A Mouse-eared Bottle Opener? Only in Print

TThe Mouse is 90. And for German publisher Egmont Ehapa Verlag, that meant a one-off print magazine devoted to everybody’s favorite rodent. He asked magazine consulting group We Like Mags to create the special issue Micky, and they dove in.

(In case you’re wondering about the spelling, the venerable comic character is known as Micky Maus in German; we love that you noticed.)

“Founder of We Like Mags, Christian Kallenberg, says he jumped at the opportunity because he realised it would present him with the chance to once again demonstrate how certain printed products can achieve so much more than digital,” writes Piet van Kiekert in FIPP

“Kallenberg is a firm believer that paper and print should continue to play a key role in publishers’ multi platform strategy,” van Kiekert continues. 

As we know, there are certain attributes of print that can’t be replicated in other media, and creativity thrives on paper due to – not in spite of – its physical constraints. We Like Mags took on the challenge and designed a cover that featured a mounted gift. 

“The Mickey Mouse bottle opener on a keychain is a collector’s item,” Kallenberg notes. “It cannot be found on sale anywhere apart from on the magazine. This really emphasises one of the strengths of a printed magazine in a digital world. Like the magazine, the cover mount is a collector’s item. It is desirable.” 

To be sure, nostalgia plays into a lot of the popularity of this special issue, but that’s not the whole story.

“To assume that people are buying the magazine because of some form of nostalgia, is completely incorrect,” argues Kallenberg. “This is a modern magazine in which only a few pages look back at the history of Mickey Mouse. The bulk of the magazine is a present day, modern day, lifestyle magazine celebrating Mickey’s career and future. This is about a celebrity with 90 years of experience in the world and what the future holds for him throughout the world.”

This issue features creative content and imagery that take this far beyond the comic-style you might expect. 

“One of these is a feature with one of Germany’s most influential fashion designers, Michael Michalsky, who analyses and interprets some of the 175 outfits Mickey Mouse has worn over the last 90 years. It allowed the creative team to integrate some of the iconic cartoon images to interact with photographs of Michalsky,” van Niekerk notes. “In another feature, German author and expert in profiling serial killers, Stephan Harbort, gives Mickey advice on how to outmaster his archenemy Kater Karlo (Kat Karly, also known as Peg-leg Pete in English).”

For true fans, the combination is nearly irresistible, and the added bonus of the Minnie Mouse flip cover seals the deal. We love the “keep it forever” factor of print magazines in general, and this clever keychain cover embraces this idea. For fans of the big-eared mouse, this is one take-away that will stay with them forever.