Killer Katz did not respect the vintage toys he sold. He understood the toys and got a pang in his heart when he saw a Three Stooges doll of Shemp, but he did not respect it. He stopped buying computer chips in the early eighties and started to buy toys at wholesale prices right when the toy market was booming.
Remember, hearing about collectible lunch boxes and Pez dispensers that started in the 80’s? The whole toy collectible market is flat right now. Good rare toys still command money, but young people are just as happy taking a photo of an item and saying,”I’m gonna have that photo of that toy from “Lost In Space” as my screen saver!” as they are of actually buying the item.
At a toy show, Killer Katz set up his ten thousand dollars of toys on the wrong table. They were the real deal collectible robots and rare wind-ups. When he was told that he set up at the wrong booth, he held out his arm and wiped it across the table of all the toys into the box which waited for the fall and breakage. His table of ten thousand dollars worth of toys went from 10 grand to 6.5 in under 10 seconds.
He didn’t give a shit. He was still going to go home with a couple of grand profit at the end of the day. Did you make two grand a day?
Katz is a Junkman in a specialized field. Usually, guys like him are not accepted by the collectible market. People want dealers to respect the merchandise and treat it special. He understood the specialness of an item and then trashed it anyway. My theory is that all us toy collectors, and I have about fifty toys myself, became toy collectors because we didn’t get enough of the right toys when we were kids.
I don’t know what the fuck happened to Katz in his childhood. I can’t figure out if he got too many toys and not enough love or not enough toys and no love, but he totally disrespected his merchandise. He horrified dealers and clients alike.
The floors of his warehouse were covered in collectibles. I’d ask him where his E.T. necklaces were and he’d point to a corner of his storage and want me to walk over all the toys on the floor to get to a fifty buck sale. I’d hear the crunching of a thousand dollars worth of shit I was turning to dust but this is what the guy wanted and so I did it. Other dealers didn’t have the heart to step on what they so dearly felt was sentimental and valuable. It was considered sacrilegious to them. I wanted my E.T. necklaces and so if I had to bang up some Howdy Doody heads to get them, I was gonna.
He was always in some kind of problem with a stripper. He loved his strippers and sometimes things got a little Sid and Nancy with him and his ex-Playboy Centerfold girlfriend. Still he always made his two grand a day, even while fighting and having his girlfriend destroy a few thousand dollars worth of Archie jelly jar glasses by throwing them at his head.
Killer Katz was the most punk rock high end Junkman of all time. The guy is a millionaire from this crap… Of course, if he gave a shit, he could have been a multi-millionaire.
One night, I want to take the Red-Eye to Asia and have a thousand dolls of Killer Katz made up.