Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Antiques Roadshow Story

This coming Monday, March 31st, PBS will air the first of 3 Antique Roadshow episodes that were recorded in Kansas City, MO last Fall. I had the opportunity to go and was very excited. I thought long and hard about what I was going to bring. I finally decided on my boxed Alps Batman Sports Car. Everyone has told me how rare this toy is supposed to be, so I thought it was probably my best bet and I really wanted to know more about it. Just to round it out, I also brought a Corgi 267 because you are allowed to bring up to 3 things, and they seem to like it when a you bring a collection.

The day arrived and we got there as early as we were allowed to.  My wife brought a painting and an old Chinese fan, so we split up.  I met lots of interesting people, lots of characters with lots of interesting items. I waited for less time than I had expected to. I finally did see Noel Barret, their toy expert, up ahead of me at his table. It was apparent that he wanted to kind of rush everybody through, asking everybody to have their items out and ready to be looked at. The lady in front of me had a bunch of broken tin toys that were piled up loose in her enormous duffle bag.  He was annoyed and started helping her dig them out and and then kind of dismissed them as junk. Finally it was my turn. He asked me a few questions. Then he made me very nervous when he carried the toy over to confer with a colleague because he dropped the box! Not the car, thankfully, but still...jeez! I also thought at that point that maybe I was going to be chosen to be on tv, which made me feel a bit sick to my stomach. That would have been kind of neat, but it did not happen, and I'm ok with that. When he returned he asked me what I had paid for it. I told him it was $600 and then told me he thought that was a fair price and it was still worth about that much. I think that he relied a little too much on my knowledge of the piece, because he offered me little further information, except to say the market on this sort of thing had softened recently. He did say at the very end that he thought it was a "very cool" toy and I shook his hand.

About an hour later, after I got home, I realized the mylar bag containing the car's "key" was not inside the box! This is the thing that they show on the box that activates the down shifting.

Talk about feeling sick to my stomach. After a few minutes of panicking and then stewing, my wife convinced me that I needed to go back to try and find it. It surely adds some value to the piece, and really was was one of the reasons I had decided to buy it in the first place. I have never seen one of these for sale with the key, so i went back to see if I could find it.  Let me now tell you how AMAZING and AWESOME the behind the scenes folks at Roadshow are. At the information booth a very nice lady told me that people lose things all the time, and that I should see some of the things they find at the end of the day! She then escorted me back up to the floor, past all the lines and straight back over to Noel's table, where I was then was allowed to go behind the tables to look around. I found somebody's rhinestone necklace which Noel grabbed from me and "appraised to be diamonds"! LOL Anyway, remembering where he had dropped my box, I crept a little further back and looked down to see the mylar bag with the key inside, just lying there on the floor. I was so thrilled to find it and relieved, that I shook Noel's hand once again and hugged the woman who had led me back up to look for it!

My take away bullets, if you should ever get the chance to go:

• Think for a while about what you want to bring, taking into account which appraiser you might get to meet.  I went back and forth about meeting the toy guy or the poster guy, Nicholas Lowry.

• Don't bring anything you will be tired of hauling around for potentially several hours.  Noticed several people struggling with their enormous "treasures".

• Expect to wait in line.  Our wait wasn't too bad, but I could see the crowd building the longer we were there.

• Make sure you are waiting in the correct line.  Saw more than one person realize they were in the wrong line after having waited a while.

• Wear comfortable shoes.

• Remember to ask questions of the appraiser.  I forgot to ask good questions.  :(

• After your appraisal is done I recommend just walking and looking around the "inner circle" before you leave.  People bring some amazing things!

Labels: , , , ,