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Has anyone ever bought those dancing Mickey and Minnies in Venice?

Has anyone ever bought those dancing Mickey and Minnies in Venice?

Old Nov 1st, 2001, 01:43 PM
  #1  
Susan
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Has anyone ever bought those dancing Mickey and Minnies in Venice?

Okay, the scene is this: Venice, Italy Paper Dancing Mickey and Minny Mouse beside (notice in a strait line too) a boom box radio. The cost only 10.000 lire.
What a scam! I luckily didn't go for it but friends did. I couldn't believe it.

That supposed magnet on the back of Mickey was just black paper and danced due to a very fine, invisible string they have attached to a radio that vibrated, moving them. Unfortunately my friend bought 5 of them for neices and nephews.
We went back to get her money back and of course they didn't even look at us or return anything at all. Too bad we were leaving so soon or we could have reported them. They are all from neighboring countries and couldn't speak Italian at all and little English.
We did get the chance to inform others and stop a few potential sales.

In the streets and on the bridges they set up this scam all over the city so be aware.

I went right up and grabbed the string a couple of times and you can bet they lost that sale! Thieves!
 
Old Nov 1st, 2001, 01:55 PM
  #2  
Vita
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Thank you! This was plaguing my mind. I wasn't in Venice, but I saw them in Florence. Everytime I passed them, I was tempted to buy one just to see how it worked, but I knew I would kick myself. I knew it couldn't be magnets, but I'm such a sucker, it didn't occur to me that it might be a scam.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2001, 02:02 PM
  #3  
KDenise
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Wow - L10.000 ? My friend only got scammed for L5000. I told her after we figured it out to grab some fishing line and her niece will still think she's a magician.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2001, 03:54 PM
  #4  
Deb
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We too saw those while in Italy - Rome, Florence & Venice all had them. We also saw guys with fake leather purses, on sheets, all over Venice. Had to walk around them all the time. We hate that kind of thing and wondered why both types weren't run off by the police.

We were walking down a side canal late one afternoon and saw a mickey/minnie scam person. We then met up with a couple of policemen about 50 yards past, heading her way. Stopped, looked back at the scam person and have never seen someone pick up and move so fast.

The next day we saw a policeman carrying two sheets bundled up with purses. So, this gave us hope. The purse sellers all work together, one watches while 2 or 3 set up and in "hey pretty lady wouldn't you love a new gucci bag" style tried to sell their garbage. if they see a cop they pick up & run like hell.

If it's cheap and sold off the ground, it isn't worth even half the price their asking.

Don't buy from them and maybe they won't be there next time.

DFW 11/01/01
 
Old Nov 1st, 2001, 05:16 PM
  #5  
Donna
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We saw them in Paris and they were "too cute". But, something about the "vendors" rendered us suspicious. We were SO tempted to purchase them for our grandchildren, but declined. Sure enough, upon returning home and checking the AOL message boards we discovered that those who'd purchase them found they JUST DID NOT DANCE stateside. Major gimmick going on here.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2001, 06:00 PM
  #6  
A Friend of Nader
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Not to insult you, Susan, but what did you think buying something on the street? Of course they were fake. Did you think those Rolexes they were selling were real? It amazes me how so many people are taken in. A co-worker bought a Louis Vuitton purse on the sidewalk in NYC. She paid $45 for it and after 3 weeks the zipper broke. She was so upset she said she couldn't believe that Louis Vuitton would sell such crappy merchandise! We in the office all commented that of course the purse was fake--$45 for real Louis Vuitton? Was this co-worker born in a cabbage patch? I mean, come on. Remember, if it is too good to be true....
 
Old Nov 5th, 2001, 01:36 PM
  #7  
Dean
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I've never bought one but I have stepped on them .................................................. .......................................
not really my wife won't let me.

And while we're ont he subject of annoying things for sale in Italy, how about the crawlinig soldiers with the animated machine gun noise. I'd like to stomp on them too......
 
Old Nov 5th, 2001, 02:27 PM
  #8  
Laurie
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HA! I just got back from Italy and France and those Micky/Minnie things are EVERYWHERE! Along with little battery operated cats and puppy's that making annoying sounds. And the soldiers...what are those 'merchants' thinking? But, obviously..people do purchase such things. Really, though, aren't there better things to spend your money on?
 
Old Nov 5th, 2001, 02:36 PM
  #9  
scigirl
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There was a post a year or so ago about the dancing Mickey and Minnie mouse. I remember seeing them when I was in Rome and being quite interested in them. They do look cute. We couldn't tell how they worked and didn't buy one. You certainly aren't the first person to be taken by this scam.

Anyhow, the previous post was quite lengthy - if you are interested in it a search should turn it up.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2001, 02:42 PM
  #10  
Patty
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The Italian police don't arrest anyone for that sort of thing. They don't stop the beggars and the beggar children and most of them aren't even Italian citizens. I guess the "live and let live" attitude and if you're stupid enough to fall for the scam you deserve to lose your money.

We were in a restaurant in Rome and a beggar child (non-Italian) came in selling flowers. Obviously it was ok with the manager and she only targeted Americans and left the locals alone. I caught the manager's eye and he looked a little sheepish but didn't shoo her away. Now I consider myself a humanitarian but it was obvious that she was being used by adults outside and that is how they make their living by preying on others. If I give to her I perpetuate the system, if I don't I'm unkind to a child.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2001, 03:52 PM
  #11  
Andrea
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HA! I am SO glad someone brought this up!!

I always felt like a complete idiot because I absolutely could NOT figure out how those darn things worked, but I was too proud to stop and check them out close up.

So the result was that I missed a third of the beautiful buildings in Venice because I was straining my eyes to look discreetly at the little dancing toys!! To be honest, I still can't figure out how they'd work with just a string going to the boom box, but I'm happier now to know that they don't just stand up and dance on their own.

Thanks to the other posters for (partially) solving what was, for me, one of Europe's Greatest Mysteries.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2001, 06:23 PM
  #12  
m
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Yes, we saw the dancing Mickeys too - on Ponte del Angelo in Rome, in Florence, in Venice. It took me a while to figure out how they worked. (I was looking for the fish-wire from an overhang, but eventually I figured it was "clothes-lined" from the boom-box.)
Unfortunately (since I hate to be prejudiced) the "prada-prada-prada-prada" salesmen all seemed to be African migrants. ("Immigrant" is too specific a word...)
Well, it shows what the value of a brand really is. It's probably cheaper to buy 10 fake Vuitons than 1 real one; I've had the fake Rolexes that last 3 years, and the fakes that didn't last a month. Luck of the draw.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2001, 06:30 PM
  #13  
Mel
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This reminds me of a funny story:
Took a friend to NYC for the first time. She was trying to decide between a "Cartier" and a "Rolex" from a vendor operating out of a briefcase in front of the Trump Tower. She finally told him, "I want to think about it. I'll stop by when we come out of the building." My other NY friends and I just let her move on. Got into the building and I told her to look back at the vendor. Of course, he was gone! She was so shocked it was absolutely hysterical!
 
Old Nov 5th, 2001, 06:52 PM
  #14  
kate
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I have seen these little things on the streets in NY many times..sometimes they are little birds-at least now I know how they do it. BUT-do that many people really buy things like this on the streets? In NY the vendors have to have permits to sell things, maybe that makes them more trustworthy as far as merchandise..the streets down in Soho are full of vendors selling knock-off bags, hats,watches,and my favorite, art students selling their paintings and hand made jewelry..I think if people are buying things on the street, the first rule should be *if you don't get a receipt from the seller, the buyer should be warned*-
 
Old Nov 6th, 2001, 12:00 AM
  #15  
Gregory
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It is not only in Italy that this has occurred. I have seen a number of the dancing Minnies and Mickies around the streets of London.

The London Evening Standard has run several articles over the past few years ( London's evening paper)
 
Old May 29th, 2013, 10:07 PM
  #16  
 
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I also was suckered by the dancing Mickey and Minnie mouse characters scam on Hadrian's bridge outside the Castel San Angelo in Rome. I am not usually a sucker as I am from NY and well aware of scammers. I just stupidly thought they really worked by some sort of magnetic thingamajig. Well, you live and you learn, and at least it was only a few dollars. I am mostly adding this post here in the hopes that others who google search will find it and will not be likewise scammed. As for fake designer purses, rest assured they are ALL fake if they are being sold on the street.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 11:46 PM
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