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"Toy Story 3" director puts Pixar collectables up for bid to help out with Japanese earthquake relief

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"Toy Story 3" director puts Pixar collectables up for bid to help out with Japanese earthquake relief

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Look, I know it's been a lot of stuff in the news lately. Rising gas prices. Obama's long-form birth certificate. William & Kate's wedding. Those horrific tornadoes that touched down in Alabama. Bin Laden being blown away. The Mississippi reaching record flood stages. The ongoing strife in Libya. And -- of course -- The Donald being a dumb-ass.

But it's important to remember that - on the other side of the planet - over a half million people are still dealing with the aftermath of the worst earthquake in Japanese history. And thank to the one-two punch of the wreckage caused by the tsunami and the continuing radiation issues associated with the damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant, tens of thousands of people are still displaced. And while construction of 100,000 temporary housing units is already underway, it's going to take years - and billions of dollars - before things even begin to get back to normal over there.

Lee Unkrich backstage at this year's Academy Awards with "Toy Story 3" 's Oscar for
best animated features. Image courtesy of the A.M.P.A.S. All rights reserved

But you know who hasn't been distracted by silly, trivial things like the royal nuptials and/or the nonsense that regularly comes tumbling out of Donald Trump's mouth? "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich. This Pixar veteran is determined to do whatever he can to help make things somewhat better for those who are still living in school gymnasiums and other evacuation centers. Which is why Lee is now auctioning off some of the Pixar-related collectables that he's acquired over the years.

We're talking about things like this limited edition print from the Disney/Pixar film, "Up."

Copyright Disney / Pixar. All rights reserved

This 7.25" piece was created by Ricky Nierva, "Up" 's production designer. Only 1200 of these prints were ever made. They were then distributed to Pixar employees as a gift upon completion of that Pete Docter film. And the version that's currently for bid on eBay comes from Lee Unkrich's own personal collection.

The same goes for this limited edition print from the Disney/Pixar film, "WALL-E."

Copyright Disney / Pixar. All rights reserved

This 11" x 14" piece was created by Ralph Eggleston, "WALL-E" 's production designer. Personally signed by Ralph, only 1000 copies of this print were ever created. And the only way that you could have ever gotten your hands on one of these beauties was if you'd been working at Pixar when production of "WALL-E" was completed back in 2008. Unless - of course - you put in a bid on Lee Unkrich's personal copy (which is numbered #31 out of a 1000). Which is now up for auction in eBay.

Unkrich really dug deep for this Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund auction. Burrowing to the very back of his closet to unearth a "Monsters, Inc." crew T-shirt from 2001 ...

Copyright Disney / Pixar. All rights reserved

...which would be great to wear while admiring this print of a very early conceptual vision of the Monsters, Inc. factory. Created by illustrator & author J. Otto Seibold, this illustration was never made available to anyone. Not the public. Not Pixar employees. It comes from Lee's own personal collection. And the only reason that Unkrich had this piece was because he was "Monsters, Inc." 's co-director.

Copyright Disney / Pixar. All rights reserved

But given that Lee just directed "Toy Story 3" ... Well, that's where most of the collectables that Unkrich has recently put up for bid have come from. If you drop by eBay now through May 11th, you'll find several very cool items like this TS3 crew baseball cap ...

Copyright Disney / Pixar. All rights reserved

... which is embroidered the logo for "Tri-County Sanitation" (i.e. the garbage dump where Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear finally got his just desserts).

Not to mention that one-of-a-kind Toy Story 3 tiki mug which Lee gave out to members of that film's production team. Only 500 of these pieces were ever created. And - if you look close - you'll notice that this mug (which was designed by Bob Pauley and sculpted by Jerome Ranft) has a Tiki -fied Buzz Lightyear on one side ...

Copyright Disney / Pixar
All rights reserved

... and an Easter Island Moai rendition of Woody on the other.

Copyright Disney / Pixar
All rights reserved

Now if you're looking for super-rare Pixar collectables, the three that are currently up for bid on eBay are definitely worth pursuing. Given that these unnumbered mugs were only created as samples, as Lee tried to determine which glaze should be used on the final versions of these end-of-production gifts.

Please keep in mind that - should you actually bid on any of these items - that 100% of the final sale price will go to support the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, a GlobalGiving Project.

Copyright Disney / Pixar. All rights reserved

GlobalGiving supports grassroots projects around the world. This project will disburse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. GlobalGiving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to provide relief to victims in the earthquake / tsunami disaster zone.

So don't miss out on the chance to possibly acquire some truly awesome pieces of movie memorabilia (not to mention helping out some human beings who are very much in need right now). Head on over to eBay and put in a bid on those one-of-a-kind Pixar collectables that Lee Unkrich has put up for bid.

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  • Our prayers are with the people of Japan. Its great to see Pixar/Disney doing this. I wonder if they will do anything for the people of the south-eastern U.S. that were devistated by the tornado outbreak ? Keep us posted Jim.

  • This is par for the course for Mr. Unkrich.  Class act all the way.

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