Olszewski Disneyland miniatures - July 16, 2011 (Disneyana Show and Sale) and July 17, 2011 (Disneyland release)

It was a very full Olszewski weekend, starting with Bob and Travis being at the Disneyana Show and Sale on Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Anaheim Resort (which is actually in Garden Grove). The show and sale is customarily on Sunday, but with Disneyland's birthday falling on a Sunday this year, this particular event was moved to Saturday so as not to conflict. We were surprised to see that the configuration of the show space was a little different. During the January show, they're just in the main room, but during the July show, they're usually in a second room around the corner from the main room. This time, as we'd walked by the normal location for the second room, I'd noticed the doors were shut, and then when we went to buy our entry tickets, it turned out they were located in the restaurant space next to the main room. Because of a snafu from the hotel, the second room they usually have wasn't available, so they were in the adjacent restaurant space instead. That was a little odd. Most of the restaurant space was taken up by Mickey's of Glendale (the store for Walt Disney Imagineering), the Walt Disney Studios Store and Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store. Olszewski Studios was once again hosted by Deckers Fine Gifts, and they're usually in the second room for the July show, but they were in the main room this time. Travis had some new items on display, which he also brought to the Sunday release at Disneyland. The show didn't seem quite as busy as normal, but we did get there later than usual, so that might have accounted for it. It did mean that we had quite a bit of time to talk to Travis and Bob, so that worked out pretty well. There is one bit of news regarding future Disneyana show and sale events, but I'll save that for the end of this report since it's more appropriate there.


For the Sunday release, we had our normal routine, and I waited by the entry gates as those who had Magic Morning access were still being let in. The other gates had already been closed and converted to regular entry lines for those guests waiting for the 8am opening of Disneyland. At 7:45am, both lines at the Magic Morning gate were stopped as the cast members were helping guests, but then all of the other turnstiles were opened, and guests were streaming into the park. At least one guest in the Magic Morning line was very upset by this and asked the CM why everyone else was being let in but they weren't when they were the ones who had Magic Morning. The cast member said that the other people were only being let onto Main Street, but they wouldn't be able to go any further than that. He seemed to think that was a perfectly reasonable explanation that should have satisfied her, completely oblivious to the fact that everyone else was getting entry into the park whereas she, with her Magic Morning access, was still stuck at the turnstile. I didn't blame her for being upset. I would be too if I had early access to the park and wasn't being let in yet whereas literally ALL of the other turnstiles had park guests just streaming in, and the CM thought that was a perfectly normal thing to happen. I don't know what happened that morning. All I can think is that there was some kind of communication breakdown or some really bad misunderstanding. Customarily, they close down all the Magic Morning lines, and then once that's done, they then open all the turnstiles to allow people in. I have been there when they've opened the turnstiles early, but that was always on a day when there was no Magic Morning. They've been running Magic Morning long enough that this kind of mistake really shouldn't happen.

I eventually made it through the turnstiles and made my way up Main Street. The line for purchases started at Disneyana and continued up Main Street toward the castle. I looked for the end of the line, and it stopped at the break with the walkway to the lockers and then continued on the other side. Finding the end of the line was a bit more difficult. As I was walking, I'd heard a cast member saying something about the line for Star Tours being on the sidewalk. I quickly figured out that the end of the Star Tours line (The rest of the park wasn't technically open yet, so they were allowing people to start lining up for Star Tours while they were on Main Street. Presumably, once the park officially opened, that line would be led to Tomorrowland to join whatever line might be there from the people who had Magic Morning access, if the ride was open for that.) was butting up against the end of the Olszewski line. The only way to differentiate between the two was to see which direction people were facing since the Star Tours line started at the upper end of Main Street and extended down towards Town Square. I did find the end of the line I needed to be in (and I wasn't the only one having trouble finding the end of either line), and luckily, before the lines got too enmeshed, they started letting the Star Tours line move into Tomorrowland. Not very good planning on Disney's part, though, to not realize that they were putting two lines in the exact same place.

The morning started off a bit chaotically, but after that, everything ran pretty smoothly. The line to purchase items moved pretty well, so we were eventually allowed into Disneyana. We made our purchases, moved to the table with all the pieces already out for inspection, picked out our pieces, had the lights tested and then had the pieces reboxed. We were done pretty quickly, and Bob and Travis weren't due until 9am, so we went outside to sit and wait for them. We chatted with a few people, and then we noticed that Travis was at the table that had been set up for him outside, and he was setting up the new items for everyone to see. For recent releases, he's mostly just had a little round table, but this time, he had a bigger rectangular table. He had two miniatures pieces, two Gallery of Light pieces, several paperclip boxes and multiple pokitpals displayed on the table.


Bob Olszewski's signing table inside Disneyana, awaiting his arrival.


There was a steady stream of people joining the line to purchase items in the time that we were there. Some were there to purchase the piece being released that day (and it was nice that they seemed to have made it a point of having stock on hand for the other sets in the series) and others were there to purchase other Olszewski Studios items. The line to have Bob personally sign an item seemed longer than normal. The Gallery of Light series seems to be doing really well, so I wonder if people came out to purchase those and have Bob sign them since he was making an appearance anyway.


People waiting in line to see Bob.
Collectors on the far left are talking to Travis.



The piece being released on this day was of course the fourth set of floats in the Main Street Electrical Parade. In addition to signing on the top of the base (we had purchased a pre-signed piece), we noticed that Bob had signed the bottom of each hippo as well. We thought that was pretty funny, so we asked Bob why he'd chosen to sign the hippo too. Turns out that Bob always signs the bottom of one of the floats - we'd just never noticed before. (After we got home, we checked our pieces from the second and third sets, and sure enough, he had signed one float on each set.) When we were selecting our piece this time, the husband noticed that the lights were changing colors much faster than previously. With the other Electrical Parade float sets, it usually took 10 or 15 seconds after the piece was plugged in for the colors to start changing, but this set started to change colors almost immediately. Travis said there had been no change made to the electronics, so the husband figures it might be that the LEDs themselves are different. Collectors might also note - Travis mentioned that this fourth set of floats does NOT come with the normal 15 minute timer that miniatures pieces come with, so that after 15 minutes of the light being on, the piece would turn off automatically. The first and third sets come with the timer, and the second set inadvertently doesn't have the timer. Travis said that they've been hearing from the collectors that they didn't want the timer on the floats, and since they use LEDs, there's not an issue of burning out the bulbs, so they decided to leave the timer off this set.

The next release in the Disneyland miniatures collection will be the combined Pinocchio and Village Haus piece. As previously announced, the piece will be released at the D23 Expo in August. There is no information yet as to how and when the piece will be released at the Expo, but Travis knows that not everyone will be attending the Expo and is doing his best to work with Disney to make sure that collectors not attending the Expo will be able to obtain the piece. As mentioned before, they will offer an online presale for the piece. If any information comes out before the Expo with details about how the piece will be released, I'll be sure to post an update. And if you're not already on the Olszewski Studios mailing list, you should definitely make sure to join as I expect they will also be sending out announcements regarding the sale of the piece when information is available.


The Pinocchio piece has received its signage since the last time we've seen it.


The Pinocchio piece with the Geppetto's Toy Shop sign.


Signage over the entrance of Village Haus.


Signage at the entrance to the outdoor seating for Village Haus.


Speaking of the D23 Expo, for those who are attending, Olszewski Studios will not have their own booth like they did at the 2009 Expo. Instead, they will be located inside the Expo Dream Store itself. Bob and Travis expect to be there as much as possible, but if it gets too crowded, there's a chance they may be closed intermittently until the crowds dissipate, and there's also an outside chance that they could end up being moved to another location. It's also possible that access to the Dream Store may be restricted, only allowing in a certain number of people at a time. If that happens, then collectors would have to wait in that line to enter the store to see Bob and Travis, and while you should definitely take the opportunity to talk to Bob and Travis and to see what they have with them on display, it might also be nice for collectors to be mindful if there's a line of people waiting to get in. If there are a lot of collectors just hanging out inside the Dream Store, that means people in line have to wait longer to get in, since more people can't be let into the store until others leave. If you won't be able to attend the Expo but want updates as soon as possible, there will be more information about that at the end of this report.


After Pinocchio/Village Haus, the next Disneyland miniatures piece scheduled for release would be the fifth and final (for now, at least) set of floats in the Electrical Parade, tentatively due out in March 2012. The floats will be the finale of the parade, the flag and eagle, and whereas the other sets have had five floats, this set will have seven floats.

Development is continuing on Storybookland/Casey Junior, and they're still shooting for a July 2012 release of the piece. The next piece after that is planned as a nostalgia piece release for November 2012, which could possibly be a Skyway bucket or a PeopleMover car.

And then there's the ever elusive character/vehicle packs, with the first set now tentatively scheduled to debut either late this year or early next year.


The Fantasyland platform is still on schedule. Reservations to purchase the platform were originally expected to start at the D23 Expo, but Olszewski Studios is hoping to start taking reservations before that. The platforms are expected to be available in the Fall (possibly November). If you're interested in the Fantasyland platform, make sure you're signed up for the Olszewski Studios mailing list, as announcements will be sent out once reservations commence. The Fantasyland platform will only be available for purchase directly from Olszewski Studios.

Speaking of platforms, the Disneyland Main Street platform is currently out of stock, but many collectors have already purchased the platform. How many have actually put their platform together, though, is a different matter. While some have done an amazing job with their platforms, others have either not yet completed putting it together or haven't started at all. Bob has asked Bruce Richards to consider putting together a series of videos giving step-by-step instructions on how to put the entire platform together. We've created a poll to gauge what the interest might be to have Bruce make these videos. Please vote using the buttons below. One vote per person please. Results of this poll will be forwarded to Olszewski Studios and Bruce Richards for their information.


Free polls from Go2poll.com


On the Walt Disney World side of miniatures, Ice Cream Corner and Casey's Corner were originally scheduled to debut at the D23 Expo, but their release has now been moved to Spring 2012, probably April or May. Those are the last two buildings on the Magic Kingdom's Main Street that need to be released. After that, there will only be four pieces left, to comprise the moats at the upper end of Main Street. The first is tentatively scheduled for release in Fall 2012, with the other three pieces to be released thereafter.

The Magic Kingdom Main Street platform had also been expected to be open for reservations at the D23 Expo, but that's been pushed back to Fall 2011, with the platform being available in 2012.

The next piece to be released in the Magic Kingdom miniatures series is also the first Walt Disney World attraction piece - the Haunted Mansion. Olszewski Studios previously had a mockup of the attraction, but this was the first time seeing a prototype of the piece. And it's beautiful. I remarked to Travis that this was the best view of the Haunted Mansion I'd ever gotten because at the Magic Kingdom, it's almost impossible to get a really good look at it because of all the surrounding trees. There's also a cover over the queue area, which is omitted from the miniatures piece. We're not really collecting the Walt Disney World pieces, but we'll probably end up getting this one. The piece is initially being released as part of the "Room for 1 More" event in celebration of the Haunted Mansion being held on September 30, 2011 but will presumably be for sale thereafter. The piece will cost $399.95.


The view of the Haunted Mansion if you were going on the attraction.


The view of the Haunted Mansion aligned with how the piece is situated.


The Haunted Mansion with the lighting from the piece.


The back of the Haunted Mansion.


A close-up of the scene insert area without any inserts.


The roof of the Haunted Mansion.


A close-up of the weather vane.


The entrance to the Haunted Mansion attraction.
Yes, the attraction piece comes with the hearse and the cast member.


Another view with the lighting from the Haunted Mansion piece.
No, I'm not kidding - the cast member is included with the piece.


A close-up of the tombstones at the front left of the Haunted Mansion.


The queue to enter the Haunted Mansion.


The queue with the light from the piece.


The exit of the attraction.


The exit with the light from the piece.


The mausoleums at the exit.


The pet cemetery at the exit.


The Walt Disney World miniatures collection will also see the release of the Magic Kingdom marquee on October 1, 2011, in celebration of the Magic Kingdom's 40th birthday. The piece will cost $70. The first nostalgia piece is scheduled to be the Nautilus submarine, which is due in November/December 2011 and will cost $95.


In the Gallery of Light series, the previously announced Talk to Crush piece will be released at the D23 Expo, as will the Dumbo "Baby Mine" piece. The Dumbo piece was available to see for the first time this weekend, and it's a really gorgeous piece.


"Baby Mine" Gallery of Light, with flash.


"Baby Mine" Gallery of Light, without flash.


The next exhibit at the Disney Gallery in Disneyland will be a train exhibit, due to start in November 2011. There may be an event in conjunction with the commencement of the exhibit, but in any case, Olszewski Studios has created two Gallery of Light pieces related to the new exhibit. The Disneyland Main Street train station will feature the E.P. Ripley train and will be released in November at a cost of $95. The Magic Kingdom Main Street train station will feature the Walter E. Disney train and will be released at Walt Disney World in November at a cost of $95.

Another Gallery of Light piece will be released for "Beauty and the Beast", called "fireside romance", when Belle is tending to Beast after Beast saves Belle from being attacked by the wolves. Belle and Beast will actually be in the background, with Cogsworth, Lumiere, Babette, Mrs. Potts and Chip in the foreground as they watch the romance develop. The piece is scheduled for release in November 2011. There will also be another Gallery of Light piece for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", featuring the Evil Queen in the mirror, scheduled for release in December 2011.


In the Heirloom Box/paper clip boxes series, the paperclip boxes with Darth Vader and R2-D2 were released at Disney's Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends this year. The Mickey Mouse paperclip box was released on July 17, 2011 at a cost of $30. The paperclip box for Maleficent (in the shape of the dragon's claw) is scheduled to be released at the D23 Expo. A Haunted Mansion paperclip box (themed to Disneyland's version of the attraction) will initially be released at WDW's "Room for 1 More" event on September 30, 2011 but will then subsequently be available at Disneyland. The Cinderella Castle paperclip box will be available in September 2011, at a cost of $45, and a Sleeping Beauty Castle paperclip box will be available in October 2011, also at a cost of $45.


Darth Vader paperclip box.


R2-D2 paperclip box.


The Maleficent/dragon's claw paperclip box.


The front of the Haunted Mansion paperclip box.


One side of the Haunted Mansion paperclip box has the three hitchhiking ghosts.


The back of the Haunted Mansion paperclip box.
Love the details.


Another side of the Haunted Mansion paperclip box has the cat tombstone, perched in the window.


Cinderella Castle paperclip box.


In the pokitpals series, there will be a pokitpal released at the 2011 D23 Expo, but Disney does not seem to have learned their lesson from 2009, as quantities are expected to be as limited as last time, for some inexplicable reason. It's a stylish, well-made, event-specific, easily-transportable item at a reasonable price ($19.95) that would make a great souvenir/keepsake for those who want something to commemorate attending the event. Wouldn't it make sense for Disney to make sure that there's plenty of stock on hand for everyone who would want one? It would make sense to me.


The front of the 2011 D23 Expo pokitpal.


The back of the 2011 D23 Expo pokitpal.


A side of the 2011 D23 Expo pokitpal.


Another side of the 2011 D23 Expo pokitpal.


The Cinderella Castle pokitpal will be released in September 2011. Also, six new designs of pokitpals will be released at the October 1, 2011 event celebrating the Magic Kingdom's 40th birthday - Jungle Cruise, Electrical Parade, Hall of Presidents, PeopleMover, Shootin' Arcade and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. The Hall of Presidents and the PeopleMover pokitpals are scheduled to be sold at Disneyland thereafter. Currently, the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride pokitpal is not scheduled to be released at Disneyland, but I hope that gets remedied quickly. Considering Disneyland still has the attraction whereas Walt Disney World does not, wouldn't you think Disneyland should have available for sale a pokitpal depicting one of its own attractions?


The front of the Cinderella Castle pokitpal.


The back of the Cinderella Castle pokitpal.


The side of the Cinderella Castle pokitpal.


The front of the Jungle Cruise pokitpal.


The back of the Jungle Cruise pokitpal.


A side of the Jungle Cruise pokitpal.


Another side of the Jungle Cruise pokitpal.


The bug from the Electrical Parade pokitpal.


The back of the Electrical Parade pokitpal.
Some might say it has the "wrong" castle on it.


One side of the Electrical Parade pokitpal.


Another side of the Electrical Parade pokitpal.


The front of the Hall of Presidents pokitpal.


The back of the Hall of Presidents pokitpal.


A side of the Hall of Presidents pokitpal.


Another side of the Hall of Presidents pokitpal.


The PeopleMover pokitpal.


Yes, it actually is Disneyland's PeopleMover.


The front of the Shootin' Arcade pokitpal.


The back of the Shootin' Arcade pokitpal.


The bottom of the Shootin' Arcade pokitpal.


The top of the Shootin' Arcade pokitpal.


The front of the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride pokitpal.


The back of the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride pokitpal.
Yes, that's the entrance to Disneyland's attraction.
No, there are no WDW markings on the pokitpal.


A side of the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride pokitpal.


Another side of the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride pokitpal.


Pokitpals were made exclusively for each of the ships in the Disney Cruise Line. The pokitpal for the newest ship, the Dream, was released in January 2011. Pokitpals for the Wonder and the Magic were previously released.


The front of the pokitpal is the same for all of the ships.


The back of the pokitpal for the Wonder.


The side of the pokitpal for the Wonder.


The back of the pokitpal for the Magic.


The side of the pokitpal for the Magic.


Pokitpals with Darth Vader and with Donald Duck as Han Solo in carbonite were released at Star Wars Weekends this year. At next year's Star Wars Weekends, there will be pokitpals for Yoda and for Boba Fett/Jango Fett. There will also be pokitpals for the Millennium Falcon and for R2/3PO.


The front of the Yoda pokitpal.


The back of the Yoda pokitpal.


A side of the Yoda pokitpal.


Another side of the Yoda pokitpal.


The front of the Fett pokitpal, with Boba.
Love the dent in his helmet.


The back of the Fett pokitpal, with Jango.


A side of the Fett pokitpal.


Another side of the Fett pokitpal.


Collectors may have heard that Olszewski Studios no longer has a deal with Enesco, who was distributing the Heirloom Boxes and Gallery of Light lines (except for Disney parks exclusives) to retailers. Olszewski Studios confirmed that their deal with Enesco expired on December 31, 2011. Retailers will now no longer be able to carry new Olszewski Studios items, and new products from Olszewksi Studios will be available exclusively at Disney parks (Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort) and online at DisneyStore.com.


Olszewski Studios has been at the booth of Deckers Fine Gifts at the twice-yearly Disneyana show and sale for some time now, but the folks at Deckers mentioned on Saturday that this was going to be their last time at the show. They've been at the show mostly because of Olszewski Studios and the Gallery of Light line, but since they'll no longer be able to carry it, there's really no reason for them to go anymore. It's unclear if Olszewski Studios will be at the January show and sale or future Disneyana shows.


The next event for Olszewski Studios will be the D23 Expo from August 19-21, 2011 at the Anaheim Convention Center. For those attending the Expo, be sure to stop in to the Dream Store to see Bob and Travis and whatever might be on display. Keep in mind that the Pinocchio/Village Haus miniatures piece, Talk to Crush and "Baby Mine" Gallery of Light pieces, Maleficent paperclip box and D23 Expo pokitpal will all be for sale at the Expo. Make sure to pay attention to any announcements/updates from D23 as well as from Olszewski Studios themselves regarding the sale of these items.


We will be at the D23 Expo for the entire three days, and we will be doing live updates from the Expo itself as well as providing live updates with any news and information from Olszewski Studios. The formal written update is scheduled to be posted the following weekend, on Sunday, August 28, 2011. If you won't be attending the Expo and don't want to wait until the following Sunday for news and information, come back here on August 18, 2011 for information on how to see our live updates from the Expo.

See you in August!





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