Our antiques expert Allan Blackburn isn't taking the Mickey when he says Disney collectables are desirable...
Happy Independence Day! I simply had to mention American Independence Day (how could I not) and was there ever a more iconic American figure in the world of toys and collectables than Mickey Mouse? Surely, Disney is the most prolific name for all toy collectors.
From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to today’s global corporation, the Walt Disney Company continues to produce stunning animations for
audiences throughout the world.
Founded on October 16, 1923, by brothers Walt and Roy Disney, the company is now the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Disney’s most famous character,
Mickey Mouse, is one of the most recognisable cartoon characters in the world and is the mascot of the Walt Disney Company. In fact it’s Mickey’s 90th birthday this year.
After Walt Disney’s wife objected to the original name “Mortimer Mouse”, the renamed Mickey debuted in November 1928 and was initially voiced by Walt himself. In his little red shorts, large yellow shoes and white gloves, Mickey went on to appear in over 130 films and in 1978, he became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Disney is a haven for children and collectors throughout the world with collections ranging from affordable bean bag toys to the incredibly expensive original artworks.
Recently an original animation cel from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) sold for £5,980 – similar artwork for the Simpsons will fetch about £500.
The most expensive animation celluloid that Christies has sold was the cel from the 1933 Mickey Mouse film “The Mad Doctor”, which was auctioned in 1996, and realised an amazing £21,275.
Disney are still producing films and merchandise that capture the imagination of children, just look at the enormous popularity of “Frozen” in the last few years, so the collectables of today will be worth hanging on to.
At the moment, figures from the Toy Story films are very popular, along with other modern classics such as Monsters Inc, The Lion King and the new “real life” versions of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. However, it’s Mickey Mouse that will always be the mainstay of the Disney brand.