It's a show like you might have seen in a major American city 20 years ago. Collectors lined up outside the building. Hundreds of dealers and most of them making money. Some autograph guests, but overall the star of the show is still the stuff that sites on those tables and hangs in displays. The 2012 Toronto Fall Sportcard Expo is set for November 9, 10 and 11.
Held at the Toronto International Expo Centre in Mississauga, the show features some 400 booths. Collectors come from across Canada, the U.S., Europe and beyond to chase cards and other items they otherwise only see online--if they see them at all. That's because dealers often hold back their best stuff for this show, knowing they'll have a captive audience.
There's a theme to the autograph guest list this time. The Toronto Expo will be a 40-year reunion of Team Canada, the squad that took on the Soviet Union in the Summit Series. Yvan Cournoyer, Marcel Dionne, Phil Esposito, Brad Park, Gilbert Perreault, Serge Savard and other team members will be on hand all weekend as well as Jonas Valanclunas of the Toronto Raptors and WWE star Kevin Nash.
There's a hobby shop tie-in with Panini that will give collectors with an 'Expo Passport' a special four-card hockey set and collectors who purchase a hobby hockey box of 2012-13 O-Pee Chee, 2012-13 Artifacts or 2012-13 Upper Deck Series One from a Certified Diamond Dealer at the show will receive a voucher. They can bring that voucher to the Upper Deck booth at specified times where they can exchange it, along with the wrappers from the box for a random 2012 NHL Priority Signings autograph card at no charge.
The show opens at 1 p.m. Friday and lasts until 10, then is open 10-6 on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $12, or $25 for a weekend pass with lower prices for kids 12 and under.
Here's a video from several years ago that offers a look inside the twice-a-year show.