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Vinylmation Finds A New Home In Downtown Disney

On December 19th, a new store opened in the Downtown Disney district of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.  D Street is just the latest specialty shop to open here, following other Disney-operated locations like Vault 28 and Studio 365.  While D Street does feature artwork for sale, and some items for women, including a few brands that are not even Disney related (Ed Hardy, Harajuku Lovers), the shop’s main focus will be providing apparel and items for men.  For instance, there are already a large assortment of items available for movies, like Star Wars and Tron.

It’s also the first location at the Resort to prominently display Vinylmation.  What is Vinylmation, you might ask?  Well, here’s how it’s described on each box:

“Vinylmation is a new collectible vinyl series featuring original designs from Disney… Available exclusively at Disney Theme Park Merchandise locations, Vinylmation is available in 3″ and 9″ sizes.”

To simplify, Vinylmation is Disney’s way of cashing in on the success of other vinyl figures that have become popular over the last few years, especially in Japan. The figures are all in the shape of Mickey Mouse, but each features a different piece of art.  I first started seeing them in the U.S. whenever I would go to Urban Outfitters.

One of the art pieces available for purchase.

When you first enter D Street, it’s hard not to notice the banners hanging above, some of which showcase designs that have not yet been released, and some that hadn’t even been announced.

The Vinylmation series that have been released so far include Theme Park, Urban, and Holiday artwork.  Other designs included a series of completely clear figures, in different colors, or the latest release, which is Cutesters (cute designs, which seem to be popular with little girls as well as collectors).  And if you’re a creative person, you can also buy blank Vinylmation figures, in both 3″ and 9″ sizes, and decorate them yourself.  Some independent artists have already started creating and selling their own designs online.

In addition to the Vinylmation figures at D Street, they have also released t-shirts and other apparel featuring some of the more popular designs.

T-Shirt featuring one of my favorite designs —
The “Steampunk” figure from Urban Series #3

It’s hard to say how long Vinylmation will be popular, as other crazes like pin trading have died down over the years, but at least for now, with 13+ different series scheduled for release in 2010, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down just yet.

For more on Vinylmation, including information on the various series (released and coming soon), check out the definitive fan-run website at Vinylnation.net.