As my "About Me" quote indicates, I'm a lifetime collector and sometimes hoarder. Over the years, I've had many interests come and go, especially for the two decades that I worked in video stores and eventually owned a small chain of my own stores (Couch Potato Video). I recently made a committed decision to begin releasing my "treasures" to the world.
February 5-7, I am going to have a table at Panic Fest at Kansas City's Screenland Armour Theater. I'd like to think of it as a "pop-up" store for my blog because it represents many of the things about which I write on a semi-regular basis. I'll be peddling only a fraction of my wares, focusing on the 1990's, give or take a few years on either side.
There's a terrific lineup of movies at Panic Fest this year, so if you share the interest in them that I do, I'm certain you'll find something you want or need at my table. Stop by, say "Hi," and enjoy looking at my memorabilia, all of which is for sale at very reasonable prices. (Although I'm using eBay as a basis for price, I'm happy to negotiate.) Continue reading for some highlights and my personal favorites.
Home Video Release Kits
Back when video stores were huge cash cows for Hollywood studios, no expense was spared in promoting new VHS releases. Sometimes their home video divisions sent only a glossy ad slick, but other times they sent elaborate release kits with heavy-duty brochures or books, screeners, and other advertising materials (buttons and stickers) and tchotchkes.
Cool World – home video announcement kit in original oversized (oddly-shaped) packaging
The Iron Giant – home video announcement kit w/VHS screener, action figure & all packaging/inserts
The Matrix Reloaded – home video announcement kit w/posters, counter cards & shelf talkers
Titanic – home video announcement packet
Many home video release kits included folded posters; however, video distributors like Ingram Entertainment would send a tube of rolled posters monthly, many of which rivaled the beauty of their theatrical release counterparts. During this period, I also collected every giveaway poster I could grab from theaters. These were usually mini-posters, which I found more room to hang at home.
The Fly (1986) – Laserdisc release poster w/unique art
A Nightmare on Elm St. 5 – "It's a Boy" horizontal poster
Robocop 2 – rare 16" x 20" poster
The Silence of the Lambs – folded home video release poster
These little giveaways were fun to collect and represented great creativity from those paid to market the movies. Some items stretched a connection, such as a packet of seeds for Driving Miss "Daisy," but others were brilliant, such as a two-handled mug for Raising Cain. Some items have appreciated greatly in value, at least based upon prices on eBay.
The Dark Half – packet of bird seed
Honeymoon in Vegas – plastic cups w/roulette wheel in bottom & playing cards
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy – bottle of "Gleemenex" pills
Radio Flyer – tiny red wagon
The current value of some tchotchkes causes me to categorize them as "premiums" ($20 for a tiny Indian in the Cupboard action figure). In the 90's, though, I was also collecting outside the video stores. Toys and action figures have maintained their values and some have increased. I have items from popular movies and TV shows such as Akira, The Drew Carey Show, The Simpsons and South Park.
The Drew Carey Show – Mimi Bobeck doll
Dune (1984) – Baron Harkonnen action figure (never opened)
Magic Earring Ken doll (controversial)
Tarzan (Disney) – Rad Repeatin' Tarzin doll (controversial)
The Simpsons & South Park
I loved these two hugely popular animated TV shows in the 90's and still own many collectibles. With their appeal enduring to this day, some of these vintage items are quite special and have increased in value.
The Simpsons - Bart Simpson telephone (in original box)
The Simpsons - Clue game (never opened)
South Park – box of Cheesy Poofs
South Park – Mr. Hanky plush
VHS & DVD
Because I could buy them at cost, I collected more movies than I ever needed. In fact, many remain unopened to this day. Some of the VHS tapes have never been released on DVD, so their subjects are not only unique to the decade, but they are also true collector's items. In the late 90's, I went through a J-Horror phase, so my collection also includes several Asian movies on Video CDs.
Billy Idol's Cyberpunk: Shock to the System (VHS) - rare
Document of the Dead – Special Romero Signature Edition #169 VHS Box Set
Gumby (DVD boxed set) – rare; includes rubber Gumby figure
Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition (VHS) – widescreen box set
I've always collected pop culture related postcards. You can still pick them up at movie theaters sometimes, particularly at art houses. In the 90's, restaurants and bars had spinner racks with all kinds of promotional cards. Small and easy to grab, store or display, I've hoarded hundreds over the years. This collection spans beyond just the 90's.
Daredevil (2003) – sealed package of 4 character postcards
Psycho – greetings from the Bates Motel postcard
The Signal – set of 3 postcards in different color shades
Waking Life – set of 6 postcards w/artwork from movie
From the video store era, I've managed to save some shirts and baseball caps from home video releases. I also saved a couple displays (or "standees"). Some of them were duplicates, so they've never been opened.
Edward Scissorhands – poodle standee
George of the Jungle 2 – jungle safari hat
Jerry Maguire – life-sized Tom Cruise standee
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar – silk robe ("Attitude is Everything")This is just phase one of my enormous purging initiative. I have finally made an inventory of all my collections and plan to go back to basics, keeping only items from my core interests (in no particular order): Hammer Films, Star Wars, Universal Monsters, Planet of the Apes, and Back to the Future. Watch here and on Facebook for announcements about future sales and other opportunities to add to your own collections.