It might surprise you to know that one of the top search terms people use to find my site is “American Pickers Danielle’s Tattoos.” No, really. But just look at them. It makes sense now, doesn’t it?
At the start of this episode, Danielle sends Mike and Frank to visit another “Frank.” This Frank has a bunch of carnival items and loads of “smalls” — small items that are easy to store and easy to sell. Mike and Frank hone in on a vintage pretzel trade stimulator that is shaped like a barrel. When you put a penny in the slot, pictures spin like a slot machine, and if you get three pretzels, you actually get some real pretzels to eat. “Owner Frank” wants $400 for it, which is too high for “Picker Frank.”
The pickers see all kinds of great items, but “Owner Frank” wants retail prices for everything. One of the coolest items they see is a 1958 Sky Raider arcade machine which has you shoot down UFOs. Apparently, there are only 50 of these machines known to exist. “Owner Frank” wants $600 for it, so there’s no sale. Mike eventually braks the ice by buying a two-sided Freers ice cream sign for $40. The pickers go back to the pretzel barrel trade stimulator and finally are able to buy it for $200 after bundling in an Esso thermometer for an additional $50.
Meanwhile, back at the shop, Danielle has been tasked with selling the large carnival ride that has been collecting rust for a few months. Mike and Frank paid $1,500 for it, and want to double their money, which is no easy task, since this thing is gigantic, and would take up most people’s entire yard. Danielle had the quote of the show, in describing it: “Everyone thinks its really cool, they want to look at it, they want to ride it, but they don’t want to take it home. Sounds like every bad girl I’ve ever known.”
Mike and Frank do a little freestyle picking, and stop at a house to look at a 90cc Yamaha motorcycle dirt bike they see for sale on the side of the road. Norm is the owner of the bike, and is happy to show Mike and Frank the bike, along with his 1967 Ford Fairlane 390 GT. Mike immediately forgets the bike and is struck with Fairlane Fever. The car has its original motor with some slight modifications to the headers. Mike calls his friend, Richard, who is a Ford expert, to see what a fair price would be. He learns that anything under $8,500 would be a good deal.
Mike is absolutely giddy over the chance to buy this car, and his poker face is gone. Norm asks for $8,000 and Mike counters with $7,000 for both the car and bike. Norm says he would take $7,500, but Mike abandons the bike and offers $7,000 for just the car. Mike he is now the proud owner of another rusty old car, and Norm is very pleased.
Next, Danielle sends the pickers to the International Clown Hall of Fame, a museum dedicated to clowns, but they also have lots of non-clown items for sale. When Mike and Frank arrive, they are greeted by Greg and Karen, dressed in full clown regalia!
They all take a tour of the museum where Mike is excited to see Cookie the Clown’s costume from the Bozo Show. Mike also tries to ride a little clown bike, but wipes out dramatically.
Mike sees a painting of Dom Deloise in clown makeup and is amazed at how much it looks like Frank. Frank is not too thrilled at the comparison but plays along.
Once the tour is done, they get down to business and look at some of the items that are stored in a back room and the basement. Mike pounces on a vintage papier-mache elephant on a circus wagon for $40. He also buys an early leather Indian costume for $100 and a saxophone for another $100. The saxophone was apparently left with a note at a hotel as payment for lodging. Frank buys six reproduction circus posters for $30, which he thinks can be sold quickly since they are already framed.
Greg and Karen saved the best for last, when they reveal a folk art animatronic carnival. Mike inserts a quarter and it lights up and moves! The clowns want $1,500 for it. Mike offers $500. After some intense clown negotiating, they settle on $900.
We are shown that the pickers sold the carnival item for $1,200. It’s rare that they actually have a sale price, since most of the items picked seem to end up back at the shop and are seen in future episodes.
Danielle is at the shop with Mike’s Brother, Robbie, who is fixing a motorcycle, when a customer walks in and states he’s looking for a large item to restore. Danielle shows him the carnival ride, but he’s not convinced, so she has Robbie try to seal the deal. Robbie comes through and they sell the huge contraption for $3,000.
Mike and Frank return to the shop and visit John, the mechanic they hired to fix up the Ford Fairlane. John got the car running, but the restoration was fairly extensive, and ended up costing over $4,000. Mike is uneasy with the fact that he’s spent $11,000 on the car so far. He calls Richard again, to come and appraise his car. Richard thinks the car is worth $14,000, so Mike can sleep a little easier, knowing there is still room for some profit.
During the closing credits, Mike tries to follow Frank in his VW. Needless to say, he gets left in the dust, literally.
In my opinion, Mike and Frank didn’t unearth any truly exciting items in this episode, but I did enjoy the clowns quite a bit. What did you think? Oh, and if you like American Pickers as much as I do, be sure to enter to win a DVD of the first season of the show.
Kristi Freers says
Does anyone know how to contact the show? I’d like to purchase the Freers Ice Cream sign.
The show sells some of their finds on the Antique Archaeology web site: http://www.antiquearchaeology.com/picks4sale/index.php
You might look there, but if you don’t see it, just drop them an email and I bet they can help you out. Good luck!
Kristi Freers says
Thank you sooo much!
I don’t know what the on the show was saying, but there used to be a Freers Ice cream in Northern Indiana.
It went out of business about 15 years ago
Freers Ice Cream was in Elkhart, IN on Jackson St. I worked there in the early 90s. It did close about 15 years ago. I always thought the Elkhart store was the only one, but after seeing this episode of Pickers I’m not so certain. Does anyone know?
The sign discovered on Pickers was from Freers Ice Cream in Marshalltown Iowa which was in business from the early 1930’s until 1944, when it was sold by the Arthur Freers, father of Donald Freers and grandfather to Jeff Freers who started and owned the business in Elkhart from 1981 through 1991. Hi Rick.
Rick Frahm says
Hi Jeff. I wondered if you had seen this. That explains it. I didn’t know the history when I was working there. But, I can tell you I was shocked when I saw the sign on Pickers. Thanks!
Frank Waite says
If you want to purchase a Freers sign get a hold of me somehow. Not sure, but I left a post today, Hope I’m following the rules ??
It is possible to say that there weren’t any cool “smalls” or regular picks in this episode, but that Fairlane is a VERY hard to find car! I am a collector of Ford Musclecars and I am here to tell you, AWESOME PICK!
I am kind of getting tired watching them jew anybody that lets them,and thats just about everyone, only to turn and tell how they will double or triple the money. You would think people would catch on to the game,and just run an add in several well known publishings or even have one of several co. place it on an ebay type store . Some of these poor people have collected their entire lives just to get the con of T.V. Say what you will but I personally will burn it before I let them make their money off me
Randy Senna says
People like to watch these shows to see interesting “stuff”.
I believe the material flaw of this show is how they want to celebrate after getting someone to sell something for less then the value.
This “take advantage” aspect goes on everyday in real life, and it should not be glorified as it sends a message that somehow this is acceptable.
I was selected to appear on the American Pickers show, however, after about 1 month of dealing with the production company, I was forced to refuse to sign the Appearance Agreement contract, for reasons which in my opinion, much mirror these very same “take advantage” concepts.
The events prompted me to write the book,”So, You Want to be on Reality TV?”, telling of my experiences, so others can have a better understanding of what they might be in for if they get selected to appear on Reality TV.
Search it on Amazon.
I so totally agree with the previous posts. They “want” to double” their money. Pretty greedy, if you ask me. I like the guys and enjoy seeing the various antiques and forgotten items and like the blurbs telling the history. But, true, don’t brag about the huge profit. I only saw them tell a few sellers that they’re selling an item too cheaply.
Janet Kruskamp says
I am wondering if anyone has a picture of the FREERS ICE CREAM poster that they would kindly share with me.
I am creating a painting for my publishers of a 1930’s General store and I would love to add this poster to the front of the store.
Janet Kruskamp ( An nArtist In Search of America) http://www.janetkruskamp.com
Greg Field says
How can that be greedy? I mean that makes good business sense, doesn’t everyone want to do that? Nobody talks about on that I have seen from these posts about when they pay up big time when they think the owner of the product that they are attempting to purchase & the owner says to low of a price they pay more for the item now.
Frank W says
FREERS Ice Cream Signs Found in Marshalltown !!!
Recently in 2019, Five of the Freers signs were found in various conditions. They are all hand painted, double-sided.
Not sure what the Pickers bought, and if it is similar to the Five recently found in 2019.
Out of the Five, I picked the best one with most color and different script than the others. It looks fantastic after it was conserved to protect the paint on both sides of the sign.
One of the signs was in such poor condition, as 99% of the paint was gone. The others have been sold to local collectors in Marshalltown.
I would sell the best sign to a serious collector or Freer family member (preferably) !!!!!
As far as the comments about the Pickers and their business ethics, really ???? Just two corncobs from Iowa that buy and sell stuff like any other vendor, except the camera is rolling, sometimes they probably forgot !!!!
Living here in Iowa I have met the pickers several times. They are human, cool, rich………………
Mike is more approachable than Frank, for sure !!!
If you want the Freers sign, leave a post……
Frank W says
To purchase the Freers Ice cream sign