By Josette Keelor
Front Royal resident Tom Weaver has been collecting toys and television memorabilia for about 30 years. His hobby started as a way of appreciating what he had when his family didn't have much money to spare; then it grew in to a lifelong passion.
Tonight, he will share that passion with the rest of the nation when he appears on the second season of the Travel Channel's TV show "Toy Collector." The episode will air at 9:30 p.m.
Weaver's son Brandon contacted the show, and Weaver was glad for the outside interest since now he has more collectibles than he wants to deal with.
With his son growing up, he said, "I don't want to burden him with all these toys ... so we're going to slowly get rid of these."
After filming at Weaver's house in December, members of the show purchased some items, and he said he's had other customers, too. One of them is a toy appraiser Johnny Jimenez of Las Vegas Toy Shack, featured on the History Channel show "Pawn Stars."
"I've talked with him many times." Weaver said he thinks he will be able to pawn off on Jimenez some lunch boxes.
"I'm not in a big rush," Weaver said. "When it happens, it happens."
His hobby of collecting has been a lifelong interest, said the Virginia Dominion Power worker.
"It probably started when I was a little kid because we didn't have a lot of money growing up," he said. The toys he had became precious, and he said he took efforts to keep them in good condition.
"I just fell in love with toys and TV memorabilia," he said. "I was a TV geek growing up. I like toys."
He said "anything 'Scooby Doo' and I guess the 'Flintstones'" are his favorites from the collection.
He's also collected gumball premiums from machines and cereal premiums from boxes.
He was raised in Sterling, attending Park View High School, but he's lived in Front Royal for 23 years.
Rattling lists of collectibles, Weaver said he enjoys older toys -- "A lot of TV memorabilia, like 'The Partridge Family,' 'Brady Bunch,' coloring books."
He has over 100 Oscilloscope "I love you this much" dolls, in addition to lunch boxes and thermoses.
He has "a little bit of everything."
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org