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Popular Vinylmation – Star Wars Collection Expands with a New Series at Disney Parks

posted on August 13th, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Popular Vinylmation – Star Wars Collection Expands with Series Two, Coming to Disney Parks

Since its release in January 2011, the first series of Vinylmation figures featuring Star Wars characters has become the most popular Vinylmation series of all time. Created by Disney Design Group artist Mike Sullivan, the first series celebrated the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. For series two, the Vinylmation team turned their attention to the original 1977 classic film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. This allowed the team to regroup and plan a strategy for future releases, as explained by Thomas Scott, one of the lead Vinylmation artists.
Popular Vinylmation – Star Wars Collection Expands with Series Two, Coming to Disney Parks

“The first series was created at a different time in Vinylmation history,” explained Thomas. “When we began developing series two, we considered several factors for future growth. We again worked closely with Lucasfilm when selecting the characters for the new series. We also thought about how those characters could appear in future series.”

Series Two is a limited-release, mystery series, which means there are 11 known figures and one “mystery chaser” figure. Each figure is packaged in a box, so you won’t know which one you will get until you open it.
Popular Vinylmation – Star Wars Collection Expands with Series Two, Coming to Disney Parks

To design the figures, Thomas enlisted the help of artists Casey Jones and Maria Clapsis. Casey created concept sketches of each figure, while Maria turned those sketches into full-color images. I spoke with Casey about one unique design element I love on these figures – the ears.
Popular Vinylmation – Star Wars Collection Expands with Series Two, Coming to Disney Parks

“I like using the ears as a way to further enhance the story,” explained Casey. “When designing these figures, I looked for something iconic to add to the ears, such as the ‘binary sunset’ on the Tusken Raider or Obi-Wan Kenobi figures. Adding design elements from the film help set the stage for each character.”

The new series will debut on Thursday, August 23 at Celebration VI, a Star Wars fan event being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Florida.

We will then launch the series at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side in Florida on Friday, August 24. Fans can meet Casey and Maria from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Casey will travel to the Disneyland Resort on Saturday, August 25, for the release of this series at D Street in the Downtown Disney District. Fans can meet him from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Disney Parks Merchandise to Attend Star Wars Celebration VI Event in August 2012

posted on August 10th, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Star Wars Vinylmation Figures from Disney Theme Park Merchandise

Disney Parks has a long history with Star Wars that dates back to 1987 with the opening of Star Tours at Disneyland park. Since that time, we have offered a variety of collectibles including action figures, pins, shirts and more. I’m happy to report that Disney Theme Park Merchandise will be attending Star Wars Celebration VI, a Star Wars fan event coming to the Orange County Convention Center from August 23-26, 2012. This year, we have created some items that fans will only find at this event.

One of those event exclusive items is a 3-inch Vinylmation figure of Princess Leia as a hologram. This figure has an edition size of 2,500, and is considered the variant figure to the Leia figure found in Vinylmation – Star Wars #2 series (which will also debut at the event on August 23 and will later be sold at Disney Parks).

Princess Leia Vinylmation and Starspeeder Figures from Disney Theme Park Merchandise

Another Celebration VI exclusive item will be the 25th Anniversary Starspeeder die-cast set. This set features both the Starspeeder 3000 (for the first time ever) and the Starspeeder 1000 from Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.

Star Wars Celebration VI Event T-Shirts with Disney Characters Playing the Role of Star Wars Characters

Fans attending the event will also find two event tee-shirts with Disney characters playing the roles of Star Wars characters. We are also introducing an Aurebesh nametag with a few additional destinations not found during Star Wars Weekends 2012.

For those guests who missed being “frozen” in carbonite, the Carbon-Freeze Me experience will return for a limited, four-day engagement during the event. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, this experience casts your likeness as a three-dimensional, eight-inch figurine (as seen in this video by my fellow Disney Parks Blog author Gary Buchanan and Star Wars: The Clone Wars star Ashley Eckstein). Retail is $99.95 (plus shipping), and event guests can participate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Star Wars 'D-Tech On-Demand' iPhone Cases Available from Disney Theme Park Merchandise

Speaking of printing, we are introducing “D-Tech On-Demand,” a new option where guests can select from 12 different iPhone 4/4S case designs and watch as they are printed onsite. The four cases in the top row will premiere at this event, while the bottom row features some designs that can be printed.

Finally, we will offer a first purchase opportunity for the next waves of Disney and Muppet character action figures (which are coming to Disney Parks later).

If you are attending the galactic celebration, please stop by booths #331 and #341 to say hello.

Star Wars Vinylmation Figures from Disney Theme Parks Merchandise

Star Wars Vinylmation Figures from Disney Theme Parks Merchandise Star Wars Vinylmation Figures from Disney Theme Parks Merchandise
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The Cold Facts: ‘Carbon-Freeze Me’ Brings a Special Chill to the Air at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a Limited Time

posted on June 1st, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Ever since the limited-time “Carbon-Freeze Me” Experience debuted on May 18, guests have been entering the freezing chamber at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to have their faces digitally captured from multiple angles and then magically transformed into carbonite figurines.

Fellow Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller previewed this homage to Han Solo in this post and gave an idea of what you could expect when the eight inch, three-dimensional piece arrives at your home.

Wanting to show the process to you, I asked special guest Ashley Eckstein to join me for some freezing fun before she began her day at Star Wars Weekends as the Celebrity Host of the “Behind the Force” presentation. After all, Ashley’s character on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano, has a little experience around carbonite. So I was definitely in good company.

Ashley and I met up with Disney Parks Merchandise Product Developer Brad Schoeneberg for a tour of the Carbon-Freezing Chamber. In fact, I think Brad is the only person I have ever thanked for helping me catch a little cold. The level of detail in the figurine’s face is simply amazing. (Now I just have to decide where in my house it will go.)

This limited-time Carbon-Freeze Me Experience is currently open every day — not just on Star Wars Weekends event days — and will continue to operate through June 16, 2012. Star Wars Weekends ends this year on June 10, so you even have some additional days after the event to get frozen.
“Disney

If you head out to Star Wars Weekends before the 2012 event ends, be sure to ask Ashley to recreate the “Han Solo Face” she made during her own Carbon-Freeze Me experience. She had a wonderful time and was a really great sport to get frozen with me.

To make advance reservations for Carbon-Freeze Me, call 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324). Walk-ins can be accommodated based on availability.

You can read more of the latest news from Star Wars Weekends in the posts below:

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Happy 35th Anniversary, Star Wars, from Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

posted on May 25th, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Thirty-five years ago today, film history was made when Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope was released in theaters. Little did we know when we were introduced to a cast of galactic stars with names like Skywalker, Vader, Kenobi, R2-D2 and Chewbacca that they would become some of the most famous characters ever created for the silver screen.

Three and a half decades later, Star Wars is woven into culture like few other film sagas. At Disney Parks, we’re fortunate to be able to celebrate the Star Wars legacy with our Star Tours – The Adventures Continue 3-D attraction and events like Star Wars Weekends.

Just like Disney and Disney●Pixar animated films, Star Wars is built on a great story. To me, that’s one reason the saga stands the test of time. Thousands of films have come and gone since 1977, but just as Walt Disney introduced us to a kingdom-full of magical stories and fairy tales, George Lucas has provided a space station-full of Force-filled fun in a galaxy far, far away.

So if you’re heading out to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2012, be sure to wish our galactic pals a Happy Anniversary. And maybe even enjoy a special Darth Vader “dark side” cupcake to mark the occasion.

Today, our favorite Star Wars Weekends correspondent, John, gives us a video peek at the pageantry of Weekend I and a glimpse of things to come in Weekend II. We’ve also posted a few photo highlights from Weekend I.

May the Force be with you!

Boba Fett Signs an Autograph for a Young (and Familiar-looking) Bounty Hunter The 501st Legion and Rebel Legion are Special Guests Each Day During the Pre-Parade Festivities Disney Parks Vinylmation Artist Maria Clapsis Signs One of Her ‘Star Wars’ Creations (As Seen in the Inset) in Darth's Mall Ray Park, Known to the Film Galaxy as Darth Maul, Rides in the ‘Legends of the Force’ Motorcade
Goofy's Darth Vader Outfit Can't Fool this Youngling. She Knows He's Lovable at Heart A Favorite Costume From the 501st Legion & Rebel Legion Pre-Parade: ‘Ree-Yees,’ As Seen in the Famed ‘Star Tours Boarding Party’ Action Figure Set ’Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Voice Artists Dee Bradley Baker, James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein in ‘Behind the Force’ A Stormtrooper Patrols the Turnstile Rooftops at the Park Entrance

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You Asked, the Galactic Senate Listened: Larger Star Wars Weekends Images Now Available

posted on May 23rd, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


As featured in earlier Star Wars Weekends posts here on the Disney Parks Blog, the Yellow Shoes Creative Group works with Lucasfilm Ltd. each year to bring the very best in creative promotional images for the annual galactic celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (And, as you’ve seen, the team branched out this year and produced some wonderful behind-the-scenes promotional video peeks at the 2012 event.)

This promotional campaign blends the worlds of Disney Parks with the galaxies of Star Wars for a “mash-up” that features famous icons and characters in single images.

When the four still images for 2012 debuted, we had requests for larger versions that could be used as desktop wallpapers. Today, we’re happy to offer those to to you.

Star Wars Weekends Wallpapers Star Wars Weekends Wallpapers Star Wars Weekends Wallpapers Star Wars Weekends Wallpapers

Note: These images, in their entirety, might not fit your screen(s) perfectly, but we want to provide them in their full frame to show every part of the artwork that the artists wanted to feature when they created them.

Be sure to check out the terms of service about using the wallpaper before you download it.



*Lucasfilm, STAR WARS™, and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

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Take 5: Star Wars Weekends Returns to Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 19th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


R2-D2 at Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Star Wars Weekends is officially underway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And if you’ve been following our coverage here on the Disney Parks Blog, you know there’s a lot to see and do over the next few weekends. Today, we’re sharing five stories you need to check out before heading to the park.

Take 5: Star Wars Weekends Returns to Walt Disney World Resort

  1. More Visiting Celebrities, Details & Tips Announced for Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort – Check out more details, tips and the scheduled celebrity lineup for Star Wars Weekends 2012 in this post!

  2. D Street in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort Unveils a Galaxy of New Star Wars Art – ACME Archives released a new collection of Star Wars-themed art. Check it out on D Street in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort!

  3. Shopping in ‘Darth’s Mall’ for Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort – Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller shared a few of his favorite items coming soon to “Darth’s Mall,” a massive shopping location created just for Star Wars Weekends.

  4. Cast Yourself in Carbonite with the Carbon-Freeze Me Experience During Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – See how you can cast your likeness as a three-dimensional, eight-inch figurine at the Carbon-Freezing Chamber at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

  5. Build Your Droid at the Droid Factory Coming to Tatooine Traders at Disney’s Hollywood StudiosStar Wars fans can now build and name their own R-series Astromech droid action figures at the Droid Factory at Tatooine Traders.

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Galactic Food Fun at Star Wars Weekends: This is the Droid You’ve Been Looking For!

posted on May 18th, 2012 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


There are some tasty treats at Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with R2-D2 being “the droid you are looking for” each weekend.
“Darth

Darth Vader is featured on a special cupcake, which goes to the “dark side.” This chocolate confection is $4.99 and is available at Darth’s Mall (the special merchandise location set up just for Star Wars Weekends 2012), ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co., Pizza Planet and Starring Rolls Cafe.
“Churros

Known for carrying secret plans in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, R2-D2 carries some yummy treats for Star Wars Weekends. The loveable droid is featured with his own bucket that holds churros with chocolate dipping sauce available at the Herbie’s Cart, Fantasmic! and the churro cart in front of The Great Movie Ride.

“Corn “R2-D2

In the mood for something savory? Try a corn dog and chips served in an R2-D2 Bucket from Herbie’s Cart, or treat your little Padawan or Jedi to an R2-D2 Kids’ Power Pack from Pizza Planet, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co, ABC Commissary, Catalina Eddie’s, Fairfax Fare or Rosie’s All-American Café.

“Frozen “Frozen “Chocolate

R2-D2 also can be spotted holding frozen lemonade in a special souvenir cup from Anaheim Produce, filled with a tasty shake at Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner and 50’s Prime Time Café, or stuffed with a hot fudge sundae at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant.

Check out these posts for more of the latest on Star Wars Weekends 2012:

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The Sequel: Debuting More Behind the Scenes Videos, Photos for Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on May 11th, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Queen Amidala at Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios

One week from today, Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will officially launch its 2012 edition. To celebrate the countdown to the event, we’re debuting two more videos that take a lighthearted look at some of the planning that goes on throughout the year. Also, we’re pleased to premiere two brand-new promotional images being featured this year.

R2-D2 at Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios

In yesterday’s post, we unveiled the first videos and promotional images for Star Wars Weekends 2012.

The videos and images were produced by Yellow Shoes Creative Group, in partnership with Lucasfilm, Ltd., and are featured on the new mobile website for Star Wars Weekends. The site is a great, “on-the-go” resource for the event and can be accessed on your mobile device at disneytheforce.com.

Keep checking here at the Disney Parks Blog, the new mobile website, the Star Tours Facebook page, the Star Wars Weekends event page on DisneyWorld.com and StarWars.com for all the Force-filled information about the Star Wars Weekends and the entire Star Wars galaxy.

Star Wars Weekends takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10. We hope you’ll join us!

For more Star Wars Weekends updates, see the posts below:

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New Behind-the-Scenes Video Looks at Star Wars Weekends 2012 Debut to Celebrate Launch of Event-Themed Mobile Website

posted on May 10th, 2012 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Did you ever wonder what it takes to plan an event like Star Wars Weekends? After all, working with Wookiees, Rodians and Sith (oh my!) and scheduling their Star Wars Weekends appearances can be well…sometimes a bit “challenging.” But it’s a labor of love, as it all comes together this year for four weekends of galactic fun.

The 2012 edition of Star Wars Weekends takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10. (And yes, we know that we add an extra day to the official definition of “weekend,” but when Darth Vader requests a three-day weekend, we don’t argue.)

Today, we are pleased to debut two new videos that will take you behind the scenes a bit to show some of the fun we have putting the event together. Conceptualized by the talented team at Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group, in partnership with Lucasfilm, Ltd., these spots will be featured on a new mobile website that just launched for Star Wars Weekends.

On your mobile device, set your course for disneytheforce.com. This mobile site will serve as a great, “on-the-go” resource for the event and feature famous Star Wars characters, visiting celebrities, event descriptions and even some special downloadable content unique to the site. And of course, these new videos will be featured so you can share them with your friends no matter where you are. The official Star Tours – The Adventures Continue Facebook page (facebook.com/StarTours) also will join the fun with news and notes about the upcoming event.

In addition, today we are debuting two of the new promotional images that have become famous through the years for their one-of-a-kind “mashups” of famous characters and icons from both Star Wars and Walt Disney World Resort. Yellow Shoes seems to keep topping themselves with concepts and we are very excited to debut these for you here.
“Star

(We have a total of four videos and four images, so keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for the final two videos and final pair of photos. We’ll post those in the coming days.)
Star Wars Weekends 2012 - The Modal Nodes at the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Also, keep checking with our friends at StarWars.com to learn more about the Star Wars film saga, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the rich background of the galactic characters that will be featured at Star Wars Weekends.

We hope you enjoy viewing these new videos and photos as much as the team enjoyed creating them.

For more updates on Star Wars Weekends 2012, see the posts below:

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Build Your Droid at the Droid Factory Coming to Tatooine Traders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on May 10th, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


“Droid

Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve dreamed of owning my own droid just like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Granted, I also wanted to learn the ways of the Force, but I think having an Astromech droid will be slightly easier with the Droid Factory experience launching during Star Wars Weekends 2012. Fans will be able to build and name their own R-series Astromech droid action figures. I spoke with product developer Cody Hampton who said this experience was in development for three years!

“We began discussing the Droid Factory in 2009,” explained Cody. “We know that personalization is an important aspect of the popular build-your-own light saber experience. We felt the same thing could be done with action figures but on a much larger scale.”
“Pieces

Large scale indeed – the Droid Factory has 71 different pieces to create the 3 ¾-inch figures! To get started, guests chose a dome, a body and legs offered in a variety of colors and styles (Cody said that availability of various parts and colors may change). There are optional third legs and novelty hats that can be added.

“We wanted lots of options for [the Droid Factory],” continued Cody. “There are literally thousands of combinations making each droid unique. Guests can also name their droids with sticker sheets provided at checkout.”

Three domes – R6, R8 and R9 – were created exclusively for this experience at Disney Parks. Cody also told me the multi-colored ear hats were inspired by Jedi Mickey’s Astromech droid, R2-MK. Four additional hats arrive later this summer including a Goofy hat, a pirate hat, a fedora and a Yoda cap.
“Packaging

Droids will be sold either in single or dual packs (the latter has a value price). They can also be used with the playsets we’ve created like the Starspeeder 1000.
“Droid

Cody and fellow developer Brad Schoeneberg built Astromech droids for this article.

“My favorite droid is named R7-C4,” Cody continued. “He has an orange body like my favorite clone trooper, Commander Cody. He wears the Yoda cap as a nod to the actual hat created in the 1980s when I fell in love with Star Wars.”

Brad built R9-EIU in honor of Eastern Illinois University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree. He explained, “[The droid] would have been great to have around while I was in school.”

I can’t wait to create one for my office. Happy building!

For more updates on Star Wars Weekends 2012, see the posts below:

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