Tuesday, April 29, 2008

1930s Mickey Mouse Club

Coming in the month of May:

I'll explore the history of the 1930s Mickey Mouse Club.

From my collection, the image in this post is from the header of a 1936 theater door hanger, which promoted several movies the theater was showing as well as the Mickey Mouse Club.

Walt Disney autograph

This great 8 x 10 inch Clarence Sinclair Bull casual portrait of Walt Disney sold recently on eBay. The photo dated from July 25, 1933 and was inscribed, "To Ruth Ivener, With best Wishes, Sincerely, Walt Disney."

Here's a little game...no mention was made in the auction listing as to who Ivener was. I recognized her name instantly...do you recognize her name?

Ruth Ivener was the Vice-President of Kay Kamen Ltd. She worked out of Kamen's upscale art deco offices in New York's Rockefeller Center on Sixth Avenue.
Herman "Kay" Kamen was the sole representative of Walt Disney Enterprises' merchandise division. He held that position from 1932, until he was killed in an airplane crash in 1949. Kamen published several special Christmas Promotion manuals which instructed retail toy department managers on how to mount impressive Disney-themed displays. Kamen also published several great merchandise catalogs.
An interesting bit of trivia: according to the October 21, 1933 issue of The New Yorker magazine, if you dialed Kamen's switchboard at Bryant 9-1990, "a lady with a schoolgirl inflection says, 'Mickey Mouse'."

The photo sold for under $600.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Studio strike

I recently located the following images while surfing the net and thought I'd share them. They are associated with the strike at the Disney Studio. My friend "matterhorn1959" over at the blog Stuff From the Park has been posting some very interesting photos related to the strike. Click here to get to his blog.

The first image shows the Studio parking lot during the strike.

The next two images promote a street dance and carnival held across the street from the Disney Studio. The first image is of a ticket stub for June 28th, while the second is a flier promoting a carnival that was held on July 26th. Proceeds from both events went to support the striking workers.

The next two items are fliers that were printed to dispel any rumors that the strike was over.

The next item is a flier that asked strike supporters and moviegoers to boycott Disney films including Fantasia and The Reluctant Dragon.

The following image of Mickey Mouse was reproduced on a Screen Cartoon Guild newsletter printed during the strike.

We close out this post with two photographs taken on the picket line.

All of the images in this post are courtesy the Delmar T. Oviatt Library Urban Archives Center, San Fernando Valley Issues Digital Library.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Now that winter is behind us...

How about we get out and enjoy nature? Well, in most areas of North America spring has finally sprung. What better way to celebrate the arrival of warm weather than a canoe trip on calm waters? The Donald Duck toy is composed of celluloid, while the Mickey Mouse toy is made of bisque. Both are courtesy Hake's Americana.The one of the two pals together is made of celluloid and comes our way courtesy my friend Dennis Books. Notice that in this one Mickey seems uncertain of the Duck's intentions or skill level and appears to be hanging on for dear life! This toy still bears the original sticker, visible on the tip of one of the oars.
All three toys are from the early to mid-1930s.

Donald Duck celluloid wind-up

Another great Donald Duck mechanical celluloid toy with the box.

I'm truly amazed when toys in this great condition show-up complete with their boxes. Notice that the front of the box is marked with the early copyright notice: "c Walt E. Disney." This celluloid toy was made in Japan circa 1934-1935 and sold recently through Hake's Americana.
Another example of just a lovely rare toy with a great box in primo condition.

Mickey Mouse newspaper pin

This pin was offered recently either through Hake's Americana or eBay - I can't recall which one now. Regardless, this particular pin is a hard one to find.

The horse depicted in the illustration is none other than Mickey's trusty steed Tanglefoot, who curiously enough never made an on-screen appearance. Tanglefoot came to life at the hands of the great newspaper strip artist Floyd Gottfredson, making his first appearance in a Mickey Mouse daily comic titled His Horse Tanglefoot. The story began on June 12, 1933 and ran some 102 strips in length.

Mickey's horse was also showcased in several children's books including Whitman's 1934 six set
Wee Little Books series, seen here in a previous post, Blue Ribbon's 1934 The Mickey Mouse Waddle Book, and David McKay's 1936 title Mickey Mouse and His Horse Tanglefoot.

Donald Duck Carousel

This great toy sold recently on eBay.

I love the wind-up mechanical action of the actual toy as well as the early long-billed Donald Duck graphics depicted on the box. This toy would have been made in Japan circa 1934-1935.

Just a super celluloid item with a great box in nice minty condition!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Oak Hytex toy balloons

I purchased the poster and catalog in this post about 15 years ago.

The poster measures approximately 27 inches wide by 10 inches tall and represents the only example I have seen in 25 years of collecting vintage Disney memorabilia.

The introduction in the catalog states:

"The Oak Rubber Company started the manufacture of toy rubber balloons in 1916. Oak Balloons quickly established a reputation for a new degree of toughness, greater elasticity, brighter colors, attractive designs and novel variety."

The company used "milled," virgin, liquid latex rubber in their production process. Given the fact most of the rubber used in America at this time came from the South Pacific, I am not sure how this company fared during the war, when rubber was rationed and the Japanese occupied many rubber producing regions.

The 48-page catalog contains nine full-page Disney related advertisements and six additional pages where a Disney product is featured with other balloon products. Besides the following images, there are also two full-page ads featuring Snow White themed balloons.


Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Package for the Stratosphere novelty.

The Stratosphere Balloon novelty consisted of a balloon (9 - 10 inches tall when inflated), and a cardboard die-cut balloon basket. The basket featured the likenesses of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Pluto. Hard to see in the scan, but Donald is reading a book about air sickness.

The Wedding Party of Mickey Mouse

The sheet music in this post was published by Bibo-Lang Incorporated in 1931. This company held a Disney merchandise license between 1930 and 1932. The firm also published the first Mickey Mouse book, which can be seen here.

The cover illustration for the sheet music was first used as the back cover illustration on the Mickey Mouse Book - the only difference is that Minnie wears a wedding veil in the sheet music art.

A nice, early item courtesy the collection of Dennis Books.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Disney insignia art for sale on eBay

This piece, which was created in the early 1950s for a helicopter anti-submarine squadron, is currently for sale on eBay.