Last February, Chevalier von Windsor posted a bunch of gorgeous, amazing photos from the UK's phone booth graveyard, near the village of Carlton Miniott (scroll right to the bottom). The contrast between the normally shiny and proud red call-boxes and these dusty, decaying corpses makes the photos work. READ THE REST
Cue some smart US operator offering to buy them all to sell as store decor in 3,2,1....
I am very surprised that Hammacher-Schlemmer or some other SkyMall vendor hasn't bought these, cleaned them up, and outfitted them with a Skype terminal or some-such.
I was just about to say--what a WASTE! I'm sure there's enough decorators, geeks, and design fans out there who would LOVE to get their hands on one.
DIY Inspector Spacetime prop!
I had a similar thought (since surely it's obvious) - even in a dilapidated state, they could easily sell these off since they're so iconic all over the world. In the US and in a few other countries, I've seen dozens of fake ones (and probably some real ones) in various settings.
Now, I suppose it is a significant question whether any of the people with fake ones would actually buy a real one if it were available, since the price would have to be a lot higher.
I like the idea of selling them as store decor, but even then the audience is limited. Ideally you'd want a big brand with lots of stores to buy them, but there aren't that many British (or faux-British) brands in the US with lots of stores. Barbour, Burberry, Ben Sherman, French Connection, Topshop, and some smaller ones like Ted Baker have strong British identities and retail stores in the US, but not in great numbers.
Actually, I think some of those stores already have them (possibly even real ones), and it's not a given that they'd actually want one in their stores.
So that leaves what... indie vintage shops and the like, British-style pubs and restaurants, private collectors... probably not as strong a market as we might think.
On second thought, maybe there's a reason there's a graveyard of them
Now, perhaps if someone bought them all for cheap, shipped them over in bulk for relatively little money, and sold them as-is for not too much ($500?) there'd be a market. I just don't think it's that realistic a proposition. It's something your first reaction to is "oh, that'd be awesome to have" but upon further reflection you don't actually want to bother.
More likely, someone in Asia will try to grab these up. Vintage US and UK stuff is big business there, and not just in Japan.
Do I see a nascent anglophile tchotchke market?
Every time a Timelord reincarnates the old Tardis ends up here.
Look more rusty than dusty!
Company I worked for (Nortel, remember them?) had one in their lobby as a gimmick. I'm sure a lot of folks would love one in their rec room.
Let them decay to nothing like this or sell them for some amount of money. It doesn't seem like a tough choice. Someone is asleep at the wheel.
Rusty British Call-Box for sale! Was some amount of money, now other amount of money! Act now!
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