Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jessica Rabbit Merchandise Review #7 - Magnet

The Jessica's store, which once existed in Pleasure Island way back between 1989 to 1992, offered the biggest assortment of Jessica merchandise ever. Pins, statues and other kitschy collectibles were not among the majority at that time. Instead, there were shirts, mugs, neck ties and magnets.

There were a lot of items that had use in the home, something we have not seen much of since then (with the exception of a few mugs and journals - not counting the Very Rare Jessica stationery released in Tokyo Disneyland). One such fun and inexpensive item was the Jessica Rabbit magnet, available only at the Jessica's store in Pleasure Island. The magnet was full color and shows Jessica in her most iconic look-over-the-shoulder pose. It also was not just a big, square magnet with a photo of Jessica either. It was shaped in her form and painted.

The Jessica's store magnet.

With such an item, you can't always capture small detail, but this works for what it is - just a cute fridge magnet that might hold up a report card or grocery list. They used a few colors - red, peach dark purple and light purple. Her hair is red here from what it appears, not orange as it should be but it isn't something that really changes her look. I suppose they made a little more effort making her shoes the correct color rather than just making them the same color as the gloves. She is also outlined in black which is painted and not just the magnet color coming through. The paintwork can be a little sloppy or uneven in areas, and it might be more of a silk-screen technique rather than hand painted.

Like pretty much all Who Framed Roger Rabbit related merchandise, they had to be stamped Disney/Amblin - since both companies jointly owned the rights to the film and the characters.

I suppose there is not much you can say about a magnet but such Jessica Rabbit related houseware has not been available in a long time. I suppose it would have been cool to see a glittered version of this magnet too, but as for now, its all we have. The Jessica's store magnet does show up online from time to time so you can still get your hands on one.

The Jessica's Store Glittered Keychain gets a 3½. I had previously given this a 3. It's cute, maybe a little sloppy paint, but a glitter version would have been cooler.

Pin Preview - Roses Box Set

At this past weekend's Trade City pin event, there were a lot of future releases previewed - however, there is a very scarce selection of Jessica pins coming (at least that were previewed at the time of the event anyway.)
Below is the upcoming Roses Six Pin Box Set to be released at the Love is Magic event in February. The roses can open, showing a famous Disney couple inside. It will only be available at that event and is an LE 300 set.

You can go to Cody Smith's Trade City photo collection to see more photos from the Trade City event.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jessica Rabbit Merchandise Review # 6 - Jessica Rabbit Tonner Doll

Robert Tonner, designer and sculptor well known for his amazing, high-quality fashion dolls, formed the reputable and respected Tonner Doll company. Over the years has created his own original characters, as well as familiar ones like Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, Edward Cullen, and even Miss Piggy.

When the official Disney Princess line began, Tonner brought to life such characters as Belle, Snow White, and Maleficent with stunning detailed costumes and a very signature look that Tonner dolls became known for.

Surprisingly, a Jessica Rabbit doll was revealed in February of 2010. It was also showcased at the Toy Fair in New York along with other new additions such as Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.

Pin Preview - Who Framed Roger Rabbit Jessica Rabbit

A new glittered Jessica Rabbit pin will be released in Walt Disney World, Orlando, on 09/06/2010. In an effort to present a bigger character selection of pins to customers, Disney created single character pins, with such characters as The Evil Queen, Figaro (from Pinocchio), Mr. Toad, Yzma (from The Emperor's New Groove), and Cheshire Cat. Different characters will be released over time and they are not listed as Limited Editions. They sell for $6.95 each and can be ordered by calling Walt Disney World Merchandise Guest Services at (407)363-6200 or send an e-mail: wdw.mail.order@disneyworld.com for the new Jessica pin (SKU# 562476). Roger Rabbit will also be available (SKU# 562360).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pin Release - California Sun

A surprise pin was released at Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store in California on 08/07/2010.
Roger and Jessica have some fun on the beach - and Roger makes a sand sculpture of Jessica! The Pin is a Limited Edition of 300.

Jessica Rabbit Merchandise Review #5 - Medicom Vinyl Statue

In 2002, the company Medicom Toy released Vinyl Collectible Dolls of Roger Rabbit and Benny the Cab. The results were stunning. For a number of years before that, Medicom had been releasing various Disney characters, such as Mickey, Pooh and Buzz Lightyear. Each statue pays very close attention to character detail and the colors are spot on. In 2003, Medicom released it's 9 inch Jessica Rabbit Vinyl statue. However, like all others, it was only available in Japan. I stumbled upon a great website called Hobby Link Japan, which sells all sorts of collectibles from overseas. After a short back order scare, I placed an order and my statue eventually arrived in perfect condition. I'm very happy I made that $30 investment.

Jessica Rabbit Merchandise Review #4 - Jessica Flexie

Zany film characters you can collect, bend and pose!

The mystery continues! Was there a will... Who bumped off Acme... Who Framed Roger Rabbit... What part does Baby Herman play... Detective Eddie Valiant is on the case. Perhaps it was the evil Judge Doom and his Weasel companions... or maybe the ambitious, beautiful Jessica is behind it all...

Re-enact all the action or create your own adventures with your Who Framed Roger Rabbit™ Flexies™: Collect Them All!

Among the very first official merchandise released and, as of 2010, the only thing close to Roger Rabbit Action Figures we've seen were called "Animates" by LJN. The figures were in the scaled size like Star Wars or G.I. Joe (3 3/4") yet there were only 4 characters released (Roger, Eddie, Judge Doom and Boss Weasel.) Baby Herman and Jessica were NOT included. However, a larger scale set of bendy figures called Flexies were released to include all six of them. Benny the Cab was released in scale for the small 3 3/4" figures but not made for the larger Flexies. Roger was the only character released as a Super Flexie, a larger scale bendy figure.

All six Flexies were made of rubber with a wire inside so you can "pose" them in various positions. I'm not sure if I remember correctly, but most bendy figures released, around that time anyway, always had a pair of holes on the back of their limbs and neck. This was done so that the rubber had a little more give when being posed, but as you can imagine, is an eyesore. One of the many problems with bendy figures was that the paint often wore off, rubber couldn't capture facial or costume details, the wire inside snapped rendering it useless or the broken wire pierced through the rubber and protruded out the skin of the figure. In the case of these figures, the paint is Very sloppy and a bit more faded than in the promotional photos.

The name Flexies was the nickname given by the crew for the life size stand-in dolls used in the film. To better assist the actors and cameraman in visualizing where the animated characters should be, big bendable foam figures were created - at least for Roger, Baby Herman and the Weasels. So I imagine that may have inspired this set of figures.

Jessica's colors are accurate although she has a pretty blank stare. Her eye is not as close to what it should look like and the faded paint job there and on her lips makes it appear not as correct as it should be. Her.. bosom obviously isn't as ample as it should be but it's not too bad and her dress top color is very accurate.

One of her hands is sculpted open, but the other is sculpted with what looks like the fingers closed, like maybe to hold something. I don't want to consider her skirt an accessory but sadly that’s all she's got. A huge disappointment since even a frying pan would have sufficed and I'm convinced that's why she's sculpted with a closed fist. The skirt is a shimmering dark pink material on the outside, but white on the inside which is very visible. It is fastened at her waist by a small square of velcro. There is a small fake jewel glued on top of the velcro on the outside of the dress, which looks a little odd. If you take her skirt off she's just wearing a one-piece and again you'll see she's not as curvaceous as in the film.

Her small feet are sculpted with her heels and foot as one piece. It's pretty impossible to have her stand on her own and if you do get her to she does not stay up long unless you lean her against Roger or Baby Herman's chair.

There are other characters that could have definitely been included. Four of the five weasels are missing and could have added to the fun factor. Benny the Cab would have been a great addition in this scale, along with some nice accessories (rumor is the small version was pulled from toy shelves due to a choking hazard.) I don't know how well a Dolores figure would have worked, but if they would have added her with Eddie as a two pack, it would have increased the value a lot. Bongo the gorilla bouncer would have also been an interesting character to see. No playsets were created but this was time way before The Simpson's voice activated type technology was available and could have been really beneficial to this or other Roger toy lines. I'd love to see a company like McFarlane do some figures. They'd really be able to capture the gritty realism of the humans and also make the colorful, 2D Toons as they are supposed to look.

The 80's is still a very popular an fun time so one could only hope for the possibilities of another, or initial, Roger Rabbit toy series!

The Jessica Flexie gets a 3½. It's fun, and the only real figure we have seen so far but lacks detail and an accessory.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pin Preview - Initial Letter Series

One of the next pin series to come is the Initials Series, featuring a Disney character next to their initial and the rest of their name incorporated into it somewhere. The pre-production art for the Jessica pin though does not show the rest of her name included like the rest of the pins from that series.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jessica Rabbit Merchandise Review #3 - Mattel Doll

It was unfortunate that a Jessica Rabbit doll slipped through the merchandise cracks back in 1988, but at that time, a sexy cartoon doll was something I'm sure few retailers were going to risk creating. Although adults had been collecting such things for years now, that was a time before the internet would bring all the geeks together to shop in the safety of their mother's basement - thus also making it way before the demand for female collectibles was realized.

Some time in 1999, a sneak peek image of the first ever Jessica Rabbit doll was released and made its way through the web. It was more than stunning, and looked to be everything a Jessica collector could imagine... but things changed. Another image was found of the doll on display at Toy Fair, with slight variations. The modifications were not all that bad and is something that happens to products all the time. Jessica was prominently featured too, along with a nice display of the Ink and Paint Club stage. But, when a third image was released, replacing the first on many sites, it showed a very different look, making things bit confusing. In the end the doll actually released seemed like a combination of all three, but looked less like the original image. Let’s examine.

First, the face and hair. The initial image released was actually very close to what Jessica should look like. She had the larger eyelid, small nose and bigger lower lip. The Toy Fair image looked similar except her hair was longer and skin-tone lighter. The new image was totally different though. Her eyelid was sculpted a lot smaller and she now had a deep line of eye shadow around it. Her eyes were more open. Her expression was no longer a Mona Lisa smile, but rather a pout. Her upper lip was much larger than the lower and her face was very rounded.

The body was the next big difference. The skin-tones seemed to change a little, along with her bust size. The arms appear to have changed slightly with more attention on the purple coloration than the shape. The dress in the last photo puts the slit on the correct side and the over all dress look changed. The leg, which had a nice slight bend to it in the first images, is totally taken away in the last- going just straight down to her high heels, which are sculpted onto the doll.

The end result uses much of the elements from the latter promo photo. However, the doll still looks good for the first attempt ever. The doll stands at about 14 inches tall. The dress is an oddly stiff material though, but I suppose it's better made to stay in place. The glitter seems to be put on top of the material rather than part of it, but I don't recall any glitter coming off very easily - which is a plus. The purse is stitched to the dress which is a little annoying, and if you are planning to remove her from the box, be prepared to take some time with it. She is articulate at her neck, biceps and at an odd waist angle. She also wears gold earrings and black panties - settling that nasty rumor once and for all.

The other accessory Jessica comes with is her stand. The backing is a clear plastic which goes around her waist and connects to the base. The base is shaped like a film reel with her name on a decal across the side. The box is an interesting shape with an hourglass type window that extends to the top of the box. The color is a deep purple that really presents the doll well, especially with the spotlight look behind her. The movie logo is fantastic as the red finished with glitter.

I'm not exactly sure why this was called WOW! Jessica Rabbit Special Edition. The title to Who Framed Roger Rabbit did not end with a question mark, as it was considered bad luck in Hollywood to end your movie title with one. Perhaps they should have used this rule here when creating the doll - WOW!. Also, calling it a Special Edition is peculiar, since there was no other edition of this doll.

There was no official reason given for the change to the doll's look. Read the Exclusive interview with the Jessica Mattel Doll designer, Lisa Temming, to find out plenty of details about this doll. According to a doll sculpting website, "This was a licensed sculpt that was done for the Disney licensing department at Mattel. This was a very hot property and so took many meetings between Disney and Mattel to get the final approval. Once on the shelves, it was an extremely hot seller."

This gets a 3½ because of that teaser image being released not actually being the doll offered. It's good for a first time Jessica Rabbit, and the details and colors are all correct here, but the unreleased prototype set expectations very high.

Exclusive Jessica Rabbit Artist Interview - Lisa Temming