Sunday, August 17, 2008

Disneyana in Australia

The MCP Company,or Modern Ceramic Products,operated a factory in the working-class inner western suburb of Sydney called Marrickville from 1946 until 1957.

Marrickville,and the inner west,were then a hub of commercial activity and a destination for many post-war migrants who settled there on arrival in Australia.Many were employed in the factories,bringing European know-how to the ceramics industry there.Marrickville was home to MCP,the Diana Pottery company,and Studio Anna.Nearby in Belmore just a few train stops away Pates Pottery was located.

Nowadays these suburbs have undergone typical inner-city gentrification and you will not find a great deal of locally made products.All of the ceramics factories are long gone.

I do not know how MCP came to acquire a licence to produce Disney collectibles.What is clear is that they must have purchased molds that had already changed hands a couple of times in the USA.

The range of figurines made by Disney had already been produced by American Pottery,Metlox,and the Evan K.Shaw factories.The figurines were never backstamped as was the common practice of the day.Instead,they carried a simple silver sticker identifying the character name and the company name.

MCP however seem to have either made an unproduced series from existing molds, or made their own.There are quite a few of the range made exclusively for the Australian market.They were not exported,therefore highly sought after by collectors in the USA and elsewhere today.

The stickers washed off or fell off over the years which means alot of the time the figurines turn up unidentified.This can mean you may find them listed on ebay incorrectly and you may just nab a bargain.I have picked up several MCP figurines on ebay and in antique stores for less than $10 and later sold for hundreds more.

Happy Hunting!

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