Just Kids to sell Al Dittrich Lone Ranger collection at auction

Just Kids Nostalgia, of Huntington, N.Y., has been chosen to sell the collection of Lone Ranger memorabilia gathered over a period of more than 50 years by well-known collector Al Dittrich.

lone ranger collectionAccording to Ken Farrell of Just Kids, Dittrich started collecting at a very young age, and he loved cowboys, especially The Lone Ranger. He told Farrell, "During the early 1950s I was watching most all of the TV Westerns that were broadcast at the time, but the Lone Ranger had a very special appeal to me. As a child (and still) I just thought that he was so cool in the way he carried himself, his mannerisms and the way he spoke and of course the fact that everything about him was black and white, and by this I don’t mean the fact the show was broadcast in black and white, but that he stood for what was right and just, and I knew right away who the bad men were and what the Lone Ranger was trying to do to stop them in their unlawful ways. Of course the plots that he devised to do this always seemed great to me."

long ranger and tontoOne of Al’s earliest collecting memories is about the Hartland figure. "When the Hartland Plastics Lone Ranger and Silver came out, I thought it was beautiful and I had to have it. But these things were priced at 2 for $3.98 as I recall, so I had to save a lot of dimes that was my allowance to purchase it. But I got it, and it’s still part of my collection today." By the way, Al is keeping his original Lone Ranger Hartland; the one for sale in the collection he acquired later and it’s in the original box. 

According to Farrell, one of the things about this collection is the impressive quantity of boxed toys. In many cases Al passed an item by if it didn’t have a box. Included are the elusive Action bank, the strong box, sets of guns and rifles, dolls, outfits, push puppets, slippers, and perhaps the ultimate in "boxed" items, a Jets cereal box featuring the Lone Ranger on the front and back with the original cereal still inside!

Al always went the extra mile to find the scarcest movie posters. This collection features one-sheets, half-sheets, three-sheets, lobby cards, press books and more covering the 1950s Clayton Moore films. There are many U.S. variations and many scarce and unusual foreign issues. Other movie material covers the serials to The Legend of The Lone Ranger.

lone rangerStore displays and advertising posters for Lone Ranger products include an early Decca Records cardboard cut-out, a large Marx action figure display, cardboard countertops for boots, pens, flashlights and the like. There are numerous posters with Clayton Moore endorsing gasoline, sunglasses and other products.

If you like original art, you’ll find it here. Originals for Golden Books, comic books, as well as daily and Sunday strips are part of this massive collection. Comic books include Four Colors, Gold Keys, give-a-ways and more. There is also a full set of the almost impossible-to-find pulp magazines, a full set of the G & D Books, British Annuals and The Lone Ranger Rides (Putnam) signed by Fran Striker.

lone rangerWe could go on and on, as there are over 800 items in the auction plus 300 more for immediate sale. The auction date is set for Jan. 27. A full color catalog, that will sure to become a collector’s item itself, is ready for mailing. All bidding methods will be accommodated: phone, mail and online.

Auction closes Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009.

Just Kids is located at 342 New York Ave. Huntington, NY. A full color catalog is available for $15.

For more information, go the Just Kids Nostalgia website at www.justkidsnostalgia.com.

Ken Farrell can be reached at info@justkidsnostalgia.com or by phone at 631-423-8449.

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