Yesterday, WDCC's latest release from Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent's Castle ("Forbidden Fortress") arrived! To us long-time collectors, we refer to this type of release as Enchanted Places, a type of release that began in 1995 and saw it's last release in 2001.
Since then, we've seen Enchanted Place-type releases (though not classified and/or confirmed the return of the series) with the release of the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin, Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse from Swiss Family Robinson and the most recent Maleficent's Castle.
When ordering from a photo/image, you sometimes wonder if the actual sculpture will meet your expectations, this one did not disappoint! The sculpture is every bit as detailed as the images supplied when the sculpture was announced. The official photo (above) reflects accurately the coloring of the Castle when the sound chip is activated.
Using resin to sculpt the Castle, it captures all the detail of the brick, stone and briar around the Castle that would be lost if done in porcelain. Castle includes a sound clip with music and narration, a Walt Disney Classics Collection first! The music and narration are from the digitally remastered Sleeping Beauty film sequence which introduces Maleficent's Castle. The narration goes as follows:
"For everyone knew that as long as Maleficent's domain, the Forbidden Mountains, thundered with her wrath and frustration, her evil prophecy had not yet been fulfilled..." [thunder and lightning]
Pressing a button on the hardwood base (a nice black lacquer), this sound clip starts playing (approx. 23 seconds) and LED lights within the castle flash to replicate lightning. Powered by 3 AA batteries (not included). I personally liked the placement of the button and speaker on the base, as they were not obtrusive and very well placed.
Special Note: The Castle is attached to the base, not separate as with previous Enchanted Places type releases. Be very careful of the spires and turrents when handling the piece and removed by lifting it straight out by the base, do not pivot it. When putting in the batteries, best to hold on its side but be careful of where the spires and turrets are positioned.
Below are a couple photos I took of the Castle alongside the Maleficent sculpture, the 1999 Fall Premier Event featured sculpture (click on each image for a larger view):
Maleficent's Castle ("Forbidden Fortress"), concept designed by Larry Nikolai is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500.