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Disney Big Figures: Where They Began, Where They Are Now and Where Are They Going?

Disney Big Figures: Where They Began, Where They Are Now and Where Are They Going?

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One of the older and now increasingly popular lines of Disney collectibles is the Big Figures or Big Figs (as they have become known by their fans). If you recall the original d├ęcor of the Disney Stores, oversized figures were a prominent and popular decoration. Each store had a different display featuring characters in scenes recreating many of the Disney classics.

Recreations of Disney characters have been popular with consumers for many years. A quick glance through the Tomart Disneyana guides offers a wide variety of characters in all kinds of media from china to PVC plastic. In small scale, it's been possible to enjoy your favorite at home. Larger sizes were usually limited to plush characters.

I began collecting Disney Big Figs a number of years ago when I came across the first three of them -- Mickey in his Air Plane, Scrooge McDuck and Donald on the Sea. Originally, these were produced overseas (in the Philippines) in very small production run. The materials used were a combination of paper Mache and resin. They were not available in the states but as with many other Disney Collectibles, someone brought one home, and then shared it with other collectors. Thus began the retail market for these large-scale recreations of our favorite characters.

Mickey Mouse
Donald Duck
Scrooge McDuck

The first three...

Disney then began making them in the states out of resin with bases that displayed the character names. The first series produced were the Classic Fab Five with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Pluto in 1989. They sold out quickly at $125 each at the Disney Stores and in the theme parks. Now they are highly sought after in the secondary market.

Classic Mickey
Classic Donald
Classic Pluto
Classic Goofy

Production date on these pieces was 1989.

Somewhat surprisingly to folks in marketing, these where a BIG hit with collectors. For a true fan and collector, what could be a greater thrill than creating your own display of the Disney characters? Before the Big Figs hit the market, guests often asked Disney Store cast members where they could get ones like those in the store displays. I have decorated my home with the Big Fig characters from my favorite movies.

They have done quite a few since then. I am now up to 65 (so far!) with a few more I would love to own. Some of the rare ones are Two-Gun Mickey, Dumbo, Daisy, Dopey, Scrooge McDuck, and Pinocchio. The Classic Pooh characters of Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet were sold exclusively at the Disney Stores. They have now become quite prized with collectors and I have seen some of them go for upwards of $2,000.00.

Pinocchio
Dumbo
Scrooge Mc duck
Tink Thimble

There are many to choose from with exclusives from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Catalog and Disney Auctions. As with all collectibles they produce many of them in open editions. Disney Auctions tends to produce smaller editions that you can bid on. The Holidays always seem to bring special themed characters. The desire and demand for attaining these large characters from your favorite movies is growing.

The popularity of these reproductions of our favorite characters led to a special event in 2003 for Mickey's 75 th birthday. Disney created 75 Mickey's with each one 18 inches tall; one of a kind themed from a movie or a theme park memory and each was dressed in hand crafted clothing. There were displayed in the windows of Anaheim's World of Disney store for 75 days to be auctioned off on November 18, 2003. Some of the themes included Steamboat Willie, the Mad Hatter (from "Alice in Wonderland"), the Band Leader (from "The Band Concert"), The Sorcerer's Apprentice (from "Fantasia"), Pie-eyed, and Rock Star Mickey (which sold for $3,750).

There were almost 1,000 people present for the auction. It was an event to behold that shows the following of the Big Figs. a surprise announced at the end was a special Mickey number 76 with a stunning design of Silver Tuxedo Mickey. I wish I could have been there; although I don't think my pocket book was up to it! And now as I write this, there are another series of Mickey's traveling back to Disneyland for the 50 th anniversary that are 5ft tall -- all designed by different artists and celebrities -- that will also be auctioned off at the end of their display period.

I am currently compiling a list of all of the Big Figs that have been produced (including the dates and where they were produced). I hope to have it finished soon and will have it to share with you. Just to name some of the collections that this includes are the Mickey's, Princesses, Villains, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tinkerbelle and the Disney Cruise Line Exclusives (with Captain Mickey and Shipmates Mickey and Minnie). Added special features now include lighting, animation and sound. Below are some pictures of the different characters for you to enjoy. They sell from $125.00 to $195.00 depending on the piece size, the sound or lights and the locations producing them.

Princess Minnie
Liberty Minnie
Canine Caddy
Cruella
Halloween Pooh
Maleficent
Shipmates
Steamboat

The future of the Big Fig seems to be another part of the magic that has captured the hearts of the Disney collectors. Some of the new releases coming soon include such favorites as Cinderella (She is 2 feet tall and plays "Once Upon a Dream"!), Lady and The Tramp, Ursula, Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose's Cottage, The Tike Room, another Scrooge McDuck, The Evil Queen (from "Snow White"), Pluto, and Maleficent on her throne, Stitch and Nemo. The Big Figs are being produced from four different sources. They each seem to each have their own style as you can see in the examples below.

Starting off appropriately, there is Disneyland. They seem to be producing pieces themed towards scene from movies like Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. Examples include the White Rabbit, Big Ben Peter Pan Pirate Ship, Briar Roses cottage, and now park attractions like the Tiki Room.

Mickey 75 th
Alice Wonderland
Big Ben clock
Sleeping Beauty

Then Disney Catalog is producing the characters we all know and seems to lean towards holiday, anniversary, and special occasions they all come with Certificates Of Authenticity.

NBC Jack Xmas
Cheshire Cat
Pooh
Uncle Sam Mickey

Next we have Walt Disney World producing a lot of the favorites in large scenes from the movies that play music and two-piece scenes like Beauty and the Beast or Lady and the Tramp.

Beauty & Beast
Figment
Cinderella & Ariel
Maleficent

Last but not least, we have Disney Auctions who produces them only for purchase by bid and in very limited editions. They always place the prototype up for auction first and the split the edition size in two for bidding on. They are not numbered individually but come stamped on the bottom with Disney Auctions and the edition size that was produced.

Fire Brigade
Grumpy
Stitch
Tink Keyhole
Jiminy cricket
NBC Sally

So whether you have a favorite character you need for your collection or you are a die-hard fan like me that loves them all, there is truly magic for you to bring home in these replicas of characters from our favorite Disney animated movies or theme park experiences. They will find a place in your heart and Big as they are. The fact they are so sought after has led them to develop more products with many different designs, movement, light and special detail or themes.

I have a feeling we will be seeing some great items ahead in this collectible market. Keep watching for the full list including all of the previous and current releases with the new figures to come. It's a promise you'll see it here soon!

Cindy Russell is the owner of " Where The Magic Begins", a full-service Disney collectibles store in Livermore, California. Feel from to drop her a note with any questions you might have about this or any other Disney collectible. Who knows? It might end up the subject of a future JHM column.

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  • I have the Grumpy on the barrel and the Tink on the spool of thread.  The vacuum cleaner recently fell and knocked off Grumpy's foot.  My husband mended it very well but it is still not 100% like it used to be.  What do you think it might be worth now?  Only 500 of them were made.

  • I have a Lady and the Tramp big fig I am willing to sell.  Any one interested?

  • I have a Dopey, Dumbo holding a flag, and Pongo with 3 puppies..wanting to sell but can not find any online to get an idea of what they are going for..any ideas or suggestions

  • I have a steamboat willie I would like sell it

  • Hi I have about 10 different ones they are

    !.scooge McDuck

    2,lady and the tramp

    3.mickey mouse nephew blowing a horn

    4donald duck 70 annv.

    5.1001 dalmation

    6,mickey mouse dress going to disneyland

    mimmie mouse same as above

    8. dumbo same as above

    9. ursula

    They are all big figures would be able to tell me what they of value..

    my email is         troise828@optonline.net

    thank you

  • Have you ever seen a Ursala big figure?

  • I have a set of The Three Little Pigs. I have been trying to find them on line but can't find them anywhere.  

    Do you know when they were made and what they might be worth?  They have never been displayed and are on their original box.

  • We have a large Malnificent Dragon figurine that was one of only 450 issued in 2006. Does anyone know value of this item and where we could get one.

  • Pingback from  Rare Chip and Dale Big Fig Statue 31" Tall

  • I like this one > disney.wikia.com/.../File:Tinkerbell-old-man-statue.jpg a lot!

  • Tracy and melissa can you contact me please  sarahgreen613@gmail.com

  • I have Donald and Uncle Scrooge.Bought them both at Disney World back in 1992.Made of some type of plaster,both very heavey.they are 18 inches tall.

  • I'm looking for a big fig of Lady and the Tramp...anyone willing to sell theirs?  email me at barbara.mcquirns@yahoo.com

  • I have a pre 1989 Uncle Scrooge big fig.  Wondering what it's worth.

  • This is really so easy to have the hack for paypal online from this generator and you can get cash directly into your account.

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