Mug Shot — «Minneapolis - Twin Cities»

From Minneapolis, USA


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Mug Details #1059

Starbucks City Mug Minneapolis - Twin Cities

Rare city mug from starbucks. Shortly after the release of this mug, it turned out that there were copyright issues with its image of the Spoon Cherry Bridge and the mugs had to be removed from the stores. The number of sold mugs sold during the time that they were on the shelves was very low, probably less than 50.

Max, an eBay seller from Pennsylvania, sold the rare Minneapolis 1994 collectors mug on eBay for $2,020

When contacted, Max said he had no idea the mug was worth so much. The 1994 Minneapolis mug is probably the rarest Starbucks mug in existence except for the Iwo Jima mug in the Patriotic collection. The buyer was a woman named Marcel in Europe.

Why is this mug so rare? The mug features a photo of a popular sculpture on the front of the mug. Well it turns out that the sculpture is copyrighted. Shortly after the mug had to be recalled because Starbucks was violating the copyright. Starbucks immediately recalled all of the mugs, but it is estimated that about 20 to 30 got into circulation before Starbucks pulled the plug.

I am not sure how Max found his mug, but when he put it on eBay, the bidding went crazy. the listing got 984 hits and 34 bids. If you would like to see the auction, the listing number is 290269099902. Just type that number into the eBay search box on and you can see the listing and the photographs. His price of $2,020 is a new record. The last one of these that sold on eBay went for $1,263.

The other ultra rare mug that is out there is the Iwo Jima mug. Shortly after 9-11, eBay produced a limited edition series of mugs called the Patriotic Series. There were originally 4 mugs in the series: Flags, Mt. Rushmore, The Statue of Liberty with Fireworks and a mug that portrayed the flag raising at Iwo Jima in WWII. Well it seems that some peaceniks complained that the Iwo Jima mug was too warlike. Starbucks, a company will well known liberal roots agreed and recalled the mug. There were several (estimated at 5 or 10) sold by the Starbucks in the Pentagon, before they were recalled. Serious collectors have stated they would pay over $2500 if this mug ever came up.

Minneapolis was a much more difficult task. I never saw one for sale on ebay at less than $2,000 and I wasn’t going to pay that price for a mug. The Minneapolis Cherry mug is very rare because it was created without legal permission to use the copyrighted image. Within a week of the release of the mug a court order was issued that all of them had to be removed from the shelves and destroyed. The only ones that exist were purchased within approx. a 4 day period or they were saved by the barristas ordered to destroy them. If you didn’t buy one then and didn’t buy it in Minneapolis you don’t have one. Then I had a stroke of luck and a journalist for the Los Angeles Times wanted to do a piece on collecting Starbucks. She found the internet group and through there, she hooked up with me. She wrote her article and used my search for the mug as the hook. It was, "the mug that got away." A member of my internet group, Mike from Japan (if you search Starbucks City Mugs almost the first page that comes up is his and he has pictures of his mugs available; I used one above and I’ll use others below). Early in his collecting Mike and I struck a bargain. He wanted to trade his Minneapolis Cherry that his mother from Minneapolis had for about 20 European and Middle Eastern mugs. I was very honest with him about the rarity of his Minneapolis but he insisted that he wanted to go ahead with the trade. While I was collecting and packaging the mugs to travel to Japan, Mike decided to back out of the deal. It was very frustrating. As I related this story to the journalist I exaggerated quite a bit when I said that I would pay $1,000 for one. She used that in the story. Following the story one person did approach me and try to sell me one for $1,000 but I didn’t accept the offer. Two other people though did approach me and sold me their mugs for much, much, much less. Where once I couldn’t find one Minneapolis I ended up with 2 of them because of my dilligence, my skill with using the internet, and more than a little bit of luck.

  USA, Minneapolis, 94, St. Paul, Rare, Collectors Series

Karma: 6 Added by dragon89 4 Comments


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