Collection InterventionEpisodes

An Avalanche of Superheroes
Season 1 - Episode 104
An Avalanche of Superheroes
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Howie is a collector who has stuffed his house, floor to ceiling, with obscure Americana – books by Andy Warhol, Ed Wood memorabilia, movie posters, posters from live-action '60s horror shows. Elyse is stunned to find a library's worth of folded, creased, dusty posters, but she's certain that Howie has something valuable in his home.

In order to further assess Howie's connection to his collection, Elyse brings a psychiatrist to his home, but the doctor's suggestion that Howie discard, store, or sell any part of his collection is met with contempt. Elyse understands that Howie is far from being able to sell his pieces, so she offers to set up an exhibition rather than a sale. There's always the chance that an admirer will make an offer at an exhibition, and Elyse is hoping that if offers are firmly couched in admiration, Howie won't see the sale as an invasion of his life.

On seeing the way his collection is displayed, Howie is furious. Elyse struggles to make him happy as he denies the first few offers. As Howie realizes how much many of his pieces can go for, he opens up to the notion of moving on, and by the end of the day, has released a good portion of his collection. Although he made significant progress this day and earned $5,500, his habit of amassing Americana abated only slightly in the coming weeks.

Sean is a professional toy reviewer, but his job has taken over not just a large part of his life, but also his home. Walking and sitting are both big challenges in his apartment, and his girlfriend, Raquel, is refusing to move in unless he does something about his collection. Elyse again suggests a therapist, who addresses Sean's connection to his toys by comparing that relationship to his relationship with Raquel. Sean appreciates this context, and is ready to move forward and change his collecting style.

Elyse sets up a booth at one of Sean's favorite toy megastores, which puts a smile on his face immediately. Although the crowds are slow in coming, once they do arrive, there's a ton of interest in Sean's pieces. He sells like a champ with no remorse at letting things go, making some decent money as he does. What he can't sell, he donates to children in need, and Raquel finally has room to move in with her sweetheart.

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