Antique & Collectible Toy Show in Kirtland provides trip down memory lane –

Don Manno and his grandson Christian Cifra share an interest in model trains and other collectibles, so they made it a point to stop at Lakeland Community College on the morning of Jan. 5.

Manno. of Mayfield Heights, and Christian, of Mayfield Village, enjoy attending the annual Antique & Collectible Toy Show, which was held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Lakeland’s Athletic and Fitness Center Auxiliary Gym.

“They have a lot of interesting stuff,” Manno said. “You’ll see stuff here that you’re not going to see anywhere else.”

While browsing during the first hour of the show, Manno said he purchased a Lionel caboose for his model train. He added that Christian is building a model train layout of his own.

Manno said he also likes the atmosphere at the show.

“I know a lot of the vendors,” he said. “There’s a lot of camaraderie.”

Thirty-four vendors featuring items ranging from die-cast cars and model army tanks to “Austin Powers” action figures and “Wizard of Oz” trading cards packed into the college’s Athletic and Fitness Center Auxiliary Gym for the 2018 edition of the show. The show has taken place for about the past 10 years.

While the event offers an opportunity to buy, sell and trade toys, it also provides “a chance to go back down memory lane,” said show organizer Tom Pescha.

“People like to come and try to find stuff that they had when they were kids, or they wanted as a kid and they can get, so that’s one of the things that makes this show kind of unique,” he said. 

The show also is a great place for avid collectors, like Dan Armistead of Champion. He visited the event for the first time on Jan. 5.

Armistead owns a large collection of die-cast cars. So he was drawn to the table of those items being offered by vendor John Peoples of Beaver, Pennsylvania.

“This is the first place I stopped at. I’m just getting started,” Armistead said, as he perused the array of die-cast cars at Peoples’ table.

While toy cars were in abundant supply at the show, visitors looking for nonvehicular items could choose from a vast selection of other products, such as planes, movie posters, farm toys and dolls.

Vendor Bill Pope of Erie, Pennsylvania, displayed a table consisting mostly of character toys from the 1950s and ’60s. Among his inventory were model kits for Mr. Potato Head and “James Bond,” as well as “Batman” crayons. For lovers of 1970s nostalgia, he also was selling a pair of “Star Wars” roller skates.

Pope said he’s been a regular vendor at the Antique & Collectible Toy Show since it started.

“It’s a good place to gain leads (for future acquisitions) and good for selling stuff,” he said.

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