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Popular Vinylmation – Star Wars Collection Expands with a New Series at Disney Parks

Since its release in January 2011, the first series of Vinylmation figures featuring Star Wars characters has become the most popular Vinylmation series of all time. Created by Disney Design Group artist Mike Sullivan, the first series celebrated the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. For series two, the Vinylmation team turned their attention to the original 1977 classic film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. This allowed the team to regroup and plan a strategy for future releases, as explained by Thomas Scott, one of the lead Vinylmation artists.

“The first series was created at a different time in Vinylmation history,” explained Thomas. “When we began developing series two, we considered several factors for future growth. We again worked closely with Lucasfilm when selecting the characters for the new series. We also thought about how those characters could appear in future series.”

Series Two is a limited-release, mystery series, which means there are 11 known figures and one “mystery chaser” figure. Each figure is packaged in a box, so you won’t know which one you will get until you open it.

To design the figures, Thomas enlisted the help of artists Casey Jones and Maria Clapsis. Casey created concept sketches of each figure, while Maria turned those sketches into full-color images. I spoke with Casey about one unique design element I love on these figures – the ears.

“I like using the ears as a way to further enhance the story,” explained Casey. “When designing these figures, I looked for something iconic to add to the ears, such as the ‘binary sunset’ on the Tusken Raider or Obi-Wan Kenobi figures. Adding design elements from the film help set the stage for each character.”
The new series will debut on Thursday, August 23 at Celebration VI, a Star Wars fan event being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Florida.
Disney will then launch the series at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side in Florida on Friday, August 24. Fans can meet Casey and Maria from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Casey will travel to the Disneyland Resort on Saturday, August 25, for the release of this series at D Street in the Downtown Disney District. Fans can meet him from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Disney Fantasy Moves a Step Closer to Reality with Final Building Block in Place

disney_fantasy_83555_orig-640x497The final building block for the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Fantasy, was put into place on Sept. 3, 2011, at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg. Signaling completion of a major milestone in the ship’s overall construction, the final block was a 260-ton portion of the ship’s bow, complete with the signature Disney Cruise Line golden filigree.

Once all 80 building blocks of the Disney Fantasy are in place, the focus shifts to outfitting the interior spaces that include the whimsical children’s spaces, dynamic adult venues, spectacular restaurants and elaborate theaters.

Sister ship to the Disney Dream which entered service in January 2011, the Disney Fantasy will feature new design elements and guest experiences that give the ship an identity all its own, including:

  • “Animation Magic” dinner show that celebrates the magic of Disney animation and allows families to create characters that “come alive” and interact with classic Disney characters in animated films.
  • Europa — a nighttime entertainment district exclusively for adults with sophisticated bars and trendy lounges inspired by European travel.
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique salon, where aspiring young princesses and pirates receive the full fairy tale treatment with pixie-dusted and pirate makeovers.
  • New main stage entertainment at the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre, including “Disney’s Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular” — a Broadway-style production featuring the cast from the classic animated Disney film “Aladdin.”

The 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy will sail week-long Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla., with its maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012.

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