Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 08 Feb 2010 12:56 pm

Today’s Collectibles Are Tomorrow’s Antiques and That Includes Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse may now be over 80 years old and a veritable antique himself but his enduring charm cascades down the generations. Can there be any one who does not know and love Disney’s Mickey? From grandparent to grandchildren there can’t be anyone who has not possessed a Mickey Mouse emblem be it a Mickey mouse key ring or Mickey Mouse ears.

However memorabilia featuring Mickey is not a recent phenomenon and has actually been produced since the 1930′s. Indeed Mickey’s popularity is such that it is a very popular field of collecting. The very earliest memorabilia including soft toys, games, tinplate figures and storage tins, are most sought-after.

Mickey Mouse has undergone a slight change since coming on to the scene in the 1930s one that is not immediately as familiar as the one we know today. A close look at his appearance will give a clue to the date of the memorabilia. In his earliest incarnation, Mickey was more rat-like, his head was less rounded, his body thinner, his hands larger and he also featured teeth and was the proud possessor of a tail. Marks are important when dating Mickey objects. Before 1939, they were marked "Walt Disney Enterprises" or, possibly "Walter E. Disney". Early marks may also include George Borgfeldt’s name. Borgfeldt being the first to receive a license from Disney to produce memorabilia.

In the 1930′s Mickey Mouse was also licensed by the British company Dean and the famous German manufacturer Steiff to produce stuffed-toys. Dean items featured printed registration numbers and were often marked "Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Ltd.". Steiff toys were produced with a rubber stamp on their foot and Steiff tags attached to their ear and chest. As with any collectible item, condition and rarity are of prime importance in determining the value of 1930s pieces. Steiff stuffed toys in unusual sizes or colours and in if good condition can be valued in the thousands..

From the 1930s onwards many unlicensed products were made outside America mainly in Germany and Japan. Some unlicensed memorabilia from the 1930s can still valuable but not on the same sale as licensed products.

From the mid-1930s, Mickey began a gradual change. 1934 saw him lose his toothy grin, and by the end of the 1950s he was plumper and less rodent-like an altogether cuddlier figure . As the years go by memorabilia from the 1950s to 70s are becoming more sought-after by dedicated Mickey Mouse collectors and items can be found from this period for around $40 (£20) and offer an in expensive route to an exciting investment. It is important to go for something in mint condition marked with "Walt Disney Productions", this being marked on all products after 1939, or "© Disney", which was used after 1984.

Do you want to know more about Mickey Mouse?

If this article has re-introduced you to the delights of Mickey Mouse, – then why not visit us and treat yourself to some Mickey Mouse Memorabilia. You can find us at

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