I only get to attend one or two toy shows a year — northern Virginia isn’t exactly a hot spot for toy collectors — so, I was excited to make the trek to Timonium, Maryland once again this past weekend for the semi-annual toy show put on by Dave Hart Shows. This was the second time I attended this event and I have to say it is my favorite toy show by far. It’s a manageable size and the aisles are wide — there’s plenty of room to maneuver and the sellers are all friendly and knowledgable.
I got to meet up with Ben (@BenLikesRetro), who drove down from New Jersey for the show. Ben is a flea market god and an 80’s toy encyclopedia. He runs The Collector Gene, an awesome site about toy collecting, and it was fun browsing the aisles with him and chatting about toy conquests. There were a few other Twitter pals who attended the show during the weekend when I wasn’t around, and it’s always fun to know I’m not alone here in the mid-Atlantic region.
There was certainly plenty to see at the show, but I’m always surprised at the lack of high-quality items at shows like this. Sure, there are a few choice pieces here and there, but there typically aren’t vendors with glass cases filled with carded G.I. Joe figures, or boxed robots from the 50’s. The toys you find at these shows are okay, almost never mint, and rarely rare. Is that the norm? Are there high-end shows that I’m not aware of out there? Granted, I love digging in the dirt for bargains, but I also like to see the good stuff that I can someday dream of owning. Museum-quality pieces have to exist, but do people sell them at shows like this or do they save them for eBay or the auction houses?
Needless to say, I did manage to find a few items to add to my collection. After all, I’ve been saving up for this one!
As soon as I walked in the doors, I saw this Marx Iron Man figure and snatched it up — these figures are tough to find in good shape — and then Slimer was just sitting there asking to go home with me.
I love vintage ephemera, and ended up buying a few party decorations and table cloths from the 70’s and 80’s. These things are so delicate, I can’t imagine too many have survived through the years — not sure what I’m going to do with them, but they’re still pretty cool.
The Corgi Buck Rogers Starfighter is one of my favorite finds of the day. And hey, Batmobiles! While browsing the tables, I kept finding Batmobiles, and one thing led to another…
I honestly didn’t go to the show with the intention of buying a ton of Batmobiles, it just happened that way. I’ve been looking to pick up the Hot Wheels versions on eBay, but the shipping costs are usually more than the cars, so when I could buy all these for basically the retail price, there was no way I was passing that up. I’m kicking myself because I had written the contact info of this Hot Wheels seller down on a scrap of paper but by the time I got home, it was lost in the wind. I was hoping to hit up his eBay store to see if I could fill in some blanks, but I guess I’ll just have to go back to the next show!
The biggest purchase of the day was this vintage space car. After hemming and hawing over the price, the seller offered to throw in a second one for free. Deal!
Overall, I had a great time at the show and I’m already looking forward to the next one. If you were at the show, what did you think? Find any treasures?