Since “Steamboat Willie,” the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, there have been scores of collector's items created by the Disney brand. Every film, television show and theme park has an individual line of merchandise. The varied range of items goes from inexpensive Mickey Mouse Pez dispensers to high-end Lennox Snow White figurines. Whether you want to buy or sell, finding out the current price of any collectible will help expand and enrich your hobby.
Porcelain figurines, snow globes, pins, animation cells, cookie jars, toys, comic books, watches: This is a small sampling of the vast variety of Disney collectibles known as Disneyana. Before pricing the value of your collectibles, you need to establish if you are dealing with a vintage or contemporary piece. Any item produced before the death of Walt Disney in 1966 is considered vintage. Disneyana purists deal strictly in the vintage world but contemporary collections can be of value as well.
The condition of your Disney collectible is key to determining its worth. Each subset of Disneyana will carry a specific list of standards from the high end of "mint" to the least desirable of "poor." For example, a 1950s era Mickey Mouse figurine with no chips or fading could be considered a mint vintage item.
One popular pricing resource is the auction web site eBay. Conducting a search for your particular collectible will undoubtedly reveal similar items with a range of pricing. Searching eBay can also give you a sense of how popular your particular collectible might be.
Published by Collector’s Books and written by David Longest, this 240 page pricing guide contains over 900 photos and illustrations. Also included are never before published photographs of rare Disneyana from the golden years of the 1930s and 1940s. Specific chapters highlight collectibles from the animated classics starting with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” as well as the current crop of new releases. The listings found in this guide are considered reliable 2008 values.
“The Official Price Guide to Disney Collectibles”
Noted collectibles author Ted Hake has over forty years of collecting experience. His 1,040-page price guide consists of over 28,000 items and more than 125 individual categories of Disney collectibles. Listed items include memorabilia from all the animated and live-action films as well as recent Disney/Pixar collaborations. There are additional listings for products from the numerous Disney TV series. Other information includes prices for music boxes, animated movie cells and comic books.
“Warman's Disney Collectibles Field Guide”
For collectors on the go, this handy field guide offers a comprehensive list of prices and items. Over five hundred photos help identify and catalogue numerous Disney collectibles. There are also historical facts included, which will help you expand your knowledge of the world of Disney. This field guide is easy to carry as you hunt through flea markets or collectors’ conventions for your next piece of Disneyana memorabilia.
Meeting other collectors is another productive way to discover the value of an item. In 1992, the Disney Studios sponsored the first official Disneyana convention. Since then, annual conventions offer buyers, sellers and fans the chance to gather and celebrate all things Disneyana. As an added incentive, Disney produces exclusive collectibles provided only for people who attend the convention. Naturally, these collectibles have become their own category of Disneyana memorabilia. The National Fantasy Fan Club (NFFC) also sponsors Disneyana collector events. Their web site is a helpful resource for price guides and collecting news.