Tucked away in an old 40,000 square foot Sports Authority in Sherman Oaks, Richard Kraft has brought out his massive Disney collection to share with everyone. Not only can you see his entire collection, but there are children activities on the weekend. As well as special events such as “A Whole New World with Alan Menken” and the meeting of Broadway Princesses that you can attend. The exhibit has been going on since August 1st and is set to close finally on August 24th. While the exhibit is free for everyone, everything inside the exhibit is set to sell in a two-day auction held by Van Eaton Galleries. This particular gallery is no stranger in selling rare Disney memorabilia for this will be their fifth auction. The auction is set to start on the 25th and end on the 26th.
Richard Kraft started collecting Disney Memorabilia for the past twenty-five years. It was all about nostalgia for him. When his brother passed away in 1993, Disneyland reminded him of all those good times he had with his brother. His first memorabilia purchase was a 1965 Autopia poster promoting the ride in Tomorrowland. From that point on he has collected toys, conceptual art for attractions, park maps, cars, signage, postcards, matchbooks, ride props, trash cans, parking signs, cars, and park signs. He’s even managed to collect 15 ride vehicles and the large D from the Disneyland Hotel when it was refurbished. The other smaller D happens to be own by Disney collector John Stamos who Kraft has always said, “I made it very clear to John that my ‘D’ is bigger than his ‘D.” Kraft owns the original organ from the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and the 38 foot Davy Crockett Explorer Canoe that once got families around Treasure Island. His favorite piece in the collection happens to be the Haunted Mansion Portraits that were once hanging in the ride. Those are expected to fetch $75k each at auction. The most expensive piece in his collection happens to be the flying Dumbo that once was hanging from his ceiling in his home. He originally was only going to pay $10k for the ride but ended up getting in a bidding war and paying $35K. The Dumbo ride weighs close to 800lbs and is starting at $100K at auction.
Kraft’s old Encino Home was rumored to be a place of wonder. He had a lot of his collection on display throughout it. The Wild Toad Ride vehicle was seating in his home library. It’s A Small World dolls danced over the front door as you entered. The giant 48 foot animatronic Sea Serpent from the original Submarine Voyage hung out alongside his pool. His son Nicholas, 28, had his entire room decorated as the Tiki Room complete with his own Jose as a child. No one knew that Jose even talked until he was cleaned up for the auction. Nicolas stated, “Now all I can think of is what a different childhood I would have had if every morning, José had woken me up.” When Kraft sold from his Encino home, his entire collection ended up in over half a dozen storage units. This year he realized it was time for the collection to go and enlisted the help of his son to create this amazing feat.
Kraft is no stranger to the spotlight. He’s a famous talent agent for film and Broadway Stars. It’s no wonder why he has people like Richard Sherman and Alan Menken coming in to make special appearances. He is also the agent to composer genius Danny Elfman. Since Dad has been busy with events like Celebrity Musical Versions of Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid at the Hollywood Bowl, Nicholas was mostly in charge of putting this event together. He took to social media like Instagram and started @ThatsFromDisneyland. It currently has over 25 thousand followers. At the end of the day, both are sad to see the memories go. Kraft says, “If I keep one piece, I’ll keep more. It all has to go.” But no one thinks he will be sad when he sees the final total of the auction. Disney Fans around the world are watching this auction like hawks. Portions of this auction will go The Coffin-Siris Foundation and CHIME Institute. The Coffin-Siris Foundation holds a special place in his heart because his 4-year-old daughter suffers from the disease.
If you are in the Southern California area, you should definitely go to check out this exhibit. It’s well worth the trip. You can get more information about That’s From Disney and buy tickets for their special events by checking out their website. If you are interested in the auctions they can be found by clicking here!