Thursday, November 3, 2005

Mainstream Jessica Rabbit

Are cats and dogs living with each other yet? It looks as if the moment some of us have feared and others anticipated is close at hand.

Jessica Rabbit: Mainstream Disney character

Can it be true? Is it really happening? Will we be spending money we shouldn't on even more Jessica merchandise? I think the standing "hares" on the back of my neck point to yes.

Let's take a look at some important pieces of merchandise. The Jessica and Mickey Mouse shirt was released in World of Disney, New York. Jessica also appeared alongside Mickey's dog Pluto in a recent Halloween pin set. And last, but not least, an official Jessica Rabbit Halloween costume was released this year. Jessica is being reintroduced and recognized!

I tried to describe this possibility with a chain of similar events that happened to our beloved friend, and at the time pretty obscure, Jack Skellington. Do I even need to discuss the cash cow Tim Burton's "Nightmare" gang has become? A niche for these bizarre characters was found and one cannot deny they have become familiar Disney faces.

Jessica's story was much more tragic in that she is jointly owned by two companies, as are the rest of the "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" characters. Amblin Entertainment and Disney must both agree on every element of merchandise, etc., with Jessica's image before moving forward. They rarely agreed. Since those two companies could not see eye-to-eye, it was much easier to just shelve these characters early on and chalk the fiasco up to experience.

Magic happened somewhere, but I'll claim it all began with the pin-collecting craze. On January 19, 2003 the "Aloha from Jessica" pin was released too much surprise. The "Surfboard Jessica" 3-D pin soon followed. These pins were selling out on the first day of release and two Jessica pins were released a month for quite some time. Someone working in Disney was pushing the right buttons and shaking the right hands.

It was also astonishing that these pins were not even of the main movie character himself, and proved what a valuable character Jessica Rabbit is to Disney.

Suddenly, we are bombarded with a slew of new Jessica items. Pins never seem to be in short supply but as of late had been proving to the masses as pretty dull and lacking in quality. Although, up ahead is a road paved with interesting Jessica pins most will be pleased with. is releasing a set spoofing some of their popular ABC shows, one being called "Desperate Rabbit," named after the popular "Desperate Housewives." Jessica gasps as Roger is sent flying by a runaway lawnmower in their yard on "Hysteria Lane." Disney Auctions is still in the game offering two pins soon. One is Roger in a silver jacket in front of a grand piano and Jessica sits close by in a glittered dress with microphone in hand. The other is part of the 50's set with Jessica working as a drive in waitress, complete in mini-skirt, apron and roller skates as a love-struck Roger has hearts in his eyes while sitting is his decked out car.

The next two items are a complete surprise. has for sale a Jessica Magical Music Jewelry Box. Open the lid to reveal a small figure of Jessica that turns when you wind it up to play "Jessica's Theme." The background to the inside of the lid is the stage of the Ink and Paint Club. The decoration around the box is pink, gold and blue – matching well to the movie. There are also painted photos of the Diva herself around the sides with hearts outlining the base.

The other is the Jessica Dressing Room Snowglobe statue. Jessica sits in her dressing room stool in front of a mirror on a table, legs crossed and holding lipstick in one hand and a compact in the other. Jessica is in the globe – and on the outside is her hubby Roger holding his poem to Jessica. He stands on the top level of this statue near the globe and a pink floor lamp. Following the gold staircase to the bottom level is were bodyguard Bongo the Gorilla waits with arms crossed. There is an old victrola record player surround by flowers and heart boxes of candy on the purple checkerboard floor. Definitely a piece worth picking up.

Disney Auctions offers more than just pins. Another statue with mini-globes has been released. Jessica leans against Benny the Cab and flirts with love-struck Roger while discontented Baby Herman looks on. All five weasels are in their own snow globe as they ambush the crew.

Hide your cookies in Disney Auctions new Jessica and Roger cookie jar. Limited to only 350, Jessica and Roger are out for a spin in Benny the Cab.

There was also a one-of-a-kind vase and special paper sculpture available for a short time and at a high price.

In parks, said to be on the way, is a special Jessica Christmas pin and don't forget that awesome Jessica big figure.

Jessica might be making her way into the mainstream world of Disney. And it looks as if her husband Roger is taking advantage of her stardom by abruptly appearing along side her in most of the recent merchandise.

Either way it is good news and bad news. Good for us, bad for our wallets. Good for Jessica, but bad because Disney now has the chance to overuse and overexpose the character.

I was close to a lush "Nightmare" collection many years ago until the sudden boom of interest and merchandise. Now, it's just not possible to have a full collection. My advice, we won't be able to buy every Jessica thing they throw out there so thank the lord for eBay. You will always have the chance to get your missed items much, much later. Only buy what you like, don't try to keep up for the sake of getting everything you possibly can. Enjoy what you have, open the box, display your items proudly.

Even though we might get a rush of Jessica stuff this holiday season, it could be really exciting to see what will be released and finally have Jessica get her time in the spotlight. Now everyone can find that perfect Jessica gift for you... start your list today!