An interview with the "Toy Hunter" at C2E2

Posted by Karri Ferron
on Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Doctor Who cosplayers challenged even Star Wars for the number seen at C2E2. Here, my wife, Holley, poses between the fourth Doctor (left) and the current 11th Doctor. // photo by Michael E. Bakich
A few weeks ago, I attended the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2). The 2013 version of C2E2 ran April 26–28, and the venue was the North Building of Chicago’s McCormick Place. Like most “comic” conventions these days, C2E2 also covers all aspects of pop culture.

I managed to get press credentials again this year and started searching for potential interviews. When the Travel Channel contacted me about a possible interview with Jordan Hembrough of its Toy Hunter television show, I jumped at the chance. While taping the interview, I asked him a variety of questions, which I hope you’ll find interesting. (He seemed to be having a great time.) I wanted to chat with him about science-based toys. I know some manufacturers still make them. How well do they sell? Are there collectors out there that specialize in them? Considering that, as a whole, toy collectors can be eccentric and imaginative, do those qualities tie in to other hobbies that involve curiosity and imagination like astronomy?

Godzilla normally attacks Tokyo, but he has been known to go after other creatures, so, I thought, why not join in the fun? // photo by Holley Y. Bakich
Because I had only a hand-held video camera, I must apologize for the occasional shakiness of the interview. Also, because several thousand people were within shouting distance, the background noise is much higher than it would have been in a studio. Still, I think Jordan’s personality and his great answers trump these minor issues.

I’ve also included a few images from the convention. I had a great time, I met plenty of science geeks, and everyone who realized I worked for Astronomy magazine thought it must be one of the coolest jobs in the world.

It is.

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