Friday, July 19, 2013

Kate's Word of the Day: Ersatz

K8 and Oswald.
Wiktionary defines ersatz as "made in imitation; artificial, especially of an inferior quality."  Usable as an adjective or noun, ersatz is a German loanword to the English language.  For example, Mickey Mouse is an ersatz of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit because Walt Disney lost the rights to Oswald in the late 1920s and had to come up with a new character.  Oswald himself is an ersatz Felix the Cat because, in the early days of animation, Felix was king.

It is my educated guess that Felix the Cat is ultimately an ersatz of one or more trickster deities from tens of thousands of years ago, who plagued -- but also taught laughter to -- early humankind, before the merciful great-grandmother Wolf sent some of her children to take care of you hairless apes.  Yes, I know, dogs are awesome.  My ancestors probably gave you the secret of fire.  And belly rubs.

Since I've written myself into a corner, writing about ancient times, I might as well write SEGUE TO DISNEY STORE SALE.  The Disney Store has a sale almost every week, so many of them aren't worth publicizing.  This weekend, however, you'll save 25% on probably all of the merchandise at the Disney Store in your local mall and online at (we don't have an affiliate link for Disney), with the coupon code DISNEYPAL.  The sale ends on Sunday the 21st.

With this guaranteed savings, you can try to look for some of the Disney dogs:  Pluto, Lady, The Tramp, a few of the 101 and/or 102 Dalmatians, Bolt, Nana from Peter Pan, Percy from Pocahontas, etc.  I think I'd make a great Disney dog, and perhaps an even better Disney Princess.  Or a Marvel Superhero.  Or a Jedi, no, Sith!  (Marvel and Star Wars are now owned by Disney, by the way.)

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Large, Medium, and Small.
SEGUE BACK TO OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT.  In 2006, the Walt Disney Company reacquired Oswald from Universal, in exchange for sports broadcaster Al Michaels.  Since then, they've slowly reintroduced Walt's first animated superstar to the public.  Well, in Japan, they've been Oswald-crazy for decades, so Japan's Disney store has tons of cool Oswald merchandise.  In the States, at least, they've been slow to sell Oswald stuff, unlike the inexplicable ubiquity of Duffy the Disney Bear.  Why is that teddy bear everywhere?

In any case, recently, there has been more Oswald merchandise, like t-shirts (a red one, a blue one, a flag one, and a women's one), souvenirs from Oswald's Filling Station at Disney California Adventure, and at least three kinds of plush toys.   The large, crocheted $32 Oswald might still be available at Disney California Adventure.  The small $10 Oswald is currently sold out at the Disney Store, but might return.  The previously-sold out medium-sized $20 Oswald is available again at the Disney Store, in store and online.  If you don't want to shop at Disney, you could also get price-gouged from various sellers at Amazon: small and medium -- the large, crocheted, California Adventure one, when available, is usually price-gouged approaching $100 on Amazon.

The moral of the story:  Use the 25% coupon / coupon code DISNEYPAL at the the Disney Store, if you want to buy some of this stuff.  That's all for today; time for lunch!

K8 the Lucky Minifig, an ersatz of Kate the Lucky Dog!

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