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Experiences Make the Best Collections: Collectors’ Corner

focused toddler running on middle of footpath a new experience

According to the research Mary Holm presents in her book “Rich Enough?” (affiliate link) experiences contribute more to people’s happiness than things. While there is an initial spike in happiness with a new thing, it quickly wears off as the thing is incorporated into life and loses its luster. When a new edition of the thing comes out, people become dissatisfied and unhappy with the edition they have. (Think iPhones or shoes where new editions are released every year just to keep sales up for the companies behind those products.) Experiences, on the other hand, allow one to savor the moment while being in it and then to relive those moments for future happiness.

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Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald Figure Collection

Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection

On one of the streets parallel to the main street in Valletta, there was a Panini shop. Panini is the name of an Italian sticker company (not to be confused with the sandwich). When I was growing up, they did sticker albums and collectible stickers for the Disney Company. I decided I wanted to see what was in this shop that could sustain an entire business, and it was all the Panini stickers, mostly focused on soccer, you could ever want. Then I saw the Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection with stickers. I bought a couple to see what they were like and decided I needed the entire collection.

The Packs

Each pack contained one figure and five stickers. There are 24 figures in the collection and 228 stickers. Since the store didn’t have any sticker packs by themselves, I decided that I probably wasn’t going to get the entire collection. The figures were more interesting to me anyway.

Buying the Collection

Every week I set aside a certain amount of money to go get a couple of packs. I don’t remember what that figure was, but I’m sure it was somewhere around four or five. As I got closer to completing the set, I may have purchased more or fewer depending on where I was and what I believed the supply at the store to be. This collection was from 2003, I doubted I would run across it randomly anywhere else in the world. It was an only-in-Malta kind of thing.

Almost Heartbreak

One week I went in and bought the rest of the box. I thought that was it. When I opened the packages inside the box, I didn’t have a complete set. I looked on the Internet for the pieces I was missing, and they wanted more money than I was willing to pay. (Plus, it doesn’t have the excitement of surprise or the bonus stickers.) I went back to the store and didn’t see what I wanted. I decided to ask. The person behind the counter brought out another box. When it came to the end, the last character I needed to complete my Panini 2003 Mickey and Donald figure collection was Mickey Mouse.

Collecting is one way to capture those things that inspire you and drive your imagination. For more ways to improve your imagination and creativity, subscribe to this blog, join our Patreon, and get my books: “Disneyland Is Creativity,” “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” and “Penguinate! Positive Creativity.”

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Stickers from Dodo Pizza as a Collection

Stickers from Dodo Pizza

Some collections just happen because you like a product and they offer a prize or something a little extra with it. Kids love McDonald’s and the Happy Meal toy is the bonus. (To be fair, many adults also enjoy McDonald’s even though they know it’s not the healthiest food, and I loved when they had Disney tie-ins, like the Christmas 101 Dalmatians [affiliate link] in the late 1990s.)  Cereals often have their own collectibles. In Russia, Dodo Pizza, which can also be found in Mississippi and Tennessee of all places, offers a hospitality packet with each pizza ordered. Inside the packet are a couple of napkins, one or two toothpicks, and a sticker. It’s great for people who collect toothpicks… and stickers from Dodo Pizza.

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An Incomplete Collection: Collectors’ Corner

An incomplete collection of Justice League Kinder Egg toys

There are several reasons why you may an incomplete collection. For many collectors, the thrill of the hunt is more engaging than the simple acquisition. Baseball cards and their ilk, McDonald’s Toys, Lego Mini-Figs and Kinder Eggs are among those who use the “chaser” mentality to sell more of their products (though McDonald’s has provided other options for completing sets). When you buy a pack, you have no idea what’s inside. These Justice League Spinners from Kinder Egg are one of the collections I wasn’t able to complete.

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My Eraser Collection: Collectors’ Corner

A portion of my eraser collection

I started an eraser collection in junior high because they gave us certificates worth cash at the student-run store. They had so many different kinds of erasers: dinosaurs, robots, spaceships… I’ll have to dig them out of my stuff when I get back to Oregon to truly see what was available. I’d get a certificate, go to the store and get an eraser or two. We got to choose, so there was no reason to get doubles. I stopped doing much with my eraser collection when we moved away from California. Oregon’s middle school didn’t have a store where I could get free items – at least, I don’t remember it having one, maybe I wasn’t good enough to get free certificates.

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Winnie the Pooh Figures: Collectors Corner

Winnie the Pooh figures

My wife loves Winnie the Pooh. The characters are gentle, kind, and imperfect. The stories are wonderful to read and remind the reader that he or she can live in a world of love and friends if the reader makes that choice. The Hundred Acre Wood is a safe place to imagine, create, and enjoy the company of your best friends, who are all accepted in spite of their foibles and quirks – even Rabbit finally accepts Tigger and Tigger’s bouncing and pouncing after Rabbit discovers what happens when Tiggers aren’t allowed to bounce. Russia has its own version of Winnie Pooh, so collecting the figures has an interesting international side to it.

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Pirate Plushie Penguins for 2017’s D23 Expo

pirate plushie penguin Ragetti

In honor of Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction turning 50, the Disney Expo 2017 held a contest for Pirates-related art. I convinced Jenya that we should try to win the prize using penguins in the “Take a Wench for a Bride” scene. I knew Disney was going to change the scene, sooner rather than later, but they hadn’t made an announcement. Jenya looked at some other scenes, but thought these outfits made for the funniest penguins. Because of the timing of the contest, Jenya had to make the pirate plushie penguins before the results about moving forward were in. We weren’t chosen, but we had all the penguins.

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Disney Lego MiniFigs Series 1: Collectors’ Corner

Disney Lego Minifigs Series 1

(This article contains affiliate links. If you click on a link that goes to Amazon and purchase a product, you support our writing effort without having to pay more for the items you order. Thank you.) If you couldn’t tell by my numerous Disney blog posts or the books I’ve written about Disney (“Disneyland Is Creativity,” “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” “Penguinate! The Disney Company”), I’m a Disney fan. Maybe a little less well-known is I love Legos. They’re great for inspiring creativity, especially the basic sets that allow you to build what you imagine rather than following a set of plans and instructions. So, when I saw the Disney Lego Minifigs series 1, I looked at my budget and knew I had to have them.

Disney Lego Minifigs Series 1 Characters

Lego decided to start its series with three of the Big Five represented. Mickey, Minnie and Donald or among the 18 figures. They added Daisy to the group assumedly for symmetry in the release. In fact, only Maleficent and fan-favorite Stitch are without a partner of some sort. Buzz Lightyear has a Little Green Man, Aladdin has the Genie, and classic Alice has the Cheshire Cat. Grown-up Syndrome is ready to battle with the young Mr. Incredible, which I guess timeline-wise doesn’t really work. Peter Pan can take on his nemesis Captain Hook, and Ariel can sing for Ursula.

Appeal of Disney Lego Minifigs

Aside from the fact that they are Lego and Disney, the minifigs have an additional appeal of the blind draw. Not knowing what’s inside increases the anticipation. With each packet you open, you narrow down the one’s you want to get. Soon, you’re wondering if you’re going to get your 10th Syndrome, or if it will be one of the other three characters you need to complete the question. At the end, you hoping to get either the character you need to complete the collection or another of the best characters in it. When that final character is revealed… YOU WIN! It’s exciting and wonderful and fun. Some people would prefer to know what they’re getting, but others enjoy the thrill of the chase.

The Best Disney Lego Minifig

The blind draw gives the Little Green Man the advantage as the best Disney Lego Minifig in Series 1 because you can get a thousand Little Green Men and never have too many. It’s the only character where repetition doesn’t hurt, and in fact, it might help. Little Green Men always seem to travel in groups, except when they are selected by the claw. Some of the other characters seem to be available in other Lego sets if you can afford them. That makes Mickey Mouse a little less exciting though he appears to be in different outfits. The Cheshire Cat is cool, but I’m going to have to give the nod to the Little Green Man.

Collecting and Creativity

Why is collecting a part of our creativity? Ideas come from combining two or more things that haven’t been previously combined. Collecting allows us to have visual and tactile stimulation to improve connections. Oftentimes, people who collect items, don’t focus on just one thing or category. They tend to collect multiple categories of items over time. Perhaps, the most famous example of this is Ray Bradbury’s office at the beginning of Ray Bradbury Theater. He characterizes it as a place where he’ll never starve for ideas. Join us on Patreon for more creativity (and penguins)!

Did you collect and complete your Disney Lego Minifigs Series 1? What are you collecting now? Let us know in the comments.

Can you solve the Disney Lego Minifig Series 1 mashup?
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Disney’s Olaf the Snowman: Collectors’ Corner

Olaf the Snowman Collectibles

(This article contains affiliate links. When you purchase something from an affiliate link, you support our website without incurring additional costs. Thank you.) When “Frozen” came out in 2013, I was hooked. It became my favorite movie of all time, possibly only matched by the original “Mary Poppins.” It was a fresh story about the love between sisters that turned Disney’s normal true love stories on its head. Like many children, I could be caught singing “Let It Go.” When I made it to Disneyland in the summer after “Frozen’s” release, I stood in line to meet the Anna and Elsa. However, it was the connection with Olaf the Snowman that really permeated my life and led to memorable friendships and interactions.

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Kinder Egg Toys and Their Joys: Collectors’ Corner

Patch Penguin and Kinder Egg Avengers Toys

Kinder Eggs have been around since 1974, but because of an archaic law Congress passed in 1938 regarding inedible substances inside edible substances, Americans have largely missed out on Kinder Egg Toys and their joys. I didn’t learn about Kinder Eggs until a trip to Vienna in 1991, where I instantly fell in love with and acquired dozens of them. Once I knew what I was looking for, there were places in the U.S. they could be found, but these places were selling them illegally and intermittently. Now, with Kinder Joy, American children can experience the joy of the toys. However, the chocolate part and the experience of cracking the egg open are missing.

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