Sunday, March 20, 2016

'It Belongs in a Museum!' An Open Letter to Private Collectors of 'Hogan's Heroes' Props, Artifacts

I admit, there is nothing quite like holding, let alone actually owning, a piece of your favorite television show or movie. There's something magical about it. First you find it, then bid on it, and if you're lucky and have the financial means, you can win that iconic treasure. 

I know. I've done it. 

Your prize arrives, and you experience that moment of joy and elation. No matter what the item is, it was used on screen in your favorite show or movie, and now, it's in your hands and soon to be proudly displayed in your living room or den or office. You vow to take care of it, treating it like gold, knowing how important it is, not only to you, but to fans and collectors worldwide.

The official Hogan's Heroes display at the
Liberty Aviation Museum, Port Clinton, Ohio.
And there it sits. For awhile, you'll walk past it, and you can't help but grin. Yes, it's a valuable momento that represents your youth or a certain time in your life. The show means something to you, and now, you own a piece of it.

And there it sits. Maybe you'll showcase it when friends or relatives who visit. And it's truly awesome and cool!

And there it sits. In a private home. With only a handful of people able to enjoy it. Eventually, like all materialistic things, its novelty wears off. But it's still important, so it's really difficult to part with it.

So there it sits.

Last year, the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio, acquired several key items from Hogan's Heroes: Colonel Hogan's A-2 leather bomber jacket, Colonel Klink's uniform, and Sergeant Schultz's overcoat. In addition, other items have been secured to add to the display. I have personally donated authentic props from the series I had in my collection, along with several original photographs autographed by the show's stars. After all, Hogan's Heroes is not only a television show, but now, more than fifty years old, it is a piece of Americana and our television history. These props belong in a museum, where they can be properly preserved and available for the public to enjoy.

Do you have Colonel Hogan's coffee pot? The Liberty Aviation Museum would love to hear from you!

The Liberty Aviation Museum is not holding back in creating a world-class and official Hogan's Heroes display. They are currently building a large case to house the items, and for the uniforms, they have commissioned lifelike mannequins in the likeness of the actors who portrayed the characters. It will be, without a doubt, a beautiful showcase and one that does justice to the series and those who were a part of it.

Do you agree that iconic props and artifacts from nostalgic
television shows belong in a museum?
Contact us if you own a Hogan's Heroes prop!
Personally, I can't imagine a better place for Hogan's Heroes artifacts and props to call their official home. The CEO of the Liberty Aviation Museum is an honest, true-blue Hogan's Heroes fan, and he's doing right by the series by putting all of his TLC into the display. Further, events and displays such as this help raise money for the museum, and funds go directly to helping U.S. veterans and active duty service members. When I do my book signing of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography at the museum in June, I will be donating my profits from the event's sales to the museum because of the good work these folks are doing.

Here's where you come in. Are you the owner/private collector of a Hogan's Heroes prop or artifact? We'd love to hear from you. We understand how much these props mean to you. But sit back and think for a minute — wouldn't it be wonderful and amazing for your Hogan's Heroes prop to be preserved and back together with other series artifacts for the public to enjoy? Whether you loan it to the museum or decide to sell it to them, as long as you can provide accurate and official authentication documents, they are interested in hearing from you. You can contact them directly via their website, or click the link below to send a message through us that we'll pass along to them.

And yes, my last name is Ford, so I get to say in true Indiana Jones fashion, "It belongs in a museum!" as much as I want!