Fairlyand figures go up on auction block

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The Fairyland figurines sit outside a city warehouse, worn by the years. 

Snow White isn't the fairest anymore. Humpty Dumpty wears a sale sticker. He and all the kings horses, and everything from Fairyland  will soon be on the auction block.

"I'm heartbroken," says Brenda Rouse, who was born in raised in Tampa. "It's like seeing your toys at a thrift store. They're part of our childhood. They're magical."

Fairyland started in the 1950s at Tampa's Lowry Park. It was a children's attraction for generations. But Fairyland was showing its age when the city took it down in the mid 1990s.

The figures were rediscovered a few months ago squirreled away in a city warehouse.

"They don't have any intrinsic value to anybody else but to those of us who are from here," says Mario Nunez who hosts the Tampa Natives show on cable.

A group asked the city to give them the figurines to restore, but Mayor Bob Buckhorn says that's not the way it works. It has to go out to bid.

"My suggestion to those with all these grand ideas is go to the auction and bid on them. If they win the auction, then fine, they can do whatever they want with them, but we don't want them," says Buckhorn.

LINK: Decades-old Fairyland characters have reappeared

A city flyer advertising the January 14 auction at Tampa's Manheim Auction called the figurines "historic." 

"Which, to me, means that we're auctioning off our history to the highest bidder," says Rouse. "We should be preserving our history."

Fairyland fans say if they can't stop the auction, they'll join the bidders. They've started a GoFundMe page.

"They're that important. If we have to pay the ransom for our history, we'll do that," says Rouse.

What's treasure to some is trash to others.

"That's why they've been sitting on the junk pile for 25 years," quips Buckhorn.

The tattered memories of Tampa's past have an uncertain future. For more information on those trying to save Fairyland, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/savefairyland/.