Mickey Band Leader Pulsating Light Sword

Disney is always looking for ways to ‘plus’ the Theme Park experience for its guests. So over the years we have seen innovations that have made parades, firework shows, and other attractions more interactive. Most recently, synchronized Mickey Ears were introduced that flash in concert with music being played during a Castle show.

But the piece of merchandise I’m sharing today is ‘old school’. They have re-released versions of this item but not with the level of detail and quality found originally. Let’s have a look:

Fully Extended

This toy has an extendable ‘blade’ that shoots out with just a flick of the wrist. Once out, you can activate a pulsating light display by pushing the yellow switch on the front, upwards.

This model is vintage and so has some obvious wear. But it is both heavier and uses thicker plastic for the ‘blade’ than the newer versions.

Top View showing Collapsing Tube

The ‘blade’ telescopes down into the body of the wand when not in use. The body is just 11″ but with the ‘blade’ extended, the toy grows to a full 28″.

I shot a quick video to show the Light Sword pulsing, both with the lights on and off:

Video of Light Sword in Action!

Who says kids have to have all the fun?!?

So who remembers, back in the old days, when you had to buy some type of light toy to wave around during a parade, fireworks show, or other event? I know you still can, but it seems to be less common now, what with the newer technology taking over. Or maybe Disney is afraid of a Light Sword war breaking out! Star Wars… eat your heart out!

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Lilo and Stitch Disney Store Lithographs

This offering from the Disney Store went above and beyond when it came to designing the cover folder. Lilo & Stitch was set in Hawaii and featured cultural things like dance, festivals, and of course, surfing!

So for the release of the animated classic Lilo & Stich, not only did we get four prints depicting scenes from the movie, but also an ʻeʻehia cover folder as well! Let’s have a look:

Folder Cover

The beginnings of a surf board are just behind the title and we also have a very nice floral print.

Folder Completely Opened

With the folder completely open we can see the full shape of the surf board. The prints fit in behind the sand dune.

Now let’s have a look at the prints:

Stitch wearing a polka-dot bra as a hat was a very funny moment in the film! I can’t remember any winter scenes in the movie, but wasn’t there a collage of photographs over the closing credits? Maybe the winter scene came from those.

These prints are rendered on mid-grade paper suitable for framing, but not gallery quality, by any standard.

Folder Partially Opened to reveal Surf Board

Finally we have the surf board in all its glory. Now everyone is ka heʻe nalu ʻana, dude! And just what are they doing, you ask? For the answer, check out the picture on the left, below:

Yup, everyone is surfing! Sheesh, you all need to swat up on your Hawaiian. And for your next language lesson, do you remember the Hawaiian word for family? If you answered ʻohana, not only are you right, but you obviously understand the powerful moment from the movie being depicted in the print above, on the right.

To conclude, let’s have a look at the back of the folder:

Back of Folder

Stitch was a rascal until he experienced unconditional love for the first time. Nothing like a honi to perk a person up! Come on now, I don’t have to interpret that one for ya, do I?

Oh, are you still wondering what ʻeʻehia meant? Well, it’s simply awesome, dude! A HUI HOU (goodbye!)

FUN FACTS: Farewell or goodbye in Hawaiian is alsoaloha.” It is a common word used by those leaving. It can also be used as a greeting for hello. However the deeper meaning of aloha is love. Used by one who is departing, aloha makes no distinction as to when and if that person is returning.

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Snow White Themed HI-HO DINER in Windsor, ON

Remember back in the day when Walt Disney was just starting out? Remember when it was fairly easy to get the rights to use Disney Characters? Well, have I got a case-in-point for you!

The Hi-Ho Diner (sign pictured above) looks like a vintage 50’s roadside restaurant. Inside, it still has the chrome and red vinyl from that period. But what caught my eye when I first sited the place was the overt use of Disney’s Seven Dwarfs. They even had a Grumpy Burger! I had to check this out:

Website Main Page

According to the little blurb with the menu, they do actually have the legal right to use the characters, including Snow White. From what I remember, the original owner simply wrote a letter asking for permission… and got it! For free! Proof positive it never hurts to ask.

I had the famous Grumpy Burger and it was delicious! But you can see that they also have a Dopey Burger, seen below:

Burger Meal does NOT come with Grumpy Figurine

The menu has a few illustrations featuring the Seven Dwarfs:

It’s off to EAT we go!

And when you’re finished your main course, don’t forget dessert:

Where’s Snow White?

I recommend the Pecan Pie!

They currently have three locations in Windsor, Ontario. I’ve visited two of them. You can check out their website to see the complete menu and the locations of each restaurant. And if you’re ever in this neck of the Canadian woods, look me up, and we’ll visit the Northern Retreat of the Seven Dwarfs together!

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“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” Tin Sign featuring Woody

I’ve mentioned, in other posts, a surprising thing I’ve discovered: Sometimes the Hallmark Store has better Disney merchandise than the Disney Store. Weird… but true! Sometimes.

A case in point is this nifty little tin sign featuring everyone’s favorite vintage cowboy, Woody:

“When you’re miles and miles from your nice, warm bed!”

“Now just remember what your old pal, Lee, said…” that you have a post to read. Okay, that didn’t rhyme. Boy, song writing is hard! Maybe I should leave the verses up to Mr. Randy Newman, who penned the lyrics to the now-famous song You’ve Got a Friend in Me back in 1995.

You can see that this tin sign or plaque can be easily hung with the bracket folding into the back of the piece:

Only at Hallmark

Hallmark has had a licensing agreement with Disney for years now and has made good use of the opportunity to produce excellent collectibles for even the most discerning Disney fan. This one only cost $12.95 CAN. You can see more of my Hallmark finds by clicking here and here and here. Now let me conclude by serenading you with a heartfelt sentiment:

Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am
Bigger and stronger too, maybe
But none of them will ever love you the way I do
It’s me and you, people! (I hope! Come back soon, won’t you?)

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Book Review: I Thought of You Today and Smiled

“A Little Book of Love”

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 52

Year: 2000

ISBN: 0-7407-1039-7

Price: $5.99 US / $8.99 CAN

Type & Size: Hardcover 3 1/4″ x 3 3/4″

Front and Back Covers

My wife likely got this little book for me on our 10th or 11th Wedding Anniversary. It contains a simple format of alternating verse and picture.

Title Page

The verse is written by Patrick Regan to thoughtfully express ones appreciation and love for another. The images are taken from classic Disney Shorts and depict well-known Disney characters sharing together in moments of whimsy.

Front and Back Dust Jacket Flaps

The jacket design as well as the overall layout was done by Judith Stagmitto Abbate of Abbate Design. As you’ll notice in the following three page samples, the borders contain cute little representations of the ‘business’ going on within the two-page spread in question:

The book makes a nice little keepsake and certainly doesn’t take up much room on the bookshelf!

Credit Page

The book ends with a picture of The Brave Little Tailor stealing a kiss from his lady fair. An appropriate way to end a story written about love!

This book is still available on Amazon for the inflated price of $55.50 CAN, which is quite the markup from the original cost! But can you really say the price of declaring your love is too high?

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Barnstorming and Airplane Rides Tin Sign Advertisement

Barnstorming was a form of entertainment in which stunt pilots performed tricks, either individually or in groups. If they performed in a group, it was called a Flying Circus. This daredevil occupation was devised to impress people with the skill of pilots and the sturdiness of planes. Hopefully, it would also entice these same people to shell out four bits (or 50 cents) for a ride! This form of entertainment became popular in the United States during the Roaring Twenties.

But who was doing this daring-do? Barnstormers were pilots who flew throughout the country selling airplane rides and performing stunts. Many were ex-military pilots looking for a way to continue flying and make a living at the same time. They would buy retired or shot-up planes from the government and refurbish them.

Later, as airplanes became larger and safer, groups of people or families could fly together.

So it wasn’t uncommon to see advertisements posted around small towns that happened to have open fields near to them. These areas would usually be owned by farmers and thus there would be barns on the sites. As a special thrill, some pilots would buzz these buildings or even fly through them! Hence the name ‘Barnstorming’ and ‘Barnstormers’.

Below is a reproduction of a poster that would have advertised just such an exhibition:

Reproduction

The Ford Trimotor (also called the “Tri-Motor”, and nicknamed the “Tin Goose”) is was American three-engine transport aircraft. Production started in 1925 by Henry Ford and ended on June 7, 1933. A total of 199 Ford Trimotors were made. It was designed for the civil aviation market.

The Stinson Aircraft Company was an aircraft manufacturing company in the United States between the 1920s and the 1950s.

The plane pictured in the tin sign featured here doesn’t appear to be either a Tri-Motor Ford or a Stinson. The name of ‘Secrist’ is actually the name of the pilots and company operating the craft and not that of another brand of airplane. The Secrist family name was found in the USA between 1840 and 1920. The most Secrist families were found in the USA in 1880. So this family would have been around to operate a Barnstorming business, or Flying Circus, just after the First World War.

I bought this sign not only because I love this era and its advertising, but also because the event advertised took place on my birth date of September 19th. However, the year was just a tad before my arrival on this earth!

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Monsters Inc. Disney Store Lithographs

Once more we have some wonderful lithographs to share with you. The Disney Store strikes again with a set of four prints depicting scenes from the 2001 Pixar film Monsters Inc.

Let’s get right into it with the folder itself:

Folder Closed

Not all of these sets come with such colourful and fun folders. But when they do, the Disney Store usually goes all out to impress us! This particular folder has the most features I’ve seen of any of the promotional sets.

Case in point, note the two side fold-outs which appear after you open the folder:

Side Fold-Outs Opened

By comparing the pictures above with the picture below, you can see that Sulley and Boo are behind the purple door on the left, and Mike Wazowski is behind the peach door on the right.

Folder Open

The prints themselves sit behind the smaller doors in the middle of the folder, shown above.

Now let’s look at the prints themselves:

Set of Four Prints

This is a nice assortment of images of the characters. The cast print seems to be created for this set with the other prints being ‘screen shots’ from the film itself.

Again, you would only be able to obtain these if you pre-ordered the Monsters Inc. movie through the Disney Store.

Unfortunately, this set of prints was produced on extremely low-grade paper and so you can see how they have wrinkled and yellowed over time. Still, they make a nice keepsake! To see more lithographs that I have from the Disney Store, simply type ‘lithograph’ in the ‘Search’ box. You’ll be glad you did!

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Disney’s Rocketeer Action Figures, Ornament, and Dorbz

The Rocketeer is a fictional superhero (as compared to the real ones?) that appeared in comic books originally published by Pacific Comics. Created by writer/artist Dave Stevens, the character first appeared in 1982 and is a homage to the Saturday matinee serial heroes from the 1930’s through the 1950’s.

I first got hooked on this guy when I saw the 1991 movie starring Bill Campbell as the helmet-wearing flyer. I thought Walt Disney Pictures did a fair job but the box office wasn’t so charitable. Still, it spawned a slew of merchandise, some of which I will share with you now:

The Money Shot

This is a Hallmark Keepsake Ornament. It certainly captures the dynamic nature of the character. I also like the level of detail in the sculpt which highlights the almost Steam Punk design of the costume.

Imagine seeing this puss coming at you? It might just cause you to reconsider some of your life decisions, especially if you were a crook!

Next I have something that has never been out of its blister pack:

Bend-ems are smaller action figures made out of a stretchy material. This one has a cool rocket pack accessory! A very nice job, both with the figure and the packaging, by JusToys. You can enlarge and read a little blurb about the Rocketeer above, right. You can also read a more detailed post about this item here.

And now for the adorable Dorbz:

First we had Funko Pop! and now we have Dorbz and many other plastic/vinyl figurines on the market. I have many Funko Pop! figures and a couple Dorbz figures. I bought two of the Rocketeer because I love the packaging so much I didn’t want to open it. So I bought a second one to play with… err, display. Yeah, it’s just for display.

I don’t know much about this last action figure:

The head turns and that’s about it! It’s made of a light-weight plastic and isn’t posable. It stands about 9″ tall (compared to the Bend-ems 6″) and won’t stand on its own.

I also have a Pacific comic book and a Tin Sign featuring the Rocketeer. Yes, I am a bit obsessed with him!

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Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln LP Record

According to the Disney Wiki: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a stage show featuring an audio-animatronic version of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, best known for being presented at Disneyland since 1965. It was originally showcased as the prime feature of the State of Illinois Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. One year after its debut at the World’s Fair, the show opened at Disneyland, where it has undergone several changes and periods of hiatus over the years. Today Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is an element of the Disneyland attraction The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, which opened in 2009.

As was customary for Disney, a soundtrack was released. Although I have put the term ‘LP’ (long-play) in the title of this post, the record in question is the size of a 45 and not a 33 1/3. But to put more content on this disc, basically what would now be called an EP, the slower speed was applied to the smaller size. Not at all uncommon, albeit a bit confusing at times!

Let’s have a look at the cover:

A great artistic rendering of the show itself with Lincoln standing to address us.

The back of the sleeve is worth a read. We learn that Royal Dano provided the voice for Abraham Lincoln and veteran Disney voice Paul Frees provided the narration.

Buena Vista was the ‘adult’ label for Disneyland Records and so was the obvious choice for a soundtrack release of this sort.

Side 1 begins with a little mood music with vocal accompaniment and then we are treated to some background information on how both the attraction and the soundtrack came to be, narrated by Frees. Side 2 gives us the entire show speech as it was first heard back in 1964. The record ends with the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

FUN FACTS: Lincoln had only one year of formal education. He worked as a clerk and Post Master before moving to Illinois. There he contemplated becoming a Blacksmith but instead decided to study Law. Being entirely self-taught, Lincoln passed the bar and started to practice Law. From those beginnings rose the 16th President of the United States, serving from 1861 until his assassination in 1865.

Lincoln can also be seen in Walt Disney World at The Hall of Presidents. And for more LP fun, why not check out our earlier post on a fantastic 78 rpm record featuring Disney’s Zorro!

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WonderGround Gallery Special Edition PARTNERS Statue

One of the first things you will see when you look down Main Street in Disneyland is the famous Partners Statue which stands just in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. You can see my wife and I standing just in front of the statue below:

Disneyland 2013

Partners is a 1993 copper statue by Blaine Gibson (February 11, 1918 – July 5, 2015) depicting Walt Disney holding the hand of the most popular character he created, Mickey Mouse. The statue is 6 feet 5 inches tall, not including the base.

Another artist has recently reinterpreted the statue into a 7″ vinyl figure for the WonderGround Gallery:

Dave Perillo describes himself as “a freelance Illustrator and designer based out of the Philly burbs.” He has this to say about his artwork: “My retro art style developed from my love of the mid-century modern aesthetic. I’m inspired by Walt Disney, Mary Blair, Charles Schultz, Jim Flora, Ray Harryhausen, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Henson, Hanna Barbera,  1950’s Sci-Fi Movies, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock and character advertising icons.”

You can click the link above to visit his website and see images depicting properties from Disney to the heavy metal band Metallica! Here is a little sample of his Disney poster art:

If you like Shag, you’ll probably like Perillo! And now back to the subject of this post:

This is another example of how the packaging is as fun as the object inside!

This figurine is hollow and thus very light.

I love the cartoony take on the subject matter! Walt especially is fun although I’m not sure where Perillo was going with the blue mustache. Maybe it was to match his tie?

If you do decide to take the figurine out of the package you will find a nice, colourful backdrop featuring a stylized version of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Kind of has a Mary Blair feel, which would be appropriate, as she is one of his influences.

This was a nice find on shopDisney for just $29.99 US.

WonderGround Gallery at the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim features original and limited-edition Disney-inspired artwork and unique home décor items. In case you were wondering!

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