Friday, May 13, 2011

The Walt Disney Classics Collection

The Walt Disney Classics Collection (WDCC) is a series of well-made porcelain figurines which feature characters from Disney animated films and also a few live-action. Started back in 1992, the series debuted with Bambi, Cinderella and Fantasia's Sorcerer Apprentice--and it was an instant hit.

Originally, the manufacture of the WDCC pieces was run by Schmid. Then around 1998, the operations were taken over and handled in house by Disney themselves. It would be the first time that the Disney Company produced their own line of sculptures. Things changed once again in about 2004-05 when Enesco became the new licensee.



Original Three 1992 Figurines. Image copyright Disney via Duckman.


In January of 1993, the Walt Disney Collectors Society (WDCS) was introduced by the Disney Company as a way to offer more to serious WDCC collectors. The perks included member-exclusive sculptures, the Newsflash newsletter (for the latest WDCC updates), Sketches magazine (4 issues per year of WDCC articles and info), the annual catalog and cloisonne pin, plus other goodies. Well received, the Society was with us for almost seventeen years. It finally "suspended" operations on December 31, 2009, possibly due in part to the introduction of the official Disney D23 Fan Club in March of that year.





The WDCC series, however, is still going strong. After nearly 20 years, there are now a LOT of figurines to choose from. Some have been produced in limited editions. Others have been retired. The classification of "retired" is given once the desired number of an individual piece has been reached in the manufacture process. The mold is then destroyed.

The sculptures are stamped on the bottom with Walt Disney's signature and a production year mark. This symbol indicates the calender year in which the piece was made. Open edition figurines can have different marks depending upon which year they were produced--those with the first year stamp are usually the most desirable to collectors.

WDCC Production Year Marks for 1992 and 2011. Also 1993 below. Images copyright Disney via Duckman.


Each production mark symbolizes a major milestone in Disney filmic history. In the first WDCC year, 1992, a steamboat wheel was the featured backstamp in honor of Mickey Mouse's 1928 debut in Steamboat Willie. The 2011 mark is an umbrella in honor of 1964's Mary Poppins. See the complete list of WDCC production year symbols as provided by the Duckman.

Below on the base of this Dopey figurine (1995-2004) we can see the production mark from 1995. It's the trowel used by Practical Pig in the 1933 Silly Symphony The Three Little Pigs.



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The first two Snow White pieces to appear in the series were introduced November of 1994. The "Opening Title," an open edition sculpt that sold for $29 (USD)...





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...and "The Fairest One of All", a dancing princess figurine. Sculpted by Kent Melton and released November of 1994, this piece stands approximately 8 1/4" high. The first year of issue stamp is the dancing flower. Retailed for $175. Retired May 2004.






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A little over four years later, a companion piece to Snow White was introduced. The Dopey and Sneezy "Dancing Partners" was released February of 1999 as a Spring Event Sculpture. A limited edition, it was closed shortly thereafter in March. It's another of the many figurines created by the talented hands of artist Kent Melton. Original retail price: $150.

Stock image copyright Disney.





The figurine appeared in the spring 1999 Disney Catalog.

Catalog image courtesy of 1937Fan of Whistle While We Blog.

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In addition to the porcelain, both the WDCC and WDCS produced a fair bit of figurine promotional swag. This includes but is not limited to posters, postcards, pins, buttons, phone cards, t-shirts and more.

A phone card with image of the The Fairest One of All (1994-2004)...

Phone Card image via The Collectible Shop.


T-shirt with the image of the Dancing Partners (1999)...

Back of WDCC Shirt, 1999.


An apple charm which came with the Dancing Partners...



See these other blog posts for "The Fairest One of All" poster, button and postcards.

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Further WDCC info at:

Duckman's WDCC Inside Report








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See heaps more WDCC figurines in upcoming posts including the 1995 Old Witch figurine, the Musical Dwarfs scene, and the Enchanted Places miniature series.

3 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to this series of posts. I've got several WDCC pieces and just love seeing more!!

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  2. We are also looking forward to this series of posts! We do not have many of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves WDCC so it would be lovely to see some great photos/reviews about them!

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  3. These will be some fun posts to work on. Got a couple WDCCs coming up right away with a slew more to be spread out over the next few months :)

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