[LOS ANGELES] Disney has announced it is no longer printing and selling its beloved currency, the Disney dollar, sparking a buying frenzy among collectors.
The distinctive bills, each featuring iconic characters and signed by treasurer Scrooge McDuck, have been a legitimate form of money within the Disney universe since they were first put into circulation almost 30 years ago.
Mickey Mouse was featured on the dollar bill while Goofy was on the US$5 and Minnie Mouse was on the US$10. The cash also featured many other cartoon favourites, including Cinderella, Dumbo and Sleeping Beauty.
No one from the company was immediately available for comment, but a message on the Disneyworld Florida website confirmed the discontinuation of the bills, which were acceptable tender at the company's US theme parks, resorts, hotels, restaurants and stores.
Already a sought-after collectible, the Disney dollar's value is set to rocket, with shrewd entrepreneurs rushing to online auction site eBay to offer their stashes at hugely inflated prices.
There were hundreds of bids for various versions of the dollar bill, ranging from around US$10 to more than US$50.
Special edition 50 dollar bills celebrating the 50th anniversary of Disneyland in 2005 were being offered for US$3,798 while one seller was asking US$15,000 for 54 mint condition one dollar bills still in uncut sheets.
The notes were introduced in 1987, each with anti-counterfeiting security features similar to those used on real currency, and a unique serial number.
"The Disney dollar failed because it was pegged to the US dollar. Floating on the forex market could have saved it," wrote one Twitter user.
"What a shame. This Disney dollar still holds more value than some real currencies like Iraq's dinar," quipped another.