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Trucks, cars steal spotlight at toy show

December 13, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

MARION, Pa. - A snowman doffed his hat, danced a jig, twirled a string of lights and sang a tune for those curious enough to push the button on his pedestal Sunday at the third annual Marion Volunteer Fire Co. Toy Show.

"He was our best seller today," vendor Sherry Lohman of Chambersburg, Pa., said of the animated snowman. Her table was packed with Christmas novelties and decorations, while her husband was selling an array of Cornwell tools at the next table.

Richard Martorana of Hagerstown was scouting tables for additions to his collection of firetrucks. After picking out a miniature at one table, he said he has hundreds of pieces of all sizes in his collection and comes to shows like the one at Marion, "as often as I can."

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The toy show attracted its share of children, but many of those ogling the collectibles were adults looking to add to their own collections.

"A lot of men are shopping," said Liz Rotz of St. Thomas, Pa. At her table were scores of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and trucks, Boyds Bears, special edition Barbie dolls and celebrity dolls of LeAnn Rimes and Marilyn Monroe.

"One little boy said to his mom, 'Who is Marilyn Monroe?'" Rotz said.

Jeff Hollenshead and his father, Jim, of Chambersburg, had perhaps the biggest display at the show, with scores of Winross trucks neatly arranged over several tables.

"A lot of the trucks they did were for specific trucking companies" and were used as promotional items, Jeff Hollenshead's wife, Deb, said of the Winross products. Each man has an extensive personal collection in addition to the examples they sell at shows, she said.

"When it comes time to set up or tear down, it seems like too many," she said.

One man from Maryland, who had just purchased a Gibble's potato chip truck model, said his collection consisted mostly of examples from companies he became familiar with during his years of driving trucks in the region.

"Matchbox. That's their favorite," Sandy Jones of Greencastle, Pa., said as her son, Freddie, and his cousin, Jarrett Dice, closely examined the tiny cars. She said it was a passion not limited to the children in her family.

Frank Suders, chairman of the event, said vendor and admission fees from the toy show are used by the fire company to purchase equipment and supplies. The company's other big fund-raiser is its annual car show in August, he said.

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