Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a list of Taito products featuring the rabbit!



I had some pictures left over after my series on the evolution of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and thought to share these with my fellow Oswald fans. In particular these are images of the various prizes created by Taito for Universal Studios in Japan. For the almost two years that the company had the rights to Oswald they created more unique and memorable Oswald merchandise than Disney did in the first few years since they got the character back. Let's take a look at the tags that were created for the various plush figures that had come out.



Universal wanted to educate their audience as to Oswald's origins. The Disney name carried a lot of weight in Japan. His films inspired Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of Manga. Presented was the character that predated Mickey and helped put Walt Disney on the map.

 

The tags sold the origin myth of Oswald very well while ignoring the fact that the studio stole the character and most of Walt's animators away from him. Taito designed many figures which would become prizes in their arcade machines. Oswald appeared in several formats.

 

The majority of the Oswald figures were plush but at least two were actually a soft vinyl, like a bean bag.



There was a set of Oswald figures that were sold exclusively in the Universal Japan park. They were small, medium and large plush figures with similar proportions and expressions.

 

The smallest figures were designed as cell phone straps, it was and continues to be a popular trend in Japan to have mascot keychains and accessories.



One of the more common Oswald figures seen outside of the theme park was a mid-size plush figure. The character was mainly seen shirtless. The earliest version of the character sometimes had a sweater with his name on it. There were at least four different sweater colors with this version. There was also one with a green "Christmas" sweater released during the winter.



Oswald was often presented with a single overall strap over his shoulder. Several figures did have the character in full overalls. This was a nod to the early appearance of Oswald as a farm-type character in the comic books. These plush figures were more rare than the typical mid-size figures.



Some of the smaller mid-size figures came in collectible soft vinyl bags. Note that these figures had closed mouths, subtle differences like these made the figures desirable to fans.



During the spring and summer there was a version of Oswald wearing a striped shirt. Taito had planned for this character to be used as a puppet. Unfortunately I do not know of any pictures with the character actually having the control arms.



One of the largest figures made by the company was Oswald lying down. This plush figure was made with a soft material much fuzzier than the mid-size plush figures. There were two known versions of this figure made, one with an open mouth and one with a closed mouth.



Possibly the rarest of the mid-size plush figures were the cake and sleeping versions. A small plush cake was affixed to the hands of some characters. The others featured Oswald in a head scarf and nigh shirt while holding a pillow. At least two of the sleeping versions were presented with closed eyes.



Not everything that Taito produced for Universal was a plush figure. Three of the most unique items from the company were watches. At least one of the watches had moving hands similar to the classic Ingersoll Mickey Mouse watch. This was the first Oswald watch to figure that type of movement. After Disney got the rights back Japanese watch maker Hirob created a variation of the moving hands action as well. Any of these watches are highly sought after collector pieces.



While the vast majority of everything that Taito and Universal produced had a blue fur Oswald wearing yellow shorts I did see at least one alternate colorway of the character. Many years ago when I purchased an Oswald plush from a Japanese arcade vendor I noticed that he had a picture of the same figure but in with gray fur and red shorts. Had I known that the Taito items would have disappeared overnight I certainly would have ordered the alternate color version. I used Photoshop to mock-up what the figure looked like in my memories. If I ever come across any other versions produced by Taito I'll be sure to share them on the blog.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The evolution of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, final part...



Oswald the Lucky Rabbit had a number of makeovers over the span of 80 years. From a black and white "rubber hose" style character to an anthropomorphic rabbit. The cartoon icon never stayed the same for long. The majority of these changes were done in the first decade and last decade that Universal owned the character.



The Disney company made a few further changes once regaining the rights to Oswald in 2006. What the company focused on was getting audiences interested in the character once more. The company had long abandoned having mascot characters in animated shorts at the front of their feature films as well as on television. They had to find other formats in which to get Oswald to the fans. For fans in Europe that still had Disney comics in print the studio published a one-shot Christmas story featuring the rabbit. It would be a teaser of the bigger project planned in store for Oswald. Not to be outdone the Japanese had a short holiday cartoon online courtesy of the Tokyo Disney Parks. These things were minor appearances in comparison to what the Disney Company had in store. After several years it was time to take the wraps off of Epic Mickey. The game was a love letter to the Disney Parks and was created as the launchpad for Oswald. Director Warren Spector filled the game with tremendous insight into the characters and classic universe that created the Disney empire.



The game was in 3D but had traditionally animated 2D cut scenes. This gave audiences a good look at Oswald and his love Ortensia using the latest animation techniques. The characters had a timeless quality and made the transition to the modern world fairly well. In order to help get more people behind the game Disney released a graphic novel through the iTunes Store and then a series of short stories known as the Tales of the Wasteland. Seasoned comic book writer Peter David wrote the story and prequel to Epic Mickey. The difficult part for Disney was that it didn't have a team of comic artists working in the US at the time. The studio had closed down its comic strip wing decades earlier and had licensed out the comic rights to Gladstone / Gemstone in the '90s. Unfortunately the studio pulled the license so there hadn't been a new comic book created and written by Disney artists in years. However in Italy the artists and writers of Topolino magazine hadn't stopped in over 60 years. In Italy the Disney company had a great relationship with the Milano Design College. They offered a program that was called the Disney Academy. Artists were trained in the proper ways to illustrate the characters from the Disney Library, these included some very rare figures some of which appeared only once in animated form more than 80 years ago! The comic artists working on Topolino were just some of the many illustrators produced by the Academy and featured in the Epic Mickey comics. There were also artists responsible for creating the character art that would appear in advertising and logos used in the parks, hotels and cruise lines.

 

Four different artists were put on the Epic Mickey comics including Claudio Sciarrone, Fabrizio Petrossi, Fabio Celoni and Paolo Mottura. Each artist had their own style but tried to stay on model when working with Oswald. He was the rarest of the rare characters after all. Topolino magazine was published weekly so the artists had to be very productive. The editors would allow artists to spend more time inking and coloring some of the bigger story arcs, they would introduce these special stories with some fanfare, and even a trailer or toy announcement. For the most part the art was usually very simple and colors flat on the majority of the stories. The Epic Mickey graphic novel had a lot more time put into the art and it showed. Visually it was a stunning collection of comic and cartoon panels. The artists had enough leeway to shout-out some of their biggest influences such as the legendary Frank Frazetta.



The art suffered slightly for the Tales of the Wasteland issues, it was on par to the weekly Topolino issues. Those comics featured characters rendered with less detail. Yet that was the price that the Disney company was willing to pay in order to make sure that the e-comics were ready in time for the launch of Epic Mickey. Meanwhile the developers in the US were trying to figure out a way to frame Oswald that would endear him to audiences. They did this by creating an entire mythos around Oswald for Epic Mickey. He was one of the "forgotten" characters created by Yen Sid the Sorcerer. Mickey Mouse had accidentally destroyed a portion of a concept theme park when he spilled ink and thinner onto a map. The classic cartoon characters that called that place home were devastated. Oswald helped keep those characters together and turned himself into a hero in the process.



In the canon of Epic Mickey Oswald turned the Wasteland into an homage to Walt and himself. It was like an alternate universe where Mickey had never existed. The designers working at Disney Interactive and Junction Point studio had created multiple interpretations of the character. Some for the level details, cut scenes and even environmental art. The most important thing that the company did was recreate the classic Ub Iwerks character in 3D. Oswald had been out of the loop for more than half a century yet rather than try to make a contemporary version of the rabbit, or try to update his designs in order to match the current Mickey Mouse the artists focused on all the classic elements. Oswald retained his round eyes, shorts and squared-off proportions from 1927-1928. Very little was done to him in the Epic Mickey sequel. Players could dress the rabbit in different costumes but he essentially remained the same as he was all those years earlier. He had a strong personality, was mischievous but brave at the same time. He worked alongside Mickey Mouse to help save the Wasteland and see Walt Disney's vision become whole.

 

It was great to see Oswald's design come full circle. He changed tremendously after he was introduced to audiences. His anthropomorphic makeover may have been a response to Warner Bros introduction of Bugs Bunny. Several of Walter Lantz' animators, including Tex Avery, also worked for Warner Bros and helped create the library of characters for the studio. Whatever the reason for Oswald's radical makeover he predated the appearance of Bre'r Rabbit from Song of the South (1946) and even Thumper from Bambi (1942). The one person who didn't try and track all the changes that Oswald went through was Walt Disney. After losing Oswald to Universal he never spoke about the character again publicly or even privately. He never even mentioned Oswald to his daughters while they were growing up. When Bob Iger took over as CEO of Disney from Michael Eisner he was interested in the character and wanted to return the Lucky Rabbit to the Disney library. He saw an opportunity when NBC / Universal were in talks to get sports commentator Al Michaels from ABC / ESPN which Disney owned. When the news hit the family that the company had gotten the rights back to Oswald they didn't realize right away that it was a lost character created by Walt himself. Thankfully Iger and the art teams, in animation and product design, working at the company knew to restore the look and feel of the classic Oswald and not try to modernize him. Of course part of that credit also goes to Warren Spector and his team at Junction Point and Disney Interactive studios. They were able to take an 80-year-old celluloid rabbit and create a lifelike 3D version for audiences to follow.



Walt did not live long enough to see his character returned but he would have undoubtedly loved it. Oswald would be embraced by an entirely new generation and no cartoon mascot was ever luckier.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The evolution of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, part 6...


In the previous blog I mentioned that Oswald had become a popular name in Japan. Between 2004 and 2005 the character had generated a lot of buzz overseas and even some in the USA. He appeared at the Universal Park in Osaka as well as on various arcade prizes from Taito. The character underwent some subtle changes shortly after Disney had required the character. The early licencors, between 2006 and 2007 used designs that were very fluid and reminiscent of the Taito art. The character had a more oval or egg-shaped head, skinnier arms and legs and long rounded feet. By 2008 the character had been standardized for official art and merchandise.

In early 2006 Oswald's rights were transferred back to Disney. This trade was not really big news in the USA with the exception that sports commentator Al Michaels was the original reason that Disney and NBC / Universal had struck a deal. Oswald was thrown in as a sign of good faith between the President of Universal and the CEO of Disney. Animation fans and theme park devotees were the only ones that really took notice of the news. Getting the rights back meant that Disney had to work double time in reintroducing the character.


Two of the artists instrumental in getting Oswald some exposure were Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. The duo had created some of the best merchandise in the history of the company. Everything from dinnerware to shirts, mugs, statues and toys came out of their studio. They were experienced artists, imagineers and more important, they were fans of Walt Disney. The two were mindful of Walt's legacy and did a great job of honoring it on every project they worked on. They were students of every era of the company and especially of the theme parks. Aside from the vinyl Cutie figure that I had blogged about previously the studio wanted to release a high-end plush figure.

In 2006 Kevin and Jody created a wire armature of the rabbit, stuffed it with fiber and covered it in faux suede. The feet were filled with buckwheat or something similar so that he could stand on his own. This Oswald was modeled after the original art from Ub Iwerks, (dating back to 1926!) with details going all the way down to cord whiskers on the face and feet. Ub was the Disney animator that had a hand in creating both Oswald and Mickey Mouse. The Kevin and Jody figure was taken to shows to get the public interested in Oswald again.


In 2007 a figure that looked very similar to the concept sculpt was released at Walt Disney World. The plush was large and pricey, at about $60, but included the history of the character on the packaging. It reminded audiences "Before there was Mickey… there was Oswald." Today the figure can fetch several hundred dollars on eBay and specially shops. Only two pieces were made and Kevin and Jody sold both of them off at a Pop Gallery Retrospective in September 2016.


Something similar happened to the first "Big Fig" commissioned for the character as well. Kevin and Jody once again went back in time to get the inspiration for a collectible statue. They returned with a very vintage design. One of the earliest pieces of Oswald merchandise used the character designs from Ub Iwerks. In the Stencil Set from circa 1928 there were a number of stencils of Oswald in different poses. One of those was titled "The Sheik" and it featured Oswald wearing a top hat, holding a cane and twirling his whiskers. Oswald had actually appeared with a top hat in a few movie posters.


Note that the early shape of Oswald had yet to be finalized. He had more of an egg shaped head in the earliest designs. Many collectors showed interest in the figure but apparently not enough for the studio to follow through with a release. Six years later an Oswald statue was released but in the smaller "Mid Fig" format. The new sculpt was closer to the style sheets but lacked the insight and details that Kevin and Jody had dug up.


The original Oswald Big Fig was sculpted by Bo Tsai, who had sculpted hundreds, if not thousands, of the greatest Disney collectibles. It was painted in warm gray tones by Jody. In Kevin and Jody's words "We even managed to produce a bottomstamp for the base using the 1920s name-type in the original Oswald shorts. Months after our little Oswald collection was given the axe, the artists of Disney Consumer Products released an Oswald "style guide" for use in new products for the Disney Store. The "new" Oswald was more streamlined and his original silent-movie-era crudeness was polished away to better fit modern-day expectations." There were two of the original resin big figs made. The first one disappeared into history and the other one, including the base, was auctioned off during the Pop Retrospective in 2016.


Disney consumer products created a very simple style guide and almost all of the merchandise produced over the next decade, in both Japan and the USA, worked directly from the model sheet. Buttons, clothing, pins and various items all relied heavily on the guide. This lack of originality stripped the character of his personality. All of the details that Kevin and Jody had captured were stripped away in the first round of merchandise featuring the character.


Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, knew that animation was not necessarily the best medium to get Oswald in the minds and hearts of new Disney fans. Oswald would have to be featured in a big budget videogame. The seeds for Epic Mickey were planted by a group of interns but it would take many years to see a finished product. In the meantime Oswald needed to be re-branded. The character had to become synonymous with Disney but Oswald merchandise could not simply be dropped in the parks or Disney stores overnight. Little by little the company had to ease Oswald onto consumers.



Tee shirt collaborations seemed to be the best way at getting the rabbit out in the world. This was something that Universal understood. Their children's tee shirt line had two known designs, one of which gave a brief history on the character. There were other shirts in the works, specifically for adults, but they were not released pending on the success of the kids line. Despite having the slogan "Come in and meet him" there was never an Oswald walk-around character in the Universal park. I have no doubt that there was one in the plans.



In the short time while the rights were being transferred back to Disney a South Korean clothing manufacturer named Rocket Salad released a sweatshirt line featuring Oswald. It was assumed that Disney would redesign the character rather than use the most recent Universal version. Disney did not have an official model sheet available at the time Rocket Salad was releasing their items. What the company did was reprint the cover a children's book from the 1930's. While this was a Lantz design it looked old enough that audiences wouldn't necessarily credit it to Universal.



The first clothing partner that actually ran with a new redesign of Oswald was Comme De Garcons. The company was very trendy and also very pricey. Their tee shirts could go for well over $150 and were mostly sold in Japan. Their group of designers worked with Disney to reinvent Oswald while maintaining a classic look. The first thing the studio did was drop the Universal colors and make Oswald black and white. To prevent any confusion between the character and Mickey Mouse it was decided that Oswald needed to have blue shorts or white shorts from that point forward. The fashion brand actually printed metallic gold shorts for one design. The head of Oswald was more egg-shaped than oval. There were three distinct poses that the company used for shirts and even a wallet. This version of Oswald had rounded fingers and feet like the Universal one but his proportions were slightly different. Oswald's belly was larger and almost the same size as his head.



About a year later a second fashion label debuted its Oswald collection. Stussy, a popular street brand, was the first to use the contemporary designs of Oswald. While Stussy items were available in the US, these specific shirts were available in Japan only. The designers at Disney had narrowed down the features, poses and even attitude of the character. The fingers and feet were squared off and the head was more round than oval. The character looked more rigid than the Universal or Comme De Garcons figures. Stussy printed the various poses from the model sheet on the front of their shirt. It was interesting to note that one shirt they printed featured Oswald wearing red shorts. Oswald had been standardized at this point. Almost every appearance of the rabbit after 2008, whether on clothing or other merchandise, featured a pose pulled directly from those created by Disney.

 

Stussy highlighted something important about collaborations. In order to get audiences to spend $100 on a shirt there had to be some sense of quality and exclusivity. The shirts were created in a limited number and to further sweeten the deal they came with an exclusive Bearbrick (sometimes written as Be@rbrick). These small vinyl figures were produced by Medicom. Exclusive figures, such as the Oswald phone strap version, were highly prized by collectors. Many bought shirts just for the figure.



Medicom had actually released a line of collector figures featuring Woody Woodpecker and friends during the 2004-2005 Universal era. These "Kubrick" figures kept the shape and design of the cartoon mascots, as opposed the the bear-shaped Bearbrick line. About a year after the Stussy collaboration Medicom released a two-pack of Kubric figures celebrating the return of Oswald to Disney. This time it was a black and white Mickey Mouse and Oswald bundled together for collectors. The Oswald figure was based on the earlier Universal model.



The first US shirt collaboration was with Lucky Brand Jeans. The stores sold tee shirts featuring Oswald around 2008. This was essentially the first place for people in the know to get a modern Oswald item and show their support. While a few of the shirts featured one of the standard poses from Disney's model sheet the majority of the shirts were original works of art. They captured much more personality than any other shirt line before or after. Oswald showed a broad range of emotions in the various styles, from happy to sassy. It was the first time in ages that a group of artists were able to recreate the elements that made Oswald an icon in the first place. Granted, he didn't flash a gun in any design, but the art would have made Ub Iwerks proud.



Oswald remained relatively unchanged by the Disney company since 2008. That was until the re-opening of Disney California Adventure in 2012. The park featured a new Buena Vista Street, Cars Land and other attractions. At the gate there was a new store, Oswald's Service Station. The proportions of Oswald were adjusted slightly on the logo created for the station. He was a fraction shorter and his body and head were almost a perfect 1:1 ratio. His eyes even went from perfect ovals to pie-eye pupils. A few products were sold with this specific version of Oswald.

The majority of pins featuring the character were rooted more on the designs from 2008. There were a couple of pins that had rabbits that looked more like the Comme De Garcons version but more or less the reboot of Oswald was complete. I would like to point out how similar the pie-eyed figure was to Universal's redesign. Both companies came to the same conclusion in the end, although sometimes I wonder if the designers at Disney did not borrow some elements from Universal. Certain design elements, the weight of a line, the curve of a figure, the scale and proportions could make a cartoon mascot look timeless even though they were created in the 21st century.



Japan never lost its love of all things Disney, especially not of Oswald. Since regaining the rights to the character every few seasons the Tokyo Disney Resort unveils a new lineup of Oswald merchandise. They never reuse the same designs but start from scratch each time. Some of the earliest Oswald merchandise were leather bags embossed with the character and some home good items. A dedicated campaign would reveal itself around 2010-2011.


The earliest dedicated campaign mixed Oswald with Western style denim. There were bags, aprons, pencil cases and laundry bags made of the material featuring a leather Oswald tag. This collaboration was inspired by a crossover that Disney had with Edwin, a jean company out of Japan that had made a few Oswald figures out of their material, complete with tags. A few of these pieces still turn up from time-to-time on the Japanese auction sites. The turnaround for this merchandise was quick in Japan. Denim would give way to something completely different, such as bright colors and polka dots, a year later it might be naval inspired stripes. By comparison the merchandise featured at the Oswald Gas Station in Disney California Adventure had changed little over six years. In 2016 Japan had gone full circle and had released entirely new Oswald merchandise, this time revisiting the denim campaign.


In Japan there are often Disney collaborations where items featuring specific characters are sold exclusively in specific stores. Oswald was the central character at the fictional Spur City, a department store art collaboration from September 2014. Disney even had a large fiberglass statue of Oswald made just for the season. Chances are this figure might not be seen again in any other store or even at the park.



In the Japanese theme parks limited run tee shirts were nothing new. Some of the latter Oswald exclusives were letterman style sweatshirts. Oswald was featured prominently over one of the letters from his name. The poses used were pulled right from the model sheet. These were some of the most unoriginal designs from Japan but at least they only lasted one season. In the US Disney parks the Oswald merchandise has gone relatively unchanged since 2012. If there were some merchandise created for outside the park then it might be for a large retail store like Target. There would be no fanfare, no custom store props, no Oswald statues celebrating the collaboration. Instead there would simply be some new shirts released alongside the items from every other licenser. I understand that in 2015, for the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland, Oswald may finally be getting new merchandise at his store in DCA. It would be a welcome change.



The character had found its rhythm in the US and Japan. The rest of the world was now catching up. In China Oswald was introduced in a 2011 campaign from the fashion label Pizza Cut Five. The poses had been seen previously on Stussy and Lucky Brand shirts. It was a small effort to get the character some exposure and certainly appreciated by the trendsetters. Oswald's final design evolution would happen around this time in the US. The next blog will look at how Oswald transitioned from 2D to 3D.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The evolution of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, part 5...



In the previous blog I mentioned how the Japanese were crazy for all things Disney. The theme parks had done a great job instilling a sense of fun, imagination and quality when it came to Western cartoon characters. Outside the parks the Disney brand made its name in the arcade market. Not necessarily through games but rather through prizes in redemption machines. The library of Disney characters appeared in toy shelves and in many department stores but the younger fans would see plush figures, watches and other prizes in the popular claw-style arcade cabinets. Arcade machines could be found in many locations, making the figures easily accessible. Sega had the Disney license for decades and enjoyed the status that the partnership gave the company. In almost every arcade the Disney and Sega names were synonymous.



Universal knew that in order to make their brand and especially their park successful in Japan they needed to penetrate the arcade market as well. They released their own line of plush figures which could be found in the parks as well as in various prize machines but what they really needed was a marquee campaign. A partnership was formed with Taito (famous for Space Invaders) to create a line of products that could be found exclusively in prize machines. In order to catch up the rest of the world as to who Oswald was they decided that every plush figure featuring the character should come with a tag and description. Some of the figures even came boxed and a short introduction to the character was printed right on the box. On the various tags that came with the plush figures they made sure to highlight the fact that Walt Disney created the character in 1927. Universal knew that the Disney buffs in Japan would realize that this character predated Mickey Mouse.



Not every plush was available via the prize machines. A dedicated line was also created to be sold exclusively in Universal Studios Japan. Of course Oswald would have to be weaned onto audiences. Woody Woodpecker was the big draw at the park and the first mascot character that most saw when they visited it. Like Mickey Mouse the character was timeless. The face of Woody and his fellow cartoon characters would be plastered all over the park and even the various buses and trams that took audiences to the resort and surrounding hotels. Certainly there were newer animated characters, those from the Shrek and Madagascar films, and even live action characters from Harry Potter but Woody came from the golden age of animation and was therefore more respected.



Since Oswald was much older than Woody and created by Walt Disney himself he was expected to be well received. The Japanese animation fans took great pride in learning their history and revered classic figures. The hunch at Universal was right. People were fascinated by the blue furred rabbit. His most recent makeover went over very well, especially when a standee was placed alongside the rest of the Walt Lantz characters in the park. Oswald was set next to Buzz Buzzard, he was opposite of where Woody was on a two-dimensional photo op. This was around the end of 2004. Of course the Oswald standee was removed almost a year later when the rights were transferred back to Disney.



For the brief time that Oswald was in Universal Studios Japan the company made sure that he was integrated with the other icons. The sculptures in the studio store included a 3D facade of Oswald, this too was sadly removed a year later.



Oswald graphics were pasted around the park so that audiences would become familiar with the character. In one mural Curious George, another Universal license, was pulling on the rabbit's nose.



No trip to the studio store would be complete without Oswald plush figures. There were various sizes available for collectors from a small cell phone strap to an enormous pillow-sized doll. These figures could sometimes be found in the Taito prize machines. The larger plush dolls were rarer than the tiny ones.



Not every prize offered in the machines was a plush. There were watches, inflatable figures and even a CD-ROM available as prizes. Taito handled the majority of the licensing and figure creation but there were a few other items bearing the character that also came out at the same time.



Oswald mania was gaining ground. Through 2005 many Japanese visitors were aware of the character. News of his appearance made its way to the USA. Fans were eager to see Oswald turn up in the US parks as well. No sooner did Taito and Universal reintroduce the Lucky Rabbit to audiences than he was traded back to Disney. This sudden change meant that vendors had to pull the plush figures from the shelves and scrub any hint that Oswald was ever a featured character at Universal. Once the arcade operators ran out of Oswald figures in their machines they were out of luck. Taito would have to restock them with some other licensed character. This shift created an overnight demand from serious collectors but for the majority of the world it was enough that Oswald was back in the public consciousness.



One of the most important things that helped bring Oswald back to the people had less to do with plush figures or prize machines and more with clothing. Tee shirt manufacturers were interested in this rare character and were eager to try and collaborate with either Universal or Disney and get some shirts out on the streets right away. The next blog will look at how the tee shirt manufacturers had a hand in helping shape the look of Oswald.