Olszewski Disneyland miniatures - August 4, 2007

One step closer to the completion of the Main Street Collection, the release of the Plaza Pavilion/Tiki Room/Aladdin's Oasis piece brought out a fairly large number of collectors. The line to purchase the piece started promptly at park opening at 8am and continued until about 11am. By the time everyone in line had made their purchases, there were about 15 to 20 pieces left in stock, so anyone who wanted to pre-order online and found that the online allotment had already been sold out should call Disneyland DelivEARS at 1-800-362-4533 starting on Monday morning to see if any remain after this weekend. There were many people who were also on hand to purchase the re-stocked Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean pieces, which have been unavailable since their initial release in 2006.

The third tree accessory pack (a set of three trees that will go behind the Opera House area) will be available only through the Olszewski Studios website towards the end of August and will cost $95. Orders are expected to be taken starting in mid-August with shipping commencing about a week thereafter.


The completed Main Street platform.
The set of three trees in the third tree accessory pack is along the top left.


The Main Street platform lighting kit will be available, also only through the Olszewski Studios website, in September and will cost approximately $150. The kit is comprised of three separate wiring harnesses controlling the lighting in different sections of the platform. The three transformers will need to be individually powered or they can all be plugged into one power strip to be controlled by a single switch. They decided to go with using three smaller transformers rather than one larger transformer because it actually cost less that way, and they figured that collectors would be more interested in keeping costs down. The lighting kit will come with the necessary connectors for those who purchased the first editions of Sleeping Beauty Castle and Central Plaza, which had a different wiring system than subsequent releases. Once all of the pieces are connected to the lighting system, the timers in the later pieces will still be working, so after about 15 minutes or so, the lights will start to turn off. The first editions of the Castle and Central Plaza did not come with timers, so those lights would stay on. To re-set the timers, you would turn the power switch(es) off and on again, and the pieces would be lit for another 15 minutes or so.

The painting/touch-up kit will be available around October only through the Olszewski Studios website. The price has not yet been determined as decisions are still being made about how many colors to include and whether to include additional items like brushes, primer and sealant.

The fourth tree accessory pack will be available for order only through the Olszewski Studios website in December and will consist of individual trees, both the larger size trees and smaller size trees, in round and square planters that can be placed throughout Main Street. It has not yet been determined how many trees will be included in the pack.


The stand-alone tree at the bottom right is an example of how the trees will look.
The cluster of trees represent the different sizes that may be available.


Development of the Main Street mechanical road and Electrical Parade is ongoing. The mechanical road is expected to have two tracks side by side, but the spacing of the tracks and the size of the floats will have to be made to ensure that the floats can pass each other as well as clear the various trees and such that line Main Street and especially around corners. Once all of the problems have been worked out and Disney presumably approves release of the Electrical Parade, they expect to release five floats initially, with additional floats to be released later. Once all the floats have been released, everyone can run their own personalized parade, using whichever floats in whichever order they choose.


This picture from June 2005 is an indication of how the mechanical road will be set up.


Olszewski Studios recently sent a survey out to those subscribed to their mailing list asking how many collectors still needed the Astro Orbiter and Town Square to help them gage how many to make available when the pieces are re-released. The Astro Orbiter is scheduled to be re-released in November or December this year, and Town Square will be re-released in the first quarter of 2008. The Town Square re-release is expected to be a release event, held in conjunction with the release of Gallery of Light and/or Heirloom Box pieces. About 150 collectors said they needed Astro Orbiter and about 100 said they needed Town Square, but only about 40% of the people who received the mailing had read their emails. If you're collecting the Main Street series, definitely make sure to respond to these surveys when they're sent out to help ensure that the re-release edition size will be enough to meet demand. If you're not already subscribed, I highly recommend doing so as you will get all mailings from the Olszewski Studios, including notification on events and release dates for items available only through the Olszewski Studios website as well as further surveys about what pieces collectors are missing, including accessories like the trolley and the fire trucks. The order of future re-releases will be determined in large part by which pieces the majority of collectors are still missing.

For anyone who has encountered minor problems like misplacing or damaging the flags on the buildings or the cover of the hidden room in Sleeping Beauty Castle or the tree or fire hydrants that cover the on/off switches on the pieces, contact Olszewski Studios with your problem, and they will assist you in obtaining replacements.

Main Street platforms are continuing to be produced, so if you would like to order one, go to the Olszewski Studios website for instructions on how to place your order. Production of the plexiglass cover by a third party is also ongoing. If you responded to the initial announcement and have not yet heard from the manufacturer, you can call to make sure you're still on the list. If you were not part of the initial response, you can also call to see if you can still be added to the list. Click here for more information on ordering the plexiglass cover.

Approximately 600 platforms have been sold through the Olszewski Studios website so far. Hopefully, Disney executives will understand that it means at least 600 of each Main Street piece will be sold, since anyone who has the platform would not want to have any empty spaces. However, this does not take into account the numbers of people who are collecting the Main Street series who for whatever reason are not purchasing or have not yet purchased the platform. Many people are choosing to display their collection in other ways, so there's no telling how many additional people are committed to the Olszewski Disneyland miniature collection. And then there are those who aren't necessarily buying the entire collection but only signature pieces like the Castle, Central Plaza, the Train Station, and the various attractions. Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean have already proven to attract those who had not yet even known about the Main Street Collection. Releasing pieces of other beloved attractions would surely bring in even more collectors, so hopefully, with all of this information, Disney executives will approve continuing with the collection by branching out to more attractions and even other lands.

The Disney Gallery, which sits above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square, is set for closure on Tuesday, August 7, 2007. The Disney Gallery has housed the most complete display of the Main Street collection, including a platform and a working train track. Upon the Disney Gallery's closure, Olszewski Studios will take temporary possession of the display. They don't currently know where the display will go. It's known that John Lasseter is collecting the series, so the display might be placed in his office. The Disney Archives have also asked for the complete display, so it might go there instead. Disney is currently looking into where to relocate the Disney Gallery, so Olszewski Studios might just be keeping the display until the new location is found. Speaking of John Lasseter, he is apparently quite the train buff, and he has apparently expressed an interest in having more trains for the Main Street collection, so that might be good news to those who keep hoping for another train. The limited edition Ripley train was released in 2005, and there had been hopes for a release of another train, the C.K. Holiday train, but no information has been made available on whether that train will be produced/released.


Even though we are collecting the entire Olszewski Disneyland series, we have loved looking at the display that's been available at the Disney Gallery. On one of our visits, we noticed something odd about one particular section, and when we found out the story behind it, I wanted to pass the story along to illustrate exactly how much Bob Olszewski cares about this collection and the painstaking details that he pays attention to.

Because of the casting process, pieces made from the same mold don't come out identical. The Plaza Inn that one person bought isn't exactly the same as the Plaza Inn that another person bought or the Plaza Inn that a third person bought. Therefore, when you take the pieces out of the bases and put them on the platform, they're not going to all fit together the same for everyone. Olszewski Studios took this into account when designing the platform, so that there would be enough spare space so that everyone's pieces would fit. Consequently, there can be gaps that occur when pieces are put together. Olszewski Studios is suggesting that people can use balsa wood to fill in the gaps, which is why they're releasing the painting/touch-up kit, so people can paint the balsa wood to match the adjoining pieces.


You can see the gap where Plaza Inn on the left and Photo Corner on the right come together on the platform.


What we had noticed as being odd in the display in the Disney Gallery was one section that had an extra walkway and gate. Since we keep up with the releases, it was weird that we hadn't heard about the release of that gate.


As in the previous picture, Plaza Inn is on the left and Photo Corner is on the right,
with the mysterious walkway in between and the gate at the top end.


It turns out that Bob Olszewski had seen the display when there was a good-sized gap in between the two pieces, and while the balsa wood (painted to match the adjacent coloring) would fix the gap in the floor, there was still a big hole in between the two pieces at the end. He took one of the prototypes for a gate that will be released in September, cut off the amount that he needed, painted it to match accordingly, and stuck that where the hole was.


A reverse view of the gate, with Plaza Inn on the right and Photo Corner on the left.
The white section on the left is part of Photo Corner. The white section with a bit of green on the right is part of Plaza Inn.
The white section in the middle with the bit of red on the right and the green foliage on the left is the new make-shift gate.


The gate that Bob used is the one that's at the border of Main Street and Town Square, in between the Emporium and the Fire Station.


The Emporium is on the left, and the Fire Station is on the right, with the gate between them.
The right portion of the gate is what was used to make the impromptu gate, with the middle part first painted white.


I loved that Bob was so concerned with the look of the display that so many Disneyland guests would see that a small blemish bothered him enough to prompt him to improvise a method to make the display look better.


Moving from the miniature collection to another Olszewski line, it had been previously announced that a Bambi Gallery of Light piece would be released (expected to be around November 2007).


Bambi and Thumper with a flying friend, lit so the details can be better seen.


The same picture in darker light.


A Snow White Heirloom Box had also previously been announced, expected to be released in September/October 2007. One minor error was discovered in the prototype.


Unlike with some other Disney products, this spelling error will be fixed before the piece is produced.


Among a plethora of other things, the Olszewski Studios website has a list of Bob Olszewski's creations from 1994 to the present. Included in the list are all of the pieces released in Disneyland's Main Street Collection as well as attractions and accessories and pieces released in the Walt Disney World collection as well. First year of release and initial price of release are also included. So far, the release prices on all the pieces have remained the same, except for Sleeping Beauty Castle, which was initially released at $195 and which now costs $225. However, prices are subject to change when pieces are re-released. Here's a link to the list.

The release of the final Main Street pieces will be on September 22, 2007. On that day, a prototype of the Peter Pan piece is also expected to be available for everyone to see.

See you in September!



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