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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Pedigree Collections Highlight Hake’s Americana & Collectibles Auction

Bidding has opened for Hake’s Americana & Collectibles Auction #194, which features a diverse and exciting range of items from multiple pedigreed collections, will close June 3-5, 2008. Offerings in the event, which are presently available online at, include top items from the Tomart Archives, the Disneyana collections of Deak Stagemyer and Michael J. Stern, the Joel Cohen Disney Books Collection, the Craig Warren Batman Collection, the James Gallo Spider-Man Collection, and the Andy Levison Puppet Collection.

In addition to those pedigree collections, Hake’s, a unit of Geppi’s Entertainment Publishing and Auctions, has spotlighted a significant array of vintage pop culture collectibles ranging from political items to comic books for this auction.

Thomas E. Tumbusch, the publisher at Tomart Publications, published his company’s first book in 1977 and has since then authored many important and widely used books on collectibles. Many of the items in this auction from the Tomart Archives are the actual examples that appeared in their various publications, including many rare and unique pieces. The Tomart offerings range from the rare Ferdinand and Matador Marx wind-up toy (boxed, 1938) and to the 55 1/2”-tall Star Wars: Episode I – Anakin Skywalker Store Display Figure (1999).

Deak Stagemyer’s Disneyana Collection had its start in the mid-1970s, when after the longtime dealer and enthusiast decided to put away 25 key pieces rather than sell them as planned. What followed was a 10-year collecting frenzy, and by 1985 the collection had grown to about 750 pieces. Items offered from this collection include the only blue version of the Mickey Mouse Pull Toy by Fun-E-Flex that Hake’s has seen in 41 years and the rare version of the Mickey Mouse Radio by Emerson.

All collectors of Disneyana Memorabilia share the dream of finding incredibly unusual and rare pieces. Michael J. Stern made a habit of it, then turned his collection into the three-volume Stern’s Guide to Disneyana, the first color price guides in the marketplace. The books themselves are now collectors items, but the real prizes are his incredible Disney collectibles, which will be featured in this and subsequent Hake’s auctions. Featured in this auction are an exceptional copy of the “Mickey Mouse Merchandise 1936-37” Walt Disney Retailers Catalogue and the only known Mickey Mouse Phonograph by Emerson, among many other pieces.

Following another path for Disney, Joel J. Cohen is the owner of Cohen Books and Collectibles, a service that has bought and sold Disneyana for more than 35 years. A member of the International Society of Appraisers, he has accumulated one of the largest collections of Walt Disney books and papers outside of the Walt Disney archives. It has been on loan to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum in New York and the International Museum of Cartoon Art, and is now offered to Hake’s customers. Offerings in this auction from the Cohen collection include copies to two rare French hardcover Pop-Up books by Hachette, Mickey Et Le Prince Malalapatte and Snow White.

When the first wave of Batmania swept across America in 1966 due to the new Batman television show, Craig Warren was among those children whose imagination got carried away. His interest never left him. Eventually he assembled what is regarded as one of the most impressive selections of Bat-collectibles available, many among them exceedingly rare or unique. Warren focused his Bat-Collecting mainly on items from 1966-1969 and his interest in packaging graphics led him to search for still factory-sealed or Mint in Package items, hence the incredible quality of the pieces being offered. The Bat-items available in this auction include the boxed Batman Play Set by Ideal (1966, widely considered to be among the top Batman collectibles) and a factory-sealed copy of the Batman & Robin Target Game by Hasbro (1966).

Shortly after graduating college, James Gallo opened his first toy store in Wynnewood, Penn. The passion for collectibles was not a new thing for him, though. He first started going to toy and train shows with his father (a Lionel Train collector himself) at the age of 12, and was already very interested in comic books and collectibles. A love of Spider-Man and a supportive family made for an easy choice: He became a collector. Over the next 20 years Gallo spent a great deal of time at shows, auctions and going through mail order catalogs looking for Spider-Man collectibles he didn’t yet have. His collecting also branched out to other Marvel superheroes, Ideal’s Captain Action, and other material. Pieces offered Hake’s Auction #194 from this collection include a Marvel Superheroes Poster Set (Personality Press, 1966) and a rare Spider-Man vinyl inflatable pillow (1968).

Andy Levison assembled one of the largest comic character and celebrity hand puppet collections around, beginning with his discovery of the Larry Fine (of the Three Stooges) puppet in his father’s Bronx apartment in the 1970s. He wondered whether Larry would ever be re-united with Curly and Moe. In law school at the time, he worked through the remainder of his courses and the bar exam and ended up living in Philadelphia and working for a small law firm in 1980. He then found Curly at a collectibles show in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Moe arrived from Seattle in 1981, and a pattern was set for him. He built a collection that now includes virtually every cartoon character or celebrity who became famous enough to be presented in puppet form from the 1930s to the present day. Highlights of the items from this collection include a Popeye Puppet Trio from the early 1950s and a Pookie The Lion puppet that was actually used on the Lunch with Soupy Sales television show.

Items #1-880 in the auction begin closing at 10 PM ET on Tuesday, June 3, 2008, and items #881-2354 begin closing at 9 AM ET on Thursday, June 5. Detailed information on closing procedures is available on Bids are accepted by telephone and on the Internet. Call (866) 404-9800 (toll free) for further information.