A search of the Internet didn’t turn up this little vintage plush. It has a corduroy-type fabric for the main body with a thin felt material for the clothing. The stuffing seems to be a sawdust of some kind (wood by-product according to the label). All of these facts lead me to believe it is of an earlier vintage.
We’ll try to better pinpoint a date of manufacture a little later. But for now, let’s have a look at what all the fuss is about:
Mickey wears a hat like this one in the Short entitled The Little Whirlwind (1941). He wore a more complete outfit akin to this one in the Short entitled The Nifty Nineties (also 1941, below).
Of course, the colours are wrong, but the style is close.
My research won’t turn up a Short where Mickey wears this exact outfit. Although I do seem to remember a scene where Mickey is walking with a bunch of flowers to pick up Minnie for a date and my memory puts him in a yellow suit. But I can’t find any evidence to back that up. So instead I’ll go with that Mickey is clothed in a style closer to the old Vaudeville entertainers of the early 1900’s.
Well, at least the hat is the same!
The tag lists Walt Disney Productions, which dates the plush to before 1986, when this copyright ceased to be used. The fact that it doesn’t have Disney Parks on the tag likely means it predates at least Walt Disney World in 1971. The fact that it is Made in Japan also alludes to an earlier manufacture as later products were made in China and other countries. Finally, the fabrics, mentioned at the outset, definitely age the piece. As does Mickey’s facial look.
So a definitive date would be, or a somewhat educated guess would be… the 1950’s?
Whenever it came into existence, I’m glad it came into my collection!