Legacy Content

Kim's Corner: Friends and Fans Alike
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by (archives)
August 30, 2006
Kim covers - with lots of merchandise pictures - the presentation by Kevin Kidney and Jody Dailey at this summer's NFFC convention showcasing their latest offerings at DisneyShopping.com

Friends and Fans Alike

I awoke early, got myself together, with the help of a cup – or two – of coffee, and headed downstairs towards the Cabo San Lucas ballroom to play with a couple of my pals – Kevin and Jody. And to cheerfully hand over my wallet and give them a clean pair of socks. You see, their work always knocks my socks off and what they produce cuts into my mad money in a BIG way. I found them hard at work – painting. It seems that a couple of the display podiums had been scuffed during transport from Glendale and these two are so aware of the value of “good show? that they spent a few minutes crawling around with paint rollers touching them up.

So, the morning’s first conversation went something like – “HEY! cool, there you guys are…? “Yeah, hey, hi, it’s good to see you. Do you think that these will dry before the people come in…? “Yeah, they should…? “Good, how’s everything…? “Fine, and you…?? “You sure these will be dry… how much time do we have?? “Yeah, but we can put a wet paint sign on them…? “Naw, I think that they’ll dry…? “You sure…? “Yeah, they’ll dry…? “Well, if you’re sure…? They were, and as treasure after treasure was unpacked, set and arranged, I got the impression that these two cared far more about the items they were sharing than the way that they were shared.

It’s always fun playing with these two guys, Kevin Kidney, Creative Manager/Principal Artist Walt Disney Collectibles and Jody Dailey, Associate Manager of Design for Disney Direct Marketing – with more than 30-years working for the Disney Company between them – they’ve seen it all. Fads come and fads go – managers come and managers go – divisions come and divisions go – they’ve survived and prospered as their part in the history of the global Disneyana marketplace passed before them. I’ve been watching their careers grow for more than a decade now as the truly wonderful pieces they’ve conceived, designed and crafted entered the merchandise fray. And I’ve seen them take huge risks for their loyal collectors – with huge pay-offs for our collections.

These two truly “get it?. As collectors and Disney enthusiasts themselves, they want the same stuff in their collections that we want in ours – and they work to put them out there for us, trusting us to buy. Take a look at Kevin’s practically perfect pieces in the Mary Poppins array, the Carpet Bag, Articulated Umbrella and Hat and Scarf designs – all things we’ve both loved and wanted to own and he worked to put them out there for us. The same respect for the marketplace and the subject can be seen in each of the designs for Jody’s Arts & Crafts array – simple, elegant, stylish – all limited editions and all completely collectable.

It’s also fun playing with those who stop by for some conversation and design conspiracy. Dave Smith loves the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit stuff and Tony Baxter the Song of the South array. As the day went on, collectors, Imagineers, DDG and WDW product artists – friends and fans alike – stopped by to chat. Get a few Disneylanders in a group and the ideas were flying fast and furious. It’s the kind of blue sky Disney idea mongering that fans love to participate in – “So… what would you like to see?? “The Sky Way?? “Really?? “Yeah, we’re sorta working on something like that ourselves.? “Nope, we tried it, couldn’t get them to buy off on it.? “Really? You’d buy it?? “That big? Wow. We were thinking in miniature… what do you think?? “Cool!?

And then there was Mr. Skellington, Mr. Jack Skellington. For all those collectors looking for the cornerstone of your Nightmare collection, I can safely say, without fear of contradiction - This is it! This is the one-single-solitary-quintessentially-essentially-cool piece that each and every Nightmare Before Christmas fan would love to own. He is amazing! He went from merch to photo-op in a flash. I’ve seen some amazing concept merchandise in my time – but, this guy is simply spectacular. Jody truly went out on a limb to create him – and for us to own him. He is a signature piece and he is a groundbreaking piece – he will set the standard for all Nightmare merchandise to follow.

So lets wander around the Disneyshopping.com space and take a look at the goodies they brought -

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“You sure these’ll dry in time?? Kevin touches up a display.

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“Yeah, they’ll be dry.? Jody finishes up.

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“Well’ if you’re sure.?