Last Friday, I found myself in York, Pennsylvania and thought I would call upon an old friend who works at Hake’s, to see about taking a tour of the greatest place on Earth. Hake’s is headquartered in a nondescript office park of low, single-story buildings, much like those you find in suburbs across the country, but don’t let its humble exterior fool you, because the second you walk through the glass doors, you are welcomed to some truly amazing sights.
Todd Sheffer, production manager at Hake’s and my humble host, shows off some pretty awesome Justice League of America boardgames from the late 60’s.
Remember the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the priceless artifacts are stored in the cavernous warehouse? Well, this is the real-life counterpart. Shelves upon shelves overflowing with treasures from popular culture fill every inch of this place. It might look like any other storage facility until you start walking down the aisles and peek into the boxes. Seriously, this is where I want my ashes scattered when I die.
Do you collect comic books? Well, here are few stacks that might get your interest. It seems like every Marvel key is here!
How is it even possible that a comic published in 1941 like this World’ Finest #22 can even exist in such great shape? Most comics you buy off the rack today wouldn’t grade a 9.6.
Ted Hake built his business from his passion for collecting pinbacks. These drawers are overflowing with vintage buttons ranging from every possible collectible category, and this is only a small portion of the collection.
The upcoming auction will feature more one-of-a-kind prototypes by Tim Bruckner. Several of Bruckner’s prototypes sold in the previous auction, and there are plenty of good ones coming up.
My favorite area of pop culture collectibles is super heroes, and seeing these shelves had me scooping my jaw up off the floor. These shelves hold just a fraction of the items from “super-collector” Franco Toscanini’s Superman collection. It’s almost surreal to see high-end collectibles like this stored in such a way — usually you only see items like this on full display in a lighted glass cabinet. Any number of these items would be the highlight for most Superman collections, but there are dozens and dozens of them resting on these shelves, waiting to find their way to a new home. Superman collectibles from the Toscanini collection have appeared in the past few Hake’s auctions, and it looks like we will continue to see them in future auctions for a good long time.
Speaking of Superman, check out this rare Aurora model. The box art on this kit is not the one you typically see. Oh, and this kit is still in the original shrink-wrap!
Here’s another item you won’t find very often. When you can find these Topps Marvel Flyers, they typically sell for over a hundred dollars each — a good bit higher than their original 10-cent cost. Well, here’s an entire box of them!
For all you Universal Monster fans, here’s an awesome Wolfman paint by numbers set. Those monster kids in the 60’s had the best toys!
Have you ever seen one of these Giant Hamilton’s Invaders sets by Remco? I know I haven’t, but holy smokes is it cool!
Of course you know that I was looking on every shelf to find some Batman collectibles, and this was one of the best — a Corgi Toys Batmobile and Batboat gift set. Gah!
It was at this point that my head was about to explode from “awesome overload” and I had to leave for fear of leaving grey matter all over the place, and that would have just been embarrassing. I can not imagine what it must be like to work in an environment where you are literally surrounded by these incredible items everyday. Maybe I should have picked up a job application on my way out — a three-hour commute wouldn’t be too bad, right?
The fine folks at Hake’s are hard at work preparing all these items and much, much more for the upcoming auction #220. Check out the Hake’s website for details and bidding information.