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Published June 23, 2023 Updated June 23, 2023

Celebrate Mickey

‘Celebrate Mickey’ commemorative playing cards: 75 years of fun, USA, 2003.

2003 USA Disney Walt Disney Cartoon Commemorative Add to Collection

Although Mickey Mouse had appeared in the silent cartoon Plane Crazy in May 1928, his official “date-of-birth” is considered to be six months later, in November 1928, when he made his full public debut in the black-and-white film short Steamboat Willie – directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, and widely considered to be the first cartoon with synchronized sound, as well as one of the first cartoons to feature a fully post-produced soundtrack.

In November 2003 Mickey celebrated his 75th anniversary. Several gift items were commissioned to celebrate the occasion including this fun pack of playing cards with 13 images of the famous mouse from years past repeated through each suit, together with two identical jokers. With Mickey appearing centre-stage on the cards, the pips are necessarily arranged in non-standard positions.

Celebrate Mickey playing cards: 75 years of fun, USA, 2003 Celebrate Mickey playing cards: 75 years of fun, USA, 2003

Above: ‘Celebrate Mickey’ playing cards: 75 years of fun, USA, 2003

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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