I am often asked to help value a Winnie the Pooh collectible somebody finds, is given or is ready to part with. I am always honored that someone "Googled" me, reached out and values my opinion. I guess I have purchased enough Pooh memorabilia that people think I should have a guess.
These days, especially with eBay, Craigslist and CartoonFreakBoutique.com auction website, the value of something is really based on whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Some items like art and coins have an official appraised value. But, many collectibles are subject to how much a collector wants the item and how much they are willing to pay. I guess it is the same way with most discretionary items – Starbucks customers are willing to pay $4.50 for a cup of coffee, sports fans are willing to pay $200 for a ticket to a game and golfers will pay $100 for a round of golf. FAR BE IT FROM ME to EVER comment on what anyone spends on something they enjoy. Life is too short not to have fun.
With that said, I am delighted to have just found a Pre-Disney Vintage Stephen Slesinger Agnes Brush Heffalump for under $80 and an Owl for under $35. The Heffalump is in immaculate condition. Owl has a rip in his beak but otherwise is in nice condition. Before Disney bought the license rights which included merchandising right in 1962, Winnie the Pooh was marketed by Stephen Slesinger. One of the 1940s artists of the plush stuffed animals was Agnes Brush. I have to be honest, in my opinion, Agnes didn't quite capture the cutest of the E.H. Shepard characters – they are really pretty ugly. And, since merchandising in the 40s was not as prolific as it is today, the stuffies are difficult to find – especially in half way decent condition.
Spending more time searching for Pooh memorabilia than I should admit, I have seen both character priced at and sell for over $100 each – the Heffalump I have seen go for $250.
So having secured an Owl and a Heffalump, they will join Pooh, several Piglets, Eeyore and Kanga from Agnes Brush. Once I find Tigger, Roo and Rabbit, my collection within a collection will be complete.