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Top Dollar Disney Collectibles

Photo Credit: Charlotte Clark Doll: Credit: icollector.com Online Collectibles Auctions

By David Cohea, ReMIND Magazine

Is your odd Disney collectible worth a treasure chest of cash? Probably not, but some select items in the Disneyana universe have fetched record prices. Here are a few.

Charlotte Clark Dolls
Seamstress Charlotte Clark created the Mickey Mouse doll in 1930. She obtained permission from Disney Studio, and the dolls began appearing around Los Angeles. Soon demand outstripped her humble production, so she designed sewing patterns enabling customers to create their own dolls. Walt and Roy Disney were so pleased with the dolls that they rented a building near their studio and called it the Doll House. Charlotte and six other seamstresses produced 300-400 dolls a week. She created patterns for other Disney characters including Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse and Pluto, and the patterns were licensed and produced by manufacturers worldwide. These dolls in good condition now sell on eBay for between $3,000 and $6,500. A pair of Charlotte Clark Mickey and Minnie display dolls standing 44″ and 48″ respectively sold for $151,534 in a 2007 Hake’s Auction.

Soft-Head Mickey Pez Dispenser
Many Disney-themed Pez dispensers have been produced over the years, but one is very rare and pricey: a prototype Soft-Head Mickey with a red candy shaft. Created in 1979, only 10 are known to exist. One was sold privately to a California collector for a reported $7,000.

Mickey Mouse Poster
One of the hardest-to-find Disney collectibles is an original Mickey Mouse poster in pristine condition. Paper wears most over time, so many original posters are by now ripped, torn or faded. The oldest known Mickey Mouse poster for a 1928 cartoon was auctioned off by Heritage Auctions for $101,575. In the summer of 1932, Walt Disney changed distributors of his cartoon shorts to the United Artists Studios; they were willing to advance more money in the production of his films. As a result, the UA posters were much more vibrant. One fine example of this poster in very good/fine condition sold at Heritage Auctions for $16,730 in 2016.

Walt Disney’s Comics And Stories No. 1
In 1940, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories replaced Mickey Mouse Magazine. Featuring characters from Disney’s feature-length films and shorts, there are now more than 700 issues in the series, making it one of the bestselling comic books of all time. The series’ first issue is comic book grail to collectors; issue No. 1 in grade 9.4 sold for $170,000 in 2008, and a 9.0 grade sold for $54,000 in 2013.

It’s A Small World Animatronic Doll
One of the most memorable rides at Disney theme parks around the world is the water boat-based It’s a Small World. The ride features some 300 animatronic dolls representing traditional cultures around the world. It’s a Small World was first featured at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, becoming a Disneyland attraction in 1966. The first complete audio-animatronic figure from the ride to go up for sale, a Scandinavian dancer figure, sold for $80,500 at a Van Eaton Galleries auction in 2016.

Haunted Mansion Hand-Painted “Stretch” Canvas
In Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride, which opened in 1969, there was a room that descended via elevators; as the room lowered, four paintings on the wall would “stretch,” revealing more to the portraits than originally met the eye. Hand-painted canvases like this one were used from 1969-72 but were eventually replaced by easier-to-produce printed images. This original “stretch portrait” was designed by Imagineer Marc Davis and painted on canvas by Disney artists. It sold for $172,500 at the same 2016 Van Eaton Galleries auction of Disneyana.

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