I Geek Disney: Interview with Celebrations Magazine editor and creator Tim Foster

Posted on: February 21, 2014

If you’re like me and like the Walt Disney World Resort, you can’t get enough information on the history and creation of the theme parks, resorts and features. Luckily there’s Celebrations Magazine to keep us informed. Toy-Lines sat down with Tim Foster, the editor and creator of Celebrations, to discuss the great magazine.

Toy-Lines: How long have you been a Disney fan?

Tim Foster: Well, this is a two-part answer. I was actually at Walt Disney World the year it opened (though my only memories were of the Haunted Mansion and my brother losing his Donald Duck cap on “it’s a small world”…which we still haven’t found). But I didn’t return until after our daughter was born, back in the early 90s (which was quite a booming time at Walt Disney World!). On our first night there we visited Epcot, which of course was still fairly new, and it was pure magic. Ever since then it’s been multiple trips every year!

TL: What made you create Celebrations magazine?

TF: Actually, the first Disney project I did was the Guide to the Magic for Kids book. I realized it was a great way to combine my love for Disney with my love for design (I’m a graphic designer in “real life”). From there, the idea grew into a companion website, additional books, and eventually the magazine…which just seemed a natural extension of what I had been doing. I also recognized that there wasn’t a magazine devoted to Disney out there (Disney having ceased publication of their own magazine a few years prior), so it seemed to be the perfect fit. Regardless of whether it made any business sense though, it was always my dream (as it is with any designer) to create something of my own (i.e., not something at the whim of a client!), and making a magazine all about Disney was a dream come true.

TL: Can you tell us what goes into making an issue of Celebrations? How do you come up with the topics of articles?

TF: The fun thing about Celebrations is that each issue sort of creates itself. We have a whole host of volunteer writers, and they usually have free reign about they would like to talk about. My feeling is that the articles are better if the writer is talking about something they are passionate about, rather than working toward an assigned topic. The surprising thing is that very often a theme will emerge as an issue comes together. For example, several writers may independently come up with ideas that are unintentionally related, so that we end up with an issue that’s largely focused on, say, Adventureland (at which point we can tailor any remaining pieces, like the Games sections, to go with the theme).

Sometimes a theme does present itself (like the opening of New Fantasyland), but that’s more the exception than the rule.

TL: Are there topics you like to talk about more than others?

TF: Our focus is on the theme parks and resorts, as well as Disney history and films, so as long as we’re in that area pretty much anything goes. My goal with our articles is for the reader to be to able to say to themselves:

1)  Wow, I didn’t know that!

2)  Wow, I have to see that! and/or

3)  Wow, I remember that!

TL: How often do you or the writers from the magazine visit the parks for research or inspiration?

TF: I myself get down there two or three times a year. We have some writers that do the same, others that get down less frequently, and some that live so close that, if the wind is just right, they can hear the wolf howling at the Haunted Mansion! (Which they feel they have to constantly remind me about!)

TL: How did you decide on the name Celebrations?

TF: That came pretty quickly; Celebrations and Disney just naturally go together. And since the mission of the magazine is to celebrate all things Disney (as opposed to being review-oriented or negative), it made perfect sense.

TL: Were they any features you wanted to include in Celebrations that you couldn’t?

TF: No, as part of the initial planning I asked others in the Disney community if they would like to contribute in their respective areas of expertise, and everyone enthusiastically agreed, so we didn’t have any bumps in the road in that regard!

TL: Besides being the editor of Celebrations magazine you’re also the author of a couple of Disney books. Can you tell us about them?

TF: Yes, they actually came before the magazine. The first book was (and is) the “Guide to the Magic for Kids,” which is actually a guide book, photo book, sticker book, activity book, and journal all rolled into one. With the exception of Disney’s own By Kids for Kids book, there aren’t really any Disney guide books just for kids (there are several on traveling with kids, but they’re for the parents…where to pick up a stroller and that sort of thing). Our newest edition is just arriving now (which includes all of the New Fantasyland updates and other goodies).

I’ve also just released a companion book, the Guide to the Magic Deluxe Autograph Book, which includes all sorts of things like character stickers, World Showcase pages, places to write down your memories and collect photos, special character check lists, and even a place to collect Cast Member autographs.

As part of Celebrations, I’ve also published a hard cover pictorial book on Christmas at Disney. It proved to be so popular (selling out very quickly), that I am currently working on our second (all new) edition, which should be available in the Spring or Summer.

TL: What is your favorite Disney movie? Character? Theme park? Ride? Resort?

TF: Oh boy, that’s a hard question! “Favorite Disney Movie” shifts all the time, though I do have a special fondness for the Pixar films and “Ratatouille” in particular. (I also think “The Emperor’s New Groove” is vastly underrated!). As far as traditional Disney films, I’d have to say “Aladdin,” “The Jungle Book,” and “The Lion King” to pick out a few favorites (I told you this was hard!)

Favorite character? Figment of course, and Tigger is a favorite too. Epcot is hands down my favorite park, and you could put me in any of the Epcot resorts, I love them all. Favorite attraction? If I had to pick I’d say Splash Mountain, though I could ride the TTA for hours (I do, however, miss the old spiel!). I also love Spaceship Earth, though I prefer the previous ending with the city of the future (ah, the music!).

TL: Do you collect Disney items & if so what?

TF: Believe it or not I’m actually not much of a collector, just a few knick knacks here and there. Mainly I would say I just collect memories!

TL: Will Celebrations review the tours Disney offers in the parks?

TF: Sure! We’ve done so in the past, though we are respectful of the restrictions on some of the tours regarding photography and so forth.

TL: For readers who might be curious, how do you choose the authors for the magazine?

TF: I’m glad you asked that! We are always looking for new writers, and if anyone is interested they can contact us via our website, celebrationspress.com (they can email us at subscriptions@celebrationspress.com). If you’re passionate about Disney and writing we would love to hear from you. As I mentioned earlier, the best place for us to start would be to talk about what aspects of Disney you are most passionate about, and from there we can see if can come up with some article ideas. Our current mix of writers has come from just about everywhere, from fellow members of the Disney online and media community, to music teachers, moms, and general Disney fans. It’s that constant mix of fresh stories and viewpoints that I think is behind much of Celebrations’ success, and it’s a great way for everyone to share the magic of Disney with their fellow enthusiasts.

TL: What can we expect from Celebrations in 2014?

TF: Lots of things! As I mentioned earlier, we will be publishing our second Christmas book in the coming months, and we are also working on the first in a series of books that focuses on each of the lands in the Magic Kingdom (and beyond)…everything from the back stories, history, little known facts, ride-throughs, Hidden Mickeys and secrets, and of course lots and lots of great pictures (which reminds me, we are always looking for additional photographers as well, so all you shutterbugs keep Celebrations in mind!).

We are also greatly expanding our website as a companion to the magazine and Guide to the Magic books, with tons of park-related content and guest blogs, with topics on everything Disney including the parks, resorts, historical events, personal magical moments, the latest news, and so on. As with the magazine, we are always interested in hearing from people who like to contribute blogs, so again, please contact us if you’d be interested in being part of the Celebrations team.

TL: Tim, thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

TF: Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you, and the best to you and your readers!

To learn more about Celebrations Magazine click the link to their website.  http://www.celebrationspress.com/

The Toy-Lines Crew

Filed under: Blogs,I Geek Disney,Interviews — admin @ 1:53 am

I Geek Disney: Toy-Lines interviews Disney’s Zorro collector Bill Cotter…

Posted on: February 19, 2014

Disney’s Zorro ran from 1957-1959 creating a ton of merchandise that collectors to this day still look for. The expert on Disney’s Zorro would be Bill Cotter, author of “The Wonderful World of Disney Television”, which devotes a chapter on the history of Zorro as well as has an episode guide, and webmaster of www.billcotter.com , which features the info on Zorro from his book as well as a section on Zorro collectibles. Toy-Lines sat down with Mr. Cotter to discuss Zorro collecting…

TL: How long have you been collecting Disney’s Zorro?

BC: I started collecting items when it was on in syndication. I was really too young to remember it when it first aired. Unfortunately all of the items from back then were well used in play with my younger brothers and didn’t survive.

TL: What was your first item?

BC: Wow, hard to say. I think it was the Marx play set. A great toy, hours of fun. I sure wish I had just put it unused in the closet and still had it. It would fund a very nice vacation now!

TL: Out of your collection, do you have one item you like the most?

BC: I think the syndication press kit. It has a wealth of information on each episode, and 2-3 photos from each one. It’s a great item to have. It would be a tie with a file that came from Disney listing the plot and details on each show, with little facts such as the commercials used each week. These items are definitely not commercial souvenirs, but were a great help to me in learning more about the show and the performers.

TL: Do you collect just Disney Zorro or all Zorro merchandise?

BC: Just the Disney version. I grew up with Guy Williams as Zorro firmly burned into my brain. I’ve watched most, if not all, of the others, but I really prefer Guy’s portrayal. Frankly, I think he was the best Don Diego, not just the best Zorro. For the most part anyone could play Zorro if he was the right height and weight. Most of the character is covered in a mask and dark clothes, and usually seen at a distance for the value of the action scenes. It’s when the camera gets in close on Guy as Diego that the show really is at its best.

TL: Your book “The Wonderful World of Disney Television” has a great section on Zorro and an episode guide. Can you tell us a bit about the research that went into the book, especially the Zorro section?

BC: I started working for Disney in 1976. At that time all of the sets for Zorro were still standing. I couldn’t believe it when I worked around a corner and there was the gate to the cuartel, the town square, the soldiers’ barracks – and I could climb through them at my leisure. There was a strict “no personal camera” policy on the lot but I kick myself now for not ignoring it just one day.

Disney had a program where you could take home a feature film and projector, but they didn’t let you borrow the TV shows as they were short on prints of them. Happily I made friends with someone in the film library and he agreed to loan me copies, so I bought a projector and watched them in the comfort of my living room. Friends heard about it so they started coming over. It was great fun.

When I started thinking seriously about the book I got permission from the Disney Archives to go through their files. Frankly, the book would not have been possible without their amazing assistance. I read through everything they had on file – memos, scripts, even things like dry cleaning bills – to get a feeling for what it had been like to create and then produce the series.

TL: When Disney created the Zorro show they also created the character Little Zorro that appeared in the daily Mickey Mouse newspaper comics. Can you tell us a bit about this and were there any collectibles on him?

BC: Little Zorro was an attempt to get the Zorro franchise into as many places as possible. The character was created to take advantage of the daily Mickey Mouse comic strip. Frankly, I never thought much of the character, and I don’t think it appeared anywhere besides the comic strip. If there was any other use I can’t recall it.

TL: What types of collectibles do you like the most?

BC: I enjoy the paper side – books, clippings, photos, scripts, etc. One big reason is space – toys and other items take a tremendous amount of space, and out here in Los Angeles, we don’t have basements and attics to keep our treasures. Oh – I really do enjoy the comic books, particularly the ones with Alex Toth art. There are some very dynamic scenes in there, great use of color.

TL: How do you feel about the colorization of the show when released on the Disney Movie Club DVD’s?

BC: I was 100% for it. Actually, the colorization was done to help sell the series once again for international use. That’s why they did the 78 half-hour shows and didn’t colorize the hour-long episodes. Some fans hated it, some are so-so, especially when some people can point out that the costume colors are wrong and they could have been done right as Disney still has the costume for reference. Yes, it could have been done better, but I feel they did a good job based on the budget and schedule they were given.

I prefer the B&W version, as that was what I had watched and re-watched, but if it took colorization to keep Zorro on the air that was fine with me.

TL: Do you have any props from the show in your collection?

BC: No. I found a few items buried away in corners of the Studio during my adventures there but everything now lives safely in the Disney Archives. They helped me so much with my book that I felt it only fair to give them anything like that.

TL: Guy Williams appeared in Disneyland as Zorro. Did Disney make any exclusive merchandise for these events?

BC: I believe they had fan cards for autographs. I can’t recall anything else.

TL: I really like the Disney Treasures DVD’s of Zorro. What was it like to be a part of the special features for this?

BC: That was a thrill. I had been pushing and pushing and pushing for Zorro on DVD for years. I’ve been fortunate to work on a few other projects for Disney Home Video and the Disney Channel, and they were probably tired of my never-ending suggestion to release Zorro. I was honored to be part of it. My only regret is that they had no budget for additional extras like a photo gallery, videos of the Disneyland appearances, Guy at the Hollywood Bowl, etc. We found a ton of great stuff but they just couldn’t use it. Ditto the original commercials – the lawyers didn’t want to get into rights issues for Fresh-up Freddie, etc.

BC: Is there a “Holy Grail” among Disney Zorro collectors?

TL: I think most collectors would love to own an original costume piece from the show. After that it seems to be items autographed by Guy.

TL: Did you collect Zorro when you were a child or is this something that started later?

BC: As I mentioned I had a number of items as a child, but I had to start all over again, like most of us, I imagine.

TL: What was it like growing up in the later 50’s and watching this show?

BC: I was only 5 when the show first came on, so for me the 1965 syndication is my first real memory of it. It was popular then, but nowhere near as big as in the 50s, so I can’t claim to have any real memories of the Zorro craze that swept the country.

TL: Some of these collectibles are so nice looking, like the Enesco ceramic figures or bookends, while some are so interesting and things I’ve never seen before, like the “Zorro Sun Pictures” Kit. Can you tell us a bit about the Sun Pictures?

BC: There were a few different toys released like this, but I think the Zorro kits were the most popular. Basically, the kit contains a paper that was sensitive to light. You would put a “negative” on top of it that had some areas that were clear, some dark. The sun would pass through those areas and turn the paper dark, over time. Now that sounds good, but it didn’t really work all that well. First of all, the “negatives” were pretty much low definition at best. It took quite a while for the process to work, finally resulting in a rather blotch purplish picture that kinda, sorta looked like Zorro. The worst part is that there was no way to tell the paper “Ok, we’re done now, stop changing.” As a result they continued to get darker and darker as you left them out, so most of them ended up as a giant piece of purple junk.

I tried one of them a few years ago and it didn’t work. I guess the paper had long lost its sensitivity to light.

TL: Do you have any advice for collectors who would like to begin collecting Zorro?

BC: The same advice I give to collectors of any item. Buy it because you like it. Anyone buying for investment purposes is likely to be disappointed as this stuff all goes through cycles. I bought my collection as it connected me back to a simpler time, one I enjoyed with my family and friends. I enjoy looking through it and thinking of the episodes, the people I met working on the book, etc. I also suggest people realize there was so much of this released that it will be very difficult and very expensive to get all of it. Don’t get caught up in the chase to the point you’re worrying more about what you don’t have then you are appreciating what you do have.

And hands off the behind-the-scenes photos. They’re mine, got it?

TL: Bill, from all us here at Toy-Lines we’d like to thank you for your time.

BC: My pleasure. I hope to keep updating my site as time permits, so I hope your readers will stop by and spend a few moments with Guy, Gene, Henry and the rest of the people who made Zorro so memorable.

For history on Disney’s Zorro television show, episode guide and information on Zorro collectibles, click the link and head over to Bill’s site:  http://www.billcotter.com/zorro/index.htm

The Toy-Lines Crew

Filed under: Blogs,I Geek Disney,Interviews — admin @ 11:59 pm

Mcfarlane Toys

Posted on: February 18, 2014



Mcfarlane Toys made quite an impact on their figures this year starting with their Rabbids Collection and their Walking Dead figures.




New York, NY (February 16, 2014) — McFarlane Toys, established by world renowned artist and award-winning toy designer Todd McFarlane, is set to launch a brand new toy line based on the Ubisoft® Rabbids® video game sensation and Nickelodeon’s hit TV Series, Rabbids® Invasion.  The complete line will include mini-figures, action-figures, plush and novelty toys based on the lovable, wacky, curious characters and will make its debut at the International American Toy Fair in New York City, February 16th, booth #4919.  Todd McFarlane will also make a personal appearance on Monday, February 17th and Tuesday, February 18th.


“As an artist, I’m always looking for creative inspiration and I’m a big fan of humor, especially the irreverent and unpredictable humor theme that runs throughout the Rabbids franchise,” said Todd McFarlane, founder and CEO, McFarlane Toys. “I have completely been immersed in the Rabbids universe and it has allowed me and my company’s, creative juices to run wild.  We have been putting the full range of all my company’s talents toward creating some of the funniest and unique products McFarlane Toys has ever produced.”


As for the furry creatures themselves, they had one thing to say about the news: “Bwaaaah!”  Rabbids are curious little creatures that have invaded earth, and they’re on a mission to have tons of fun. Whether it be playing with plungers or canoodling with cows, these little Rabbids love causing chaos wherever they go.


Based on the successful Rabbids video game franchise and Rabbids Invasion, the new 26-episode CG animated television series, which debuted in August and became a hit on Nickelodeon, McFarlane Toys will produce a full product line inspired by the hilarious, impulsive and pop-culture loving Rabbids.  The complete Rabbids toy line will include customizable figures, plush and accessories in a variation of sizes and materials, as well as novelty toys with electronic light and sound.


Recommended for ages five and up, the new Rabbids toy line will be available at Walmart and Toys “R” Us this spring and ranges in price from $2.99 for the Rabbids Mini Figures to $39.99 for the Rabbids Deluxe Interactive Dancing Rabbid.

MINI BLIND BAG package Mini blind bag figures group_01 Rabbids_2-Inch_6-Pack_Packaging_01 rabbids_plunger_blaster_packaging rabbids_plunger_blaster_photo Rabbids_Mini_Invasion_6pk_02 Rabbids_3inch_Drill_Starfish_Packaging_01 Rabbids_8Inch_Plush_Buck_ToothRabbids_8Inch_Plush_Super_BwahIMG_0090IMG_0125  Mystery Bag variant




IMG_0119IMG_0132IMG_0115IMG_0106 IMG_0105



The Next DVD/ Blu Ray cover to the Walking Dead – The arm moves down and contains the discs.


IMG_9734IMG_0719 IMG_0718

Also as a side note Mcfarlane Toys is also producing a cover for the yet to be released Walking Dead Season ONE DVD/Blu-Ray box.





Along with these incredible products coming from Mcfarlane toys, I did also hear that a new statue is in the early stages of production that will feature a Medieval comic book character.


Special thank you to everyone at Mcfarlane Toys, especially Carmen Bryant, Brent Gardner and Todd Mcfarlane.


Check back for my quick questions interview with Todd Mcfarlane






Filed under: Articles — admin @ 9:20 pm

Club Etheria on Sale NOW!!

Posted on: February 18, 2014



















It is She-Ra’s 30th Birthday so let’s complete the Princess of Power collection.

Don’t forget about the club exclusive figure Light Hope.

Go to Matty Collector.com

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 12:42 am

Funko Buffy the Vampire Slayer Re-action figures

Posted on: February 17, 2014

Last week we reported to you about the Funko Super 7 Re-Action figures, you can see them here.

Well here are the Buffy The Vampire Slayer figures, Enjoy.


Buffy OZ Reaction GLAM Buffy ANGEL Reaction GLAM Buffy BUFFY Reaction GLAM Buffy GENTLEMAN Reaction GLAM Buffy SPIKE 1 Reaction GLAM Buffy SPIKE 2 Reaction GLAM Buffy WILLOW Reaction GLAM

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 3:52 am

New Turtle Mask available in the Fall

Posted on: February 17, 2014

Now normally we don’t report news about cos-play items but this is so cool from Playmates that I had to share it with you.

You want to be either Leo or Mikey and your playing but you want your face as accurate as possible so you would turn on your eyes

IMG_0195with a flick of a switch inside your mask.  But then trouble comes and you need to go into ninja fighting mode…


IMG_0194 and your eyes disappear.


These will be available along with a Michaelangelo mask later this year.IMG_0197




Filed under: Articles — admin @ 3:41 am

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Playmates

Posted on: February 17, 2014

The Turtles have come  long way since their debut 30 years ago.  Now Playmates has expanded the line and created some new and interesting toys based on the Turtles.  Also special thanks to Lisa Tauzin and her crew from Playmates.

IMG_0138 IMG_0142 IMG_0143 IMG_0163 IMG_0166 IMG_0167 IMG_0168 IMG_0170 IMG_0172 IMG_0177 IMG_0193

IMG_9609 IMG_9610 IMG_9611 IMG_9612 IMG_9613 IMG_9614 IMG_9618 IMG_9619


Check out more pics fro our Facebook page.


Filed under: Articles — admin @ 3:33 am

Do you want to see a 10 or 12 inch Classics line?

Posted on: February 17, 2014

During the Matty Collector’s night, Matty posed a question, would you buy a 10 inch Masters of the Universe Classics figure?


Let them know but if you want us to tell them for you drop us a Toy-LINE

More pics on our Facebook.

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 2:48 am

DC Universe Super Powers

Posted on: February 17, 2014

DC Universe Super Powers

A milestone in modern toy collecting comes to a close as the DC Universe Classics and DC Signature series makes a heroic finale. But we wouldn’t ride into the sunset without one final hurrah for our fans! Now, as we celebrate both the end of DC Universe Classics and the 30th anniversary of Super Powers, we’re proud to present a final six figure series in Four Horsemen style, with packaging harkening back to the classic 80′s toy line. As one era ends, we celebrate the entire modern history of collecting DC Comics action figures with the DC Super Powers 6″ collection!*

  • Batman™: coming September
  • Superman™: coming September
  • Wonder Woman: coming September
  • Gold Superman™: coming October
  • Green Lantern as The Riddler: coming October
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk: coming October
  • Kalibak: collect and connect figure


ccv76_01-167x300 ccv76_02-170x300 ccv76_03-103x300 ccv76_05-234x300 ccv76_04-254x300 ccv76_06-151x300 ccv76_07-147x300


These are very exciting reveals but take note that these figures are a thank you from Matty for being such loyal DCU customers for supporting Club Infinite Earths for as long as you did.

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 2:24 am

Matty Collector’s Night

Posted on: February 17, 2014

Matty Collector had their reveals today and thanks to Scott Neitlich we also have some new information about some of your favorite toy lines.

First up was the announcement that their will be a sub-line to Club Eternia…Club Etheria!  In order to complete all of the Princess of Power Classics by the end of 2015 and the fact that She-Ra turns 30 years old this year, Matty has graciously added another subscription for the diehard She-Ra fans.

Double Trouble (Double Mischief) July 15th


Madam Razz  August 15th






Entrapta September 15th




and for the first time ever as a figure…..Light Hope  (Oct. 15)




Matty also through in a surprise for upcoming an upcoming figure –  SweetBeeHelmet_11-160x300Sweet Bee is coming


Masters of the Universe Classics


Lookee and cowl will come in a two pack and will be the 2014 chase figures.




Next up was the biggest surprise of the night for me because I thought I would have to wait until 2015 for this guy…


RioBlast_04-184x300  Rio Blast


For more pictures on these and many more reveals, please check our Facebook page

I would also like to thank Scott Neitlich and his crew for allowing us the opportunity to see these figures first hand.


Filed under: Articles — admin @ 2:18 am

2014 Toy Fair Preview – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Posted on: February 14, 2014

Yahoo news has released pictures of Marvel Entertainment’s Guardian of the Galaxy that is due in theaters in July.


These figures based on the movie will be released from Hasbro under the Marvel Legends line.



Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:29 am

2014 TOY FAIR preview – DC Collectibles

Posted on: February 14, 2014

According to USA Today, DC Collectibles announced that there will be Batman: The Animated Series figures based on the designs from Paul Dini and the artwork of Bruce Timm.


ScreenHunter_02-Feb.-13-08.45 ScreenHunter_04-Feb.-13-08.45



These 6 inch figures will be released in November and will include in wave one: Catwoman, Twoface and Mr. Freeze.

They will retail for $24.95 and we will have more pics during NY ToyFair this next week.




DC Entertainment also released a video at some other reveals.  Stay tuned to Toy-Lines.com for the latest reveals from ToyFair.  Also don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Facebook feeds.



Filed under: Articles — admin @ 4:18 am
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »