Disney’s paper stock certificates with images of Walt Disney surrounded by Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, Donald Duck, Bambi, Winnie The Pooh, Pinocchio, and Tinker Bell on them, have long been collector’s items, and a fixture in many children’s bedrooms. They remain a popular gift among parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts who want to teach kids about the stock market.
But The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it will stop issuing the paper stock certificates to shareholders on October 16th. It’s sad news for collectors who covet everything Disney. But it’s not shocking to those that watch the stock market. US companies have been switching to electronic stocks from paper for years in order to cut costs. Bank of America Corp. stopped offering paper stocks in August to cut costs. There are few child-friendly paper stocks left that parents can still buy. Paper stock of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., the animation studio, has a drawing of Shrek.
GiveAShare sells the stock in a black frame for $146. A Disney share on the New York Stock Exchange was worth nearly $64 on Wednesday. A spokesperson for Disney announced instead of the stock certificate, they are offering shareholders certificates of acquisition. But, they’ll hold no value. After Disney stock vanishes, they are expected to become collectibles.
The certificates have stamps and engravings on them to prevent fraud, and the paper is thicker. That can get expensive. Fixing a typo or transferring ownership of the stock also adds to costs. When the Pixar animation studio was bought by Disney in 2006, collectors rushed to buy Pixar’s printed stock certificate. It had drawings of its famous characters on it, including Woody and Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story franchise of movies. Scripophily.com is selling a Pixar stock certificate for nearly $600. (Pixar shares were trading near $60 before Disney bought it.) The certificate has gotten more valuable because it has the signature of Pixar’s CEO at the time, Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011.
By this time next week, Disney’s stock on paper will become, shall we say, Grim Grinning Ghosts! And, so it goes.
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