"Can't Live Without It!"
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A groovy Disneyland Merchandise Bag from 1968
Promotional Items: These items were available from the Disney company to promote the theme parks, studio, and other divisions. Among the possible items are: invitations, press kits, pins, buttons, etc.. Often hard to get as the number of press invited to events is often small (less than 600 to even the largest Disneyland event) or pieces are lost making for incomplete goods.
Freebies: Believe it or not, Disney does give out free stuff from time to time. Usually you just have to know what or where to ask. Sometimes you even get the freebie with the price of admission (such as the 40th Anniversary Disneyland Trading Cards). These tend to be the least valuable of all paper goods, but the older and less available ones can be very valuable. An original Autopia drivers license is one example or even a Club 33 personalized matchbook (no longer available) is another.
Related items: Items that often get lumped in together with paper goods, but really deserve their own classification include: elongated (or pressed) coins, cheap but difficult to find; postcards, plentiful, historically valuable, and traditionally affordable to collect; books and magazines, there are many collectors of the Disney Magazine, and various Disney Cast Member publications. Someday well devote a column to these worthy subjects.
Cover from the first Disneyland Guide to have color pictures of the park.
Other items: Im sure Im missing some items here. Id be curious to read what you think Im missing. But you get the general idea.
Someone who is a serious Disney collector today often times got their start with just a few paper goods. It is an easy collection to begin because first of all its free. Second, paper goods are plentiful, but a good collection can still be quite valuable.
What makes a collection good? It doesnt have to be complete, but that helps, especially with small runs (such as the three Indiana Jones AT&T Decoder Cards). Unique items, items with errors on them, or historically significant items add value to a collection. And, as usual, an autograph of Walt Disney, or someone else in the Disney stable, will increase the value.
For instance, a Fantasia 1940 program signed by Walt Disney just sold for over $1500.00 on Ebay. Unsigned those usually sell for between $40.00 and $250.00 depending on quality. But be careful with autographs; verification is often difficult. It you get an autograph, it helps to have a photograph of the person while their signing the piece for later verification. If youre buying a Walt Disney autograph, check with a known authority before making the final purchase. Phil Sears at http://www.phil-sears.com is one such authority for Walt Disneys signature.