Toys tell stories at road show

Staff photos / R. Michael Semple Barb Frank of Canfield, right, and her sister Linda Ohl, originally from Youngstown but now from Chardon, carry Barb’s 1950s rocking horse to the FX Vintage Toy Roadshow appraiser on Tuesday at the Holiday Inn in Boardman.

BOARDMAN — As best friends Buddy Huggins and Penny Stratos left the Holiday Inn in Boardman, they were all smiles.

That’s because the duo successfully sold toys at the FX Vintage Toy Roadshow on Tuesday, pocketing about $100 apiece.

“They were just in the closet,” Stratos said of the dolls she parted with, as Huggins agreed.

Huggins is in the process of cleaning out his Boardman home, which his parents built in 1949.

Kept in great condition, Huggins took a metal truck and a Cape Canaveral Missile kit, which was a Christmas gift from his grandmother. He estimated the toy to be around 60 years old.

Stratos, also of Boardman, took a toy from Russia and dolls, including a trio of characters from the 1960s show, “The Munsters.”

The dolls were won by a friend of hers in California, she said, by participating in a radio contest when the show was premiering.

“They’re interesting,” she said, looking down at them.

Also kept in great shape was the missile kit, which Huggins said had flags from 48 states — before the addition of Alaska and Hawaii.

A bag from his youth holding the tiny people figurines is starting to fall apart, Huggins noted, but the missile still functions.

Something miraculous, he said, is that the entire set is intact.

“Don’t ask me how I didn’t lose all the pieces but they’re all here,” Huggins said, laughing.

Huggins was curious to see if he’d be offered anything for the rocket set, as he previously sold an Untouchables set for nearly $1,000.

The best buds hadn’t gone to a traveling show like the one Tuesday, but Stratos watches them on TV, she said.

Huggins likely will take more toys today, he added.

In all, the friends were happy with the offers they received, they agreed.


The FX Vintage Toy Roadshow continues today at the Holiday Inn in Boardman.

Helping things move along is Mark Leinberger, general manager of the road show.

He explained that appraisers were evaluating old toys for collectors all over the world.

Items their clients are interested in include Barbie dolls and pressed-steel trucks, Leinberger said.

“These are all things that kids played with and as adults, they are trying to find” for the memories, he said.

Those collectors see a truck or doll and think, “that was a good day,” after the toy jogs their memory, Leinberger said.

Appraisers determine the worth of each item using their exerpertise, Leinberger said.

If there is a piece that a collector is looking for, the appraisers make offers based on current value, offering 60 percent of what it the item will sell for, he explained.

Boardman is a two-day stop on a tour of northeast Ohio.

“We love the Midwest and this area,” Leinberger said.

Although the crew was about an hour behind at one point, Leinberger said that he was grateful for everyone’s relaxed demeanor.

“Everybody’s so patient,” he said.


Waiting patiently together, making a girls’ day out, were sisters Barb Frank and Linda Ohl.

Ohl made the trip from Chardon to spend time with Frank, who is from Canfield.

The sisters, who grew up in Youngstown, took a horse on a wooden frame with springs, dating from the 1950s.

After seeing an announcement in the newspaper about the road show, Frank said, “I thought, this was my rocking horse when I was young and my children rode it, then my grandchildren rode it.”

“It was hers but she allowed me to use it,” Ohl said. “I remember that thing bouncing so hard across the floor,” she recalled, as the sisters laughed at memories.

Frank said she took the horse to find out its value, and if an offer was made, she would be willing to let go of the toy.

When it was their time with Leinberger, he said that normally collectors like smaller items.

Ohl asked what a horse like theirs would be worth, usually, and he responded in the neighborhood of $50 for a collector, and half that for someone who would have their children play on it.

“It’s going to go down to the great-grandchildren,” Frank said.



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