Friday, November 7, 2014

A Seller Asks for Advise about a Marvin Silverstein Restoration & Creation

Friday, November 7, 2014
Raining and cold

A Seller Asks for Advise About a
Marvin Silverstein Restoration & Creation

   It was a good thing that I chose to do a lot of pre-winter exterior housework yesterday. Today is cold and raining, and we have (do I have to say that word!) snow forecast soon! I forgot to mention the summer to winter tire changes and the flu shot yesterday! So now my body,my car,and my house are getting prepared for winter.

  Today's post has to do with a reader by the name of Malinda Trollinger, a great name by the way! Malinda wrote me last week asking about pricing a toy that was created and restored by the late Mr. Marvin Silverstein.

For those who don't know, Marv was an exceptionally talented craftsman who would restore old American toys to their original condition. His Company's name was New Era. When you look at this post and search my bloc for "Marv Silverstein", you will easily see that I am not exaggerating when I call Marv a craftsman!

Marv (Marvin) Silverstein

  Returning to topic of today's post, Malinda wrote to ask me about what she should price today's item on ebay where she is selling it for her father.  

Malinda's Question and note:

"Hi Stacey,

I'm so glad I found your site. There is nothing on the internet about New Era toys. I have a New Era Rescue Squad that has a plate on the bottom and is No. 02 of 02. I'm selling items (via auction) for my dad on ebay, but I don't want to undersell this truck because I know it is rare.

My dad told me that the front is made from a Tonka truck and the back a NyLint horse trailer. I'm attaching a few photographs for you.

Do you have any advice?



* The above is courtesy of Malinda Trollinger
( I hope Malinda wonltmind that I corrected my name, by adding the letter "e")

The question is very interesting because Marv's "Rescue Squad" restoration and creation is not an old toy that was restored. If you read Malinda's note, you'll read that this toy is described by her father as a composite of 2 toy companies - Tonka and NyLint. So the answer is not so "cut and dry" (a term for an easy and limited answer). 

My Answer to Malinda

Hi Malinda,

If you go to this page at Liveauctioneers, you will see what toys the late Mr. Marv Silverstein made and restored.

These restorations do quite well on Liveauctioneers in terms of the final winning bid, but they are are usually restorations of prized old toys.
Your father's toy perhaps is a different toy, since it is not based on an old toy,but perhaps as you mentioned a "composite" of 
parts of 2 different toy company parts.

Me.. Silverstein made toys in conjunction with another person. I found 1 toy that Mr. Silverstrin made with someone else (I don't have the reference).
The reason I mention this is because under Mr. Silverstein's name on your truck, there is other writing that I can't make out, as your photo is slightly out-of-focus.
Is that another name or signature, or something else written?

Since you plan to sell this toy on ebay, I would recommend that you give some background to New Era restorations and Mr. Marv. Silverstein.
The reason that I mention this is that ebay bidders may not be as informed as people who bid on toys
at auction through the Liveauctioneers auction companies.

As for a price, try high, at say at $ 600.00 with the "Buy it now" option,
and see what happens.

You could also try to contact some of the auctioneers that I write about and see if they are taking items for consignment in the future, and what they 
might say. However, I don't know if they would charge you just for writing and asking. Also,if the toy does not sell through an auctioneers, you ail leave to pay both for the shipping to, and the return shipping charges.

One more thing:

Take a lot more photos and get the photos in focus (More professional!).
And if a door(s) opens, show the door (s) in the open and closed position.

If you send more photos, and would like me to add a post about this toy, I can do that.
I just need your permission, and more photos.
I also like to  place the toys against white (as you do) but whiten up the whites much more.
I can write the post, mention this toy by Mr. Silverstein and see if any readers might have "suggestions" vis-a-vis pricing the toy for ebay. However, most of the time, readers are "gun-shy" and do not write comments.

Thanks for writing.


Malinda initially sent me some photos, and I then asked her for more, including a close up (magnification) of Marv's sticker with the New Era name and information as to when the toy was built and what it's renumber is in the group. Marv sometimes made several restorations of the same toy.

 I had asked Malinda for close-ups of the label. I can;t read what is written under Marvin Silverstein's signature. He sometimes worked with another person on his creations.

I suggested to Malinda that she take lots of photos to show Marv's creation in the best manner. 
ebay eliminated (at least as of last year) the cost of photos (they used to charge) and also gave the seller and buyer the opportunity to see the photos in an enlarged mode. 

This is a great feature, and all sellers on ebay should be using this feature.
L x W x H:      18 1/2" x 7" x 5"      470 mm  x  178 mm x  127 mm  

Malinda wrote me that she only had a $ 200.00 camera, and that her photos weight not be so good.
With a little bit of photo-editing, her photos are excellent. If this is what she can do with a $ 200.00 camera, keep the camera! Many people think that the more expensive the camera, the better the photos.

I'll have to ask Malinda what here background is because she had a great photographic eye for composition and styling.

I mentioned to Malinda, that perhaps some readers might  write to me and offer some advise as to what Malinda might do with the price of this fine item.

She doesn't want to underprice the toy, so that's why I said top start moderately high, and see what kind of response there will be on ebay. Also, most viewers on ebay may not know who Marv Silverstein was or about his exceptional work, so I suggested that she write something about him to inform the potential bidders.

From my perspective, the unknown variable (factor) to this item is what kind of demand would there be for a unique item, limited to a production of 2 from Marv. Since it's not a restored old toy, but so rare, would Marv Silverstein collectors want this for their collection even more than the restored old toys?

So if you own or have sold any of Marv's fine work, I'd like to here from anyone who might like to comment and offer advise. If you want you can write me directly at my e-mail address below my name, when I sign off at the end of every post.

Thanks for dropping by and as always,
have  a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

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