Once again, bad weather almost ruined the flea market. I love storms, but I really wish they’d stop focusing their efforts on Saturday mornings. Mother Nature just has no regard for me needing old Ninja Turtles.
Still, even a bad flea market will give milk if you keep squeezing its teats. The rain kept all but 20% of Englishtown’s usual vendors at home, but I wasn’t giving up until I’d filled at least four old ShopRite bags with dirty nonsense.
By the time I present my finds to you, all they really amount to are “things.” You always miss the best part. You miss the hunt.
The hunt is why I keep doing this. Well, that and the fact that there’s nothing easier to write about than flea market finds. I’m essentially a catalog copywriter, but instead of L.L. Bean jackets, I’m hocking broken action figures and the occasional Popple.
Really though, it’s all about the hunt, and that special groinal stir every time I make a successful one. Whenever I find something worth buying, it’s akin to a paleontologist digging up a tyrannosaur toe. There are worthless haystacks everywhere, but once you find that needle, hello touchdown dance.
Anyway, I got some good stuff:
Real Ghostbusters Collector’s Case!
SWEET, and cheap to boot! The Real Ghostbusters Collector’s Case was allegedly capable of housing one dozen RGB figures, but that was only true if you had Ray, Peter, Winston and then 9 Egons. The ghost figures — particularly those from the first wave — were far too bulky to fit right.
On the other hand, that wasn’t such a big deal. Most kids tossed the plastic trays and just jammed in as many figures as they could, sardine-style. Alternatively, we’d use them as briefcases, carting around useless piles of construction paper and swearing they were private.
Love the artwork on this one, which evokes everything from Ecto-Plazm to a parallel universe wherein Ray Stantz is sunburned and dressed like a banana.
Giant Breathless Mahoney Doll!
This enormous Breathless Mahoney doll isn’t worth nearly as much as I’d assumed, but she was still a bargain at that price. I used to collect Dick Tracy toys like my life depended on it, but I never could bring myself to ask for the Giant Breathless.
(I’m so glad that people are now fighting against boys’ toys/girls’ toys stereotypes. Just wish that the movement started back when I wanted a complete Dick Tracy collection.)
I don’t recall Breathless wearing this dress in the movie, but I definitely recall Miss Elizabeth wearing it on some ancient WWF pay-per-view. I’m gonna dye the doll’s hair and pair it with my Macho King Wrestling Buddy. Only then will I find peace.
Family Home Entertainment Videos!
Price: $1 each
I flipped when I found these. I’d completely forgotten about Family Home Entertainment’s penchant for super huge videocassette boxes, which looked more suited to 18 ounces of Cheerios than VHS tapes.
I LOVED THEM. Always got so mad when the video stores didn’t let me take them home.
The seller had a few more, but I stuck with one Transformers tape, one G.I. Joe tape and one Thundercats tape. I’ll never bother watching them, but as three-dimensional posters that require no tacks, they’re worth so much more than three bucks.
(Note: The episode on the Transformers tape — “Fire in the Sky” — is a longtime favorite. That’s the one where Skyfire sacrifices himself, ostensibly to save the Autobots, but really because the world never deserved a robot that good. If you thought Prime’s death was the saddest moment in TF lore, NOPE.)
A Bunch of Promo Pins!
I totally homina homina’d over that Shocker pin, and never would’ve noticed the rest without its purple glow there to beckon me. These promotional pins were supposed to be a dollar each, but the seller gave me a deal, I guess because I looked sad and wet and hot, and nobody else was putting up with that to buy rusty buttons.
What an assortment! Everything from Swamp Thing to Batman Forever! (Was “happy birthday” one of Two-Face’s quotes? Because I don’t understand that button if it wasn’t.)
Huge Lot of ’80s “Girl” Toys!
This may have been my best find.
You may have gathered that I drag my girlfriend along on these trips. She’s mostly there for moral support, or sometimes to buy bulk boxes of rubber gloves, even though I’ve never seen her wearing them, and have long wondered what purpose they’re serving. Is she making udder balloons behind my back? There’s really no reason to hide that.
She remembers her favorite childhood “brands” much like I do, but she’s not so big on celebrating that through wacky purchases. In this case, she had to make an exception. The deal was just too good.
That whole pile of vintage Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony dolls was just ten bucks. They desperately need a cleaning, and some of them carry the stench of a reeking pond, but still… ten bucks.
Neither of us know if they’re worth anything, but I can’t imagine that this many dolls from the early ‘80s could be found any cheaper. The best part? Since each grimy doll will require a pound of trichloroethene, now she can finally make use of those goddamned rubber gloves.
Thanks for reading. Apologies that I didn’t give you more to skim through this week. I’ll make up for it! In the meantime, follow Dino Drac on Twitter so you don’t miss an update, nor a gripe about what I had for lunch.