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February 3

February 3, 1930 – Disney Signs First Merchandising Contract

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“…figures and toys of various materials, embodying design of comic Mice[sic] known as Minnie and Mickey Mouse, appearing in copyrighted motion pictures.”

On February 3, 1930, Roy Disney signed The Walt Disney Company’s first merchandising contract of what was to become a multi-million dollar merchandising empire. The contract was with the George Borgfeldt Company of New York, giving them the right to create figurines and toys of Mickey and Minnie Mouse; the first license that the Borgfeldt Company made was with a Swiss firm that created handkerchiefs with the characters’ likenesses. The returns on the products were not great for Disney, as they only received a 2.5% royalty on items that were 50cents or less (about $8.00 today), and 5% royalty on more expensive items.

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