So today's lesson is on the evolution of the classic Mickey Mouse nametag. It was first introduced to cast members at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in may 1978, and was used up until around 2000 or so. It became the default nametag when no particular special promotion or anniversary was being celebrated at the park. Over the years, the nametag evolved through several versions. First was this :
This was the version from 1978, up until about 1989 or so, when a different rendering of Mickey Mouse was used, and the font was changed:
The font gained a more elegant double line. Just to be even more Disneygeeky, compare to the Walt Disney World versions of the Mickey nametag:
The WDW tag is slighly smaller in size, and uses what is "affectionately" know as the Traditions font. This oval version at WDW was used from 1978 to about 1987, when the single bubble version was introduced. But back on track now. You might have noticed that on the Disneyland versions, Mickey has shifted his pose slightly. So let's put them under the microscope for a closer look:
and version 2:
And the later version of Mickey from Walt Disney World (the 1978-1987 tags at WDW also used the same version 1 of Mickey):
Notice the subtle changes to Mickey's ears, the distance of his left hand from his nose, and the position of his tail. This second revision is also used on nametags at the Disney Studios. And note the red border is much farther in from the edge on the Disneyland version, than it is on the Walt Disney World version. Another easy way to identify the age of these nametags is to simply turn them over to the red backside, and see if anything has been stamped into the back. If you see "© Walt Disney Prouctions", your nametag dates to before 1986, as that was the year that Michael Eisner changed the name of the company. Hence, nametags made in 1987 or later will say "© The Walt Disney Company", as that was the new name of the company. So if someone comes up to you in an alley one dark and stormy night, and says, "Do you know anything about the old Mickey nametags used at Disneyland?", you can answer yes, you do. And knowing is half the battle.