The following is copied by permission from December 1988, DownEast Magazine, Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.
Disney’s favorite mouse shares
by Andy Vietze
People have a common response when they leave Fawcett's Antique Toy Museum in Waldoboro. "I hear all the time, 'This place is so great I've got to come back and bring my kids,"' proprietor John Fawcett says. "And I always say, 'Sure, bring your kids, but also bring your parents. This is a toy museum for adults."'
That's the beauty of the collection the former art professor has packed into his rambling white Colonial three miles north of Moody's on Route 1. From Depression-era Mickey Mouses to paper soldiers made during the second world war, from rare Green Hornet images to Star Wars action figures, the objects in Fawcett's museum have a charm that spans the generations. If you played with it as a kid, it's very likely displayed somewhere in the seven-room museum.
The place is a riot of color — every surface is covered. Disneyana is a hallmark — to be expected from a curator and artist whose own work is in the book, The Art of Mickey Mouse — and classic old Mickeys and Donalds, Minnies and Goofys are everywhere in their earliest incarnations. There's the first Mickey Mouse watch and art deco Mickey Mouse banks. There are early Donald Duck statues, when he had a longer bill, and original movie cells from the Disney classic Fantasia. Another of Fawcett's favorites is the Lone Ranger, and the museum boasts the world's most definitive collection of memorabilia associated with the Western icon, including the original gun used on the Lone Ranger radio show.
But that's just the beginning. Peanuts, Looney Tunes, Mortimer Snerd, Flash Gordon, Superman, Buck Rogers, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Popeye, Pogo, Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Barbie, Star Trek - they're all represented. There are decoder rings from fifties cereal boxes, original comic strip art, and the first Frisbees, which were baking tins from Frisbie's bakery in New Haven before they were made of plastic and renamed Frisbee flying discs.
Suffice it to say that the place is a hoot, especially during the holiday season when toys are on everyone's mind. At the entrance to the museum is a shop full of "fun antiques and collectibles," where you can buy your own vintage Snoopys and antique King Kongs.
A toy museum of this sort seems somewhat unlikely for Waldoboro, but Fawcett, 58, says it's actually a very good fit. A fan of Maine "since Moody's cabins were $3 a night," he notes that he's found eight or nine major pieces here in the past two years. "The best thing about Maine is that there are a lot of old houses where people haven't moved a lot and they've saved all kinds of stuff." Which means there will always be something new and interesting for the museum.
Admission is $3 for kids over fourteen and $1.50 for kids under, and the museum is open on weekends during the holiday season. To make sure, call ahead at 207-832-7398.
Antique Toy Museum,
Famous Fine Art & Antique Shop
Box 1156, 3506 Atlantic Highway [Route 1]
Waldoboro, ME 04572 USA
Phone: 207 832-7398 from 7 am to 8:30 pm Eastern Time.