The yard sales were very unkind on Saturday, so on Sunday, we switched things up with a visit to the Englishtown flea market.
Smart move! Great weather made Englishtown busier than I’d ever seen it before, and since we arrived pretty late in the day, vendors were more in the mood to haggle. Best of all, unlike last time — when I admittedly bought junk purely so I’d have something to write about — the flea market was stuffed with things I actually wanted.
Below are the six things I left with, for a grand total of twelve bucks:
Ceramic E.T. Bank!
Easily my showiest find, this E.T. ceramic bank allegedly belonged to the vendor since he was a child. I tend to believe it: It certainly looks vintage, and the craftsmanship is too on-point for this to be any kind of bootleg.
The vendor was thrilled when I took an interest, and it couldn’t have just been about the three bucks. In fact, he and his wife demanded that I let them wrap it in newspaper before leaving. I would’ve bought a ten inch E.T. bank no matter the circumstances, but the fact that this one meant so much to someone makes it feel extra special.
I wonder if the guy’s gotten any sleep since I bought it. Am I now the star of his biggest regret?
Donald Duck Print!
I don’t mention Disney often, but for the record, I’m a Donald Duck guy. Always have been. I can’t imagine a scenario wherein someone would truly prefer Mickey to Donald. I feel that anyone who claims to is lying.
This classic “Donald through the years” print is one I owned as a kid, though I’d completely forgotten it until the Englishtown sighting. This version is smaller (8×10”, or thereabout), but it still features Donald’s whole evolution, from Cloud-Handed Simp to Casual Fridays Dude. (I always adored how each Donald “drew” the next one using a series of advancing implements.)
Pokemon: The First Movie VHS!
Fun fact: Pokemon: The First Movie was the first DVD I ever bought. See, I’d just gotten a new computer — my first “only for me” computer. It came with a DVD drive, and since I didn’t own a standard player at the time, that computer was my first excuse to buy DVDs.
So, I went to Circuit City. The selection was terrible. I ended up with Pokemon not because I was dying to see Mewtwo blow things up, but because there was just nothing else there. My nieces and nephews were Pokemon fanatics, so I figured I’d see what all of the fuss was about.
Suddenly, I was in love. Not so much with the movie, but with the Pikachu’s Vacation short that played before it. Watching Bulbasaur rock Togepi to sleep with prehensile vine-arms was all it took to turn me into a Pokemon lifer.
I suppose I didn’t need to own it on video, but the price was right. Plus, this is an old Blockbuster Video copy, which positively delights me. On balance, it’s safe to theorize that at least 25 children have cried with joy over this very tape.
An American Werewolf in London VideoDisc!
I don’t own a VideoDisc player, nor am I really even sure what one looks like, but VideoDiscs are enormous, usually cheap, and they make great decorations. For a buck, could anyone turn down a copy of An American Werewolf in London? Even if all you do is lean it against the wall at the bottom of a closet, isn’t that still worth a dollar?
The fact that it’s so worn only adds to the charm. The wrinkles in the label indicate that this VideoDisc once made an ill-advised attempt to swim, and so I assume it’s no longer playable. Makes no difference to me. I collect VHS tapes, but VideoDiscs are kinda like the Cinder Block Chic version of them.
The female vendor had around ten other VideoDiscs for the same price, all shoved in a milkcrate. This was our conversation, verbatim:
Seller: I’ll give you any of the others for a dollar, too.
Me: Oh, cool… I think I’m okay but thank you!
Seller: I’ll give you the rest of them for two dollars, the whole thing.
Me: That’s awesome, but then I’d have to carry them!
Seller: Tell me about it.
Protip: Go to flea markets right before they close. Vendors will practically pay you so they don’t have to maim the trunks of their cars for the 90th straight weekend.
Lisa Simpson Burger King Doll!
Ha! This was a fortuitous find. If you’ll recall, I found the same Lisa Simpson doll at Englishtown a long time ago… but that one had been chewed to death by wild animals.
By contrast, this one is brand spankin’ new, still sealed in the original bag. Lisa is one of the five Simpsons dolls that Burger King famously sold back in 1990. Those dolls were absolute must-haves for everyone I knew at the time. (Until finding this one, I’d completely forgotten about their ornate tags, which doubled as cheap accessories!)
You’ll note that this is the fourth straight item that only cost me one dollar. Flea markets always have more stuff than yard sales, but I’ve rarely been so lucky on the prices.
So Many Keychains!
Now this was by far my best find of the weekend. Holy shit, this thing! Or things, as the case may be.
A seller had two long metal chains, each with tons of vintage keychains attached. Dozens of keychains. The photo isn’t doing them justice, because there’s just no way to take one good photo of that many keychains.
He normally sold them individually, so I was shocked when he said I could have one whole chain of ‘em for three bucks. Then I was even more shocked when he offered both collections for five bucks. I know used keychains aren’t valuable outside of special circumstances, but come on… all of that treasure for five dollars? By any measure, this was a steal.
I would’ve taken the deal even if the keychains were of the generic sort, but these have soooo many great themes. They cover everything from the Smurfs to Sea World to Knott’s Berry Farm to the 1984 Summer Olympics. There’s even the foam sandals that look a bit like rainbow cookies. You all remember those keychains, right?
I’m so in love with these. They’re currently being employed as makeshift wind chimes. From just the right angle, my little Vornado fan is just powerful enough to make them click and clack.
PS: In addition to everything shown above, I also managed to snag a few old TMNT videos, free of charge. All in all, I’d say I did pretty well!
WHOA HEY PS: If you missed the news, Dino Drac’s May Funpacks are available now! No bullshit — they’re going pretty fast this month, and since supplies are limited, I wouldn’t recommend waiting too long if you’re interested in signing up! (I guess everyone really wants those Nacho Twisters?)