Buying a forty-year-old cookie box for $1,700. Or an empty can of green beans for $800. may seem crazy to most collectors these days, but when items bear the Hopalong Cassidy name, almost anything is possible!
A folding canvas tent: $1,500 a fishing pole and reel: $1,300 a pogo stick and box: $2,400. The list of extraordinary values of "Hoppy" items continues to grow in leaps and bounds.
Actor Bill Boyd developed this amazing cowboy character for the screen in 1935 and after 66 films led Hoppy to merchandising greatness by endorsements and name licensing of over 2,400 products. The first "character" metal lunch box made was of the smiling, two-gun-toting image of the original "Man in Black" - Hopalong Cassidy.
Collecting Hoppy today is more than hot . . . it's sizzling! From an investment point of view, few mutual funds or stock purchases can compare. Collecting Hopalong Cassidy merchandise has averaged an amazing 25% yearly appreciation for the past 20 years. "Can good deals still be found"? many collectors ask? They happen every day.
Collector Barry S. recently found a girl's Hoppy watch for under $100 in good condition. A fair price, but a real deal when he noted that the watch had a second hand. This rare appendage to any Hoppy watch immediately brought a flurry of offers to over twice his purchase price.
Collector Charles R. had a lucky weekend when he found a rare set of Hoppy window curtains for $200. and later learned the curtains had a value of over $500. During the same trip Charles visited a local antique store and noticed a worn Hoppy trail knife with a price tag of $60. After haggling, he gladly paid $50., knowing all along that he had just found a rare 'serpentine' design Hoppy knife with a value of $200.
When seventeen Hoppy plastic laundry bags were recently found in an estate sale, each in their original shipping sleeve and each with a product card, collectors from around the country eagerly offered the $650 asking price for each one. Why so much for a plastic laundry bag? It was one of the many 'lost' Hoppy items over the years, newly discovered, and maintains a value in excess of $1,000 each.
Like any treasure hunt, collecting Hopalong Cassidy items for the unwary collector also has its pitfalls. Many counterfeit and down-right phony items exist to trap the unsuspecting. These phony items include: watches and alarm clocks, cookie jars, item boxes, cap guns & holsters, pinback badges, pencil sharpeners, book covers, etc.
Even the most advanced collector has been taken in at sometime, but the best defense is a research and good resources. "Hopalong Cassidy Collectibles" has become the collector's Bible and reference book for Hoppy collectibles. The book contains 1,200 color photos of over 1,500 Hoppy items and collectibles, each with the item condition scale and current values under the photos for easy reference.
Bill Boyd died in 1972 but the Hoppy that he loved and created lives on and will do so for generations to come. Pristine VHS copies of many of the old Hoppy films have been painstakingly restored by Hopalong Cassidy Enterprises, Inc. and are still available. Check out the Cowboy Collector Network for more information on these.