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Disney Cards

For many people, it feels like Disney cards burst on the scene in the last year. Some of the most explosive growth in the space was not a wildly popular draft pick, it was Mickey Mouse! Kakawow, Lorcana, Weiss Schwarz and Card.Fun are all vying for market shares. Interestly, though, Mickey has been showing his face on cards for nearly 100 years! The first cards featuring Mickey and his friends were in the 1930s. It was 1935 when Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and even Dumbo were playing sports on cards in gum packs. A lot of vintage collectors love T206 baseball cards, but by the 30s in the U.S. the popularity of printing them had all but vanished. However, around the world tobacco cards were still very popular. In 1931 a UK Tobacco company called Wills produced a card featuring not only Mickey but his creator Walt Disney himself. This is widely accepted to be Mickey’s rookie card. It’s far from the most expensive Mickey Mouse card you can buy now though.

Disney partnered with Ravensburger to produce its own TCG game, Lorcana. In January at D23, the biggest Disney fan club expo, Lorcana debuted. A limited number of promotional packs containing 6 cards were given to attendees, as well as a one per person Mickey -The Brave Little Tailor card. A PSA 10 of that Mickey card sold for $4000 and the complete graded pack set in PSA 10 slabs sold for $24,000. These cards were mistakenly called exclusive but will be printed in the Lorcana set that will be officially released August 18th. At the time of those sales consumers didn’t even know how game play would work or how the set would look. What we do know now though is that there will be over 200 cards released in various ways; starter decks, booster packs, gift sets and more. Though the specific cards haven’t all been released, game play appears to be similar to Magic the Gathering. Players will use their 60 card deck and go questing.

With the wild success of Lorcana’s debut several other Disney cards started making an appearance. March 1st a Chinese Card company called Kakawow released its own set of licensed Disney cards, Phantom, in honor of the Disney’s 100th Anniversary. Unlike the Lorcana set, which has whimsical reimagined versions of Disney Characters, the Phantom cards use original Disney art to showcase the characters. Though they were only allowed to sell them in China due to Upper Deck’s Disney contract, many of the cases made their way out of mainland China. By March 15th they were completely sold out and could only be purchased on the second hand market. The Phantom cards have a very similar look to Panini Prizm. They come in a base and holo along with several numbered and not numbered parallels. Though there was never an official print run released, Phantom has a 180 card base set, holos, Black 1/1, Gold /10, Eternal Force /20, Retro Poster /99, 36 character autograph cards /100, Wonder /125, Platinum /225, Fireworks /100, Zodiac /666, along with three unnumbered parallels; World Stamp, Classic Reunion, and die cut cards. With only 4000 cases printed the demand for these cards went through the roof. The announcement of grading companies accepting these cards sent hobby box prices soaring on ebay to well over $600.

The Disney frenzy didn’t end there though! In April, Weiss Schwarz released another set of TCG Disney cards. This wasn’t Weiss Schwarz first dip into the Disney waters however. They had released a set of Pixar cards in October of 2022 that saw fairly decent success. When they released the Disney set, retail was sold out in minutes. Don’t worry though, you can still find them on the second hand market but the markup is ,at minimum, 150% currently. Like the Kakawow cards these will not have an English release due to licensing issues with Upper Deck. Unlike Kakawow there are no numbered cards in this set; instead you need to understand the print runs of these cards. These cards are broken out in eleven rankings: Original Rare (OR), this would be the Steamboat Willie that has been selling for $4000 plus raw, Super Special (SSP) which is a case hit, Super Special (SP) are only 2 per case, One Hundred Rare (HND), Super Rare (SR), Double Rare (RR), Rare (R), Uncommon (U), Common (C), Climax Rare (CR), Climax Common (CC). The last card you will find in your box is a promo box topper which is one per box and has only twelve different characters. One thing that sets this product apart from the others is that you will be able to find some Marvel and Star Wars Characters inside.

The latest and most cutesie set of Disney cards to hit the market also added some Star Wars characters to sweeten the set. Straying away from both the more traditional style of Disney artwork and the anime style of the TCG sets; Cardfun opted for more campy and adorable artwork. Another international set that will not have an English run, these cards and the boxes they come in seem to be striving for collectability with only 2000 cases being released. There are several character boxes to choose from and the base set is entirely rainbow. No chrome here, these cards are foil. They also chose to do both short print and serial numbered cards. The serial numbered cards are the black and gold 1/1 cards that come for each of the base 100 characters, gold cards /100 and Art Cards /100. Short Prints include beautifully hand drawn Lenticular cards, Instant Photo Cards, Double Sided Lattice Cards, and white or purple Orchestra cards. These remain the most affordable new set on the market at the moment as you can still scoop them up for under $100.

Many hobby enthusiasts claim that these Disney prices won’t last and that this is all hype. They may be right. If you are looking for a nice affordable set of licensed Disney cards to purchase, there are plenty of Upper Deck cards available. Though, perhaps card collectors aren’t appreciating the passion of Disney collectors. Disney cards as TCG is also an entirely different ball of wax in comparison to sports cards and even other TCG cards. The nostalgia of bringing your favorite childhood Disney character questing with you may be more valuable than people imagine. Will Lorcana’s use of adventure keep their value high? Will Kakawow and Card Fun’s low print runs and serial numbers hold value? Only time will tell!


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