Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Place Your Bids

Today's mail included the usual assortment of bills, junk and coupons, but an oversized postcard from RR Auction in Boston caught my eye.

Turns out almost 75 old and rare Olympic items are up for bids in a sale that opens Sept. 11, continuing through the following week.

Highlights include a bronze medal from the second Winter Olympic Games, a silver medal from London's 1908 Games, several Stockholm 1912 and Berlin 1936 items (including pins, glass items and other souvenirs) and a Lake Placid 1980 Olympic hockey medal (bronze) won by a Swedish star player.

As with several Olympic auctions over the years, many of the items are, for this collector, priced with an opening bid near or above the retail value. I do think the auction is priced fairly; however, I think it would be challenging for a dealer to buy something here and expect to make much profit.

For instance, a 1932 Los Angeles Olympics bracelet is listed with a $150 opening bid (I bought a similar item, inclusive of its original with-color Olympic rings, on Ebay for a similar price a few years ago). An autographed 1956 Melbourne Olympic ticket signed by Al Oerter seems to have an appropriate opening bid.

I'm not an Olympic medal collector, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn the 1980 Lake Placid medals bear a hallmark from their manufacturer, Tiffany & Co.

We'll see where the bidding leads.

Photos via RR Auction

Coffee Fix For PyeongChang 2018

Though 3.5 years or 1,256 days remain before the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games open in South Korea, news media are on a (caffeine?) buzz about the planned opening of a coffee-themed amusement park set to open in the same province as the five-ringed event.

According to KoreaBizWire.com and other sites, a "coffee theme park" is confirmed to open by 2017 in Gangwon Province.

One story references a nearby LEGOLAND and an island tourism destination as other possible distractions for those heading to the next Winter Olympic site (though this Attractions Management story states the LEGOLAND is but a rumor, at least for now).

With Coca-Cola's worldwide sponsor status locked in with the IOC for decades, I don't anticipate a competing "official coffee shop chain of the Olympics" to get signed any time soon.

But it may be interesting to experience the Tom N Toms Coffee locations in Korea upon arrival for the Games.

Now curious whether the new coffee theme park may include a "coffee bath" experience like the one apparently open in Japan, I'm also curious whether the spinning rides in Korea may eventually feature oversized coffee mugs or branded paper containers versus teacups.

Image via JapanProbe.com

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