I remember getting a call one Saturday afternoon from this guy who wanted to tell me about his new TV show that was in production, and he wanted to get my opinion on the rough cut of the pilot episode. Sure, why not. At this point, I had no idea who Jordan Hembrough was, but after watching the show, I knew that he was a kindred spirit, who revelled in the thrill of the hunt, and that he had created a show that was made just for me. I called Jordan back the next day and told him not to change a thing.
Sadly, it appears that the end might be in sight for the best (only?) vintage toy collecting show on television. After three seasons, it looks like the Travel Channel’s Toy Hunter may have run its course. Jordan Hembrough recently posted this note on the Rebelscum message boards:
Thanks for the positive feedback and constructive comments, I appreciate them.
The show was not cancelled, my contract was up after four years, and I wanted to work on something else. I got a “once in a lifetime” chance to work with not only a movie studio, but a theme park as well.. and still continue commentary for both Marvel and DC. It was simply “the next level” for me.
Toy Hunter was one of the highest rated shows on Travel, and continues to shatter ratings overseas. I just got an E-mail today that we are on in Tasmania, and they are running marathons.
Something is being developed for the International Market… that is really all I can say right now. Yes, I will be attached to the project.
And, I just wanted to comment on the “staging” aspect of the show. To be honest, probably 90% of all shows have some “staging”. You need it. Simply because… REAL LIFE is boring. There need to be stakes, there has to be a “reason” I go somewhere.. and some sort of outcome for me not succeeding in my mission. The financial aspect of Toy Hunter ( just like Pawn Stars, and American Pickers) was necessary. People wanted to know how much the stuff was worth.
Look… I put myself out there. I opened myself up to the market, and collectors.. and fans. Some people still hate me for it and to this day.. and choose to make comments about from the anonymity of a computer keyboard. I see vile and hurtful posts about me and my business on social media sites.. from people I dont even know, not have ever met. Guess what… it hurts.
For the most part, however, people enjoyed it. It brought back memories and really put the collectors in a positive light.
And.. like an idiot that I am… I will be back for more. Updates as soon as I can talk about it.
Best always, Jordan
So, what does this mean? It looks like Jordan won’t be returning for another season, but does that mean the show is done or will they proceed with a new host? It certainly sounds like the show was doing well in the ratings, but who really knows what has been going on behind the scenes.
I know that I will miss Toy Hunter. I’ve been a fan from the pilot episode and think that it did wonders to bring the toy collecting hobby into the mainstream — for better or worse. Sure, Jordan had his quirks, but hosting a reality show is an impossible task, and I’m just glad it was him and not me! Lord knows, I found myself throwing my vintage plush ALF doll at the screen on more than one occasion as the show riled me up, but I tried to keep an eye on the bigger picture — this was our public soapbox that confirmed what we already know to the outside world, collecting toys is awesome.
Over the years, it has been difficult to see the trolls tear Jordan down in typical troll fashion — hey internet, this is why we can’t have nice things. I have to give the guy credit in keeping his composure and not striking back at the very vocal critics — I can imagine, that was no easy task.
Visiting Jordan’s shop, Hollywood Heroes, in New Jersey is on my bucket list for whenever I head north, and Jordan, I hope you are there on that day so that I can shake your hand and thank you for what you did for the toy collecting community. (Now, I will duck as the trolls are sure to come flying my way!)