The Roadshow Antiques South Market

collectivatorrasouthThis summer we took a sunny drive to nearby Pickering Markets for the first time. This large building is situated just east of Toronto off highway 401, and encompasses a farmer’s market, flea market, food court and antique market. There’s plenty of free parking and multiple entrances so it’s easy to navigate. We didn’t spend much time in the flea market but headed straight to the antique section that anchors one end of the building. This is home to the Roadshow Antiques South location. It’s a smaller sister market to the Roadshow Antiques North market in Innisfil Ontario. I’ve never been to the other location, but based on the website it appears quite similar.

The Roadshow Antiques market is sectioned off into aisles and most of the booths are filled with items. I’d say only 5 – 10% of the booths were either unoccupied or very under stocked. The staff were friendly and I had a few people ask me if I needed help finding anything. It was also easy to simply roam the booths without feeling watched or rushed. For convenience the front cash has cubbies so they can hold your items while you browse.

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In terms of general quality of stock, I’d say it’s a mixed bag. I had no problem finding cool vintage items at fair prices, and a truly great selection of Pez (more on that later). However if you’re looking for strictly older antiques or furniture you may be disappointed. This market weighs more towards collectibles and nostalgia of vintage (or newer) age. There were a few booths featuring vintage jewelry and fashion accessories, toys and advertising. Some dealers specialized in popular collectibles like cameras and records. There was some good antique and vintage furniture scattered throughout, but the emphasis was on smalls.

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The Roadshow Antiques market is not going to wow you with every booth, but with over 150 dealers it has something for almost everyone. If you’re looking for classic collectible items like bottles, tins or china you’re in luck. Of particular interest to me were a few stalls full of classic vintage kitchenware. There was diner styled plates, glasses, cake stands, and Pyrex at good prices. I even found a small Tiki display and picked up a new mug for my collection. Speaking of Tiki, if you’re the type of person who finds kitcsh irresistible, there were plenty of “bad art” paintings, cutesy 1950s figurines and odd decor to catch your eye.

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Finally, as I mentioned above, there was Pez. So much Pez. I was in the last aisle of the market, ready to pay and leave, when I turned to see a towering Peter Pez display filled with older dispensers. I literally gasped like a Southern lady with the vapors. If you’re a Pez collector this is a GREAT place to go. The Pez dealer, Darlene, was there and we had a lovely conversation about her collection (some of which can be found on her website Pezopedia). She also sells Lego minifigs, Hot Wheel cars and other collectible toys.

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In the end, I think most people would enjoy checking out the deals at the Roadshow Antiques market. Many of the booths had sales on all regularly priced items, and I imagine stock gets replenished quite often. The rest of the mall offers a food court (the Italian and Mexican food was good), a large section of discounted toiletries and clothes, as well as a great British booth with cheap tea and crisps. We enjoyed spending a few hours comfortably browsing and we left with a bag of interesting items. I look forward to visiting the Pickering Markets again.

Pez Collection – Peter Pez Display Head

It’s super hot around here so I’m taking it easy and photographing inside stuff this week. I figured it’s about time to introduce you to a minor obsession of mine – Pez dispensers. Remember those little plastic tubes with funny heads that shoot candy when you tip the head back? You probably got one as a kid and never really thought about again? I have boxes of those things. Numerous plastic boxes that form a small wall in our basement. I’ve been collecting Pez dispensers and Pez branded items for over two decades! I started young because it was something I could look for when my parents dragged me to auctions and antique shops. Pez is a great thing for kids to collect because they’re cheap, small, and easy to find both new and vintage. Although my buying and selling has slowed over the years, I still appreciate a good Pez buy. Pezhead for life, yo.

So let me tell you about my newest purchase! A few weeks ago I bought a plastic three-dimensional Peter Pez head from the top of a retail Pez display. Who is Peter Pez you ask? The PEZ wiki (yes, it exists) explains that “Peter Pez is the PEZ mascot. He is depicted on the sales displays, as well as numerous other forms of advertising. Often, Peter PEZ is depicted as a real clown, holding in his left hand a Peter PEZ dispenser.” True to the description here’s the display:

Peter Pez display head

Originally, this Peter Pez head would have been mounted on the top of a circular rack that would be filled with hanging Pez dispensers. At the bottom of the rack were plastic clown shoes to match the head. They stopped using this display in stores sometime in the 1990s. There was a great discount department store called S&R in Kingston that had the full display with plastic head and feet. When S&R  was going out of business a few years ago I BEGGED them to sell it to me. I was willing to come all the way from Toronto to get my hands on it. After a few calls back and forth, they stopped communication and sadly the store closed. I know the employees had a lot of things on their minds and it was easy to forget about me, but I just hope that some other misguided soul was able to purchase the display and it’s not sitting in a dump somewhere.

If you can find the six-foot tall display intact including head and shoes it can set you back as much as $300 – $500 dollars from sellers. It’s quite the rare item and honestly it’s a pretty cool way to display your own Pez dispenser collection. The head alone is usually worth about $100. I found this one on kijiji from a man in Scarborough who was asking for $50. Coincidentally, I had just sold a used air conditioner on kijiji for $50 so it was cash in, cash out. My husband Anson drove me to pick up the head and asked me if I was attempting some type of opposite bartering system where I take an air conditioner and eventually trade it down to a toothpick. Funny guy.

Here are a few more photographs of Peter Pez in all his glory. In case you’re wondering, yes, the other side of the display is the same image. You cannot escape the clown.

Peter Pez display

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How big is Peter Pez in relation to the average house cat? This big:

cat with peter Pez display

This display has real value to me as a part of my collection so I will want to show it off. The bottom has a hole in it from where it was connected to the rack so I’ll probably try to put something in there and mount it on my wall. Most terrifying idea would be to stick a light bulb in this thing and make it glow. You see so few clown themed night-lights these days.

So I guess in summary while I am not the biggest fan of clowns I am very happy with my Peter Pez display head 🙂 The cat, however, remains unconvinced.