Updated: November 28, 2005
GUY WILLIAMS ZORRO COLLECTIBLES #01
"Out of the night, when the full moon is bright, comes a horseman
known as Zorro. This bold renegade carves a Z with his blade, a Z
that stands for Zorro. Zorro, the fox so cunning and free. Zorro,
who makes the sign of the Z." Zorro... Zorro... Zorro.
These lyrics were ingrained in the memories of a generation of
baby boomers who regularly watched the Disney television series.
Airing in 1957, the lyrics and imagery of Zorro rearing on his
horse, Tornado, against a lightning sky echoing the word Zorro,
created a powerful impression on the viewing audience.
Previous generations had thrilled to the remarkable feats of the
fox: the silent film fans of Fairbanks 1920 The Mark of Zorro; the
followers of the Republic cliffhangers of the 1930's, and the
devotees to the subtle satire of the 1940 Tyrone Power Zorro. It
was the success, however, of the Disney series that spawned a
remarkable merchandising campaign.
Character licensing was a burgeoning field in the late 1950's and
the popularity of the fox translated into a mania that took the
country by storm. Products produced during the Disney era and
subsequently have become prized collector's items. Chalked tipped
swords, costumes, wallets, lunch boxes, and play sets were among
the hundreds of products created by Disney licensees.
A rebirth of Zorro as a classic property occurred in the early
1980's, driven by a re-airing of the Disney series in France and
the release of Mel Simon's 1980 spoof starring George Hamilton in
Zorro the Gay Blade. Five television series have been produced
since, as well as over 1000 worldwide license. The popular 1998
film, The Mask of Zorro, starring Antonio Banderas and Anthony
Hopkins, sparked a new round of international licensed Zorro