Bernie Shine is one of the biggest private collectors of classic American animation memoribilia. You can see a small part of Bernie’s Disney collection on the DVD Mickey Mouse In Black and White Volume 2 (Disc one, on the bonus segment Mickey Mania: Collecting Mickey Merchandise).
In addition to his cartoon collection, Bernie has a fascination with novelty products from the early-mid 20th century. He’s collected thousands of unique items from dusty warehouses, closed factories and old stores, in mint condition and never used. For years he’s been selling off some of his excess items on his website.
He’s just opened a cool new retail store at the Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles. It’s located along the Third Avenue side, next door to Pinkberry. It’s an absolute must-visit destination for any cartoon buff or pop culture historian. One of the unique items I picked up on my first visit there last night was this ornate Popeye coaster (above, click it for a larger look) for $3. (He’s got dozens of them!)
If you are in L.A. or planning a visit, do check out the new Shine Gallery at the Farmer’s Market. It’ll be well worth your time, and Bernie himself is frequently there at the shop to answer questions. In addition to Shine’s complete line of authentic novelties, the store (and his website) has incredible one of a kind merchandise for sale (check out this Flip The Frog figurine).