Yard Sailin’, Volume V.


As many of you know, this hasn’t been my favorite week. Since our apartment is currently a minefield of memories we’re not ready to deal with, getting out of the house is a good thing. Thank God for yard sale season.

Longtime readers should remember last year’s Yard Sailin’ series, where I spent my Saturday afternoons buying complete strangers’ garbage. Starting now, the saga continues! I doubt I’ll do one of these every week, but whenever the mood strikes, expect more reports about the junk I found on foreign lawns.

Today was the first excursion of 2015, and I definitely got off on the right foot. Check out my scores, down below!


Pee-wee’s Playhouse Magic Screen Figure!
Price: $5

Can you believe this? A still-packaged Magic Screen, from Matchbox’s 1988 Pee-wee’s Playhouse collection! Sure, the card is dirty and water-warped, but this is not the kind of thing I’d have ever expected to find at a yard sale.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t spotted at one of those “phony” yard sales run by the same dudes who normally rent space at comic book shows. Magic Screen wasn’t on some pretty table, next to baseball card sets, high dollar comics and tiny ceramic busts of Marvel characters that for some reason cost more than dinner for six.

No, I found Magic Screen in a filthy box on some guy’s lawn. Inside the box were six more Magic Screen figures, in similarly destroyed packages. It’s hard to articulate why finding my Magic Screen in such fashion made the event so cool, but I feel like anyone who goes to yard sales on the reg already understands.

I would’ve bought them all, but the $5 price tag wasn’t so much a “steal” as a “bargain.” Had the packages not looked like they’d spent three years serving as dog toys, then we’d be talking.


The Chinese Menu Cookbook!
Price: $1

No matter how fruitless one of my yard sale adventures is, I can always count on as many old cookbooks as I can carry. The ones from the ‘60s and the ‘70s are the best, because that’s when people ate neon, jellied things, striped with diced olives and bits of pemmican. To me, the idea that people actually ate this way is pure conjecture. We see it in the books, and we just assume it must be true.

I have an especially soft spot for Chinese cookbooks from this era, which almost always seem singularly focused on recreating the exact same food that you could get from your nearest takeout joint. (So, not Chinese cuisine, but American Chinese cuisine.)

Those books are less about building a recipe repertoire, and more just to find out what’s actually been inside all of those combo platters. Is General Tso truly a twice-fryer, or was that just a rumor?


Game Boy Games!
Price: $2 each

I have no practical use for these, but they are two of my favorite Game Boy games, and the lady running the table was so ridiculously excited when I showed an interest. We’ve all been there, right? More than half of my yard sale purchases stemmed from misguided pity. If I didn’t walk away with Tetris, that woman in the scarlet blouse was gonna feel like shit for the rest of the day.

I do own a Game Boy, but it’s one of those Game Boys with a big black bar permanently covering half of its LCD screen. If not for their immense numbers, such Game Boys might have serious collectible value.

In essence, these cartridges are mere tchotchkes, no different from my Red Rose Tea ceramic animals, or that little Day of the Dead diorama that incorporates pennies and puka shells. So these cartridges will go where they go. On the kitchen windowsill. Sad trombone.


Hulk Hogan Thunder Mixer!
Price: $5

I hope you appreciate this, because I certainly didn’t buy it for me. I knew I was aiming to get a post out of this, so how could I possibly pass on the official Hulk Hogan Thunder Mixer?

The box is undated, which seems not like an oversight, but rather a stern proclamation that Hulk Hogan Thunder Mixes are timeless. Fortunately, I’ve followed Hulk long enough to be able to know the year just by how much hair and muscles he has. This baby’s from 1994.

It’s never been used, nor will it ever be. According to the box, it’s great at making protein shakes and scrambled eggs. Because there’s nothing more appetizing than building drinks in the same piece of cheap plastic you just yesterday mixed eggs inside.


Littlest Pet Shop Board Game!
Price: $2

I’d heard that certain vintage Littlest Pet Shop figures fetched high prices on eBay, and hoped that the four exclusive to this 1993 board game were among them.

They aren’t, but it’s a moot point, since inside the box were five figures, and not one of them is actually from the board game. Additional eBay searches will reveal whether I’ve been robbed or blessed. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the box’s covert ice cream & cotton candy motif. You don’t use those colors unless you want people to think “dessert.”


Videos & Audiocassettes!
Price: $2.25 for all

Finally, a smorgasbord of old videos and audio cassettes. These were all from the same seller, who charged fifty cents per video and a quarter for each tape. By tape I mean audiotape, which is to say cassette — but specifically audio cassette. Only when using several in a paragraph does one see how frustrating these colloquial names really are.

Videos: Blade II, Night Warriors, and what I thought was gonna be a few episodes of the old X-Men cartoon, but turned out to be Disney’s The Rescuers. This kind of bait-and-switch has happened to me before. Remember when my zombie tape from Goodwill turned out to be naked ladies?

Audio Cassettes: Soundtracks for Cocktail and Rocky IV, along with the single for Hammer’s final top ten hit, Addams Groove. These are all big wins!

I was obsessed with Kokomo as a kid, so Cocktail’s soundtrack was an insta-buy. Looking over Rocky IV’s tracklist, I’m getting Eye of the Tiger and Training Montage. Last but not least, Hammer’s not only providing the LP cut of Addams Groove, but an instrumental version. HOLY KARAOKE.

I’m not sure if my next yard sale adventure will top this one. It’s pretty hard to beat Pee-wee figures and battery-operated mixers presented by Hulk Hogan. I’ll do my best, though!