Last week was action packed as I had a book tour that took me across Ohio and Indiana. On May 3rd I was lucky enough to do a book signing at Brian’s Bookstore and Coffee Bar in Connersville, Indiana. I love this little coffee house where you can have a nice home cooked meal and read some really awesome books or magazines while doing so. Not to mention meeting Brian, who never ceases to put a smile on your face and make you laugh with delight at his banter.
On Friday May 2, I spent an evening signing books at Bonnett’s Book Store in Dayton, Ohio. This wonderful little bookstore has been in Kevin’s family since the forties I believe, and it’s a kick in the pants to visit. Kevin’s a fan of many things and it shows in his bookstore. This store is packed, literally to the rafters, with cool used books and things from every area including some amazing Disney paraphernalia from stem to stern. Truly a must see if you’re in the area.
Anita Schaengold was my date for the night as I visited and signed my book, ”Tales from Terri: A Disney Sculptor’s Life. Thank you Anita, and also to you Gary for the hospitality you both showed me while on the book tour.
Anita and I ran the Flying Pig Half Marathon on May 4th, the toughest race I’ve run to date. Anita comes out to join me for the Disneyland and Walt Disney World runs, so I thought it would be nice to join one in her neck of the woods. We were quite tired when we finished as it included scaling a hill we nicknamed “Swine Hill.”
This hill was so difficult it had me thanking god that I hadn’t signed up for the full marathon.
I know Anita and I will cherish that medal for years to come. I urge you to come join us if the mood takes you as it’s a great way to see the city you’re in. We ran from Ohio to Kentucky and back again. Whew!
MALEFICENT: The Film is Coming Soon. Are You Excited? And Why Can’t We Have An Event That Caters More To The Collector?
What does this film have to do with me? Nothing. However, like you, I’m a huge fan. Maleficent is my favorite villain. Ever since I was a young child I’ve loved her.
My favorite scene is when she sits down exhausted in her thorn and says of her henchmen, “Oh! They’re hopeless. It’s a disgrace to the forces of evil.” I also love that she turns into a Dragon. Surprise!
There has been a lot of hype about this movie, and I ask, “Are you Excited?”
I am. I’m also a little scared, as I’m hoping they don’t do to my beloved villain what they did to Anakin Skywalker in “Return of the Jedi,” and turn her into a weenie.”
Maleficent is evil and I hope she stays that way. We shall see. Angela Jolie looks amazing and she is the exact right person to give the human version of this tale just the right touch of malevolence. Fingers crossed.
Why bring this up now? Well, it reminded me of something I wanted to talk about in this week’s article.
I was asked to create a Maleficent piece for the Disney Diva’s Villain’s Event at Disneyland back on October 26, 2000. This event turned out to be amazing, as Disney seemed to pull out all the stops. They really gave you a lot of bang for you buck. Then when you thought they could do no better, Disney blew your socks off and gave you the LE (Limited edition of 500) boxed “Maleficent” pin as you exited the park.
This pin was beyond words. The box was black velvet with the event date imprinted on the inside. Pass-holders were talking about it for days and it’s still one of their favorite merchandise events.
However, why don’t they do events like this one anymore? How do they stack up today? Are they good? I’m not so sure. Have they done events that have excited you lately? If so, please share them with me as many I see seem to miss the mark. Why?
This event was full of excitement. You dined with master artists, and met with special guests. You also had the opportunity to collect special limited edition art pieces, including high end art and art that everyone could afford. Sometimes there was even a show at these events.
I was excited to have my art included in this event and not one piece but two: Chernabog and Maleficent.
I had spoken to a lot of collectors and I asked Disney if I could have a larger edition of each of these pieces. Many of you had told me that the one thing you really didn’t like about my Disney art was that the editions were way too small.
The edition for Chernabog was very limited. Only 5 were produced in addition to the original. “Huh?” I was confused. All I could think of was that in order for a pass-holder to become the proud owner of Chernabog, you’d have to sell your first-born!
An edition of 5 would make him very expensive. Plus the cost of the original would be out of this world and to top it off you had to enter a lottery to get the chance to do so. Still this is what Disney wanted.
There had to be a better way.
For some time, annual pass-holders had asked for not only larger editions but also a way to get some of these lovely event exclusives no matter what time you arrived at the event.
In order to get the good stuff you had to arrive very early and stand in line, otherwise you were out of luck. Heaven help you if you had to wait to get off of work or travel a long distance to the events, as upon arriving later most of the stuff was all sold out.
Maleficent became a solution to that problem. After a bit of brainstorming, Disney came up with this wonderful idea. Why not create a sculpture and let the pass-holders who attend be the ones to dictate the edition size?
A Maleficent maquette was displayed on the night of the event. Alongside the maquette was a color drawing of the finished piece. Listed on the sheet given to guests was a special note that showed the cost of the Maleficent, how many you could buy and a little notation stating that the edition would remain open until the close of the event. Once closed, the piece would be delivered at a later date. Thus allowing all guests the opportunity to own her. Once the event ended, “Maleficent” sales were tallied to determine the edition size. That night’s “Maleficent” by Terri Hardin edition size became 400.
This was a very successful event and seemed to please a multitude of guests that night. We thought we had a great solution. Just have a few pieces at each event remain open until the close of the event. But that’s not the way it turned out.
This method was used only one more time that I’m aware of, then vanished. Why? Perhaps you have a theory. You might even have a better idea for handling the release of highly sought after specialty artwork.
Next time around, what would you like me to share with you, Captain EO? RunDisney Events, or something else (be specific)??
This week it seems that a lot of you have questions about the Tokyo Dragon. So this is what I will speak to briefly.
The Tokyo Dragon is as you say, one that was in an attraction that celebrated all the villains. You would go down in an elevator and yes, it was too dark to really see. The strobe effect seemed to be there to add a bit of fear factor, but you couldn’t really see the dragon much at all.
I cannot say if it’s still there today, as I’ve not been to Tokyo Disneyland in a while. However, I can say that this is the very same dragon. Disney felt that the Dragon had not really been showcased well, and wanted to fix that. This is how the “La Taniere Du Dragon” idea was formed. Disney Imagineers were asked to showcase this poor cramped Dragon in Tokyo in a better light. I was the lucky winner of that project.
The Dragon is much happier in her new environment, wouldn’t you say?
Thank you for all you comments, thoughts and questions. Please continue to post them as it’s such a great help.
As always, thanks for listening.