Oswald starred in a series of 26 silent cartoons made by Walt Disney between 1927 and 1928 for Charles Mintz, who contracted with Universal for the distribution. When Walt lost the rights to Oswald, he came up with the character of Mickey Mouse. The Oswald character was later continued by Walter Lantz. Sound was added by Universal, the copyright holder, to some of the Disney Oswald cartoons in the early days of television. Oswald was the first Disney character to generate merchandise: a candy bar, a stencil set, and a pinback button. In 2006, The Walt Disney Company regained the rights to Oswald, in a trade with NBC/Universal.
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