Man Makes Millions Selling Disney Collection, Proves Gift Shop Merch Is Worth It
*Dusts off old sticker collection*
A U.S. man has made AUD$11 million selling his 25-year-old Disney collection, proving once and for all that that random magnet you bought from Questacon at year six camp is probably worth saving.
Richard Craft spent the last quarter of a century collecting over one thousand Disneyland artifacts, which were auctioned off over the weekend following a one-month public exhibit of the memorabilia.
"I gotta send it back out into the world,' Kraft told CBS on deciding to sell the impressive collection.
"I keep hearing the voice of the great poet Elsa, saying, "Let it go, let it go" ... and I'm just following directions."
Kraft also explained that his love for Disneyland came from childhood nostalgia and a special family connection to the "happiest place on earth."
"I had an older brother with Crohn's disease, so we had to wait for a day that he was feeling well, so a trip to Disneyland was like the best day of the year, it was Disneyland and my brother being healthy," Kraft told CBS.
The two-day special auction event broke several records according to auctioneers Van Eaton Galleries, with Jose, an animatronic bird from the Tiki Room selling for US$425,000 and a a Skyway gondola original vehicle from the 1950s, going under the hammer for US$621,000.
But it was a 362 kilogram original Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride car, which for many years hung in Kraft's own living room, that defied all bidding expectation, flying off at a cool AUD$650,000 -- four times over its pre-bid estimate.
'Everybody on planet earth has been in this Dumbo," Kraft said.
"His ears are eight feet long (2.4 metres) and would not get through our front door so we did the logical thing, we bought a different house and moved to one with French doors."
More than 10,000 people visited the "That's From Disneyland" exhibit in it's first week. Set up in an old Californian sporting good store, the exhibit became a tourist attraction in itself, with one Disney-loving couple even reportedly tying the knot inside the venue.
Kraft, whose four-year-old daughter suffers from Coffin-Siris Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder -- said he will donate a portion of his profit to two organisations benefiting children with special needs.