Disney collector plates are popular among fans of Disney collectibles. Collector plates have been produced every year since the 1930s and continue to grow in popularity and value. The value of the plate is determined by the amount produced and the age of the plate. Many collectors seek older plates in fine to mint condition.
Some of the most valuable collector plates come from the 1930s to the 1950s, and can be worth $50 to $100. Plates produced after the 1950s are still valuable ($25 to $50), though it is easier to find them in mint condition, which provides a lower overall value. The plates currently produced should be kept in mint condition and if the plates are part of a series, the whole series should be purchased to maximize the value later on.
It is also extremely important to keep any certificate of authenticity that the plate comes with. This provides proof that the plate is not a reproduction or fake. It also adds value to the plate. Buyers looking for older plates should consider plates that come with the C.O.A., to make purchasing an authentic plate easier.
Disney collector plates were first produced in the 1930s when Walt Disney characters were gaining popularity with children and adults. Since then, Disney has released a large number of collector plates to commemorate specific characters, scenes from particular movies and to commemorate the life of Walt Disney. These collectors plates are valuable at the time of purchase and only rise in value if the plate is kept in excellent condition.
There are many types of Disney collector plates. The most popular plates on the market in 2009 include a Tinkerbell series, a Winnie the Pooh collection and the Disney Princesses. Current plates sell for $40, with values quickly rising once the plate is no longer available on the retail market. Some of the most popular plates of the past have been any series featuring Mickey Mouse and the plate series for movies such as “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid.”
Other collector plates that do not feature Disney characters instead feature a picture of one of the buildings from Walt Disney World or Disneyland. These collector's items were originally purchased as souvenirs from a trip to one of the theme parks.
Collectors plates produced by Disney will feature a back stamp that includes a production year. The type of back stamp on the plate will be determined by the year it was released and the movie or character represented on the plate. For example, Disney products manufactured in 1992 have a wheel that represents the cartoon “Steamboat Willie.” Other back stamps include feathers, butterflies, harps and glass slippers.
Many vintage Disney plates can be found through online auctions, antique stores and flea markets. Anyone considering a purchase from these sources should note the condition of the plate as well as the presence of a certificate of authenticity. The C.O.A. makes Disney plates more valuable over the years and also provides a way for collectors to authenticate the plate as an official Disney release. The C.O.A. also provides information on the artist and how long the plate was produced. Collectors should also consider getting the plate valued by an antique dealer, especially if the C.O.A. is not present at the time of purchase.
- Collecting Disneyana: Identification & Value Guide; David Longest; 2007
- Disney 101
Terri Deno is a freelance writer living near Indianapolis. She holds a B.A. in English from Ball State University. She has a passion for research; this passion is the driving force for writing about antiques, literature, genealogy, shopping and travel.