Published: April 18, 2011
“This is fun; let’s check the booths out one more time,” a comment made by a middle-aged couple, laden with packages, and overheard shortly after noon on April 9 at Norm Schaut’s Fun Fair. They were representative of many of the visitors who attended this two-day event at the Philadelphia Expo Center, where all manner of antiques and collectibles were offered by 300-plus exhibitors.
“That is exactly what we are looking for, people to come, find something to add to their collections, and have fun doing it,” Norm Schaut said. And while he was pleased with most every aspect of the show, including the gate, which tripled from last fall’s outing, “We had hoped to have more exhibitors and are already working on that for the next Fun Fair.” October 15‱6 are the dates for the fall event.
By all counts, it already is a Fun Fair, and the variety of things offered is all over the lot. For instance, a man sat at player piano, just looking at the keys, while “Send in the Clowns” could be heard ten booths away, and nearby the inventory dropped in size to hundreds of pins, some political saying, “I Like Ike,” others with favorite comic figures, and one case devoted to early fishing and hunting licenses.
Dealers came from Germany and London, joining up with some of the best American dealers, offering top-of-the-line automotive and train toys. Pinball games were plentiful, and advertising pieces, both flat and fully dimensional, were in abundance. Dolls seemed to be everywhere, and the holidays were not overlooked, with Christmas and Halloween well represented. One booth was filled with robots, another with school lunch boxes, and yet another had several rows of early decorated beach sand pails.
It all makes one wonder, where do dealers find all this stuff? But the good part is, they do, and the best part is, Norm Schaut brings them all together so that both the sellers and the buyers can have fun.
“That’s why we call it the Fun Fair,” Norm says, as he puts his mind and energy to work planning the next one.
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