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Who Sells Vintage Disney Collectibles?

Updated on February 25, 2013

Connecting with Vintage Disney Memorabilia

Vintage Disney items are extremely popular today, and there is a very good reason for that. When it comes to collectibles, it's hard to overestimate how big of a role our emotional attachments can play. While some people collect purely for possible financial gain, many more people start their collections simply because they really enjoy or love something. Vintage Disney memorabilia is able to take many of us back to the innocent days of our youth. I remember waiting for Disney specials to come on the television the way some people count down the days to holidays. It is really no surprise that Disney vintage collectibles are such a hot item on sites like eBay. It also isn't too surprising to see that some people set up entire websites devoted to showing off the collections they have built over the years.

Collectibles related to Disneyare sometimes referred to as Disneyana. Hard core collectors will sometimes argue that the term Disneyana should only be used to refer to merchandise and memorabilia produced before 1966, when Walt Disney died. Whether you feel that way or not, if you are searching for Disney collectibles, you'll often see just about anything related to Disney referred to as Disneyana. You decide if it is something you want to add to your collection. It doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks unless they are planning on buying it from you! Building a collection is all about enjoying yourself and having some fun. Let's take a look at some of the more interesting vintage Disney collectibles being bought, sold, and traded today!

Image credit: Second Sally

vintage Disney ad
vintage Disney ad

Vintage Disney Items for Sale on eBay

Most of my interest in Disney memorabilia is directly related to how it sells on eBay. I have spent several years selling on eBay and I am constantly looking for and learning about old collectibles that sell. Once I find something, it gets added to my list of things to watch for when I'm out at estate sales, garage sales, flea markets, and auctions I learned early on that vintage Disney memorabilia is usually worth buying (as long as the price is right). As you might imagine, my list of items to watch for has grown quite long over the years!

If you are a collector, you already know that buyers can be very particular about what they want. Usually they are looking for one particular piece to help fill up a collection. The right item can draw a lot of interest and bidding can sometimes get fierce when a particularly hard to find Disney collectible goes up for sale. This usually only applies to older items that are in pretty good shape though. Many of today's vintage Disney items were originally the property of children who saw them as things to be played with, not set aside for safe keeping. Still, there are plenty of interesting old Disney items for sale at any given moment

Disneyland in 1960

I thought this was pretty neat. Vintage footage from a trip to Disneyland in 1960! Then, a more professional version.

Steamboat Willie Charm
Steamboat Willie Charm

Vintage Disney Jewelry is Timeless

So I started out selling vintage Disney jewelry by accident really. I picked up a few pieces at an estate sale because I thought they were cute and I figured that a couple of my nieces might really like them. I figured that if they were popular on eBay, I'd let my nieces take their pick and see how the others did. It turned out that my nieces loved all of the jewelry. I let them have it all except for a charm bracelet that I decided to keep for myself. That is one of the things I think is so neat about Disney stuff... It has an attraction that goes across generational boundaries. As it turns out, vintage Disney charms and charm bracelets are outrageously popular. Even more popular than I ever imagined. Individual charms can go for well over one hundred dollars, but most are priced within reach for people just starting a collection.

Finding an old Disney charm bracelet that's loaded with vintage charms is quite a lucky thing. I now keep my eyes open for them every time I go out shopping on the weekends, but I've never found anything quite as nice as my original bracelet (which I'm keeping). The charms on my bracelet include Disney princesses, Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, and a few other characters. I'm sure I could sell it off piece by piece, but I like it too much! That one is mine!!!

Its no great surprise to find that people love these charms. They're beautifully crafted and often made of either gold or sterling silver. If you're a true Disney fan ladies, you should really get yourself one of these lovely collectibles.

vintage Monorail poster
vintage Monorail poster

Vintage Disney Posters for Serious Collectors

When you want to start talking about Disneyana that appreciates in value, I think you have to put Vintage Disney posters right up at the top of the list. Yes, you can buy decent reproductions of these posters. In fact, if you are buying to decorate a small child's room, I'd probably recommend that. Kids have a knack for following their creative urges, and you certainly would not want them to add their own version of various Disney characters to a poster that cost as much as some of these old beauties do.

Some of the most valuable posters are the ones celebrating specific rides or features of the park. A large poster announcing the Monorail recently sold for over $1000. Posters and lobby cards for specific movies are generally not as expensive, and range from around thirty dollars up to a few hundred. Still, considering how collectible these are, and how much demand there is for them, I think you could probably consider them an investment (if you were ever willing to give them up).

Why Collect Disney?

Building a Disney collection is a fun way to bond with our children. As a bonus, you might even relive a little of your own youth!

Disney Posters as an Investment

Vintage Disney attraction posters are some of the most sought after Disney collectibles, but movie posters and lobby cards are also incredibly popular. If you ever see them at an estate sale for a fair price, grab them up! I think there's a good chance they'll get more valuable with age, and besides, they're a wonderful way to commemorate childhood memories..

Mickey Mouse Ringer T shirt
Mickey Mouse Ringer T shirt

Vintage Disney Shirts and Sweatshirts

How many Disney shirts do you have in your home? If you've got kids, you've probably got a few. These are a great item to collect for so many reasons. First, they can show off your favorite characters. People seem to make connections with certain characters on an emotional level. Don't believe me? Just look around the internet and check out the people posting about their Disney themed weddings. THAT is a serious fan.

Both t-shirts and sweatshirts are popular as collectibles. I recall that during the 1980s there seemed to be an awful lot of grey Mickey Mouse shirts. Maybe I just remember that because I had one though. Another very popular style is the one shown here. It is sometimes referred to as a ringer T shirt because of the appearance of the rings on the collar and at the ends of the sleeves. It's a very classic/retro look. Licensed or not, these shirts also appear all over the world at tourist sites. Often these include dates and the names of the city on them. That makes them all the more collectible. You can find just about any Disney character you like on these shirts, but Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and all of the Disney princesses are extremely popular and not too hard to find for sale online. If you're an adult, and you have some old clothes stored away in the attic, who knows... you might already own some collectible Disney shirts and not even realize it!

Vintage Disney Shirts for Sale

What's your pleasure? There is a Disney character to match just about any personality. Who are you?

Collecting Disney

Vintage Disney Ticket
Vintage Disney Ticket

Do you collect any vintage Disney memorabilia?

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vintage Disney Plate
vintage Disney Plate

Disney Commemorative Plates

Disney collector plates are another popular vintage Disney item. The oldest of these date back to the 1930s. Popular themes include characters related to Disney movies, but there are also plates available which commemorate Disney sites and special events. They are very good at promoting their products, in case you didn't notice!

If you are going to purchase vintage Disney plates, and spend a considerable amount of money, you are best off to insist on getting a certificate of authenticity with it. It's sad to say, but where there is money to be made, you'll often find scammers. Disney products are no exception. If you look on the back side of an authentic Disney plate, you should be able to find a stamp stating the year it was made. You may also find one of several marks depending on the year of production. These too could be faked however, so I would still ask for a COA when possible. You can find more information about Disney maker marks here.

When you are dealing with commemorative plates, condition is supremely important. One tiny chip or crack can crush a plate's value. Keep that in mind if someone is trying to talk you up on buying something that's even slightly damaged. Get all of the specifics that you can on the plate, say you might be back, and then do some research. The seller could just be trying to recoup their loss on a plate that they accidentally damaged.

Here is a "non-vintage" plate that features a vintage design (it's on Amazon). You can get these for considerably less money and start your own new collection if you like, but I like the old stuff.

Disney wonder bread license plate stickers
Disney wonder bread license plate stickers

An Uncommon Collectible: Vintage Disney License Plates

(And Wonder Bread Stickers!)

One of the neat things about collecting and constantly digging through old collectible stuff, is that I come across some forgotten treasures. Back in the 1970s, there was a period of time when you could find promotional items in all sorts of food products. We've all seen the breakfast cereal toys, but Wonder Bread got into the act too. In fact, they teamed up with Disney and produced a series of silly license plate stickers for each of the United States. In order to collect them all, you had to eat a LOT of bread or enlist the help of family and friends who weren't collecting! Of course THAT would mean they had to buy Wonder Bread, even if they normally didn't... see how it worked? I found a bunch of these in the bottom of a box at an estate sale a couple of years ago. It was then that I discovered that there were more than a few people searching for 1973 Wonder Bread Disney license plate stickers. I love finding unusual little collectible items like that! While I was researching those, I also learned that there are also more traditional Disney car license plates that are also highly prized. Who'd have thunk it?

Vintage Disney License Plates - (and Wonder Bread Stickers!)

When you start collecting, you never know what you'll find. You also never know exactly when you'll find it. Sites like eBay have made building any type of collection a lot easier than it used to be, but sometimes you still have to be patient. If you don't see what you're looking for the first time you check, come back and take a look in a day or two. You'll be surprised how many interesting Disney items get listed every day.

Walt and Mickey
Walt and Mickey

Just the Tip of the Iceberg

One thing I've learned is that Disney collecting is a HUGE market. If you like Disney, there is almost certainly a collectible out there waiting for you. If you have a Disney collection, please share some details about it in the guestbook comments. I'm honestly fascinated by how committed some people are to this hobby. I found that there are a huge number of people who love to collect Disney pins. Wikipedia alsohas a pretty good article on Disneyana that you might want to check out. Whatever you decide to collect, enjoy yourself. It isn't about the money, it's about having fun and enjoying yourself.

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I sure enjoyed looking at these Vintage Disney Collectibles. I need to see what I might have in my house from years and years of loving Disney.

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 4 years ago

      These vintage Disney items are very cool! I have a few collectible Disney things. I love the monorail poster.

    • toddhs profile image

      toddhs 4 years ago

      I have bins and bins of stuff... but no place to display them yet. Someday when the kids move out, maybe.

    • ERiverDogs profile image

      ERiverDogs 4 years ago

      I'm not a collector but I like a lot of Disney stuff.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a few collectibles, but I wouldn't consider myself a collector. :)