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Disneyland Pressed Penny Machine
Dies, Marquees, and Canceled Coins

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Based on our "Indiana Jones" or is it a "Disneyana Jones" adventure :-) over the past twenty-plus years or so... We've found that Disney elongated coin dies and marquees / penny press machine signs were subjected to a variety of fates. As far as we can tell, the number of dies and machine signs disposed of in one way or another is hard to estimate. No comprehensive records have been shared with us, if they exist or existed. However, based on our interviews, observations, and decades long searches, here are our wildly incoherent opinions and (non-actionable) speculations. :-)

Most retired Disneyland coin dies were likely canceled on-site by Disney or otherwise destroyed.
We have welcomed both anony-mouse visitor reports and direct reports by trusted sources to ParkPennies.com or ParkPennies Staff, stating that many dies, once retired, were appropriately canceled by Disney in a manner like the Jack Steiner or Mulan dies. These dies can never be used again to press additional, original coins. We applaud Disneyland Management for following the long time tradition of canceling dies. (An unnamed amusement park in Fl°o°rida, that is conspicuously absent from our guides, thought it a good idea to resurrect their original four play penny press machine after it had been retired for a decade or more. We heard from upset collectors. I hope the folks in Florida also heard from them. Sorry, I digress. :-) Anyhow... based on reports from multiple sources, Disneyland elongated coin die cancellation is commonly accomplished by placing a small Disney image in the field of the coin die's engraved image. For example, the Mulan set has a Tinker Bell image, other dies are known to have a Mickey image and / or the word "Retired" acid etched within the die's original design area. If these reports made primarily over the years from 2004 to 2011 are correct, the majority of all retired Disneyland penny press dies ever onstage have been canceled in this way. That said, as of 2011, only a small number of these canceled dies or coins rolled from canceled dies are known to have been released to the public e.g. Mulan. Once canceled, some coin dies and / or canceled coins are known to have been given to Cast Members, others were said to have been archived or eventually destroyed.

Some Disneyland penny press machines, marquees, and dies were auctioned or sold by Disney. Although many machines, cabinets and mechanisms have been "recycled", that is, rebuilt, remodeled and updated for reuse, as advanced collectors are well aware, Disney has auctioned, gifted, and sold some neat penny machines, dies, and marquees over the years. Sometimes as event souvenirs like the Villains dies or as Disneyana collectibles like the Mulan dies. Marquees like the Villains machine marquees have been sold over the years via Disney Auctionears etc. We have also been told by trusted sources that in the last century, early to mid 1990's, the old Disneyland warehouse north of Ball Road in Anaheim may have auctioned / sold off pallets of used arcade equipment before the warehouse location was closed. Additionally, repeated recollections by more than one person close to transactions over the years stated that (sometimes blind) pallets which included old penny press machines and / or related parts (dies, cases, marquees) which were sold / auctioned from space used for storage at the then recently acquired Disney Global Van Lines building on the south side of Ball Road (now the site of Team Disney, Anaheim).
Similar recollections are common place at meetings of the Antique Coin Machine Collectors Association, ACMCA. (ACMCA Member's collections include slot machines, trade simulators, arcade games, vending, entertainment, and novelty machines that are often very rare and sometimes valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each.) Collaborative comments by multiple trusted ACMCA meeting attendees described past sales of arcade machines by Disneyland. One representative discussion attended by unquestionably knowledgeable people described the sale / purchase of a particularly large group of ~100 Disneyland arcade machines of various types. Two people familiar with the sales said Disney's motivation was to liquidate older, less profitable, or obsolete machines and most importantly to clear valuable storage space. Accordingly, this particular group of retired arcade machines was offered at a very low price per machine. However, the buyer was required to purchase and remove all machines in the group. The principal buyer found a partner and split this particular purchase ~20/80. The principal partner kept only the smaller fraction of the machines, but, the best of the lot. The other partner kept the larger balance of the lot. Sadly, many of the less desirable machines were ultimately exposed to weather, abandoned, and / or discarded. The loss of these machines was seen as unfortunate at the time by some. However, given the value and rarity of these irreplaceable often historic Disneyland arcade machines today, it seems more than tragic to most. Fortunately, the better machines of this group were saved. On occasion they have been reported to ParkPennies.com and traded or sold over the years. Other machines found permanent homes with private collectors across the country, only to be seen by close friends. Occasionally, reports of Disneyland penny press machine finds have been shared with ParkPennies. Most notable verified reports were in around 2002, when the DL0001 and DL0002 Centek penny press machines, less their marquees and possibly some other parts, were reported to have been auctioned earlier at the Disney Ball Road warehouse. In 2007, a complete Florida machine with dies was reported as found by a collector. And again in 2014, a complete 1990's Disneyland penny press machine with dies was reported purchased from a thrift shop in Idaho by a very happy family of avid Disneyland enthusiasts. Others have reported that in late 2011, Disneyland Property Control / Cast Connections (The small area then behind the gates inside The Company D Cast Member Store on Cerittos in Anaheim, which is accessible by Cast Member's only, not their guests.) offered several penny press machine cases, some including buttons and / or marquees for sale by bid. Over the years many of these Disney elongated coin items have scattered across the country. Some items eventually found a home with with a lucky Disneyana collector. Other items may still await rediscovery. If you have purchased elongated coin related items via these outlets or others, we would appreciate the addition of your recollections / pictures etc. to this archive.

Several penny press machine dies and marquees were given as awards or gifts to Disneyland Cast Members.
Some special event penny press machine dies and or marquees were awarded to Cast Members. Reportedly, the Pirates of the Caribbean Rehab, Ron Dominguez, Bill Hogarth, and Jack Steiner elongated coin dies were respectively awarded. (As examples please see our Jack Steiner retirement gifts page.) Other more common dies and marquees, once obsolete, were reportedly given away as gifts, paper weights or souvenirs to interested Cast Members in lieu of discarding the very cool mementos. A report made late in 2014 stated that "a few used penny press dies" were offered for sale at a Garden Grove Disneyana Show in the summer of 2014, possibly from the estate of a Disneyland Cast Member. Needless to say, dies and penny press machine marquee signs given as gifts or awards are often difficult to track down or confirm because little is known of what, when, where, or who. If you have one, please send a picture to share the history with fellow collectors.

Some Disneyland penny press dies were exchanged / modified.
Recollections by trusted sources have asserted that some production and / or prototype dies may have been returned to the die manufacturer for replacement / disposal. Sometimes these dies returned to stage after modification as a new penny press die image. One example of many: The DL0021 Donald Duck elongated coin which had " © DISNEY" added to it and became the "new die" DL0061.

Some Disneyland penny press dies failed in service.
Park visitors have reported to us that some dies have failed in their presence, often from cracks or other use-related damage. One Splash Mountain die was claimed to have broken into several pieces, some of which followed the path intended for the pressed coin into the hands of a lucky park guest(!)

Lastly, some Disneyland penny press dies and marquees may have been just plain old lost!
This is something I understand more and more as I get older. :-)

As time passes, we hope retiring Cast Members as well as advanced collectors and other people in the industry will continue to share their knowledge with fellow collectors via this forum. As coin dies and marquees are discovered / reported we are slowly divining the fate of "lost" items. Eventually, confirmed dispositions of Disney penny press machine dies will be added to the ParkPennies.com coin guides as an enhancement to the existing "Current" and "Retired" notations. New guide notations will include "Canceled" for coin dies that have proven to be no longer capable of pressing an original or unaltered coin again, "Assigned" for sold, auctioned, gifted or awarded coin dies that can still press original coins, and "Lost" for dies that still have an uncertain status. Last but not least, in time, we hope to add proof of canceled dies by adding images of coins that were pressed by canceled dies to this Disneyland pressed penny dies and canceled coins guide.

Please contact ParkPennies by email or anony-mousely if you have an addition, correction or comment to share as this information has been shared with you.

Happy Collecting,
Boomer

CDL Die and Canceled Coin Guide

Cancellation proof coin sold by Disneyland via Disney AuctionEars, Mulan set.

This Canceled Elongated Coin and Die Guide currently covers only a small number of elongated coins / dies. However, chances are that it will grow. Advanced collectors will tell us that elongated coins are collected based on the die that pressed them, so canceled coins and dies are the focus here. These are not just retired or taken off-stage coin dies. These "pressed penny" dies have not only been taken off-stage, they have been modified, engraved or even mutilated in such a way as to prevent the possibility of pressing of any additional "original" coins. Some coin dies have had etched devices added to the original engravings to forever change the appearance of coins pressed by the dies. In some cases, backstamps that read "retired" were added to memorialize "proof" canceled coins as per the example to the left of this digressive prose. :-) After cancellation, the long time custom of "Rollers" or elongated coin makers, has been to press some coins on the canceled die to "prove" its cancellation, then sometimes modify the die in such a way that it can no longer roll any coins. We currently believe that to be the practice at Disneyland given the milling of the Mulan coin dies and the welding / plating of the Jack Steiner die.

Avid collectors know that thousands of elongated coin dies have been made for / by the various Disney Resorts and then taken offstage over the past twenty-plus years. A good number of Disneyana collectors have also had an interest in what happened to these dies. And we all know Disneyland elongated coin collectors who have hoped "retired" Disney dies would be canceled for years. Then around 2005, we started seeing evidence that the dies were really being "permanently retired" via cancellation. This is great news for collectors who have made an extra effort to press elongated coins at the park and collectors that have acquired "retired" coins from other collectors at a premium price. Of course, canceled dies / coins rolled by canceled dies are the best evidence that the dies can no longer press original coins or return to the Disneyland stage.

Canceled Mulan Penny Press Machine Dies
Images courtesy of the Lou S. Collection


Mulan canceled penny press die
Top view of the canceled penny press die shows
added "RETIRED" and Tinker Bell images
Mulan canceled die, bottom view
Bottom view of the canceled penny press die shows
machined groove cut almost through the die
Mulan canceled penny press die end view
End view of the canceled penny press die shows
curvature of the die and the machined groove

 

CDL Canceled Disneyland ® Elongated Coins (Scarce)
Canceled die coin numbers are prefixed by a "C" e.g. CDL0121 for easy identification.
MULAN in ceremonial dress pressed coin
CDL0121 (Vertical image) MULAN in ceremonial dress, full length, standing, full face, © DISNEY DISNEYLAND ® .This die was canceled and then sold by Disney in 2005. The three dies in this set were each canceled by a Tinker Bell image which was etched in the field of each die. A "RETIRED" backstamp was also used by Disney when they pressed these canceled coins. (See also CDL0121-123 type 2 coins.) First on-stage late July 1998 in The Main Street Penny Arcade, button "A". This die was canceled and sold by Disney Auctions in 5/05. 1   2   3
KHAN, full body, side pose, walking, facing left, © DISNEY pressed coin
CDL0122 (Horizontal image) KHAN, full body, side pose, walking, facing left, © DISNEY, "e" for Eurolink Design Corporation replaces the dot nearest the center of the gripper slot, DISNEYLAND ® .This die was canceled and then sold by Disney in 2005.
The three dies in this set were each canceled by a Tinker Bell image which was etched in the field of each die. A "RETIRED" backstamp was also used by Disney when they pressed these canceled coins. (See also CDL0121-123 type 2 coins.)Same notes as for DL0121, button "B". This die was canceled and sold by Disney Auctions in 5/05. 1   2   3
MUSHU, full length, holding gong in right hand pressed coin
CDL0123 (Vertical image) MUSHU, full length, holding gong in right hand, striker in left, © DISNEY DISNEYLAND ® . This die was canceled and then sold by Disney in 2005.
The three dies in this set were each canceled by a Tinker Bell image which was etched in the field of each die. A "RETIRED" backstamp was also used by Disney when they pressed these canceled coins. (See also CDL0121-123 type 2 coins.)Same notes as for DL0121, button "C". This die was canceled and sold by Disney Auctions in 5/05. 1   2   3
Larger pressed penny image. Select FRAMES in the top right corner or CTRL click to open in a new tab. Default is a pop-up window!
CDL0121-123 REVERSE (Horizontal image) RETIRED. This stamp featured on the DL0121, DL0122 and DL0123 Mulan set pressed penny set. This Mulan set is the first set of canceled dies or canceled coins offered by Disney. 188 sets were pressed for sale by Disney Auctionears. About six sets were known sold via these auctions as of mid 2005 at the time the three canceled dies were also auctioned. (See also CDL0121-123 type 2 coins.) Image courtesy of the Lou Smith Collection. This is a representative image of this style reverse or backstamp. However, each coin type in this set may have a slightly different reverse image as each coin type has a separate and slightly unique backstamp engraving. 1   2   3
Disneyland pressed penny picture. Click to Zoom.
CDL0121 T2 (Vertical image) MULAN in ceremonial dress, full length, standing, full face, © DISNEY DISNEYLAND ® .This die was canceled and then sold by Disney in 2005. The three dies in this set were each canceled by a Tinker Bell image which was etched in the field of each die. A "RETIRED" backstamp was also used by Disney when they pressed these canceled coins. The Mulan dies were then etched with the word "Retired" over the gripper and sold by Disney Auctionears. The new owner pressed ten cents, nickels and dimes with this added mark. None have backstamps. A vertical coin ridge on the CDL0122 type 2 coins is evidence of a crack. First on-stage late July 1998 in The Main Street Penny Arcade, button "A". This die was canceled and sold by Disney Auctions in 5/05. 1   2   3
Disneyland pressed penny picture. Click to Zoom.
CDL0122 T2 (Horizontal image) KHAN, full body, side pose, walking, facing left, © DISNEY, "e" for Eurolink Design Corporation replaces the dot nearest the center of the gripper slot, DISNEYLAND ® .This die was canceled and then sold by Disney in 2005. The three dies in this set were each canceled by a Tinker Bell image which was etched in the field of each die. A "RETIRED" backstamp was also used by Disney when they pressed these canceled coins. The Mulan dies were then etched with the word "Retired" over the gripper and sold by Disney Auctionears. The new owner pressed ten cents, nickels and dimes with this added mark. None have backstamps. A vertical coin ridge on the CDL0122 type 2 coins is evidence of a crack. Same notes as for DL0121, button "B". This die was canceled and sold by Disney Auctions in 5/05. 1   2   3
Disneyland pressed penny picture. Click to Zoom.
CDL0123 T2 (Vertical image) MUSHU, full length, holding gong in right hand, striker in left, © DISNEY DISNEYLAND ® . This die was canceled and then sold by Disney in 2005. The three dies in this set were each canceled by a Tinker Bell image which was etched in the field of each die. A "RETIRED" backstamp was also used by Disney when they pressed these canceled coins. The Mulan dies were then etched with the word "Retired" over the gripper and sold by Disney Auctionears. The new owner pressed ten cents, nickels and dimes with this added mark. None have backstamps. A vertical coin ridge on the CDL0122 type 2 coins is evidence of a crack. 1   2   3
Larger pressed penny image. Select FRAMES in the top right corner or CTRL click to open in a new tab. Default is a pop-up window!
This is a close up of the Tinker Bell stamp used to cancel the DL0121, DL0122 and DL0123 Mulan pressed penny set. For clarification we have added an outline of a similar Tinker Bell image to the left of the canceling mark. (The name "Tinkerbell" is not used by Disney.)
This is a representative image of the Tinker Bell canceling mark used on this set of coins. However, each coin type in this set may have a slightly different canceling mark as each coin type has a separate and slightly unique engraving or etching. (See also CDL0121-123 type 2 coins.)
Larger pressed penny image. Select FRAMES in the top right corner or CTRL click to open in a new tab. Default is a pop-up window!
This is a close up of the small bit of "RETIRED" as seen on a "standard" roll coin. It was added to the DL0121, DL0122 and DL0123 Mulan pressed penny set after the first coins were pressed. This mark and a blank back are the defining differences between the first and second Mulan canceled coin types. Click on the image to see a large close up of this coin showing both the "RETIRED" and Tinker Bell etchings used to cancel this die set.
Larger pressed penny image. Select FRAMES in the top right corner or CTRL click to open in a new tab. Default is a pop-up window!
Here is a close up of the "RETIRED" on specially rolled planchets to show the full etching. It was added to the DL0121, DL0122 and DL0123 Mulan pressed penny set after the first coins were pressed. This mark and a blank back are the defining differences between the first and second Mulan canceled coin types. Click on the image to see a large close up of this coin showing both the "RETIRED" and Tinker Bell etchings used to cancel this die set.
Images courtesy of the C. Neal Collection.