7 Mar 2014

Three Pinball Machines to Illustrate the Evolution of the Game

Pinball is a staple in every classic arcade. Invented over 100 years ago, and gaining huge popularity after World War II, pinball machines evolved from simple spring loaded table-top games into the high-tech digital machines available today. Let’s take a look at a few machines that perfectly illustrate the evolution of pinball: Gottlieb Spot Bowler – 1950 Pinball as we know it has a spring loaded launcher, steel ball-bearings, targets for scoring, electrified bumpers, and two inward facing paddles at the bottom of the machine to propel the ball back up into the playfield when it returns down to the bottom. The first machine to include all of these features was the Spot Bowler, manufactured by D. Gottlieb & Co. As you can see in the photo, The Spot Bowler was designed to emulate a classic 10-in bowling lane. The basic goal is also the same: get as many strikes as possible! Williams Firepower – 1980 With the late 70’s…

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5 Mar 2014

The concept of restraining devices is an ancient one that dates back to pre-Medieval times.  The hands and feet of those deemed to have done something wrong were often bound so that the suspect could not escape custody.  Aside from criminals, slaves were also bound so they could not run away from their masters during long journeys.  From intricate rope to primitive metal rings, handcuffs came in a variety of forms unlike the simple contraptions we see today. In modern times, the world of antique handcuffs is one of fascination for collectors everywhere.  Although we are used to seeing restraining devices with a lock-and-key contraption, many older versions did not always come with this type of mechanism.  Ancient handcuffs often…

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3 Mar 2014

There’s nothing more quintessentially North American than collecting baseball cards.  Many of us have fond childhood memories of trading our favourite baseball cards for one deemed much more superior.  Whether you were saving a year’s worth of allowance to buy that precious memento at the card shop, or grinning ear-to-ear after finding your baseball hero hidden in that bubble gum wrap – there’s no doubt that baseball cards bring a certain joy to children and adults alike. These collectibles are serious business with some cards fetching millions of dollars apiece.  Although most of them are found in the United States, valuable ones can also be spotted in Canada, Cuba and even Japan.  Rare cards are often the most expensive because…

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28 Feb 2014

You can certainly bet the Seattle Seahawks are still high off their victory over the Denver Bronchos.  And that everyone who helped make Seahawk Super Bowl history is wearing a cluster of shiny jewels on their finger right now.  The NFL championship ring is the crowning memento that makes a grueling season well worth it for the team.  Because the Vince Lombardi trophy is awarded to the team’s ownership, a Super Bowl ring is a token of recognition that each member gets to keep. But these tokens are no cheap affair.  Costing about $5,000 each, the NFL purchases 150 rings for the winning team.  Each ring is usually encrusted with a series of diamonds, all held together along a gold…

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26 Feb 2014

Dozens of fairytales and legends are known for their iconic “treasure chest” scenes. A lone traveller uncovers an elaborate box after years of searching with a wrinkled old map, and lifts the lid to find a wealth of sparkling coins and gems. Most of these scenes are rooted in fantasy, but there are actually plenty of real-life stories of treasure out there too! Don’t believe us? We’ve rounded up four examples of some of the most expensive treasure chests to ever be uncovered. 1. “The Thrill of the Chase” It hasn’t been found yet, but about four years ago, Mexico multimillionaire Forrest Fenn announced he had hidden a box of treasure worth more than 5 million dollars. Fenn calls the…

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24 Feb 2014

Cuckoo clocks aren’t like your traditional run-of-the-mill time-tellers.  They are fun, vibrant and eclectic pieces that joyously announce the passing of another hour.  And what a festive occasion it is as a little bird pops out of its hole, singing a melody to greet those nearby.  The cuckoo clock was first invented in the middle of the 18th century in Germany’s Black Forest.  Although modern day replicas are aplenty, antique cuckoo clocks are so precious that they can easily fetch thousands of dollars. Perhaps you have a cuckoo clock in your home, whether it’s proudly hanging on the living room wall or buried deep in the attic.  But how do you know if yours is worth any money?  Could yours…

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20 Feb 2014

Since the introduction of the airplane by the Wright Brothers back in the early 1900s, hobbyists across the globe have been fascinated with collecting airplane related paraphernalia ranging from old pilot gear, to airplane parts like say…propellers. Most people who decide to collect propellers do so because of their fascination with planes, but the reality is that some of them are extremely valuable—even after being detached from the plane. We’ve put together this guide on how to evaluate the worth of your airplane propeller collection. 1. Condition The most obvious, and in some cases the most important factor, is the propeller’s condition. Ultimately, condition depends on how close the collectible is to its original state. That said, this doesn’t always…

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14 Feb 2014

The 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution made it illegal to sell, manufacture, and transport alcohol. Proposed to Senate on Dec. 18, 1917, it was approved by 36 states, ratified on Jan. 16, 1919, and went into effect on Jan. 17, 1920. The Volstead Act set out rules for enforcing the ban as well as defined the types of alcohol included under the ban. Prohibition led to widespread flouting of the law by otherwise law-abiding citizens and paved the way for a powerful, lucrative, and violent black market dominated by organized crime and corruption. Chicago’s most notorious gangsters made their fortunes during this chaotic time, criminals like Al Capone and Bugs Moran made millions running speakeasies throughout the Chicago…

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10 Feb 2014

A popular collector’s item, antique cannons are a great reminder of our history and the battles that shaped our countries. A great testament to the industrious spirit of humanity, these historical pieces demonstrate the workmanship of ages past. For those interested in starting a collection or simply curious about the value of these antiques, here are some of the most valuable cannons available on ebay today. Trumpet Cannon This 200 year old cannon was discovered underwater and is a very rare piece. With its larger than usual muzzle and bore size it is an unusual cannon. Casted entirely in brass/bronze it will never rust and, due to its years spent underwater, it has a lovely freshwater patina. With a length…

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6 Feb 2014

Plane memorabilia is a popular collector’s item and there is a vast array of historical pieces available for the discerning collector. From manuals to engines to uniforms and magazines the world of plane memorabilia has something for just about everybody but what are some of the coolest and most impressive items available in the market today? Aviation antique specialty stores are a great place to seek fantastic additions to your collection, or to help you get one started. Continental A-40 Engine This 4 cylinder, air cooled engine was once used to power the Taylor E-2 ‘Cub’, a small, light, and simple aircraft designed by C. Gilbert Taylor of the Taylor Aircraft Company. The design evolved from the Arrowing Chummy engine…

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3 Feb 2014

Functional suits of armor can be great collector’s pieces. Made to look just like armor from various time periods, they can be used for re-enactments or simply put on display in your home. Available at a range of prices, they are made of high quality steel and custom made to your measurements for proper, period-accurate protection. They each come with their own display stand and there are many styles to choose from including: Tournament; Knight; Gothic; Battle; and Samurai. The Best Seller: Blued Steel Medieval Armor This medieval set of armor is a reproduction of Italian articulated armor and is crafted in the tradition of the master craftsmen of the age. With a blued plate finish to duplicate the look…

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30 Jan 2014

Collecting something special can be a lot of fun and the results can make a great heirloom for your children and theirs. But the most difficult part of starting a collection can sometimes be deciding what to collect! Not everything will be worth a lot of money down the road but sometimes that it not the most important aspect of a collection. Many people collect items for sentimental value or to commemorate important times in their life or place they have been. Whether you want to collect valuable items, sentimental items, or both you’ll want to pick a theme to help you avoid hoarding too many items. Fortunately, we have some great tips here to help you pick a collection…

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29 Jan 2014

Almost everybody’s purchased a comic book in their lifetime and odds are, that when they first bought that classic issue of Superman or Spiderman with their weekly allowance, they didn’t think it’d be worth thousands of dollars years later. It just so happens, that comic books are some of the most valuable collectables in the world so pull out that dusty cardboard box, because your nostalgic old collection might be worth a whole lot more than the sentimental value you’ve attached to it! With that, we bring you our round-up of the top 10 most valuable comics in the world. 10.Amazing Fantasy #15 1962 fetched $280,000 at auction. Why? Because this marked the first introduction of the iconic Spiderman. That’s…

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27 Jan 2014

A wonderful collector’s piece, a working condition Edison phonograph is also a marvel of technology from a different time. With several different models available from antique dealers and private collectors alike, there is quite a range of prices for collectors of every walk of life. Oak Edison Opera Antique Phonograph This stunning piece features the original lid, wood horn, and elbow as well as the oxidized Diamond-A reproducer. The bedplate has been recently repainted and striped along with the front cabinet and horn decals in order to restore it. Still fully functional, this phonograph runs smoothly and quietly and would make a fantastic addition to any collection or home. Price: $7499 + shipping Vintage Edison Amberola Phonograph with Oak Cabinet…

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24 Jan 2014

Thanks to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and countless other rock & roll stars, the name “Fender” has become arguably the most well-known name in the guitar world. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these iconic instruments, the odds are that it has a very special place in your heart—and for good reason. That said, circumstances can change. Maybe you want to upgrade your guitar but can’t afford to own more than one, or are simply strapped on cash and have no option but to sell your prized Fender. This can be a hard decision, but also a very profitable one. Indeed, you’ll want to do a lot of hard research before accepting…

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20 Jan 2014

Did you know that there are several handy businesses located alongside Jiffy at its Toronto location? So next time you swing by the Jiffy Self Storage site, why not give them a visit. For example, take the Canadian Hardware & Tools store located at the Jiffy Plaza. Ali and his wife Samaila source world class manufacturing companies for delivery of high quality tools to their exacting specifications — and Jiffy Self Storage business tenants are just steps away. At Canadian Hardware, you’re able to buy precision tools and supplies at prices that are often 50% less than major big box lumber retail stores. So why pay big prices to rent when high quality tools from Ali are available to own for the…

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10 Jan 2014

After several years as a professional window cleaner, Mark Strange and his wife Leonor decided they would give retail store ownership a try. Of course the perfect choice of product to sell would be window cleaning supplies as well as other related cleaning products. Mark began doing research on store locations and involved costs back around the fall of 2012. That’s when he first spotted the newly renovated store units in the front end of Jiffy Storage Plaza on Wilson Ave. After finally making the decision to move forward with the retail store in Toronto, Mark and Leonor began renting a retail unit in July of 2013 and eagerly began renovations. By late August they had both their Toronto retail…

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7 Jan 2014

They can easily pile up and fade with age, but not all ancient magazines should be seen as candidates for the recycling bin. Though they’re mass produced, old magazines can also become antique relics, and thus collector’s items. Some old magazines are obvious collector’s items. For example, editions of Life, Look and Time from November 1963 and the following months, the time of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Of course, historical events such as the Kennedy shooting are obviously important, and thus people hang on to them, driving down their value as a collector’s item. Those JFK shooting magazines might go for $25 to $50 at a speciality show or shop if they’re in excellent or mint…

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6 Jan 2014

This is the season when most people move seasonal car tires into and out of storage. Toronto car dealers charge an incredibly high fee to store tires for six months, but at Jiffy Self-Storage, we have the smarter solution for thrifty Toronto consumers looking for a cheap Toronto solution for storing seasonal tires. Rent a 25 sqft (5ft x 5ft x 9ft high) unit from Jiffy Toronto to store your winter tires plus other seasonal stuff inside one of our climate controlled storage spaces. You may ask yourself what difference does a proper storage space make for your tires. Well, tires that aren’t properly kept away can suffer a range of problems. Here are five quick and easy tire-storage tips and…

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