The challenge: design and build a “real scale” exhibit incorporating approximately 25% of Han Solo’s beloved YT-1300 light freighter, the Millennium Falcon, then assemble it inside the New Exhibition Center in Pudong, Shanghai, China. The entire project, decided by the Disney China consumer products team for the China Toy Fair less than three weeks from the event, had to go from planning to drawing to construction to execution in that very short amount of time. I happily volunteered to help with design, content, and approvals, but could it be done?
The answer: “This is China. We can do anything.”
I heard that phrase much more than once while I was in Shanghai for Toy Fair and the Disney Consumer Products licensee meeting. I hoped to provide experience in and knowledge of the galaxy far, far, away, and help the process as best I could. I quickly learned that when my colleagues quoted the above, they were not kidding. We made changes and edits on the fly right up to the morning the show opened, but the result was a spectacular display that did indeed look like the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy on the outside, and house a Star Wars movie timeline and licensed toy exhibit on the inside.
Post Script: A few more shots from around Shanghai
I loved the city and took many photographs. Here are three.
Post Post Script, but Very Important: Operation New Hope
Throughout the recent typhoon disaster in the Philippines, I tried to keep in correspondence with members of the Rebel and 501st Legion and R2-D2 Builders in the country. Regina Layug-Rosero sent me this image, and this information on what the Philippine Outpost is doing to help:
“Year-round we troop for children’s charities. In times of need we band together to raise funds and collect donations for relief goods. For those affected by Typhoon Yolanda, we’d like to do our part again. The Philippine Outpost is working with Star Wars Cebu’s Operation: New Hope effort to collect donations for relief packages for the Visayas region. You can send donations via PayPal through firstname.lastname@example.org.”
On our front, The Walt Disney Company announced that it would donate $500,000 to support humanitarian aid and rebuilding efforts related to the recent tragedy in the Philippines. This donation will be allocated equally between Save the Children and the American Red Cross for relief and aid to those in need. They are also sponsoring an employee match donation program.
All the best with your efforts, Philippine Outpost. Our thoughts and support are with you.