The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli by Alyssa PalomboA girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family’s favored circle.
Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici’s glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence―most notably the rakish Giuliano de’ Medici―become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable and fashionable still. But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.
Let's first start by setting expectations accordingly. We need to all understand what the word "fortune" means in the context of valuing 80s action figures. These toys aren't going to be going for millions of dollars, but in comparison to the types of prices they originally sold for, their current going rate could easily be considered a fortune. As time goes on things tend to inherently gain more popularity simply due to scarcity and rarity. Often times you'll find that a lot of this is due to neglect or disposal. They are toys after all, and kids tend to destroy their own toys. Sometimes people are lucky enough to come across their old toys in a dusty chest that was stowed away in their parent's attic only to be found years later.
From the time of its introduction into toy isles in , Mattel's Masters of the Universe action figure toyline kicked butt and never bothered with the formality of taking names. Bolstered further in by an innovative print ad campaign carried in the comic book publications of DC Comics, a full-sized three-issue comic book mini-series produced by DC, and the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon made by Filmation, this muscle-bound toyline quickly became the must have plaything for young boys in the early '80s. Now 35 years since their initial debut, the toys have since become highly desired collectibles for nostalgia-charged adults. Larger items, like the playsets that were made by Mattel to recreate the otherworldly environs in which He-Man and his fellow Masters lived, logically command a bit more. But the justifiably expensive MOTU toys are those that -- some three decades after their actual production -- are untouched by human hands.
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Although not completely rare, He-Man's royal alter ego can command a pretty penny on eBay. While Skeletor's ghost warrior Scare Glow never appeared on the original animated series, he nonetheless remains a popular toy among collectors.
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