by Roxanne Toser
Sometimes you plan and look forward to something for a long time and then it’s disappointing. Nothing could be further from the truth regarding the 60thright after Philly #59 which was seven months ago and all of our hard work paid off. Our shows are not just shows but events.
Friday set-up went very smoothly and putting together the promos packs, etc. was made possible with the help of Bob Hulsart from New Jersey, Graham Head and Kevin Worboys from the U.K., Bill DeFranzo, Sandra Haley and Maxine Preston from the New England states, Janet Foreman, Cliff and Carol Tooker, Tony Fetter and Larry Brody our Harrisburg helpers, Scott Thomas from Chicago and our sweet, sweet daughter-in-law Jody from Virginia. Bill brought cupcakes and cookies in honor of Maxine’s birthday. We truly value their help and couldn’t possibly get ready without them.
As a thank you to our helpers and a thank you to the show attendees and dealers staying at the host hotel Hilton Garden Inn and the hotel next door Staybridge Suites, and also to kick off the 60th celebration, Non-Sport Update sponsored a pizza party at the Hilton. This was very enjoyable and gave all who attended a chance to socialize.
By 10:00 am Saturday morning, there was a long, long line waiting to get into the show. Approximate attendance for the two-day show was close to 500—about what we expected. Dealers were kept busy most of the day and there was something there for everyone. All seemed to be in a festive mood and it was a great atmosphere. There were promos galore, both Saturday and Sunday. This time Bill provided Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins and coffee. The 10:00 to 5:00 show flew by.
At 6:00 pm, there was a 60th show anniversary dinner at Buca di Beppo, a terrific restaurant close to the Hilton and Staybridge. Jody, Harris and I went early to the restaurant for last minute preparations. From the minute we walked in the door, the staff bent over backwards to help us. Did we want something to drink? What could they help us with? They were wonderful and the five-course dinner was scrumptious. One of the highlights was the metal badges we provided for everyone. They were done by Faerie Metal Photography (Jacob and Julie Stem). Each one had the attendee’s name and are a great collectible and remembrance. We were so fortunate to have Diamond sponsorship from Cryptozoic and Breygent, Silver sponsorship from Topps and NSU and free dinners for the artists from Rittenhouse. Because of this, attendees paid only $25 for a close to $40 dinner.
There are 3,000 pictures at Buca so for fun, we put up around 10 pictures of various dealers who have done the Philly shows. Five of the pictures were dealers who did the very first show in April of 1984. Attendees were given a slip of paper and told to look around at the pictures and list the names of the five dealers. No one got this right (some got four of the five). The correct answers were Bob Ragonese, Al Wexler, Maryann Wolfe, A.J. Rutkowski and Roxanne & Marlin Toser.
Everyone attending the dinner received a goodie bag of promo cards exclusive to the dinner (which will make them quite limited). Included were three Upper Deck playable game cards, a Sons of Anarchy metal card from Cryptozoic, and a very special 60th Philly Show metal card with original artwork by George Wright from NSU (limited to 150—check out the available t-shirt with this artwork available on our site). Also included were three of four Breygent Marketing promo cards (once again, exclusive to the dinner). Included were Grimm (two different), Bates Motel, and Witchblade.
Of course having just had a wonderful dinner did not stop the gang from meeting at Red Robin (on the parking lot of the Hilton) later in the evening. Breygent gave out even more promos, this time, a special set exclusive to the Red Robin.
Sunday morning is Card Talk time for Card Talk members at the Hilton. Donuts, coffee, and bagels are provided by NSU. Since it was the 60th show and the Tosers have attended all 60 shows, we were on the panel. After mentioning the names of dealers who have passed away—including Phyllis Reighter wife of Frank both of whom were original promoters of the show—each of us spoke about some of our special show memories. We then asked the attendees to relate some of their memories. The meeting ended with various prizes from the manufacturers.
Before ending this, I need to mention the wonderful group of artists at the show. They were Rhiannon Owens, Sean Pence, Elaine and Tony Perna, George Vega, Jay Lynch (almost forgot to mention the great metal card with Jay Lynch artwork available for sale at the show and on our website), and Carolyn Edwards all the way from the U.K. Thanks to our faithful dealers and a variety of new ones plus a thank you to all the show attendees. If you were unable to attend show #60, be sure to attend show #61 on October 18 and 19.