Sunday, July 15, 2001

Prized Possessions

'Planet of the Apes' inspires sci-fi fan

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

        Who: Rob Langton, 36, of Western Hills, a graphic designer at Interbrand Hulefeld and a Planet of the Apes enthusiast.

        On display: His circa late 1960s-early '70s Planet of the Apes collection, including framed movie posters, action figures, a child's cup and bowl set, comic books, magazines, paperbacks, trading cards and plastic models still in their boxes.

[photo] Rob Langton of Western Hills has been collecting Planet of the Apes items for six years.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
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        Where: In the spare bedroom he and his wife, Ellen, use as a home office.

        Loves sci-fi: “I loved the Planet of the Apes movies when I was a kid,” Mr. Langton says. “We used to see them at kid matinees, so you could say I grew up on '70s sci-fi.

        “My imagination went wild. I had all of the super hero action figures, so when I went home, I'd re-enact the entire films.”

        Heavy on symbolism: “My favorite scene was at the end of the original Planet of the Apes movie,” he says. “It is when Charlton Heston came across the Statue of Liberty's arm with the torch. It was neat and kind of scary at the same time. It was a lot for a young man to grasp. Especially since I grew up in New York.

        “Back then I found the movies kind of goofy and funny, but as an adult, I see some of the political and social ideals they were trying to convey. So, now the Planet of the Apes movies interest me on both levels.”

        Apes on line: “I've been collecting Planet of the Apes items aggressively for the past five or six years,” Mr. Langton says. “Prior to that, I just picked up little things here and there. Unfortunately, most of the things I had as a child were thrown away.”

        Mr. Langton has found the bulk of his collection on eBay, the Web auction site. He also has attended several toy fairs. His most prized items are four of the five original posters from the original Planet of the Apes series.

        “I'm always on a mission to find the poster from the first Planet of the Apes movie,” he says.

        Hard to find: “I always hope for a great deal,” he says. “But with the new film coming out, prices are going to go through the roof. It's going to be harder to find that hidden gem.”

        Goin' ape: Surely, an adamant Planet of the Apes fan such as Mr. Langton is looking forward to the new movie opening later this month.

        “Of course!” he says. “I kid my wife and say, "I've been waiting so long for this I'll probably wear a tuxedo.' ”

        Share your prized possessions with Marsie Hall Newbold by mail: c/o The Cincinnati Enquirer, e-mail:



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