From the 1960s onward, the rotary dial on telephones was gradually supplanted by DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency) push-button dialing. This new fangled way of ‘reaching out’ was first introduced to the public at the 1962 World’s Fair under the trade name “Touch-Tone”. This has become the standard layout for keypads in the form of a rectangular array of push-buttons.
I’ve been looking for one of these Mickey Mouse Touch-Tone Phones for years and now have finally added one to my collection:
Poor Mickey was quite beat up when I got him from a private sale for just $50.00 CAN. The man I got if from was a Landlord and the phone was left behind by a former Tennant. He is fully functional but is a bit loose from his base. This doesn’t affect the display value which is all I do with landline phones anyway. I’ve used nothing but a Smart Phone for telecommunications for years now.
A model in mint condition with the original box can fetch prices of between $100.00 and $150.00 US but without the box a price of $100.00 is more than enough. Used examples with any damage should sell for well below that amount. These Mickey phones are quite common so the price is modest. Other more rare examples can fetch much higher prices, of course.
Photographing this Mickey Phone from the back reminded me of my 2007 vacation to Disney’s Pop Century Resort in Walt Disney World. The property is filled with oversized versions of iconic characters, toys, and games. Such as:
This gargantuan Mickey Phone has a rotary dial. I also have a version like this in a real, usable model, which you will see at the end of this post.
Now let’s look at some of the features:
The blank white space under the number pad was so that you could write in your own phone number. Yes people, there was a time when we old folks had to write things down so we wouldn’t forget!
So this is my collection of this most iconic of all Mickey Telephones. I have the rotary version, Touch-Tone, a Hallmark Ornament, and a small plastic figurine of Mickey using his own likeness to call Minnie. For more of my telephone collection with other styles, simply click the link.
The two phones in the picture above were sold by the American Telecommunications Corporation and made in Malaysia.
FUN FACTS: Although no longer in common use, the rotary dial’s legacy remains in the verb “to dial (a telephone number)”. I suppose it sounds better than “Could you push me a number, please?”