American Pickers Roll Into Michigan

It’s Monday night and I haven’t been able to get a life this week, so it’s time for me to review American Pickers!  Yay!  Except I had to watch the show, which was a bummer. 

The first thing we learn this week is that something I predicted in an earlier review has happened…the Pickers are no longer businessmen.  The predators have become the prey.  Mike and Frank have become hoarders.  Check out the original American Pickers/Hoarders by clicking on the blue link.    

Antique Archaeology is no longer a store where people shop (no surprise here…we’ve seen shoppers in exactly one episode of the show).  It is now a store where Frank, Mike, and Danielle bump into things and then move the things to places where they will bump into them later. 

Do the boys and Danielle decide to:

A:  Sell more stuff?

B:  Not buy more stuff until they sell some stuff?

C:  Advertise so maybe some customers will come and buy stuff?

D:  Expand!

If you guessed “D:  Expand!” you are crazy, but you are right, that is what The Pickers decide to do.  They are like a little old lady who buys the house next door to store her ten million tiny balls of yarn that she has left over from a lifetime of making unwanted hand-crocheted afghans for everyone in town.

Once the boys have made the important decision about what to do with their surplus of stuff, they immediately set out to GET MORE STUFF!  They head for Michigan.  They leave Danielle with instructions to get contractor bids on expanding the building.  They hint that flirting with the contractors is part of Danielle’s job, which means they wouldn’t mind if Danielle put out to get them a better price.  I’m getting my contractor’s license soon, Danielle!  I’ll give you a real good price, honey!  Don’t you get taken before I get a chance to take you!

The boys then proceed to pick Michigan.  Michigan means one thing, and that one thing is…well, I couldn’t imagine what that one thing would be, but apparently it’s cars.  I knew that Detroit is in Michigan, because it’s the kind of city that isn’t actually that famous so everybody refers to it as “Detroit, Michigan” instead of just “Detroit.”  Detroit is famous for being a car manufacturing town, but Mike and Frank are going to pretend that the entire state is famous for cars and just generally drive us insane with cars this week and at least next week.

All of the stops are Danielle leads this week.  As if that poor girl doesn’t have enough to do, trying to find a clear place on the shop floor to interview prospective contractors.  The first lead Danielle comes up with is Brian.  Brian has an auction house.  He buys up to 2000 abandoned storage units a year and puts the stuff in a loft above his auction house, which confuses me.  Why doesn’t he auction it off?  Because he’s a hoarder, is the only answer I can come up with.

Little did I know that Brian’s stuff was going to be the stop I enjoyed most this week.  He sells Mike and Frank a variety of items, most of which we don’t get a value on, so we know that Mike and Frank paid too much.  Frank buys a huge matchbook collection (um, Frank, the covers without matches are generally worth diddly) for $20 and he is excited to tell us that he bets he can get $200 for the matches.  Selling them a book at a time for a buck at a time, Frank should reach his goal of $200 sometime in 2020.  Mike buys a Bolex movie camera for $100 and says he can sell it for $300.  It was similar to this one that is for sale for  $100 and nobody is bidding. 

The BEST item of the night, the best item of the entire show, perhaps the entire SEASON, is a cast iron cigarette lighter in the shape of a dog.  You put your cigarette to the dog’s ass and the dog’s ass lights your cigarette!  This lighter is from the 1920s,  before cancer and an unreasonable public non-acceptance of sucking dog farts through tobacco ruined America.  Mike buys the lighter for $95 and expects to sell it for $200.  The eBay one I showed you did not sell for the nearly $600 asking price, so I don’t if Mike will get his price or not.  Maybe if the lighter works, but we’re never told if it works.

Next stop is Jim, a retired Detroit Automotives Advertising Photographer.  Let the yawning begin.  Jim collects neat stuff, but obviously Jim’s crazy, large advertising pieces (big, cartoony guns and shit) aren’t for sale.  Instead, the boys buy two Syd Mead car paintings for $220, hoping to sell them for $440.  Now, Syd is a cool guy, and kind of a futuristic artist, but all I care about is he had something to do with Blade Runner.  I really like Blade Runner.  Syd is still alive and fairly prolific, so the paintings certainly aren’t worth MORE than the boys think.  They also buy a Uniroyal Tires Ferris Wheel Toy, which doesn’t work and just really isn’t that fun to look at.  Frank pays $65 and expects to sell it for $125, but eh, I’m just not into the blumpy thing, and I normally love carnival and fair stuff.  Unless it’s in the shape of a tire, then I apparently just don’t care.

Meanwhile, back at the hoard, Danielle meets with a contractor and does not sleep with him because she’s saving herself for my bid of $2.76.

Last stop of the night is Toney, who doesn’t want to stick his wife and kids with his hoard when he dies.  At least, that seems to be what his wife has told him.  Toney answers his hoard door and pretends to not know who the guys are, at first.  The boys tell him that they are the ones Danielle called about.  Toney says, “Oh, YOU guys.”  No, it’s the OTHER guys who show up at your door all of the time with a television crew behind them, Toney. 

Toney has simply tons of shit simply everywhere, so Mark and Frank are very excited.  They buy a lot of stuff, but only two items are really notable.  One is a raincoat that was supposedly worn by Charles Lindberg (but there is no proof of that).  It’s an odd thing, stiff as a board and it has a Shroud of Turin-like image of Lindberg’s face on it.  Mike pays $250 for the unwearable coat and hopes to sell it for $500.  

The other notable buy is a leather license plate.  Now, I didn’t know that license plates were made of leather in the early 1900s, but apparently they were.  Whatever version of the DMV they had back then sent you metal numbers and you put them on leather or wood or a cigarette ass lighting dog yourself.  Apparently this plate was on a car that belonged to some car company and that makes it SUPER valuable for no reason that I can understand.

Mike and Frank take the plate to the RE Olds Museum where Ashley (he’s a man, despite his girly name) is very excited about the plate.  He appraises it for $2300 and the guys sell it to him for $1200 because they aren’t in business, they are hoarders and this plate isn’t big enough to clutter their lives more.  

The show ends with Danielle smoking a cigarette she lit off a dog’s ass (I made that up) and telling the boys that the contractor wanted $200,000.  Danielle suggests that the boys make a store in ANOTHER town, which means moving the stuff, which will make the stuff less valuable because they’ll have more invested in it after they have to move it, which is the kind of thing that makes me think that these people can’t actually be making money.  BUT…Danielle, I’ll still give you a bid if you need one, honey!!!!  

PS  Buy my eBook for a different kind of horrible picking! 



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4 Responses to American Pickers Roll Into Michigan

  1. Jaye says:

    I actually watched the show last night (had to. the old man strapped me to a chair and used toothpicks to prop open my eyeballs) Was it just me, or did that Lindbergh coat remind you of the flattened bureaucrat in Beetlejuice? And why would somebody paint an Andy Warhol looking face on it? Maybe that was Lindbergh’s actual face and he and the coat were run over by a steamroller. Kind of creepy when you think about it.

  2. charles fernandez says:

    can someone email the contact information on jim the retired detroit automotive advertising photographer

  3. Dean says:

    The rerun of this episode was on again today. Once again, I’m asking: why would Lindbergh have owned a coat with his own face stenciled on it? I’m not buyin’ it and Mike shouldn’t have, either.

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