Olszewski Disneyland miniatures - March 31, 2007

Olszewski Studios' first release in 2007 in the Disneyland Main Street miniatures collection was again held at Disneyana. When we arrived at park opening, the queues on the sidewalk had already been set up. They again changed how they were handling distribution of the product. You made your purchase at one of the cash registers and then you got in line to wait for one of the separate stations set up to help one individual customer at a time. They would unbox the piece, let you examine the piece, test out the lights, and the re-box the piece. On the one hand, it's more attention to each customer, but on the other hand, it slowed the process down, so the wait was a bit longer. Later in the day, I noticed that the line to make purchases was still fairly long (down Main Street and turning towards Showcase, near the Mad Hatter), but I don't know if that's because more people were actually buying the pieces or if people were in line longer because of the extra wait. As usual, you could choose to pick up a pre-signed piece or wait in line to have Bob Olszewski personally sign your piece. A table had been set up next to Bob's signing table to show off a few new items being released in the other current collections. More on those later.

Travis was at his customary place in front of Disneyana with the Main Street platform, and for the first time, the entire Main Street was complete. Only three main pieces remain in the Main Street collection - Plaza Pavilion/Tiki Room/Aladdin's Oasis, Adventureland/Frontierland gateways and Carnation Plaza - and all three pieces were available to see. It was really an impressive sight to see all of Main Street completed.


The three main pieces left to be released in the Main Street collection.


Completed Main Street from entrance to castle.


Reverse view, from castle to entrance.


The next piece to be released in the collection will be the Disneyland marquee on July 8, 2007, with a tentative price of $55. The piece is being released at the Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square in conjunction with the celebration of the Disney Gallery's 20th anniversary. Charles Boyer is also expected to be part of the event, with other artists possibly participating as well.

The marquee has been available to see for some time now during events, but this was the first time we noticed the messages on the marquee itself.


Note the second line on the message display.


The next piece is Plaza Pavilion/Tiki Room/Aladdin's Oasis, with a tentative release date of July 28, 2007 at an approximate cost of $275. The piece is really beautiful, with some amazing detail, and I think it's going to turn out to be one of my favorite Main Street pieces. Plaza Pavilion looks to be set up ready for the Junior Chefs.


Left side of Plaza Pavilion.


Right side of Plaza Pavilion.
They've even duplicated the DVC cart.


The front of the Tiki Room entrance is removable so you can see the seating and fountain inside. Like the Haunted Mansion, there is a portion that you can push down on that lowers the tiki birds ("birdmobile"). The Adventureland/Frontierland gateway was done before this piece was completed, and they now have to go back and adjust the gateway because the Dole Juice Bar that's included as part of that piece is too far forward and needs to be situated further back.


The Tiki Room with the front door in place.
The Juice Bar very obviously blocks the Tiki Room entrance sign.


The Tiki Room with the front door removed so you can see inside.
Without the lighting that will come with the piece, it's extremely difficult to see the birds.


The Aladdin's Oasis section is especially impressive. There had been talk previously that they might do the Tahitian Terrace instead, but I'm glad they didn't go through with that since the mix of time elements would have seemed odd to me.


The view of Aladdin's Oasis to show the seating area.


The view of Aladdin's Oasis to show the stage and Cave of Wonders.


Also released on the same day will be the turnstiles/front gates as well as the 2 side gates at the border of Town Square and Main Street. Those pieces will be released as one pack and is expected to be $65 - $70.


Complete view of the front of the park.




Side gate on the east.


Side gate on the west complete with mural.


In September, the final pieces in the Main Street collection will be released - Adventureland/Frontierland gateways and Carnation Plaza.


Top view of Carnation Plaza.


Side view of Carnation Plaza.
The interior is set up with tables and chairs rather than a stage and seating or for dancing, so that seemed a bit odd.


Plaza Gardens sign.


Also being released that day as one pack for approximately $65 - $70 will be the souvenir stands (the two on either side of the entrance tunnels), the newsstand, and the stroller/wheelchair rental.


West souvenir stand.


East souvenir stand.


The front newsstand.


Stroller/wheelchair rental/guest services.


There are still some strollers available for rental.


The one bit of very good news is that Disney has officially green-lit Peter Pan, which will include two interchangeable scenes (like Pirates and Haunted Mansion) - the flyover scenes of London and Neverland. The piece is expected to be released in November 2007.


The mockup of the exterior of Peter Pan.
(photo from December, 2005)


Removable Neverland scene.
(photo from December, 2005)


The first tree accessory pack will be sold only through Olszewski Studios and is expected to be available for order in mid-April, with delivery at the end of April. The set of 6 trees will be $95.

For those who came to the collection later and are missing pieces, it is expected that two to four pieces will be re-released each year. The Astro Orbiter will be re-released later this year, and the much-sought-after Town Square will be re-released in early 2008. There are reports that some of the currently-out-of-stock pieces are being sold on eBay and such at exorbitant prices, which frankly puzzles me as I can't understand needing to fill out the collection immediately so much that I'd pay two, three, four or more times the retail cost for the piece now rather than waiting until the piece is re-released.

For those who are still wanting to purchase the Main Street platform, ongoing orders are being taken at the official Olszewski Studios website. Many collectors had expressed an interest in purchasing a plexiglass cover to go over the platform, so Olszewski Studios has arranged for a local Camarillo, CA company (American Plastics Corporation) to make the covers. The price is $305, and they needed a minimum of 25 orders. They met that minimum with no problem at all, receiving over 100 requests. American Plastics Corp. will be contacting each person separately for payment information, and the covers will need to be picked up from Camarillo. Unlike the platforms, the plexiglass covers would not appear to be available on an ongoing basis. As more platforms are sold, however, perhaps a semi-annual or annual order can be placed if enough people are interested at one time.

With regard to the platforms, many people are noticing that the pieces don't fit together seamlessly because of the variations in production. People can fill in the gaps using balsa wood, and Olszewski Studios will be releasing a painting kit at the end of the summer (available only from the website) of the ground colors so that the balsa wood can be painted to match the surrounding pieces.

Peter Pan is the last piece that has been officially authorized. Disney will probably evaluate how the Main Street collection is going and then decide where to go from there. Hopefully, they'll see the enthusiasm and support for this line and continue with subsequent attractions and lands. The next logical choice would be Fantasyland, since it's just on the other side of the castle, and two of the attractions (Mad Tea Party and Peter Pan) will have already been done. Also, unlike Main Street, most of the buildings in Fantasyland are attractions, and beloved attractions at that, which more people would be likely to buy than one of the more non-descript Main Street buildings. My personal wish is for Storybookland. Olszewski Studios hopes to continue making quarterly visits to Disneyland to release additional attraction pieces as well as pieces in their other collections.

Many people have also been asking for the Main Street and New Orleans Square character packs which had previously been discussed, mostly consisting of attraction cast members. Disney still has those on hold, so hopefully, once all of Main Street is completed, they will proceed with ordering those and making them available for sale. One bit of news I personally found disappointing is that Disney hasn't officially ordered the Villains character pack yet. It was originally intended for Walt Disney World, though the scale is the same so they'd work fine with the Disneyland collection, and it was the only thing I had planned to personally order from the WDW collection. Wouldn't a villains character pack be a great thing to have during the Halloween season this year?


This picture from February 2006 shows the Haunted Mansion with a cast member at the entrance.
How is the attraction supposed to operate without a cast member?


Olszewski Studios is still independently working on developing the mechanical road/Main Street Electrical Parade as well as the Grand Canyon/Primeval World diorama. Disney isn't sold on those yet, so perhaps once they see a workable prototype, they'll change their minds.

There's not much else in the way of news. Hopefully, at the July release, Disney will have made more decisions about where to continue with this line.

In the meantime, Olszewski Studios has been working on a few other Disney collections. The Gallery of Light collection launched on March 18, 2007 with the release of the jail scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. The next piece to be released (on July 8, 2007) is the ballroom dancing scene from "Beauty and the Beast".


The ceiling and chandelier are especially gorgeous.


The next piece after that will be the famous spaghetti scene from "Lady and the Tramp", tentatively scheduled for release on July 28, 2007.


Lady's expression is a bit odd, but otherwise, a beautiful scene.


Slated for release in May 2007 is the coach scene from "Cinderella" and Jack Skellington doing a flyover from "The Nightmare Before Christmas".


The detail is incredible.


"Nightmare" fans will no doubt enjoy this piece.


Also expected to be released later in the year are pieces depicting a scene from "Bambi", "Pinocchio" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".

Another collection that Olszewski Studios is involved in is heirloom boxes. That was also launched on March 18, 2007 with the release of this sculpted heirloom box from Pirates of the Caribbean. Two other heirloom boxes have been designed, one for "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and one for the Tiki Room attraction. Other heirloom boxes to be released in the collection will be themed to "Pinocchio" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".


The doors to the holiday trees in the forest nicely decorate this round box.


Tiki Room themed heirloom box.


On a side note, Olszewski Studios has released a piece exclusively on DisneyShopping.com called Mickey's Gala Premiere Theatre. I love the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and we often see new Disney films there on opening night as well as attending other special screenings there, so I was excited to see what the piece looks like. However, while the detailing sounds amazing, especially with the removable roof so you can see inside, I hadn't realized that it was inspired by a short film rather than the theatre as it stands now.

The Olszewski Studios has also launched The Olszewski Miniatures Store, which has some Disney pieces and quite a number of non-Disney pieces.

See you in July!


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