ToonSeum receives huge trading card collection

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Are you fans of King Kong, "Charlie's Angels" and the Garbage Pail Kids? How about "Star Wars," Superman and the Fonz?

Starting in January, the ToonSeum, Downtown, will be displaying pieces of a huge pop culture trading card collection recently donated by a former Regent Square woman.

Melanie Schall, 53, handed more than 200 binders of cards to ToonSeum director Joe Wos before moving north to Franklin, Pa., about a month ago. She estimates the collection contained between 350,000 to 400,000 cards, worth roughly $40,000 to $45,000.

"The experience has been like going through a time capsule capturing snippets of entertainment history card by card," said Mr. Wos, who oversees the nonprofit museum of comic and cartoon art.

Ms. Schall said she began collecting as a child with her siblings. "I kind of got out of control in the '90s," she joked. She became active buying and selling cards at conventions and other gatherings.

As part of her collection, she owned four sets of Charlie's Angels, plus the Canadian versions; 50 to 60 sets of Star Wars; 16 Garbage Pail Kids sets, Pee-wee's Playhouse, etc., etc. etc. The cards filled up two whole closets in her Regent Square home.

She did hang on to a few cards, including some of her favorites from the Look 'n See collection -- the first nonsports series that Topps produced. It included historical figures, U.S. presidents, famous explorers and even Babe Ruth, to name a few.

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