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InspirationMay 07, 2023

Designer collectors: Mickey mouse

"Mickey Never Fails" Walt Disney book written by Robin Palmer

Brent Roth RGD shares his collection of Mickey Mouse paraphernalia.

What do you collect?

I have been a Disney fan for as long as I can remember, especially of Mickey Mouse. My collection is kept in a 100-year old wood and glass door cabinet that used to belong to a neighbour growing up. I always liked it, and it's perfect for holding items in my collection which totals in the hundreds.

Since when?

I likely started in my preteens. Always enjoyed Mickey Mouse cartoons, which would come in between programming in those days pre Netflix, First Choice and Super Channel (OK, I am really dating myself now!) In those days, it would start with birthday or Christmas presents which may have included a watch or a piece of clothing. As I got older and realized I was into graphic design, I really started to appreciate the vintage printed pieces from the very early days and wanted to have those.

How does it inspire you as a designer?

As a creative person, I appreciate the way this character was marketed. Really the first real example of commercializing a character and using it as an endorsement for a company. Mickey Mouse started to pop up on everything and to be merchandized. The sheer volume of items (for that time) was actually quite astounding! From books to shoe polish to drinking straws, to clocks and games, Mickey Mouse was everywhere and became part of the consciousness at that time.

As a designer, there is so much that I appreciate. The nostalgia, the fact that it is vintage print pieces, the colours, art and the sheer creativity was a big factor for me. I love to see the early print packaging, vintage toys and ways in which this drawn character was represented. It’s also interesting to me, as so many of these types of products just don’t exist anymore.

Your favourites?

I have two original animation drawings from cartoons from 1936 and 1938. Always my favourites.


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