Hollywood TreasureEpisodes

Lost in Apes
Season 1 - Episode 121
Lost in Apes
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Joe has two special charges this week. The first is to round out longtime collector John Azarian's collection. John already has some great items - a Storm Trooper helmet and gun, a complete Batman and Robin costume set from the TV show - but he's looking to find a plum piece from the show Lost in Space. Joe gets his team on it!

The next task is more serious. Joe's friend and colleague, Paul Mayer, needs to raise money for an upcoming surgery for his chronic illness. Paul has several key items from animation, including Walter Lantz originals and possessions of director Mel Blanc. Joe has his fingers crossed that the auction will bring in the revenue that Paul so badly needs.

While looking for Lost in Space items at a warehouse in Georgia, Joe and Jon come across a flying saucer and a King Kong head, but they're not sure exactly where these items are from. Jon takes the head to a former special effects artist, Isidoro Raponi, who worked on many King Kong films in the seventies and eighties. Isidoro tells him it's not from King Kong Lives, as previously thought, and Jon's hopes drop until Isidoro tells him it's a good decade older. In seconds, the item's value went from a couple thousand dollars to as much as $20,000!

The flying saucer doesn't fare so well - its value drops when they find out it's not from My Favorite Martian, but actually The Dick Van Dyke Show. This shocker cuts the value of the piece by several thousand dollars!

Still on the hunt for Lost in Space memorabilia, Stacey and Joe head to the home of Michael Epstein and Scott Schweimer, who own a full Lost in Space space suit. Michael is ready to let go of the piece, but Scott only agrees if they donate their earnings to one of their favorite charities, like the Trevor Project for troubled gay youth, or the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center. The couple agree on this course of action, and the sale goes forward.

The auction is action-packed! It looks like the flying saucer might be a pass, but soon it rallies to $1500, and the King Kong head goes for $17,000. Paul's collection nets him around $32,000, enough to have his surgery.

Next up is the suit from Lost in Space. It's a close call, but ultimately John Azarian, for whom this suit was found, wins the auction by buying the suit for a cool $20k.

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