I had grand plans of reporting on my yard sale finds all summer long, but the flea markets have been so good to me. Why mess with success?
…so, I found myself back at the Englishtown flea market for the third time in four weeks. Lightning struck twice, but would it strike thrice?
Since you’re reading this, I guess you already know the answer: Oh hell yeah.
I didn’t have high hopes. It was super gloomy on the drive down, and we hadn’t even finished parking before the gray clouds started pissing on us. Luckily, the gods of crap must’ve picked me for their avatar, because I managed to find everything below in the scant ten minutes before that light drizzle turned into an all-out storm.
Child’s Play Chucky Doll! (1991)
This was my first score, and in a word, WOW. I’ve been after one of these Chucky dolls for the longest time! They arrived after the debut of Child’s Play 3, thanks to Spencer Gifts’ brazen belief that Chucky made for moveable merchandise.
You may remember smaller versions of these dolls from early ‘90s claw cranes, but this version is HUGE. Best of all, it’s in nearly perfect condition. The hangtag is gone, but there are no stains or odors. Given that it routinely sells on eBay for more than double what I paid — plus shipping costs — I’d say this was quite a steal.
Electronic Simon’s Quest Handheld Game (1989)
Hot damn! A handheld Castlevania II game, and it still works!
I bought it because I wanted it, but it looks like this would’ve been a smart investment even if I didn’t. The game sells for $25 or so, owing either to its rarity or to the fact that no one can resist the image of Dracula and Simon Belmont settling their differences on Tatooine. (These handheld games always have the greatest art.)
Ninja Turtles Football! (1991)
I had no idea that these things even existed, and that’s coming from someone who was enough into Ninja Turtles to staple plain green construction paper to his bedroom wall. (It was a largely misunderstood tribute, but no bother. I knew what it meant.)
At first, I wasn’t even sure that this was a football. I considered it, sure, but it could’ve just as easily been some kind of really heavy pool toy — one that was surely met with parental scorn and an eventual recall. To be honest, that’s what I hoped for.
I normally avoid flea market toys when they’re this filthy, but it looked like the grime was limited to “surface dirt.” I’m one Clorox wipe away from a case fresh Raphael football. Go me.
Latara Plush Ewok! (1983)
WHAAAAT! This was an amazing score — and the perfect thing to find at a flea market. I’d never turn down a cheap Ewok doll, but at the same time, I never would’ve sought this out on my own. (That’s half the thrill of Englishtown. It’s not so much about finding my most treasured items, but moreover the ones that I’ll only buy when they’re staring me in the face at a cheap flea market.)
I was impressed with the condition, though a closer examination of the too-puffy fur indicates that Latara wasn’t gently hand-cleaned, but more likely tossed into a washing machine with tons of socks. Fittingly, the doll smells not unlike a dollar store dryer sheet.
Latara isn’t quite as a valuable as I imagined her to be, but she was certainly worth six bucks. (For those curious, she was part of the Ewoks cartoon series, and never appeared in Return of the Jedi. There’s also a small chance that her headdress actually belongs to the Princess Kneesaa doll. I dunno, dudes. Ewoks are complicated.)
Harry and the Hendersons Bend-Ems Figure! (1991)
I can’t accurately call this a steal, because still-packaged Harry and the Hendersons Bend-Ems figures only cost a few dollars more, and those wouldn’t come with apparent gunshot wounds to the head.
Still, I’d have felt personally ashamed had I left without Harry. Dear, sweet Harry, who only had Robert Stack’s help in building my lifelong passion for sasquatches.
Welcome to the fray, furball. I’m gonna put you next to some really old cans of Chef Boyardee.
Nintendo Adventure Book! (1991)
Nintendo Adventure Books were so cool, guys. I guess you could call them Nintendo’s spin on Choose Your Own Adventure, where readers decided on courses of action, jumped all over the books, and prayed that they’d land on the pages with “good” endings.
The books are filled with drawn enemies and power-ups, giving the impression of complete video games in textual form. They’ve remained cheap enough on the collectors’ market, so if you count yourself as a CYOA fan and a Nintendo fan, you really need to track some of these babies down.
Wind-Up Skeleton Bank! (1980s?)
I’ve saved the best for last. Good lord! Say hi to the crème de la crème. I went to Englishtown on Saturday morning, and I’m still giddy over this.
I found this literally seconds before it started pouring, and was forced to decide if I wanted it without even knowing what was in the box. The seller was quickly covering his table with cut-apart garbage bags, correctly theorizing that it was better to lose me as a customer than to let everything else get soaked.
I’m so glad I took the risk, but really, it was no risk at all. The box alone is worth more than I paid. Look at that amazing art!
I didn’t open it until I got home. The contents were 500 times better than anything I could’ve imagined. A caped skeleton with bleeding orifices, who ominously watches over a wind-up bank that traps pennies in a miniature coffin. AWW SHIT. (Incredibly, it still works!)
I have no idea when it was made, but the one auction I found suggests that it’s worth $100, and possibly much more. (And no, you won’t be raining on my parade if you tell me otherwise, because it’s not like I’d ever want to sell this thing. I will keep my goofy bleeding skeleton until the day I die, and probably even longer, because I plan to tell the fam to have it buried with me.)
Suffice to say, I’m thrilled with this weekend’s finds. Forget flea markets — this haul made me feel more like I just went to a major comic convention.
Will my luck hold up? Find out next week!