Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Road Trip, Part Two

If I were sensible, I’d be in bed right now. But sensible is not a word that really applies to anything I’ve done in the past three days. Road trip to a location I’ve never been to before, on a week’s notice, to help someone I haven’t seen in a couple of decades, driving an ancient, high-mileage station wagon?

Sensible? No. Was it worth it? Yes, but we’ll have a bigger discussion of that some other day. All I can say today is that I think the experience will be very useful for dealing with future auctions of this type, which - not to get too morbid or maudlin about it - may be a not-too-distant inevitability for many of us.

First, I’d like to thank: my boss, who allowed me the time off on such short notice, and in spite of a heavy schedule; the weather, for cooperating; my Russian mechanic, who keeps my ancient car (aka "Sherman") in good enough shape to drive to Illinois and back; and to the people at Munda Auctions, who allowed us to do the work we requested to do, and were actually quite nice to work with.

We didn’t quite get to do quite as much work as we wanted, due to the sheer volume of stuff and the limited amount of time we had at our disposal, but we got the most of it and the worst of it done.

That included sorting, boxing, tagging and reassembling families and gift sets, and recovering a few small items that were mistakenly sent there in the first place. (Mostly sentimental pieces of nominal value.) Nothing could be done to match up sets that had already been broken up and listed, and I only had a limited amount of time to evaluate each model for condition, quality, variations and all that.

There were a number of really fine pieces - many of them Live Show Quality, or darn close. (A couple of Lady Phases and an Adios come to mine.) Lots of Special Runs from the 1980s and early 1990s: Belgians, Bucking Broncos, Hanoverians, Balking Mules. Lamps and Clocks. Boxed Christmas Run items, boxed Just About Horses Specials, and an entire carton  - 15 to 20 pieces, give or take - of factory unpainted models, including some of molds that have since been altered. (Don't worry, they'll be listed separately!)

I’m guessing that there will be at least two more sets of auctions that will be majority-Breyer, and that’s not including the other plastics (mostly Hartland) and the chinas, which we didn’t even bother opening or evaluating. I didn’t bring my Hartland or china reference materials, anyway.

I don’t know which items will be listed when.

I did get a chance to get a quick look-see at the auction set up for this Friday: seeing all 300 lots set out in the main auction room was oddly thrilling, even if the bulk of them were relatively common items. Felt like a mini-BreyerFest! There were definitely a few that caught my eye, but I’ve been rather carelessly bidding on those crazy eBay lots from that Arizona seller, so my "fun money" well is currently dry.

(Wish I could be there on Friday anyway, but even my boss is not quite that understanding.)

We talked briefly to the proprietor Doug Munda, and as I mentioned before, everyone there was very nice and very accommodating. (The lady who packs the items to ship? Has relatives in my hometown!) They were quite pleased with the response and progress of the auctions so far, and we also informed him of the kinds of things hobbyists of our sort look for, and might be asking about. They've already had some experience dealing with our type in previous auctions, and with other serious collectors of serious collectibles, toys and figurines, so I don't think anything we said was particularly out of the ordinary. 

That’s all for now, folks. I actually wrote a couple of posts at the hotel about other topics, so you’ll be seeing more actual history stuff in short order.

No comments: