Hurricane Sandy was a natural disaster that flooded studio premises on October 29, 2012, damaging infrastructure, property, and leading to the deaths of several animal actors.

Following the false alarm of Hurricane Irene, Ted and Nick Phillips elected to weather out the storm on premises rather than evacuating. In the hours leading up to the storm, important equipment, property, and animals were relocated to higher-elevated points, for the unlikely event of flooding.

Deaths

During flooding, Janya, known for his role as King Janya in the Prince Dittonian musical series and who was already in declining health, decided to go swimming in toxic flood waters. During recovery efforts on November 4, 2012, Janya drank from a bucket of PineSol that was being used to clean the property, fled the premises, and was never seen again until his body was found in November 2019.

After the water receded and during disaster recovery, Ditto, known for his roles in Ni-Ki-Oh! and as the titular character in the Prince Dittonian musical series, and who was already in declining health, sneaked into a sealed off area that still contained toxic residue to sleep there. On November 6, 2012, he went into respiratory distress and died before he could be taken to a veterinarian.

By December 29, 2022, Igglybuff, known for his role in the Prince Dittonian musical series, had lost weight. That night, he exhausted himself to death while bathing.

Mew, also known from the Prince Dittonian musical series for her role as Queen Mew, who had also gone swimming in toxic flood waters, and other animals, who were on premises during the flooding and in the aftermath, survived.

Data Loss

A wooden chest containing short stories, essays, and other important documents by or relating to Kathy Phillips, and possibly some early works by Ted or Nick, was filled with water. Articles were dried out and trucked to Kathy for review. As of 2022, an inventory of lost and surviving articles from this chest has not been performed.

The historical Museum of Natural Hoaxes, featured in the Free United Club of Kids movie, was submerged and many historical artifacts were damaged beyond repair. Affected items were photographed by Nick Phillips before being discarded.

Many VHS and Beta video tapes, containing influential films, animation, and more, were stored in a plastic bin that ended up not being watertight, and a significant majority were lost as a result. Ted and Nick Phillips compiled a list of notable tapes that were deemed damaged or destroyed; some items on this list were kept for potential recovery and others were immediately discarded. It is unclear if this list is still extant.

In 2022, Ted Phillips developed a VHS cleaning and mold mitigation protocol, and was able to rescue some tapes that were not immediately discarded, some of which still contained flood water over 9 years later. Some important recoveries include:
  • the original aired versions of Ni-Ki-Oh! Season 1, called Ted's Tape
  • the original outtakes reel for Ni-Ki-Oh! Season 1, called Speed Racer
  • the Rich Falantano edit of King Kong vs Roboman, alongside previously lost footage of some other films, because their masters had already deteriorated beyond recovery by 2007.

As of 2022, several family and studio historical videos are unaccounted for, and they are currently believed to have been lost during Sandy:
  • the wedding video of John and Kathy Phillips
  • Antonia's 40th birthday party
  • Christmas 1992

Other Effects

Hurricane Sandy caused devastating damage to the premises where Cracked Egg Studios had operated for close to 20 years. Repairs and lost work hours devastated the studio financially and caused it to indefinitely delay or outright cancel a number of projects. Very few projects saw any development until the Restoration Era began in 2021.

The company's most lucrative product at the time, VaultWiki, had a highly-anticipated update delayed for almost 2 years, causing a loss of sales momentum and many customers to leave. While updates eventually continued, the product never regained its prior success.

Ted gradually moved studio equipment and assets offsite during repairs and began working remotely in February 2013. As of December 2022, repairs have still not been fully completed. Plans anticipate a return to in-office work in late 2023, with repairs finally completed some time in 2024.

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