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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

League Assignment: Reality TV Treasure Hunters

This week’s League topic:
Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Hollywood Treasure, Storage Wars, Toy Hunters, Auction Hunters, Auction Kings — the list of reality TV treasure hunting shows goes on and on. If you could spend a week with the crew from one of these shows (or one that I missed) who would it be?

Both entertaining shows in their own right.

This is a toughy as I am not a reality television fan at all.  I love collecting, I love toys, I love history so I should love quite a few of these programs.  I've caught a few episodes here and there of Pawn Stars and American Pickers and liked what I saw but they certainly weren't things I set my watch to.   The Pickers seem like all around nice guys and some of the stuff they come across are mindblowing.  They edge out the Pawn Stars just because I love the process of digging through the junk, you know, getting hands dirty and finding that diamond in the rough.  Their only problem is that not everything they look at and hunt for is really up my alley, interest-wise that is. 

Sweet Jesus!  Can you say "12 back"?

One show in particular that really caught my focus was Jordan Hembrough's "Toy Hunters" which only made it as far as a pilot.  I loved what I saw and really appreciated the fact they he actually met the creators and designers of such iconic toys from M.A.S.K., Batman and Thundercats.  That was a real draw for me beyond as he put it, "the wow factor" of just being able to see something like a Six-Million Dollar Man, Rocket-firing Boba-Fett, 12 back Star Wars figure set, or Mad Bubbler.  You can always see these things in catalogues or on websites but something that really stuck the nail in was being able to see it in a venue where the person you're watching is sharing the enthusiasm you possess.  It's nice to see a guy like Jordan who, for the most part, "gets it" as an ex co-worker and fellow Joe collector John put it when he texted me photos of his latest finds saying he's at a new job where nobody shares his zealous attitude toward the Real American Hero.  My only gripe about Toy Hunters is that, sadly, there only is one existing episode up to now so I can't really make a balanced judgement about being on staff.

Those 5 little Chinese cups...1.5 million dollars!

When baseball cards came in your tobacco...and were paintings of your players.

Well, that was enough talking about where I wouldn't work.  I gotta be honest and put on my tie and give a true professional wish.  I love toys, I love collecting but I have to admit these are hobbies and without a job I would have neither.  So for the show I'd most like to intern on (being as I majored in Education, Art and History) it would only be logical that "the Antiques Road Show" would be the place for me.  This would actually be my all-time dream job.  Not just for a week but indefinitely.  I remember thinking back to an eighth grade project where I shadowed the curator of the local Everhart museum and he showed me behind the scenes of back rooms and corridors.  I couldn't believe I could actually handle the artifacts or get close up with suits of armor, Baroque furnishings, Samurai headgear, and Egyptian pottery.  From there, I knew History and antiquities were for me.  Antiques Road Show does this every day contacting historians who are masters of their fields and objects from the true annals of history.  I absolutely would be on cloud nine to get a chance at seeing the very first baseball cards, William O Butler's solid gold sabre or an original Jesse Wilcox Smith painting that was bought at an estate sale for a couple hundred bucks.  Just another reason of many to keep Public Broadcasting alive.  Thanks to my wifey for the, once again, ability to point me in a logically brilliant direction.

Nothing like finding a masterwork at an estate sale.

Boba had to get a working price before bring Jabba's prize back.

Head over to Memories of Toymorrow for a Bargain Hunt!

The Lair of the Dork Horde wants to spend some time at the Pickers' warehouse...and I don't think it's for the antiques.

GreenPlasticSquirtgun  can actually name some of the expert appraisers from my pick (read his post to get some more in depth info on the Roadshow!)


  1. Antiques Roadshow for the win.The Jessie Willcox Smith painting was one of those amazing things that I wish I had found at a thrift store.The man paid almost nothing for it and it was worth $75,000.

  2. Great post! Don't count Jordan Hembrough out yet--after the pilot, Toy Hunters was picked up for a full series, and he's working on it now. Not sure when it will air, but the travel Channel will have more episodes in the future.

  3. Yeah, I'm a full-blown Antiques Roadshow fan. I've learned a lot about oddball antiques over the years from that show.

    And although I was a little turned off by the fakery that I sensed from Toy Hunters, I know that I'll be watching the new episodes if only to see the gems showcased.

    Good pick!

  4. Great choice, I'd love to be a member of ARS. Meeting all sorts of people as interested in the same stuff as me, and seeing all their cool stuff. Awesome.


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