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Dolls, toys and trains take center stage

March 03, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

SCOTLAND, Pa. - For a girl who's pushing 40, "Chatty Cathy" doesn't look too bad.

With fading freckles and reddish hair, the 1960s-era doll, still in her original yellow dress, was one of thousands of dolls, toys and trains on display Sunday at the Scotland Community Center.

LouAnn Reese, owner of Hanover's House of Dolls in New Oxford, Pa., didn't have any takers, though, on "Cathy," who is worth about $85.

Reese had dozens of new baby and vintage dolls on display, and she said interest from the nearly 300 people who passed by was divided evenly between the two categories.

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"Vintage dolls from the 1940s and 1950s are most sought after by baby boomers," who want to recapture a piece of their childhood, Reese said.

She's been collecting all of her life and went into business five years ago. Most of her dolls come from auctions.

Kenneth Carter, owner of Kenny's Toys in Manassas, Va., finds many of his toy trucks the same way, scouting out auctions and other collectors' shows.

He began collecting two decades ago after a picture of his father in the old truck he drove caught his interest.

"I got to looking for the old truck. I've found similar, but I've never found the one," Carter said.

But that sparked a new love, and Carter went into business.

His biggest sale Sunday was a "Buddy L" dump truck he restored and sold for $300.

"You have to bring a little bit of everything. It's hard to say what people will want," he said.

Carter said he found out about the Toy, Train and Doll Show in Scotland through organizer Bill Robinson. The two met at a similar show last year in Virginia.

Robinson and his wife, Sandy, are toy dealers and four years ago decided to hold a show as a fund-raiser for the Cumberland Valley Model Railroad Club, of which Bill Robinson is a member.

"We've done very well. We maxed out the building the first year," he said.

A total of 90 tables, loaded with Barbie dolls, Matchbox cars, antique trains and even bobblehead dolls of cartoon characters from "Archie" and "Jughead" lined the community center on Sunday.

In the past, the show has drawn more than 500 collectors from the Tri-State area, but Bill Robinson said turnout was down this year because it competed with two others in the region.

Kent Kemmerer of Mercersburg, Pa., said he came to the show looking for "train stuff" to add to his growing collection.

Kemmerer said he began collecting Lionel trains after moving to Pennsylvania a year ago.

"I had some as a child. I just moved to the area and finally have a basement where I can have a (train) layout," he said.

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