IMONIUM, Md. -- March 18, 2004 -- Today Baltimore businessman Steve Geppi announced his purchase of Hake's Americana & Collectibles, the nation's premier pop culture collectible mail, Internet and phone bid auction house. Terms of the private company transaction were not disclosed.
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Geppi stated, "Ted is the leading authority on pop culture collectibles and has nurtured and promoted the hobby since its infancy. I am humbled that he is entrusting me with his legacy." Mr. Geppi is the owner of Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest distributor of English language comics, toys, collectibles and related merchandise. Additionally, Mr. Geppi owns the Timonium, MD based Diamond International Galleries, the only facility of its kind that displays a collection of some of the finest examples of comic books, toys, original comic art and memorabilia presented in a museum quality setting. His Gemstone Publishing is licensed to publish Disney's standard character comic books. Gemstone also publishes the "bible" of comic book guides, The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.
In 1965, while still a college student, Ted Hake began to issue carbon copy sales lists consisting of political pinback buttons. Customer reaction was beyond all expectations, with many customers disappointed to learn that an item of interest had been sold a day or two before they could place an order. To address this problem, Mr. Hake decided to conduct his sales in auction format. "In many ways I think I was the first eBay," says Mr. Hake. In May of 2004, Hake's will publish Auction #179, its first catalogue with all 3,260 items in full color.
Over the years, Mr. Hake has authored 15 collectibles price guides on subjects ranging all the way from presidential campaign artifacts to television collectibles. Currently, he is preparing The Official(R) Hake's Price Guide To Character Toys, 5th Edition. This massive reference, with nearly 15,000 entries pictured and priced, is a virtual history of all entertainment-related collectibles from the 1890s to the present day.
Commenting on the sale of his business, Mr. Hake said, "Steve Geppi and I have been friends for almost three decades. He was my first choice to carry Hake's Americana & Collectibles into the 21st century. While I intend to remain fully engaged at Hake's, I also plan to use some of my extra time to pursue the hunt for the best collectibles to offer to our customers." All of the Hake's publishing and office functions will remain at its headquarters in York, Pennsylvania.
For more information regarding Hake's Americana & Collectibles, visit www.hakes.com For more information on Diamond Comic Distributors visit www.diamondcomics.com
For more information on Diamond International Galleries visit www.diamondgalleries.com
For more information on Gemstone Publishing visit www.gemstonepub.com