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Comic-Con Countdown: Getting right to the Heart (Box) of the matter

Comic-Con Countdown: Getting right to the Heart (Box) of the matter

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Three weeks from today, the madness begins.

At 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 23rd, the doors will officially open. And tens of thousands of pop culture fans will pour into the San Diego Convention Center. Eager to sample the more-than-400 events that will be presented at Comic-Con International 2009.

And just like last year, JHM will be there. Wandering the aisles. Sitting in on panels. Doing whatever we have to in order to bring you guys the very best stories from this year’s Comic-Con .

Mind you, the official programming schedule for this four-day-long event has yet to be released. But we’re already making note of the booths we have to drop by, people we need to meet with. And particularly high up on this list is Bryan Ono, president of eFX Inc. 

EFX Logo
Copyright 2009 eFX Inc. All Rights Reserved

For those of you who don’t know, eFX Inc. is the collectibles company that rose from the ashes of Master Replica. And Bryan plans on using this year’s Comic-Con to showcase his company’s brand-new Gallery Collection. Which will feature limited-edition items that draw their inspiration from classic Disney films as well as from the Muppets.

And when eFx Inc. says something is limited-edition, they mean that there will actually be a limited number of these particular collectibles produced.

“Over the past 10 years, the term ‘collectible’ has really been abused,” Ono explained. “I mean, if you’re going to crank out 5,000 to 10,000 copies of an item, then you can’t really call that a limited-edition, now can you?”

“Here at eFX Inc., our goal is to try and make collectibles collectible again. Which is why we’re going to try and give the collector some real value by seriously decreasing our edition sizes,” Bryan continued. “Which – in this case – means that we’ll only be making 500 replicas of the premiere piece in eFX’s Disney Gallery Collection.”

And given that “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was Walt Disney Studios’ first feature-length animated film, it’s only appropriate that the very first Mouse-related Gallery Collection piece that eFX Inc. produces draws its inspiration from that 1937 film.

But which prop from that picture should the Company’s artisans try and replicate? Bryan and his eFX Inc. creative team thought long and hard about this, going frame-by-frame through “Snow White” looking for something iconic.

eFX Heart Box
Copyright 2009 eFX Inc. All Rights Reserved

In the end, instead of making a replica of something associated with Snow White and/or the Dwarfs, Ono and his designers decided to think outside the box. Which – in this case – meant recreating an item that was closely associated with the wicked Queen. To be specific, the Heart Box that the Queen presents to the Huntsman when she’s looking for proof of Snow White’s demise.

Which – I’ll grant you – is a little grim. But as Bryan explained eFX Inc.‘s business plan to me, this item isn’t intended for everyone. It’s deliberately being designed with the ultimate collector in mind. Those people who can look at something like the Heart Box and see more than just a hyper-detailed replica of a famous movie prop. These folks will also be able to look at this item and see a beautiful piece of art.

Of course, what will help make this possible is that each Heart Box – in addition to the ornate, museum-quality base that this collectible will sit on – will be accompanied by a sculpture of the wicked Queen that David Kracov has crafted.

Speaking of craft … Ono has lots of great stories about how the crew at eFX Inc. created this Heart Box. How they had gotten the wicked Queen’s model sheets from Disney’s Animation Research Library, only to then discover the artists working on “Snow White” had never nailed down how tall this character actually was.

“And without knowing the wicked Queen’s height, it was then tough for us to determine how big the Heart Box should be,” Bryan laughed. “Eventually, we just decided that the Queen was 5’ 5, 5’ 6 and then extrapolated the size of the Heart Box from there.”

The Wicked Queen and the Heart Box from Snow White
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

As for the box itself … The craftsmen who put together the Heart Box used solid hardwood (rosewood, to be specific) and then topped the whole thing off with this 24-karat gold-plated heart which locks with a dagger.

And the final, finished version of this piece will be on display at the San Diego Convention Center from July 22nd (i.e. SDCC's preview night) through July 26th. Mind you, Disneyana collectors won’t actually be able to pre-order the wicked Queen’s Heart Box until sometime after Comic-Con. But if you want to check out this limited-edition collectible before you decide to buy, eFX Inc. will be previewing this piece at its booth.

Of course, if you’re not able to make it to this year's Comic-Con, eFX Inc. also plans on displaying the Heart Box (along with several other yet-to-officially-be-announced items from their Disney Gallery Collection) at the D23 Expo. Which will be held September 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Now as to where eFX Inc. will actually be set up inside of the cavernous San Diego Convention Center, they'll be operating out of Booth 2913 E. which will be on the east side of the Hall.

Speaking of which … If you’re an author or artist who’ll be doing a signing at this year’s Comic-Con and/or paneling at this year’s event and would like to publicize your appearance to JHM’s Disney-centric, ABC-intrigued, animation-savvy audience, just drop me a line at [email protected]. And I’ll then be sure to add the appropriate information to the official JHM Comic-Con 2009 cheat sheet.

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  • That piece looks absolutely beautiful.

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