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Collector Spotlight: Mike Pingel


Mike Pingel shares with Toy Tales how his enthusiasm for Charlie’s Angels led to collecting that caught the eyes of the Angels themselves.

Describe your collection.

I have a collection of Charlie’s Angels memorabilia from the television series. I don’t know exactly how many pieces I have. I own so many magazines and newspapers along with collectibles. It’s probably 1,000 pieces. I still have the puzzle my grandparents bought me during a trip to Woolworth in 1977, along with lunch boxes, trading cards, dolls, posters, playsets, board games, and buttons.

When and why did you start collecting Charlie’s Angels merchandise?

I started collecting in 1977, around the time that Cheryl Ladd joined the show. She’s still my favourite Angel. I was about eight years old then. What appealed to me about the show was the adventure. The Angels were always going undercover; it was very glamorous. Did you know that Ladd turned down the role of Kris Munroe three times? Once Aaron Spelling agreed to let her use her comedic skills with the character, she joined the cast. She saved a television series that could have crashed and burned. Farrah Fawcett, who became a big star playing Jill Munroe, had just left the show. Ladd’s character, Kris, came to the show as Jill’s sister and is one of television’s best-ever replacements.

How do you display and store your collection?

I don’t track my collection at all. This may reflect badly on me as a collector, but my collection is a mess right now! I do have a large display case in my bedroom and many of my signed posters and personal photos are on display, but so much of it is crammed into closets and bins. I sometimes take my collection to events, such as the Hollywood Show, which I showcased my collection in support of Childhelp, a non-profit organization for which Cheryl Ladd is an ambassador.

I’ve actually become friends with the Angels over the years. I was one of the fans in the reality television show called Chasing Farrah. She learned about my collection and asked to see it. The show’s producer noticed how well we got along and asked if I’d be interested in interviewing for the job of Farrah’s personal assistant. I then worked with Farrah for a couple of years. All the Angels are lovely people; so sweet and smart.

What do you consider to be the Holy Grail of Charlie’s Angels merchandise?

There are a number of items in my collection that I consider Holy Grails: the Rainy Day set (with umbrella, hat, and purse); the Fashion Dress-Up set; the small coin purse with the original Angels printed on it; a Kris Munroe business card used on the series (a birthday present to me from Cheryl Ladd); and, a candy dish given out as a gift to the cast and crew in 1980. 

A couple of items that have eluded me include the walkie-talkies, the watch radio with its box (I have the item without a box), and any of the retail toy displays.

Before I buy something, I consider whether it is worth rent or is it worth eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all month? I am often asked if any of my pieces are for sale. I don’t really understand that. No one asks if a piece of art on your wall is for sale. I don’t see my collection as salable because these are things that I love.

What advice would you give to someone interested starting a Charlie’s Angels collection?

Don’t do it! I don’t need any more competition! But seriously, start with something you are passionate about. Don’t be afraid of looking, collecting, and hoarding. It’s always about the hunt and trying to find the pieces you want. And of course, it’s about the community. I have made some really great friends through collecting, I’ve written a number of books, and have become friends and attended events with the Angels. I’m very blessed.

 

Immerse yourself in more Charlie’s Angels content on Pingel’s website and Facebook page. His new video series, Collectors Haven, is now available on YouTube.

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