EDISON, NJ –Auctioneer Joe Bodnar recalls an interview several years ago with a writer for a national antiques magazine in which he was asked ‘What are the antiques/collectibles of the future?’
Without hesitating, Bodnar answered "Computers," he recalls. “Commodore 64, IBM, Apple" and he also remembers listing video games like the original Atari Pong and Paddle game which first came to the market in 1972.
By today’s standards, these early electronic marvels were simple and rudimentary, not unlike other genres of antiques and collectibles.
Though he makes no claims to being a visionary, Bodnar was on the money with his prediction.
Bodnar’s Auctions monthly sale on Thursday, May 31 at the New Jersey Convention Center, located at 97 Sunfield Avenue in Raritan Center off Woodbridge Avenue, will feature more than 3,000 lots of vintage computers and video games from a single collector who cleared out his basement after accumulating a variety of desk top equipment, video game consoles, cartridges, soft and hard disks, video games, software, operating manuals, other publications and miscellaneous technical items.
Collector Joe Loguidice, 45, who lives in Burlington in southern New Jersey, admits he had become overwhelmed by the scope of his collection.
He decided it was time to clear house and reached out to Bodnar for help.
“It was never my intention to collect stuff,” Loguidice explains, who is married and has three daughters. “My goal was always to use it; once I stopped having the time and space to use and enjoy the stuff, that’s when I decided it wasn’t doing me any good and it was time to get rid of it all,” he added.
Well. Not quite all of it. Loguidice said he kept a portion of the collection, about 10 percent of what he began accumulating when he was in grade school.
“I’ve been fascinated by this kind of stuff since I was three,” he said. “My earliest memories are being into this stuff, even as a young child I was interested in the different types of video game consoles and computers."
Loguidice is a freelance writer. Not surprisingly, he writes articles and books about video games and equipment, much of which had found a home in his basement.
“It just kind of naturally built up,” he continued. “As I got older I got more stuff; this was before the days of Ebay. I’d find stuff in flea markets, computer shows and classified ads.
“Once Ebay came along I was able to get some of the more obscure and foreign stuff that wouldn't otherwise have been available to me locally. I was able to use this stuff but after a point you reach a critical mass and it becomes too much,” he said.
Loguidice said, “It was never about the process of collecting, putting things on shelf or having the most of anything, I wanted to use it and experience it."
Now it’s time for others to learn and be amused by the vintage equipment and software which serve as the foundation of the ever-evolving computer and gaming industries.
Those interested in having a closer look at the Loguidice collection are invited to a preview Wednesday night at the convention center from 6-8 p.m.
The auction on Thursday begins at 11 a.m., and will feature everything from jewelry and furniture to toys and games. Bidders must sign in at the front desk.
Further information is available by calling (732) 951-2100.