Almost everyone collects something or other. Even my husband has a collection. His contains hundreds of Western books. My younger sister collects whales. My father collects bald eagles and my mom collects tigers.
There are thousands, perhaps millions of people who spend money and time to collect everything under the sun. People who collect Disney merchandise are a totally different breed of collectors. Many collectors of Disney are avid fans who will fervently collect specific Disney items.
There are a wide range of Disney items to collect. Some people collect anything Disney. Some just collect Disney stuffed animals… also known as plush. Others may collect only one character or maybe all of the Princesses. There are many types of collectors and many different sub-sets of Disney merchandise to collect.
There are many people that collect Disney paper. This can include napkins, paper cups, sugar packets, Park maps, and any other piece of paper that has Disney, Disneyland, or Walt Disney World written on it.
Many people specialize by the Disney Park. For example, some just collect items from Disneyland, while others may only collect from Disney World.
Collecting is something you can spend a great deal of time and money on. It is also something you can pick and choose… therefore limiting your spending. You can collect anything or limit what you collect to a small section of Disney merchandise.
I have been collecting Disney merchandise for more than 20 years now. In 1982 I went to Disneyland for the first time. While I had been a Disney fan for years before that this was my first opportunity to buy official Disney merchandise.
I still have the 4-foot Mickey Mouse plush I bought on that trip. He is in the old style; with felt hands and clothing. To keep this prized possession safe he sits on a closet shelf, away from my son, and from our menagerie of dogs and cats.
Perhaps that Mickey is the reason I started collecting Mickey Mouse memorabilia. I admit it; I am in love with Mickey Mouse.
Over the years my collecting style and my preferences have changed. I no longer collect all things Disney. I have many subsets of Disney collections.
In this new section of DisneyMouseLinks.com you will see frequent collection updates from me and various articles on collecting. This is a section of our website that will never be complete. We will constantly be adding more of my personal collection to Leanne's Collectors Corner.
For this initial article, I would like to tell you some things about my collection. As previously mentioned I started in 1982 and limited myself to only Mickey Mouse memorabilia. As I got older my likes and dislikes changed. Now I have many collections within my Disney collection. As time permits we will eventually have pictures of various parts of my collection available for you to view.
While I still collect Mickey Mouse I pretty much limit that collection now to figurines… but I do have a few other very prized possessions that are not figurines. This is a very extensive collection including a very old bowl with Cowboy Mickey in the center of this silver bowl from the 1930's. There are also a few Swarovski Crystal Mickey's in this collection that I cherish so much. I am a varied collector though. Mickey Mouse is just one of many subsets I have.
Another one of my Disney collecting specialties is coin banks. Over the years this collection has grown quite big; starting with my sterling silver Mickey Mouse bank that I picked up in St. Louis almost 20 years ago. I do not limit myself to one character on the banks. If it is a Disney bank then it belongs in my collection… I am not picky here!
Books are another specific group in my collection. Most of the Disney related books I own have never been taken out of their shrink-wrap. A few of my books are signed. Most of this collection is currently safely kept in boxes away from the prying hands of my darling son. The least expensive part of my book collection is the yearly purchase of the Birnbaum Guide to Disneyland and the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. Each year I purchase the new edition and the old ones are never thrown away. I also include in this collection the travel brochures from the Walt Disney Travel Company along with all of my Disney Catalogs from the past 20 years. Magazines containing Disney information are also in this collection. The brochures and catalogs can also be considered a paper collection. I lump these in with my books because the only other paper I collect are old tickets and Fastpasses.
Clocks, timepieces, watches and jewelry are another of my specialties. This is a more recent collection; covering the last 5 - 10 years. While I have older Disney watches the clocks are all newer. As far as the watches go; I only collect Mickey Mouse watches. Clocks are not limited to Mickey Mouse… just to Disney. Two of my favorite clocks have been purchased in the last two years. In 2004 I purchased the Disney Clock Cleaner talking clock. This one has Mickey, Donald and Goofy and each hour they talk and tell the time. In 2005 I purchased a gold 50th Anniversary Mantel Clock which plays a song (choice of 2) and then chimes one note for each hour. All of my clocks are on display somewhere in our house; so when we begin taking pictures for you to view, this is one of my specialties you will be able to see in whole.
Key chains are one of the easiest things to collect. Disney key chains are relatively inexpensive and so small they are easy to pack or carry around in large quantities. Like some of my other collections this one started as a Mickey Mouse collection but has greatly expanded over the years; and I now consider it a Disney key chain collection. The most recent addition to that collection was a Christmas gift in 2005; a beautiful key chain from the World of Disney in New York.
Okay… I must admit that I am one of the Disney collectors that collect paper. Forget my earlier discussion. I collect Disney bags. The other part of the 2005 Christmas gift was the Shopping bag from New York World of Disney. My sister-in-law was smart enough to know that I would appreciate the bag as much as the key chain she got me! I love well-trained family members! I have every shopping bag from Disneyland and the Disney Store that I have ever received when shopping. Over the years I have picked up many napkins from Disneyland, but that is not something I do every time I go. I do collect the old Disneyland passports. And room key cards from the Disney Resort Hotels. Yes, I guess my paper collection is bigger than I thought when you add to it my Disney Catalogs and brochures.
Snow globes are a big part of my collection. I have several of these… but this is one item I don't purchase just because. I only purchase a snow globe if I like it which has limited my collection to much smaller numbers.
Movies and Music are a large part of my collection. My Walt Disney Treasure DVD's have never been opened. Many of my other Disney DVD's have never been opened. That has been changing recently because my son is getting olde, and this is one part of my collection he has limited access to. The music though is something we listen to often. In the car and in the house we often have one or another Disney CD in the player. The most recent purchase here was the 5 CD collection for the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland. This is one incredible set of music. I really debated this purchase and in the end spent the money. It has been well worth the high cost.
Pens, pencils, other writing utensils are also in my collection. I love Disney pens; and they are simply beautiful. Some of them I actually use to write with too!
Toys are a newer part of my collection as it really didn't start until I was pregnant. I initially bought all the toys to give him at one time. Now, he will get them one day; but it will be when he gets my whole collection as I have decided to keep them!
Jackets and coats are a big part of my collection. This is one item I purchase every time I go to Disneyland. It can be a jacket or a coat… but each trip is a new one. This is an item I have for everyday use and don't pack away; so I always choose one I will wear. I only have one heavy coat, which was purchased in 2001 when we went in December.
Artwork is something my husband and I do collect together. He always helps me pick out the new piece of art since it will be hanging on our walls where he can see it every day. My most favorite piece is in our front room. Everyone who walks into our house can see this beautiful creation. What is it you wonder? Well, this is a picture of Walt Disney sitting in a chair holding a Dalmation puppy from the movie 101 Dalmations with Jiminy Cricket on his shoulder. Mickey Mouse is leaning on the chair arm and many other familiar Disney characters surround him. Walt Disney is reading Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the characters. Behind them on the wall are many pictures of Disney Classics; including Mary Poppins. This is a picture I saved long and hard for. The first time I ever saw it I knew it had to be mine; and I was lucky enough to be able to purchase it several years ago. This artwork is a real picture of Walt Disney and the sericels of the characters were overlaid to create this beautiful work.
And my last major subsets in my large Disney collection are the Disney Princesses and Tinker Bell. In fact, I am fascinated with Tinker Bell; and for my birthday this year my husband got me the Tinker Bell Big Fig (figurine) to add to my collection.
I also have my miscellaneous collection which contains everything else! There are a lot of items I simply can't resist when shopping that really don't belong in a subset. They are usually small things I can pick up cheaply.
Right now the bulk of my collection is in boxes for storage; or in one of our spare closets to keep it safe. This breaks my heart as I would love to display everything to be viewed every day.
Now… if you do begin to collect various Disney items, there are a few things I do with my family to help me in my collecting. My family members are all instructed to never remove a Disney tag; especially a price tag. They know that I can find the price and finally understand that I like to keep these items 100% intact. If you are collecting for storage or value at a later time it is best to keep your items intact. A collectible will retain more and gain more value if it has never been opened.
Well, there you have it, a brief overview of my Disney collections. I am hoping to turn this into a weekly column with new information and new pictures each week. We would also love to hear about your personal collections, so don't be shy!