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Autographed Snoopy Wooden Nickel

Charles Schulz Signed And Handdrawn Snoopy Aloha Wooden Nickel! Rare! – $500. Find it on eBay (affiliate links).

A good story, a high-priced collectible and Snoopy. What is this Wooden Nickel? From outward appearances, it’s a souvenir from Hawaii signed by Charles Schulz with a drawing of Snoopy on the reverse side. We’re hopping in the time machine and going back to the 1970’s for this wild ride of an internet investigation rabbit hole. Hold on to your leis!

What info are we given about this Autographed Snoopy Wooden Nickel? The seller says, “Evidently Schulz handed these out to lucky guests of his in Hawaii.” I don’t know Schulz’s vacationing habits or if he ever visited Hawaii. That is a dead end to me. Also, the seller tells us, “Was purchased from rrauction.com.” A search of RRauction.com turns up no Schulz nickel sales or any wooden nickel sales since February, 2008. Remember that date!

What do our eyes tell us about this wooden nickel? The wording is a little odd. “Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown of “Peanuts”,” is a strange way of introducing Schulz. It makes it seem like Charles Schulz is Charlie Brown in Peanuts. While certainly Schulz took aspects of himself to create Charlie Brown, I wouldn’t say Charles Schulz is Charlie Brown. There’s probably a part of Charles Schulz in all the characters. Certainly, if you’re getting a souvenir from Charles Schulz, you’re going to know enough about Peanuts to maybe just say “Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts Comic Strip” or something.

Autographed Wooden Nickels

Is autographing wooden nickels a thing? Based on my Google search, not really. I took the deep dive over at Worthpoint.com to churn up some interesting info on these Hawaiian nickels. This exact same Autographed Schulz Wooden Nickel (as far as I can tell) was sold in January of 2007 on eBay. That gives the new buyer one year to turn around and sell it on RRauction.com. Not impossible, but interesting that someone turn around and sold it so quickly.

Let’s return to Worthpoint and the Autographed Wooden Nickels sold in 2007. From what I can tell, the same seller had six signed Hawaiian wooden nickels. This is based on the photos and descriptions being the same. This listing for Charles Schulz does not mention the “Lucky Guests” story exactly. The story seems to be more of an Autograph Hound, watching celebrities sign these wooden nickles. The autographs include Family Circus’ Bil Keane, Andy Griffith, Carol Burnett, Red Skelton, and, of course, Don Ho. All the Wooden Nickels have the same basic format on the front. The actors all have a reverse side with a helmeted head and the words “Hawaiian Wooden Nickel, IMUA.” Imua means “to move forward” in Hawaiian, so I’m jumping to the conclusion that’s what it means. In contrast, the reverse of both Schulz’s and Bil Keane’s nickels are blank, perfect for a quick drawing.

See that rabbit hole, jump right in there with me, Andy and Carol. Carol’s wooden nickel says, “Rhoda Lovejoy, Hawaii Five-O, 1972.” Andy Griffith’s says, “Arnold Lovejoy, Hawaii Five-O, 1972.” Let’s check the easist fact of all: were these two actors in Hawaii Five-0? Andy did play Arnold Lovejoy, with his on-screen wife, Rhoda Lovejoy, played by Joyce Van Patten. (insert musical sting here) Yes, Carol wasn’t on Hawaii Five-O until the 2013 reboot! She would have been doing the Carol Burnett show in 1972, so it seems odd that she would have taken a guest role on a show, gone to Hawaii, signed a wooden nickel saying she was playing a role and then not gone through with filming? There are no answers online as to why this info is not lining up.

Book ’em, Danno!

Sometimes you have to research a lot of other things to find the truth about the thing you’re looking at. What do we know? The only examples I’ve been able to find came from one source. Even with a reverse image search on the “Hawaiian Wooden Nickel” side turns up nothing. Each one is personalized for each celebrity. The printing on Wooden Nickels always looks like a rubber stamp. It’s possible these were personalized with a personal typeset machine or something and created for each autographing scouting trip. Also, the signature dotted line and the text below isn’t always parallel, so perhaps the information was printed AFTER the autograph was made. My guess is someone who was in a position to get close to celebrities was producing these for their own autograph collection around the 1970’s, if they’re real.

I would do more research, but I’m hitting my research wall and the pay wall. If I could, I’d look into the Red Skelton and Don Ho appearances more. Plus, the mention of “The Advertiser” on the Bil Keane piece brings me to the Honolulu Advertiser. If not for the paywall, I might check out old Charles Schulz articles and see if there are any interviews with a Hawaiian-based entertainment reporter. Maybe a reporter would have access and have the inside knowledge to interview celebrities and get their autograph on a wooden nickel. If you have more information, or more time, feel free to delve deeper into this rabbit hole than I have.

How much is an Autographed Snoopy Wooden Nickel worth?

Since all this research wasn’t able to turn up sufficient information on what these really are, I wouldn’t buy this. A tiny piece of wood is hardly a surface that will stand up to deep scrutiny on whether the signature and drawing is real. If anything, it’s a good medium to obscure a fake. It could go either way. What I want to see is this without a celebrity on it. I want John Doe on vacation with his family, sending one back to his friend. I want some proof that there was a machine that could turn these out for regular people. Or, I want the story behind the unique person who decided to carry wooden nickels in his pocket for celebrities to sign. A $500 mistake is not one I want to make on an Autographed Snoopy Wooden Nickel!

Did you take a wooden nickel from Charles Schulz in Hawaii? Send me a message at info@collectpeanuts.com.

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A note on prices

When reviewing these articles, be sure to note the date. Market prices fluctuate with availability and interest in a subject. Putting a value on items can be nuanced and comes from the perspective of buying to enjoy in a collection. I also tend to be conservative with valuations to account for the ups and downs in market values. 

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