How Hobbies Begin

In 1976, the year I was born, my family bought me a ceramic Winne the Pooh. It sat on my dresser next to a music box of Ernie sitting in a bathtub watching his rubber ducky swim in time to the melody (with the help of a moving magnet). Now my parents loved Disney parks, a lot more so than most parents would, and they kept taking us there over and over again. By the time I was 20 I’d been on trips to the parks 15 times, and each year I was given a little money to buy something for myself. Oddly enough, I chose to buy more little figures like Pooh to fill up my dresser. This was before the internet of course, so the only place you could get those little ceramic figures was at the parks. I bought several on every trip, and eventually the collection outgrew my dresser. My parents bought me a thin curio cabinet to keep them in. More trips went by and then the Disney Stores opened, expanding the availability at the same time my allowance went up. The collection outgrew the cabinet and it was replaced with a bigger cabinet. Thirty years after Winnie the Pooh came into my life, I have over 200 of these things. Seeing the cabinet, now stuffed full, always raises a few eyebrows. I can’t really tell you what the point is, why collectors do these things. At least I can say that all of them are now worth more than I paid for them, some of them several times more. Disney stopped making them completely around 1997, so some figures are no slouch to find, even on eBay. I am happy to report that on my last trip to Disney World I found a few new pieces being made again, and I got a Stitch. However, having 200 breakables is all fun and games until you have to wrap them individually with bubble wrap for your move.

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter

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