WATCH: The Howard Blank collection auction is a pop culture supermarket. And as Squire Barnes reports, the past is within reach if you’re willing to pay the price.
Hundreds of rare pop culture collectibles are up for grabs in Vancouver this weekend as part of a unique auction. The lifetime collection of Howard Blank is on sale and bidders from as far away as Ontario are here to snatch some of the rarest items.
The collection is full of little pieces of nostalgia, including movie memorabilia, vintage gumball and coke bottle vending machines, and more than 100 acoustic and electric guitars.
Some of the rare items include Andy Warhol signed serigraphs, B.B. King electrical guitar and original art work signed by Michael Jackson and John Lennon.
One of the most unique and prized possessions in Blank’s collection is the original rickshaw from the 1963 Elvis Presley film It Happened at the World’s Fair.
It was sold for more than $10,000 to an Abbotsford resident, who outbid the Graceland museum.
Blank says it feels surreal to see his entire collection getting sold off.
“You know the great roller coast at the PNE. Well imagine riding that about a hundred times. There were some unbelievable drops and unbelievable highs,” he says.
Before Blank got into the movie and casino businesses, he was the kid who never unwrapped his comic books, thinking instead they’d be worth something some day.
He started collecting when he was just 10 years old, working at the Vogue Theatre.
He was allowed to take all the movie posters home and that started his life-long habit of collecting things.
“I am the guy who wants to save everything,” says Blank.
His stuff spent years sitting in boxes at his home and a huge warehouse.
He says he decided to sell his collection because he felt the need to downsize and take care of his sick dad.
His father has since passed away, but Blank still found it in his heart to part ways with his collection.
Blank says he never had a goal on how much money he wanted to make.
“This was not really about the money, it was more about starting a new chapter in my life.”
But even though his collection is gone, once a collector, always a collector, says Blank.
“My wife says if you want it, go ahead, but something must be removed to replace it. This was stage one.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Take your pick! Some of the items featured in this year’s Howard Blank auction