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Disneyland Fan Amassed A Collection Over 25 Years. Now It's For Sale


All right. We have a lighter story for you now. Most people who visit Disneyland bring home, like, souvenir Mickey Mouse ears. A man named Richard Kraft brought home some of the actual rides. Now, he has a warehouse full of stuff, and he wants to sell all of it. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has the story.


MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: It's a world of laughter, a world of tears at a former sporting goods store in Sherman Oaks. Here's where we find Richard Kraft's vast collection - vintage posters, a Matterhorn bobsled, more than 800 keepsakes he amassed over 25 years. The Hollywood agent admits he was obsessed.

RICHARD KRAFT: I'm like a heroin addict. I don't remember which alley I bought the heroin in. I just remember the experience. And so I am trying to remember where most of this came from, and it's a big blur.

DEL BARCO: Kraft can recall how he scored his favorite - Dumbo. When one of the 700-pound elephant ride vehicles went up for auction, he took his life savings - $10,000 - and competed with an anonymous bidder on the phone.

KRAFT: There was a rumor I was bidding against Michael Jackson.

DEL BARCO: Kraft made the winning offer - $35,000.

KRAFT: Now, the problem is while I'm feeling ecstatic, I'm also in a complete and utter panic because I do not have the money to pay for it.

DEL BARCO: So he put Dumbo on his credit card.

KRAFT: Then, it arrives, and I can't get Dumbo through the front door. His ear span is 8 feet. So I sold my house to find a house with double doors.

DEL BARCO: Kraft and his son Nicholas kept everything at their suburban LA home, which they dubbed the happiest place in Encino.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room, in the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.

DEL BARCO: Jose, the animatronic bird from the enchanted Tiki Room, sang from Nicholas' bedroom. The 48-foot-long sea serpent from the Submarine Voyage ride lounged by the swimming pool. And Nicholas says Dumbo ended up suspended from the living room ceiling.

NICHOLAS: It really was the furniture in our home. You could sit and watch a movie the Mr. Toad car. I remember sitting in the Astro jet. It used to be in my room. We'd have parties at the house. We always enjoyed just sharing it with people.

DEL BARCO: But once Nicholas grew up and left home, Richard Kraft says he had empty nest syndrome.

KRAFT: An empty nest with a Dumbo in it. It was borderline pathetic walking around by myself in this home filled with all the memories of collecting with my son, so I put everything in storage.

DEL BARCO: It would have stayed there. Then four years ago, Kraft found himself a father again. His daughter Daisy was born with a rare genetic disorder.

KRAFT: And so I thought if I auctioned this off, I could give a portion of the proceeds to charities that help special need kids like my daughter.


DEL BARCO: Before the auction, thousands of fans are visiting the free pop-up exhibition, waiting for hours in the hot sun to get in, just like at Disneyland.

MANDY RAMIREZ: Yeah, pretty much (laughter) but well worth it. It's amazing.

DEL BARCO: Visitor Mandy Ramirez came for the memories, so did 8-year-old Lily Rio and Naya Bowers, who's 7.

Can you guys imagine having Dumbo in your living room?


DEL BARCO: Dumbo is expected to fetch as much as $150,000. Someone online has already bid $175,000 for a Peter Pan Flight vehicle. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.

FULTON BURLEY: (As Michael) I sing so beautiful. I should sing solo.

WALLEY BOAG: (As Jose) Si, so low we can't hear you.

ERNIE NEWTON: (As Pierre) My voice may not be so marvelous, but my profile is out of this world. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.