posted at the official Disney Parks blog on March 21st, 2011 by Dara Trujillo, Manager, Merchandise Synergy, Events, and Communication
Since 2005, Disney Theme Park Merchandise has partnered with Precious Moments to created special figurines that are unique to Disney Parks. To celebrate the release of the newest Disney Theme Park Exclusive collectible from Precious moments, I caught up with Deb Butcher. Deb grew up right along with Precious Moments. Her father, Sam Butcher, created Precious Moments before she was 10 years old. As an artist’s daughter, Deb was entrenched in the world of mixing paint, exploring color and absorbing the full meaning behind Sam’s creations.
Today, Deb is responsible for the direction of the Precious Moments creative team, from concept creation through the approval process of art. She works closely with the artists and product developers to ensure that every Precious Moments figurine and gift conveys her father’s message, while offering meaning and beauty to the end consumer. I had the opportunity to talk with Deb to find out more about the creation of Precious Moments and the partnership with Disney.
Dara: For more than 30 years and with more than 1,500 figurines to your father’s credit, did you think he ever imagined that from the “Original 21” figures, Precious Moments would become one of the world’s leading collectibles?
Deb: When he was creating the first 21 his desire was to touch someone’s life in a personal way. He wanted to celebrate, inspire and provide comfort. At no time did my dad discuss Precious Moments as “the next big thing,” or an opportunity or think that it would be a collectible that is cherished around the world. He really just wanted to give people a way to express what they were feeling but didn’t have the words to say.
Dara: Children play a prominent role in each of the Precious Moments figurines. The teardrop-eyes of the children in Precious Moments figurines are recognized around the world. What meaning do the teardrop-eyes have for you and the Precious Moments family?
Deb: The teardrop-eyes are the result of how my dad saw children, with big innocent eyes. Many people have commented that my son Colin and I resembled Precious Moments when we were younger. It’s just how Dad sees children, full of innocence.
Dara: Disney and children go hand in hand so it’s no surprise that the collaboration with Precious Moments and the Disney Showcase Collection has been a success. With so many Disney characters to work with, how do you select the subject for each piece?
Deb: Disney has a deep emotional connection with its Guests and Precious Moments has childhood innocence so it’s a perfect fit. As far as selecting a subject, the scenarios just seem to create themselves. Together we are creating recognizable memories that will last a lifetime with their recipients.
Dara: Do you have a favorite piece from the Disney Showcase Collection?
Deb: This is a really difficult question because there are so many adorable figurines! But, I must admit Pooh has always been my favorite character, so “Everything’s Better With Friends” with the little boy reading to Pooh and Piglet in the chair would have to be one of my favorites. It reminds me of when we were small and my Mom would read stories to us from The Hundred Acre Wood.
If you would like to ask Deb Butcher a few questions of your own, you’ll have a special opportunity to meet her on March 25 and 26 at Walt Disney World Resort. Deb will be signing the newest Precious Moments figurine from the Disney Theme Park Collection: “It’s Always a Day in the Parks with You.” Deb will be appearing at the Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace on March 25 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and at Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom on March 26 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
If you’re going to be at Disneyland Resort next weekend, you can meet Master Sculptor for Precious Moments, Hiko Meada on March 26 at Off the Page in Disney California Adventure park from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and World of Disney in the Downtown Disney District from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
If you’re not able to make it to Disney Parks for the release of the new Disney Precious Moments sculpture, we’ve got you covered, visit ArtofDisneyParks.com to learn more on how to pre-order “It’s Always a Day in the Parks with You.”