Ceramic Minnie Mouse Mini Planter

The smaller they are the cuter they get! That is certainly true of this Minnie Mouse miniature planter. Just big enough for one flower or succulent. But with Minnie, one flower has always been enough!

Rendered in a fairly crude style, some might lean toward the opinion that ‘she is so ugly she’s cute’, which is the case with most early Disney merchandise. But other than the wobbly face detailing, the rest of the piece is quite well done:

Minnie holds up a flower in her right hand while grasping an open bag with her left. So the concept is that she is carrying a bag of flower. Not ‘flowers’. Remember, there is room for only one!

These ceramic planters are notorious to keep clean if you’re not using them for their intended purpose. With the hollow body, dirt and dust can collect where it is hard to clean.

We have a trademark of Walt Disney and a place of manufacture simply given as USA. No other information is given, even on the bottom.

You may wonder why more colour was not applied in the painting. For example, why are her ears black but her head is not. This was likely done to make the manufacturing easier and less expensive. Also, the American Bisque Company produced a similar style of ceramic functional figures in the 1940’s that had the same basic design elements. So it seems it was an accepted rendering of the characters at that time. So this planter may be from the same period.

To see an example for comparison, I have a set of Mickey and Minnie Salt and Pepper Shakers that you can look at. The post also contains an assortment of other examples from across the years.

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Drinking Around the Blog with Mickey Mouse

Well, not really. A popular thing to do at EPCOT is to Drink Around the World. This is where you buy an alcoholic beverage at each of the eleven countries represented in the World Showcase. I can’t say I’ve ever done this as it seems like it would be a tad bit expensive!

Also, my wife and I aren’t big drinkers. I hit the Coke Zero a little too hard and my wife, she likes the tea. But when we have company over, invariably they bring a bottle of wine. If it isn’t opened, it stays with us and finds its way into a cupboard until the next gathering.

We recently had some friends over and opened a bottle of wine but it wasn’t finished off. So what were we to do to keep it fresh? The cork wouldn’t go back in the bottle. And then I remembered something we had in the back of a kitchen drawer:

What’ll ya have?

This is a solid metal stopper with the Hidden Mickey motif prominently in evidence. The rubber rings fit snuggly into any size of bottle neck.

I just noticed that I’m ‘triplicated’ in the reflection of the stopper. Wish I could claim to have done that on purpose to add photographic brilliance to the post!

We buy the cheap stuff

Would you use such a device to keep your unfinished wine fresh for later consumption or does the Vino stand no chance of surviving to the end of one of your parties?

If you like wine, you may like to check out the two bottles we were given while on our Disney Cruise.

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Bhunny Mickey Mouse Vinyl Figure

Okay, just how many companies are producing vinyl figures now? It’s beginning to feel like hundreds! Well, maybe not that many, but too many for sure. Now we have kidrobot throwing their hat into the ring with a Mickey and Friends line called Bhunny.

Why did I buy it if I’m fed up with the saturated vinyl market? It was on sale. Regular pricing is between $13.00 and $17.00 depending on who’s dollar your looking at, but I got mine for just under $6.00 CAN.

Kidrobot has released the Bhunny figure designed by Frank Kozik, world-renowned artist and Kidrobot Chief Creative Officer. The first series featured six iconic licensed characters. Since then, a modest amount of other IPs have been added. Included are Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The only other Disney character in this line to date is Winnie the Pooh.

This is the promotional spiel from the official website about the Mickey Mouse figure I am showing in this post: “Kidrobot brings to life the Disney characters that started it all. Introducing Mickey Mouse and friends Bhunny 4-inch Vinyl Figures designed by Frank Kozik, world-renowned artist and Kidrobot Chief Creative Officer. This Mickey Mouse Bhunny features the iconic anthropomorphic mouse in his signature white gloves and red shorts, and coming with a Disney keychain.”

I love when a package says ‘Collect Them All!’ on the back when there are only two figures available. I guess ‘Collect Them Both!’ just doesn’t have the same ring.

Is this figure as cute as a Disney Vinylmation, a Funko Pop! or Dorbz? You be the judge:

Rendered in his classic look with pie eyes and simple red shorts, Mickey looks happy to be here. As you can see in the first picture below, Mickey’s head swivels just like most other vinyl figures from other companies.

Have you noticed that all vinyl figures have oversized heads on top of tiny bodies. Ever wonder why? I think the designers are trying to cash in on the cuteness of babies. With their big heads and big wide open eyes, they just make you go ‘Aww!’ In real life, it makes you love and protect your child. In the store, it makes you buy vinyl figures.

Shown above is the plastic keychain that came with the figure with Bhunny on one side and Disney on the other.

At present, this company seems to have less than two dozen figures. Do you like the design? Are you looking forward to seeing some of your favorite characters rendered in this style? Me… not so much.

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Pixar ‘Inside Out’ Anger Mini Tsum Tsum

Pixar released its 15th full-length animated film in 2015 to rave reviews and viewer delight. I thoroughly enjoyed Inside Out! But what I really loved was finding my new ‘Spirit Buddy’ in the form of the character named Anger.

Just look at that face and tell me you haven’t felt that way at least once in your life:

Should Anger enter politics?

Tsum Tsum have been around for awhile now and are found in many different forms. They started first with a line of small plushies, then moved to various sizes of plastic, like this one, and then finished up with a full line of other unique products. You can even watch some Tsum Tsum Shorts by clicking the link!

Looks angry from the side too

I usually don’t jump on the bandwagon at the start of each new craze Disney introduces to their merchandising chains. I know each new offering is just an attempt to milk my wallet for more of my hard-earned cash and so I resist for as long as I can. With the Tsum Tsum line, I was able to hold out for quite a long time until I found a bunch on sale. ‘On Sale’ is my Kryptonite! Now I have too many. Curse you Disney, stop picking my pocket!

That’s quite the place to be branded!

I find it hilarious that Anger has his little necktie on his shirt front, but that it’s actually underneath him when you set him down ‘on all fours’. I am definitely easily amused.

You can see my Mickey and Minnie Tsum Tsum plushies here and my Starlord Tsum Tsum plush here. Both links contain more information about the lines and a basic pricing guide.

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The Muppets Fozzie Bear Face Mug

The Jim Henson Company was founded all the way back in 1958 but was bought out by Disney in 2004. So merchandise that is marked Henson Associates, such as this one, is more valuable to collectors. They represent a time when things were more creative for the company, a time when the characters were being developed and grown.

Fozzie Bear was voiced by Frank Oz. Fozzie is a comedian (although that is debatable) and a bear. It’s hard to imagine just why he isn’t more successful with that combination!

This mug has a higher level of detail than mugs released later. His fur really stands out and the expression on his face is happy and inviting. His signature Porkpie Hat and polka dot bowtie are also well rendered.

I really believe that these face mugs should be for display only. If you look inside you can see all sorts of indentations and crevices that would be hard to clean. Some may use them to sip their morning coffee, but I prefer to display them on a shelf.

This mug was Made in Japan by Sigma the Tastesetter. Interesting tagline. And you can see the Henson branding clearly engraved as well. Henson Associates was the designation of the production company for Henson from 1979 to 1986. So this mug would have been released within that 7-year period.

For informational purposes, These are the other Production Company designations with their years:

Muppets Inc.: 1965-1969

Henson Associates: 1979-1986

Jim Henson Productions: 1990-1996

Jim Henson Pictures: 1997-2003

The Jim Henson Company: 2004-Present (Under Disney)

This should help you to date your Muppet collectibles in the future. It may seem obvious to simply check when the character was active, for example, Fozzie was on the Muppet show from 1977-1981, but he has starred in other vehicles and shows, so that wouldn’t be definitive. Also, merchandise is re-released and recycled long after a show is cancelled, especially if the character is well loved.

Now I would like to leave you with the most intelligent thing Fozzie Bear has ever uttered. It has inspired millions and I hope it inspires you as well. Ready?

“Wocka Wocka!”

FUN FACTS: Did you know that Fozzie Bear only said ‘Wocka Wocka’ once on the original Muppet Show, but it became his signature catchphrase only after the first Muppet Movie? Other famous Muppet catchphrases are Kermit’s ‘Hi-Ho!’ and Miss Piggy’s ‘Kissy Kissy’.

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Disney’s The Rescuers Metal Lunch Box w/Thermos

Disney’s version of The Rescuers came out way back in 1977 to be the 23rd animated feature film by the company. The plot revolves around the Rescue Aid Society, an international organization headquartered in New York City right alongside the United Nations. They are dedicated to helping abduction victims around the world. Oh, and its members are all mice.

We will have a review of the book that this film is based on soon, but suffice to say, the two have quite a few differences! But for the purpose of this post, we are going to focus on a wonderful piece of merchandise that was released to promote the film:

Aladdin Industries is well known for manufacturing metal lunch boxes featuring all of the most beloved franchises. If it was a television show, a movie, or a comic character, Aladdin slapped it on the side of someone’s lunch!

And speaking of sides, let’s have a look at the images on the sides of this particular box:

This box features many of the main scenes from the film. I like the level of detail and faithful renderings of the characters and how they are ‘on model’, so to speak. This is easier with cartoon or animated characters. I’ve seen some truly laughable renderings of human characters on lunch boxes!

The bottom of the box has perhaps one of the saddest scenes from the film. Penny has been passed over for adoption once again, and she feels that it’s because another girl, who was chosen, was prettier than her. Old Rufus the cat is there to cheer her up and says “Oh, why, she couldn’t be!” Get’s ya in the feels every time!

Whatever young child proudly carried this lunch box to school must have loved bananas! And variety! There are stickers from five different companies. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does a banana a day do?

The blue sticker features Minnie Mouse and a young mouse who is either Morty or his twin brother Ferdie. The L4 and number 24 are a mystery, but then it says ‘Mickey Kin’. ‘Kin’ is defined as one’s family and relations. But Minnie isn’t Mickey’s wife although the boy is one of Mickey’s nephews. Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse first appeared in Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse Sunday comic strip in the story entitled Mickey’s Nephews (published in 1932). Maybe that’s not Minnie but Mickey’s unseen sister?

Another fun possibility, though unlikely, is a crossword clue Mickey and kin with 4 letters that was last seen on the January 1st, 1981, episode of Jeopardy. The likely answer to this clue is MICE.

Most of these old lunch boxes are missing the thermos, or if they have it, the thermos itself might be missing the stopper or cup. Sometimes a lunch box will have the wrong thermos for the set. This example does have the correct, and a complete, thermos.

However, if you go back up to the images of the inside of the lunch box itself, you will notice that the metal bracket that holds the thermos in place is missing.

Another nice feature of this thermos is that it has a flip-up ‘straw’ so that the contents can be drank without opening the stopper or using the cup. If you’re thirsty, it holds about 8 US ounzes.

The condition of this lunch box and thermos set is fair to good. I prefer this level of rust and damage to a mint condition example because I feel it gives it a bit of history and makes a better presentation piece. But that’s just me.

If you’d like to have more fun with The Rescuers, I have a book that continues the story of the team (but not the story from Rescuers Down Under) check out my earlier post on the Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading series. The book in question is called The Rescuers in ‘Trouble in Devil’s Bayou’.

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Found Disney: Ceramic Pluto Planter

Rainy days and Mondays always get some people down, but not this person! Okay, it was a Thursday when I wrote this post and a Friday when it went live… but you get the idea. Instead of wasting the day because of the rain, we decided to check out some local Antique Markets.

And look who I found:

What is more fun to say than ‘Pluto Planter’? And what is cuter? Pluto pulling a little wooden wagon full of (eventual) flowers = cuteness overload!

This was a pictures-only ‘acquisition’ as the asking price and what I would be willing to pay were too far apart. No amount of haggling would have bridged the gap!

These ceramic planters are nice vintage collectibles. I will likely break down and pick this one up eventually. I have other types of planters in my collection, like this mini-Mickey planter by Enesco.

What have you found out in ‘The Wild’ lately?

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1977 Gabriel Industries Mickey Mouse on Tricycle

A very good friend of mine gave me this toy. It was his favorite, but as he neared the end of his life, he wanted me to have it as he knew I was an avid Disney collector. That way, it would continue to be loved and cherished just as it was with him for so many years. Some things in my collection have a higher retail value, but few have a higher sentimental value!

There are other versions of this that I have seen, notably Goofy, but I only have Mickey:

What makes this little toy so fun is the corded legs. It harkens back to the old squash and stretch days when Mickey Mouse, and pretty much every cartoon character, had rubber hose appendages. I have another piece featuring Mickey with similar limbs in the shape of a WDW Keychain.

One of the features of this toy is that Mickey’s head can swivel to the left and to the right. The movement is slight but noticeable.

The main feature of the toy is that the wheels actually turn, and when the front one revolves, it moves Mickey’s legs to make it appear that he is peddling the tricycle.

Trademarks aplenty! Walt Disney Productions is used but we also find other markings on the front wheel. Gabriel Industries Inc. is the manufacturer and Hong Kong the place of manufacture.

Gabriel Industries Inc. doesn’t appear to be in business any longer. But I did find an interesting excerpt from the New York Times dated December of 1981 (Section 3, Page 21). Apparently a main article had been written on the 6th that referenced some information about Gabriel, but it contained errors. So the President of the company, Benjamin Ordover, wrote to the Editor on the 10th with these corrections:

First, Gabriel Industries is CBS’s toy division. There is no other toy subsidiary. Gabriel Industries, as it is known in the toy business, makes toys and related products under four brand names: Child Guidance, Gabriel, Gym-Dandy and Wonder. Second, the chart identified Creative Playthings as this division’s major products. We have not made toys under this name for more than two years, with the exception of wooden backyard playground equipment. Our major products might better have included, among others, Erector sets, Othello and Busy Box.”

You know you screwed up when the actual President of a corporation takes time out of his busy schedule to correct you! Wow. Sucked to be that writer! Research man, research!

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Vintage Walt Disney World Thermo-Serv Stein

It’s time to fill our mugs and drink our fill of old timey goodness! This vintage Walt Disney World stein from the 1970s or early 1980s is just too cool. It may not be the one item that jumps off my display shelves and screams ‘Hey! Look at me!” but when you do take a closer look, it holds your attention.

Branded as Walt Disney Productions (pre-1987) this plastic stein from Thermo-Serv is definitely something that would have been sold in the earliest days of the Magic Kingdom in Florida.

This product may have been sold as a piece of merchandise or as an upsell when you bought a beverage at any of the restaurant locations throughout the Park.

A fun thing to do is to try to figure out the exact date of a collectible. Or near enough! We have some clues in the images on the stein. First, we have the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction which opened in 1971 and closed in 1994. So this piece of merchandise could have been released on Opening Day or any time up to 1994.

However, we also have the Main Street Electrical Parade shown in the upper top corner which ran from 1977 to 1991. Now we can narrow the release down to later than 1977 but before 1991. The final clue comes from the Swan Boats attraction, a short-lived offering by Theme Park standards. It ran from 1973 to 1983. So if we put these three attraction dates together we get an earliest release date of 1977 (when MSEP began) to a latest release date of 1983 (when SB ended).

And that’s how it’s done, folks!

This has a double wall to keep beverages colder longer. The bottom tells us that it was manufactured in the U.S.A. (a rare bird now!) by a company known as Thermo-Serv. And believe it or not, they still exist! Here is what they have to say about themselves:

For over 60 years, ThermoServ has focused on serving the consumer retail market with unique, quality plastic drinkware and melamine tableware products that look great and perform. We take pride in offering innovative, fashion-forward casual dining products that are Made in America and designed for today’s modern consumer. Whether at home, entertaining, or on the go, there’s a ThermoServ product that’s right for you.”

Somewhere along the way, they dropped the hyphen in their name.

ThermoServ does not currently offer any items featuring Disney properties. But for another look at some vintage drinking vessels from the early days of Walt Disney World, specifically Fort Wilderness, check out this link.

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The Art of Pixar Postcard Box Set – Volume 1

I had 100 reasons to buy this set of postcards. Don’t worry, I’m not going to list them! But I am going to show you a few of them.

Years ago I attended the Science of Pixar Exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum and yes, the attraction exited into a gift shop. I know. Shocking. But I was strong and only bought half of what they were selling!

Amongst the swag I came away with was this wonderful keepsake commemorating some of Pixar’s best-loved films.

The only thing I could say that is a negative about this set was that the cards warped shortly after I opened the box. They are high gloss and that may be why they did that. So now they don’t store well in the original box but are still great to look at.

Speaking of looking, as promised, here are just some of the reasons I bought this set:

The set contains some screen shots from the films but also many cards that feature concept art. It’s a nice way to see some of the original but rejected designs for some of your favorite characters. Some cards are reproductions of movie posters and advertising sheets.

If you so choose, you could actually use these as actual postcards and thrill your Disney friends with a little piece of Disney/Pixar magic out of the blue! I have no intention of doing this. To quote three very vocal friends that I have: “Mine! Mine! Mine!” Finding Nemo reference, anyone?

Pixar became a separate company from Lucasfilm in 1986. So the 20th Anniversary would have been in 2005, which coincides with the release date of this set. Chronicle Books is the publisher. If you click the link to their website, you can still find this set of postcards, as well as Volume 2 (which I also have) for just $22.95 US. There are also 30 other books to purchase.

I collect vintage Disney postcards, so when I saw this set, it wasn’t hard to decide to purchase!

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