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Inside the El Capitan © Brad K. All Rights Reserved.

Inside the El Capitan © Brad K. All Rights Reserved.

Smack-dab in the heart of Hollywood, California, the El Capitan Theatre brings a spot of Disney to one of the world’s most famous neighborhoods. Across from the Kodak Theatre (home to the Academy Awards) and the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the theatre is a result of a $14 million dollar renovation in which Disney literally re-built the theatre to faithfully restore to its original grandeur.

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Vinylmation Urban Series #2 to be Released July 24, Timeline Announced for Future Sets

Just a quick note for the Vinylmation fans out there. Word is that the next series, Urban Series 2, is set to be released on July 24. We also have a timeline and artwork for future releases.

Vinylmation Urban Series 2 - Release Date: July 24, 2009
Vinylmation Urban Series 2 – Release Date: July 24, 2009
Vinylmation Holiday Series 1 - Release Timeframe: September 2009
Vinylmation Holiday Series 1 – Release Timeframe: September 2009
Vinylmation Cutesters Series 1 - Release Timeframe: October 2009
Vinylmation Cutesters Series 1 – Release Timeframe: October 2009

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Vinylmation Mickey: The New $40 Autograph ‘Book’

Vinylmation Mickey Blank Turned Autograph Book

Vinylmation Mickey Blank Turned Autograph Book

While I make it a hobby to track down and photograph characters, I am no autograph hound. In fact, I don’t recall ever obtaining a single Disney character autograph on purpose — until now that is. After several days on site, I needed a new way to occupy my time and when something caught my eye at The Animation of Disney shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it was love at first sight. Or a new hobby anyway. There on the counter was a 9″ Vinylmation blank decked out with several character signatures. I fought the urge for a while but there was just no walking away from it, I had to try it.

So for $39.95, I walked away with a Vinylmation blank and a fine-point sharpie given to me by the cast member at the store (they really ought to sell sharpies there too). And over the next two-and-a-half days, as time allowed, I tracked down every single character I could find and got them to sign my Mickey. Even Mr. Incredible, who normally uses a rubber stamp, signed him.

The idea itself really is novel, if not awkward, and I think it should provide a really good springboard for new )and hopefully less-expensive) autograph-related products. Let’s face it, we all (well, not me) do the autograph books and for most who manage to keep them around, they sit on the shelf for most of the time. Here we have a three-dimensional, tangible object that does its best work when it does the exact same thing and sits on a shelf.

So after two-and-a-half days and gathering a total of 61 autographs, I learned a few things that might help the next poor unfortunate soul who follows suit.

First, the fine-point sharpie (or even a ball-point pen) is a must. Especially when dealing with face characters who can be very nimble, particularly with signing in dwindling spaces and have intricate autographs. Characters with bigger hands didn’t seem to have as much an issue with the fine-point itself, but were challenged when it turns out the first sharpie I had was about to die. Which leads to the next tip:

Make sure the sharpie (or whatever) is in amazing shape. If it is, writing on the vinyl figure will be smooth and dark. You can use the bottom of the feet to test the autograph pen (unless you have other plans for his normally not-visible bottom).

There seemed to be an issue with touching him, particularly when signatures were fresh. They wouldn’t be immediately affected, but over time, areas that got touched a lot seemed to fade really fast and would sometimes smudge. For this reason (and the next), I recommend physically handling him as little as possible. When toting him around, don’t flaunt him, put him in a bag (or at least flaunt him in a clear bag).

People (and characters) will love him. Kids will become downright obsessed with him and won’t think twice about picking him up if he’s left vulnerable and checking him out.

A semi-tip: The eyes pictured on my Mickey were courtesy of Pluto. It seems you can get away with decorating the face a little bit as characters seemed hesitant to ‘tattoo’ it anyway (although the eyes made that situation even more clear) and still have room for autographs.

Bottom line, despite the imperfections that accumulated during the process, I’m proud of my Autograph Mickey and the slightly smudged memories that come with it.

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A Look at Some of the Disney San Diego Comic-Con Exclusives

From Acme Archives Direct (Booth #: 5429)

Princess and the Frog LE PrintWhat is it: The Princess and the Frog Fine Art Print on Museum Quality Watercolor Paper
Edition Size: 50, hand-numbered and signed by talent from the film
Cost: $79

 

TRON Concept Art LE PrintWhat is it: TRON Concept Art Print
Edition Size: 82 (as in 1982, the year the film was released)
Cost: $79

 

From BOOM! Studios (Booth #: 2543)

Hardcover Editions of Disney/Pixar and Muppets ComicsWhat is it: Hardcover editions of The Incredibles: Family Matters, Cars: The Rookie and The Muppet Show
Edition Size: 250 each, individually numbered
Cost: $50

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Win the Newest Disney Dreams Painting from Artist Thomas Kinkade

elizabeth-glaser-020 Thomas Kinkade is offering the opportunity to win a 12″x18″ limited edition canvas of his newest entry into the Disney Dreams series, Tinker Bell and Peter Pan Fly to Neverland. To enter for a chance to win the painting valued at $750, complete this entry form on the official website. Entries must be received by August 31.

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First Look: eFX Inc.’s Four-Foot Replica of Capt. Nemo’s Mysterious Nautilus from the Classic Disney Film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

4-Foot Nautilus Replica from eFX Collectibles

4-Foot Nautilus Replica In-Production Model from eFX

BURBANK, Calif. — (July 10, 2009) -– eFX Inc. will explore the mysteries of the deep, and of Walt Disney’s haunting interpretation of Capt. Nemo’s Nautilus, when it unveils its highly accurate, detailed collectible model of this iconic submarine from Disney’s renowned adaptation of Jules Verne’s epic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The Nautilus is among the upcoming limited-edition collectibles from eFX that will preview at San Diego Comic-Con this July, and at the first-ever D23 Expo, Sept. 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Pre-orders are expected to be taken shortly after the D23 Expo, and the Nautilus is expected to ship in early 2010.

At an incredible four feet long, the approximately 1/45th scale Nautilus from eFX will offer extraordinary details, including internal and external lighting and re-creations of both the lush salon and the all-important wheelhouse, providing collectors with the opportunity to peer into the inner sanctum of this enormous underwater vessel.

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Mickey Monsters Invade Disney Parks

Mickey MonstersMickey Monsters are here to visit the Disney Theme Parks. They try to blend in by disguising themselves as Mickey and a host of other characters that they encounter on their visit. Keep any eye open for Mickey Monsters – They could be right in front of you!

The first series of six Mickey Monster characters’ names are Murff, Cheeky Bubbles, Ogg, Keeti, Ralf, and Eeku.  They will each come with a special hang tag that contain stories about the character and therefore bring the character to life for our guests.  Each character will retail for $12.95.

Mickey Monsters have been designed to bring smiles to kids of all ages. Which Mickey Monster is right for you? Read on to find out!

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Julie Andrews and Toby Bluth Product Releases & Signings, August 29 at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel

Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and LullabiesAcademy Award® Winning Actress, Julie Andrews will be on hand for the debut of her newest book titled, Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies, which will be released in October 2009. As part of this product release and signing, Guests will have the opportunity to pre-purchase the book before its released to the public.

In addition, Artist Toby Bluth will be on hand for the release of his latest work, titled Poppins and Penguins, which was created in celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the beloved Disney film, Mary Poppins.

More details to come.

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Christian Dior Brings Escale á Pondichery Exclusively to the World Showcase, July 9 – 12

Escale á Pondichery by Christian Dior

Escale á Pondichery by Christian Dior

Be one of the first to experience Escale á Pondichery fragrance at Le Plume et Palette in Epcot®‘s France Pavilion, special to the Walt Disney World® Resort.

Les Escales de Dior is a fragrance collection that thrillingly transports you to enticing destinations.  A year after Escale á Portofino, Parfums Christian Dior sets sail again for a passage to India. A new destination, a new fragrance: Escale á Pondichery.

In Pondicherry, Dior Perfumer-Creator François Demachy discovered the true treasures of India and hand selected the ingredients for this new Fragrance Escale á Pondichery.

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