Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Up, Up, and Away...

"Disneyland Moonliner" Illuminated Replica

"Walt Disney's round trip to the moon - 500,000 miles - will take about 15 minutes, all without ever leaving the ground."

In the years that it stood on its launching pad in Tomorrowland, the iconic TWA Moonliner Rocket never left planet Earth.  Never mind its aluminum nose aimed straight up at the cosmos, those three "retractable" feet were bolted to terra firma.  

To fan the imaginations of Disneyland space travelers, illustrations and film of the rocket in actual flight helped to heighten the illusion of an "authentic trip to the moon in every detail."

Moonliner en route by aviation painter Frank Soltesz for TWA

The attraction's pre-show film simulated countdown and lift-off.

For Disneyland's 55th year, Jody and I set out to create the ultimate "Rocket to the Moon" replica, differing from previous models that depicted the ship in its earthbound stance.  

Our 22-inch Moonliner is well underway to the stars, lit from below by soft blue lighting built into the base.  A miniature duplicate of the attraction's original sign serves as a title plaque.

But best of all...

"Bye bye, Earth!"

A small "viewport screen" recessed into the base contains a color-slide of the spaceport on the ground as seen in the attraction during take-off.  Limited Edition of only 500 

Life in 1987!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

All Aboard the Mine Train

Edition Size: 500     Release Date: TBA

For many years a dilapidated old train sat in ruins along the banks of the Rivers of America, the last remaining scrap of an extinct Disneyland attraction from bygone days.  It was in terrible shape, rotting and falling apart from years of exposure.  Barely legible on its domed boiler was a faded gold number "1". 

Mine Train #1 in 2006

Earlier this year, the train vanished from the park, heroically rescued by the Disney Studio Archives with plans to restore it! It was a good omen for us since we were then hard at work on a miniature replica of Train #1 as it appeared bright and new when Nature's Wonderland opened. We're delighted that more Disneyland fans are appreciating this classic attraction, the layout of which had been designed by Walt Disney himself.

Train #1 in happier days.

Our replica of the Nature's Wonderland Mine Train #1 will be released this fall, as part of the ongoing celebration of Disneyland's 55th Anniversary. 

The Disneyland Shopping Bag Shirt

Don't be offended if somebody says your shirt looks like an old bag. 

The Disneyland 1950s Shopping Bag Shirt will be available at Disneyland on Saturday, July 17. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Future Friend

Edition Size: 500        Release Date: TBA

Greetings Disneylanders, from a bright world yet to come!  The Tomorrowland Spaceman, in his very special suit and helmet designed for life on the Moon, is a sure sign that our future will be FUN!

This collectible figurine celebrating the Cast Members of early Disneyland will be released later this summer. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rust Bucket

Edition Size: 500       Release Date: TBA

Hollywood set designer and legendary Imagineer Harper Goff was one of the world's greatest visionaries, in our humble opinion.  Not only did he create the most fantastic movie submarine ever to transport our imaginations 20,000 leagues under the sea, but he designed a chocolate factory for Willie Wonka and a famous cafe in Casablanca. 
And he also played the banjo!

We love Harper Goff, and if you're a Disneyland fan then you must love Harper Goff, too.  His creative touch can be seen all around the Park, most notably along Main Street U.S.A., and in the deepest jungles of Adventureland. The little canopied launches that cruise the world's exotic waterways were first conceptualized by Harper in 1954.  His sketches of the Amazon Belle, Congo Queen and Suwannee Lady show vessels more rugged and "travelled" than the shiny bright boats that appeared on opening day.

Based on Harper Goff's original concepts for Disneyland's "jungle ride," our model of the Amazon Belle looks as though it may have crossed the Mekong, borne the rains of the Irrawaddy, and survived the rapids of Kilimanjaro a million times before.  It's just the thing to display in your study next to that rhinoceros head you brought home from Borneo.

This item, celebrating Disneyland's 55th Anniversary, will be released later this summer.  Stay tuned for more information!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Your Skipper and Guide

Edition Size:  500       Release Date: TBA

The brave - and wisecracking - skippers of the world-famous Disneyland Jungle Cruise have undergone many costume changes over the decades.  Early jungle fashions included split-sleeve  "Sumatran Boatsman" shirts, highwater trousers and...sandals!
 The second collectible figurine celebrating the Cast Members of early Disneyland.  Designed and sculpted by us!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Walt's Car

Walt Disney loved to show visitors around Disneyland.  Imagineer Bob Gurr designed four little electric "Runabouts" especially for Walt to use when touring the Park with family, friends and celebrities.  Bob recalls, "Walt was always smiling happily when he was at the tiller of "his car."

This replica (one of five nostalgic attraction vehicles in honor of Disneyland's 55th Anniversary) will be released later this summer.  Stay tuned for more information!

Walt and Lillian Disney in the 1960s.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Guided Tours with a Smile!

Edition Size: 500   Release Date: To Be Announced

This red-kilted little lady with the cheery smile is ready to take you on a tour through the fun-filled lands of Walt Disney's original theme park, circa 1965.  The Tour Guides of Disneyland symbolize the Park's world-famous spirit of friendship and happiness, and ours is no exception.

Introducing the first in a new series of collectible figurines celebrating the Cast Members of early Disneyland.  Designed and sculpted by us! More info soon...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Disneyland Paper-Sculpture-O-Rama

This morning we put the finishing touches on the most "intense" paper sculpture I've done to date. Five feet long and 2 feet high, hand-cut, curled, folded, and embossed papers - and a handful of wooden dowels and such - assembled into a mini-mural of early Disneyland treats. 

We made every attempt to pack in all our favorites from the Park's fledgling years, from the Moonliner Rocket to the Hall of Chemistry, Fort Wilderness to the Silver Banjo. Jungle Cruise, Indian Village, Conestoga Wagons, Skyway Chalet, Astrojets, Casey Jr, and those cool tripod-lamp thingys from 1955 Tomorrowland.  All on a hand-woven silk backing under UV-protective plexiglass.  You can view it on display at Disneyland starting July 17th...and maybe you'll own it!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Disneyland's 55th Anniversary

Ceramic Disneyland Classic "Paper Cup"
Limited to 1955.         $18 each.
Available July 17 at Disneyland

This was the Park's official paper cup for coffee and soda for many, many years, and the style that I remember from my childhood.  As with all paper goods, most of the cups ended up in the trash.  Ours is an exact replica that you can keep and use forever.  

Disneyland's 55th Anniversary

Ceramic Disneyland Classic Popcorn Box
Available July 17 at Disneyland

The man. The box. 1962.