look that said “silly pieces of plastic”. Oh boy, did they have their revenge on me!

It was the Lotso Vinylmation that got me started. I liked Lotso and felt I deserved just that one. You know, because it was Lotso.

Then they had a Pete one and because I was a big fan of Pete, I allowed myself to get that one as well. Then I saw there was a Panda one and because I write as Chef BigFatPanda on the DisneyFoodBlog, I was going to get him as well. I think the realization of my growing unstoppable addiction came as I purchased the Palm Tree Vinylmation. My justification was that I liked Palm Trees.

Really John?

My conscience then decided that since they were all in the shape of Mickey and I liked Mickey Mouse, that I could have ALL of them 🙂

A passion was born.

As most of you know, there are sets of Vinylmations and special additions and chasers that are rare to come by. They can be traded like pins in many Disney retail shops. Some are exclusive to annual passholders or DVC members. I can go on and on – and I will in another post – but this post is about what I go through to keep track of my Vinylmation family.

Recently, I picked up a case of Star Wars. For those of you not in the know, a case contains 24 blind boxes. Meaning, you don’t know what is inside each box. What you do know is that you are guaranteed to get two full sets of 11, plus the one sought after chaser and then another random one to complete the 24. So, like most collectors, it was my goal to take the 11, plus the chaser for my own collection and separate out the other 11 plus one random to sell on Ebay, thus offsetting the cost. A single Vinylmation usually goes for $9.95 to $12.95 depending upon the set.

I open each box, tearing into them like a bull, then ripping the foil to see who is hiding inside. Using the front of the box as a checker, I mark the ear of each character accordingly (I call it an earmark). I mark the left ear to indicate it is going into my collection – the right ear to indicate it is being boxed for sale. I use a medium flat rate USPS box (around $11) to fit the 11 or 12 I am going to sell. It fits them and their boxes nicely. Oh, the big X in the center of the Stormtrooper?  That means he was the extra random in the case, so one for me, one to sell, and an extra to sell or give away. Yes, it is a neurotic system, but it works.

Please be sure to welcome each Vinylmation. Hello Princess Leia! Hello Yoda. I know you have had a scary journey to get to me, but all is well now. Please help yourself to cake and pie. 🙂

I call this process CENTRAL PROCESSING!

Disney has their own Vinylmation information website, Vinylmation,  where they offer check lists to keep the neurotic collector up to date on what he or she still has left to conquer and destroy – I mean collect.

Next to my display cabinet is a small table with my check lists printed out. As you can see, my cat is on watch duty as a guard to ensure no Vinylmations escape Central Processing!

My friend Elantrice, @Ehugh on Twitter, who also blogs for the DDL recommended the cases you see pictured from the Container Store. They are almost always out of stock, so my accolade of this product will only hurt the supply chain. It is fantastic for displaying a complete set of 12, with bleachers that make the four behind each row of four slightly higher than the one in front. They retail for about $9.99 each. They are a steal.

As you may know, I started a company called GetMyMagic at Get My Magic for those items that cannot be purchased without being at D Street or the park. You save 10% with your NDP number, so check it out if you have a need.

I plan to write much more about my Vinylmation adventures and would love to know what aspects you enjoy about collecting, as well as how your Vinylmation addiction – or a friend’s – got started. Rehab is right down the block to the left but I always make sure I turn right. LOL

Contributed by: John Saccheri (NDI#64) John is the DDL Vinylmation Blogger. He is also the creator of the Chef Big Fat Panda column and owner of Get My Magic.


  1. Ok John, you may be starting to change my mind about Vinylmations. I have to admit they do look pretty cool in those little display cases. And the Lotso one is adorable.

  2. I do believe that my boys (hubby included) may want to dabble in Vinylmations when we head down in March. When we were at WDW last February for DisneySMMoms, I was intrigued. After I kicked myself because I never saw the Muppet ones. Ooops! One snowy Sunday morning we sat and looked online at all of the new Vinylmations coming out. I think my 7 year old wants to try the Star Wars. Of course, the 3 year old is all about Toy Story. Guess we shall see what happens. I will keep watching for your tips.

  3. Love these darn things! A friend of mine told me about them when they very first come out, so I went to find them for her hen I went to visit WDW. I could not since the stores really were not carrying them at that point.

    Then an obession was born. LOL!

    Great article John!

    -Michele (@MyMuse18)

  4. Thanks everyone – it really is amazing how the passion starts. I think in their simplicity, they are Mickey Mouses and then you see the artsy side in creating them. A great game is pulling out an abstract one like “It’s a small world” and seeing if people can identify the attraction represented.

  5. Great article John! I love these little guys. At first I too was not sure of these things but then I realized it was a piece of artwork…from my favorite place…that was affordable! And when the little guys first arrived, all were limited run pieces. I’ve now collected and traded a few since the beginning but my first vinylmation is still my fave.

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