Marvel World: Marvel Was Everywhere at D23

Written by Gwendolyn Dreyer. Posted in D23Expo, Disney, Disney Interactive, Disney Movies, Disney News, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features, Marvel, Marvel World

MarvelWorld

Published on September 09, 2013 at 2:00 am with 23 Comments

Hello, dear readers!  D23 was certainly a different convention experience for me after covering Wondercon and San Diego Comic-Con for Micechat previously.  At those general pop culture conventions, I spend much of my time hunting down not only Marvel and Disney Comics bits and bobs for you readers, but EVERYTHING that’s a part of the Disney empire.  At D23, knowing that Fishbulb and Andy would be giving you great coverage of the whole convention, I had a bit of relief knowing I only had to find Marvel tidbits to share.  Though, I certainly didn’t ignore any projects that I have been following all year.

Well, let’s hop to it!  There’s a surprising amount of stuff to cover. And if you read all the way through, you might just find a special opportunity.

OUTSIDE THE CONVENTION CENTER

In a D23 first, taking a page from San Diego Comic-Con, Disney is starting to expand outside the convention center.

Approaching the display from the street, I saw this giant banner advertising the upcoming Marvel and Phineas and Ferb crossover.

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From the other side, I could see that this was the Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator, an interactive display that allowed attendees to shoot waffles at a screen in an attempt to best Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

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Bizarrely, I couldn’t see any connection to Marvel characters whatsoever.

ART AND IMAGINATION:  ANIMATION AT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS PRESENTATION

At the packed animation presentation, Disney spoke a bit about the new Big Hero 6 animated movie due to debut in November 2014.  Big Hero 6 will be Disney Animation’s first feature based on a Marvel property.  MiceChat covered the announcement for this movie in a previous Marvel World article HERE.

Director Don Hall was on hand to speak a bit about the production, not revealing much that we didn’t already know.  A promotional reel was shown with a range of material from fully rendered animation to simple drawings.  The biggest news offered was the supporting cast of heroes that assemble the team around the previously announced Hiro Hamada and his robot Baymax.  The cast of characters is as follows.

  • Hiro Hamada:  A boy robotics genius who is mourning the loss of his brother.
  • Baymax:  An inflatable robot reprogrammed from a diagnostic nurse to a warrior.
  • Fred:   A comic book fanboy with a fire breathing monster suit.
  • Honey Lemon:  A chemist and barista, ready to dole out the hugs and fight crime.
  • GoGo Tomago:  A daredevil bike messenger.
  • Wasabi No-Ginger:  A sushi chef trained to fight.

Technology seems to be at the forefront of the plot, with one of Hiro’s inventions falling into the wrong hands.  He will find himself in the middle of a plot to destroy his city and will join up with the other first time crime fighters to stop the destruction of their home.

LET THE ADVENTURES BEGIN:  LIVE ACTION AT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS PRESENTATION

There was good news for Marvel fans attending D23 this year.  For all those who were locked out of the Marvel presentation at San Diego Comic-Con this year, we were all pleased that Disney practically replicated the huge Hall H presentation during the Live Action Presentation at D23.  There was still a wait; but it was no Hall H, let me tell you.

KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT, MARVEL STUDIOS)

For close to a half hour of the two hour presentation, 25%, the focus was solely on the Marvel live action cinematic universe.  That speaks volumes to level of prestige and importance these films are to the Disney company.

As stated above, most of what we saw was a retread of ground covered at San Diego Comic-Con.  (You can find my coverage of the Comic-Con panel HERE.)  We were treated to a few extra pieces of footage, and an appearance by Sir Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman from Thor: The Dark World, who did not show up for Comic-Con.  But otherwise, the most used phrase for this segment was, “Only one other audience has seen this.”

The segment started with screening the same Thor: The Dark World footage we saw at Comic-Con, followed by Tom Hiddleston, sans costume, as well as Portman and Hopkins appearing to talk about Thor very superficially.  We were then shown an exclusive scene of Asgardian medics looking over Jane talking about the energy that is within in her.  Odin appears and declares that Jane doesn’t belong in Asgard.  But before the guards can seize her, the energy inside Jane knocks the guards to the ground.

KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT, MARVEL STUDIOS)

Next, the Comic-Con Captain America: The Winter Soldier footage was shown, followed by appearances from Chris Evans, Sebastian Sam and Anthony Mackie.  After some very soft Q and A, we were shown an exclusive scene of Captain America and Black Widow infiltrating a ship.  It had very witty dialogue and interesting fight sequences showcasing the Cap’s unusual fighting style.  Like the exclusive Thor scene, interesting, but nothing newsworthy.

KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT, MARVEL STUDIOS)

Finally, without any more celebrity appearances, we were shown the rest of the San Diego Comic-Con footage which included the Guardians of the Galaxy reel and the teaser for Avengers: The Age of Ultron.

KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT, MARVEL STUDIOS)

As awesome as it was to have a second opportunity to see the San Diego Comic-Con presentation, and they did TRY to give the D23 audience some exclusive tidbits, I can imagine how it can be a bit lackluster for those fans attending both conventions.  In my opinion, as much as I laughed every time they said, “Only one other audience has seen this,” I have no problem with them running the exact same presentation at both locations.  Comic-Con is their bread and butter.  These are the hardcore fans that are going to wait 6+ hours to see the presentation.  And there will be thousands more who aren’t allowed in.  D23 is for the Disney fans that they want to accept and approve of Marvel in the family.  The odds of crossover are small and the presentations each serve a different purpose.  The cinematic Marvel Comic-Con panel is done FOR the fan – in celebration of the fan.  D23 is done for publicity, pure and simple.  And as long as that’s the case, Marvel fans at D23 will most likely be happy and enjoy seeing footage that they didn’t have to wait six hours to see.  Feel differently?  Let me know in the comments.

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. SCREENING

In another move that made many fanboys and girls happy, at the 13th hour, unannounced in the program book, ABC decided to screen the pilot for the Joss Whedon helmed Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Arena.  While Comic-Con boosted multi-hour waits for this attraction, I walked in to the arena ten minutes before to a half full audience.   Granted, we were not treated to appearances by any of the creative team or cast members other than an introduction from Executive Producer Jeph Loeb.  But this was still a great opportunity to watch one of the most anticipated series premieres of the fall weeks in advance.  And for the reasons above, I’ll take these sloppy seconds any day.  Sitting in the arena, with my burger and drink in hand, with my husband by my side, plenty of room for comfort, watching what will surely become one of my favorite television shows….it was definitely a highlight of the convention for this Agent Coulson fan and my husband too.  All we said to each other as we left the Arena was, “We have to wait two more months for the next episode?”

JEPH LOEB (EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TELEVISION, MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT)

I posted the big reveals in my San Diego Comic-Con article HERE.  And though I know some of you would like a full plot synopsis, I’m just going to give you some of the notes I jotted down during the screening.  Trust me.  If you are a big enough fan to want me to spoil it for you, then you really DON’T want me to spoil it.  It’s that good.

  • Loeb stated that we were the third audience viewing the pilot episode.  San Diego Comic-Con was one; who was the second?
  • What might have been vague in The Avengers is not so vague in S.H.I.E.L.D.  Agent Maria Hill is DEFINITELY in charge of Agent Coulson.  No ifs, ands or buts.
  • There are a lot of one-liners and passing references to various characters backgrounds without much exposition.  There’s definitely enough mystery within the main cast to last a season or more.
  • Ron Glass of Firefly fame received a round of applause when he appeared on the screen.  Whedonite’s definitely love appearances of Whedon-verse actors.
  • There’s enough snappy Whedon dialogue to satisfy fans.  But it never felt overdone or out of place.  One character in particular is RIPE to be the outlet for that type of dialogue.  As long as the other characters don’t start quipping like Buffy used to, we should be okay.
  • There are enough references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to tie the two worlds together.  This definitely is going to be its own world – but never too far away from the bigger picture.
  • Whedon does not disappoint when it comes to the plot climax and certainly knows how to keep us on the edge of our seat.  Whedon’s habit of killing off beloved characters certainly adds to the tension.
  • The moral gray area of superheroes, military action and keeping secrets from the public is not avoided.  This show is not going to be Avengers light.  We can expect a more nuanced tone giving the audience plenty to consider throughout this story.  We may love Coulson.  But we may not always love what he and his team do.

WALT DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS PAVILION:  JOURNEY INTO IMAGINEERING

In addition to hosting all of the extremely popular theme park exhibits, this pavilion also showcased the upcoming Avengers Academy that will be created especially for the Oceaneer’s Club on the Disney Magic, one of Disney Cruise Line’s ships undergoing renovations right now.

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The Oceaneer’s Club is described on the Disney Cruise Line website as an activity center for kids aged 3-12.  In addition to other Disney properties being represented in the renovations of the Oceaneer’s Club,  the Avenger’s Academy is certainly being pushed as the premiere new feature.

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And push they should.  Disney has made remarkable leaps and bounds in the last few years, making sure to cultivate properties that are attractive to the average young boy.  The bonus here is that the Avengers film property has a huge cross-gender appeal and will fulfill any child’s dreams to become a superhero.

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In addition to the two large flat display boards, the Cap, Captain America himself, was on hand to meet and greet his fans.  According to what I heard from the Imagineers in the pavilion, this will be the Captain America costume that will be used on the cruise line for meet and greets.

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On its cruises, Disney typically opens up the Oceaneer’s Club for a short period of time for adults to explore the intricate theming and activities.  I have no doubt that for some adults, that will be a “do not miss” event.

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One detail that many attendees probably did not know was that if you told the employees manning the Information Desk in the pavilion, “I’d like to see something weird,” you were given a poster that is clearly inspired by Rolly Crump’s art for the unrealized “Museum of the Weird” attraction that was set to be built in Disneyland.  What caught my eye was the AR and Marvel logo in the corner.  Hmmmmmmm.  More on that later.

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WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS PAVILION

The Studios had a small section of their pavilion featuring Big Hero 6.

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Disney did a good job repurposing the concept art we’ve already seen for the backdrop of the display.  The only reveal offered at the booth was the character shadows that were not used in the official announcement back in May.

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The team members in shilouette are no doubt the characters named  at the Animation presentation.  Although we can’t be certain, it sure looks like the nanotechnology power purse from the comic books has made the cut.

The most clever piece of the display was a small panel that looks similar to a panel you might come across in a metro station if you were a tourist looking for information.  The screen was rotating concept art and the racks held postcards for attendees to take home.

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DISNEY CONSUMER PRODUCTS PAVILION

Disney Consumer Products featured Avengers and Spider-Man displays in their pavilion.

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Throughout the entire pavilion, there was a mix of old products, products currently on the shelves, and newer, yet to be released products.

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This dress will be sold at Forever 21. One please!

 

The clear stand out of the Marvel displays was the proof-of-concept and prototype models of a brand new flying, remote controlled Iron Man toy.

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I found it fascinating that the proof of concept construction was drastically larger than the size of the actual toy.

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As an AVID Mythbusters fan, I am very use to seeing proof of concept experiments be on the smaller scale and the actual experiment taking place scaled up – for example, using a Hot Wheels style toy car to test the physics before destroying a full size car.  Physics was never a strong subject for me.  (I was more of a Biology fan.)  If anybody can offer any insight into the science behind this, give us a holler in the comments.  I’d be really interested!

The good people running the pavilion gave me one of the final prototypes to try out at home.

The first thing I noticed about the toy is that the manual is more complicated than I expected.  If you are a RC aficionado, you probably won’t have a problem.  I, however, am not.  I took the time to read the whole manual and once I was done, like most consumer products, it wasn’t as hard as it looks.  Put batteries in remote, charge Iron Man by plugging him in to the remote, sync the remote to Iron Man, and you’re off!  One thing I didn’t appreciate about the manual was this line.

We strongly encourage you to read the entire manual thoroughly and watch the Flight Training Video at www.rcextremehero.com before flying your Iron Man RC Extreme Hero.  However, we know some heroes, and their hero dads, are less patient then others.  So here are the minimal steps that must happen before your Hero can fly.

I know and understand the gender stereotypes that are mildly being poked fun at here.  But I would be remiss if I didn’t express my disappointment in the manual’s assumption that RC flying is a male sport.  It bothers me.  I tried to ignore it but I couldn’t.  You would think that with the cross-gender hit that The Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, this type of language could be avoided.   The irony of being a female blogger reviewing a toy that contains gender bias in the manual is not lost on me.

I discussed my concerns with some friends and eventually figured out the reason this bothered me so much.  With Disney trying so hard to even the gender playing field, adding a boy fairy main character in the Tinkerbell universe, making sure there was a woman in the Avengers team, making over boys at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, it was just so unexpected and caught me off guard, sticking out like a sore thumb.

Let’s move on to the actual toy.

Fully charged, I launched the toy indoors, against the advice of the manual.  Well, the manual knows best and we had quite the epic crash against the wall.  This Iron Man does not hover like a helicopter; he is meant to move and move he does!  On the bright side, I was able to see how insanely durable this toy is.  It is constructed of lightweight plastic and foam.  I thought I was going to break it as I was lifting it out of the box.  Apparently, I can crash it head on into drywall, fall five feet to the floor, and it comes out relatively unscathed.

After going outdoors, and following the launching instructions, it is clear why they want you to have a large amount of space.  Iron Man goes FAST.  Really fast.  The manual recommends a soccer field.  I had, maybe, a half a soccer field.  First flight goes relatively well and ends in the expected crash landing.  Second flight, straight into a tree.  Above my reach.  Note to self:  If you see Iron Man head for a tree, don’t try to correct trajectory; just get off the throttle and let him crash into the lawn.  (If the man who used his dog toy to help get Iron Man out of the tree is reading, THANK YOU.)  Third flight, crashes straight into the ground.  Fourth flight, no flight.  I check Iron Man and realize that after his third flight, he lost both his propellers.  No luck finding the small, black propellers in the lawn.  Thank goodness Iron Man came with an extra pair.  But I wasn’t happy using them the fourth flight out.

Eventually, I got the hang of it and was able to get him going for some decent flights.  After about twenty minutes of play, Iron Man was out of juice.  As Iron Man takes about an hour to charge, I picked him up and declared the session over.

Overall, this seems like a really fun idea.  I had a great time flying it, regardless of the massive amount of user error.  I did not like losing my propellers on the third flight out.   Maybe they could have made the propellers a brighter color?  Although, I understand painting them black so it doesn’t change the look of Iron Man.  Due to the small amount of flight time between charges, as an apartment dweller, I wouldn’t make a special trip to the park just to fly it.  But if I had a backyard, Iron Man would fly through the sky quite often.  And I would definitely bring him along to events that seem like an appropriate place to fly him.  It is a nice touch that Iron Man charges from the remote so you don’t need an electrical plug.  I could have charged him outside if I felt so inclined.

Iron Man Flying RC Extreme Hero will retail for approximately $80.  Is it $80 worth of fun?  If you like RC’s, it probably is.  As an average Marvel fan with no RC experience, it’s a bit pricey for my tastes.  Though, I have to give a tip of the hat to the team behind this.  The advertising is boasting that it is the first flying RC superhero toy.  The fact it hasn’t been done before is mind boggling.  And for that alone, I am impressed.

DISNEY CHANNEL PAVILION

The Disney Channel Pavilion contained a stage that hosted an autograph session with the voice actors from the Disney XD programming block, Marvel Universe.

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They also debuted the new meet and greet character costumes for Iron Man and Spider-Man that will be premiering in the parks eventually.  The characters walked around the stage and provided some visual interest for the audience.

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Iron Man didn’t look BAD.  But, he didn’t look metal, that’s for sure.  I think the problem with a superhero like Iron Man is that, now that the public has had AMPLE opportunity to see what I real life Iron Man suit would like via the very popular live action movies and the display of Iron Man suits in Disneyland’s Innoventions attraction, one can’t help but make the comparison.

The costume appeared incredibly plastic-y, with a unitard underneath.  Honestly, it looked like one step up from a commercial Halloween costume.  The costume was based on the animated Marvel Universe character design which is slightly stockier then the live action movies.  However, this walk around character seemed extremely short and stocky even for the animated series.  Of course, what really solidified my opinion on the costume is that I stared at the character walking around on that stage for a good 15 minutes and never once felt like I was staring at Iron Man – not in the way I can stare at other Disney meet and greet characters and be wrapped up in the magic and believe.  This Iron Man did not wrap me up in magic.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stick around for Spider-Man’s appearance.  However, given that his costume is essentially spandex, I can’t imagine it was too difficult.  Universal has been very successful in doing a walk-around Spider-Man for years.  Disney’s wouldn’t be too different.

Disney is starting to take a page from San Diego Comic-Con and finally giving away a large amount of swag instead of the meager offerings from previous years.  In that vein, there was plenty of Marvel Universe swag given out at this signing.

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Avengers Assemble Puffy Sticker

 

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Hulk Face Mask/Fan

 

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What the heck is this? It’s clearly Spider-Man themed. But I can’t figure out its function. It’s just a tube of fabric.

 

As D23 attendees know, Disney isn’t short on space in comparison to other pop culture conventions.  Even so, I have to hand it to them.  They have figured out how to do on floor autograph sessions without having the major headache of crowd control issues.

Most Comic-Con autograph sessions that happen at exhibitor booths involve large amounts of security and whole aisles shutting down.  This is due to all of the passer-bys that missed the line for the autograph session but want a photo or a just a glimpse of the celebrities.

Disney has designed the pavilion so the celebrities sit on an elevated stage and set up a viewing area for looky-loos to sit and stare.  It is brilliant and I wish that this idea could be utilized at Comic-Con in some way.   But with the space issues on the floor, I’m sure that it’s not possible.

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Regardless, for all of the operational issues that D23 has had over the years, congratulations to them for figuring out a solution to a typical convention problem.  I thought it worked brilliantly.

MARVEL AR MOBILE APP DISPLAY

Near the front of the floor, there was this small setup with banners advertising the Marvel AR app.

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iTunes description of the app is as follows:

Download the free MARVEL AUGMENTED REALITY app right now and bring the Marvel Universe to life like never before utilizing your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad 2. By opening the app and scanning select Marvel products featuring the Marvel AR logo, you’ll unlock exclusive content starring the world’s most popular super heroes– including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and more! Go behind the scenes of your favorite comics, experience mind-blowing 3D action scenes, see new footage, get caught up on past events and more!

Wait a minute.  Doesn’t that Museum of the Weird poster from the Parks and Resorts Pavilion have a Marvel AR logo on it?  Why, yes.  Yes it does.

Sadly, when one views the poster, all it unlocks is a video message from Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann asking us to stay tuned for a new comic book project from Marvel and Walt Disney Imagineers.

A comic book project inspired by imagery from the unrealized Museum of the Weird is, indeed, interesting and somewhat exciting.   But there was nothing in the video that the poster didn’t already tell us by sticking the Marvel logo on it.  I totally love the idea of Disney becoming more involved in this type of marketing, for example, the great Optimist alternate reality game that Disney just concluded.  However, the payoff for this hunt was a real stinker.

EXHIBITORS

Disney set aside a section of the floor for sponsors and exhibitors to display and sell their Disney licensed products.  It was a tepid offering, if I’m being nice, full of lackluster products with the bare minimum of connection to the Disney company.   You would think Disney could attract some higher caliber licensed exhibitors such as Mattel or Lego.  Or maybe not?

HALLMARK

Hallmark was featuring some Marvel merchandise including ornaments and paper goods.  (As well as some Star wars merchandise.)

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TERVIS

Tervis was selling some Marvel and Star Wars tumblers.

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PARTY CITY

Party City displayed a Thor costume and a graphic of all of the Marvel offerings.

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COLLECTOR’S FORUM

As usual, the most pop culture convention like thing on the floor is the Collector’s Forum.  This is where Disney puts all of the outside exhibitors that aren’t specifically on their list of sponsors or “exhibitors”.  For many attendees, this is where much of their free time is spent once they’ve finished the Parks and Resorts pavilion.  The Collector’s Forum hosts vendors, fan groups and websites, travel agents, artists and other Disney related businesses.

Amy Mebberson and James Silvani

Prolific Disney comics and ACME Archives artists Amy Mebberson and James Silvani were exhibiting their wares.

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James Silvani

When I found Amy, she was doing a special signing for ACME Archives within the Disney Dream Store.

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Amy Mebberson

 

Amy’s iconic Merida banner from the opening of the Wonderground Gallery in Downtown Disney Anaheim was being auctioned during the convention.

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James and Amy had a very special guest at their booth with them.

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Her gun actually smoked. Seriously.

 

Choice Collectibles

Choice Collectibles was featuring their Marvel Fine Art program.

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OFF WORLD ENCOUNTERS

Although not Marvel or comics related, I have a few things I’d like to share with you.  A couple of items are projects and stories that Marvel World has been covering at other conventions and some of them are just things I thought were neat.

ABC Studios Pavilion

ABC brought their San Diego Comic-Con display to D23 with the same videos to view inside the ship and the same pin giveaways.

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Disney Interactive Pavilion

Ducktales Remastered was on display for attendees to try out.  Unlike WonderCon and San Diego Comic-Con, the line was non-existent when my husband and I walked up Sunday and were immediately offered a chance to play.  I handed the controller to my husband and watched him have great fun reliving childhood memories.

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One of the great features of this release is that all of the character animation was all hand drawn.  That’s why it looks so much like the art from the television show.  It was at great effort this was done this way.  If I may be so bold, WORTH IT!  It looks beautiful.

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Disney Store

The Disney Store booth was the store with the longest line all weekend.  While the Dream Store and Mickey’s of Glendale (the Imagineering store) eventually reached a point where there was barely a line on Sunday, the Disney Store kept on trucking all weekend long.

While browsing the displays, I found these new dolls from the Disney Animator’s Collection featuring design from the classic Disney theme park attraction, It’s a Small World.  These dolls look like they came straight off the sets of the attraction.  When squeezed, they sing “It’s a Small World” in not only English, but the native language of the country they represent.

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Here’s the really crazy thing; MSRP is $29.50.  Yep.  Disney theme park attraction specific merchandise for $30.  Don’t be surprised if these dolls not only fly off the shelves, but fly into the hands of adult collector’s more often than not.

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Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Confession:  I’m a HUGE fan of Return to Oz, the Disney movie that Disney spent years denying they made.  Lucky for me, because of their latest Oz film, Oz the Great and Powerful, Disney has been opening up the vaults for every connection they ever had with the world of Oz including their evil step-child, Return to Oz.  One of the rooms of this year’s archives exhibit was devoted to all things Oz that Disney was involved with, including several creature creations from Return to Oz that, regardless of how you felt about the movie, are true works of art.

Return to Oz Archives Exhibit

WHEREFORE FREAKIN’ ART THOU LUCASFILM?!  (ROUND TWO)

Really, Lucasfilm?  Really?  Are we going to go through this again?  It’s bad enough that you rented out your space at San Diego Comic-Con and didn’t bring ANY Lucasfilm employees with you.  But to not have ANY presence at D23, your home base?

Lucasfilm, I’m worried about you.  Are you okay?  I haven’t seen you in awhile and I feel like you’re avoiding me for some reason.  Are you not sure who you are anymore?  Are you embarrassed of your new look?  Are you not who you used to be and are you afraid of what I’ll think of you?  Are you going through something major and don’t know how to tell me?

Okay.  In all seriousness folks, there were only two places that Star Wars had a presence on the show floor.  One was the small feature on Darth Vader for the Disney Consumer Products Pavilion.

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The other was a small display of crates in the Parks and Resorts Pavilion that had Star Wars imagery painted on.  One crate had an R2-D2 shaped hole in it and an R2-D2 robot would come out for pictures every so often.  You can check out Dateline Disneyland’s picture of the display HERE.

And to add insult to injury for Star Wars fans, during the Disney Studios Live Action presentation, no new information was presented at all; there was only a small acknowledgement of welcoming Lucasfilm into the company and that, yes, there are movies in the works.

I find myself constantly comparing the Lucasfilm acquisition to the Marvel acquisition.  But I suppose there is one glaring, major difference between the two.

Disney acquired Marvel in the middle of its renaissance age with a wealth of new movies well into production and a newfound public adoration of non-comic book nerds.  And the movies are GOOD.  Like, REALLY good.  Disney acquired Marvel with plenty of new content to immediately promote and, surprisingly, Disney knew to keep their hands out of what was already working.

Lucasfilm was acquired in…well, we’ll just say it’s no renaissance period.  No new major media content had been seen since the prequels which were not well-received creatively though made lots of money.  Over the years, Lucasfilm dropped almost all of its other properties including licensing some out to other companies, and focused on producing video games, an animated tv show, and merchandise all based on Star Wars. Disney may have bought Lucasfilm, but we all know the price paid was for Star Wars and Star Wars alone.  And with Star Wars in, seemingly, the twilight of its life, with fans complaining since the prequels that George Lucas is wrecking their memories, perhaps Disney feels they need to be heavy handed and completely rethink their promotional strategy and structure of the company.  Disney did send a clear message to Lucasfilm when they fired most of Lucasarts, the interactive entertainment division of Lucasfilm.  Disney essentially said, “We can do that better.”  And maybe they can.

Even so, if Disney wants to restructure and rethink Lucasfilm, why aren’t they at least trotting out a meet and greet with their Disneyland characters?  Disneyland is right across the street!  Why not have Disneyland Jedi Academy sessions on the convention floor for kids?  What about bringing over the Carbon-Freeze Me machinery from Disney World and give attendees the opportunity to order one?  With so much infrastructure already in place, the lack of Lucasfilm presence is mind-boggling.  D23 should have been a giant party to welcome Lucasfilm to the family.  Instead, Lucasfilm is treated like the person who just married into the family that nobody really likes.

MY FAVORITE FIND:  A MULTI-YEAR EBAY HUNT COMES TO AN END

Friends, I debated sharing this with you.  I already confessed my love of Return to Oz and feel  I have incurred enough shame.  I thought about lying to you, telling you that some other trinket or display was my favorite.  But I can’t lie to my dear readers.

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My favorite find at D23 2013 was a Return to Oz collectible that I had been hunting for years for.  One of the pieces of merchandise created for the movie was a paper doll book (remember those?) that featured Dorothy, Billina, Tik Tok, the Scarecrow and Jack Pumpkinhead with a multitude of outfits for Dorothy.

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In MINT condition, I ended a multi-year eBay quest and gleefully handed my money over to a vendor in the Collector’s Forum.  I am very pleased and no, will not be popping out the dolls anytime soon.

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As is usual with paper doll books of this type and era, the book is full of outfits that Dorothy never wears in the movie.

 

To find a paper doll book in mint condition 28 years after it was produced is a miracle.  And I feel I have found my personal holy grail of collectibles.

POSTCARD GIVEAWAY

Since making the transition from just a MiceChat Events Staffer to a Columnist just about six months ago, I am so grateful for the warm welcome MiceChat has given me and so happy that Marvel World seems to have found its audience.  As a small token of my appreciation to my readers, I will be giving away 3 of the Big Hero 6 promotional postcards that were available at the Walt Disney Studios Animation Studios Pavilion.  Be one of the first three people to tell me you want a postcard in the comments, and one of them will be mailed to you (like how you normally mail a postcard), dropped into the mailbox straight from me to you.  I’ll private message the first three commenters for their mailing addresses.

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Well!  So much Marvel at D23!  If they do another D23 convention states-side, I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with Avengers: Age of Ultron due out in 2015, when we could expect another Anaheim D23 convention.  Until next time, EXCELSIOR!

IMG_1273 Wish You Were Here

 

About Gwendolyn Dreyer

Gwen has been a MiceAge reader and a MiceChat member since 2005. In recent years, you may have seen her in an official leadership roles as a member of the MiceChat Special Events Crew. She has a BA in Theater Arts from UC Santa Cruz and has served in both onstage and offstage roles including Producer, Director and Playwright. Gwen is a huge comics fan and has followed comic book culture for over a decade, including an annual pilgrimage to San Diego Comic Con every July. Gwen and her husband write a comic strip called Bad Muffins: www.Facebook.com/BadMuffins. (Though, we must warn you of some harsh language and adult situations on this link.)

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23 Comments

Comments for Marvel World: Marvel Was Everywhere at D23 are now closed.

  1. The Spiderman strip of fabric is a buff (tubular bandana).

    • *Googles tubular bandana* OH! Well, okay then. Thanks!

  2. Srsly LOVE Return to Oz. Super Score on the paper dolls!

    • Thanks! Glad to see I’m not alone in my love for this under rated film.

  3. Great article! Really enjoyed seeing how spread out the Marvel offerings were. I agree with you on the Iron Man suit. It almost made the character look like a giant walking stuffed animal toy. I’m a huge Tron fan and was wondering if there was much there concerning it? Seems like I’m the only fan. Anyway, great job I really enjoyed this writeup and I’d even be willing to take one of those postcards off your hands. :)

    • I didn’t see any Tron stuff; although, as you can imagine, it wasn’t on my list of properties to find.

      Postcard #1 claimed!

  4. Hello, I’d like a postcard. And, I, too, am a closeted “Return to Oz” fan.

    • Postcard #2 claimed!

      It’s like we should start a support group. ;)

  5. You said you had three post cards? I’ll happily take the third.

    Thanks.

    • And #3 is claimed!

  6. Your flying Iron Man is awesome! And congratulations on your Return to Oz paper dolls. That was a lucky find.

    Great update. HUGE. It must have taken you forever to write. Much appreciated.

    • Thanks. It did take quite a long time. Even longer then my San Diego Comic-Con article!

  7. The Lucasfilm vibe you are getting feels like the first D23 Expo I went to RIGHT after Disney bought Marvel and it was the same thing. Just a quick “we bought Marvel” and then moving on. Even the 2nd D23 Expo had VERY lame Marvel offerings (not even a booth on the showroom floor). So maybe it will take time for Disney to figure out what to do with them since it seems like now by the 3rd D23 Expo they figured out Marvel.

    • Thanks for your feedback. The first D23, I only came for one day and the second, the same. This was the first time I was there all weekend and with a very specific purpose.

      I sure hope you’re right. Maybe I’m expecting a lot because they seem to be getting a handle on how to do conventions. And maybe I expect more this time around because they already had huge infrastructure in place due to the Lucasfilm presence in the park.

      You gotta admit, with Disneyland across the street, it really wouldn’t have taken much effort to port some of their stuff to D23 like a mentioned in the article.

  8. Wow I never realized the potential of a buff tubular bandana.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syGm0TuruDg

    Now how about making a video like this showing all the possibilities with the Spiderman bandana?!

    Setting that aside, I must compliment you on this article. As a new father of a nine month old daughter, I am seeking to continue to educate myself against gender bias, for her future self awareness. I am not perfect, but strive to be a more enlightened person than the media tries to make us all. Thank you.

    Together, we are making tomorrow beautiful. But you are making TODAY beautiful.

    • Uh, I think I’ll pass on the demonstration video. LOL.

      Thanks for the kind words. I always want to be proud of the words I put on the page/screen. If I had ignored the issue in the manual, I wouldn’t be able to stand by my review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  9. Marvels Man From Atlantis was actually the first TV Show from America allowed to be shown in China in the 70′s. Patrick Duffy of the later Dallas series, was picked from a McDonalds commercial to play the part. The Special effects have a lot in common with the Terminator and the original 60′s Time Machine.

    • I hope Disney uses the character in their Marvel Team.

    • Thanks for reading!

  10. Great article Gwen! Can’t believe it’ll be a month tomorrow since that Sunday when you found the paper dolls! It was an amazing find after all those years of searching. I’m looking forward to watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., especially after your review!! Thanks for the Marvel centered recap of the weekend!

    • They’ve been my PRECIOUS for a month!!!! PREEECCCIIOOOUUUUSSSSSS. :D

      And Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is AWESOME! Thanks for reading!

  11. It looked like a lot of fun. I do dislike that Captain America uniform though!

    • It WAS a lot of fun. My most enjoyable D23 yet!

      What in particular don’t you like about the Captain America costume?