Mickey Mouse may not star in as many animated films as he used to, but the popularity of Walt Disney’s star character has endured for almost a century, and a Dallas auction house sold a Mickey Mouse poster from 1928 for a grand total of $101,575 on Thursday.
Reuters reported the poster is likely the first and only poster of the iconic character sold before 1930, when Columbia began distributing Disney’s animations on a large scale. The director of the movie-poster auctions at Heritage Auctions, Grey Smith, said the poster was “an important piece of pop-culture treasure.”
The Mickey Mouse poster also gives fans a peek into the past by advertising a “sound cartoon” starring the “World’s Funniest Cartoon Character.”
Mickey made his first film appearance in 1928’s “Steamboat Willie,” replacing another character named Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. BBC News reported that a cartoon film starring Oswald, titled “Hungry Hobos,” sold for $25,000 last year.
The family of a deceased collector sold the Mickey Mouse poster, and while the name of its buyer was not released, George Lucas would be as good a guess as any. The “Star Wars” creator recently sold his Lucasfilm empire to the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) for $4 billion, encompassing 40 million shares in Disney, according to USA Today.
Now Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will join Mickey Mouse and hundreds of other Disney characters that children around the world grow up with.
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see ‘Star Wars’ passed from one generation to the next,” Lucas said after the Lucasfilm deal was made public. “It’s now time for me to pass 'Star Wars' on to a new generation of filmmakers.”
It’s easy to picture, in about a hundred years from now, an early piece of memorabilia from the “Star Wars” films selling in a similar fashion to the Mickey Mouse poster.