Pair of Western River Expedition Buffalo Models.

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Disneyana Start Price:4,000.00 USD Estimated At:5,000.00 - 7,000.00 USD
Pair of Western River Expedition Buffalo Models.
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All items are sold as is. Contact Van Eaton Galleries for condition reports and shipping information. 21% Buyer's Premium for all lots.
(Walt Disney World, c.1970s) A pair of character concept models from the unrealized Western River Expedition attraction at Walt Disney World. These majestic buffalo are seen grazing on the plains in one of the opening vignettes on the ride. Designed by legendary Imagineer Marc Davis, these original figures were created for the attraction model built by WDI. Constructed of meticulously hand-sculpted clay over a cast resin body, the wonderfully expressive character concept models are expertly hand-painted and finished in minute detail. At 1.5”:1’ scale, the Western River Expedition model was the largest that Disney had created up to that point, with costs running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Called the greatest attraction that never was, the Western River Expedition was to be Marc Davis’s chance to improve upon and surpass his wildly successful Pirates of the Caribbean in both size and imagination. Given that Florida is located so close to the actual Caribbean, it was thought that Pirates of the Caribbean wouldn’t hold the same romantic pull that it did to people more geographically distant. Enter the Western River Expedition, bringing the size and grandeur of the Wild West to tourists in the East. It was to be the signature attraction within the planned Thunder Mesa complex, which was to house multiple rides including a log flume and a runaway mining train rollercoaster. While elements of the River Expedition were eventually repurposed for other attractions, these excessively rare character concept models are the best representation of Marc Davis’s original vision that survive today. Both measuring approximately 7.25” tall, the figures are in generally very good condition. Bear in mind that these are hand-made concept models used for scenic design and blocking purposes in a working model of the attraction. They may exhibit a stray drip of paint from an element being worked on around them or a chip or crack from hurried rearrangement in a surge of inspiration. The buffalo figure with the open mouth has a cracked tail. Otherwise, the pieces exhibit some minor wear and handling.