Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review: Maleficent's Castle

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.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

DVC Announces New Alternative

Beginning April 15, 2010 Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is offering a new alternative to members borrowing vacation points from a future use year. Instead, members can obtain one-time-use vacation points for a fee of $15.00 per vacation point.

Disney Vacation Club members can obtain a maximum of 24 one-time-use vacation points once per use year, per membership. These one-time-use vacation points can be used to book stays at Disney Vacation Club Resorts, as well as vacations through the Disney Collection, Adventurer Collection and World Passport Collection.

Members interested in learning more about one-time-use vacation points can contact Disney Vacation Club Member Services or visit

eFX Collectibles Announces Special Pricing Exclusively for Members of Disney’s D23!

BURBANK, Calif. (April 21, 2010) – eFX Inc. yesterday announced special, members-only pricing for Disney enthusiasts who are members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans.
D23 Members can save hundreds of dollars on eFX’s line of intricately crafted Disney replicas by visiting the eFX website at www.efxcollectibles.com. Special D23 Member pricing takes effect immediately, said Bryan Ono, president of eFX Inc.

“There are no Disney fans who are more devoted and enthusiastic than D23 Members, and we wanted to do something special for them,” Ono said. The first of eFX’s Disney replicas is the remarkably detailed, four-foot reproduction of Capt. Nemo’s Nautilus from Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The painstakingly produced Nautilus is priced at $1,799, and is available to D23 members for $1,699.

Limited to just 500 pieces worldwide, the Nautilus can be pre-ordered at www.efxcollectibles.com. A non-refundable, $500 deposit is required, and the special D23 member price will be adjusted with the final payment prior to shipping.

D23 Members will have the opportunity to place their orders for Disney collectibles 24 hours before the general public. D23 membership numbers will be validated upon ordering at the website.

The next Disney replica from eFX will be available to order by D23 Members starting Tuesday, May 4, 2010 with ordering open to the general public on May 5, 2010. It’s the exquisitely crafted Evil Queen’s Heart Box from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ($799, or $724 for D23 members), inspired by the designs of Disney’s first full-length animated feature.

The Heart Box is intricately constructed from solid rosewood and features an imaginative 24-karat gold-plated heart that locks with a dagger-lock mechanism. The Heart Box sits on an elaborate, museum-quality display base that features two sculptures by renowned artist David Kracov: One depicts the Evil Queen holding the chalice that contains a magical elixir to turn her into the “Old Hag” – who, in the second, holds the fateful “magic wishing apple.” Each Heart Box includes a numbered plaque and certificate of authenticity, and production will not exceed 500 pieces worldwide.

Upcoming Disney-inspired pieces from eFX include an 18-inch Rizzo the Rat Photo Puppet ($379, or $329 for D23 members), which celebrates the enduring appeal of the Muppets and will be available for order shortly. It’s a detailed and accurate replica of the full-size, three-dimensional “photo puppet” used to represent favorite Muppet characters in photo shoots. Fully articulated, the eFX Rizzo the Rat is created based on reference patterns and materials supplied by Disney’s Muppet Studios. Rizzo’s dressed in a T-shirt and a letterman’s jacket that features real suede-leather sleeves and a “Ratpanic” embroidered patch on the back. Worldwide, eFX is limiting the edition size to 1,000, and each piece will come with a numbered plaque and certificate of authenticity.

D23 Members can place orders and get more details about the ordering process and shipping information at www.efxcollectibles.com.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

WDCC Announces Upcoming Releases Sold Out Thru Pre-Orders!

The Walt Disney Classics Collection Sales Force and Authorized Dealers were notified earlier today of the following sculptures being sold out to retailers through pre-orders:

King Louie ("Orangutango-Jango!), sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750.

It’s no wonder this madcap monarch is known as King Louie the Most, for he’s the most outrageous animal in the jungle. This kooky orangutan holds crazy court in an ancient temple, where Louie loves to dance up a storm when he’s not lounging on his elaborate throne.

Scheduled for a Spring 2010 release, this irresistible sculpture set is complete with an urn full of jungle delicacies, and plussed with wire, pewter and resin.

Cinderella and Prince Charming ("Royal Introduction"), sculpted by Kent Melton is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750.

Arrayed in her miraculous, luminous gown, Cinderella never looked so radiant as the aptly named Prince Charming kisses the hand of the surprised scullery maid in disguise.

Sculpture includes a 60th Anniversary backstamp and plussed with real pearl earrings and metallic and opalescent paint.

Please contact an Authorized WDCC Dealer and/or the Walt Disney Theme Parks for availability.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all who visit either the Blog and/or Website today and all my friends on Twitter & Facebook! Try not to eat too many chocolate bunnies and jelly beans :)

As we think of spring and summer, for your viewing pleasure (courtesy of Youtube.com) is the Nifty Nineties (1941):

The Nifty Nineties is a Mickey Mouse Cartoon©Disney