Toys have a magical way of transporting us back to childhood, no matter what age we are. Re-encountering that one toy can instantly bring back memories of Christmas mornings or summer vacations. This Sunday, October 12, ride the nostalgia wave down to the Toy & Doll Collectors Supershow and see if you can find that one special item that sparks those fuzzy feelings. Founder Dana Cain says the show is a great place to forget about the stresses of the world and get back in touch with your inner child. Here are five of the collections at the show that could do just that.
See also: Five McAwesome Vintage Happy Meal Toys
Kelan Smith Smith has been an avid collector since the '70s, accruing pop-culture action figures from franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. He's still collecting and has since gotten into toy restoration -- fixing the hair, painting and even making clothes for beloved figurines. At this year's show he'll have old Mego action figures of favorites like Spiderman and Catwoman, Star Wars memorabilia, and plenty of vintage Barbies. Smith says these toys have a strong cultural and historical impact that can be both educational and nostalgic.
"These Barbies are chronicles for fashion throughout time," he says. "They're like miniature mannequins that follow the trends, and that shows how important they are for reflecting society." Daisy Saiger Collecting and restoring toys has always been a family affair for Saiger, owner of Daisy's Dolls and Toys. It was a hobby she shared with her mom and now continues with her son. She says toys are a great way to connect with your family members.
"It's like handing down something that's been in your family a long time," she says. "You can say to your child, 'This is what I played with when I was a kid,' and it's a memento they can have and pass down to their own children."
Over the years, her collection has included dolls of all materials and even some from the 1700s; rare porcelain ones from German factories that were bombed during World War II have sold for as much as $1,000. But the collectables market fluctuates just like the stocks, she points out. Her current hot-ticket items are popular '80s toys, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Rock Clingman Clingman runs Rock Sells Collectibles, which focuses on antiques -- but his main passion is cars. A former drag racer, Clingman translated his hobby into collecting vintage car parts and model cars. He now has a collection of hundreds of diecast models that capture the finest details, from exact color to correct placement of sponsor stickers on NASCAR models. Clingman also has an extensive collection of thousands of Hot Wheels.
He calls collectors the original recycling enthusiasts because they restore items to be reused and save toys from the landfill. "I like to pass on my collectibles and let someone else enjoy them," he says.
Mike Murray With the recent popularity of superhero movies, the comic book business is doing very well for Murray and the Comic Consultant LLC. While superhero movies have always been around, he points out that the special effects have finally caught up to the super-human powers of these heroes. And with such quality movies, the fan base has expanded.
"'Geekdom' has really experienced a huge surge," Murray says. "It's become a widespread phenomena across all age groups and for both and female and male readership."
These movies are changing the comic-book game. For example, Murray says, issue 271 of The Incredible Hulk used to be $5 book. But now it sells for hundreds of dollars, as it features the first appearance of Guardians of the Galaxy hero Rocket Raccoon.
Bill Blakslee When he was a child, Blakslee received one new board game every Christmas. He went on to continue that tradition with his own children, but it wasn't until ten years ago that he started collecting games as an occupation. Over that time he's acquired over 5,000 games from flea markets and garage sales. He's gotten games from all over the world and from decades past, including a 1912 edition of Parcheesi.
Blakslee is passionate about selling games, and his favorite customers are the ones who played the games as kids. "I love when parents or grandparents are looking for that game they want to share that with their kids," Blakslee says. "They're so happy to have that again. My thrill is to put it back in their hands."
The Toy & Doll Collectors Supershow runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, October 12, at the Ramada Plaza Convention Center . Admission is $5, and free for children twelve and under; parking is free, too. Buy tickets here.
Follow Amanda Moutinho on Twitter at @amandamoutinho.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!