After the announcements were made, my friend Matthew and I were discussing the upcoming King Louie sculpture. With the announcement of the Walt Disney Collectors Society being suspended, Matthew wondered if this could have been the planned Villains Series release for 2010.
I didn't think so, as I never saw King Louie as a Villain. Did a little research via Google and stand corrected. King Louie is considered a Villain and one of three (3) Villains, Shere Khan and Kaa being the other two from the 1967 animated classic, The Jungle Book.
The Villains Series made it's debut in the summer of 1997 and over the years featured such Villains as Maleficent, Cruella DeVil, the Evil Queen, Scar and the Queen of Hearts to name a few. The initial releases, the Villain was in a 'setting' such as a turret (Maleficent), a bed (Cruella) and a throne (Evil Queen). Others were released as a stand alone with an 'accessory' item (Stomboli with a table, Jafar with his hourglass on a brick pedestal and the Old Hag with her potion table and cauldron) and some were done as a single sculpt (Queen of Hearts with rose tree and Shere Khan in the jungle). King Louie fits the style of some of the earlier releases where the character was part of the setting, so does you make you wonder if intended as the next release in the Villains Series??
Even though the Walt Disney Collectors Society has been suspended, I'd hate to see some of the series that were part of the Society be abandoned. Why couldn't the Villains Series continue, with the logo but no longer a members only release? The sculptures could be either a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) or Limited to Production Year.
The packaging for Society pieces were no different than non-member releases, so see no reason for this series to be abandoned. Continue the series, either use the same logo (without members only being part of the backstamp) or come up with a new logo. There are still so many Villains that could yet be done, the Horned King from The Black Cauldron, Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective and Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog.