Question: With all the hype and hoopla regarding the new "Star Wars" movie and the new "Star Wars" merchandise flying off the shelves, how can I find out what the older pieces (I've collected for years) are currently worth? -- Paul Wilson, Albany, N.Y.Answer: `Two terrific books are:
--"The Galaxy's Greatest Star Wars Collectibles Price Guide -- 1999 Edition," by Stuart W. Wells III" (ATB; 319-588-2073). It is available for $29.95 postpaid, from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659; and
--"Collecting Star Wars Toys, 1977-1997: An Unauthorized Practical Guide," by Jeffrey B. Snyder (Schiffer; 610-593-1777). It is available for $33.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises.
Question: I have a complete collection of Johnny West Western theme dolls made of solid, hard, heavier plastic. Each doll is fully jointed and outfitted in a molded, non-removable, Western-wear type outfit. Along with the dolls (each of which are in their original box), I have the horses and the ranch house. Where can I find additional information on such items and their value? #151; Susan Hemminger, Houston
Answer: Everything you want to know about the Johnny West action figures and accessories (produced by Marx Toys between 1965 and 1975) can be found in "The Encyclopedia of MARX Action Figures -- A Price & Identification Guide," by Tom Heaton (Krause; 715-445-2214). It is available for $28.20 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.
Aside from the Jonhnny West Series, this 1999 book also covers the Fort Apache Fighters Series, the Secret Agent/Spy Series, the Noble Knights and Mighty Viking Series, Apollo Astronaut Series, the Safari Adventure Series, the Ready Gang Series, the Lone Ranger Series and more.
Question: Where can I find information on, and the value of a pitcher and matching tumblers in the "Spanish Lace" pattern? -- R.R., Irving, Texas
Answer: The pattern "Spanish Lace" (also known as "Opaline Brocade") was introduced to American collectors by the Northwood Company in 1899. Depending on color and condition, a "Spanish Lace" pitcher can be worth between $250 and $1,000, and tumblers can command between $60 and $125 each, according to the 1999 third edition of the "Standard Encyclopedia of Opalescent Glass -- Identification & Values," by Bill Edwards and Mike Carwile" (Collector Books; 502-898-6211). This large hardcover book is available for $27.95 postpaid, from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.
Question: I have a collection of about 50 Smurfs I'd like to sell. How can I find out what they are worth, or if there's a market for them? -- Frieda Rosenblum, Albuquerque
Answer: Try these two books:
--"Smurf Collectibles: An Unauthorized Handbook & Price Guide," by Jan Lindenberger with Joel Martone (Schiffer; 610-593-1777). It's available for $22.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659; and
--"More Smurf Collectibles: An Unauthorized Handbook & Price Guide," by Jan Lindenberger (Schiffer). It's also available for $22.95 postpaid from Ace Enterprises.
Collectors and buyers of Smurfs can be contacted by writing the Smurf Collectors Club International c/o Suzanne Lipschitz, 24 Cabot Road West, Massapequa, NY 11758-8025. Enclose a long self-addressed stamped envelope for information, or phone Suzanne at 516-799-3221.
Question: I collect Trafari costume jewelry. Are there any collector books that specifically deal with only Trafari pieces? Also, I accidentally disposed of my mother's "MaryAnn" form cupcake pan that I'm told is no longer manufactured. Where can I possibly get such a specialty pan with deep cups? -- RoseMarie Hildebrandt, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Answer: I know of no book just on Trafari, however such jewelry is pictured and described with its current value in the hardcover book, "Costume Jewelry -- A Practical Handbook & Value Guide," by Fred Rezazadeh (Collector Books; 502-898-6211). It is available for $27.95 postpaid, from Ace Enterprises, P.O. Box 59354, Chicago, IL 60659.
Trafari is also covered in the hardcover book, "The Best of Costume Jewelry -- With Revised Price Guide," by Nancy Schiffer (Schiffer/610-593-1777). It is available for $33.90 postpaid from Ace Enterprises.
Write Anita Gold, P.O. Box 597401, Chicago, IL 60659; enclose an addressed stamped envelope. Due to the high volume of mail, only a very limited number of letters can be answered personally, but priority will be given to those that include a copy of the column and the name of the paper it ran in.
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service