Disney Consumer Products Unveils D23 Expo Plans: Dream Home, Tiana Wedding Gown, Lifesize LEGO Mural, So Much More

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — August 20, 2009 — Disney’s spectacular product lines will come to life like never before in over 20,000 square feet of fun-filled interactive experiences and activities at the inaugural D23 Expo, where the entire world of Disney will come together under one roof at the Anaheim Convention Center in California from Sept. 10-13. Disney Consumer Products (DCP) will treat fans to a sneak peek of the latest and most innovative Disney products as well as the chance to meet and hear from the artists and designers that bring them to life.

DCP Presents 30 Years of Disney Ornaments from HallmarkD23 Expo attendees will have the premier opportunity to visit the first-ever Disney Dream Home, stroll through 30 years of history of Disney-inspired Hallmark keepsake ornaments, witness Disney Fine Art created right before their eyes, and immerse in the magic of a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding where guests will get a first look at the yet-to-be-unveiled Princess Tiana wedding gown inspired by The Princess and the Frog. They will go behind the scenes of Disney products through a series of events and presentations including fashion shows, art galleries, appearances by best-selling authors such as Ridley Pearson and artists such as Thomas Kinkade, and seminars describing the creative process by Disney toys and electronics designers.Plus, they will be part of a special introduction to the history and future of Disney Store by Disney Stores Worldwide president, Jim Fielding, and much more.

There will be fun for the whole family at the Disney Creativity Center hosted by Crayola, the Disney Princess Story time and Royal Manners event, the Baby Einstein World of Discovery Center, and a magnificent live LEGO building event of Disney characters with the help of Master Builders.

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Sneak Peek: Artwork of Complete Vinylmation Muppets Series #1

elizabeth-glaser-783 Late last month, we gave you a photo report of the last Vinylmation artist release party which featured exclusive looks at some upcoming Vinylmation releases. On display there were several Muppets Vinylmation figures, presumably from Series 1 which is expected to be released at some point in 2010.

Today, we bring you a look at what’s purported to be the complete release of Vinylmation Muppets Series #1.

Update: To see actual photos of the Muppets vinylmation, please see our D23 Expo Vinylmation report here

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Preview of D23 Live Auction Lots Now Available

D23 Expo Live Auction

From paintings to props to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, now’s your chance to check out some of the items up for auction at D23 Expo’s Live Auction taking place Saturday, September 12 in the Arena.

Don’t forget, you will need to purchase an auctioneer’s package for the right to participate in bidding on the items in addition to D23 Expo admission.

D23 Expo Live Auction Catalog

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D23 Expo Trading Pins and Charter Year Member Exclusive Pins Announced

Details have been released on the Disney pins that will be released at the first annual Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California from September 9 – 13, including D23 members only charter year exclusive pins.

The pins will be available for purchase in the Disney Dream Store located in Exhibit Hall C.

To see a larger version of each pin, click on the thumbnail. To see all of the pins being released at D23 Expo, click here.

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Precious Moments Holiday Release and Signing at Walt Disney World September 11 & 12

elizabeth-glaser-913 Join Master Sculptor Hiko Maeda as he introduces an all new theme park exclusive Precious Moments sculpture for the holidays along with a brand new series of your favorite Disney Princesses celebrating the season in their own unique way.

On September 11, Hiko will be at Uptown Jewelers in the Magic Kingdom from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and at the Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios from 3:00 – 5:00 pm.

On September 12, he will be at the Art of Disney in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

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Report: Vinylmation Release Party Offers Sneak Peeks at Future Vinylmation Releases

Last night, Disney held a release party for the Vinylmation Urban Series #2 at The Art of Disney in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace. On hand to celebrate were Disney artists Dan Howard, Lisa Badeen, Lin Shih, Mike Sullivan, Quynh Kimball and Donna Kozatek. Also on display were a number of future Vinylmation releases and our good friend @prd3000 was able to attend and provided us with several amazing photos of the upcoming releases displayed behind glass.

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Guest Artists Announced for Vinylmation Release Party on July 31 at DTD Marketplace

There will be an artist release party for Vinylmation Urban Series #2 (released July 24)  at the Art of Disney located in the Downtown Disney Marketplace. The event is scheduled to run from 5 pm – 7 pm and features the following Disney artists: Dan Howard, Lisa Badeen, Lin Shih, Mike Sullivan, Quynh Kimball and Donna Kozatek.

This is your chance to meet & greet with the creators of your favorite Disney Vinylmation figures as well as get an in-person sneak peek at upcoming releases.

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Must Have: The Mickey Mouse Treasures Now Available at Barnes & Noble for $15

Mickey Mouse TreasuresThe Mickey Mouse Treasures by Robert Tieman, manager of the Walt Disney Archives, is the third in a series of collectibles. This third volume focuses on Mickey Mouse himself, from his (and Walt’s) humble beginnings (and even a bit before that) to his worldwide popularity today. From films to merchandising, this book literally has it all — and that’s an understatement.

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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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