The Legacy Collection The Little Mermaid CD Set

The fourth volume in The Legacy Collection was assigned to The Little Mermaid. It was released as a two-disc album on November 24, 2014, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the film. The album features the film’s complete original soundtrack, as well as work tapes and demo recording sessions performed by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman.

At this point, I have ten of the fifteen volumes released for the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland. Each volume also celebrates an anniversary of the subject being featured.

Let’s dive in and become a part of The Little Mermaid’s world:

This 1989 film is given credit for breathing life back into Disney animated films after some disappointing box office struggles. It also marked the start of the era known as the Disney Renaissance.

As we will see later, the concept art for this film was breathtaking! The pictures cards at the beginning and ending of this box set gives us a taste of what is to come.

But first, feel free to enlarge the following Production Notes and enjoy some inside information on how the film came to be:

Next we have a very large section dedicated to the Music. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“Under the Sea”). If you again enlarge the text you will be able to read some of the lyrics of your favorite songs:

Now we get to the ‘Ooh’ and ‘Ahh’ section of the box set, the Concept Art:

More money and resources were dedicated to The Little Mermaid than any other Disney animated film in decades and it shows! It was the last Disney feature animated film to use the traditional hand-painted cel method with later films being done with a digital process.

Above you can see the full listing of songs you will find on this CD set. I highly recommend these Legacy offerings even if you already have the original soundtrack in some form or other. It’s the extra stuff you get that really makes it worth the investment!

For example, note how raw this demo recording is but while still giving an idea of what it would become. Imagine being a director and trying to envision the finished product:

Under the Sea Synth DemoHoward Ashman & Alan Menken

This next demo is more polished:

Kiss the Girl Synth DemoHoward Ashman & Alan Menken

Again, hearing the demo recordings is wonderful as they give you an insight into the development of the music for the film. Sometimes songs are dumped and other times tweaked. But never thrown away!

As this image from the back cover of the CD set shows, much of the concept art makes it into the final film. I’m sure you remember this iconic moment as Ariel sings about her yearning to be a part of our world! Isn’t that neat?

If you want to see more of these Legacy Collection CD sets, please enter ‘The Legacy Collection’ into the ‘Search’ box at the top right corner of this site.

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Br’er Rabbit – A Disney Original – Park Plush

Ol’ Br’er Rabbit is off on another adventure away from his safe home in the Briar Patch. This time, he’s visiting the shores of Lake Erie. I don’t think Br’er Fox or Br’er Bear will give him much trouble in the heat of the day. But he better beware! Nighttime might be a different story for Uncle Remus to tell.

I just found this little Br’er Rabbit (A Disney Original) Park plush at a local flea market that I frequent. He hopped right into my arms!

Not in the Briar Patch Anymore!

In the movie Song of the South (1946) our travelling bunny wore blue pants and a pinkish shirt. So this plush gets it almost right with his wardrobe.

Perhaps he looks a little younger in plush than he did in the movie?

I always like to find merchandise with original tags still affixed. Plush with the fabric tags ripped off is a real turn off for me! Finding this one with not only those tags still attached but also this ear button tag was almost too much to believe:

The style of this ear button tag is reminiscent of the Disney Channel logo but I don’t think it was a crossover piece. The tags below clearly identify it as Theme Park merch with the Disneyland / Walt Disney World branding. The Plush itself was produced by the Canasa Trading Corp. and is a Product of Korea.

Canasa Trading Corporation filed as an Articles of Incorporation in the State of California (Burbank) and is no longer active. This corporate entity was filed approximately fifty-two years ago on Thursday, April 16, 1970 , according to public records filed with California Secretary of State.

We can thus date this plush to after 1970. I have found some evidence online that suggests it was sold during the 1980s. You can find many images of the little guy but not many presently for sale. I paid $18.00 CAN but you can expect to pay upwards of $50.00 US with sell price and shipping combined.

If, like me, you are going to miss Splash Mountain once Tianna turns the Briar Patch into a Bayou, than a little more Br’er Merchandise might just be for you! If so, check out my most unusual Song of the South / Splash Mountain collectible that I own. It’s satisfactual sure enough!

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Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head Walking Toy

Do you remember at the end of the original Toy Story movie that all of the toys had learned to be hopeful when Andy got new presents? Instead of being fearful that, as old toys, they would be replaced, they became joyous over the prospect of meeting different additions to the group. At one point Mr. Potato Head is heard chanting “Mrs. Potato Head! Mrs. Potato Head! Mrs. Potato Head!” during yet another party for Andy.

The result? We have this Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head walking toy:

Joined at the Hip!

Don’t worry. It was consensual. This cute little couple is about 3″ tall and stand just under 5″ wide. They are permanently ‘married’ together by a bent bar that enables the walking action.

Matching Branding

Some couples get matching tattoos while others get a toy companies name stamped on their butts. Each to his/her own, I guess!

And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Here at last is an old married couple going for a walk:

Together Right to the End!

That last step was a doozy!

This toy was produced in 1999 by Hasbro Inc. Toy Story 2 came out in that year so this would be an original toy released to promote the film. Can you believe this sequel is over 20 years old?!?

Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head aren’t always together. Sometimes the man of the potato sack has to go to work. And where does Mr. Potato Head make his living? Check out this Mr. Potato Head Mug post to find out!

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Minnie Mouse Pendant for a Necklace

I’m a huge collector of Disney merchandise and what not. So it’s no surprise that my wife has ended up with quite a bit of Disney-themed jewellery. I easily lose track of what she has so this blog is beneficial even for me in keeping everything sorted!

This Minnie Mouse pendant for a necklace is something I didn’t know she had until I was poking around for something to post:

12 Diamonds a’ Sparkling

But not real diamonds. I’m not that wealthy. But real or fake, they shine nice and pretty! Minnie is dressed in a fairly common costume for her character.

I S I S

The only markings on this piece are on the back and it simply says ‘ISIS’. Do they mean the Egyptian fertility Goddess? The militant terrorist group? The computer routing protocol? Unlikely.

Instead, it may refer to Isis Jewellers, a company that is still in business and creating beautiful pieces, and yes, using real diamonds! Here is what the official website has to say: “Isis Jewellers was founded in 1984 by Wim Kamermans… who studied Gemmology in Holland at Zadkine College. He has over 40 years of experience in the Jewellery industry.”

The website makes no mention of crafting anything other than rings, but they may have branched out in the past, or did this as a promotional item with Disney.

My wife doesn’t presently have this on a chain. You can see the loop, above, where the chain would go through to make the pendant wearable.

You can check out a Minnie Mouse earring stand that is crafted in pretty much the same style as this pendant. Enjoy!

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Mickey on Solar Motorcycle Garden Ornament

Mickey was born to be wild! As you can see in the image below, he is mounted and heading out on the open road. Could this be a Disney remake of Easy Rider? Or perhaps The Glory Stompers. Either way, Mickey will make it a classic!

This Mickey on a Solar Motorcycle garden ornament is an awesome addition to any outside area.

“Head out on the highway… Looking for Adventure!”

Whatever comes his way, he has a solar panel to keep him powered up. It should keep him rolling on and on until nighttime falls.

This Big Fig is made up of 42% Polyresin and 53% Powder Stone with the remaining surface area of 5% consisting of the solar cell.

Mickey was quite dirty when I got him. I guess years of cruising the flower beds of Windsor, ON would do that to a guy! But with elbow grease and Q-tips I managed to bring him back to near showroom condition. The headlight lens had been painted over, so I scratched it up a bit restoring it to its original state. The image above is a stock photo from the Internet to show how it would have looked when brand new.

Battery Compartment

The headlight didn’t work when I got it so I had to crack open the battery compartment where I found a few issues. No battery was the obvious one. But corrosion was another with a lot of oxidation on the circuit board. I cleaned it up as best I could, installed a battery, but it still doesn’t work.

There is something loose and rattling in the body of the figure which may be the problem. The bulb could be burnt out and there is no way to replace it. The headlight lens does not unscrew.

It could be that it will only work with a rechargeable battery so that the power from the solar cell can flow through it to the bulb. I’ll be picking up a rechargeable battery and testing this theory soon. This post will be updated when I discover if this solves the problem or not.

Kmart Blue Light Special?

Who remembers good old Kmart? As with some other Big Box stores (like Zellers and Sears), it began to fail in Canada in the late 1990s. We have none left in this country now. This garden ornament could be between 10 and 20 years old. It sold for $39.99 CAN and was manufactured in China. I paid $27.00 CAN to a local seller.

Mickey on his bike is approximately 13″ long, 6″ wide, and 10″ tall. If you prefer metric measurements, check out the original price sticker above.

I would like to end this post with an inspirational quote about motorcycles:

Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle.”

Sorry Mickey, it had to be said!

Posted in Big Figs, Ceramics, Characters, Decor, Figurines, Garden, Home Decor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Funko POP! Wall-E ‘MO’ Vinyl Figure

What’s a M-O? I don’t know, what’s a M-O with you? Okay, that didn’t quite work, but hopefully you enjoy the rest of this post more than that old joke!

M-O stands for Microbe Obliterator and is the acronym for this Funko POP! vinyl figure. He appeared in the Pixar film Wall-E and quickly captured the hearts of viewers with his fastidious attention to cleanliness and his single-minded determination to do all he can to complete his tasks. Okay, I’ll say it: He’s a neat-freak!

The basic parts that make up MO are a brush instead of arms, a white body, yellow eyes on a black LED screen, a siren, a blue brush cover, a roller, and a backpack.

The square hatch in the top of his head slides open to reveal a red siren light. Because when there are contaminants, it’s an emergency!

I’ll be keeping MO in his Docking Bay (the box, I mean the box) because he doesn’t stand up on his own. In the film, he moves around on a single ball roller and stays upright by means of a gyroscope. This Funko POP! figure seems to have a malfunctioning gyroscope so it just falls over.

This figure is one of a set of four. It contains two versions of Wall-E, one of EVE, and of course, little M-O. I won’t likely add the other three figures to my collection, but I do have a Wall-E Funko POP! figure from 2014 that you may enjoy having a look at!

FUN FACTS: The voice actor for M-O, Ben Burtt, also voiced WALL-E.

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Vintage Minnie Mouse Plush w/o Tags

I don’t have a lot of information on this vintage Minnie Mouse plush without its original tags. There are literally tens of thousands of Minnie plushes out there, and without the tags, it’s impossible to date or categorize her. Or… is it?

From the look and materials I guessed that she could be from the late 50s to sometime in the 70s. After a little Internet research, I found a seller claiming that she is pre-1968.

Sitting Pretty

These vintage plush characters aren’t to everyone’s taste. The material is of a coarser fabric and the facial features are basically pasted on. Manufacturing has come a long way since this plush was produced! But then there are those that would say she is so ugly she’s cute. What do you think?

I don’t think she could be considered ugly with that cute little face! I think what most collectors would have a problem with is the materials and production values.

Who made her? We may never know for sure. But again, a little Internet research found another seller claiming she is made by California Stuffed Toys. California Stuffed Toys filed as a Foreign Business Corporation in the State of New York and is no longer active. This corporate entity was filed approximately forty years ago on Friday, December 31, 1982. So the company could have been in operation in another country under a different name and used the California Stuffed Toys name only for their North American operations.

You can find many toys for sale on eBay and other selling sites with the California Stuffed Toys name and copyright:

Isn’t research fun? It’s almost a shame when a product has all it’s tags and labels. It makes it too easy! But easy can be good too.

My wife adopted Minnie from a charity shop for the price of $12.99 CAN.

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Winnie the Pooh Clip-On Earring

This Winnie the Pooh clip-on earring shows that the titular character really is ‘a bear of very little brain’. As you will see from the opening image, he’s got himself a bit beat up:

Battle Damage – Those bees are playing for keeps!

Most would stop pestering a swarm of bees for their hunny after the first few failures, but not Pooh! He is also single-minded and just keeps trying, and so, he has lost an ear and has damage to his nose.

Unusual Clasp

This should have a mate for the other ear but it is long gone. This sample remains in our collection because of its unique clip-on feature.

Copyright Disney

The copyright of Disney means it is impossible to date this piece as this name has been used almost from the beginning of Disney merchandising.

These earrings are just under one inch high making them cute as a button. They are quite heavy though so I can imagine they would become uncomfortable after a few hours of wear.

For more of our jewellery collection, check out the post entitled Disney Bling.

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The Fantastic Four Essentials Volume 5 Omnibus

Okay, True Believers, it’s time to go back in time to when comic books were subtly racist, bigoted, and controversial, but oh-so fun, wild, and inexplicable! Welcome to the Fantastic Four Essentials Volume 5 omnibus in all it’s black and white glory.

The stories collected in this volume are from issues 84-110 of the original series run, and mainly follow the adventures of the First Family of Comics as told by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (with some help from John Romita and John Buscema).

Front Cover

These collected reprints are marvelous (pun intended) as they make older and expensive issues of rare comics available to everyone. Through them one gets to learn the origins of their favorite characters and villains. But. In doing so, one can also end up wondering what the writers and artists were smoking back in the day!

Continuity? Who needs it! Plot holes? Plenty! Inappropriate behavior? Always! Let’s have a look at a few panels that will highlight some of the strange things you will encounter as you flip through the pages of these 1960s stories.

First: Continuity. By definition, continuity is a state of stability and the absence of disruption. Or to the writers and artists of Marvel Comics in the 60s, a non-essential part of storytelling. Let’s have a look at a case in point:

The first panel (top, left) establishes that Ben Grimm, The Ever-lovin’ Blue-eyed Thing, has not come to the dinner party. He stayed behind with his girlfriend, Alicia. In panel two (top, right) we see the complete company of guests being Crystal, Johnny Storm, Reed Richards, and Sue Richards. Nowhere is the Thing to be seen. The next panel shows only these four characters being struck blind (above) by the Mole Man. The issue ends with the four being helpless as they are attacked.

With that cliffhanger in place, we go ahead one month to the opening splash page of the next issue. And how many characters do we see, blind and helpless, before the might and malice of the Mole Man?

Guess who came to dinner after all …

Five! Out of nowhere and with no explanation is Ben Grimm, the Thing. Also blind. Also helpless. As you read on in the issue, the Thing is used extensively in the plot to defeat the Mole Man. So because he was needed to work out the story, he appeared! Why not? Continuity is highly overrated.

Second: Stating the Obvious. If you were being attacked by a mugger, would you cry out: “Oh my! It’s that mugger from the papers, with a gun, wearing a mask! And he’s got me by the throat!” No. No you wouldn’t. But in comic books, every time a villain shows up, the hero has to yell at the top of his lungs who it is, what he’s doing there, and how horrible it’s going to be.

Case in point:

No Kidding. Really?

In any given issue, this will likely happen several times. But just to shake things up a bit, once in a while the villain will unnecessarily mention his name while striking a pose. It’s dramatic, but seriously, if the Fantastic Four doesn’t recognize you when you kick in their door, then you can’t be much of a villain. So shut up and attack already!

Third: Plot Convenience. Then we have the thing that is used only to drag out the story to fill up all 20 pages of the comic. Someone, or usually everyone, totally forgets the one simple thing that could end the threat until the very last moment, when all is about to be lost.

Have a read of the text in the panel below:

“Oh, right. That!”

For two issues, a strange menace has been rampaging through New York City and the Fantastic Four can’t stop it. But the man who ‘didn’t think of it’ knows what it is, but doesn’t bother telling anyone. Ah, but now it’s do or die time and Reed Richards suddenly remembers something important. The man has a device back in this laboratory that can end the threat in seconds. And after a little more contrived drama, the trigger is pulled and it’s over. Just like that. A few moments of clear thought could have saved millions of dollars in damages and the possible loss of lives! Sheesh!

But the plot needed to drag on over two issues so this device couldn’t be introduced until it was needed. Convenient for the storytellers but not so much for the poor citizens of New York!

Back Cover

And that’s not all of the tropes you’ll find in a Fantastic Four comic. Here is a list of what else you can expect in almost every issue:

Misunderstandings leading to conflict between heroes or heroes and villains

Arguments between the characters over silly things, misunderstandings again, or just bad manners

Someone going off halfcocked and getting their butt kicked because they didn’t wait for the team

Sexism, as the female characters react in horror to threats * and are basically useless

The heroes being blamed for everything even though they just saved everyone

Breathing and talking under water and in space when this is clearly impossible

Brilliant people being stupid and doing incredibly stupid things

And that’s just the short list! I had mental whiplash after reading this omnibus. So many inexplicable things coming at me from all directions! But it was fun. Stan Lee definitely created memorable characters that have endured over time and Jack Kirby is the undisputed King of Comics! His artwork is dynamic and detailed, and dare I say, in your face!

But both men fell into the traps of the times they worked in. Lee was writing to a younger audience and so favored splash over sense, and Kirby just packed as much action and carnage into his artwork as he could to make an impact. Later writers and artists developed a more subtle approach that can be appreciated by a more mature audience. That said, no one can deny the contribution both men made to the world of comics today.

Nuff Said!

* For an example, see Sue Storm’s (The Invisible Girl) over-the-top reaction from the cover of the omnibus itself (first image, above). It says it all!

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The Rescuers Collector Series Glass from Pepsi

The Rescuers was Disney’s 23rd animated feature film. The plot revolved around two mice who worked for the Rescue Aid Society, an international organization headquartered in New York City. The idea was that it shadowed the United Nations, actually meeting in the basement of the building. They were dedicated to helping abduction victims from around the world. Mainly children.

The Rescuers Collector Series glass that I have from Pepsi-Cola features, not the heroes from the film, but the villain and two of her long-suffering hench-things, Brutus and Nero:

The two crocodiles were never hug deprived, as much as they would have liked to be! But sometimes working for the swamps most clingy villain can be taxing at times.

Brutus & Nero

In the end, they were just doing their jobs.

This Collector Series of glassware was released in 1977 by Pepsi in conjunction with McDonald’s. Remember when Mickey and Ronald were still friends?

I’m not sure how many glasses were released, but here is an image of some of the other glasses offered in the set:

I’ve seen at least three or four other variations on selling sites so far. Each glass can go for up to $20.00 US, but I got mine for just $8.00 CAN.

Madame Medusa

If only all villains would treat their minions with such love and kindness, maybe they would come over to the side of goodness and niceness!

For more fun with The Big Cheese and The Clown, check out our previous post way back from the year 2012: 100 Years of Magic in Glass from McDonald’s. It’ll quench your thirst for glassware!

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