When the March 29-30 edition of the Atlantique City Antiques Show opens its doors at the Atlantic City Convention Center, among the familiar faces to show-goers will be that Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen, the best-known name – and face – in the sports memorabilia business.
Not only is Rosen setting up a booth at Atlantique City, and offering professional opinions of value at both days of the appraisal event, he’s also the event sponsor, continuing a long partnership with both the show itself, and Antique Trader’s parent company, F+W Publications.
Besides being the most recognizable personality in the sports memorabilia business, Rosen – over the last few years – has developed one of the world’s finest toy robot collections, with more than 720 examples, all with boxes.
“Atlantique City is special,” Rosen said, “and I can’t wait to get there and see what people bring. Just the anticipation of somebody coming up with a briefcase or a paper bag or a box full of cards or toys, it’s very exciting to me.”
After more than three decades as the biggest name in the business, Rosen still has the intensity and enthusiasm that propelled him to the top of the field, and is, still, a collector at heart. Just ask him and he’ll tell you that there is nothing better than seeing a sports card, or a toy – he also has expertise in coins, autographs and presidential memorabilia, among many things – live and in person. The picture of the man with the money may be the character in the ads, but the man behind the business is in it because he loves it.
“Collecting is not just buying stuff and putting them in a box in the garage,” he said. “Every robot in a box I have is shrink-wrapped and arranged and displayed. I know what a collector looks for because I am one. Last year I attended Atlantique City and it was so exciting to look up and see 15 to 20 people in line with boxes and bags and briefcases. I tell you, I’d rather be doing that than anything.”
Rosen’s sponsorship of the Atlantique City Antiques Show appraisal event, in the center of the show floor at the Atlantique City Bookstore, is part of his ongoing relationship not only with the show, and with Antique Trader, but as a part of a larger partnership with Antique Trader’s parent company, F+W Publications, that has been going on as long as Rosen has been business.
“It’s an honor to be connected with Antique Trader,” said Rosen, “but I’ve been associated with your company for more than 30 years and if it wasn’t for your company I wouldn’t be here, that’s just how I feel. When someone mentions one of your publications to me, that they saw my ad, it’s always exciting to me and I’m always up front with whoever calls or writes or sees me in person, for without your company, I wouldn’t be doing something I really love.”
As much as Rosen is known for his ads, picture a smiling man with a huge fan of $100 bills, and for his legendary finds – the Lowell, Mass., 1952 unopened Topps find and the Paris, Tenn., Topps and Bowman finds – he has also spent the last five years amassing what can only be described as one of the greatest toy robot collections in the nation, if not on the planet.
Never one to hesitate to get what he wants, the nostalgia for toy robots overtook Rosen one day, and he never looked back, attacking his passion with all the enthusiasm that made him such a success in the card business.
“When I was kid I used to get robots from my parents and I used to pull the head and the arms off them,” he said. “People collect what they had, what they remember when they were young. When they buy something they recapture their youth in buying that piece of memorabilia. When I buy, I don’t buy like a normal person, I have to buy everything, I have to have every robot made within a week. There’s no patience. I have, however, accumulated 728 robots, most of them in the box. My goal is to have every major robot ever made before I go into the ground.”
That number, by the way – as Rosen figures it – is around 900.
“I think, if I went from 1954 to 1979, which is what I’ve stuck with over the years,” he said, “I need another 20 major robots to have every major one ever made.”
Rosen’s booth at the March 29-30 is number 1633, right on the edge of the Atlantique City Bookstore. He’s easy to spot, friendly, and always willing to talk with potential buyers, sellers or people who simply want to chat with the man who is known as the biggest name in the sports collectibles business. Often times, people will want to pose for a picture with Rosen, which is just fine by him. Just don’t expect to see the fan of money come out, unless you’ve got a card or a robot he’s simply got to have.
For more information, call 201-307-0700 or go online to www.mrmint.com.