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‘Been doing this my entire life’: Ancaster Toy and Collectibles Expo returns with Lego, Pokémon and other vintage items

With over 160 vendors attending the Ancaster Toy and Collectibles Expo this morning (Oct. 22), the event was a must-see for casual and serious collectors alike.

Tables full of Lego, comic books, vinyl records, dolls and more lined the main hall of the Ancaster Fairground’s Marritt Hall as hundreds of visitors browsed the wares.

Many of the collectors at the expo had been pursuing the hobby for years.

“I started back in 1999,” Rei Tessari, a vendor specializing in Pokémon cards, said. “Pokémon first released when I was 11 or 12 years old and it just spiraled out of control. Whatever I sell here typically goes right back into my hobby.”

Besides Pokémon trading cards, classic Yu-Gi-Oh, hockey, and baseball trading cards were also displayed.

Funko Pop figures span a variety of properties and genres, including Marvel superheroes, anime characters, and wrestling icons.

The most common type of collectibles at the event by far were the figurines, which varied from cartoonish Funko Pop and anime figurines to old-school G.I. Joe and Barbie toys.

Comic books also filled many of the tables, as Marvel and DC superhero comics dominated the collections. A few early Action Comics, the first series to introduce Superman, were also framed and on display.

To some of the vendors, collecting is more than just a hobby.

“I’ve been doing this my entire life,” Casper Helpard, another vendor, said. “My father is the biggest collector I know and I was taught from a very young age how to treat comic books and how not to rip the pages of old ones when I’m reading them. It’s something that’s been ingrained in me.”

The expo is a chance for collectors not only to make some money but also to reach new people.

“[The expo] really helps us promote our products to a wider audience,” Helpard said. “It helps us especially because we don’t have our own physical store. It’s a lot of money to ship our goods over eBay and they get damaged really easily that way, so it’s easy for people to get them here and we get so save a bit of money.”

The next Ancaster Toys and Collectibles Expo will be on Nov. 19 at the Ancaster Fairgrounds.

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