Thanks to Whatsits Galore's companion article, So You Wanna Be A Collector, which, of course, you read eagerly and enjoyed thoroughly, you are now a genuine Disneyana collector. If only you could find the perfect collectible, you would be truly content. Disney product designers, pay attention. Here are four criteria for the perfect collectible.
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If you are creating character, movie, or park merchandise, it must be faithful to the character, movie, or park. Who wants a Cinderella's castle in the wrong color, or a left-handed Captain Hook? We collectors are trying to recapture that special film or vacation moment. We don't need glitches in our memories.
The Walt Disney Classics Collection is a perfect example of accuracy in collectibles. The sculptors go far beyond the norm to insure a correct likeness, with spectacular results.
A collection is more interesting if it contains some unusual pieces instead of dozens of interchangable figurines or pinback buttons. A Lady and the Tramp collector may soon find himself inundated with spaghetti-eating dogs. Is this the only scene from the film worthy of a collectible? How nice it would be to have some pooches in different poses for a change. Or perhaps some of the more minor characters from the film, like Peg or the beaver.
How many times has this happened to you? You see some brand new mugs at your favorite Disneyland character shop, one for each of eight different animated features. You buy them all, set them out for display, then eagerly await the next mug in the series. You purchase each new piece faithfully, only to see production end before your collection is half-filled.
This is an incredibly common occurance in collecting Disneyana. To my knowledge, only a few select series of porcelain figurines and plates distributed by Grolier have ever included every animated feature up to the time that production ceased in the eighties. If only more companies would do the same, think of the collections we could enjoy.
When you collect every piece in a series, you want them to match each other. That should be a no-brainer. Yet Disney often feels the need to make changes in the design of the latest collectible, so that it doesn't "go" with the earlier pieces.
Remember the old deluxe video sets that were sold back in the early ninties? If you own those videos, you can see that, regretfully, each box is a different size and shape. No attempt was made at uniformity when they were designed. I treasure my coffee table books in the Art of... series, books on the making of each animated feature. The Art of Hercules book is so different from the others in size, shape, and color that I don't even keep it near its sister volumes. It sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb.
There you have the four criteria for the perfect collectible. Disneyana collecting is a great hobby, and each individual piece is a joy, but there's always that yearning for the one perfect collection, a consistent, complete, accurate, yet varied collection. A fantasy, you say? A dream? Maybe. But who better than Disney to make the dream come true?
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