Hello, Dennis Michaels here, owner of MANtique Collectibles. Thank you for visiting my web site. Please, visit my retail main store in Wake Forest, North Carolina at 708 North Main Street, as well as my several satellite sales locations around Raleigh, North Carolina, and Owego, New York State, near Binghamton.
I cannot remember a time I didn't collect something. As a boy, I collected baseball cards, comic books and coins, or anything else that fascinated me. Back then, no one ever thought anything would be worth anything. My toys were played with and loved. My baseball cards were traded or inserted in the spoke of my bicycle wheel to make a 'very cool sound'. My coins were kept in an old wooden cigar box. Before laundromat laundry day each week, my Mom would get rolls of quarters, nickels, pennies and dimes from the savings bank, and she would let me sort through them, in the hope of finding something I didn't previously own, or was older or more unique.
Another pastime I loved was film. It was a passion passed to me from my Dad. He would love to discuss at length a film he had just viewed and talk about its meanings and themes. Although lacking an advanced educational degree, my Father had an active and curious mind. We would regularly go to the local cinema. As a child, I lived at the time the wonderful old style single screen movie palaces of cinema's classic era were fastly fading from the scene.
I remember the rich plush carpeting and decorative art deco style wall designs. Chrome, neon and glass with subtle lighting of red and gold, blue and green and the incredibly beautiful movie posters decorating the lobby, concession area and ticket booth. Huge graphic scenes of action and science fiction, western or police and detective suspense. Their color and vibrant titling were intoxicating.
As time passed by my boyhood collections were given away or sold for a fraction of their eventual value. The nineteen seventies and eighties seemed a time that 'nostalgia' became a cottage industry. Guys like myself yearned to re-connect with a time long past, and objects, long forgotten. After schooling I became a road commission salesman, and for about thirty years made a living selling various products and services. Although straight commission selling is difficult and not for everyone, my persistence paid off, and I carved out a fruitful career. Sales also allowed me to travel to have the time to 'treasure hunt' my passion of collecting.
About 1978, the home entertainment and video rental industry began. As a young father, still in college, I got early part time employment during this period working in video rental stores. The early days of 'home video' were really quite remarkable. There would be weekends in 1979 and 1980 that very nearly every single video tape would 'rent out', be it the latest new release hit movie, or a collection of 'Heckle & Jeckle' cartoons from the 1940s.
I sensed that people would eventually collect video tapes as they had done with vinyl lp record albums, comic books or baseball cards, so I started a new collection. This decision proved eventful.
You probably don't know or don't remember that the earliest video tapes made available for rental were in very plain box storage sleeves and rented through kiosks in shopping mall parking lots by FotoMat.
The creation of 'box art' or displaying a video's content via text was an evolved facet of early home video renting starting with 20th Century Fox and its Magnetic Video Corporation line of titles, sometime in 1978.
Many people don't remember that “renting” a tape for a one time viewing was a very controversial act in its beginning and spawned a landmark federal court case between SONY and Walt Disney Productions.
The studios only intended for people to “buy” the studios' video tapes for their own personal and private use. Although protected by provisions that disallowed the purchaser any right to exhibit and charge admissions, the studios never realized that the federal courts would uphold an individual's personal right to “rent” his own personally purchased video tape. This misstep by the studios cost them hundreds of billions of dollars over the following couple of decades by allowing the “birth” of the home entertainment rental industry.
Home video rental also provided for a time, an ample supply of good, a lot of bad, but many, uniquely different video entertainment experiences. Be it cinema sourced or television or direct to video, these entertainments found niches of small, interested fan enthusiasts who sought out these hard to find video releases to own.
They became video collectors.