I think I finally know what it’s like for my inlaws when they watch Antique Roadshow. They’ve been dealing with, buying and selling antiques for years now and any time I’ve seen them watch that show, they talk to the TV like their favorite football team keeps calling all the wrong plays. What spawned this feeling of TV-based camaraderie? The Travel Channel’s new show Toy Hunter. The show follows Jordan Hembrough as he runs around the country checking out toy fans’ collections, buying things and flipping them, basically a more geeky and focused American Pickers, a show I love.
On one hand, I love the show. This is one of my two geek loves showcased on television, how could I not? Hell, I was one of a handful of guys who can claim to have been editors of ToyFare, the premiere magazine for collectors. My love of toys goes back further and deeper than my love of comics, so seeing him dig through someone’s collection and come out with Darkseid’s spaceship or a super-rare Luke Skywalker figure is pretty amazing.
My problem with the show is that I know too much and it feels a little insulting. Let me explain. Hembrough spends a good deal of the show explaining why a certain toy or collectible is awesome to the person who purchased it, ostensibly because it’s valuable. It feels a little condescending to me, but I’m 90% sure that’s because I already know why most of the things are awesome. It’s not Hembrough’s fault, though there’s something about his character that I can’t quite get in synch with so far. However, I’ve seen about four episodes and there’s been a piece or two that I knew nothing about, so hearing him explain it was actually helpful.
Will I keep watching Toy Hunter? Maybe. We still haven’t figured out how our fall TV schedule is going to shake out, so I’m not sure how our Wednesdays are looking. I like it enough to check out a marathon or something on a lazy Sunday, but a problem with Travel Channel for us is that it doesn’t actually show up on our TV guide channel. But, for as long as I can remember and as long as nothing else conflicts with it, I’ll keep checking the show out.