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Why this Canadian man at Disney’s D23 Expo has 10,000 pieces of Mickey Mouse memorabilia

By in Press Enterprise on July 14, 2017

By Joseph Pimentel

Growing up in foster and group homes in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Paul Bottos’ only respite was a weekly viewing of Mickey Mouse animated cartoons.

“I don’t have many good memories as a child, but those movies were an escape,” Bottos said at the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, July 14.

So when he got out of the foster care system a decade later, got married and found some stability, he began collecting Disney memorabilia–specifically Mickey Mouse.

For the past 32 years, Bottos, 54, has collected every kind of Mickey keepsake. About 10,000, he estimates. He has a Mickey Mouse comic strip from 1929, Mickey Mouse ceramic pieces from the 1930s, and everything from plushes to pins to decks of cards. He estimates he has spent more than $50,000-$60,000.

“But it’s worth more that,” said Bottos, a program coordinator for a Children’s Mental Health facility in Canada.

The pieces decorate a basement in his three bedroom townhouse. Cabinets, ceilings and walls and floors are full of Mickey items.

  • Paul Bottos at D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim on Friday, July 14, 2017. Bottos, of Hamilton, Ontario, estimates that he has 10,000 pieces of Mickey Mouse memorabilia. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Paul Bottos at D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim on Friday, July 14, 2017. Bottos, of Hamilton, Ontario, estimates that he has 10,000 pieces of Mickey Mouse memorabilia. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Paul Bottos at D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim on Friday, July 14, 2017. Bottos, of Hamilton, Ontario, estimates that he has 10,000 pieces of Mickey Mouse memorabilia. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

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