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Looking back at the "Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations" auction

Looking back at the "Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations" auction

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So, perhaps you had an extra 20 or 30 thousand dollars burning a hole in your bank account. Let's say that you were in the New York area this past September. Let's also say, for arguments sake, that you had the room in your home for a six foot tall, seven hundred pound statue of Mickey Mouse. What could you have done?

Well, it seems that at least 79 different people met that criteria as all 79 lots of the Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations Statue Tour Auction sold on September 27th at Sotheby's in New York City. The auction raised a total of $737,400 for a total of 50 different charities and causes.

For those that don't remember, The Walt Disney Company, in celebration of Mickey's 75th birthday, contacted many different celebrities, executives, musicians, athletes and artists to design special statues of everyone's favorite mouse. The statues appeared at The Magic Kingdom and Disneyland as part of a 700,000-mile tour of the United States. Hopefully some of you were lucky enough to catch them in your area or at one of the two parks. I was able to see a handful at the New York City World of Disney and I'm glad I got that chance before they were sold.

I was unable to attend the actual auction at Sotheby's and had to settle for the official auction book.

The book came with an official InspEARations pin, with Mickey dressed up in his Lenox outfit.

Once the auction was over, because I had registered and received the book, I was able to log on to Sothebys.com and find out the results. Some of the statues went for some pretty big bucks. Some were a veritable bargain. Well...an expensive bargain, but all things considered, not such a bad deal.

Coming in at first place was Sir Elton John's Mickey entitled Music Royalty, to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Mickey, wearing a pair of Elton's trademark glasses was quite a big ticket at $62,400.

After Sir Elton, what I thought was a pleasantly surprising second place, given some of the star power on the roster, was Disney Legend Al Konetzni's Back to School, Al spent 30 years designing all sorts of Disney character merchandising. His most famous being the Disney School Bus lunch box, the biggest selling lunch box in history. Al's Mickey, seen here holding his famous lunch box went for a whopping $54,000, benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

A respectable third place went to someone from Disney Publishing Worldwide. Senior Storybook Artist, Lori Tyminski's Funny Pages is covered with images of vintage Mickey Mouse comic strips. The Make-A-Wish Foundation benefited $34,800 from Lori's creation.

Make-A-Wish was a winner yet again, as was someone else inside the Disney organization. Veteran character artist Tuck Morgan's Mickey Through the Years was the fourth place seller. Tuck's artistic touch has been felt all across the Disney spectrum, from the interior and exteriors of the first Disney Store, to the Walt Disney Classics Collection, to concepts for Disneyland's Toontown. We've all seen and appreciated the work of Mr. Morgan. Someone obviously was impressed enough to shell out $25,200 for Tuck's creation featuring a split of Steamboat Willie and the current incarnation of Mickey.

It was back to the world of celebrity for the fifth biggest seller. World Figure Skating Champion and two-time Olympic medalist, Michelle Kwan designed Peace and Love. This simple statue of Mickey, holding a tie-dyed peace symbol, made an impressive $24,000 for the Children's Miracle Network.

Dave Koz, world-renowned musician designed this golden sax wielding Mickey Mouse. Saxophonic Mickey brought $21,400 to the Starlight Children's Foundation.

Just breaking the $20,000 mark was one of my favorites, Family Tree, designed by All Star MVP and Florida Marlin left fielder Jeff Conine. I know nothing about baseball, but Jeff must know a lot about Disney. This Mickey, designed to look like a tree, features many of our favorite character's names carved into him. It's great to see The Fox and the Hound's Todd and Copper and The Sword and the Stone's Merlin etched alongside Goofy, Pluto, Pooh and the rest of the "bigger" Disney names. It fetched $20,400 for the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation.

I suppose we can't all be lucky enough to have 20 thousand plus laying around for a cool one of a kind collectible like these Mickey's. I guess choosing between a new car, or a year of college for the kids and a 6 1/2 foot tall mouse statue isn't something many of us will ever have the luxury of considering. However, there were several Mickey's that went in the 3 to 4 thousand dollars range. Granted, my wife certainly would've divorced me if I pulled up with one of these in a U-Haul, but I can live vicariously through the winning bidders, can't I?

Put your annual Walt Disney World trip on hold for a few years so you could bring home a Mickey of your very own? Maxed out that Disney Visa card and put the mouse in the living room next to the sofa? Well, it's too late now, but it's good to see that some statues went for a slightly more reasonable price. Perhaps the average Disney fanatic left that day with a once in a lifetime piece of Disneyana. The website results don't post the winning bidders, so we may never know.

Next time, I'll show you some of the more "affordable" choices from the Celebrate Mickey: 75 InspEARations auction.

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