A Day in the Life of a Hardcore Disney Pin and Vinylmation Trader
On April 22, 2014, Disney World held their first pin trading night for the 2014 year. These events are held four times a year and take place at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The actual event takes place from 6 pm to 9 pm, though you have to be there earlier if you want to get your hands on the merchandise that is for sale. I decided to come along with my husband and son who are vinylmation collectors. Here is a bit more about our experience with this event.
Our Early Morning: After talking with some friends the night before, my husband had a game plan in place. We would leave our house at 6 am, make a donut run, and meet up with friends in line around 6:306:45 am. And that is exactly what we did. When we arrived, we were around 100th in line. We set up our spot and got cozy. In the next hour, more and more people would arrive. By 7:30 am, the line queue that Disney had set up had been filled in. At this point in time, there were about 300 people in line. Anyone who arrived past this point would not be able to get the vinylmations. It was also around this time that the mood changed. Up until this point, people had been laid back, but once people realized that they may not be getting those vinylmations, things shifted. People were trying to butt in with friends closer up, other people were calling people line cutters. It was a bit crazy. Security had to step in and keep the peace the best they could.
Initially they planned to give out wristbands at 4:30 pm. That changed to 11:30 am as crowds increased. With the crowd growing tense, they moved it up to 9:30 am. This is my biggest gripe about the event. The wristbands should have been given out sooner, probably as you entered the building. It would have stopped line cutting and it would have stopped the arguing.
Our Afternoon: After the wristbands were given out, the mood once again shifted. There were no more line cutting arguments and everyone knew their place. People began wandering around talking to friends, trading pins and vinyls as they waited, and some even left to make food runs. I had my laptop so I worked. My son watched cartoons on the iPad and played with some of the other kids. It was a very laid back atmosphere
The Evening: Around 4:30, staff started asking people to take their chairs, blankets and ice chests to their cars. Around 5 pm, they started to corral people into different groups. The wristbands they had given out were different colors. The first 75 people had a checkered wristband. The next 75, which is the group we were in, had red wristbands. This was very easy and a well organized way of organizing people so they didn’t stampede through the doors.
At 6:00 pm, they opened the doors. They let all of the first group in. Those people went straight to the merchandise booth to buy their stuff. They then let each group in thereafter. Inside there are tables, and you can set up your pins and vinylmations and trade. As you are trading, TV screen display what color and numbers of wristbands can go to the merchandise booth and shop. Once again, this was very efficient and prevented any problems.
There was also a huge display of up and coming pins and vinylmation figures and there were two artists signing vinylmation figures. Three rooms were filled with people trading, plus the merchandise room. This is a huge event that is a mustdo for any vinylmation or pin trader.
Merchandise: This year, Disney is doing something a little bit different when it comes to Trading Night merchandise. Each trading night features two limited edition pins and two limited edition vinylmations. The merchandise that they are offering is exclusive to the event. This means that the merchandise at Disneyland’s trading night varied from the merchandise offered at Disney World’s. It also meant that the merchandise would not show up in parks after the event. This was usually the case with the pins, but was never the case with the vinylmations.
Additionally, the vinylmations they are selling are following the new eachis theme that has been offered with many new vinylmations this year. You get a blind box and in that blind box, you have a 9 out of 10 chance of pulling the regular figure. You have a 1 out of 10 chance of pulling a rare variant figure. There are 450 regular figures and 50 rare variants. Because of this, people who otherwise would not be buying vinylmations are, hoping they pull one of the rare figures.
At this event, there was an Elsa and Jessica Rabbit pin. There was also a Winnie the Pooh and Buzz Lightyear vinylmation.
Front of Pin
All in all, it was an interesting day. There were a few negatives, but many positives. I am hoping that the craziness of this event was triggered primarily by the Elsa pin, and that this isn’t something that is going to become more common at these events because of the changes they have made to the event. But as of now, no one really knows for sure. They haven’t announced when the next trading night event is, but keep your eyes peeled to the Disney Parks Merchandise Blog for more information on these events in the future.