Disney Magazine: Pages of Disney History

It will be fun to have a look back at the way Disney was through the pages of the Disney Magazine. This post features an issue with both key articles and vintage advertising for the Disney company and it’s affiliates.

Let’s have a look at the cover for this Fall 1993 issue:

Disney Magazine Cover

This magazine began in December of 1965 as the Disney News and was only 16 pages long. It was initially a free benefit for members of the Magic Kingdom Club, but later started charging a cover price (as above) with a discount for members.

The name was changed to Disney Magazine in January of 1994 to highlight it’s bigger size and expanded content. The Magic Kingdom Club ended in January of 2001 with the magazine continuing until the summer of 2005 when it finally folded.

What killed it? Apparently failing readership and the Internet.

Here is what could be found inside the Fall 1993 issue:

Disney Magazine Contents

But while each issue did give us some excellent Disney content, this post will focus mainly on advertisements. Such as:

Disney Magazine Subscription AdDisney Magazine Gold Card Ad

Buy Us First!

Very early in the magazine we are offered a subscription and a Disney Gold Card membership. With that out of the way, Disney moved on to offering products:

Disney Magazine Crystal Dumbo Ad

Arribas Brothers Crystal Dumbo

Disney Magazine Disney Dollar Ad

65th Anniversary Disney Dollar

Disney no doubt relied on it’s affiliates and partners to fill out the remaining advertising pages. Here are just a few of the companies that took full advantage of a captive Disney audience:

Disney Magazine Delta AdDisney Magazine National Ad

Delta and National

Disney Magazine Kodak AdDisney Magazine Red Boat Ad

Kodak and The Big Red Boat

Yes, before The Disney Cruise Line sailed into existence, there was an official cruise line to the Mouse: The Big Red Boat. I wonder how many have fond memories of time spent at sea with this line?

Premier Cruise Line was a cruise line that was headquartered in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was licensed as the official cruise line for Disney starting in 1985 and used the trademark “The Big Red Boat” based on the color scheme of some of its ships. Premier was licensed to provide Disney characters on its ships, until the relationship ended in 1993.

We’ll end with a few articles from the magazine that I thought were interesting:

Disney Magazine Mighty Ducks

The Mighty Ducks Hockey Team

Still looking forward to their first season in 1993, this article gives some history of the franchise. Of course, we know now that Disney did not stand behind the team for long and quickly sold them off.

Disney Magazine Santa Fe

Walt and Steam

The two were inseparable back in the day and so I thought this was a nice nod to the Master! It was interesting to see the link between trains and Mickey Mouse, too.

And that concludes our look back through the pages of Disney history!

Book Review: Commemorative Edition LIFE – Gene Wilder

From time to time I pick up a copy of the Commemorative Editions of LIFE magazine. I find them well written. I also appreciate the comprehensive overview of the subject in question, this time, Gene Wilder:

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This is basically a quick look at a long life with many wonderful pictures. There are nine sections tracing Wilder’s career from early life to his final days.

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I first remember Wilder in the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (pictured above). This performance will always be the one my mind goes to when I hear his name! But obviously Wonka wasn’t the only character Mr. Wilder immortalized:

life-mag-gw-frankenstein

Young Frankenstein

Leo Bloom (The Producers), The Waco Kid (Blazing Saddles), and Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Young Frankenstein, pictured above) are all characters Wilder created with director Mel Brooks. All of them will live on in comedic history! As will a comic pairing that spawned four films:

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Wilder with Richard Pryor

Silver Streak and Stir Crazy will be the best remembered films from these two legendary comedians. Details of their relationship are shared in this magazine.

Four marriages. Two cancer episodes. A unforgettable career. A final illness. All of these, and (most) everything inbetween, are covered on 80 high-gloss pages.

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Gene Wilder (1933-2016)

At a cost of just $16.99 CAN I thought this magazine was a good deal for such an emotional and inspiring look into the life of a man who brought so much fun and humor to so many!

Concluding thought: Wilder never shared his battle with Alzheimer’s because “he simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world” if one of his fans, mainly children remembering his Wonka character, should hear of it.

The Windsor Star Weekend Magazine

This large format 28-page magazine supplement was quite an impressive publication in its day! The two copies that I have were inserted into the weekend edition of The Windsor Star newspaper in the late 1970’s. It had both black and white and color pages.

Weekend Magazine Covers 001

September 17th and November 5th, 1977

I found these at a yard sale just outside of Windsor, ON. I paid $2.00 a piece for them which is funny when you consider that they were given away free with a newspaper almost 40 years ago!

But I think you can guess why I bought them?

Weekend Magazine 008     Weekend Magazine 009

10 1/2″ x 12″

Obviously Mickey and Minnie caught my eye and so buying that issue was a no-brainer. I also love vintage television programs so the other issue also became a must-have.

So let’s take a look at the content of the article entitled 50 Years of Mickey Mouse:

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This was a fun but brief article which you are welcome to read by enlarging the pictures above. I especially enjoyed page 11 as I have some of the merchandise pictured there!

Apart from the cover story in the second issue of this set, I found another Disney reference inside. Disney placed an advertisement on pages 14 and 15:

Weekend Magazine 002

Who wants some cookies?

The contest would award 40 vacation trips to Walt Disney World, 100 authentic Mickey Mouse watches, and 200 Fantasia soundtracks. All you had to do was state how many cookies you could see in the jar. Disney even made it easier by giving the possible answers in the form of multiple choice on the entry form.

Weekend Magazine 003          Weekend Magazine 004

Enlarge and read those rules!

Unfortunately we are all 39 years too late to enter. Just our luck, eh! But it is still fun to see these old promotions and product tie-ins.

So just how many cookies were in the jar? Was it 9, 14, 21, 35, or 49? Who cares, just give me one! Hey, stale or not, I love me some cookies!

Collectors Showcase Vintage Magazines

There’s nothing I love as much as old collectibles than old magazines about old collectibles! And recently I was able to pick up thirteen issues of Collectors’ Showcase, ‘America’s Premiere Pictorial Magazine for Collectors’. Long name, great content!

Collectors Showcase Mags 001

Now why are these old and out of date magazines of value today? First, a collector can use them to source and identify hard to find or difficult to classify items. Often there will be articles about specific items giving date of manufacture and company names. Second, if the magazine records prices, a collector can track values over the years. Third, due to the advertising of new-at-the-time collectibles, original pricing can be determined for many items.

And of course, Fourth, a collector just loves to look at old toys!

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Hey, it’s Disney!

Being a Disney collector, I obviously like to look for old magazines that feature Disney items, like the one above. Here are a few items I found in these thirteen issues:

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How many Disney buttons can you find?

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Collectors’ Gallery featuring the Mickey Mouse Handcar

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Awesome to see such rare items!

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Everyone loves movie posters!

I mentioned earlier that magazines of this type, although mostly out of print today, are also valuable for the advertising spreads within. Have a look at a few of my favorites:

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Where: Disneyland Hotel, Embassy Room

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Must. Have. These.

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Walt Disney World Tencennial products

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19,700 hours to make? I don’t want to know how much this cost!

These magazines are packed with wonderful collectibles from everyone’s childhood, no matter what generation you are from. The articles are insightful. The images breathtaking!

And just how much did I have to pay to obtain these windows into the past? They originally sold for $4.00 to $5.00 between 1982 and 1986 but I paid only $1.00 for three so less than $5.00 for the whole batch.

FUN FACT: Do you remember Shields and Yarnell, the pantomime couple from the 1980’s who were on just about every variety show going?

Shields and Yarnell

Yes? Well, then did you know that they were sometimes billed as ‘Living Puppets’ and so, as collectors themselves, had a vast collection of marionettes and other puppets, including Pinocchio? It’s true according to the January/February 1982 issue of Collectors’ Showcase!

Book Review: Life – Special Magazine on Walt Disney

I saw many of my friends on social media publishing pictures of the cover of this magazine, but wasn’t really planning on picking it up myself. I have so many hard-cover books on Walt Disney, it’s hard to find any contemporary publication that can offer me anything new.

Life Mag 1

At $16.99 CAN, it had better be good!

But one day I had to wait for my wife and found myself trolling a magazine rack in a local pharmacy and there it was. So I broke down and picked it up. But seriously, $16.99? It had better be ‘special’ indeed!

Obviously the magazine basically contains an overview of Walt’s journey, as reported on in the pages of Life Magazine over the years. So every reference comes from Life archives. A main source of quotes comes from an author and animator named Stephen Cavalier. His bio reads as follows: He has worked in the animation and games industries for two decades. An animator, writer, and director, he has worked as an Animation Director for Disney TV shows and been part of the animation team at Steven Spielberg’s Amblimation. He also works as an animator, writer, and director through his own company, Spy Pictures.

I found his insights to be a bit critical, with even positive comments being followed with a negative point. Of course, Walt was no saint, so one expects this in any publication about him.

Again, I’m always looking for that one image I haven’t seen, or fact I didn’t know. Here are some of the few new things, for me, from this publication:

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Walt Crockett and Son

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Roy E. Disney in 1950 with awesome merchandise

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Pinocchio Walt

The last picture was worth buying the magazine for on its own! It features Walt Disney dressed as Pinocchio as he tells the story to his two daughters. Pure cuteness, and a side of Disney we don’t always get to see.

Overall, a sound publication. I’d give it 4 out of 5 Stars, as it does give a competent overview of Walt Disney’s journey. But it doesn’t offer many new things for the seasoned Disney fan. And the price was ridiculous!