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Kim's Corner
Page 1 of 18

by Kim Petersen (archives)
February 25, 2002
Kim takes a very detailed look at Disneyland's 100 Mickey event including an interview with artist Eric Robison and a look at the new Print on Demand system.

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100 Mickeys + Eric Robison = A Major Dent in My Bank Account

Right off the top - so that there can be no mistake - and to stop anyone who wants a thorough piece-by-piece critique of the exhibit from reading any further. I'm a fan of Eric's work - there's something infectious and open about his composition and his vision of his subject that draws me to his work. Additionally - I'm a Mickey fan - have been for as long as I can remember. So Just about anything with the mouse on it will get my attention. Also - I'm a computer geek and the hardware and software technology that it takes to run the Print on Demand (PoD) system really appeals to the nerd in me. Most importantly - I think - is that I’m a collector and I’ll support just about anything that brings high-quality, high-demand product into the marketplace at reasonable prices.

So - this is a completely biased review of the new gallery exhibit and the integration of PoD technology into the Disneyland Gallery.

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Images hang in a completely refurbished gallery space.
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It happens like this sometimes - when talent and drive and guts collide with technology and a merchandiser brave enough to take both head on and go after a share of the Disneyana marketplace. The talent - in this case - belongs to Eric Robison and the drive and guts can be shared with the Director of Specialized Businesses at the DLR Tony Garrison - and his amazing staff in the Specialized Businesses group. Essentially - the entire management of the Merchandise division who took a chance on both the project and the technology - no matter the size of the margin for failure. It’s a bold chance they took and I hope it pays off BIG for them - and - in a way - for all collectors who want available and affordable Disney-themed art.

The imaging technology from Adobe and the printing machinery from Hewlett Packard and its implementation by Print on Demand - also deserves a share of the credit as this is truly a combined effort. When I first heard some rumors about this project during the Official Disneyana Convention last year - that PoD was going to be coming to the resort - I thought that it was about time that such technology was installed in the gallery. Disney is a company built on a foundation of visuals - with a collector base that will hang just about anything that the company produces.

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Some of the pieces are as small as 2-inches square.
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There is a proviso - however - the company has to believe that the image will sell in order to put out the capital to produce an edition of even 500 pieces. But PoD takes care of all that - even the most esoteric images can now be scanned and digitized into the system and even a collector of the most obscure art can find something to hang in the living room. There is no inventory as each piece is printed as it is ordered. Making a wide-range of Disney art available is something that the gallery has done - and done well - since it's opening. To have the ability to add literally thousands of images to the catalog is an amazing merchandising opportunity and a much longed-for opportunity for the fan base.