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Disney Scrapbook Supplies: How can one company get it so right – and so wrong?

My husband and I have been fans of Disney World since long before I started scrapbooking. We were married at the Polynesian Resort in 1993, before the construction of Disney World’s wedding chapel, and took a second honeymoon there in 1998. So of course when we moved to north Florida in 2000, we became very frequent visitors to the parks, taking hundreds of pictures over the course of our visits. By then I had begun scrapbooking and so I combed the parks for any signs of scrapbook supplies for sale. At first there were none but now Disney has jumped on the scrapbooking bandwagon, selling page kits and supplies in all the parks, and even has a whole store at Downtown Disney that is devoted largely to memory supplies. That sounds like a scrapbooking Disney fan’s dream, you would think…but not quite.

So what’s the problem? The problem is the design of the supplies. It is completely inconsistent! There are a few fabulous items buried in a collection of largely poorly designed, out-of-date supplies. And the frustrating part is that this dichotomy even occurs within the same page kits – some beautiful items packaged in with some terrible ones!

Take for example, the wedding themed 12×12 page kit. The kit retails for $15 and contains 10 sheets of paper (6 patterned and 4 metallic) and 5 12×12 sticker sheets of various kinds, along with 4 die cut frames. Several of the papers are absolutely gorgeous – ornate, formal prints with hidden Mickey ears in the patterns. And there are beautiful gold and silver metallic sheets as well. But then you start looking at the sticker sheets and it gets confounding. Most of them are the white bordered diecut type shapes that most scrapbook companies stopped making quite awhile ago. Some of the stickers are even FLOCKED! There is really one nice sheet of actual usable, clear stickers out of the 5 sheets. But then take a closer look at one of the other sheets and it gets even more frustrating…mixed in on a sheet of horrid white bordered stickers are a few very nice blocks with portraits of the Disney princesses with their princes!

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These illustrations here show the papers and the sticker sheets.

The pink sheet on the far left is actually the clear background stickers. The blue sheet with the pink hearts is the flocked sheet.

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Here you can see some of the stickers with the lovely illustrations of the couples side-by-side with some of the horrendous white-bordered (and even PINK bordered!) designs.

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The same can be said of the die-cuts in the kit….they are white-bordered and very out-of-date styling.

On the other hand, especially recently I have found some lovely items at the Disney parks that are very up-to-date which I snatched up immediately to use in my scrapbooking. Their Mickey ear eyelets in red/yellow/white/black sell for 25/$3.00, and I also very recently bought a package of vintage styled stickers that look like movie posters from long ago.

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The eyelets I have used successfully several times and look forward to using many times again.

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This Disney nut can’t wait to use these gorgeous vintage styled Disney stickers I found at the Downtown Disney store last weekend! They come in a box about 4×6″ in size and will work perfectly with the vintage looks that are all the rage in scrapbooking right now.

So how can a company who can produce such wonderful products like the vintage stickers and Mickey ear eyelets also produce such horrors as flocked diecut stickers? How can they put such wonderful and such horrible designs even together in the same kit, like the wedding memories kit?

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The best theory I’ve come up with is that is seems the answer may be found in their use of designers, or lack thereof. Packaging should show the product off to it’s best advantage, yet the pages shown on the packaging of the above kit are very unprofessional looking, and reminiscent of the sticker-sneeze era of the late 90′s, and not publication quality even then. This would lead me to believe that they aren’t respecting the scrapbook market enough to use actual scrapbook talent to create their products and marketing materials, which probably explains the hit-or-miss nature of the designs.

As a result of this lack of design talent, they aren’t getting much money from what would otherwise be a captivated audience – me. And I’m sure I’m not the only one that they are missing as a customer for this reason, poor product design. Here’s hoping that Disney starts to see the use of actual scrapbooking designers as a wise investment. I think they would see returns on their investment many-fold.

And based on the glimpses of greatness we’ve seen already, I would love to see what they would come out with.

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