The Six Types of Theme Park Merchandise Fans: Which One Are You?

September 15, 2015, 8:37 AM · How much do you spend on theme park souvenirs?

Do you go for the T-shirt and maybe a pin whenever you visit a park? Or do you collect the high-end stuff — the limited edition collectibles and fancy objets d'art? Are you the type who puts together custom outfits for every theme park visit, or are you happy with just being at the park and never buy any souvenirs to take home?

Theme park souvenirs

Being a theme park fan can be expensive, especially if you're really into merchandise. In my Orange County Register column this week, I take a look at some of the different types of theme park merchandise fans. Are you a hoader? A bounder? Or are you that denizen of eBay, the reseller?

Do you know someone like one of these types? Or are you one of these types? Take a look at the column, and let us know!

This week's column:

Replies (14)

September 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM · I'm the type of person who buys a Disneyland shirt and wears it to WDW
September 15, 2015 at 9:41 AM · I am a combination. Some Bounder...hints of Fandom with handmade, themed jewelry and totebags. I search the Internet for unique fabric and make usable items for our trips. Throw in some DIY...just finished 8 costumes for adults going to MNSSHP. I am also working on a Pixie Hollow fairy garden in my yard!
September 15, 2015 at 9:55 AM · I am none of the above. I enjoy the parks and visiting but don't feel a need to buy merchandise. Maybe I'm just a cheapskate.
September 15, 2015 at 10:58 AM · When I see a really nice T-shirt- which is rarely - I might buy it. Otherwise I'm unlikely to purchase anything other than an on-ride photograph, and that's only to prove that I was actually at a park that I will probably never have the opportunity to visit again.
September 15, 2015 at 11:12 AM · I confess to buying the stuffed Fang from the Wizarding World... and I'm down-right addicted to Peppermint Toads. Other than that, it's mostly t-shirts.... especially during HHN. My husband has a collection of HHN shirts reaching back to our first visit in 2004. And I'm getting ready to bust out my American Werewolf in London shirt for our trip later this week :-).
September 15, 2015 at 11:18 AM · Do specialty foods count as merchandise? Whether it's a Flaming Moe, a Butterbeer ice cream, or Blue Milk, I'll usually give it a try.
September 15, 2015 at 11:20 AM · Mostly just a t-shirt or cap on each visit. I used to collect those wonderful books showing off the parks but cut down on that last few visits. As much as I love those amazing statues and such, a bit too expensive for my tastes.
September 15, 2015 at 11:54 AM · I never buy merchandise anymore because I have no place to store them. Every year, I donate stuff that I haven't used. My rule is if it is sitting in the boxes for at least 10 years, get rid of it. I tried to sell them on Ebay, but many merchandise are selling for less than the list prices. The time for making money off Ebay is long past. There are no more collectibles. You'll be holding on to the last beanie babies, pins, and vinyls. Sucker.
September 15, 2015 at 12:03 PM · I will buy anything from WWoHP. I have just about everything from the Weasley's shop and we have several interactive wands. I just can't resist. But I pass on all of the $30 t-shirts, just like fun, unique collectibles.
September 15, 2015 at 1:09 PM · I don't really fit into any of these categories. I don't really buy souvenirs that often, and when I do, it's never for the same exact reason.

I guess I do have a little bit of Reseller in me. I will buy stuff to give to other people, but instead of using it for profit, it's usually as a gift for things such as birthdays or Christmas. For example, one year, we were giving my sister an iPhone for Christmas, so my mom and I stopped at a store in DHS to buy her a case that had Sorceror Mickey on it. The most recent example was when the youngest daughter of a family friends' birthday was coming up; she's really into Despicable Me, so we bought an entire bag's worth of merchandise from the store at the ride's exit.

I also have a little bit of bouncer in that, if I'm visiting a park for a specific franchise that I love, I will wear a t-shirt to represent. (Which I guess kinda makes me the Anti-Competitor) Jurassic World came out on my birthday, so we saw the film at the Universal Cineplex followed by a ride on River Adventure and seeing the Raptor Encounter for the first time. How could I not bring my own Jurassic Park t-shirt? And on the day I rode the new Star Tours update for the first time, I made sure to wear my t-shirt that had a picture of Yoda wearing sunglasses.

And sometimes I'll buy souvenirs for miscellaneous reasons. My family has made a tradition out of buying Disney Christmas ornaments with the name of the New Year on them. Since I'm a bit of a comic book geek, I have made a couple purchases from the comic book shop at Marvel Super Hero Island. Headphones are something we constantly fight over in my household, so I bought myself a pair of Spider-Man headphones from the Universal Studios Store. And while I'm not into pin-trading (though I would be lying if I said I've never considered it) I do have a Figment pin that a Cast Member at Epcot gave me after I pointed it out ("Oh, hey, look! It's Figment!") I haven't seen that thing for what feels like a an eternity; I'm willing to bet that either someone threw it it out by accident or it's hiding in some small dark corner of my bedroom.

September 15, 2015 at 1:12 PM · I'm usually down for a T-shirt or sweatshirt at both Disneyworld and Harry Potter Wizarding World. Maybe a souvenir glass or cup and a Harry Potter collectible of some sort just for my own nerdy enjoyment.

(One year it was a framed Marauder's Map, the next the Tri-Wizard cup and a golden snitch, things like that.)

September 15, 2015 at 2:16 PM · I'm a pin girl...if it captures my interest, and I got the money, I'll get it...I'm not into the pin trading, so I got a lot
September 15, 2015 at 8:43 PM · Most merch is extremely expensive for what it is. And most times, you are investing in "memories" and "keepsakes" and "smiles" which is fancy language for tomorrow's junk in your garage. It's far better to buy merch outside of the parks and blow your cold, hard moolah on what really matters -- the food.
September 16, 2015 at 8:03 AM · I like high end collectable merchandise, and I also put together Disneybound outfits.

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