Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Notable Jessica Rabbit Artists

Kent Melton

I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Drawn That Way (2004) and Dear Jessica, How Do I Love Thee (1999) Walt Disney Classics Collection statues

Jennifer Oliver

Disney Auctions first Jessica Rabbit six pin set (2004), Disney P.I.N.S. Christmas Jessica Series (2004), and various other pins

Cody Reynolds

Jinglin' Jessica Christmas Ornament (2000), Jessica Rabbit Big Figure, (2005)

Mark Marderosian

Jessica's store neon sign, various Jessica's store merchandise (1989)

Tracy M Lee

Jessica Rabbit Mini-Maquettes design (2009)

Robert Tonner

Tonner Jessica Rabbit Doll (2010)

Lisa Temming

Mattel WOW! Jessica Rabbit Doll (1999)

Lisa Temming Exclusive Interview

Henry Alvarez

Jessica Rabbit Painted Bronze Statue (1997)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Roger Rabbit Sequel News

Recently, Empire Magazine spoke with Who Framed Roger Rabbit producer, Don Hahn, overseas at a UK pre-production of Tim Burton’s upcoming film, Frankenweenie. Out of everyone, Don had been the most skeptical about a Roger sequel ever happening.

All he did coyly reveal about a Roger Sequel was:

“Yeah, I couldn't possibly comment. I deny completely, but yeah… If you’re a fan, pretty soon you’re going to be very, very, very happy.”

Don Hahn also revealed the studio is planning to re-release The Lion King in 3D after the 3D conversion of Beauty and the Beast in 2011.

Roger Rabbit McDonald's Commercial

Here is a video for the long lost Roger Rabbit McDonald's commercial featuring Roger AND Jessica.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jessica Rabbit Merchandise Review #2 - Disney Beanie

Before people were crazy about pins, they were crazy over little stuffed bears called Beanie Babies by the Ty Company. Eventually, Disney got into the act with its own line of beanies based on its characters. For a very long time the characters of Who Framed Roger Rabbit remained missing from the line, but soon after the films 10th Anniversary, Roger and Benny the Cab were released in stores.

With a small surge of merchandise released, the possibility for a Jessica beanie seemed hopeful, but still uncertain. Yet, 1999 finally brought us a plush version of our curvaceous cartoon. Jessica was sold only as a set with Baby Herman through the Disney catalog and website. For a plush doll, it's perfect and an exact representation of her film counterpart.

Her face is embroidered and earns the best points for the doll as it is a very accurate representation. Her hair is three pieces. The main part is the back. The other is the part which covers her right eye. It has a little less stuffing in it so it's more movable. The third part is longer and attached to her left side, cascading over her shoulder. Her gloves are a satin-like material (although not as shiny as in the promotional photo and perhaps a different shade) with a wavy ric-rac border down the side which mimics the light colored reflection often seen drawn on her gloves. The dress is the usual color with the slit on the correct side.

For a beanie, I suppose they did the best they could with her chest adding a strategically placed seam right in the middle.

On a humorous note, she is wearing small white panties. There are really the bean-beads in this doll located in her lower torso, backside and legs. The colors are all correct and although it's a mini bean bag, at 10 inches, it's a big enough plush to enjoy. This beanie is easily found on eBay and is worth picking up.

A solid 4½ for accurate face and details, being part of a set, and rounds out a nice collection of four characters from the film.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jessica Rabbit Merchandise Review #1 - Applause Figure

As I originally intended, I'm going to star putting up reviews of various Jessica Rabbit merchandise.

This review is for the first Jessica Rabbit figure made, a PVC by Applause released in 1988. You could find this figure almost anywhere from toy stores to greeting card shops, usually found in a Toon Town display with other characters like Benny, Roger and Baby Herman.

While you cannot expect a small toy such as this to be very detailed, this figure was "not bad" but lacked heavily in many areas. The paint was a bit sloppy. She was given a strange eye and unpainted lips. It changed the whole appearance of the figure. Her hands are a big large also and there is something off about the hair. Disney also seemed not to take ANY chances with her bust, which you can see is Fully covered - unlike in the movie.

The colors are all correct and the pose is good (in spite of the dress slit on the wrong side). She's holding a frying pan with Roger's face banged into it which is cute. There is a flat base attached for Jessica to better stand with.

I don't remember how much it sold for originally but it was not more than a few dollars, and you can still easily find this figure on line. There are also two other PVC Jessica figures, Nurse Jessica and Jessica with a microphone. I never saw these back in 1988 and from the look of them I assumed they were fan made, but I'm not sure. They may have been available in another country or were of limited availability.

For fun I decided to manipulate the photo and make the Jessica figure as it should have looked - and also with an Ink and Paint Club variant.

The Jessica Rabbit PVC figurine by Applause gets a 3. The Body was fine, but the face lacked detail, even for a small PVC figure.

Side Note: PVC toys have recently come under fire for not being safe. Polyvinyl chloride products are things like electrical chords, kitchen tiles and even on clothes. The fear is the chemicals may be toxic for both humans and the environment and now many toy manufacturers and hospitals are becoming PVC-Free.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Noteworthy Jessica Rabbit Pins

The first ever LE 100 Jessica six pin set was released on Disney Auctions in 2004, selling for $165.00 and the set is highly sought after today.

The very first Jessica Mystery pin was in 2004, given as a free gift when you ordered from Disney online. Limited to 100, this is one of the rarest Jessica pins.

Disney Auction Pins were usually a low edition of 100 and the Jessica pins from that time now sell for a lot of money and getting harder to come by.

The first public pin event to offer a Jessica pin was Mickey's All American Pin Quest - celebrating Disneyland's 48th Birthday. The first private event to offer a Jessica pin was Lights, Camera, Pins.

Disney soon began to have special pin events which required registration and separate admission such as: Chip and Dale's Wild West Pin Adventure, Pin Trading University, Pin Route 498 and The Museum of Pin-tiquities .

The very first pin of Jessica in a Halloween costume is from the 2006 Glow-in-the-dark Spiderweb Collection, released in Disneyland.

The first ever Jessica pin to feature a glitter accented dress was from Disneyland Paris in 2003. The first pin in the US was a one-of-a-kind prototype that sold on the Disney Auctions site for $295 in June of 2003. The first glitter dress pin was finally offered to the public for Easter of 2004.

The first ever Jessica pin series was available in November of 2004 on Disney's Purchase It Now Store (P.I.N.S) which was part of their Auction site.

In June 2006, Jessica Rabbit at the Beach was the first pin series available from Disney Online after their auction site closed.

One of the most famous and interesting series is Jessica Around The World. Unlike a pin set, pins in a series were sold separately. This series proved to be very popular - I wonder why!

Probably the strangest Jessica pin is the 2007 Snowman Likeness pin, sold online Christmas Eve and was part of a LE 100 set with other characters. It sold out the same day of release.

Disney began selling Mystery Sets, you never knew which pin you would get. Jessica was often the character in the lowest edition of 50 out of 1000.

There are frequently Jessica pins released for each Holiday at Disney Parks and on their website.

The biggest Roger Rabbit Cast pin is the Super Jumbo Puzzle Pin available in 2007.

The most important and famous Jessica Rabbit pin is the Limited Edition 100 Movie Star Jumbo from 2006. The pins were auctioned on Disney's site for over $100. Disney reported to customers the pins were "lost," and no one would be charged unless they were found. Disney's Auction site closed and the pins resurfaced two years later on Disney's website without warning and not offered to the original bidders. They sold for $19.95 and were gone within minutes - now they can sometimes be found on eBay for over $200.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The History of Jessica Rabbit Disney Pins

Pin trading became a phenomenon some time around 2000. I am willing to guess it picked up steam with the release of the Disney Store Count Down to the Millennium pin series. One hundred and two pins were released with almost every possible character you could imagine - Mickey, Goofy, Aladdin, Bambi, Jack Skellington, Herbie, The Black Cauldron, Tron and even Roger & Jessica. No matter what character you liked, you could at least get one from the series. And completists were assured a nice collection and one with the possibility to complete.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was pin #30 in the Count Down to the Millennium series.

Between 1988 - 2003 there were a only small handful of Jessica pins released. After fifteen years of very little available in terms of Jessica pins (and any Jessica merchandise for that matter) things were about to seriously change.

The few Jessica pins released in a span of fifteen years.

We are of course only counting enamel cloisonné pins (not buttons or other types of pins). The cloisonné pin trading/collecting market took off and somehow, someway, Jessica Rabbit was brought into that market - the Aloha, from Jessica pin being the first released starting her new-found fame. It is very strange and interesting that a character kept under wraps for so many years and not used in much merchandise for various rumored reasons was selected at all. One would think Roger Rabbit would be the one they chose, but that certainly was not the case. Not only were there several Jessica pins released each month in 2003, they showed Jessica in many different ways we had not seen before.

While some pins used traditional poses, others depicted Jessica as we had not seen, such as the Aloha from Jessica pin.

Disney took a lot of advantage of this new found fame in Jessica Rabbit. It was reported by pin collectors that her park released pins were selling out in half a day, and the pin craze had not slowed down one bit. Soon, Disney started its Disney Auctions site, run in part by eBay. The difference was, you now had the chance to bid on pins that were a Limited Edition of only 100 (as opposed to park pins that were not limited, or had a high edition sizes like 1500). Disney also started the Purchase It Now Store (P.I.N.S.) which offered different pins usually at Limited Editions of 500 and could be purchased rather than auctioned. For unknown reasons, Disney Auctions closed after only two or three years and toward the end, prices for Limited Edition 100 Jessica Pins were climbing high at auction - the highest being over $100 for a single pin. 

Limited Edition 100 Jessica Rabbit pins are now among the most coveted in any collection - but poor customer service, damaged or missing pins and high negative feedback comments are rumored to play a part in Disney Auctions closing.

After the closing of Disney Auctions, there was no time to let your wallet rest. Disney's website took over, and as if they had not taken advantage before, this was certainly the time when Jessica pin production got out of control. There was one Jessica pin every week, sometimes more. It was total madness! To further take advantage, Disney began making Mystery Pin Sets, which were eight pins "randomly" selected in a set of four, so you never knew which pins you would get.

All the pins were not in equal amounts - usually with Jessica limited to only 50, and Mickey for example limited to 1000 - which lessened your chance of getting any character in a lower addition but usually tempted you to buy more than one set. Mystery Sets made way for a Mystery Artist Proof series, which were regular pin sets with 3 or even just one artist proof pin randomly packed to any customer. The downfall was Disney clamed due to the nature of the set being a "Mystery" series, the pins were not returnable or refundable.  

Around 100 different Jessica Rabbit pins were released on Disney's Website alone in 2007.

Different Jessica Rabbit pins were still released in various Disney parks and locations.

Many Jessica Rabbit pins started to feature such elements as glitter, crystals, glowing, movement and multiple layers.

Suddenly, Roger Rabbit started to appear alongside Jessica more often, but it seemed that pins with her alone were selling faster. The highest Jessica Rabbit pin amount released in one month was twenty one - during October of 2006. For the first time, Jessica Rabbit was now starting to be associated with holidays such as Valentines Day, Easter, Christmas and Halloween (in which her Costume Series became highly anticipated each year).

Disney also released a series of nine pins for the Who Framed Roger Rabbit 20th Anniversary in 2008. It should have just been called the Jessica Rabbit Anniversary, since every pin featured her. One pin was even called "Jessica Rabbit and the cast of Who Framed Roger Rabbit," and Roger is on the pin! Poor Roger.

Jessica Rabbit was added to every Who Framed Roger Rabbit 20th Anniversary Pin. Not one featured Roger Rabbit alone.

It became fairly obvious by now that there was a sort of pin "pecking order." Among the top elite were Stitch, Tinker Bell, Maleficent and Jessica. Every week the character selection seemed to be limited by the constant use of the same few characters, and often using the same pose for both park and website pins, although altered slightly or in a different costume.

After rumor that Disney let go of their creative team, disappointing pins using the same or slightly altered poses soon followed.

The customer service, pin selection, quality and uniqueness began to suffer by 2008 and into 2009. Also, the availability of pins some weeks became slim. Pins were released at midnight (that's 3am for people on the east coast) and Jessica Rabbit pins were beginning to sell out sometimes within thirty minutes  or less of their listing on Disney's website (and also happened to show up on auction sites the same night for over double the price!). It was suspected that customers (or Disney employees with prior knowledge of pins released) were buying as many pins as they could, which left many people empty handed after staying up all night. This became so common that in 2009 Disney finally listened to customers and began to limit a pin design per customer to only 3 or 1 on the day of release, even going so far as to require a phone order be placed for a short time. However, this rule only applied to LE 100 sets, AND Tink or Jessica pins - their most popular pin characters. 

In 2006, eleven Halloween pins were released during October on Disney's Website.

A special Jessica Rabbit series of eight pins were released on the same day.

In 2007, ten pins and one Halloween lanyard were released during October on Disney's Website.

For the second year, a special Jessica Rabbit in Halloween Costume series of eight separate pins was released on the same day.

Jessica Rabbit as Maleficent was the fastest to sell out and is highly sought after today.

In 2008, nine Halloween pins were released during October. The Jessica Rabbit Halloween Costume series was reduced to four.

Tinker Bell even appeared as Jessica Rabbit in costume, the first Disney character to do so.

Jessica Rabbit as The Queen of Hearts became the fan favorite.

In 2009, only five Halloween pins were released during October.

The Jessica Rabbit Halloween Costume series was reduced to three and all of them sold out the same day.

This was the first series that required a phone order.

By 2010, the number of Jessica pins released drastically decreased. She has been left out of the past few series' such as the Snow Globe series, Bath Time series (hmmm), Beach series, Attitudes series and State Monument series. Of note however is the lack of creativity put into each series as of late - all of the character images becoming pretty standard and series selections becoming less imaginative (the T-Shirt, Boot and Coffee Cup series had many scratching their heads.)

Some pins were fast sell outs, either on the same day or within minutes of their release, such as Doctor Jessica Rabbit.

This highly anticipated 2007 Valentine Jessica Rabbit set looked promising.
In spite of being a Mystery Set with some pins being available in sterling silver, this high Edition set of 1000 was not very popular.

By now it is almost impossible to collect every Jessica pin, some people are close though. There are over 600 Jessica pins released as of 2012.