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Childish things impact collecting market

Treasures & Trends


Question: My brother and I grew up during the 1950s. Our parents never missed an opportunity to buy us toys and quite a few have managed to survive. Our collection includes a Marx Roy Rogers Rodeo Ranch play set; several Gene Autry cap pistols; an Atomic Man robot; numerous board games such as Surfside 6 and Shazam: a Captain Marvel game; an assortment of early Barbie and Ken dolls; a Mickey Mouse hand puppet; a Robin Hood lunch box; a complete set of Lincoln Logs; a Batmobile; and several uncut editions of paper dolls. I understand that older collectibles have become quite collectible and I would like to contact someone in the Tucson area to help us determine the value of the ones that we have. Can you help us? – Susan and Frank, Tucson

Answer: One only has to attend an antique and collectible show to see the incredible interest in vintage toys and games. The brisk interest has triggered prices that would not have seemed possible even a few short years ago. For example, at a Phoenix show last summer, I spotted an Aladdin Rifleman lunchbox with beverage bottle available for $550; a girl from U.N.C.L.E. doll, $625; a Mission Impossible board game, $50; a Pinocchio snow dome from the 1970s, $100; a 1967 Francie twist-and-turn doll from Mattel, $375; and a collection of cap pistols from the 1940s and ’50s in the $25-$450 range. Put another way, our old toy boxes have literally become treasure chests for collectors.

One of the more knowledgeable toy experts in Tucson is Bernie Resnick. He has collected for most of his life and is the go-to person when it comes to vintage toys in southern Arizona.

I saw him at an antique mall several days ago and told him about your collection. He has agreed to advise you. His contact information is bresn@aol.com and 885-6307.

The 15th edition of “Toys & Prices 2008″ has just been released by Krause Publications and is available at amazon.com. This guide is edited by Karen O’Brien and references more than 32,000 toys, listing some 95,000 values. It has been expanded to include toys from the baby boomer era to the very hottest releases. Each comprehensive chapter includes historical information, commentary from hobby experts and the latest trends. It is highly recommended.

In addition to his work for the Tucson Citizen, Larry Cox writes book reviews and a weekly collectibles column that are syndicated by King Features and distributed throughout the United States and Canada. E-mail: contactlarrycox@aol.com.

The following did not appear in our print edition.

Q: I have three “Over the Hedge” Pez toys. How much are they worth? – Steve, Oro Valley

A: Your Pez toys were issued in 2006 and – if they are complete with feet – each would retail for about $2.

Q: I have a piece of Carnival Glass that appears to be a raspberry pattern. Can you help me identify it? – Stella, Tucson

A: Carnival Glass in the raspberry pattern was made by Northwood Glass and issued in amethyst, blue, green, ice blue, ice green, lavender, marigold, purple and white. Your piece is probably from this company if the pattern features raspberries and leaves over a basket weave band. This pattern was introduced in 1911 and is sometimes identified as blackberry or checkerboard in certain price guides.

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