30 Dec 2013

The Most Collectible Star Wars Figurines

When the first Star Wars movie hit theatres back in 1977, movies and even popular culture were changed forever, with millions wowed by George Lucas’ epic space opera. But Star Wars also made a Death Star-sized impact on the toy world, which within the year after the release of the first film found itself awash with figurines modelled after Han Solo, Luke and other characters. Children raced to get their hands on one of the 3 ¾ inch action figures and complete their collections. Now, some 35 years later, those figurines can go for the toy-world equivalent of a Jabba the Hutt-sized ransom. Here are the top five most valuable Star Wars toy pieces. 1 – Darth Vadar, 1978 The first wave of Star Wars “early bird” figures landed on the toy market in 1978. The original Darth Vadar, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi figures came complete with a telescoping lightsaber accessory. This was later replaced by a single piece…

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26 Dec 2013

Typewriters – the original keyboards – date back to the 1870s, when Remington introduced the first of the machine-assisted writing devices. These bits of early office and writing technology are now sought-after collector’s items. However, unlike other memorabilia, such as sports gear, the general rule with antique typewriters is that the most valuable finds aren’t necessarily dueto age, but rather obscurity. In other words, an old Remington or Royal typewriter (two of the flagship companies) will fetch less interest (and money) than an unknown-brand typewriter that features a unique build and shape. Collectors also distinguish between typewriters made before the Second World War, and those produced after. The so-called pre-war models were most often made out of more rugged, stronger…

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23 Dec 2013

They’re some of the most sought-after pieces of baseball memorabilia hunted down by collectors: vintage bats. But it can be very difficult to check the authenticity of one of these aged game-used collector’s items. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The following tips from expert Bob Bertrand can help ensure you get an authentic vintage bat, and not a well-done imposter. If it’s too good to be true… If it sounds too good to be true, odds are it is. This rule applies especially in the world of sports memorabilia, and vintage game-used bats. Baseball teams and players use numerous bats, something shady dealers take advantage of. Forgers can use self-made letters of authenticity or certificates of authenticity which, combined…

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19 Dec 2013

Harley Davidson has been making its motorcycles for over a century. Ever since the first bike rolled out of the factory in 1903, the iconic machines are recognized the world over as a symbol of life in American – and the American dream. But they make more than just their famous hogs. Harley Davidson also produces fashionable gear and memorabilia items. They’ve been pumping out non-motorcycle products for almost as long as they’ve been making bikes. Here are 10 great Harley Davidson collectibles from through the ages. Silver Art Bar This small silver art bar was made by Harley Davidson in 1942. It depicts a shaft-driven motorcycle that was meant for use in the North African deserts during the Second…

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17 Dec 2013

Handcuffs, the saying goes, are as old as man. Ever since the beginning of civilization there has been a need to keep people prisoner or, worse, outright enslave them. And handcuffs – or, in old-timey lexicon, “restraints” – were always there to do the job. Early cuffs were made of strips of animal hide, and then later became more durable during the Bronze and Copper Age. But the golden age of handcuffs didn’t arrive until the late 19th century through the 1920s. This is when high-quality steel cuffs were turned out en mass, further spurred on by military purchases. Cuff collecting is tied to the at-times sordid criminal history of the restraints, with cuffs known to be used on famous…

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13 Dec 2013

The wristwatch has proven one of the most well-loved and popular bits of high-functioning fashion for generation after generation. From the cheapest of the low-end Timex to the fanciest Tag Heuer, watches are an unmistakable marker of one’s look – and, with the high-end brands that go for the price of a used car, luxury lifestyle. And who knows watches better than the Swiss? The world’s toniest watchmakers gathered in Geneva earlier this year to trot out their newest portable timekeepers. Here are the top 10 coolest watches from the show. 10 – F.P. Journe Quantieme Perpetual A classic-looking beauty from the Swiss company F.P. Journe, which builds all the parts in its watches. 9 – AudemarsPiguet AudemarsPiguet remains a…

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11 Dec 2013

Schwinn has been making bicycles since 1895 and is considered an American innovator of the modern bicycle. They were the first to use balloon tires, incorporate kickstands right onto the bicycles, and a host of other features now included on most modern bicycles. Determining the actual worth of your antique Schwinn can be tough, and really it comes down to one factor – it is worth whatever you are able to get someone else to pay for it. However, there are a few factors that can help you to gauge a rough estimate of the value of your vintage Schwinn. In estimating your Schwinn’s value you will want to: 1. Find the Serial Number Locate the serial number on the…

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9 Dec 2013

Nostalgic for the automotive culture of yesteryear? Then check out the world of vintage gas pumps. These gas pumps date back decades, and some can be found for sale originally from the 1930s. They’re a timeless bit of North American culture, relics from a not-too-distant age when automobile were a relatively young bit of widely-owned technology. And you can’t mistake the tell-tale appearance of vintage gas pumps, which look almost alien compared to their modern-day boxy-square brethren. Old gas pumps are usually instantly recognizable. This is because of their typical tall and skinny look. Normally, they’re less than half the width of modern pumps, with wild, bold colours and a large display face. Some are perched on stands, not unlike…

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5 Dec 2013

Today’s modern casinos are filled with glitz, glam, and all things flashy, but this wasn’t always the case. Although the casinos and saloons of old were definitely built with a certain sense of “style” in mind, you’ll notice a marked difference between a roulette table from the 1920s versus a roulette table in any of the hotels along the modern day Vegas Strip. Behold, exhibit A (Antique French Table Top Roulette Wheel, from the early 20th c): And exhibit B (A 21st century roulette table from one of Vegas’ many hotels) Although the gambling tables of yesteryear are certainly out of date nowadays, antique casino games are still treasured by collectors, hobbyists, and people hoping to “win big” by selling…

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25 Nov 2013

For a history buff, coming across a trench knife in reasonably good condition would be like a dream come true.  They might not be the rarest of war memorabilia, but they certainly aren’t common to come across either. Trench knives first came about during the WWI when soldiers took it upon themselves to fashion knives made from bayonets.  Eventually, trench knives (or combat knives) became the “go to” weapon for close combat. Photo of a WWII Cattaraugus 225Q Fighting Knife by Joe Haupt via Flickr.com (CC) Today, combat knives are a standard piece of army equipment and still play a vital role for soldiers in close quarter combat situations.  In fact, upon graduating from the United States Army Special Forces…

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21 Nov 2013

As much as we’d all like to deny it, winter is just around the corner. There are too many things to bemoan about the impending cold weather to count on one hand, but at the top of our list, is the fact that it’s time to put away the motorcycle for another season. To ensure that your bike is in tip-top read-to-drive condition come the first snow melt, follow these tips for proper winter motorcycle storage! 1. Take It For a Spin Before putting it away for the next few months, take that baby out for one more ride. It will give you a chance to say goodbye, and also burn off any condensation in the engine while also heating…

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18 Nov 2013

The key to guaranteeing that your acoustic guitar sounds just as beautiful in 20 years as it did the day you bought it, is storing it properly. With winter right around the corner, this is more important than ever as the cold temperatures and erratic weather will do a number on your instrument if it is left unattended. Make sure this doesn’t happen, by following the advice below. Before we even start, will tell you that the magic word of today is humidify. In general, when it comes to storing high-end guitars, air humidity should be kept in the 45-55% range, and temperature should hover between 67-75 F. Not following these guidelines can warp wood, destroy joints, and detune strings.…

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15 Nov 2013

How many times have you looked at your bank account with disappointment, and wished that you had a way to make money appear out of nowhere? Sadly this just isn’t possible, yet it certainly doesn’t stop people from trying. The United States Department of Treasury recently released numbers stating that an estimated 70 million counterfeit dollars are currently in circulation. You could very well have a wallet full of fake cash and not even know it—until reading our guide to identifying counterfeit US bills, that is. Compare The easiest way to identify a counterfeit, is to compare the suspected fake side by side with an authentic bill. Keep in mind that bills do change in appearance over the years, so…

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12 Nov 2013

While the right shark tooth can be worth a fair amount of money, there are many sharks teeth available on the market and many of them are small, unimpressive specimens used in cheap jewelry. Great White sharks teeth and Megalodon teeth can be worth a pretty penny, however. Typically the larger a shark tooth is the more it will be worth but there are some caveats to that rule. What to Look For There are several key factors in evaluating the value of a shark’s tooth, particularly at the higher end of the scale such as Megalodon teeth. These factors include: Condition; Size; Restoration; Shape; and Color. Condition: The condition of a tooth takes into account a few different factors.…

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12 Nov 2013

If you have a barber chair from the 1950’s or earlier, you might be wondering how much it is worth. The answer can be slightly complicated, but after considering a few important factors you can be on the way to selling your antique barber chair for the best value in no time! 1. Authenticity If you are only wanting the look of an antique barber chair without the actual history than a replica will be much cheaper and can look just as beautiful; but if you want a genuine antique, you will want to first make sure that you are buying an authentic vintage item. The authenticity of your antique barber chair can be tough to determine, but an easy…

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8 Nov 2013

Perhaps you have an old typewriter laying around. Typewriters can provide you with a window back into a time before computers and word processors existed – where “making a copy” meant physically typing every word out again, and where typing was an in-demand skill that not everybody possessed. In addition to having an interesting piece of history in your possession you might also be wondering “Is my antique typewriter worth anything?” The short answer is “maybe.” The most expensive antique typewriter on eBay right now (Oct. 2013) is listed for $1900, but especially valuable pieces have been known to fetch up to over $13,000!  Before you can determine if your particular typewriter is worth anything (other than the interesting conversation…

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4 Nov 2013

It’s safe to say that almost everybody has experienced the joy of PEZ at least once in their childhood. And for those who didn’t? Well, it’s never too late to step into the Wonderful World of Pez, as is made more than clear by the number of incredible personal collections out there. With that in mind, let’s take a few of what we consider to be the “sweetest” PEZ collections in the world. Check out Frederich Emmerich’s video tour of his PEZ collection. An entire room is barely enough to contain it, and it takes him more than 5 minutes just to show a glimpse of each dispenser. We also love the mix of vintage and new editions—after all, age…

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18 Oct 2013

The cannon was first invented in China, and is one of the original gunpowder operated weapons. The first record of cannon use is said to have been from the Battle of AinJalut between the Maluks and Mongols in 1260, while the first cannon in Europe was used slightly later between the 11th and 12th centuries in Iberia. This weapon then arrived in England in the Hundred Years’ War at the Battle of Crecy in 1346. Over the years, cannons became more and more advanced (and destructive). They were used widely over the centuries and played a key role in World War II, though in the second half of the 21st century they’ve been rendered all but obsolete in most parts…

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14 Oct 2013

The history of the calculator is almost as old as time itself. The first devices that solved math problems were developed around 2300-2700 BC. 2300-2700 BC The Abacus Today, abaci are typically only used in Asia and consist of a bamboo frame with beads sliding on wires. Early prototypes in 2300-2700 BC Mesopotamia however, were nothing more than beans, stones, or whatever other small debris could be found, moved around on tablets made of wood and stone.  Developed centuries before any written numeric system existed, abaci were a useful tool for merchants and clerks. 1642 The Mechanical Calculator Over 4000 years later, Blaise Pascal invented the first mechanical calculator in 1642. A commercially available in more functional version of the…

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