The Awesomest Toys From Inside ILM’s Prop Vault (And Your Childhood)

n the 40 years that it has been making the unreal real, Industrial Light & Magic has pioneered countless special effects—a man made of mercury, CG dinosaurs, all those insanely intricate Transformers. But as amazing as those creations are, they’re temporary. Effects get better all the time; the velociraptors inJurassic World inevitably will look cooler and more lifelike than those in the original (even if the movie itself can’t compete).

The truly great stuff, though, that’s forever. Luke’s lightsaber. Darth Vader’s helmet. Indy’s whip. CGI is cool, but give us props. They’re the real source of movie magic—objects built from everyday materials that moviemakers transform into icons. Kids everywhere still beg their parents for a lightsaber—the heavier and more real-feeling, the better.

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☆What do you use to create your art? 

I use Photoshop for my ink and color work and ink brush pen, acrylics and prisma markers for traditional stuff. 

☆Where did you go to school?

I couldn’t afford college so I learned everything on my own or on the job. 

☆What do you do at Disney?

I started as a storyboard revisionist in development at Disney TV Animation, then I did props for the Mickey Mouse Shorts and worked up to be a character designer as well. 

☆Can you put “insert Disney character here” into the Mickey shorts?

I’m not in charge of deciding what cameo’s we’re allowed to use in the shorts. Sometimes they’re not meant for the Mickey world but other times we don’t use them at the beginning but then find a place to put them in future episodes. If the episode is right for a certain cameo we put our two cents in but most of the time we’re not in charge of who gets in the final cut. They just happen as we go along. We usually try our best to please the fans. Just follow with the show and eventually you’ll see someone you like. 


I don’t know! If I get any word on his whereabouts you know you’d hear it from me first. Trust me.  o_o;

☆How can I get a job in the animation industry?

This is a complicated question. Everyone’s journey is different and will lead themselves into the industry in different ways. I cannot get you a job.  All I can do is share my opinions and experiences but don’t expect me to make life changing decisions for you.  The basic answer is: work hard and don’t be afraid of showing people your work. Don’t be afraid of asking questions, posting your stuff online, or talking to people. Those are key to getting your work out there and seen. Go to gallery shows, events and get togethers. Interact. Be social. If you have a more specific question to this topic feel free to send me an ‘ask’.

☆Do you do commissions? 

I usually announce on my sites if and when I’m doing commission work. If you’d like to contact me for something even if they’re closed I’d still look at what you had in mind. Sometimes I take them on even while working. If you’re not afraid that I might say no you could pm me. 

☆Do you do requests?

No. I barely have the time to draw for myself these days. All my creativity goes into my job or my secret side projects. Sorry. 

 ☆ Do you sell prints of your work or any other merchandise?

Yes! I have an online store which I frequently update with current products. Including plush, art books, prints, charms and more! If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see made into prints or merchandise let me know.

☆Do you give out your plush patterns? 

No. All my custom plush are hand made and constructed by me. Most of the time, I throw away or relearn my patterns so I don’t have any physical patterns to give.

☆How do you make resin and plush toys?

I’m self taught. I did a lot of research online and bought myself a few kits to experiment with. I learned on the way with trial and errors until I figured the best way for me to do it. Google can teach you everything you need to know about toy making if you research what you want to do specifically. 

If you have a question that isn’t listed here feel free to ‘ask’ me!


Freak Du Chic Toralei Stripe came in today!

She comes with a stand, “parasol”, and a “poster” card with the doll art displayed on it. It’s very cute. She doesn’t come with a brush. Perhaps it was left out accidentally I’m not sure. This is the only FDC doll I have right now. (working through the Wonderland and Charming dolls of EAH has me tapped out)

Her skirt is two layers and her belt is fabric. The belt is sewn to her dress at two points which causes it to ride up a bit. Her little headband is plastic and features an umbrella and ‘feathers’. She has Purple and black streaks in her long waves. Her make up is a light peach eye-shadow on her upper lid, purple on the lower, and her lipstick is a shimmery strawberry red. Her eyelashes are really different. They seem to be decorated at the ends with a dot. The smaller ones all around her eyes aren’t connected to her eyelashes but in the art is seems like that was the idea. The shoes are like little circus stages decorated with a kitty head on the top of her sandal. The heel reminds me of a popcorn cart wheel. The straps are molded to look rope-like and there is a little pouf shape where it all comes together. The parasol has little cat ears, eyes, and nose. The handle is decorated with two feathers similar to the ones on her headband. Her headband and the handle are both black and unpainted.

She has a hard time holding the parasol. Her elbow is weak and keeps falling over. Also the ‘claw’ hand they like to give her (and other ‘were’ types) makes it difficult to get in the enclosure for her to simulate holding the parasol. I fear that it would mess up her hand/fingers if I displayed her holding it. I may attempt using a rubber band instead. That same arm also won’t go down all the way but I think a bit of flash might be preventing that. She is from Indonesia but her hair is so fluffy soft! I’m very happy. I’ve been trying to find Toralaei with nice hair. I have a Coffin Bean Toralei and while I love her her is awful greasy. I have to tend to it every few weeks and it eats through rubber-band.

Overall very cute and I’m satisfied with the doll. :)


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Some more photos of this beautifully crafted diecast armor from Hot Toys.

You can view more photos here