Back in 2001 Leonard Maltin approached Dick Cook at the Disney studio with an idea to reach back into the studio archives and release old Disney material on DVD.
The plan went forward and the end result was a series of extremely limited edition DVD releases sold under the name Disney Treasures. There have been nine ‘waves’ of Treasures releases over the past nine years totaling 30 SKUs in all.
A lot of the material in the Treasures series had never been released to the home video market before so this was a pretty big deal for fans of Disney history. These aren’t feature films either – they’re full of things like restored Disney shorts, wartime propaganda films, Mickey Mouse Club content, and made-for-TV clips about space travel in the 1950s. It’s aimed squarely at the adult collector – not their children.
The scarcity of the discs has really helped them keep their value on the resale market, and if you had the time or patience to track them all down it would cost you at least $800. Some of the edition sizes on the releases have been as small as 30,000, so if you didn’t pick them up within the first few days then getting fleeced on eBay was your best bet.
I’ve never had much of an interest in anything that Disney does outside of their theme park operations, so I only have one Treasures set – the Disneyland set from the first wave.
D23 members can now pre-order a 54-disc re-release of the Treasures series for $500. This set is even more limited – just 3,000 copies are being made. As large and expensive as it may be, it oddly doesn’t include three of the previous releases – “Elfego Baca and The Swamp Fox,” and the first and second seasons of Zorro.
It’s still an excellent value, and I have no doubt that flipping it on eBay will be an easy and lucrative proposition. So I ordered it. I don’t intend to hang on to the discs for very long, if you know what I’m saying…