Disney 750-item collection up for charity auction

Reuters
Collector Richard Kraft is selling off his 750-item collection of theme park vehicles, props and artifacts spanning six decades of Disneyland history.
Reuters
AFP

Richard Kraft, a Hollywood agent, began his collection 25 years ago, spurred by nostalgia for his visits with his late brother to Disneyland in southern California.

For years, Dumbo the Flying Elephant hung from his living room ceiling, a Mr Toad Wild Ride car was parked in his library and Bashful’s cart from SnowWhite’s Scary Adventures sat on his front lawn in suburban California. Now collector Richard Kraft is selling off his 750-item collection of theme park vehicles, props and artifacts spanning six decades of Disneyland history.

Kraft, a Hollywood agent, began his collection 25 years ago, spurred by nostalgia for his visits with his late brother to Disneyland in southern California.

Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles said the result was an extraordinary array of Disneyland memorabilia. “Through Richard’s passion for the park and his love for his brother and family, he has amassed a collection that is unequaled,” co-founder Mike Van Eaton said.

Hundreds of the items are being displayed for a month at a free public exhibition called “That’s From Disneyland” in suburban Los Angeles ahead of the auction on August 25 and 26.

“Real artisans made this and I love putting it in an exhibit setting so it could be admired differently. You never actually see this stuff up close and personal the way you would see it in this exhibit,” Kraft said.

“We had Dumbo hanging in the living room of our house — 360 kilograms of elephant hanging over people’s heads,” Kraft said.

The Dumbo the Flying Elephant vehicle is expected to be among the top sellers with an estimate of US$100,000 to US$150,000, while a Peter Pan’s pirate ship vehicle is seen fetching US$75,000 to US$100,000.

Other artifacts include a Disneyland ticket booth, an animatronic singing bird from the Enchanted Tiki Room, as well as original drawings, concept sketches and posters from the 63-year-old theme park.

Kraft intends to donate a portion of the proceeds to two organizations benefiting children who, like his 4-year-old daughter Daisy, suffer from the rare genetic disorder Coffin-Siris Syndrome, and other special needs.

“She’s in a special school program that is so underfunded. This collection I’ve had for all these years can be put to good use in helping kids and people with disabilities,” he said.

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