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  • Writer's pictureRichard

Bid for a bit of Disney heritage

Back in May this year one of the largest collections of Disney park memorabilia ever assembled went on the Heritage Auctions auction block bringing in over $2 million, but which “Disneyland: The Auction” items earned the highest bids?

The Rummell collection (named after former Disneyland PA announcer Scott Rummell and his wife) attracted nearly 3,000 bidders and included a rare Disney park car – the first of its kind ever brought to auction – and a Skyway gondola that traveled above both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. This was a fantastic auction, which featured one of the finest collections of Disneyland items that included rides, posters, and signs from the theme parks,” said Heritage Auctions Animation Art Director Jim Lentz. “Disneyland is a place that represents so many fond memories for so many people, and the Rummells’ collection allowed a lot of people to add some of those memories to their personal collections.”

Which “Disneyland: The Auction” earned the highest bids?

Topping the list is a complete park-used Autopia car with original body, chassis, and tires, which brought in $180,000, more than tripling its pre-auction estimate of $50,000+. The cherry red car, which Rummell called “the first car I ever drove,” is believed to be the only Autopia vehicle ever to come to auction with all original components. Also reaching more than three times its pre-auction estimate of $50,000+ – and considered one of the rarest Disney attraction vehicles – is a bright red park-used original Skyway gondola, which sold for $160,000. This gondola is even more unique because the lights are fully functional.

A third ride vehicle that also sold for more than its $50,000+ pre-auction estimate is a park-used original Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride vehicle from Walt Disney World that sold for $87,000. Last but certainly not least is the park-used original Rocket Jets vehicle which sold for $55,200. This particular vehicle was also one of Rummell’s favorite items in the sale because of fond memories of his children (and later his granddaughter) sitting in it. Two additional items we highlighted in our preview were the original Club 33 sign that sold for $108,000 (more than 21 times its pre-auction estimate of $5,000+) and the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train Engine #3 bell (rung by Walt Disney himself) that sold for the “bargain price” of $21,600.

Before “Disneyland: The Auction,” Lentz noted that the Rummell collection featured 33 highly-collectible attraction posters, including a rare Tomorrowland PeopleMover Superspeed Tunnel original park-used silk-screen attraction poster, which sold for $31,200 – considerably higher than its pre-auction estimate of $5,000+. Other top-selling posters were an original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction poster, which sold for $19,000; an original Main Street Cinema park-used Mickey Mouse poster that sold for $15,600; an original Fantasyland Dumbo the Flying Elephant poster that sold for $13,200; and an original Santa Fe Railroad Grand Canyon Diorama poster that sold for $12,600. The auction also included nine large-scale display statues – known as “Big Figs” – and the top earner was a life-sized park-exclusive Mickey Mouse that sold for $21,600. This first-edition 37-inch-tall Mickey (one of just 500 made) is so rare that it’s considered “almost impossible” to find among collectors (and explains it’s high price tag).

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