Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday!

The terms "Mardi Gras" (mär`dē grä) and "Mardi Gras season", refer to events of the carnival celebrations, ending on the day before Ash Wednesday. From the French term "Mardi Gras" (literally "Fat Tuesday"), the term has come to mean the whole period of activity related to those events, beyond just the single day, often called Mardi Gras Day or Fat Tuesday.

The time period varies from city to city, as some traditions consider Mardi Gras as the Carnival period between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday. Others treat the final three-day period as being Mardi Gras. In Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras events begin in November, followed by mystic society balls on Thanksgiving, then New Year's Eve, formerly with parades on New Year's Day, followed by parades and balls in January & February, celebrating up to midnight before Ash Wednesday.

Other cities most famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and New Orleans, Louisiana
. Many other places have important Mardi Gras celebrations as well. Carnival is an important celebration in most of Europe, except in Ireland and the United Kingdom where the festival is called "shrovetide" ending on Shrove Tuesday and pancakes are the tradition, and also in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.

A perfect scene from the Walt Disney Classics Collection that is fitting for Mardi Gras is the Festival of Fools Scene from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The scene made it's debut in March, 2007 with the release of Esmerelda ("Bewitching Beauty"), the 4th release (and rumored to be final release) in the Leading Ladies Series. Esmerelda was sculpted by Kent Melton and Limited to Production Year 2007.

When Esmerelda was unveiled, collectors were given a sneak peek at Quasimodo ("King of Fools") and Clopin ("Harlequin Host"), released in July 2007 with an Opening Title. Quasimodo, Clopin and the Opening Title are all Open Edition releases. Quasimodo and Clopin were sculpted by Tony Cipriano.

Happy Mardi Gras!! For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of Youtube.com) is the Festival of Fools Scene, to the tune of Topsy Turvy! Enjoy!!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is ©Disney

Monday, February 23, 2009

Additional Retirement & Suspensions for 2009!

The Walt Disney Classics Collection is pleased to announce a retirement and several sculpture suspensions effective Monday, February 23, 2009:

Penguin Ornament from Disney's It's a Small World After All.

The Penguin Ornament is a dry retirement.
A dry retirement is when there is no longer stock in inventory. The Penguin Ornament made his WDCC debut in July, 2006.

The following sculptures have been suspended:

Lumiere ("Vive L'Amour!") from Beauty and the Beast. Lumiere was released in March 1997 along with Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts & Chip. All three Enchanted Objects were sculpted by Valerie Edwards. Special Note: Neither Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts & Chip have been retired and/or suspended.

The Pinocchio Opening Title was released in September 1996 with the first scene release from Pinocchio which consisted of Pinocchio, Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket and Figaro.

The Sword in the Stone Opening Title was released in April 2007 with the Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) release of Merlin, Madam Mim and Archimedes from Sword in the Stone.

These items have not been retired but are sold out at the warehouse and there are no immediate plans to re-order. Collectors who are interested in either of these items should contact an Authorized Walt Disney Classics Collection retailer for availability.

Which is Your Favorite Figment Poll Results

Our recent Which is Your Favorite Figment Poll has ended. The results are as follows:

46% - Figment Pigment (Artist Figment-2008)
27% -
Spark of Imagination (Figment-2005)
15% -
Journey Into Imagination (Spacesuit Figment-2009)
12% -
Imaginary Friends (Figment & Dreamfinder-2006)

I will leave the results up for the Which is Your Favorite Figment Poll for a few days for anyone who wants to see/compare the final results. As with previous polls, Blogger results never add exactly to 100%, so the accountant in me recalculated the results based on the number of people who voted in each category to the total :)

Thanks again to all who participated!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Retirement Roundup-Stinky Pete Honored with Retirement!

Honored with retirement today (February 16th) is Stinky Pete ("Mint in the Box-Never Been Opened") from Toy Story 2.

Released in March 2005, Stinky Pete made his WDCC debut complete with a display box. His box is made of cardboard, with a clear plastic window. It looks and feels just like a "real" box, except that it is open on the bottom so that you can place the box over Stinky Pete for display purposes. There is also a simple cardboard riser included as part of the packaging so that Stinky Pete is standing at the correct height inside the box.

Stinky Pete, also known as the Prospector, is a portly prospector doll, and is one of the main villains of Toy Story 2. He is a toy modeled after a character on the fictional television show Woody's Roundup, where the characters consisted of Sheriff Woody, Jessie, Stinky Pete and Bullseye, Woody's horse. The Prospector doll seen in the film has never been opened and is still "Mint in the Box", making him sought after by collectors.

He is the only real toy villain in the Toy Story movies, though there is an element of sympathy given the fact that he has been confined to a box since the 1950's when the original show was made.

Please check with your authorized dealer for availability.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all who visit the blog, website and Cafe today!

Who's Your Disney Dream Date? Looking for the perfect love match this Valentine's Day? Take the Disney Dream Date Quiz (courtesy of the Disney Insider) to see which Disney Character best suits your personality, then celebrate with flowers, chocolate, and your favorite heartthrob!

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of YouTube.com), a montage of Disney film clips to When Wish You Upon a Star. Enjoy!


Below is another clip I found on YouTube which showcases some of our favorite Disney Couples to the tune of Dance With Me by Michael Bolton. The video clip was done by Natalie. Notice how seamless she ties the words into the movie clips. Excellent Job!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Most Anticipated Release-February Poll Results

Our recent Most Anticipted Release-February Poll has ended. The results are as follows:

40% - Vultures
27% - Ariel with Prince Eric Statue
27% - Complete Hawaiian Holiday Scene
4% - Will Turner
2% - Elizabeth Swann

The Vultures from The Jungle Book were the overall most anticipated release in our poll. Ariel with Prince Eric Statue and the Complete Hawaiian Holiday Scene tied for 2nd place. From our poll, all who participated were interested in the complete scene, as there were no votes for each character individually.

I will leave the results up for the Most Anticipated Release-February Poll for a few days for anyone who wants to see/compare the final results. As with previous polls, Blogger results never add exactly to 100%, so the accountant in me recalculated the results based on the number of people who voted in each category to the total :)

Thanks again to all who participated!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reach for the Stars with Figment!

Extend the boundaries of your imagination with Figment! Just posted this afternoon on DisneyGallery.com!

The act of creativity is a never-ending adventure, especially when Figment is around. The very embodiment of imagination, the unpredictable purple dragon takes on many guises in the Epcot® Journey Into Imagination attraction. But, none represents the excitement of exploring creativity more than an astronaut in limitless space.

This new Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750 sculpture from the Walt Disney Classics Collection captures all the star-searching playfulness of Figment as he hitches a ride in outer space, just as in the attraction. Hand-crafted of fine porcelain, Figment features a hand-made glass portion on his helmet with kiln-fired metallic paint on his space suit. Figment is sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales.

Update: A limited number will be available for pre-order. To pre-order, please contact Walt Disney Event Services at (407)827-7600. Walt Disney Event Services is open Monday–Friday from 9:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Guests may only purchase up to two (2) Space Suit Figments. All orders will be processed and charged on Friday, April 24th. Please allow 2-4 weeks for shipping.

Product release information listed above is subject to change without notice. Separate admission is required to enter Epcot®

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2009 Production Mark

"Walt Disney Classics Collection features a yearly Production Mark that is incised or imprinted on the bottom of sculptures produced during the calendar year. This year's production mark honors Walt Disney's animated classic One Hundred and One Dalmatians and the symbol is a paw print (pictured at left). The only sculptures that do not include the Production Mark are the yearly Walt Disney Collectors Society Membership Gift Sculptures. The Production Mark was discontinued on the Membership Gift sculptures years ago to discourage Society Members from purposely disrupting their memberships as they let their memberships lapse and then try to renew them a year or so later in the hopes of receiving the following year's Production Mark (when we would produce fewer with that mark).

Many of the new WDCC releases shipping now will still have the 2008 Production Mark (Sleeping Beauty's Crown) as they were produced during the end of last year. As we continue to receive shipments (and re-order) those Production Marks will transition to the paw print."

MVP Santonio Holmes Goes To Disney World!

Ben Roethlisberger No. 7 hand Santonio Holmes No. 10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers the trophy after the Steelers won 27-23 against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

On Monday, Steelers' MVP Santonio Holmes became the 27th Super Bowl champ to be invited to Disney World. Not all of them were MVPs and the theme park has invited other sports figures and even some who are not, most recently, American Idol David Cook.

What each has in common is the same answer to the question -- what are you going to do next -- and for Disney it's been a tremendous marketing success. For over 20 years, the answer has been the same.

"Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes, you and the Pittsburgh Steelers are celebrating your Super Bowl win. What are you going to do next?," reads the Disney advertisement. "We're going to Disney World," answers Roethlisberger and Holmes in unison.

Having Super Bowl stars say just that has become an advertising windfall for Disney World. "That is a marketer's dream," says Scott Morgan of Brunner Advertising. "If you can get a saying to become part of popular culture and it has your brand name in it, tremendous value for the brand."

Today it was Santonio Holmes' turn to add to that value. "He was the honorary grand marshal in a ticker tape parade down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World," Disney spokesman Darryl Frye told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano. "He rode in the car with Mickey Mouse actually in the parade and he greeted -- there were tons of Steelers fans among the guests in the park today."

The tradition goes back to 1987 with New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms and three years ago two other Steelers had the honors. "I'm going to Disney World . . . and I'm taking the bus," Hines Ward says in the 2006 Disney advertisement. Both Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward paraded through the Magic Kingdom, the first Pittsburghers so invited. Today was Holmes's day with a future visit reserved for Ben Roethlisberger.

"Oh, man, it was wonderful, man, to see the fans come out and support me, you know throughout the time that it's raining here," Holmes said after the parade. "That shows a lot, you know they have a lot of class, they really support a lot of the players and it's a wonderful experience." As for Holmes, his visit was quick -- he is on his way back to Pittsburgh for Tuesday's parade. Disney gave him a rain check to come back anytime he wants.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers -- XLIII Super Bowl Champs!!!

Their Steel Curtain shredded, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense ended a Super Bowl of incredible swings with a final-minute touchdown for a historic victory! In what was a nail biting game and one of the best I've seen, Santonio Holmes made a brilliant 6-yard catch deep in the right corner of the end zone with 35 seconds remaining Sunday night, lifting the Steelers to a record-setting sixth Super Bowl win, 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals.

It was one of the most thrilling finishes to the NFL title game, certainly equaling last year's upset by the New York Giants that ended with Plaxico Burress' TD catch — with 35 seconds left, too. But this one was even wilder.

The Steelers (15-4), winning their second Super Bowl in four seasons, led 20-7 in the fourth quarter, only to see Kurt Warner and the Cardinals stage a remarkable rally to go in front 23-20 with 2:37 remaining. Warner hit All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald in stride for a 64-yard touchdown with 2:37 left. Already owning a slew of postseason receiving marks this year, Fitzgerald sped down the middle of the field, watching himself outrun the Steelers on the huge video screen.

Fitzgerald could only watch from the sideline as Roethlisberger engineered a 78-yard drive to win it in what resembled Heinz Field South. With waves of twirling Terrible Towels turning Raymond James Stadium into a black-and-gold tableau — Steelers fans supporting their beloved team, the economy be damned — Pittsburgh's offense rescued the title.

What an amazing weekend getting ready for tonight's game. Pittsburgh Pride could be seen everywhere you went this weekend. President Obama was even rooting for the black and gold! Way to go Steelers!!! Congratulations!!!