And we’re off!
The 2016 flea market and yard sale season has begun, and I’m super excited to spend the next umpteen weekends buying dirty garbage from total strangers. Thank God I have this site to help justify so many frivolous purchases. Remember this when I toss an iffy GoFundMe up during Dino Drac’s closing week.
Since the flea market in Englishtown, New Jersey treated me so well last year, I decided to play it safe and start this year’s hunts over there. (And big thanks to Jay for driving while my car was otherwise indisposed.)
After only an hour, I was carrying so many repurposed supermarket bags that I could barely squeeze through the dirt-floored aisles. Several of those bags had shredded in the process, and by the end of the trip, I was literally pouring out Micro Machines like the world’s dopiest but most hyper-specific robot dispenser. I looked like Crystal from the mall episode of Roseanne.
Below are seven of my best scores. In addition to all of these goodies, I found enough materials for the next two editions of Five Random Action Figures. All in all, a great haul!
Pile of Micro Machines! ($1)
I’m a sucker for Micro Machines, specifically the earliest ones, when the cars looked like cars and none of them came with six-bladed propellers shaped like futuristic throwing stars.
One buck was an amazing deal for that pile. All except one are legitimate Micro Machines — a neat feat considering how many knock-off lines there were — but the one that isn’t just happens to be the best of ‘em all, because it’s the goddamned Joker Van from 1989. Sweeeeeeet.
Junky Action Figures! ($1 for both)
One dude had a two-table spread of well-kept action figures for sale, but underneath those tables were several cardboard boxes filled with hilariously busted figures.
I’d say that 6 out of every 10 of them were headless, but there were still some serious treasures in the mix. For just fifty cents each, I scored Skeletor and the G2 “Tank” version of Megatron. In any condition, that is a mofuggin STEAL.
Skeletor comes with a crushed crotch and Beast Man’s left arm, while Megatron’s chief flaw is his completely absent right leg. (It’s hard to see, but I’m keeping him upright with half of a chopstick. It’s how I learned that halved chopsticks actually do have another purpose beyond instant vampire fangs.)
Children of the Corn V on VHS! ($1)
Old horror movies on videocassette always top my shopping list, though they’re surprisingly hard to find at the flea markets and yard sales around here.
My assumption is that there are enough dedicated collectors to clean all of the sellers out early, leaving people like me — people who like to wake up only after the mailman comes — to fight over the scraps.
Children of the Corn V was the only one I could find, if we’re not counting transcendentally popular horror movies like The Shining. Not bad for the first of my 2016 pick-ups. It’s an an old video store rental copy, complete with a gently threatening reminder to rewind the tape.
(I’ve never seen this movie, by the way. Judging by the cover, it’s about a monster scarecrow who kills radioactive children with a big ass scythe. Sold.)
Adorable E.T. Doll! ($2)
Made by Showtime in 1982, this eight-inch plush E.T. is rarer than his larger cousins, and I was thrilled to find one in such good condition. I would not be afraid to look at this doll while wearing the special goggles from all of those exposés about shitty hotel chains.
Hot Wheels Ultra Hots Car! ($1)
One guy who was otherwise selling nothing but used tools had a giant pile of these, each mint on card and in similar condition. I wasn’t confident enough to buy them all, but there was no way I could leave without one.
Still packaged, this baby is from 1983! I don’t know much about the Sol-Aire CX4 model, but it looks like the Jason X version of a Lamborghini.
Sealed Ultimate Warrior Puzzle! ($5)
Puzzles are usually dud investments, but five bucks for a sealed Ultimate Warrior puzzle was an obvious steal.
Made in 1990, Warrior was then at his absolute peak popularity. In fact, it was that very year that he beat Hulk Hogan for the world title, marking the first time that many of us had ever seen the Hulkster defeated without massive amounts of shenanigans.
I may end up selling this to help rebuild my garbage fund, but for the moment, I’m quite pleased to own 250 pieces of Ultimate Warrior.
Box of Garbage Pail Kids Posters! ($5)
Perhaps my showiest find of all, this box of 1986 Garbage Pail Kids Posters — once sold right alongside the traditional sticker packs — should’ve cost way more than five bucks. Hell, even $20 for this would’ve been acceptable.
For $5, I got the original display box, a huge pile of used wrappers, and an even bigger pile of the individual posters. I believe the boxes originally held 36 packs, but it looks like I scored almost 60 posters here. Yesss. Somebody buy me tacks.
You can’t see the posters in that photo, but they’re exactly what you would expect. Even in giant sizes, Topps pulled no punches. They’re every bit as gross and disturbing as the regular stickers, and for this I am thankful.
I’d say I’m off to a good start! Sixteen bucks for everything shown above, and I could probably make all of that back on the puzzle alone. Thanks, Warrior?