Oreo collection a slam dunk for Dover man

Grieg Osmundson shows off his vast collection of Oreo merchandise that takes up an entire room in his Dover home. He will show off his 16 years of acquired artifacts at Saturday’s Collector’s Day at the Air Mobility Command Museum.  (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Grieg Osmundson shows off his vast collection of Oreo merchandise that takes up an entire room in his Dover home. He will show off his 16 years of acquired artifacts at Saturday’s Collector’s Day at the Air Mobility Command Museum. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER –– When Grieg Osmundson took home an Oreo cookie tin 16 years ago, he had no idea it would be the first item in an ever-growing collection.

“My boss brought in this Oreo tin and when it was empty, he told me I could just toss it. But it was a perfectly good tin so instead of throwing it away, I took it home,” Mr. Osmundson said.

He got home and compared it to another Oreo tin from the pantry and the gears started turning.

“eBay was just starting to get popular and I thought ‘Gosh, I wonder what else is out there,’” he said. “So I went on and typed ‘Oreo’ and got thousands of results.”

He said he saw item after item that he wanted and before long, he had the beginnings of a collection.

“I’ve collected coins before, but coins are something everyone collects,” Mr. Osmundson, of Dover, said. “If you’re going to get serious about coin collecting, you have to go deep into it.”

He explained how serious coin collectors invest in currency from rare national coins to historic local coins.

“There is some currency that was made in a certain town like Dover or anywhere else that could only be used in that town,” he said. “But getting into all that isn’t for me.”

Some of the more interesting pieces in Mr. Osmundson’s collection are an antique AM radio shaped like an Oreo with a bite out of it, three limited-edition Barbie dolls decked out in Oreo apparel, salt and pepper shakers in the shape of an Oreo and a glass of milk, and even a Nokia Oreo phone case that smells like Oreos.

Some of the more interesting pieces in Mr. Osmundson’s collection are an antique AM radio shaped like an Oreo with a bite out of it, three limited-edition Barbie dolls decked out in Oreo apparel, salt and pepper shakers in the shape of an Oreo and a glass of milk, and even a Nokia Oreo phone case that smells like Oreos.

His most valuable coin is a 50-cent-piece he estimates is worth about $250. But none of the items he collects are about rarity or monetary worth.

“Some of these Oreo things might be worth some money, they might not, but I don’t really care. I just enjoy collecting them,” he said.

Once a year, Mr. Osmundson puts his collection on display for the public at the Air Mobility Command Museum’s Annual Collector’s Day.

This year’s Collector’s Day is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The AMC Museum is at 1301 Heritage Road in Dover. Admission to the event is free.

So why Oreos and not something else?

“I just love them,” he said. “I think the only one I’m not partial to is the peanut butter ones. But the Double Stuf, the Birthday Cake, the Oreo Cakesters. I just tried the Thins, I love them all.”

But unlike most Oreo lovers, Mr. Osmundson said he never dunks his.

“I just eat them. I’ll have them with milk, water, soda. I’m not that picky,” he said.

And when looking at his collection, it’s clear it’s not just the cookies he loves, it’s anything and everything Oreo.

“The main thing is they have to say Oreo,” he said. “Or at least have the Oreo look to it. I have a few items that don’t say Oreo but they have the Oreo pattern so those fit into the collection too.”

Some of the more interesting pieces in Mr. Osmundson’s collection are an antique AM radio shaped like an Oreo with a bite out of it, three limited-edition Barbie dolls decked out in Oreo apparel, salt and pepper shakers in the shape of an Oreo and a glass of milk, and even a Nokia Oreo phone case that smells like Oreos.

He’s kept up with the phone cases over the years and has had Oreo cases on every phone from the original Nokia to the iPhone 6.

Mr. Osmundson shows off his Oreo collection at last year’s Collector’s Day at the AMC Museum. The free event starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Mr. Osmundson shows off his Oreo collection at last year’s Collector’s Day at the AMC Museum. The free event starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.

And Mr. Osmundson is always on the hunt for something new.

“It’s really neat to find things I haven’t seen before,” he said. “Now I go online to search and page after page I see things I already have but I recently found a few things I didn’t have.”

Those items included a thimble, a letter opener and a to-go container designed specifically to hold Oreos. He also recently acquired a set of stuffed animal Oreos with arms, legs and a head, each representing a different branch of the military.

He keeps an album on his phone of all the items in his collection to prevent getting any duplicates. His daughter recently made a book through Shutterfly, which includes all the photos so the whole family can look at the collection because he’s not looking for Oreo products alone; family and friends have been helping him grow his collection.

“The whole family knows I love Oreo so they always keep their eyes open so sometimes I’ll get a call like, ‘I saw this, is it something you have?’ and if I say no, they’ll pick it up for me,” he said.

And a lot of his pieces come as gifts from special occasions like Christmas, his birthday and anniversary.

His collection is to the point that a spare room in the house is dedicated to the display of all his Oreo products.

On Saturday, he’ll move it out to the AMC Museum for Collector’s Day.

“People are always saying ‘Wow, I had no idea there were so many things Oreo,’” he said. “It’s great to see their reactions.”

For additional information on Collector’s Day, call Paul George at 677-5991. Free table space may be reserved in advance. Collectors can receive a reservation form by emailing museum@us.af.mil or stop by the AMC Museum.

There will be prizes for best overall exhibit and most unusual collection. Setup starts at 7:30 a.m. and doors open at 9. Teardown is at 3.

Over the years participants have shared collections of turn of the century post cards, World War I uniforms, pocket watches, Trench Art, model aircraft engines and sunflower jewelry. Weapons and inappropriate material are not allowed.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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