Yard Sailin’, Volume IV.

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So after a month’s worth of pleasant experiences, I was finally reminded of why I stopped going to yard sales to begin with.

I did find some nice things, but between the sellers and the buyers, every stop brought five new annoyances.

Sellers were the big problem. I lost interest in yard sales when people started charging eBay prices, and that was on full display. At the first of Saturday’s sales, we saw a homeowner basically tell someone to leave her property, insulted that the would-be customer wanted to pay $20 rather than $24 for a box of nearly-worthless Christmas ornaments. That same woman wanted $3 per VHS tape, even though 80% of them were of the Barney & Friends variety, and none of them had boxes.

We also went to a couple of estate sales, where the sellers were even worse. Around here, estate sales generally aren’t run by grieving families, but by outside people that they hire. I don’t know the specifics of their arrangements, but those people must work on a percentage rather than a flat rate, because holy fuck were they asking for ridiculous amounts of money.

Some of the buyers were no better. At one estate sale, an obvious dealer was running ahead of us all over the house, I guess to make sure he could pick out the good stuff first. Literally just darting in front of us, lest we get to that flimsy 1975 magazine rack before he could.

We went upstairs, and he immediately followed. We started joking about a really old chair in the bedroom, saying it would look great in our living room. We were obviously insincere, but that didn’t stop the dick from practically mowing us down to claim it. When you’re willing to be a rude jerk to total strangers so you can make a few dollars off of some dead woman’s busted chair, it’s time to Google around for deficiency quizzes.

At the final yard sale of the afternoon, someone had a bucket of Hot Wheels that looked like they’d spent ten years in dirt and almost as many with a really heavy guy stepping on them. “$40 for the whole pail. I can’t break the set.” Set? What set? The cars were only associable by the fact that they were all broken and dirty. I wanted one because a mangled Hot Wheels car is among the greatest symbols of yard sales, but I didn’t need a full “set.”

Oh well, I still scored some decent stuff!

3

Kazaam Double-Sided Lightbox Poster!
Price: $1

Yessss. A Kazaam poster, but not just any Kazaam poster, This one is double-sided, with the same image repeated in reverse on the back… which means that it once spent time in some movie theater’s lightbox! To think, somebody might have bought a ticket to Kazaam all because of this specific poster.

I presumably bought this from someone who used to work at a theater, as he had several similar posters, each folded to death in the same horrible fashion.

The other posters had nowhere near the novelty factor as this one. Kazaam! The movie where Shaq plays a genie! The movie where Da Brat plays Da Brat! The movie with a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes! (I learned that last one from Wikipedia, which coincidentally uses this same poster as its chief graphic.)

5

1995 Terminator 2 T-1000 Figure!
Price: $3

This was an unexpected find! It’s a lower-end T-1000 figure, with a smaller package and a cruder sculpt than was normal for more “legitimate” action figures. It’s officially licensed but has the appeal of a bootleg, with plainish card art and a figure that would seem way too simple to anyone unfamiliar with the “liquid metal” Terminator concept.

I like him! He has no mouth, but I like him! And I especially like how the T-1000 on the card art looks more like the Silver Surfer at a costume party. “I wear the guise because that was your mandate, but I see no humor in masquerading.”

The seller wanted three bucks. Only now do I realize that there’s an ancient $3 price sticker right on the back. Buying 21 year old toys for their original retail price makes my secret parts attentive.

4

Disney Boo-Busters VHS!
Price: $1

I saw plenty of videos on Saturday that I would have purchased had their prices not been so ridic. This was the only one affordable enough to go home with. Boo-Busters collects two Halloween-themed Disney Afternoon episodes — one from Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers, and another from Goof Troop.

Since it’s taken me a full day to make the connection, I’m not sure that “Boo-Busters” was a very effective riff on “Ghostbusters.” On the other hand, now that I have made the connection, I can clearly see that Goofy’s son is using a vacuum cleaner as a makeshift proton pack and ghost trap. That alone is worth the $1.

1

Bag of Random Figures!
Price: $5

My favorite find of the week was this Ziploc full of old figures. I found it at an estate sale and haggled the price down from $7. The seller had a dozen other toy-stuffed Ziplocs for the same price, but they all had worthless figures and/or recent fast food prizes. (There was also one larger bag that he wanted fifty bucks for. There was nothing at all interesting or valuable in that bag, and it was only double the size of the smaller ones. 7 + 7 = 50?)

You could probably guess why I wanted this one…

2

Yeah, it was that super vintage Remco Frankenstein figure, theoretically worth more than I paid for the whole bag. One great thing about those Remco figures is how they were scaled exactly the same as vintage Star Wars toys. So now I can have Frankenstein cavort with Squid Head, and it’ll make total sense.

Some of the others are nice, too. Smurf PVC figures are a dime a dozen, but this batch is pretty obscure, including Baby Smurf and a needle-poking Smurfette. The Beavis and Butt-head figures mean little to me in 2014, but I used to be a huge fan. Finally, there’s Gumby, Pokey and another Gumby, and the story of two Gumbys fighting over one Pokey just writes itself.

Total Spent This Week: $10.

A worthwhile trip despite the aggravations, I’m ready to soldier on next weekend. Right after I’m done ironing the 5000 wrinkles out of Paper Kazaam.

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS OF YARD SAILIN':
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3