Popular Collectors Day returns to Gainesville

Reef Gillett, 5, smiles as he glances over his uncle Alan Lehtola's display of The Simpsons figurines at a previous Collectors Day at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Sun file photo
Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.

Twenty years ago, Barbara Eddins, an avid pink flamingo collector, heard Johnson & Johnson were making Barbie-themed Band-Aids. She had to have them. And when she went to look for them, she noticed the other themed Band-Aids on the aisle. She had to have them, too.


Collectors Day

What: Collectors from around the Southeast display collections from clowns and microscopes to buttons and dolls
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Florida Museum of Natural History, Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road, Gainesville
Admission: Free
Info: 846-2000 or www.flmnh.ufl.edu

"I don't do anything halfway, so I was like, 'I have to have the Band-Aids,'" Eddins says.

Eddins, 64, now has a collection of more than 100 Band-Aids and Band-Aid boxes, including the brand's original tin containers. Her collection, along with about 100 other collections, will be featured in the Florida Museum of Natural History's 31st Collectors Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kelly Donovan, communications specialist at Florida Museum of Natural History, says the museum expects 2,000 to 3,000 people to see the event.

"Since it's been going on for so long, it's well-known throughout the area," Donovan says. "The last few years, it has been a big event."

This year's event will feature more unusual collections, including antique microscopes, buttons, business cards and clown collections. And such surprising collections will be accompanied by more traditional assortments such as stamps, classic cars, dolls and coins.

Donovan also says the collectors enjoy talking about their items and look forward to answering questions about them.

When Saturday's visitors gaze at Eddins' Band-Aids, they will see everything from Star Wars Band-Aids in a holographic box to a Johnson & Johnson 85th anniversary edition tin box and a box of Band-Aids from Japan. Although Eddins does have a few favorites in her collection, like the Band-Aids that look like pickles, she said is still holding out for her Holy Grail - a box of pink flamingo Band-Aids.

Bonnie Bernau, who will be bringing her armadillo collectibles for the fourth year, said she started collecting them because she decided she wanted to be tougher on the outside, soft on the inside and never wanted to end up squashed on the side of the road.

She looks forward to not only sharing her collection with the community, but also other collectors.

"We get to know each other and we share new things we have gotten in the past year," Bernau says. "We all care for things and I think everybody can understand that."

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