The standard Mickey Mouse tee is perhaps one of the most overproduced T-shirts out there. I recently went to Disneyland several months ago and there was absolutely no shortage of Mickey tees wandering around the park.
So, if everybody has a Mickey tee, what makes the two tees above so damn special?
Well, the black one on the left is from the 80s. I know this because it’s a Stedman brand, 50/50 poly/cotton tee.
It’s not super rare, but it is somewhat hard to find and is in awesome condition so I have it priced reasonably at 39.99.
Now, the one on the right is quite special.
Before I tell you why, understand that in the history of people collecting things, no one has ever wanted a reproduction. The most sought after items are the originals.
First edition Harry Potter books can sell for thousands of dollars.
The first issue of Superman sold for over $3 million dollars.
And an original Led Zeppelin T-shirt from 1979 sold for $10,000.
The gray Mickey tee on the right is not only an original tee from the 70s but it is also a “Tri-Blend” tee meaning that it was made with three materials: Cotton, polyester and Rayon.
Coupled with the fact it is thin, threadbare and in impeccable shape for being approximately 40 years old (almost vintage for a human being) warrants this Mickey tee to be thrust into the upper echelons of vintage Mickey tees. Which is why it is priced so much higher than the black tee on the left.
It may not be “The First” Mickey tee ever made (undoubtedly not) but it certainly is old and has survived several decades without becoming a dust rag. It is “original”, it is “vintage” and it is “expensive”. It will “sit in my store for a long time” (Update 12/15/16: this incredible Mickey tee has now been sold) because many people probably won’t want to spend “$300 on a T-shirt” but I’m willing to wait because I guaren-damn-tee you there ain’t many of these out there right now.
It’s an investment.