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tv   Lou Dobbs Tonight  FOX Business  June 1, 2020 5:00am-6:01am EDT

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i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching "strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. >> he makes big-screen magic... >> he was indeed a genius. he had the eye. >> ...but his heart belongs to this tiny stage. >> they're spectacular, down to the finest detail. >> this was the place where he poured all of his love. [ woman vocalizing ] >> so how did these guys inherit his life's work? >> i was a senior in high school, and i was looking for a job that i wouldn't hate. >> you feel like you might be sitting on a gold mine? >> must their show go on? >> it would be...over. >> it would be gone. everything would be dismantled and somewhere in a dumpster. >> or will the fat lady sing? [ operatic singing ] [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ]
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[ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm in rolling meadows, illinois. it's a suburb of chicago. some weather, huh? i'm here to meet two brothers whose strange inheritance had some serious strings attached. >> my name is justin snyder. and in 2006, our friend and mentor bill fosser passed away, leaving my brother and me a sort of chicago institution -- his puppet opera. >> hi, justin. i'm jamie. >> jamie, nice to meet you. >> i'm told that you have something that i may never see again. >> here, follow me. >> i will. justin leads me behind the scenes of a most unusual opera house. >> all these boxes here contain costumes for various, different productions. >> wow! this is my kind of wardrobe.
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if only it came in my size. the costumes are so small because the players taking the stage aren't the supersized tenors and sopranos you expect to see at the opera. they're 16-inch puppets. the maestro behind this pint-size production, justin's boss, the late bill fosser. who was bill fosser? >> bill fosser taught me everything i know about puppetry. he had a unique ability to re-create full-scale environments, but in a miniature scale. he was one of my best friends. >> fosser, born in 1928, grows up in a working-class neighborhood on chicago's west side. >> he described himself as a sickly child. he was stuck at home a lot and would experiment with household materials to try to kind of create his own puppets. >> in 1935, when bill is 7, his aunt takes him to his first
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opera, verdi's "il trovatore." he's enchanted by it all -- the music, the costumes, and the stage design. >> he fell in love with the art form of opera, but he was always interested in -- in puppets and then, eventually, just combined the two. >> the boy builds a mini opera house with a velvet curtain and assembles his company of players. >> he told us that he used to offer performances to kids in the neighborhood for like a penny. >> turns out, puppet opera is an actual thing in those days. bill sees an article in the paper about a lavish restaurant in chicago that's adding a puppet opera to its bill of fare. the place is called kungsholm. >> kungsholm was a swedish smorgasbord and a puppet theater all in one. >> steve golden was six when he saw his first show at the kungsholm. that led to a lifelong career as a professional puppeteer, who
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also handles purchases and acquisitions for the northwest puppet center in seattle. so, steve's childhood experience at the kungsholm left an impression. >> you came to the restaurant and you were given a complementary ticket to the puppet miniature grand opera. >> was it an institution in chicago? >> oh, was it ever? to go there was a highlight of a day. >> how fabulous. opera stars and socialites flocked to see kungsholm puppets perform arias from operas such as "madame butterfly" or "the barber of seville." so, 14-year-old bill fosser takes his best handmade puppet and talks his way into a summer job at the theater. soon, he, too, is hooked for life. he becomes an expert puppetmaker and patents a design for a puppet with more natural body movements than the ones used at the kungsholm.
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>> this is one of the original kungsholm puppets. the operator would be underneath and there's a series of rods and strings. >> justin's brother, shayne snyder, is the other heir in our story. >> these two here are made by bill fosser and these were actually two of bill's favorite puppets. this is canio from "pagliacci", and this is lakmè from the opera "lakmè." >> so, it was bill who advanced this technique of the rings and the rods? >> correct. he made many improvements to the design, like giving them a little bit of a joint here and then the walking. >> can you make them walk? >> mm-hmm. >> unbelievable. >> and you can get a lot of range of movement and motions just from lifting and turning the rod. >> ingenious, but it's tough to make a buck in puppets. so, bill only works off and on at the kungsholm, though he pays the bills with another skill he perfects there. he's a sought-after stage designer at full-scale chicago theaters.
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>> he was indeed a genius. he had the eye. >> actor tony mockus performed on some of bill's sets in the early days. >> every now and then, you're lucky enough to work with people who have that kind of an ability and bill has that ability. >> eventually, the kungsholm falls into disrepair, closes, and re-opens as a steakhouse with no puppets. >> bill opens his own puppet theater. he's never married, has no kids, so it's his baby. [ gasps ] oh, my! he christens it "opera in focus." >> he had the idea of, like, a camera lens in mind, so it's like looking through the lens of camera at this weird, miniature world. >> bill built this? >> he built all of this, yes, indeed. [ "the pearl fishers" plays ]
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bill sort of single-handedly kept the art form alive. >> he didn't have a patron. i mean, if he were in europe, he would have been flooded with cash. >> he needs it. bill's first performances barely break even. luckily, around the same time, hollywood comes calling. >> word got around in california that if you're going to chicago, you get ahold of fosser. >> he designs the sets for "home alone" and "curly sue" and a couple of best picture winners, too. >> "the sting," "ordinary people." >> great credits, but it all was just a way to fund his miniature opera. >> in bill's heart, puppets were number one. it's what he lived for. >> in 1993, at 65, bill takes his dream retirement. he leaves the film biz and moves his puppet opera to the chicago
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suburb of rolling meadows. curtains rise and fall, and after a few more years, bill realizes he needs more help and, though he doesn't say so at the time, an heir or two. he places a want ad in the newspaper. it's answered by 18-year-old justin snyder. >> when i told him that i wanted to be a puppeteer, he kind of chuckled and he said, "well, if you're gonna work here, you're gonna have to be an all-purpose evil henchman." >> what exactly does that mean? [ vocalizes ] >> natural puppeteer. >> i'll find out in act two, right after intermission. ♪ >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the answer after the break.
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>> so, which "star wars" character did jim henson help create? it's "b," yoda, who debuted in the 1980 film "the empire strikes back." [ operatic singing ] >> former movie set designer bill fosser is spending his retirement just as he wants --
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staging scenes from classic operas with 16-inch puppets for captivated audiences in the chicago suburbs. >> boy, he knew opera backwards and forwards. he knew when the tenor was going to take a breath... when the soprano would hit her high c's. you were just swept away. >> but bill's in his 70s -- the old ticker's not what it used to be, and he has no family to take over his labor of love. so, in the summer of 2000, he advertises for an apprentice. >> i was a senior in high school, and i was looking for a job that i wouldn't hate. >> justin's brother, shayne, is intrigued, too. they both interview with fosser. >> when i told him that i wanted to be a puppeteer, he kind of chuckled and he said, "well, if you're gonna work here, you're
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gonna have to be an all-purpose evil henchman." >> oh, my. >> so, right off the bat, it was like a crash-course. >> bill teaches them all he knows -- how to design and mold puppets out of polyester resin, how to operate the sound, special effects, and everything else it takes to run one of the most technically sophisticated puppet shows in the world. you think i could learn how to be a puppeteer? >> we'll have you manipulating the puppets like a pro. >> here under the stage, the chairs have been shaved down until the seats rest inches from the floor. all right, guys, what am i doing here? >> all right, so here's your shot at the big time. shayne's gonna demonstrate here on his puppet. so, basically your left hand is gonna control the central mechanism of the puppets, which is front and back, and then there you go, perfect. >> okay. >> all right, and then this little lever here is the side-to-side motion of the head. >> she's turning her head. wow. >> if you twist this wheel, you'll see that her legs will start to walk. >> okay. >> and -- there you go. >> there she goes.
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>> then you can control the direction of the arm by how you twist it, so i'm gonna hand that one to you. >> okay. >> and that's how you control the arm movements. >> [ vocalizes ] it is very complicated. it's a lot of different movements at the same time. >> you're a natural puppeteer. >> natural puppeteer. >> justin and shayne become bill fosser's natural puppeteers. they're hooked. >> he was like a hero to me. >> it was something that i aspired to be like. >> they skip college, remain under bill's wings, and grow into a much bigger role in the old man's life. you feel like you might have been his surrogate sons? >> definitely, and he told us that all the time, that he looked at us like we were the children that he never had. >> and the heirs he dearly wants to carry on his work. >> he just asked, "what would you think about the idea of continuing this after i'm gone?"
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and i was just like, "sure, you know." >> that casual offer and acceptance put bill fosser's mind at ease. for five more years, he throws his heart into this labor of love... until it finally gives out. bill fosser exits life's stage at age 77. what was the impact of losing him? >> it was really hard. as good of a job as he did in preparing us for taking over the theater, you don't really know how unequipped you are until you're thrown into that position. >> the puppets, the stage, the costumes, the institution -- their strange inheritance turns out to be pretty valuable, too. looks to me like bill might have invested a lot of his money in this. >> for sure. >> do you know how much? >> bill told me that he had invested over a million dollars into it. it's actually -- >> holy smokes! >> yeah. >> back in the '80s, the puppets were insured by lloyd's of london for $6,000 each. >> how many were there? >> back then, i believe bill had 32 "opera in focus" puppets.
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>> that's significant. >> yes. >> 192k significant. and steve golden, of the northwest puppet center, says they would go for a lot more now. at one point, bill had these appraised at about $6,000 each. >> about $6,000. >> do you think that these have held their value today? >> i would say it certainly has held its value because if you just look at every part of the makeup of it, it's worth every penny that's in there. depending on which collector finds out about it, you could possibly get $10,000 for it. >> you're trying to maintain what is a chicago institution, but you feel like you might be sitting on a gold mine? ready for one more plot twist to bill fosser's libretto? it's his final wish for the puppet opera... what did he tell you? >> ...after the break. >> here's another quiz question for you.
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fantastic mr. fox? rudolph the red-nosed reindeer? or the evil other mother from "coraline"? the answer when we return. i got this mountain bike for only $11., the fair
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>> so... it's "c," the evil other mother from the 2009 movie "coraline." >> in 2006, chicago puppeteer bill fosser dies and leaves his puppet opera to his two pupils, shayne and justin snyder. the brothers want to keep it alive. they even hire their own apprentices.
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meanwhile, local reporters aren't helping. they keep reporting it's dead. >> we had to struggle with the media referring to the puppet opera in past tense. all the articles that came out would say like, "'opera in focus' was a puppet theater." >> attendance at their tiny suburban theater hits an all-time low. then, in 2011, a record rainfall floods the theater. justin's sure it's curtains. >> that was probably the end. >> but you had insurance? no insurance? >> no insurance. we had looked into insuring them, but the problem is, the monthly insurance costs were so high that it was unaffordable to us. >> luckily, the brothers had the forethought to stow their uninsured puppets high enough, and they stay dry. but the rest of the place is a mess. >> when the rains finally stopped, they brought in an industrial mold specialist who was basically like, "yeah, we have to tear this place apart." >> no. wait, it gets worse.
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turns out, before he died, bill fosser made a highly unusual request to his heirs. what did he tell you? >> well, originally, what he had said is that if the puppet theater were ever to close down, he wanted us to destroy everything. >> destroy, like, "gone"? this? >> everything, yeah. >> why? >> he viewed it as the puppets are instruments, kind of like a violin being stuck in a display case somewhere and not performing its purpose. he found that idea unbearable. >> it would be...over. >> it would be dismantled and somewhere in a dumpster. >> will they need to do that? >> how much do you make doing this? >> showtime! >> that's next. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website --
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>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> here's where we left justin and shayne snyder, the heirs in this story. a flood in chicago closes "opera in focus," which the brothers inherited from master puppeteer bill fosser. >> we were worried that we might not be able to come back from that just 'cause of the cost involved of rebuilding it all. >> they don't have insurance, but the building does. the landlord agrees the show must go on and pays for the renovation of their 65-seat theater. >> we rebuilt it all from scratch. that was definitely a scary moment. >> but doesn't end their worries. the hiatus further depresses their bottom line. how much do you make doing this? >> we've had productions that have brought in $8,000, maybe, but then we have really poor productions that have maybe brought in $400. >> you must be a pretty wealthy guy to be able to keep this up. >> unfortunately, um, none of us are wealthy. >> are you even breaking even
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here? >> it's definitely not something you're gonna become a millionaire doing. >> that apprentice ad they answered years ago led to a rewarding vocation, not a well-paying one. do you have another job? >> i carve stone for a living. my brother works at a toy factory. >> do you see yourself being able to continue this financially? >> as long as there are people out here in the audience, we'll keep doing it. >> we welcome you, our guests of all ages, to this performance of william b. fosser's puppet production of "opera in focus." >> showtime! [ applause ] >> as the lights dim and their newest production, puccini's "turandot," begins, it strikes me that i'm not listening just to opera. it's the call of a siren that proved irresistible to our two young heirs, as it was to bill fosser before them. [ operatic singing ] let me ask you this, steve. do you think that bill left these fine, young men, who were
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as devoted to him as he was to them, an inheritance that's a burden or a benefit? >> burdens yield benefits. >> puppeteer steve golden, you'll recall, was seduced by these same sirens. he believes, somewhere, bill fosser is shouting "encore!" >> i think bill would be as pleased as punch that this is happening. >> and no doubt grateful to the two young men he named as his heirs all those years ago. but i wonder about that request bill made, that they should destroy all these beautiful puppets if the opera ever closed. is that a request they could ever honor? the brothers vow, succeed or fail, it will never happen. >> i feel like it's a priceless art form. we could never actually destroy anything here. i think bill knew that these puppets to us, again, just like
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to him, they're like family. [ singing continues ] [ applause ] >> bill fosser might not be with them, but justin and shayne want to make sure the art of puppet opera lives on. so, every year, in honor of the man they grew to love like a father, they perform bill's favorite aria, "cielo e mar," or, "sky and sea" from la gioconda. [ operatic singing ] the fact that bill's puppet opera is still up and running, more than 60 years after he started it, that would be music to his ears.
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i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching "strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. [ singing continues ] >> an uptown apartment under siege. >> are you kidding? all of these? >> doesn't every new york city apartment have a soldier room? >> it's one of the biggest collections in the world. >> one man's army four decades in the making. >> when i first saw it, i was absolutely amazed. he had every soldier placed in their position. every general was placed in his position. >> but he doesn't want to leave his wife with all this. >> bob wanted to sell off the collection so carole wouldn't have to deal with it. >> what's an heir to do? turn to "strange inheritance." >> what did you think when you saw the episode about toy soldiers? >> i was knocked out. so, i reached out.
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>> here we are. >> yes. ♪ ♪ >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm strolling along the swanky streets of the upper east side of manhattan. the heir in this story reached out to us just a short time after her husband died. she wanted to talk about her strange inheritance, which she tells me takes up an entire room in her home. >> my name is carole postal, and less than one year ago, i lost my beloved husband, bob. he left me nearly 10,000 toy soldiers, which he called "the guys." >> a whole room on the upper east side -- i'm hoping it's shoes. >> uh, not quite.
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>> no way. it's not shoes. it's soldiers? across glass shelves, the tiny troops stand shoulder to shoulder, ready for battle. let's see. there's george washington... generals robert e. lee and ulysses s. grant... not to mention ancient and medieval warriors. a history of world combat in one jam-packed man cave. your husband must've spent a lot of time putting this together. >> lovingly, over 40 years. >> it's really magnificent. i really did need to see this. you were right to get in touch with us. >> oh, i'm so glad you feel that way. >> i would love to learn more about it. >> i'd love to share that with you. >> can we sit and talk? >> i'd love it. >> carole tells me her late husband, bob postal, was born in 1940 in the gulf coast town of
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pascagoula, mississippi, where his father ran a garment factory. a shy, intense, and artistic kid, he kept to himself. >> he used to go into his room and draw. and he loved drawing military costumes. and he loved drawing battle re-enactments. >> as a young man, bob stops drawing soldiers and becomes one. he skips college, joins the army reserves, and in 1963, is stationed at fort dix in new jersey as a cook. he's never sent to vietnam. after an honorable discharge in 1969, bob follows in his father's footsteps and jumps into the apparel business in new york city, designing women's blouses for a clothing manufacturer. >> bob had a definite keen eye for what would sell, for what was hot at the time. he was very visionary. he was a workaholic.
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>> james moore worked with bob during the 1970s and 1980s. he saw bob's career boom, while his personal life went bust -- three divorces by his early 40s. one thing that does last is his new hobby -- toy soldiers. his collection is his passion. >> when i first saw it, i was absolutely amazed. he had every soldier placed in their position. every general was placed in his position. and i said, "bob, i cannot fathom how you do this, knowing you at work" -- and how impatient he was -- "how can you actually do this?" and he said, "this is my relaxation." >> bob pays 4 grand for this set of more than 100 world war i figures, most from the renowned welsh toy-soldier maker trophy miniatures. these sword-wielding knights of the crusades, some from russia's famed st. petersburg collection,
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for $3k. and a rare non-war piece -- the irish state coach used by the british royal family -- a steal at 300 bucks. meanwhile, bob starts his own apparel firm, mayfair industries. it takes off in 1984, when he strikes a deal with the walt disney company to license a little mouse for use on clothing. so, he was a pioneer in the industry? >> he was. he was a pioneer. the company went from $5 million to $110 million almost overnight. >> a few years later, bob comes calling on carole, who works in licensing for turner broadcasting. he's looking to secure the apparel rights to the film classic "the wizard of oz." >> he needed to get the license from me. and he walked into my office at 7:30 in the morning, and we locked eyes, and he never left. we were together from that day onward. >> was it love at first sight?
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>> it was instantaneous combustion. >> wow! that was quite a meeting. changed your life. >> it did! >> robert and carole move quickly. first, dating, then it's time to introduce her to his little friends. >> when we moved into the apartment, i said, "why do we need a two-bedroom?" "we need a room for the guys." >> roommates? >> well... and the next thing i know, boxes and boxes and boxes of soldiers are coming into the door. >> some girls might go into full retreat. not carole. the couple marry a year later. bob keeps collecting. >> did you ever say "not one more solider in this house. enough"? >> he could collect as many as his little heart desires, as far as i was concerned, as long as it didn't step out of the soldier room. >> was it an obsession or just a genuine interest? >> it was not an obsession. it was a respect. >> in 1989, bob receives a sign
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of respect himself -- from billionaire publisher malcolm forbes, whose 100,000-soldier collection is one of the world's finest. forbes hosts an exclusive toy-soldier event, and bob's invited. was that a huge moment for him? >> i think, for anybody who has a passion for a hobby and they meet the... >> premier. >>'s something that's very special. he sort of legitimized the whole collector society of soldiers. >> after forbes' death, bob is asked to another invitation-only toy-soldier event -- the auction at christie's of the forbes collection, in 1997. >> was there any way he was missing the auction of malcolm forbes' soldiers? >> no way he was missing that auction. >> the auction brings in a whopping $700,000. too rich for bob's blood, though he does walk away with an exclusive souvenir. >> he purchased a memento -- the
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solider that said "i attended the malcolm forbes auction." >> bob continues buying rare soldiers into his 70s. his miniature armies now number nearly 10,000. but by 2014, bob's health is in steep decline. he's diagnosed with advanced emphysema and confined to quarters -- with his troops. >> how important were "the guys" at the end? >> very important. he would sit in that room seven days a week, surrounded by his soldiers. that made him happy. >> maybe so, but bob doesn't want his wife to have to figure out what to do with them once he's gone. did he tell you what to do? >> he did not want to leave me with the soldiers. >> bob wanted to sell off the collection so carole wouldn't have to deal with it.
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>> meet the man bob drafts to decommission his army. >> when i first walked into this room, i was just kind of in awe. 'cause there's some die-hard collectors that would really just die to have some of these sets. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the answer after the break. there are times when our need to connect really matters. to keep customers and employees in the know. to keep business moving. comcast business is prepared for times like these. powered by the nation's largest gig-speed network. to help give you the speed, reliability, and security you need. tools to manage your business from any device, anywhere. and a team of experts - here for you 24/7. we've always believed in the power of working together.
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that's why, when every connection counts... you can count on us. i got this mountain bike for only $11., the fair and honest bidding site. an ipad worth $505, was sold for less than $24; a playstation 4 for less than $16; and a schultz 4k television for less than $2. i won these bluetooth headphones for $20. i got these three suitcases for less than $40. and shipping is always free. go to right now and see how much you can save. ♪
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>> so, which toy soldier was the single most expensive one ever sold? it's "a." a rare 1934 prototype marching guard was sold at a christie's auction in 1994 for $4,370. >> it's 2015, and 75-year-old robert postal, suffering from advanced emphysema, is getting his affairs in order. a top priority is the 10,000 high-end toy soldiers he spent 40 years collecting. they're meticulously displayed in his manhattan soldier room. he doesn't want to leave his wife the headache of dealing with then after he dies. so he hires a hobby-store owner, matt murphy, to catalog, appraise, and prepare the troops
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for sale. >> what wars are represented? >> we have world war ii... american civil war... napoleonic wars... the sudan campaign... zulu war. we have two shelves of zulu war. >> what makes bob's army valuable, according to matt, is that he focused his energy on completing many sets from high-end soldier makers, such as stanton studios, king & country, and w. britain. >> another really sought-after brand is trophy miniatures, made in wales. a set of six would sell for about $100, and now they can fetch up to $300 on ebay. >> matt says this trophy miniature would go for 500 bucks. it's a tractor for transporting troops during the boer wars in africa. this british nile riverboat, used during the 19th century --
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$1,500. before matt can go through every piece, however, robert dies, at home, in september 2015, surrounded by all his guys. he's 75 years old. were you prepared to live life without him? >> no. i never thought it would come. >> and, so, you're faced with a dilemma. you're left with "the guys" -- the soldiers. then, just days after her husband's funeral, at the suggestion of a friend, carole tunes in to an episode of "strange inheritance." as chance would have it... who's this guy? ...she catches our previous story about a family and their toy-soldier inheritance. carole, what did you think when you saw the "strange inheritance" episode about toy soldiers? >> i was knocked out.
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i was thrilled to see other people enjoying a passion for collecting soldiers. >> unlike bob postal, the husband and father in that story really wanted his toy-soldier collection displayed in its own museum. his children found it a bridge too far. but the episode gets our heir thinking. >> so, i reached out. >> here we are. i'll do what i can to help. what is this place, here? >> we're surrounded by about 3 million soldiers. >> that's incredible. that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. the answer when we return. ♪
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>> so, which of these popular figures had a large toy-soldier collection as a child? it's "a," winston churchill. churchill's army numbered 1,500 pieces, which he used to re-enact british victories over the french. >> when new york apparel executive robert postal dies in 2015, he leaves his widow, carole, his vast array of nearly 10,000 toy soldiers. before his death, he encouraged his wife to sell, but to whom? how big is the market today? >> market is, we would probably guess 50,000 people worldwide collect soldiers seriously, so it's tiny. it's a niche of a niche. >> jamie delson, owner of the 9,000-square-foot toy soldier company in jersey city, new jersey. i'm here doing some
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reconnaissance for carole. >> this is the world's largest warehouse that holds toy soldiers. we have about 3- or 4 million soldiers here. ♪ >> some are plastic, some metal, and valuable classics cast in lead. >> people who collect plastics will spend $20 or $50 at a time. people who collect metals will spend $2,000 or $3,000 at the drop of a hat. people who collect the most expensive soldiers may pay $200, $500, or $1,000 for a single soldier. >> jamie tells me that not having original boxes can lower values anywhere from 50% to 75%. >> this is what collectors look for. serious collectors buy things that are in the box, in original boxes from the 1940s, '30s, '50s just because it's in the box, and if you look closely, they're
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sewn into the box. >> so these guys are still strapped in, never touched or taken out. >> right. no box, not a lot of value. >> not a lot of fun, either. then again, how many bedrooms the postals would have needed if bob kept all the boxes! boxes or not, matt murphy, the hobby-shop owner bob hired to get "the guys" ready for sale, says it is plenty valuable. could you put a price on this collection? >> the toy-soldier market is a little down right now. but it could fetch anywhere between $85,000 to maybe $130,000. >> but those numbers are based on retail prices, so matt can only offer carole $25,000 if he wants to guarantee himself a profit. >> i do think like that. obviously, i'm in business. >> that's a far cry from the $700,000 the malcolm forbes soldiers fetched at auction back
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in 1997. but carole's not insulted. more and more, "strange inheritance" gets her thinking. it's not about the money for her. >> i don't want the cash. i don't want it. i want this to be his legacy to keep them together, and i want to donate them so that other people could enjoy his collection as much as he did. >> but what if nobody's interested? or as interested as he was? that's next. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we would love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, at mercedes-benz, nothing less than world-class
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♪ >> now back to "strange inheritance." >> before he died, robert postal had planned for his wife, carole, to sell his prized collection of 10,000 rare and valuable toy soldiers. but after watching a
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"strange inheritance" episode about toy soldier heirs, carole maps out a different course. she wants to find an institution to display them, in honor of her husband. for that, she needs another kind of advice. what was your initial impression of this collection? >> oh, i love it. it's one of the biggest collections in the world. >> reporting for duty -- lee drexler, an appraiser who helps clients find good homes for their bequests. step 1 is certifying a fair-market value. >> right, the teeth on the horse... >> and the bridle. >> i just love seeing the big collections of custer's last stand or civil war or world war ii or the american revolution. i mean, it's fantastic. >> honest abe, what's he worth? >> probably about $450, $500. >> lee says that's because this 6-inch, highly-detailed lincoln figure was made in england by the renowned stadden studios. ♪
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what's this collection worth? >> about $300,000. >> for toy soldiers? $300,000?! if accurate, that's far more, man-for-man, than even the forbes collection -- and 12 times the $25k that matt murphy was offering. and it would certainly give me second thoughts about giving them away. what about carole? >> it's impressive, yes. so if it is worth that much, then i'm thrilled. but it wasn't ever about the money. having the soldiers find a home will be a huge part that will make me feel whole again. >> so carole and lee begin contacting new york-based museums that might be interested in housing and displaying the troops. >> our first thought, quite frankly, was west point. bob had tremendous respect for the institution. >> what did they say? >> they said no, they couldn't, with great sadness. they have no space.
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>> as quickly as the door closed at west point, lee opens one at another prestigious institution -- the new york historical society. if the new york historical society were to make this happen for you, what would that mean? >> they'd be in new york, where people come from all over the world. it would be a fabulous, fabulous place. >> and your reaction if they say "game on"? >> done. >> and "game on" it is. the society does agree to give safe harbor to 5,000 of "the guys." if you split this collection up between museums, it would be easier, potentially, for them to take and more people could see it. >> it would be double the joy. >> with lee's help, a children's museum in rochester, new york, agrees to take in and display the other half of the collection. ♪ carole tells me that working
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with us on this episode has helped her to grieve for robert and, in doing so, to preserve his legacy. >> that's why i reached out to you. it is my hope that people see this show and see a passion that somebody had for, in this case, soldiers, and so what i leave to the world is the robert c. postal soldier legacy collection. >> so, you never felt like you were competing with "the guys"? >> never. i was always number one. >> that's so nice to know. >> i wish it on everybody. ♪ >> remember that story about bob meeting malcolm forbes at a toy-soldier show? carole says it was one of his most treasured memories. the confederate soldier he later purchased commemorating the forbes collection remained one of bob's favorites. and right before her husband was laid to rest, carole slipped that very soldier into his suit pocket.
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i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching "strange inheritance." i guess sometimes you can take it with you. maria: good morning, everyone, welcome, i'm maria bartiromo, thanks for joining us, monday june 1st, top stories, 6:00 a.m. on the east coast. violence clashes overnight looting and fires as rods defy curfews, national guard and border patrol deployed. president trump calling for restoration of law and order as riots come dangerously close to the white house. target and apple among major stores shutting down locations due to violence on the streets and damage. futures kicking off the month lower. take a look at where we stand after the dow, nasdaq


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