Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Disney Gallery Holiday Catalog, 1999 - PART 1

A while ago, our friend Sue B. was going through boxes of her dad's stuff (he's Lou Perry, as you know), and she found this 1999 Christmas catalog for the Disney Gallery - sort of a fancier version of the Disney Store, with generally higher-end merchandise for more-affluent fans. There were more "collectibles" and decorative items than what you might find in a Disney Store catalog. From what I can glean, there were two actual brick and mortar Disney Galleries (besides the one in New Orleans Square, of course), one in Santa Ana (debuting in 1994) and another in Orlando (1996). With its Christmas theme, Sue thought it would be fun for the Junior Gorillas to relive this little piece of history! So I will be sharing the entire catalog in four parts. 

The cover shows a Dickensian coach, only it's full of classic characters - and it's pulled by Mickey's horse, Tanglefoot! How many people knew his name?

I assume that fancy ornaments are still a big collectible, so why not cater to Disney nuts? Don't hang your new goodies on a dumb actual tree, hang them on a special "Mickey tree"!

Looking at the descriptions, I recognize the name Christopher Radio, he was a familiar name in ornaments. I'm sure my mom (who loves almost anything made of glass) owned a few Radko pieces.

More ornaments! This time they feature various castles, from the parks and from animated classics such as Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and The Little Mermaid.

Dolls from Marie Osmond, somehow those make sense. And there are lots of doll collectors out there (including Sue I believe?). As a Disney collector myself, I would be frustrated by the fact that my mom would sometimes give me old Mickey dolls as gifts. "Mom, I don't want any dolls!". "But I thought you liked Disney!". I only cried a little.

Heirloom Ornaments, made from genuine heirloom tomatoes. "Kids, I spent all your inheritance on heirloom  ornaments. No need to thank me!". The likenesses of the Dwarts and Snow White are spot-on, something that these fancy Disney items excelled at (generally). It's nice to see the Roger Rabbit and Jessica ornaments too, 

There's something for everyone in the family at the Disney Gallery! 

Porcelain trinket boxes from Limoges were popular with some collectors (and probably still are), I'm sure that Disney collectors were more than happy to part with their dollars. Get 'em all! And they aren't just for girls, Dad might want to keep his cufflinks in a Pluto trinket box.

Whoa, that Mary Poppins carpet bag was a cool $1,000. As Shakespeare once said, "Zoiks!".

And lastly (for today), we have a few more ornaments... the "broom" example baffled me for a moment. I actually own that Mickey Mouse book by Pierre Lambert (though I did not buy it from the Disney Gallery), all of his Lambert's Disney volumes are impressively large and full of beautifully-printed artwork, from concept sketches to background paintings to full cel setups.

Well, that does it for PART ONE! Many thanks to Sue B. for taking the time to scan this catalog, I hope you all enjoyed this blast from the past. You'll see PART TWO in a week.


Nanook said...

Years removed from these "collectibles", it's nice to be able to peruse them without the slightest compunction to own any of them. Thankfully, I've moved-on. Also... I have good news for you, Major - you mis-read the info on the Artoria Limoges™ Mary Poppins Carpetbag: The edition size is 1,000; the price - a 'mere' $165.00. (I'd buy at least two).

Thank you Sue for scanning these images.

TokyoMagic! said...

I always said that Mickey Mouse needed to "get a horse"!

I remember the Disney Gallery in Santa Ana. It was in the Main Place Mall, just a few minutes south of Disneyland, off of the same freeway. There was a Disney Store next door, which I believe was there first. When they added the Disney Gallery, they opened up a doorway through the wall so you could walk from one shop directly into the next. Last time I was there, the Gallery was gone, but the Disney Store was still there. I don't know if that is still the case, today.

I have a couple friends who collect Radko ornaments. I never understood the appeal, considering the price. They are nice, but you can get "knockoffs" that look just as good, for much less. I just can't understand spending that much money for something that could so easily fall off of the tree and break. Or get knocked off by the cat! And I'd rather have a cat, then expensive Christmas ornaments. But I digress. I do have two Radkos, but they were both given to me. One is almost identical to that Minnie Mouse's "face in the wreath" ornament, except that it's Mickey face. My dad ordered it and had them send it to me. He said he got it through the Disney Catalog, so maybe they sold "Mickey," and you had to go to the Disney Gallery Catalog to buy "Minnie"? The ornament arrived broken....see, $30 down the drain! But he called up the catalog peeps and they sent me another one. And they only charged him a replacement fee of $125. But to their credit, they did send BOTH of us a Zinger®. Okay, they didn't charge him anything extra.....at that time......as far as I know. Maybe today they would. 'Cause Disney is greedy! Okay...I digressed, again! I still have the ornament, but I haven't gotten it out for a few years now. When he gave it to me, I had one cat, but now I have three! They would absolutely LOVE that ornament, I just know it. Maybe I can place it up high somewhere. But where? Maybe, I'll hang it from the ceiling.

That Marie Osmond doll might be possessed. Does it's head spin around 360 degrees......by itself? Either way, she looks a little bit "country." Does Marie Osmond still make dolls? Or does she just spend her time now, pushing Nutisystem® and it's Nume® app? Oh, I almost forgot....now she is hocking a pill very similar to Omega XL. She had better knees in just 5 weeks! And it's backed by 5 clinical studies.

Thank you Lou, Sue and the Major, too. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of this catalog!

JB said...

"How many people knew his name?"
Heck, I didn't even know Mickey had a horse!
I see that Donald looks predictably angry, sitting in the Christmas Coach. Maybe it's because somebody replaced his sailor's cap with a top hat.

From the text, I see that the Christmas Wagon sells for $80. That seems reasonable, even for 1999, considering it's 10" long.

The Snow White & Dwarfs figurines would be nice to have. There are 8 pieces in the set, which costs $395; that would make them about... [JB whips out his slide rule, prepares punch cards and feeds them into his 1960s era home computer which only takes up one large bedroom, and waits... ] $50 each... more or less. Which seems kinda steep, but they are made well, so... maybe.

The broom ornament does look a bit confusing, doesn't it.

I see that Nanook has set things straight with the Carpetbag info. You can never have too many 2" carpetbags, I always say.

Tokyo!, that's a LOT of digressing, but funny. Never underestimate the ability of a cat to destroy something.

These are excellent scans of Lou's excellent photos, Sue. Thanks! And, as usual, thanks Major for your witty repartee.


RADKO was once a BIG DEAL … and probably still is. In NEW ORLEANS SQUARE for many years was an exclusively CHRISTOPHER RADKO ornament shop located in the former gold … brass … harlequin shop… the small shop opposite the Hat shop. RADKO collectors were enthusiastically insane … picky and often greedy. Always very intense … the Disney Radko’s were a difficult situation as the breakage was pretty bad …. In shipment from to the warehouse .. to the shops and if they survived that far … they had to survive the hands of the guests. There would be limits of two of each design per guests and guests would go INSANE !!! Adults would throw fits on the floor!! ( mainly because they were trying to profiteer by purchasing large amounts to sell on this new thing called EBAY … and limiting 2 per guest didn’t allow them to “corner the market” I remember a guest got there after we had sold out the edition …crying and yelling ( I’m not exaggerating ) to one of our managers and me … “you two don’t know what’s it’s like to get up super early in the morning and driving to Disneyland and get there before opening!!!!” … Dave and I looked at each other and were “…. Ah yes …. Yes we KNOW EXACTLY what that’s like… we do it 5 days a week!!”

When we had RADKO signings the Radko people would send extras of the ornaments that were not part of the edition size and decorating would fashion garlands and wreaths with the featured ornaments glue-gunned on for display upstairs in the Gallery or on Main Street where the signings would take place . Then when the edition was sold out guests would freak!! “NO!!! You have more on that wreath !!!!” And they would reach up and pull the fragile glass ornament off not knowing it was industrial glued on and then as “the grabbing hands grabbed all they can “ you’d hear POP!! POP!!! POP!POP!! As the ornaments shattered all over in the guests grasping claws!!
Then there were the guests who wanted to inspect EVERY SINGLE BOX!! ( I’m not exaggerating ) if there was a stack of 50 ornaments they EXPECTED to open each box and inspect them ALL to pick out the best TWO …. While 200 people waited in line behind them !!!

By the early 2000’s Disney saw the waning interest and popularity of collectible watches …. Ceramic Disney figurines …dolls& teddy bears …. And expensive mercury glass ornaments …. And Disney merchandising allowed the sun to start setting. Today you don’t find much of these things at Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

Incidentally Christopher Radko is an expert on the movie HELLO DOLLY and has written an amazing book about the production and movie sets and artwork created by film production teams … great photos of the 20th Century set designers turning Coldspring New York into 1890’s YONKERS …. And how many of those set designers went straight from hello Dolly to working on Walt Disney World’s Main Street USA …if you are familiar with the movie Hello Dolly you will see lots of it in WDW’s Main Street design. hopefully a second Radko book will cover the 14th Street New York sets of hello Dolly.


Regarding those porcelain Limoge boxes : the Disney versions licensed by Limoges was expressed rushed into production as the BIGGEST collector of Limoge Trinket boxes was the wife of Bo Boyd … the ceo of Disney Consumer products. That catalog doesn’t show it but inside the boxes were “surprises “ sometimes a painted image of something relating to the film characters or a small porcelain detail . These were sold at The Disneyanna Shop and for a time there was a small Disneyanna Shop at the Disneyland Hotel across from Stromboli’s ( now GOOFYs Kitchen) for sone reason those trinket boxes sold super well at the hotel … but the cels , trinket boxes and other Disneyanna didn’t stop the shop from becoming a coffee & muffin shop. A funny thing about the wife of the Disney Consumer Products CEO was that she somehow violated the Disney Company’s discount benefit and her discount card would not work during the “suspension” And we had meetings that if she came into the Disneyanna … The Disney Gallery … or the World of Disney Collectors Room … that they were to get a manager or a working lead and her discount would be honored. “These rule apply to thee and not me”

Bu said...

All kinds of great intel in these comments! The catalog, and it's items...hmm...I ALSO would rather have a cat...even though my holiday tree has many Radko bits and bobs: all very delicately stored off season and... all none of my doing. When I lived in Hollywood, I had a great view of many sites from my high-rise including a perfect view of the Capital Records building...when people asked me "WHERE'S YOUR TREE?!"...I would simply point out the window and say "there it is"...as (at the time) Capitol did light strings on top of their building to emulate a Christmas tree. That's all I needed. At one point in early life, I would have enjoyed some of these items in this catalog, but not any more....the ONLY thing that I would get now is the Mary Poppins bag because it doesn't look anything "Disney" and it's so random, only a few people would actually "get it". Interesting to hear the guest melt-down stories over this stuff. I wouldn't melt in a shop over "stuff", but I can get worked up over somethig that I've GOT to have. These days: I rather give it all away, than get more stuff. I have boxes of stuff that I haven't seen in decades. Marie Osmond did a Disneyland Tour Guide doll..(thanks for doing a boy doll too Marie..."not".) In my Disneyland days, the Madame Alexander dolls caused quite the stir...sold in the Tinkerbell Toy Shop. I'm sure there was a melt down or two. Also: if memory serves me right...back in the days when you could go to the Newstand and buy things without entering the park (the employees would go in a shop for you) there was an "except Madame Alexander Dolls" rule (?)....Doll collectors are an entirely different sector of the human race: akin to Vintage Tupperware and Pryex collectors. They will eat their young to get what they want....Thanks Lou and Sue and Major! Happy Collecting to all...or Happy Purging to people like me :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Disney version of the Sears catalog! Actually, out of all the items featured today, I like the Character Cart the best. It's probably because I like pretty much anything with wheels on it. You drop a Hemi in the back of that sucker and ol' Tanglefoot gonna need his Wheaties to keep up!

Thanks Sue! (and Major too!)

K. Martinez said...

I have a few Chrispher Radko ornaments, but I find "Old World Christmas" ornaments just as good for a third of the price.

Thanks for scanning the Disney Christmas catalog, Sue!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I feel the same way; as nice as much of the catalog items are, they are generally not the kind of thing I want. Give me vintage stuff any day! Oh man, now that I know the real price of the Limoges carpetbag, I am going to buy one for every Junior Gorilla! Yes, there are less than 1,000 Junior Gorillas. WAY less.

TokyoMagic!, I’m glad that Mickey Mouse didn’t need to “get a room”, that would be an entirely different movie. I did not personally experience the Disney Gallery stores (again, not counting the one in Disneyland), but remember when Disney Stores were brand new. I drove all the way to the Glendale Galleria to see what I believe was the only example near me - and at the time I thought it was an amazing place. I remember buying some pin sets (something I could actually afford), though I have since sold all of them. Radko ornaments are nice, but you are right, the prices were generally pretty high. When my sister first got married and started a family, she decided that she wanted to buy one or two particularly nice ornaments for her Christmas tree, so that by the time her kids were grown, she’d have the most beautiful tree in the land. I bought a few for her at a local store. But after perhaps ten years, she decided that putting decorations and lights on a tree was just one thing too many - she and her husband owned their own business, and worked long days (and yes, their cat destroyed at least one big heavy ornament that was at the bottom of the tree). Now they do a fairly minimal tree, and but wind lots of lights on. And it looks great! I wonder what happened to the expensive ornaments I bought?? It’s funny about collectibles - I look at those Marie Osmond dolls and feel no interest at all. But of course I’m not the target audience! Omega XL? 5 clinical studies you say? Shut up and take my money!

JB, Mickey had a kangaroo too (seriously), he loved his exotic pets. He was sort of the Tiger King of his day. The Christmas wagon is nice, but you’d need to store it for 11 months of the year. Or I guess it is always Christmas in the JB household? It’s funny how we change over the years, I’m sure that back in the day I would have wanted MANY of the items in the catalog, but now I’m glad that I don’t have to store or display them, or keep them dust free. A tiny carpetbag is perfect for dispensing Tic-Tacs to people with bad breath. “Take one - I’m not kidding. Take two, even!”.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I remember when the Disney Stores carried nicer collector items, like these. The items were in large cases, all on display behind locked glass doors. I even remember the Disney Store snack shops that were attached where you could buy Mickey Mouse and other character-shaped French fries, and more. Though I think the snack shops were only added on to a few stores across the country, for a [very] short while.

Yes, Major, I used to collect dolls, but most of them have been passed on to my nieces. I do still have two on display in our extra room ("office"). One was from the Disneyland Emporium in 1971, and the other is a Marie Osmond it's a small world Hawaiian doll. I do have a couple others that are boxed away, also from Disneyland, from my childhood. Too many memories are attached to those dolls, so I won't be passing those on to anyone, at least not for a while.

I have one glass ornament[of the famous Marshall Field's outside-building-clock in Chicago] and I think it's a Radko, as I bought it from Marshall Field's in Chicago, a while back. My co-worker and I went there on our lunch hour, and while we were checking out the Radko Christmas tree displays (LOADED with Radko ornaments), someone tipped over one of the trees. I have NO idea how....but what an expensive mess it made on the floor. The crashing noise was impressive, too. I don't know if the sales clerk applied the rule: "You break it, you bought it." ...but I'm just glad it wasn't me.

"Lou and Sue" said...

JB, I didn't know that Mickey had a horse, either. I know KS has a horse. One or two of those big ones - big enough to pull Mike's Disneyland horse-drawn streetcar. (I'm assuming Mike has one of those, too.).

Mike, I love reading about your past work experiences with the delightful public. And the purchase limit on Disney items makes me chuckle, as I recall the crystal Disneyland castle that was sold on shopDisney.com, a few years back. If I remember correctly, Disney had a purchase limit of 2, and they were $30,000.00 each.

And, yes, my couple rescued kitties take precedence over a Christmas tree. But I hang ornaments (and strings of white lights) from HUGE tall houseplants we have, and from other lighting fixtures, etc.

Major, I can relate. I don't have a lot of Disney items on display. I only have a few items displayed in two small areas in my house.

Glad everyone's enjoying this catalog. Thanks, Major.


That horse is CLOVIS Clydesdale ( no direct relation to Horace HORSECOLLAR) …. Mickey didn’t own a horse … Clovis ran the livery stable and when a wagon or carriage was rented … Clovis had “draft” duty. Clovis Clydesdale - like many early screen stars didn’t make the transition to talkies and color and disappeared from the spotlight.


I just noticed something about the wagon on the cover of that catalog: it’s missing a draw tongue (for a single horse ) or a wiffle tree ( for 2 horses) you could not pull a wagon by just the driving reins as depicted on that catalog. The people setting up the photo probably were unfamiliar with how a wagon functions and left the necessary rigging in the box. Similar to the Disneyland 55th catalogs that showed the tender to the Mine Train Thru Natures Wonderland facing backwards - making it impossible to access the fuel to make the locomotive run . Or like how the Big Thunder Mine Train locomotives have cylinders ( pistons) but no drivers … making it impossible for the locomotives to ever move ….

That wagon on the catalog is called a CITY HITCH (Rig /wagon) it features a cut under front axel : the forerunner of the modern “5th wheel “ … it allowed freight and delivery wagons to make sharp turns and quick directional maneuvers that a fixed front or spring front axel couldn’t do. However they really only worked well on paved roads and streets … hence the “city hitch” name.

DBenson said...

I remember in the previous century when Disney Stores and the like targeted aging boomer kids with nostalgia-themed collectibles.This was when "Duck Tales" was a big deal: Carl Barks comics come to life, finally! And the ballyhoo surrounding the revived "Wonderful World of Disney" show, back on Sunday nights with a two-hour slot. The Disney catalog offered tie-in merchandise, from ceramic sculptures of Micky and friends before an antique television to that trivia game in the gold film can (have it, but can't persuade anybody to play it). I was stoked about the show, somehow expecting it to recapture the mellow, all's-right-with-the-world feeling of the old show imparted in its prime. It was a Nice Try, but we'd gone from an era where that Sunday night hour was your Disney ration for the week to a world with a 24/7 Disney channel, the Disney Afternoon, and piles of Disney videos in every home.

Anyway, the Disney Stores shifted their aim from aging boomers to children -- a logical long-term strategy. But again, we were now in a world where every store in the mall had extensive Disney merchandise, from kiddie toys to high-end fashion. And it was probably much more effective to sell Disney-themed housewares and the like online. So the Disney Stores went the way of the weekly Disney show, for much the same reasons. It says something that when the Disney Stores closed, the signage carried the text "Now it's time to say goodbye." Who would get the reference except an geezer raised on the Mickey Mouse Club?

I was going to rant about a certain strain of modern Disney Adult. Suffice to say anybody who goes to Disneyland to stand in line for collectible merchandise instead of rides, or makes a scene at McDonald's to get a specific Happy Meal toy, doesn't deserve classic ears.

Chuck said...

Mike, the Calico Mine Train locomotives suffer from the same driverless malady that Big Thunder’s do.

Sue, I don’t think Mike has a horse-drawn streetcar, but I’ll bet he has a bottle of glue made from one of the original ‘55er draft horses.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I really did look forward to visits to the Disney Stores, and never knew about the snack shops. Mickey Mouse shaped fries?? Hey, nothing wrong with collecting dolls, I just had to convince my mom that I did not want dolls myself. Or “action figures”! I would accept an advertising figure, however. Your Marshall Field’s ornament sounds cool, I went there years ago and was dazzled by its old-fashioned elegance. Doesn’t it have the old wooden escalators? Wow, imagine breaking dozens (scores?) of Radko ornaments, yikes.

Lou and Sue, I think Mickey had an ostrich at one time too. Way back in the early 1930s. He had a real menagerie! My friend Mr. X has a crystal castle from Disneyland in a display cabinet. It’s not the largest example I’ve ever seen, but I kind of love that he clearly scrimped and saved for it when he was younger. It means something to him. Rescued kitties are definitely a priority, they give so much!

Mike Cozart, I’m not sure Mickey owned Tanglefoot, but I know that Tanglefoot appeared in comics and at least one short cartoon. And yes, he sure did not own Horace Horsecollar.

Mike Cozart, it’s funny, if I was given an assignment that involved representing a wagon or coach, I would do real research to make the thing at least somewhat accurate. Maybe that’s too much to expect for a piece of Disney Christmas decor. Is it possible that the manufacturer decided that adding that detail was too expensive? I’m imagining the Big Thunder vehicles having drivers, imagine how fast they would have to crank when the coaster was up to speed! Maybe dangerous?

DBenson, I remember coming home from school and watching “Duck Tales”, even though I was supposedly too old for it. By a lot. But it was well written and fun! I also watched the British show “The Avengers”, and “The Fugitive”, so it wasn’t all cartoons. I was very bummed when the Disney Stores turned began to cater strictly to kids, with onesies and princess merch, and toys for six year-olds. On a tangent, remember the Warner Bros. stores? Those were awesome too! I still remember items that I wish I’d purchased, but like many things, I did not imagine that they would go away, especially after such a short run.

Chuck, do the Casey Jr. trains have drivers?? I’ve never thought about it!

Nanook said...

@ DBenson-
All regrettably true - but well-stated nonetheless.

Chuck said...

Major, you pose a good question about Casey Jr. I thought I remembered drivers (I was positive they were there in the movie version) but my memory was fuzzy enough that I checked. It appears Casey Jr originally had connecting rods that went from fake pistons to the rear wheels of the locomotives and side rods coupling the front and rear wheels. The side rods were removed by 1977 and the connecting rods disappeared between Summer 2006 and February 2007. You can still see the holes in the wheels where the rods were once connected. I’m sure they were removed for ease of maintenance (you’ll see that sometimes with Chance Rides C. P. Huntingtons), but I think they look goofy without them.

DBenson said...

Maybe it was in the old "Disney News" (official magazine of the Magic Kingdom Club), but I remember reading an article about a prototype Disney fast food chain. Think it was called Mickey's Kitchen and was meant to locate next to Disney Stores in malls. No animatronics or screens or anything like that -- just themed decor and food.

Yes, remember the Warner Brothers Studio Store. Not only a lot of unique Loony Tunes stuff, but upscale Alfred E. Newman merchandise (Warner owned MAD Magazine). For a while Warner and Disney both offered framed, animated scenes -- press the button and flash plastic figures would perform to a synchronized soundtrack. Did anybody here ever own one? How long did it last? Figure they weren't too robust, since both stores stopped selling them and one doesn't see used models around.

JG said...

Well, I left a long comment to this post yesterday, and it’s vanished.

Thanks Sue and Major!


"Lou and Sue" said...

DBenson, you're right! It was Mickey's Kitchen. I went to the one in Woodfield Mall in Illinois. I googled it and found THIS!. (Thanks DBenson!)

JG, now I'm wondering what your thoughts were. :o(
We'll never know.