Q. I have an old cast-iron "Teddy Roosevelt and the Bear" bank that needs repair. Please give us a repair source. A piece of the iron is broken off.
A. Send a tracing of the bank't base and a description of its broken parts to Bob McCumber, 201 Carriage Drive, Glastonbury, Connecticut 06033, with an addressed, stamped envelope for a repair price estimate. Bob repairs and cleans mechanical banks such as your "Teddy and the Bear" example. He will also send, on request, a list of mechanical and still banks for sale. Incidentally, if your authentic "Teddy and the Bear" mechanical bank is for sale, write to Gov. James R. Thompson, Executive Mansion, Springfield, Illinois 62701. He would love to have one.
Q. Are vampire collectibles the up-and-coming thing, and is it true that you believe in vampires and hang strings of garlic in your house for protection against them?
A. Yes, vampire collectibles (novelties, books, spook cards, photos, dolls, toys and any old items relating to the fanged ones) are what collectors are seeking now because vampire-movie publicity is so prevalent. Yes, I do believe in vampires as long as they look like Frank Langella. Yes, I do hang strings of garlic in my house, along with dried herbs -- but not to keep away vampires.
Q. Where can I get a book on Avon bottles, from when they were first made to a few years ago, that'll tell me how much they are worth? Also, is there a book listing the various collector plates, their values and other details?
A. Send for a copy of "Bud Hastin's Avon Bottle Encyclopedia -- 1979 Edition," available for $14.95 plus 75 cents postage from Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1912 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50305. It contains 470 pages, lists, pictures and prices more than 9,000 Avon Bottles. The "1979 Bradford Book of Collector's Plates," available for $9.50 from the Bradford Exchange, 9333 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois 60048, pictures and prices all editions of such plates.