Olszewski Disneyland miniatures - July 17, 2009

This release was on a Friday instead of its regular Saturday release day because it was on Disneyland's birthday. There were still quite a number of collectors in line to purchase the monorail, even though it was a Friday, probably accounted for partly by the appeal of the monorail itself and partly because many Disneyland fans plan to be in the park for the birthday anyway. We were in line not too far down from the front, since it was only the people coming directly from the front gate, whereas normally, there are additional people who have gotten into the park earlier because of Magic Mornings.

The first guests were let into Disneyana shortly after the line formed, and when we made our way in to make our purchases, we noticed that there were two additional cash registers set up to the side. They had both the regular and annual passholder versions of the monorail for sale (the cast member version could be purchased through different means), and the only difference among the three versions was the plaque on the underside of the piece. We also picked up two of the Gallery of Light pieces that had recently arrived at Disneyana. Once we made our purchase, we were given the Gallery of Light boxes and then moved to the inner room to pick up our monorails. Everything was set up very nicely, with more room than usual to maneuver around, I thought, and it was never overcrowded, so the entire process ran very smoothly. Once our pieces were re-packed in their boxes, we took them outside and examined our Gallery of Light pieces to make sure they were ok, and then we waited for Travis to come outside. The husband got in the signing line later in the morning so that Bob could sign the two Gallery of Light pieces. I never ended up seeing Bob that day, but I knew I'd see him on Sunday.

A small round table was set up right outside Disneyana for Travis, who had brought two Gallery of Light pieces (the hitchhiking ghosts and the Pooh piece, both of which we'd seen previously), and three new pokitpals. But, Disneyland miniatures updates first.

The next piece in the miniatures collection is still the combined Alice/Mr. Toad attraction piece, and a prototype is currently being worked on. The piece is scheduled for release in November/December this year.

2010 will see the release of 4 miniatures pieces, instead of the usual 3. The next set of Electrical Parade floats will be released in the Spring, and then the Snow White piece is due in May, followed by the House of the Future nostalgia piece on July 17, and then the Pinocchio attraction piece in November. It was great to hear that the Snow White piece would include the Evil Queen peering out of the second floor window, but the curtains will not open and close like on the attraction itself. We joked that perhaps Bruce Richards could mechanize that portion as well since he's done such an amazing job mechanizing other attraction pieces.

As far as re-releases, the front turnstiles are expected back in stock sometime in August, September will bring the arrival of more pieces of the Emporium, King Triton's Garden and Mad Tea Party, and December is expected to bring back the newsstand, Crystal Arcade, Main Street Train Station and Dumbo.

The Storybookland /Casey Jr. piece that was previously discussed is now planned to be two separate pieces. There had been some consideration about making three separate pieces, but it was discovered that the middle piece wouldn't really contain very much of the ride, so now, the piece will be split at the patchwork quilt, with part of the quilt on each piece, and both pieces can also be taken off their bases, and when they're put on the Fantasyland platform, they will sit right next to each other to form the entire combined attractions.

One interesting thing mentioned is that the Dumbo piece was designed so that the middle section could be removed and placed on the platform in Dumbo's original location, and the nostalgia piece (in discussions) of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship could be placed in that location, where it originally sat.

Plans are still in place for a 2010 release of a pack or packs containing an assortment of characters, cast members, Main Street vehicles and other assorted accessories.

While plans are still tentative, the 2011 nostalgia piece may end up being a set of four cars of the PeopleMover. There is some discussion going on about what color the cars would be if they actually go ahead with it. The color red was chosen for the monorail because that was the color of the very first monorail. Some people have been asking about other colors, and Olszewski Studios is considering releasing a second monorail in a different color at some point. But with regard to the PeopleMover, different people have different preferences in the color that they'd want for the cars. If you have a preference (results of this poll will be forwarded to Olszewski Studios for their review and information), vote for what color (blue, green, orange, red, yellow) you'd most want to see if the PeopleMover piece is actually done. If you need a reminder of what the colors looked like, following are a couple of sites with pictures. Retroland has this page with a picture that has four of the colors in one picture. Daveland blog has an entry with a number of pictures, showing closer views of most of the different colored cars. And the Daveland site has a gallery of many pictures of the PeopleMover. Vote for your favorite color using the buttons below. One vote per person please. And in case anyone is wondering, my vote would be for blue, with red running a very close second.


Free polls from Go2poll.com


With Fantasyland being the next land to be completed (probably sometime in 2012 or 2013, minus it's a small world and the Matterhorn, which will actually be part of the Tomorrowland grouping for purposes of this collection), there has been speculation about where the miniatures collection will go after that. Disney could request that New Orleans Square be filled out, since all the attractions in that area have already been done, except for the train station. But that would allow Olszewski Studios to do the New Orleans Square buildings and include the Club 33 hidden room. Whereas Main Street and Fantasyland would have their own platforms, they don't figure that all of the other lands are big enough to warrant having their own individual platforms, so there may be combined lands on a platform. New Orleans Square would probably be on the same platform as Critter Country, which would only consist of the Winnie the Pooh ride, Pooh Corner, Splash Mountain and Hungry Bear Restaurant. Disney could also ask for Adventureland and Frontierland to be flushed out, which could see the release of an additional piece or two of the Jungle Cruise. The bazaar shops in Adventureland and the adjoining shops in Frontierland would probably be released as one piece, though probably in two sections. The Indiana Jones Adventure would need to be done, and then there's the question of the Treehouse. The directive has been to do the attractions as they currently exist, but do they do the Treehouse as the Tarzan version or the Swiss Family Robinson version? I happen to love Tarzan, and I like the overlay they did to the Treehouse, but I would actually prefer to have the Swiss Family Robinson version for the collection. On the Frontierland side, they'd have to do the pin shop and the shooting gallery and Rancho del Zocalo and the Golden Horseshoe (which I think would be a magnificent piece even by itself), and then of course Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as well as Big Thunder Ranch. And then there's the question of Tom Sawyer Island and the Rivers of America (as well as the canoe section, the rafts landing dock and the Columbia/Mark Twain loading dock) and where that would all fit in.

And then there's Tomorrowland, which has the problem of there being not all that many buildings, but lots of open space, which would be harder to account for and sell to collectors. There's been some discussion about doing the Innoventions building, which has had the same exterior no matter what's actually been inside, but they would do three different inserts, one for the current incarnation, one for Carousel of Progress and one for America Sings. As for the Matterhorn, design challenges aside, they can't really do the Matterhorn properly until all of Tomorrowland is mapped out, because the plan is to include the holes in the Matterhorn for the Skyway buckets wires to go through. The Skyway station in Tomorrowland was right next to the Innoventions building (then Carousel of Progress/America Sings building), above where the restrooms in that corner near Autopia still sit. Once Tomorrowland has been fully mapped out, they would know where the old station would be and could then figure out the proper sightline to the chalet in Fantasyland to situate the Matterhorn in the right place. But, Tomorrowland probably won't even be addressed for another ten years or so.

The release of the monorail support stanchion that will be sold only from the Olszewski Studios website only has been moved to November. Originally, the stanchion would not include any of its own lighting, but after tests were done in a darkened room lit only by lights from the Main Street pieces, it was discovered that the lights from the turnstiles and surrounding areas were not enough to illuminate the monorail, so it was virtually invisible. They have now decided to add lighting to the stanchion, which will be done the same way as on the monorail piece itself, with the lighting on the pillars. There will be holes on the pillars and a lighting kit with the lights to put into the holes, but you'd have to drill holes into the platform to let the lighting kit connect to the other lighting harnesses. However, if you don't want to put the lighting kit in, you don't have to, but just know that the monorail won't be visible if there's not enough other lighting in the room. No price on this accessory is available yet.

The Peter Pan shadow box light display for the inserts will be available from the Olszewski Studios website in November and will cost $30. This display is different than the ones for the Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion inserts since those were side inserts whereas the Peter Pan inserts are top inserts and already have a roof. Travis also mentioned that these were designed as top inserts rather than side inserts because they knew that the Peter Pan piece, if sitting on the Fantasyland platform, would be butting up against the Main Street platform, and they were concerned that with a side insert, it would be difficult or impossible to pull the insert out because it would be too close to Sleeping Beauty Castle, so they decided that a top insert would avoid that potential problem entirely.

Regarding the re-order of the Main Street platform, Olszewski Studios has received enough orders to proceed. They needed at least 50 and currently have 65. In about a month or so, an email will go out from Olszewski Studios for people to formally put in an order for a platform. They will probably request a partial payment to reserve a platform, with the balance due when the platform arrives. They will only be getting as many platforms as people actually order as keeping those heavy, bulky items in stock is a problem, and Travis mentioned that it would probably be another two years or so before the next platform order would be available, so if you don't already have one and want one, be sure to email Olszewski Studios now to let them know you're interested, and definitely be sure you're subscribed to the Olszewski Studios mailing list so that you'll receive all correspondence when orders are being filled. There's no definite price quote for the platform yet, but it's expected to be between $450 and $500, and the platform will probably be available in November.

Olszewski Studios will be back at the Disneyland Resort in September. They'll be there on September 9 for the Haunted Mansion 40th anniversary event (Bob will be signing the hitchhiking ghosts Gallery of Light piece and the Haunted Mansion plaque pokitpal), and they will also be at the D23 Expo later that week, though their schedule has not yet been set as far as which day(s) they will be there. See the pokitpal section below for more info about the D23 Expo.

With regard to the Walt Disney World miniatures collection, the next piece due to be released is the Main Street Train Station, which will retail for $345 and is expected to be released in October or November of this year. It is apparently a gorgeous piece, highly detailed, with some surprises too. There has also been some discussion about doing non-Main-Street pieces in the Magic Kingdom as well as pieces from the other parks at Walt Disney World, but all of those discussion are currently in the speculation stage only.


In the Gallery of Light line, a number of new pieces are in the works, and the subjects include the tea cups, Jungle Cruise (the hippo pool scene), the Talk to Crush attraction, Sleeping Beauty Castle (from Disneyland), Cinderella Castle (from Magic Kingdom), "The Lion King" (the scene where Nala and Simba meet up again as adults) and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". There will also be exclusive releases on the Disney Cruise ships featuring each of the Magic, the Wonder, and the Dream, as well as exclusive pokitpals themed to the individual cruise ships as well.


Olszewski Studios may also be creating special Gallery of Light and pokitpals pieces to be released in conjunction with Star Wars Weekends in Walt Disney World in May 2010.


In the pokitpal line, there are quite a number of pieces scheduled to be released later this year, including the three that were shown during Friday's monorail release.

There will be a member exclusive pokitpal for the D23 Expo which will be released at the Expo in September and which will also be for sale in Disneyland after the Expo, but only D23 members may purchase the pokitpal, which is expected to be in the $20 range. The pokitpal includes a "charter member" designation, and only charter members may purchase the pokitpal, with everyone who joins in 2009 designated as a charter member.


The front of the D23 charter member exclusive pokitpal.


The back of the D23 charter member exclusive pokitpal.


A side view.


Another side view.


There are also eight other pokitpals (also expected to be in the $20 range) that are expected in November: Maleficent, Jiminy Cricket, Big Al (from the Country Bears, and the back will be a portrait of Buck, Buff and Melvin, who can still currently be seen on the Winnie the Pooh ride), Casey Jr., a canoe paddle, "Lady and the Tramp" (which will look like Lady's basket and include the spaghetti scene on one side, and the scene on the other side will be the end of their night together with their silhouettes on the top of the hill with human couples in cars in the foreground), Gepetto's Toy Shop sign from "Pinocchio", and Autopia (which will be a picture of the old style autopia cars which were more rounded all around and not as angular as the current version), and Autopia will be the first pokitpal where the cover lifts off rather then sliding sideways.


Front of Maleficent pokitpal. This piece looks amazing.


Back of Maleficent pokitpal.


Side view.


Front of Jiminy Cricket pokitpal..


Back of Jiminy Cricket pokitpal.


Side view.


We also attended the Disneyana Show and Sale at the Crown Plaza Hotel on July 19, and Olszewski Studios were at the booth for Deckers Fine Gifts. The entire Main Street platform was on display, as well as a few other accessory pieces, and they also had a display of all the Gallery of Light pieces, Heirloom Boxes, pokitpals, and some other product, including a number of new non-Disney items.

Olszewski Studios has recently released four new Gallery of Light pieces in conjunction with renowned painter Thomas Kincade. The four pieces depict the seasons of the year.


Winter - Blessings of Christmas ($85) with flash to show details.


Blessings of Christmas with internal lighting only.


Spring - Pools of Serenity ($85) with flash to show details.


Pools of Serenity with internal lighting only.


Summer - A Quiet Evening ($80) with flash to show details.


A Quiet Evening with internal lighting only.


Fall - The Good Life ($80) with flash to show details.


The Good Life with internal lighting only.


There are also two other spectacular Gallery of Light pieces, original to Olszewski Studios - "The Last Supper" and a nativity scene called "A Guiding Light". Both will be available in August for $85 each.


"The Last Supper" with flash to show details.


"The Last Supper" with internal lighting only.


"A Guiding Light" with flash to show details. Unfortunately, I don't have an internal lighting picture to show you, and the flash really washes out the beauty of the natural look of the piece. It's really a gorgeous piece. We'll have a regular picture to show you when we can.


On a completely different note, they also had available a prototype for a new adorable Gallery of Light that will be available in time for Christmas. It's Rudolph!


Santa with a glowing-nose Rudolph, with flash to show details. This prototype includes the bubble on top for the antenna, but for the finished piece, it's been decided to remove the antenna. I absolutely *love* that the surrounding box is a television.


Santa and Rudolph with internal lighting only.


There are also two new heirloom boxes - the tortoise and the hare ($55) and the ugly duckling ($50)


The tortoise and the hare is the front left piece, and the ugly duckling is the piece on the right.


Finally, there are a number of pieces available in the new Nature's Canvas line. The detail and life-like depiction is pretty spectacular. I ended up getting two of the pieces.











I also had a chance to speak to Bob for a bit at the NFFC show, and it sounds like there are plenty of more new items coming down the line, really exciting stuff too.


See you in September for the Haunted Mansion 40th anniversary event and the D23 Expo, and then for the Mr. Toad/Alice release late in the year.





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