Thursday, January 16, 2020

Disneyana Auction at Potter & Potter on February 8 - The Indiana Jones Adventure Lots

Indiana Jones Adventure - or its Tokyo DisneySea's "Crystal Skull" version is one of the most beloved WDI attraction in the world and one of WDI Imagineers greatest achievement. For many, including me, it's may be the best attraction ever created, so today we'll have a look at the auction lots related to the attraction on sale in the great Disneyana auction happening February 8 at Potter & Potter in Chicago, but you can place your bets on line HERE.

Let's start with the lot 159, an Indiana Jones Adventure lot of 11 WDI presentation mockups for Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. One piece of original pencil art and the rest are laser copies used by WDI for their presentations to management for selection and approval of final art or attraction scenes to be created. Most of these images have never been reproduced elsewhere. Six boards of laser copy mockups (in black and white and color) of proposals for commemorative passports in 1995. 15 x 20” each. One piece of original pencil art on tracing paper for commemorative passport (Unknown artist). 15 x 20”. One color mock up (laser copy) of poster or brochure for new Indiana Jones Adventure. ( below ) 18 x 24”. One color concept art (laser copy) of scene inside giant skull as passengers come upon the wraith. 14 x 18 ½”. One color concept art (laser copy) of interior queue of Tokyo DisneySea Temple of the Crystal Skull ( below ). 14 x 19. One color concept art (laser copy) for poster art for Tokyo DisneySea Temple of the Crystal Skull. ( above ) 23 x 16 ½”. All items were purchased from Disney.

Talking about concept-arts, the lot 83 is two Indiana Jones Adventure famous concept arts lithographs. One signed by Artist Chuck Ballew 1/6/95 in gold marker. Both dated 1993. Signed litho measures 22 x 28”; unsigned copy 22 x 26”.

The lot 74 is a lot of 17 blueprints for the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction at Disneyland, and this one has something exceptional, i'm going to explain you why. The description says: . Dated 1992 and various similar dates, this is a set of blue prints used by Walt Disney Imagineering in the creation of The Indiana Jones Adventure. All show handling, small folds, and edge wear as used onsite for production of the ride. Handwritten notes by lead Imagineer on many sheets. Thirteen black and white plans, 20 x 26”. Four blue line plans 22 x 28”.

Now, i did a bit of research to learn more about these blueprints as some shown in the lot pictures are showing scenes or elements which are NOT in the Disneyland Indiana Jones Adventure ride - not to mention the blueprint showing the mine car which was finally not built at Disneyland but at DLP Adventureland. So, here it is:
When working on the design of the Indy attraction, Imagineers built out a track in Valencia, Cal. The track was in operation for 18 months and it was where all the ideas for the ride system were tried and tested. It was about half the length of the finished ride. The vehicles went around twice and different show elements were activated on each pass, and this gave a reasonable impression of the whole ride/show and helped the Imagineers to got a good feeling for how things like the rolling ball would work. There were a lot of things tried in Valencia that didn't work but that test track was designed about 1991 or so and was built primarily for the engineers to work out the ride system.

These drawings / blueprints up for auction are the actual working drawings for the troop transport test track built in Valencia. And this is a rare find since this test track was built, ran, and then demolished in a span of 2 years. The basics for this track were worked out at WDI's Tujunga facility where you can see testing in "The Imagineering Story” documentary. To go from the flimsy Tujunga prototype to a reliable ride system required a full concrete and steel undulating track and an actual ride vehicle to be manufactured. The primary objective was to prove it could run constantly for months without insurmountable operational problems. These are actual blueprints of that short lived ride.

As for other show indications on these drawings, they were suggestions of what Imagineers "might" try to do. Things were tried and abandoned as the vehicle made lengthy endurance tests. On this layout we did have show input to include a steep incline and sharp drop, plus left and right turns at the maximum the engineers would allow. This let Imagineers worked out a lots of staging and motion enhancement effects designed to put the passengers directly into the action.

Now, let's have a look to the Indy's collector's items and let's start by the Lot 590, the Indiana Jones Opening Event Imagineering/VIP/Media Gift Box. Cardboard box with faux rubber stamping on exterior. Contains opening day t-shirt tied into a cobra; Passport; Indiana Jones Sneak Peek Disneyland Passport Feb.21, 1995; Press credential with Mara decoder and event itinerary on the back, Temple of the Forbidden Eye Press Pass (Excavation site), 3 AT&T Mara Alphabet decoder cards (all 3 versions: Mara, Jeep on Bridge, and Cobra), large red “Cast Premier” button, 2 press gifts: small metal temple and metal paper weight. ( the auction include another one, non-Imagineering opening event gift box )

Next is the Lot 582, a great Indiana Jones Temple of the Forbidden Eye Souvenir Map. Sold in 1995 when the attraction was new, this beautiful full color map of the interior of the ride measures 22 x 18”.

Highly collectible is the Lot 589, Indiana Jones Adventure Opening Crew Temple Sculpture. Heavy cast metal sculpture of the Temple of the Forbidden Eye on a marble base with metal plaque which reads “Opening Crew, March 3, 1995.” 4 inches tall. 6 x 6 x 3”.

...or this Lot 591, an Indiana Jones 10th Anniversary Event Temple Figurine. This 12” tall highly-detailed reproduction of the Temple of Mara (6” diameter at base) was sold at the 10th anniversary event. Limited edition of 300.

Even more collectible this Lot 577, a Rare Indiana Jones Adventure Imagineering Exclusive Plaque. Resin plaque given to Imagineers who worked on the creation of Indiana Jones Adventure. Measures 22 x 13”, gold colored, and depicts in three dimensions one of the friezes of Mara inside the ride. Felt on the back with MAPO label.

Incredibly detailed is this Lot 593, Indiana Jones 10th Anniversary Event Obelisk. Sold by RSP at event, it's the reproduction of the obelisk found in the queue, 10” tall, heavy resin, highly detailed, Limited edition of 300.

How cool is this Lot 594, an Indiana Jones 10th Anniversary Event Resin Clock! Limited edition clock from the Indiana Jones 10th Anniversary Event, ltd to 200. Heavy resign with working clock.

The Lot 592 is an Indiana Jones 10th Anniversary Event Mara Water Globe. Illuminated water globe of Mara, large and heavy measuring. Edition of 300. Measures 10 x 7 x 7”.

The Lot 583, is a cool Indiana Jones 10th Anniversary Event Pocket Watch and Compass Set in Box. Wooden Box with imprinted lid containing a pocket watch and compass with Mara lid sold at the event. Fancy box with velvet interior Mara Alphabet Gold stamped inside the lid.

And a fun item to end with this Lot 566, a Children’s Mara Mask Indiana Jones Adventure Opening. Cardboard mask, possibly given to children dining at the Blue Bayou, during the opening period of the Indiana Jones Attraction at Disneyland. The mask portrays Mara and features lenses which add colored shadows to whatever is viewed through them. Measures 16 x 6”.

Pictures: copyright Disney

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