One of my very favorite things to do is scour the world for vintage Disney items. The hard part though? Nearly every antique store, flea market, thrift shop, garage sale, and estate sale has at least one piece of Disney history for sale in their collection. This is why I try to “narrow” down my obsession to 10 specific collections. I’m not going to consider myself a Disney hoarder just yet, but… well… let’s just say I absolutely love the hunt! Check out the slide show below to see some of my favorite pieces. I’d love to hear about your vintage Disney collections too.
10 Vintage Disney Collections to Obsess Over 1 of 11
Scroll through my collection and then let me know what you're obsessed with!
1. Louis Marx Plastic Figures 2 of 11
I became obsessed with these colorful plastic figurines by the Louis Marx toy company when my oldest son came across and bought three of them at a flea market in Quartzsite, Arizona. When we got home I did some research and found myself watching eBay for days until I collected all of the color variations possible. Standing about 4 to 6 inches tall these bright Disney pals range in price from $5.00 to $50 each depending on the character.
2. Disney Parks Ephemera 3 of 11
Ephemera: A fancy word for "printed matter." I am obsessed with everything from vintage menus to pamphlets, ads, maps, and ticket books. You name it, if it's paper, old and Disney related, I want it. So I can admire them everyday, I've displayed my paper treasures under glass on my desktop. One of my favorite resources for learning about vintage Disneyland tickets is the Vintage Disneyland Tickets blog.
3. Disney "Big" Golden Books 4 of 11
The thing that draws me to these Disney "Big" Golden Books is the classic artwork. The vintage images of these beloved characters are gorgeous beyond words. Some of these books date as far back as 1952. I love the fonts, colors, and seriously can not get enough of illustrations. I'm always on the look out for titles I don't have. Big Golden Books are still made today, but the feel of the paper is quite different, the artwork is modernized, and they are much more expensive than the $1.00 these USED to cost. Now, a mint condition vintage book can go for well over $100-$300 depending on the edition. I tend to buy books in the $15-$40 range. If you're interested in seeing all of the different Big Golden Book titles, check out this site.
4. Vintage Disney Food Related Items 5 of 11
Vintage Disney food related items are my very favorite things to collect. I am always looking for mid century modern Disney pieces. Especially glass. The pink and gold glasses in the top left are my most prized Disney pieces. I won them on eBay and they are even more gorgeous in person than they are in the photo. The glass salt and pepper shakers in the same image were found at a flea market for just 50 cents. A total steal! My second favorite item in this collection is the serving/coaster tray combo in the top right. Another eBay score, this tray features iconic ride imagery in each pop-out coaster circle. The artwork on these is amazing. The glass dishes and serving tray below are some of my other favorite pieces. I love the California serving tray. It's one of a 6 piece set and features prominent California tourist spots with Disney characters as visitors. The giant Mickey cookie cutter was an antique store find in Las Vegas.
5. Disney Postage Stamps 6 of 11
Disney postage stamps come from a wide variety of countries. In fact, they are more often seen in foreign countries than the US. I love their colorful artwork and it's always fun to learn about where they come from. I've seen everything from Pirates of the Caribbean on a Turks & Caicos stamp to Donald in Bhutan. I didn't even know where Bhutan was until I looked it up. It's in South Asia at the eastern end of the Himalayas in case you were wondering... My very favorite stamp, though, it the 6 cent Walt Disney US Postage Stamp released in 1968. I love it so much that I had a sheet of them framed to display in my home.
6. Disney Lunch Boxes 7 of 11
I remember my first metal lunch box like it was yesterday. I was in kindergarten. It was white with blue trim and had Holly Hobbie on it. After that one, I converted to Strawberry Shortcake and then it was on to Mork and Mindy. I still have the Mork and Mindy one, but the other two, I have no idea what happened to them. The lunch boxes I had as a kid are where my obsession for metal lunch boxes came from. Disney was the first company to to use their characters on lunch boxes. They started in 1935 when they featured Mickey Mouse on a metal "lunch kit" made by a company in Wisconsin. Next came Snow White and Pinnochio in the late 1930's and early 1940's. To this day, Disney characters can be found on kids' lunch boxes all around the world. This particular lunch box is one that a friend gave me. It's from the late 1950's and features special spots in Disneyland. One side shows the World Famous Jungle Cruise, while the other features Sleeping Beauty's castle. On the sides there are images of the no longer in existence Stage Coach attraction, as well as the entrance to Frontierland and Tomorrowland's World Clock and the TWA Rocket. For more information on the history of lunch boxes, check out this fun post.
7. Disney Records 8 of 11
"Mom, what are Records? They play music? You didn't have MP3's or iPods when you were a kid?" Nope...
I love collecting Disney albums and I am so thankful that my mom saved my childhood collection. The top left photo features the records I had as a child and I still have a working record player in my household! The other photos are vintage albums that are embellished with glitter. I purchased them online to hang in my office. My favorite thing about collecting Disney records is the nostalgia that comes with them. The artwork is always gorgeous and the minute you hear a certain song from a certain scene, you are taken back to that moment when you saw the movie for the first time. Records are also easy and affordable to display. I normally purchase my frames at Michael's Arts and Crafts, but they are also available at online retailers like Amazon as well.
8. Vintage Disney Card Games 9 of 11
I am a sucker for vintage Disney card games because I like to use them for crafting. I make jewelery and other goodies out of them. I also love the old artwork done by Walt Disney Productions. The top card set is from 1946 and the images are absolutely gorgeous. The bottom set is a Canasta card game that I found at an antique store. It dates back to 1950.
9. Disney Figurines 10 of 11
Disney figurines are not something that I actively search for. The do however often find me! The three featured in this photo were all surprises from an awesome "picker" friend of mine who brings me Disney presents quite often. Alice is my favorite. She was once a Disneyland souvenir, sold in the park during the 70's for just $7.00. Mickey is a bit older, he's from the 60's. I don't know anything about this particular Dopey figurine, other than he's super cute.
10. Disney Buttons 11 of 11
Vintage Disney buttons hold a special place in my heart. When I was a little girl, it was a tradition to get one on each visit to Disneyland. My mom used them to pin our tickets to our shirts. The buttons along the edge of this photo are the ones we wore as kids. You can see us wearing them in the top left image! After all these years, I still have the buttons we wore at Disneyland. Today, they are framed and displayed in my home. I love these old style "buttons" and the vintage look of the characters. I didn't realize that Goofy was ever grey in color! By the way, that's me rocking the curly hair do, plaid shirt, denim skirt and knee high boots.
Do you collect anything Disney? What is YOUR Disney obsession?