The ultimate collectible and Lou gets quoted in the Orlando Sentinel!!!
I couldn't figure out which forum to post this in since it covers a couple of different subjects.
Congrats Lou. Soon I'll be able to buy the books in the Emporium on Main Street!
I found this on orlandosentinel.com
Will golden Mickey sell or head for a meltdown?
John Tanasychuk South Florida Sun-Sentinel |
Posted July 31, 2006
Bidding starts at $2 million.
Like so many expensive things that serve no useful purpose, the item for sale straddles that flimsy line between collectible and kitsch, and somehow fits perfectly into all that is ostentatious about South Florida.
We're talking about a 2-foot-tall, 24-karat, solid-gold sculpture of Mickey Mouse.
Are you feeling the magic?
In 2001, a Boynton Beach holding company with interests in a Utah mint got permission from the Walt Disney Co. to produce the statue, called Celebration Mickey, to commemorate Walt Disney's 100th birthday.
When the sculpture didn't meet its reserve price at auction, it looked for a minute as if speculating on a solid-gold Disney character had been a bad idea. It still may have been.
When Mickey was minted, gold was about $275 an ounce. It has recently been hovering around $600 an ounce. Melt Mickey down, and his 1,500 troy ounces would fetch about $1 million.
"The person who is going to buy it isn't someone who is going to mortgage their house to purchase it," said John Pennington, of R&D Muller Ltd., which owns the piece. He invites potential buyers to see the statue at goldenmickey.com.
"It's going to be someone who's a very successful individual, a child at heart or someone who has children; someone who wants a one-of-a-kind, something they can show to their friends and associates."
Kendra Trahan, president of the National Fantasy Fan Club for Disneyana enthusiasts, knows many passionate collectors -- including a couple who changed their names to Mickey and Minnie. But she can't think of a single person who would want Celebration Mickey.
"The style, the face didn't look like it was on scale," said Trahan, 38, who moved from Anaheim, Calif., to Winter Garden last August to write Florida versions of her two California Disney trivia books.
"A lot of collectors want the Fred Moore Mickey. He was the first who gave Mickey pie eyes, the big white around the eyes. Or they want a sorcerer Mickey from Fantasia."
Besides, Celebration Mickey doesn't have what she calls a "hook."
"They built a collectible just for people to buy," she said. "Collectors don't really want that. They want a piece of history. If that gold Mickey Mouse sat for six months in the treasure room of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, they'd sell it."
There's also the obvious issue of money. Or lack of.
"I don't know how many people have that sort of money," said Joel Cohen, 69, a Boca Raton Disney dealer for more than 30 years. He said collectors are interested in pedigree. "A cookie jar owned by me is worth a lot less than a cookie jar owned by Andy Warhol."
Mickey Mouse first came to life in 1928, and merchandise from the character's early years was once highly coveted. That's less true today, collectors say. Collecting Disneyana is all about getting in touch with our childhoods, they say.
"Today you find things like The Lion King and Pocahontas more valuable," Cohen said, "because people can't connect to the items from the '30s and '40s."
Not everyone believes Celebration Mickey is a hard sell.
"This to me is the ultimate Disney collectible," said Lou Mongello, 37, the New Jersey author of two Disney World trivia books.
"Something like this could be the high point of someone's collection," Mongello said.
On one of Mongello's frequent trips to Orlando, he bid $30,001 on a Disney monorail car for sale at MouseSurplus, a 2-year-old company that sells theme-park and cruise-line items that Disney wants to unload.
More than anything, Mongello likes to be able to say he bid.
"It was the highest bid for a while, which made me nervous," he said. "It's so hard to quantify. It really is. Either you get it or you don't. It's the Disney magic, or whatever they're pumping into the air."