With their adorable faces and soft cuddly bodies, vintage Mickey and Minnie Mouse stuffed toys hold a special place in the hearts of many Disneyana collectors.
The Film Debut of Mickey and Minnie Mouse
In 1928 the loveable mouse couple made their film debut. Although many people believe that they first appeared in the November 18th release of the cartoon Steamboat Willie, they had in fact been featured in two cartoons earlier that year, Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho. Although neither of the two earlier cartoons met with much success, Steamboat Willie was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to find a distributor and is considered the debut of Mickey and Minnie. The Walt Disney Company actually gives Mickey's birthday as November 18, 1928 coinciding with the release of Steamboat Willie.
The First Mickey Mouse Stuffed Toy
Two years after Mickey Mouse's film debut, the first Mickey Mouse doll was designed by Charlotte Clark in her Los Angeles home. Mrs. Clark obtained permission from Disney to license her stuffed toys and sell them in stores in Los Angeles. With the introduction of her dolls in the market place, the concept of Disney merchandise began. During the next few years, Charlotte Clark:
- Designed patterns of Mickey Mouse, and other Disney characters, to sell so homemakers could make their own stuffed dolls.
- Began mass producing her Mickey Mouse dolls
- Continued making dolls exclusively for Mr. Disney to use as special gifts
- Added stuffed dolls of Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Donald Duck to her manufacturing company
The term Disneyana refers to everything that is collectible that the Walt Disney Company ever made. Examples of Disneyana include:
- Decorative items such as snow globes and figurines
- Animation cells
- Theme park souvenirs
Vintage Disneyana refers to all Disney items that were manufactured, produced or distributed before the death of Walt Disney in 1966. Generally, any Disney items from before 1966 are in higher demand by collectors and usually command higher prices.
Pictures of Vintage Plush Mickey and Minnie
Over the decades, plush Mickey and Minnie Mouse toys have been manufactured in many different sizes and styles, wearing a multitude of different costumes. The following links take you to images of a few of these vintage collectibles:
- Charlotte Clark Mickey Mouse wearing red pants circa 1934 from Live Auctioneers
- Charlotte Clark Minnie Mouse stuffed toy from the 1930s. Minnie is wearing her red polka dot skirt and is found on Worthpoint.
- Vintage cowboy and cowgirl Mickey and Minnie Mouse from Worthpoint
- Minnie Mouse, circa 1930s, wearing a pink checkered skirt and matching hat from Worthpoint
- Manufactured by California Stuffed Toys, this adorable vintage Mickey Mouse still has its original tag and is offered by Antique Mystique
- A pre 1960's stuffed Mickey Mouse from Worthpoint
Where to Find Vintage Mickey and Minnie Mouse Stuffed Toys
It is still possible to find vintage Mickey or Minnie Mouse plush pieces while visiting estate sales, thrift shops or garage sales. However, they are more commonly found both on and off line in antique and collectible shops or auctions. The following websites usually carry vintage plush Mickey and Minnie Mouse items:
Collecting Vintage Mickey and Minnie Mouse Plush Disneyana
Whether you are new to Disney collectibles or are an experienced collector, finding vintage Mickey and Minnie Mouse stuffed toys to add to your collection is certain to bring a smile to your lips as big as the ones on the faces of these adorable stuffed animals.