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We have explored renovation in many forms last month. How is it that classic cars can go up in value when restored or even restomodded? Why is the practice of fixing rust on old cars of marginal interest, while any collector of weapons, or toys, or furniture, to name a few, shudders at the idea of refinishing or in any way renovating the original item? Let’s explore the three options of preservation, restoration, and restomodding a childhood toy: a tin model World War I tank.
To set up the scenario, I’ll use my father’s telling of the story of his “Rosebud.” That is, loosely, a childhood toy with emotional significance through adulthood. After the telling, we will look at an available example of the toy and consider the value of preservation, restoration, or restomodding.
You are probably familiar with Orson Welles’ Citizen Caine , a roman ‘a clef on William Randolph Hearst. One of Caine’s last words was “ Rosebud,“ which mystified others present. The audience is let in on the allusion, in a final scene of people cleaning out the mansion and they threw into a furnace an old sled, we briefly see the sled brand: Rosebud.