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SHOW REPORT – THE WEST COASTER

The entry to the Elks Lodge in Pasadena, California

The 2024 West Coaster sponsored by Hobby Bunker was a rousing success. Historically, the show was held in Orange County; however, this year the location moved to the Elks Lodge in Pasadena, California. The Lodge, which was built in 1911 has been featured in many movies and television
shows including The American President (with Annette Bening and Michael Douglas), The Distinguished Gentleman (Eddie Murphy) and the TV show, Veep among others.

The Lodge is situated at the intersection of Colorado and Orange Grove Boulevards. The location is famous since this is where the annual Rose Parade begins every year. There is a huge free parking lot
that can accommodate 150 vehicles. Directly across the street is the world famous Norton Simon Museum, and Old Town Pasadena with numerous shopping and restaurant locations is a 5-minute walk away. The venue is also accessible from several major freeways.

Entry sign

While the Lodge is famous for its oldworld charm and vaulted ceilings, a recent facelift added to its charm. Matt Murphy, the show organizer, told me that there were 60 tables set up in several large areas of the first floor. Tables were filled with a huge variety of new and vintage figures. When the show opened over 275 buyers burst through the doors.

What was also very gratifying was the esprit de corps among both dealers and collectors. I was extremely happy with sales and even found a large mint-in-box set of Quiralu, L’Armée Francaise aluminium figures which made my show. Throughout the day, the buzz was very positive from everyone I talked to. Dealers mentioned how happy they were with the show. Trading was fast and furious for over 4 hours. Buyers mentioned how happy they were that the show is continuing, with many vowing to return next year.

There were many familiar faces at the show including Bob Phillips, Tom Sturgeon, Mike O’Donnell, Dennis Fontana, Greg Urbach and Kwei-Lim Lum, Woody Lambrith, Gus Ramos, and Mike Tarantino to name a few. Uber collector, Bob Walker, was effusive in his praise, noting that he found many things for his collection and that, “the location was delightful…the best toy soldier show I have ever been to.”

Next year, the show will return to the Elks. Hope to see you all there!

Matt and a Roman!

Matt Murphy, the show organiser added: “The latest West Coaster was a success. Over 300 people were in attendance. We had just over 70 x 8-foot tables, virtually sold out. Last year we had about 100 6-foot tables. So just a little smaller. I was a little worried about the venue change that was about 40 miles Northeast of Garden Grove. The Historic Elks Lodge in Pasadena was the site of the new show. The venue ( 400 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105) and area were great and huge parking lot was free. The customers loved the venue. I also did an early Admission at 8AM which 40 patrons took advantage off. Traffic in California can be brutal, so many people arrived early and stayed for most of the day.

Room trading

We chose a vintage Hotel called the Saga Motor Hotel which was a few miles down the road on the Historic Route 66 to be our place for hanging out and room trading. We had 20 dealer rooms open on Saturday. Some dealers said they did great and others said they didn’t do so well. I did some buying and selling, and wheeling and dealing! I had a couple good diners and laughs with Mike O’Donnell and Woody Lambirth. Woody ran the show for several years before I took over. I had help on Sunday from Joe Denoncour and Joe Remson from New Hampshire,
Woody, Steven Chong and Tom Dubel. Without them I could not run the show.”

Mark Young’s Table
Tables A
Tables B
Gus Ramos’ Table
Woody Maning the Gate
Matt Murphy’s Table

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