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D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – From Dooney & Bourke to Vinylmation

posted on July 29th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The countdown continues to the D23 Expo 2013, taking place August 9–11 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Here’s a quick look at some of the other merchandise set to debut in the Dream Store, including: Dooney & Bourke, Vinylmation, Duffy the Disney Bear, a special artist sketch and more. So if you haven’t made your shopping list out yet, it’s time to get out that pen and paper.

Dooney & Bourke is at the top of my list. Here’s your first look at the new design that will be available on select silhouettes including the tassel tote, cross body and pouch.

PD23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including Dooney & Bourke

Vinylmation traders and collectors … try to maintain control, because you will no doubt be on the hunt for these new collections and more.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including New Vinylmation Collections

Where’s Duffy the Disney Bear? Where else! He’s ready to go in his D23 Expo gear and no doubt would be happy to go home with you.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including Duffy the Disney Bear

For those of you who are fans of the Artist Sketch Program and are planning to attend this year’s expo, you may want to consider picking up this next piece. The D23 Expo sketch ($35) will only be available August 9-11 at the Dream Store.

D23 Expo 2013 Merchandise – Including the D23 Sketch, Available August 9-11

Okay, I’m pretty sure that’s enough for now. Many of the items I’ve shown you over the last few weeks are extremely limited and will no doubt fly off the shelves, so if you see something you just have to have, but haven’t picked up a ticket to the D23 Expo 2013 yet, now’s the time to do so!

Could it be that I’ve saved the best content for last or will you “call” me crazy? I have one final D23 Expo 2013 post scheduled for next week … guess there’s only one way to find out. Keep watching!

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New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

posted on July 23rd, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


I recently turned the holiday spotlight on new collectible ear hat ornaments that are now available at select locations in Disney Parks and via the Disney Parks online store. Since we are celebrating “Christmas in July” this week as part of “Limited Time Magic,” I thought I’d give you a sneak preview of some additional holiday merchandise coming later this year.

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

Pins have been a part of the holidays at Disney Parks for years. The two pins shown above are some of my favorites coming this season. The holiday light bulb with Mouse ears will be open edition, while the “Mele Kalikimaka” (a greeting I’m fond of using during the holidays) pin will have an edition size of 2,000.

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

The softlines team shared a new youth shirt featuring Mike Wazowski from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.“, and a shirt for adults with Grumpy from Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” The shirts will be released at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

Speaking of the Dwarfs, a limited edition ear hat ornament is set arriving at select locations in August. This set is similar to the Main Street Electrical Parade set I showed you a few weeks ago. Designed by Disney Design Group artist Cody Reynolds, the set contains Snow White and seven smaller ornaments resembling the Dwarfs. Cody referenced the costumes the Dwarfs wear at Disney Parks, which are more vibrant, when designing these ornaments. The set will have an edition size of 600 and a retail of $175 (plus tax).

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

Duffy the Disney Bear will also get a new costume this year. Designed for the 17-inch bear, the costume set will include the outfit pictured above and a smaller Mickey Mouse plush. The popular 9-inch sized bear introduced last year will also return this year.

New Holiday Merchandise for 2013 on the Horizon at Disney Parks

Finally, I love the new two-figure Vinylmation set with ice skating Mickey and Minnie Mouse as designed by Maria Clapsis.

Which item will you be giving as a gift this year?

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Dropping into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 22nd, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Dropping Into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction celebrates an anniversary on July 22, 2013. This classic Disney’s Hollywood Studios attraction opened at the end of Sunset Boulevard in 1994. Like my fellow author Jennifer Fickley-Baker, I love this attraction! I grew up watching the television show, and recently have been re-watching several key episodes with my son (I have the complete series on Blu-ray because I’m a super fan!). I still recall riding it for the first time with my sister in December 1994 (at the time there was only one drop, yet it still rocked my world). To commemorate this year’s anniversary, I “dropped” by Tower Hotel Gifts at the exit of the attraction for a look at the merchandise offered.

Dropping Into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

One thing I noticed during my visit is that many guests (including myself) love ringing the bells pictured at the top of this article. The bells have been a part of the shop for years (I recall my sister telling me about them when she worked there in 1999 as part of the Walt Disney World College Program). Their white, clean design complements a line of bathrobes, towels and other items you would expect to find in a hotel gift shop.

Dropping Into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

This location also offers shirts featuring the attraction with nods to the original television series. I particularly liked the bellhop shirt complete with a nametag, which pairs well with the bellhop hat with mouse ears.

There is also a line of character merchandise that features Mickey Mouse and friends experiencing the attraction. I thought the frame with Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Goofy was fun and, of course, I noticed the coffee mugs. The location also carries some action figures based on characters from the television series.

Dropping Into Tower Hotel Gifts in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

In May 2013, we introduced the second series for VinylmationPark Starz that prominently features a stylized bellhop inspired by the attraction. When the Vinylmation team heard I was writing this article, they wanted me to give you a sneak preview of a different bellhop figure from the upcoming Vinylmation Park 13 (coming to Disney Parks at a future date).

Please enjoy a few other photos from my visit.

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Spotlight on 2013 Posters for July, August and September from Disney Design Group

posted on July 9th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


With the start of summer, I’m turning the spotlight on the next series of 2013 posters from the Disney Design Group. This talented art department of Disney Theme Park Merchandise created a series of posters for an oversized 2013 calendar (you can find the Walt Disney World Resort version on the Disney Parks online store). You may recall my previous articles featuring posters for January through March and April through June on the Disney Parks Blog.

The 2013 Poster for July from Disney Design Group Features Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice

For July, Disney Design Group Creative Manager Doug Strayer selected Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice for his vintage style poster.

The 2013 Poster for August from Disney Design Group Features the Iconic Disney Railroad

One of my favorite posters was designed by artist Jon Bishop for the month of August. I love how he incorporated the iconic Disney Railroad into a strong, retro-graphic scene (the colors are great!). I also enjoy the little details found in each poster such as rocket ships reaching for the sky.

The 2013 Poster for September from Disney Design Group Features the Grandfather Clock from The Haunted Mansion

Graphic Designer Caley Hicks (of recent Disney’s “Beauty and the BeastVinylmation fame) created the incredible image for September. I asked her why she selected the grandfather clock from The Haunted Mansion for her poster.

“I love the Haunted Mansion and claimed it before any other artist could,” laughed Caley. “I like the connection between this year’s date and the clock striking 13. I thought the bold face would make for a captivating image. It was also a fitting choice, as September typically starts the Halloween season at Disney Parks.”

A Series of Vinylmation Figures and Limited Edition Pins Available Based on the 2013 Posters from Disney Design Group

As for previous months, we created a series of Vinylmation figures and limited edition pins based on the designs. As an added bonus, an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit pin and Vinylmation figure will be released in September. The design was based on a poster created for December 2012 by Darren Wilson. There will also be D-Tech on Demand cases for iPhone 4/4s and iPhone 5 featuring the railroad and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit posters. Look for them at a future date at Disney Parks.

Finally, you can find other 2013 related items, including some giclées of previous month’s posters on the Disney Parks online store.

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‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Locations at Disney Parks

posted on June 27th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Locations at Disney Parks

With the upcoming release of Disney’s “The Lone Ranger,” in theaters on July 3, I rode out to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in search of new merchandise. I visited the AFI Showcase Shop located at the exit of the Studio Backlot Tour where I found a handful of items. Similar to other major film releases like “Monsters University” or “Wreck-It Ralph,” the Disney Theme Park Merchandise team partnered with the Disney Store to introduce things from the national market (you can find some of those items available on DisneyStore.com). There were some merchandise, however, created especially for Disney Parks.
‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Locations at Disney Parks

One item that caught my eye was the Texas Rangers replica badge shown at the top of this article. This iconic badge was developed by our souvenirs team at Disney Theme Park Merchandise. The Disney Parks team also created a youth T-shirt featuring the two lead characters from the motion picture.

‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Locations at Disney Parks

Other items include toys like action figures of the Lone Ranger, Tonto, and my favorite, Silver the horse. There are also a variety of LEGO playsets featuring scenes and characters from the film.
‘The Lone Ranger’ Merchandise Rides into Locations at Disney Parks

Finally, there was a new two-figure Vinylmation set that was released at the D-Street locations in both Florida and California and a limited release pin that has a spinner element.

I’m looking forward to seeing the film in theaters on July 3. From the extended previews I’ve seen, it looks to be filled with some great action and wonderful humor.

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Retelling a ‘Tale as Old as Time’ with New Vinylmation Series Debuting at Disney Parks on June 21

posted on June 10th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


“New

The Vinylmation series featuring “Beauty and the Beast” is set for release on June 21 at Disney Parks and the Disney Parks online store. I recently spent time in New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort with some of the 3-inch figures (what a great backdrop for photos!). Upon returning to the office, I spoke with the Disney artists, Caley Hicks and Maria Clapsis, who designed this beautiful new series. While gathered in Caley’s office, I learned that both Maria and she are long-time fans of this classic Disney animated film.
“New

“When lead Vinylmation artist Thomas Scott gave us this project, we jumped at the opportunity, as we’ve both loved the film for years,” explained Caley. “Stained glass became a common theme for this series. At first, I knew I wanted to use stained glass-like designs for the packaging. We ended up adding that element to the figures’ ears. This tied the whole collection together from a storytelling perspective.”
“New

Like previous limited release mystery series, this set contains 11 known figures and one mystery chaser figure. There are some variant figures in the series as well. Guests can purchase this series either as individual mystery boxes or as a complete tray. I love the little details on the packing including Belle’s image on the underside of the tray.

New 'Beauty and the Beast'-Inspired Vinylmation Series Debuting at Disney Parks on June 21 New 'Beauty and the Beast'-Inspired Vinylmation Series Debuting at Disney Parks on June 21

I’m amazed at how vibrant the series looks. Maria said the series looks that way because they chose vivid base colors for the figures, which really made the designs pop.

Caley told me her favorite figure is Philippe the horse.

“I enjoyed including Philippe as he’s not often featured on merchandise,” continued Caley. “When I was younger, I would always save Philippe’s image as my last page to color in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ coloring books [laughs].”

While Maria also liked Philippe, the Beast is her favorite character.

“I think Beast was my favorite character,” said Maria. “When I first saw Glen Keane’s animation for the Beast on the big screen, I knew I wanted to be a Disney artist. I guess you could say the Beast was my inspiration for my career today.”

If you are in Florida on June 21, you can meet Caley and Maria at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side. They will be signing figures and meeting with fans from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. They are encouraging guests to wear favorite “Beauty and the Beast” attire.

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Walt Disney World Resort – June 2013 Merchandise Events

posted on May 20th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Summer will be here before you know it. So what will you do on your vacation? Well, if the Walt Disney World Resort is on your list for June, then here are a few merchandise special events you don’t want to miss.

June 3-6: Greg McCullough will be on hand for a special artist showcase at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 2–6 p.m., each day. Learn more here.
“Special

June 7: Disney Design Group Artist Natalie Kennedy will be appearing at Disney’s Pin Traders in Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5-7 p.m. to sign the latest pin and Vinylmation release in the 2013 series. Learn more here.
“Special

June 13-16: Be sure to stop in and say hello to Larry Dotson, who will be showcasing some of the newest releases in his collection at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not able to make it? That’s okay! Larry will also be appearing at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park, June 27–30. Learn more here.

June 14: It’s a “monstrous” job but someone’s got to do it. Meet Disney Design Group artist Ron Cohee, who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of the new Monsters University Series 1 Vinylmation. Ron will appear at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side from 5–7 p.m. Learn more here.

Special Merchandise Appearing at Walt Disney World Resort Events in June Special Merchandise Appearing at Walt Disney World Resort Events in June Special Merchandise Appearing at Walt Disney World Resort Events in June

June 15–16: Rev up those engines and make plans now to drive down to Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney West Side at the Walt Disney World Resort. Fellow author Steven Miller will have all the details on what you can expect to see, including details on a special signing with none other than Chip Foose, owner of Foose Design and star of TV’s “Overhaulin’.” Learn more here.

June 21: This one is a personal favorite, since I’m a huge fan of “Beauty and the Beast.” Make your way over to D Street in Downtown Disney West Side and pick up the new Vinylmation releases from the “Beauty and the Beast” series designed by Maria Clapsis and Caley Hicks. Join us for a special signing on the day of release from 5-7 p.m. Learn more here.
“Special

June 22: If you are a fan of the limited edition Ink & Paint cels, then be sure to check this piece out. Hollywood & Dine is set to release on June 22 at Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and features Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they enjoy a star-filled evening at Hollywood Brown Derby, accompanied by an exquisitely hand-painted Goofy, who is sure to serve up only the best. Hollywood & Dine will be available in a variety of formats. If you are unable to attend, don’t worry, Disney Events is taking pre-orders now through June 21. Call 407-827-7600. For those of you in the area, several of the Ink & Paint artists associated with this piece will be on hand for a special appearance and signing June 22 from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 2–5 p.m. at Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Learn more here.
“Special

June 27–July 3: Art of Disney in the Downtown Disney Marketplace is pleased to welcome David Doss, who will be on hand to showcase some of his most recent releases. Learn more here.

June 28–July 7: Precious Moments doll maker Linda Rick will be on hand for special appearances at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park as we celebrate the release of her new collection. Learn more here.

Have you already attended Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios? Or have you signed up for the 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event? If not, there’s still time. Don’t miss out! Look for details on all of these events and more on www.ArtofDisneyParks.com.

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Your Ticket to the 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at the Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 7th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


You can almost feel a chill in the air (brrr!) as the date to register for this year’s 13 Reflections of Evil trading event draws near. Whether you are a nefarious evil-doer, a sorcerer of courage, or an imaginative purple dragon, you are sure to enjoy the spellbinding thrills, chills and all-around frightful fun during the 13 Reflections of Evil trading event taking place September 13-15, 2013 in World ShowPlace at Epcot.

A couple weeks ago I gave you a sneak peek at some of the pins and Vinylmation debuting at this year’s event. What else can you expect to find? Event logo tees, a baseball hat, D-Tech phone cases, individual pins, jumbo pins, pin sets, original and limited edition artwork, sculptures, Vinylmation (even a few custom pieces), as well as a “lucky” ear hat.

Of course, I couldn’t go on without showing you Disney Design Group Artist Michael Sullivan’s favorite…the storybook pin set.

The Storybook Pin Set at This Year's 13-Reflections of Evil Trading Event at the Walt Disney World Resort

This year, the event will take place over the course of multiple days, with pin and Vinylmation trading each getting their own dedicated day. There are separate packages available to attend the pin trading and Vinylmation events. Both events will include the opportunity to pre-purchase select themed merchandise designed for the event, trading activities, a silent auction, meet & greets with Disney merchandisers, artist signing opportunities, commemorative gifts and more. Craving even more magical experiences? Then add a Perilous Pin Breakfast or Villainous Vinylmation Breakfast to your itinerary if you are planning to attend either one of these trading events. Last but not least, if you choose to become part of the “Club” you will do so at your own peril, as it’s sure to draw you to the dark side (dun dun dun!). Ticket information will be available shortly on www.ArtofDisneyParks.com, so keep watching.

Ticket sales and event registration were slated to begin tomorrow (May 8) but in true Villains fashion, they have hidden the link to the magic portal that allows you to register because they refused to start ticket sales on any date but the 13th. So look to register for the event on the new date, May 13, 2013 at 13:00 hours (so spooky!) or 1:00 p.m. Eastern via www.ArtofDisneyParks.com.

Don’t miss out on this wicked good time!

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Vinylmation Park Starz Return May 10 with New Characters from Disney Parks

posted on May 6th, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


“Vinylmation

One of the more anticipated Vinylmation collections this year, Park Starz 2, arrives at Disney Parks on Friday, May 10. Introduced in September 2011, the first series featured uniquely shaped figures inspired by classic characters from Disney Parks. The second series has 12 new characters designed by Disney Design Group artist Casey Jones. I recently asked him about his experience working on this project.

“Being a huge fan of the parks, Park Starz is one of my favorite projects to work on,” exclaimed Casey. “Disney Design Group artist and principal Vinylmation designer Thomas Scott created the Park Starz brand and supervises all development. He tapped me to be the lead artist for this series, and I loved creating crazy, stylized versions of some of my favorite park characters.”
“Vinylmation

Each figure in this limited release mystery series is packaged in a collectible tin, which is sold either individually or in a tray. If guests purchase entire trays, they get all 11 known figures (as seen on the packaging) and the one mystery figure.

Casey shared some additional insight into his designs.
“Vinylmation

“Rex from the original Star Tours attraction was designed for Park Starz 1,” said Casey “I’m glad he finally made it — better late than never! I loved including long-lost friends, like the Orange Bird. At the time I designed [series 2], the Orange Bird had not yet returned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park. Like many fans, I was thrilled to see him return last year.”
“Vinylmation

I had fun photographing this series. My favorite two images include the Orange Bird (someone had to eat that citrus swirl after the shot), and the Tapestry of Nations parade figure in Epcot. I loved that parade from the Millennium Celebration, and it appears Casey did too.

“The Tapestry of Nations parade will always be my favorite Disney memory,” continued Casey. “I joined Disney around that time, and my wife and I must have watched that parade 100 times! The music and the costumes make it an all-time classic.”

The series will be released in the Vinylmation Store on Facebook on May 3. The series will be released at D Street locations in California and Florida on May 10. Casey will be meeting with fans at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side in Florida on May 10 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Sneak Peek at 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot

posted on April 25th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


The countdown has begun for the 13 Reflections of Evil trading event taking place September 13 – 15, 2013, in World ShowPlace at Epcot. I suggest blocking your calendar that weekend for our largest trading event of the year at Disney Parks. But I offer a few words of advice – Beware the 13! Who are the “13”? I suppose I should bring you up to speed.
13 Reflections of Evil Event Poster
In a far away land there lived a wicked and vain Queen who wanted more power. While pouring over ancient spell books, she discovered an incantation that, when performed on the darkest of days – Friday the 13th – could bring together thirteen of the most evil Disney villains known only as “The 13.” To cast this spell, the Queen must use a powerful, supernatural object – a magic mirror – to transport “The 13” from across time to the present day. As luck would have it, Friday the 13th will take place in September this year! The Queen decided this would be the perfect day to cast the spell.

Let’s fast forward to September. As the newly assembled Villains are hashing out their nefarious plans, the Villains intentionally break the mirror and hide the thirteen shards. Now the mirror can never be used against them, as it is the only object that can send them home. Lucky for us, an imaginative purple dragon named Figment overheard their plotting and asks Mickey Mouse for help. Along with five of their trusted friends known as the “Lucky 7,” Mickey Mouse and Figment devise a plan to stop “The 13.” They must reassemble the broken shards to send the villains back to their rightful places in time.

Now that you know what battle lies ahead, here is a sneak peek at some of the merchandise that helps tell the story. I asked Pin Trading Merchandiser Jeanne Lewis and Disney Design Group Senior Character Artist Michael Sullivan about their favorite pins being created for this event.

Evil 13 Pin from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot Sidekicks Pin from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot Villain Mirrors from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot

“The mirror set is definitely one of my favorites” said Jeanne. “I love that it shows each villain with their alter ego. The detail that has been put into the sculpted metal characters, combined with the translucent fill overlay, makes it look wickedly beautiful.”

Open Believe Pin from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot Closed Believe Pin from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot Open Beware Pin from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot Closed Beware Pin from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot

Michael’s favorite items fall along the line of a particular storybook (but I can’t reveal that item to you yet). Michael said to look closely at the jumbo pins for some hidden treats. You will find that the number “13” has been incorporated into the words “Beware!” and the number “7” can be found in the word “Believe.”

I also got a sneak peek at some Vinylmation items, including Maleficent and a special two-pack Madame Mim set.

Maleficent Vinylmation from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot Madame Mim Vinylmation from 13 Reflections of Evil Trading Event at Epcot

Tickets for this event will go on sale via DisneyParksMerchandise.com beginning May 8 at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Look for more information in the coming weeks on the Disney Parks Blog.

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