Disney Stuff - Disneykinsby Chris Barry, contributing writer
Welcome back to Disney Stuff.
After almost 5 years writing about Disney collectibles and the pieces of Disney Stuff that we all cling to, there’s one popular collectible that I’ve been meaning to write about, but it had to wait until the time was right. I had to wait until I unearthed a certain box of my old stuff from my parent’s attic.
I wasn’t always a Disney collector. I’ve always loved Disney: the films, the characters, and the genius behind it all. But I didn’t start collecting or accumulating all of this Disney stuff that I have until later on in life. Still, I remember little bits and pieces of Disney things and toys that I had as a child, most of which I haven’t seen in years. My parents are going through the sad but exciting process of selling the house that I grew up in. Things are being cleared out and boxed up, so the time was right to find some of this old stuff. The attic in my old home is a little hard to get to, so a lot of things were packed away up there years ago and stayed put…until now.
One of the things that I recalled fondly from my childhood was a small wooden box that I kept on my desk. On the lid there was a palm tree, a flamingo, and the words, “Miami, Florida.” Inside this little Florida box was a handful of small plastic Disney figurines. I’ve come to know that these figures are Disneykins and I couldn’t wait to dig them up. A few weeks ago I found the old box and inside were indeed a set of vintage Disneykins.
The first series of Disneykins hit toy store shelves in 1961. They were produced throughout the ’60s by the famous Marx Toy Company and ceased production when the company folded in 1973. In total over 160 different figures were made representing all corners of the Disney character universe. They were sold in individual boxes and in sets. Some of the more interesting sets were known as TV-Scenes and contained a figure and an object—a prop, if you will. (Uncle Scrooge and a cash register for instance.) Both toys were placed on a piece of “scenery.” They were displayed in a small box made to look like a television set. Others were sold as playsets with multiple characters from the same film together in a box.
Let’s take a look at the Disneykins that I’ve recently recovered from my childhood. Keep in mind that I actually used to play with these, so some of them aren’t in the greatest of shape.
Here are Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck from Series 1.
Goofy from Series 1 hasn’t fared as well. His big giant shoes have broken off.
Also from the first series are two of the Three Caballeros: Jose Carioca and Panchito.
In what I would refer to as the more atypical character category—here’s Pecos Bill from Series 1.
In the damaged goods category from Series 1: here’s Bambi with an unfortunately broken leg and Thumper with an equally unfortunately broken ear.
Rounding out my Series 1 entries are two Pinocchios and a tragically trunk-free and tail-free Dumbo.
From series 2, whose figures are generally considered the harder to find, I’ve got three from Pinocchio. Here’s Foulfellow and Lampwick along with Cleo, Gepetto’s pet goldfish.
The 101 Dalmatians Collection was released in 1961, the same year as the film. From what I understand this series was mostly sold in Europe. Here we have Pongo and a pup named Hungry chewing on a shoe.
All together I’ve got 15 Disneykins, but as I researched a little bit for this article and saw some photographs of other figures, I remember playing with others. Uncle Scrooge, Ludwig Von Drake, and Bongo the Bear all look incredibly familiar. Are they yet to be uncovered? Are they lost? Did I trash them? Once the house in Queens is emptied out, I guess I’ll know for sure.
As far as value on these Disneykins, the price ranges. Series 1 is said to be quite plentiful, as Marx produced them in great numbers. That said, a Minnie or a Daisy could be had for under $10. On the opposite end there are two Foulfellows for sale on eBay right now and the asking price is $50 apiece. Series 2 had a significantly smaller production run, so I’ve sort of struck gold on that one.
The one caveat I have to report on these wonderful collectibles is that…I’m actually 44 years old as I write this. These toys were put out in the early 60’s. I wasn’t born until ’68. I suppose that probably makes these toys…property of my brother Michael who was born in 1960. Maybe. Maybe some of them are mine. I definitely remember them being in my room and playing with them. (The broken extremities on some of them pretty much confirm that fact!) At the moment, they’re residing on my shelf amongst the rest of my Disney collections, and until my brother begs and pleads for them…I’m hoping that’s where they’ll stay.
Either way, now that I’ve rediscovered them and written about them…I think it’s time to start adding to the collection. A new quest has begun!
What do you think of these fantastic early ’60s Disney figures? Do any of you out there have your own set of Disneykins? Click on the link below and let me hear your thoughts and I’ll see you next time with more of that great Disney Stuff.