Our friends at CGC share some of their thoughts when it comes to grading Disney collectibles ranging from trading cards, video games and even stamps. Check out the original CGC version of this article here and make sure to click here to visit CGC online. Then keep an eye out for more shared articles from CGC arriving in the future!
For nearly 100 years, Disney has entertained fans with characters from Mickey Mouse to Elsa, and the CCG companies are proud to have certified many of the collectibles that feature them.
It’s been nearly a century since Walt Disney first introduced the world to Mickey Mouse in the 1928 cartoon “Steamboat Willie.” Mickey and his friends — Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse and others — have delighted fans throughout the years, and the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®) companies have helped collectors preserve their favorite Disney comic books, trading cards, video games, coins and more.
Shortly after debuting on screen in 1928, Mickey Mouse and friends were featured in the ashcan-sized Mickey Mouse Magazine #1, published by Walt Disney Publishing, to be handed out by participating dairy shops to promote Disney cartoons and merchandise. This appears to be the earliest appearance of Mickey Mouse in the CGC Census with only six examples recorded, and the highest is graded CGC 9.4. In November 2019, Heritage Auctions sold a CGC 8.0 example for $5,040.
Disney later began publishing in standard comic book format at Dell Comics, beginning with Donald Duck in Four Color #4 in 1940, and Mickey Mouse appearing later in Four Color #16. These are generally accepted as the first comic book appearances of Donald and Mickey, respectively.
CGC has seen only 32 copies of Four Color #4, and a CGC 8.0 example was sold for $28,680 in May 2018. CGC has also graded 114 copies of Four Color #16, including a CGC 9.2 example that was sold for $78,000 in November 2020.
Disney Lorcana is an upcoming trading card game by Disney and Ravensburger. In the TCG, players are invited to build a team of their favorite Disney Princesses, villains and other characters to compete as “Illumineers” as they travel across The Great Illuminary — the magical realm where the game takes place. The game is set to release in Fall 2023, and more detailed game mechanics will be revealed around that time.
Seven Disney Lorcana cards are currently in circulation. All seven promo cards were given to attendees of the 2022 D23 Expo in September 2022 and feature a “D23” stamp that won’t be present on other cards when the game releases.
CGC Trading Cards® announced that the company would begin certifying these Disney Lorcana cards in October 2022.
CGC Video Games™ began accepting video game submissions in October 2022, and has since graded thousands of games across the world’s most popular console libraries, including Nintendo, Sony and more. These titles, of course, include several popular Disney video games, such as these copies of The Little Mermaid and Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix.
The Little Mermaid for the Nintendo Entertainment System (1991) takes players through an undersea adventure. Ariel, who has married Prince Eric, returns to the sea to save her ocean friends from Ursula’s wicked curse. Players control Ariel as she swims and shoots bubbles at her foes, traversing five unique levels and Ursula’s castle.
At the time of release, The Little Mermaid was a groundbreaking title. It was one of the first games to feature underwater mechanics, which were considered more effective than those used in titles such as Jaws and Super Mario Bros. 3. It was later re-released on the Nintendo Game Boy for a handheld audience.
Ariel returns alongside several other Disney characters and worlds in Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix. A PlayStation classic, Kingdom Hearts tells the story of Sora, a young boy who finds himself traversing Disney worlds in search of his friends, Riku and Kairi, all while learning how to wield the mysterious Keyblade. Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix expands on the original game by adding new bosses and features. The series is unique in that it combines popular Square Enix characters and mechanics with Disney’s classic characters and villains — an unprecedented crossover that stole the hearts of players around the world.
There are Disney collectibles of all types, and Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) even has graded Walt Disney-related cards.
One vintage example is from a 1936 Mitchell & Son set called “A Gallery of 1935,” which included a card featuring Walt Disney. These cards were included inside packs of cigarettes and featured athletes, political figures and celebrities.
Walt Disney developed a love of drawing at a very young age. He and his brother Roy moved to California in the early 1920s and opened Disney Brothers Studios, producing a series of Alice in Wonderland-themed shorts. Disney hired illustrator Ub Iwerks, and in 1926, the very first Walt Disney Studios was opened. Their first new creation was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit for Universal Studios, but Disney and Iwerks left the character after contract negotiations failed. To rival Universal and Oswald, Disney and Iwerks created Mickey Mouse.
Another CSG-certified Disney card is this 1991 Upper Deck Disneyland card showing Goofy holding a basketball at Big Thunder Mountain, which is a mine-themed roller coaster that opened in Disneyland in 1979 and then at Disney World in 1980. It was later added to Disneyland parks in Tokyo and Paris.
Disney Dollars were introduced in 1987 as theme park currency bought in the Walt Disney theme parks to use for park purchases. Featuring the image of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or other Disney characters, the park dollars were printed in denominations of $1, $5, $10 and $50 and were signed by “Treasurer” Scrooge McDuck. Series A of the notes was printed for Disneyland in California, and Series D was printed for Walt Disney World in Florida.
Disney Dollars stopped being produced in 2016; however, they are still accepted in all US Disney theme parks and cruise ships.
A terrific collection of Disney Dollars that are certified by Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®), is Mom’s Magic Kingdom set, which can be found in the PMG Registry here. This collection of colorful and unique notes takes us to many places, including Walt Disney World with Sorcerer Mickey, as shown in this 2007 Disney Dollar graded PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ. This avid Disney collector has taken the time to upload images of 150 notes — the most images for any collector of this set type!
Several countries have issued Disney-related coins, including Niue, an island country 1,500 miles off the northeast coast of New Zealand. Niue’s Disney coin series kicked off in 2014 to commemorate popular Disney characters There are dozens of Disney-related coins to choose from, including Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse and other classic characters (2014), Cinderella and other Disney Princesses (2015 and 2016), various Mickey Mouse coins (2017), Alice in Wonderland coins (2018) and Lion King coins (2019)
Numismatic Guaranty Company® (NGC®) has certified many of these coins, like this Niue 2015 Silver $2 Disney Characters Scrooge McDuck graded NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo.
Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®), a CCG affiliate that preserves the provenance of historic artifacts, has authenticated a piece of wood from a garage that served as Walt Disney’s first workshop in Hollywood, California. Disney stayed with his uncle when he came to Hollywood in 1923 to seek a career in film. While he waited for his big break, he spent time working on cartoons. The garage, which was on the property where his uncle lived, served as Disney’s makeshift workshop.
The garage was purchased by a group known as “The Friends of Walt Disney” in 1982 to save it from being demolished. The group dismantled the garage and eventually reestablished it as a tourist attraction at the Stanley Ranch Museum in Garden Grove, California.
Many Walt Disney stamps have been issued, including this one from China certified by Authenticated Stamp Guaranty® (ASG®). The China 2016 2.70 Yuan Shanghai Disneyland Park Miniature Sheet 2016-14M is graded ASG Gem 100 Mint OG, and was issued by China Stamp Group to commemorate the grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort on June 16, 2016. It includes two stamps and a collector’s sheet featuring some of Disney’s classic and most recognizable characters.
To learn more about the affiliates of the Certified Collectibles Group, go to collectiblesgroup.com.
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