Newsletter #110

February 15, 2000

Greetings Accumulators!

Can you hear the "Hallelujah Chorus" in the background? Yes, we're still here! All of you please stop writing to me to tell me you haven't received the newsletter since - whenever you haven't received it. You're all still on the subscription list. If you've been watching "Treasures In Your Home" on the Pax TV network, you know I'm just fine, and that I've been traveling quite a bit lately, as well.

It seems we've become too big for our britches around here. Our server couldn't hold all of you, now numbering in the thousands as you are. So, every week I'd send out the newsletter, and every week several hundred would be returned to me. After wrestling with my provider for a couple of months, we finally figured out that we just needed a bigger server. So, here we are at Topica. Subscribing and unsubscribing instructions will be at the bottom of every newsletter, so please don't write to me to subscribe or unsubscribe. Inasmuch as this is the first weekend in months that my mail server hasn't crashed (yet!) I'm excited to be writing to you again! So, I won't waste any more time on explanations. On to the news!

I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to hear that many companies are envious of the billions being raked in by that big Japanese Company and the Beanbag Toy Producer, mostly from the pockets of overindulgent parents and grandparents bent on supplying their little ones with more trading cards and stuffed animals than the next kid has. Now, one of those envious upstarts, named Army of Darkness Inc. (I'm not making this up), has come out with a new product aimed at all those little minds with no sales resistance and a direct line to the heartstrings of adults with great supplies of cash. The new collectibles are called Antaetags. They are shaped like military dog tags, can be worn by kids 9 to 15 years of age (I don't know what happens if an 8 year old dares to wear one. Perhaps the Craze Of The Week Police show up and take him away), and they depict characters from The Legends Of Antaeus, a continuing storyline about the world 100 years from now, after a global cataclysm. There's nothing like feeding those positive images to kids, is there? Each tag is numbered, and part of a series. After the whole series is acquired, the tags can be pieced together to provide a clue to solving "the mystery". No word on what mystery we're talking about here. New series of Antaetags will be released every few months, ensuring that you will have to keep buying them, hopefully forever or until the cataclysm, whichever comes first. Also, to make sure your child will continue in the fine tradition of those Japanese trading card characters (oh, you know who you are!) by becoming a compulsive gambler, one in approximately every 18 tags will be a "Special Reverse" with a gold back, making them "highly collectible", and your child highly acquisitive. And you wonder why the company is called "Army of Darkness"? If you must, you can visit their website at this link

The House of Representatives has passed a resolution calling on President Clinton to honor the late Charles M. Schulz with a Congressional gold medal. The creator of the comic strip, "Peanuts", who passed away last weekend, drew the strip himself for fifty years. His farewell strip appeared the morning after his death. The House resolution commended Shulz for his contributions to humanity. It said, "Whether through the Great Pumpkin Patch, the Kite-Eating Tree, Lucy's Psychiatric Help Stand, or Snoopy's adventures with the Red Baron, 'Peanuts' has embodied human vulnerabilities, emotions and potential." Indeed, Shulz himself said, in an interview shortly before he died, that Charlie Brown's anxieties and vulnerabilities were his own, and that he'd been drawing a strip about himself all these years. Since Schulz (no "T" in his name, folks) was carried away by colon cancer, and his death was not a sudden thing, Congress should have passed this resolution in time for him to enjoy it. As for Peanuts collectibles, they are quite plentiful, having been extensively licensed for fifty years. Expect a slight blip in the prices, and then a return to stability.

If you're just bored to tears with museums that house mundane things like, oh, The Mona Lisa or remains of the mighty Tyrannasaurus Rex, you may want to visit the Museum of Dirt. Then again, you may not. The Museum collects dirt from unusual or noteworthy places, like the steps of Gianni Versace's house and Andrew Cunanan's houseboat refuge, which they display in jars at their website. They also display rejection letters from annoyed celebrities from whom they've requested some dirt. And, they display the dirt of others who are surprisingly happy to participate. There's the lint of Dave Barry, who sent along a note certifying its origin (although he says it may actually belong to OJ Simpson), and the topsoil from Michael Dukakis' tomato garden. They haven't yet sent out requests to us ordinary folk, or they'd know that I could supply them with all they'd need. The Museum actually has a gift shop, although I can't tell you what's in it. The last time I checked, the link to the gift shop was broken. To visit the Museum of Dirt, follow this link. - and don't tell 'em I sent you, please.

Alert Accumulator Mike Oliveira ambled into an odd lot store, where he found some USAir first class dinner plates with the mark, "Made expressly for USAir by Mayer China USA"; bread plates marked "Made expressly for USAir by ABCO"; and coffee cups marked the same way. There were also wine glasses signed "France Luminarc", and small carafes and drinking glasses, all etched USAir". As we all know, the name of the airline is now "USAirways", so at first Mark figured these were surplus items from before the change. However, he examined the shipping cartons behind the stacks of dishes and they were all stamped "Made In China" Mark feels this means these items are all fakes, and at first I was inclined to agree. But, he also mentions that the signature information listed above was on the cartons as well, and that makes me think that these items might possibly be authentic, as American manufacturing companies frequently import items under their own brand names, because it's cheaper to have them made elsewhere, and many of them maintain factories in foreign countries. Any opinions out there? Any collectors of airline items or china items out there who can shed some light on this?

Well, Accumulators, it's great to be back typing to you. Artie and I are headed up to the country house to see how it fared during last night's storm. We hope you're snug as rug bugs where you are. Next weekend I'll be in Raleigh-Durham, NC, doing free apprsaisalsvfor "Treasures In Your Home" (one item only,please!). For the exact locations and times, visit the Twin Brooks website ( and click on "Upcoming Events". If you're in the nabe, stop by and say "hi". Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!


2000 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #110
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


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2000 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.