This has to be the yard sale of the century, as the Washington Post calls it.
The King of Pop is putting his stuff up for auction, creating a sense of wonder, curiosity and a bit of creepiness among parents and children everywhere.
For an estimated auction price of $20,000 to $30,000, the front gates to Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in Santa Maria, Calif., could be yours. Or maybe you prefer one of Jackson's famous white gloves, estimated to go at $10,000 during the four-day auction April 22-25. Or maybe bid on the original art painted by Macaulay Culkin in 1991.
The nearly 2,000 items make up a collection for the ages, most of which will be on view to the public until April 21. The public exhibition is at 9900 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, adjacent to the Beverly Hilton, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, if you're in the area. Entry costs $20.
(editor's note: According to this piece in the Los Angeles Times, the auction has been canceled for now. Stay tuned to WalletPop for further developments.)Jackson, who is scheduled to start a London concert tour in July, is selling his stuff to ward off financial troubles, including multimillion-dollar shopping sprees, legal bills, court settlements, tax liabilities and the upkeep of Neverland Ranch, named after the home of Peter Pan -- the boy who never grew up. Neverland faced foreclosure last year until a private equity group bought the loan to the property, and a financial reorganization required Jackson to move out his personal items.
If you can't make it to Beverly Hills for the auction, then you can flip through the online catalogs, or buy the five-catalog box set for $200. Either way, it's as close as you'll ever get to Neverland Ranch, unless you visited before Jackson left in 2005 after being acquitted of child molestation charges.
There's outdoor and indoor furniture, fine art, games, Disney collectibles, and memorabilia from Jackson's career. The pages and pages of video games, pinball machines, amusement park games, and other childhood amusements show how far being a millionaire can go in chasing his childhood.
There are awards, clothes, artwork of Jackson and enough classical art to make viewers think they were in either a museum in London, or a museum of Jackson's life.
For the man who wanted to be Peter Pan, as depicted on an electric cart he drove around the ranch, it's a rare chance to look at the life of someone who could afford to be a child forever.
Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.AaronCrowe.net
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