You know, I actually started collecting Disneyland postcards by accident. It was the mid 1990's and after years of purchasing random Disneyana items, I started focusing on books. I was strolling through a local antique store, looking at their collection of Disneyana, when I saw the postcard of Walt Disney (see above). I thought it was cool, but it seemed just a little expensive for a paper item. Well, the next day, I received my copy of The Nickel Tour in the mail. Anyone who's a fan of Disney, Disneyland, Disney history and postcard collecting considers this book the Holy Grail. Of course, I rushed right out the next day and picked up that postcard of Walt. (The Nickel Tour has catalogued this card as Disneyland postcard #1).
So, now what? I've got one postcard and about 2000 to go. Well, I guess the first step was to register with eBay. And what do you know, there were a ton of Disneyland postcard collectors out there. Then, I discovered one of the new employees at work was not only a Disney fan but a postcard collector. (It's always fun to brag and share with a fellow collector.)
I still felt overwhelmed with what was available. That anal, completest side of me wanted every single card, but I felt I needed to filter my collecting just a little bit. So, at first I started collecting just cards that featured closed attractions. Then, I had a goal of collecting cards between #1 - #100. Then, it was just cards in the landscape format. (What was I thinking! I guess I had some random thought about how to display them). Then, it was just cards in the 3.5" x 5.5" format - No cards after 1985.
The trouble with buying cards off of eBay is how the seller groups them. Yes, some sellers will sell cards in single lots, but a lot of the time cards are sold in batches. And, it was usually from this experience that I started expanding my collection. So, no more filters - I just opened up the flood gates.
While The Nickel Tour has done an excellent job of cataloging and sorting all of the cards between 1955 and 1999, that wasn't the end of the story. Disney still continues to produce new cards every year (although not quite in the same volume of cards in the early years). I've met both Roger Le Roque and Nick Farago - the guys behind the checklist featured in The Nickel Tour - at postcards shows. Unfortunately, there is no interest in publishing a revised 3rd edition that would feature cards after the year 2000.
I really avoided buying any new Disneyland postcards. Without a checklist, how would I know what order to put them in; how would I know which cards I was missing? But, I finally decided that too much time had gone by. There was never going to be another checklist to work from, and I better start filling in those gaps in my collection.
I may not been quite so picky about my postcard collection, but I'm still very picky about what Disneyland pins I buy.