Minnie and I

Minnie and I

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Disneyland Exhibition Visit

Recently I made a trip to California to visit Van Eaton Galleries. I wanted to got there because the gallery was displaying an upcoming auction lot of Disneyland memorabilia. It was called "The Story of Disneyland, an exhibition and sale." A private collector decided to part with his/her large collection of vintage and authentic Disneyana. Part of the collection was items from opening day of Disneyland, cast member wardrobe, attractions items, posters, two character heads and two "it's a small world" figures.

"It's a small world" figures, 2015. Photo by me.

What motivated me to travel from my sweet home to California was the two character heads on display. As you can tell by my previous posts, I absolutely love vintage Disney costumes. The heads that were on display was a vintage Pinocchio head and a Mickey Mouse head from 1978. Words can't explain the excitement and joy I felt in my heart when I walked in to the gallery and saw these heads. It was a dream come true. My favorite incarnation of Mickey is the 80's version and seen it in person, priceless. It was a pleasure to see Pinocchio too, because that particular Pinocchio head has some history behind it.

Mickey Mouse head on display, 2015. Photo by me.

Pinocchio head on display, 2015. Photo by me.

The Pinocchio head that was on display was sold previously on eBay. In the summer of 2011, a person found the Pinocchio head and decided to sell it on the popular auction site. The winning bid was $600. Obviously, the person who bought the Pinocchio head in 2011 was the owner of this amazing collection. I do need to say that the Pinocchio head had seen better days. My theory is that the head was left in a barn or storage unit and was forgotten. The head has major age wear, sun damage and it has a tiny hole in his right cheek. The original seller of the head was probably cleaning out a unit and found the head. To bad that the head wasn't probably taken care off, because it's younger than the Mickey head and the Mickey head was in near mint condition. Despite what they say about this Pinocchio head, I truly believe is from after 1979 or mid 80's. It's not from 60's. It's more likely it was used in Disney on Ice because of the screen/mesh eyes.

Original eBay picture of Pinocchio, 2011.

Original eBay picture of Pinocchio, 2011.

Pinocchio head on display, 2015. Photo by me.

The Mickey head was an amazing piece to see. After looking at hundreds of pictures and videos of the 80's Mickey, it was a real treat seeing it live in person. Man, I wanted to buy both head so bad, but I need a few thousands to buy them. The Pinocchio head was estimated at $3,000 and $5,000 and the Mickey head was estimated at $7,500 and $9,500. Buying both heads, paying the taxes and buyer's premium it would cost me nearly $17,000. I could buy myself a nice car with that kind of money. Well, the day will come soon when I become the owner of a Disney character head. I just need to keep looking and searching.

Update, the Mickey head sold for $25,000 and the Pinocchio head sold for $6,000.

Me and 80's Mickey, 2015. Photo by "me."

I want to give a special huge thank you to Van Eaton Galleries and the owner Mike Van Eaton for welcoming me into his gallery and for answering all the questions I asked. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pinocchio Through the Years 1955-Present

1955-1959: Ice Capades
When Disneyland opened in 1955, the Disney cast of the Ice Capades appeared as meet and greet characters. The Ice Capades made a version of Pinocchio, which was suitable for skaters to wear and skate around. The costume was pretty scary up close and personal.

Pinocchio greeting kids at Disneyland, 1955. (notice the black hands) ****yeahsugardaddy.tumblr.com

1960-1963: Big Head Pinocchio
This is rare one, very rare one. Pinocchio fell in the "Big Head" incarnation. By my guess, this version only lasted a two-three years before the next updated costume. This Pinocchio has had a Jiminy Cricket figure attached to his hat.

Pinocchio at Disneyland, 1962.
This is probably the only known picture of Big Head Pinocchio, Flickr User: Sara

1963-1979: The Common Pinocchio
Pinocchio gets an upgrade with this new design. Now he has a standard mascot costume character with a regular size head. He has five fingers and had a green-shade hat. He had different pupils through the years, black eyes, blue eyes and green eyes.

Common Pinocchio, 1973. Flickr User: Linda

1973-1975: Disney on Parade
The Common Pinocchio made appearances in the Disney on Parade editions of 69, 71 and 72, but in the 73 edition of the show, a different version of Pinocchio was used. Pinocchio's head looks similar to the previous one, but with added features. His head changed slightly with different eyes, different ears and now has a ventriloquist dummie mouth (probably to give the illusion that he talks). Also his head was modified to be able to add donkey ears on stage. His wardrobe stayed the same as the previous one.

Pinocchio along with Lampwick, 1973.

1979-1998: MJ Pinocchio
A makeover was made to Pinocchio's head. Similar mold as the Common Pinocchio, the head was painted differently and the hat is now yellow. His eyes are now white with blue eyes and black pupils. His clothes are updated too, with added padding and now he wears four fingered gloves. This version of Pinocchio was used at the Disney parks and Disney on Ice.

The reason I call this Pinocchio "MJ Pinocchio" is because of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson loved Disney to heart and in his private Disneyana collection he had a head of this version Pinocchio and his father Geppetto. Those heads were meant to be auctioned after his death, but the auction was canceled.

A Pinocchio head was sold at auction on February of 2015. I believe the head sold at the auction was used at the Disney on Ice shows. Here is the post about that auction.

Pinocchio greeting guests at Disneyland, 1984. rojubo.com

The heads that belong to the King of Pop's estate. benprice01.blogspot.com

Pinocchio at Disney on Ice, 1984.

1989-Present: Disney on Ice Humanoid
Disney on Ice is a Broadway style show and over the years they have replaced the traditional mascot heads with cheesy masks and face paint. Pinocchio was one of the firsts to get the transition from mascot to human. I guess Pinocchio always wanted to be a real boy, or man. The male performer performing as Pinocchio wears Pinocchio's traditional clothes with a wig and hat. The performer wears a fake nose simulating Pinocchio's cartoon nose. When Pinocchio "lies" the performer puts on a longer nose to make it look like his nose grew. At the end on the show (or scene) when Pinocchio becomes a real boy, the performer removes his cartoon nose reviling his real nose to confirm the transformation form puppet to real boy.

While this makes scene in the Broadway world using a human to portray Pinocchio, to a child not so much. When I see traditional mascot Pinocchio, in my mind I go "that's Pinocchio" but when I see humanoid Pinocchio in my mind I go "that's a guy dressed like Pinocchio." I wish Disney on Ice would at least change this Pinocchio back to it's traditional mascot form.

Humanoid Pinocchio, 2011. Flickr User: amylansdown

1999-Present: Modern Pinocchio
In the year of Y2K, Disney present a new version of Pinocchio. This Pinocchio has a new head, new wardrobe with added buttons at the pants and new shoes. This Pinocchio is still used today and resembles his cartoon counterpart very well, too well. If you ask me I prefer MJ Pinocchio than this one, at least the head of MJ Pinocchio.

Pinocchio at Disneyland Paris, 2012. Flickr User: Disney-Me