Behind the Scenes at Woodland Catalog
The Dilemma of Old Catalogs
by Jim Fazio, Co-owner, Woodland Catalog
I had heard the term ‘useful as yesterday’s newspaper’ but didn’t appreciate it until I retired as a university professor. On that fateful day 3 years ago, I became yesterday’s newspaper. Suddenly my former colleagues no longer sought my opinion. Students didn’t hover at my door sill. Committee meetings ceased, and even invitations to social events became rare.
I’d like to think our catalogs are not like that, but there is a resemblance. When our new issue arrives from the press, the old ones disappear from our packing benches and mail room. But surely the old ones still have value. Our dilemma is knowing what to do with the boxes of old catalogs that often remain when the next one comes out. I’d like to think that they can be of use to collectors. After all, the pages are a pretty good record of what new, licensed Smokey items were available each year.
Our storage room bulges with past copies of the 60-some issues that we have produced. Unfortunately, quantities vary, so making complete sets available is not easy. We have fewer than ten complete sets and these are pretty much reserved for posterity since Dawn’s page 2 ‘editorial’ and many of the photos that include models have become something of a family album. For some issues, we have hundreds of copies; for a few we have none. The same is true for the fliers produced by Richard Johnson, our predecessor.
So, what to do with the ones we have? They are listed under ‘Smokey Bear Gifts – Old Catalogs’ at our website for most issues up through 2012. I’ll confess that the prices shown are purely ‘off the top of my head,’ since we don’t specialize in that realm of the collectors’ world. For SBA members, we are happy to make an offer. If you see ones you want, just tell us what you think they are worth and if we have multiple copies, we will likely sell them to you at that amount plus shipping. And if you have other ideas about what we can do with these, please let us know.
Note: Woodland Catalog featuring Smokey Bear products has been owned and operated by long-time association members Jim & Dawn Fazio for over 30 years. You can visit their website at www.smokeybeargifts.com.