Bootsale season has begun again! Dunton Bootsale - my favourite haunt for other people’s crap – is back on! How was it? Big, motherfucking big in fact, I had my suspicious (I’m criminally sad remember?) we might be looking at a nice size bootsale; very good weather was predicted, it was very good weather the day before, the kids are on school holiday (something about some bloke being killed with a cross and buns and eggs by a giant rabbit or something like that? I dunno) and it’s very early in the season but fucking hell it was so big it was ‘on the other side’ *gasp!*. It wasn’t a ghost bootsale, it just means that they couldn’t physically cram any more sellers onto the regular half of the massive field they use and had to start using the other side of it, where the cars usually park, when Dunton Bootsale is on the other side, it’s at its healthiest with the number of stalls legitimately into four figures.
It was dusty, it was hot, it was dusty, there was no clouds, no cover, it was dusty, there was a 30 minute wait if you wanted to pee, did I mention it was dusty? Crying children, shouting stallholders (everyone knows the best way to break the language barrier is to say the exact same thing they didn’t understand the first time again, but this time much louder) and the smell of Eastern European bald spots sizzling in the sun. But I was upbeat (a rarity for me), I’ve spent a solid 7 days in bed having gotten so run down both physically and mentally all I could do was sleep and watch Midsomer Murders while living on chocolate, Night Nurse and anti-depressants so I was raring to be anywhere, but especially at a huge bootsale, hopeful that I could start the season off right with a decent selection of dirty old stuff, I overachieved:
Seriously my ‘haul’ (and hall, actually, as that’s where they currently are – just by the phone table) includes Spawn’s boss, Skeletor’s pet velociraptor1 and Killer Croc – when you can say that those represent only a fraction of the stuff you brought home with you, you have gone well past the point of ‘decent selection’. Everything was insanely cheap too, like pre-eBay days cheap, Malebolgia there was a fiver but he was an anomaly that completely messes up the figures, nothing else was over £3 and most of it was under £2, bags of stuff for 25p, Ninja Turtles for a £1, it was just like old times, god I’m knackered and so, so dirty. And no I’m not going to explain that Tomb Raider in her bra and knickers because, at the moment, I actually can’t.
Gargoyles Trading Cards!
3 for £1 ($1.24)
There’s no way of actually predicating what will be at these places, yes there are regular sellers who specialise in one type of item – fishing supplies, toys, pet stuff, etc – but that’s about as close as you can get and I really like that. Sometimes, for instance, there’s three sealed packs of Skybox’s Gargoyles trading cards. I feel like I should comically ask why these are, why someone still had three sealed packs of Gargoyles trading cards after 20 years but I don’t actually care, all I care about is that they did and that they were silly cheap. There are a lot of football stickers at bootsales, football stickers are the British equivalent of baseball cards and some stalls are if not dedicated to the selling of football stickers, then give over a lot of their tables to them, so it’s not completely odd that such a stall would have other trading cards and stickers but the closest comparable thing to these this stall had was some overpriced Pokémon cards and they’re only comparable because they were released in the same decade, and weren’t football stickers. I really don’t want to open these, I might just leave them on my shelf as shiny relics from a time when things were better, when we had an ineffectual Tory bastard for a leader rather than a lunatic one, when the president wasn’t a danger to everyone (just marriages), when David Bowie and both Ronnies were still alive, when I didn’t have to spend 7 days in bed because my brain doesn’t work properly, when I was happy.
Well fuck that got miserable, have some cartoon lions:
All the Leoventuras!
£1.25 ($1.55) for the lot
I only wanted 3. I shall set the scene: one of the things I like about bootsales is the juxtaposition of everything, there was a stall with three boxes under it that contained exclusively old rusty wrenches…and a wooden toucan, this stall had a small Blue Nose Bear trey filled with these little Kinder Egg toys, surrounded by an audience of crockery and Bayformers. I was happy because I’m still a few Leoventuras short of a full set and had had such a cost-effective trip so far I was happy to pay the inevitably not cost-effective prices that the woman would be asking for her lions, because vintage Kinder Egg toys are very rarely cost effective. “How much are the Kinder Egg things?” I enquire “£1.25 [ugh, that’s expensive I start to think but don’t get a chance to finish my thought] for the lot I suppose?” “lovely” I said, buying the lot. I should be on Jackanory. It’s nice when things like this happen instead of being told ‘they’re collectible’ like you’re an idiot and your idiocy is greatly offensive and has also insulted their late mother, of course I now have six cartoon lions all chopping wood, I don’t need that much cartoon lions, or wood, I don’t even have a fireplace.
Glow in the Dark Things!
£1 ($1.24) each for the bat and dino, about 12p for the others
Some of the things I write on this blog might give you the impression that I’m easily amused; that is absolutely the right impression. Today, for instance I watched a man grow angrier and angrier at a fold up table because he couldn’t put it up while also eating his hambuger, fascinating. I love glow-in-the-dark things, watching them glow (in the dark) is perhaps the pinnacle of my easily amusedness and if something is glow-in-the-dark is it instantly 123% swankier - I already have both of these Scooby Doo figures in non-glowing versions but fuck that, these ones glow in the dark, I must have them. Actually I bought them from a nice little boy who was selling whole bags of Scooby Doo figure for a pound each, each one had maybe six or seven figures but never mind ripping off children: there is such a thing as a glow-in-the-dark triceratops why didn’t I know this before today? Did you know this? If so why didn’t you tell me? You utter prick! To keep this from me! Prick!2
The Best/Worst Batman Knockoff!
One of the day’s earliest ‘finds’, this thing is so shit it’s gone through shittness and back ‘round to good, through good and back to shittiness, it has lapped other shitty bootlegs and I love it. Everything about it is minimal effort, lazy illegal cashing in on someone else’s thing, look at it, it’s all one colour with two points of articulation and some silver paint applied like watery icing (that’s not dirt on his abs, that’s the paint apps), it’s head’s been cast from a Batman & Robin figure, it has Mickey Mouse gloves and a look that says ‘it’s ok honey, I didn’t want to go either’, it’s not even a Batman colour3. This is the sort of bullshit that’s sold online for $45.99 plus extortionate international shipping as an art toy because copyright laws don’t apply when you use the term ‘art’. This is art, the art of not caring, the bootleg action figure taken to its furthest extremes of not giving a fuckness. I’m buying it a pedestal and glass case; it will look like the rose from Beauty & the Beast.
1990s Wind-Up Monsters!
60p (74¢) for all three
While I’m more excited about the next items, this is probably my most satisfying find this week. The human memory is an odd beast, I had forgot I’d ever previously owned these three little ghouls, all recollection of them seemingly erased so well that I didn’t notice anything was missing, but the very instant I found Franky there I could recall everything about them with complete clarity, how they felt, where I used to keep them (with my Care Bear Poseable figures), playing with them in the extension on a summer’s day because I hated going outside nearly as much then I do now (unless there’s bootsales and/or I’ve been in bed for a week) and yes I AM aware this is dull but it’s dull while explaining something effectively, so it’s every geography teacher ever. My geography teacher was an alright bloke actually, had a moustache and really long shoelaces…right, yes, wind-up monsters, recapturing youth, nostalgia, this is yesterday: I have no idea who made these, I have a vague recollection of buying them with my dad from a Halloween themed shop but that’s not too helpful, I think I should just move on, oh before I do, while I like the witch and her ‘come at me’ face and stance Dracula’s my favourite, I’d pay to see a film where the main villain is a Smurf-blue vampire played by Christopher Eccleson’s homosexual doppelganger.
Burger King Sonic!
25p (31¢) for the lot
For once I’m highlighting a really good find rather than just something I can squeeze a paragraph of bullshit out of, I feel strangely more adult. The reason the haul photo up there has so many fast food toys in it is because an old boy otherwise selling fishing paraphernalia and garden ornaments had a pile of them, separated into bags, for 25p a bag and they were all really good early 90’s sets, mostly complete. The Taz Mania set is cool but this set is, and you’ll forgive me this indulgence, way past cool: only released in the UK these are a bitch to find, hell it’s hard to find information on them, and when they do pop up online they’re a long, long way from cheap, if cheap is London, then that Robotnik is Venus (insert fat joke here?). This is a complete set, though Tails is missing his spinner and the spin dashing Sonic is missing his ripcord. I’m ok with that because I already have a Tails and I really wanted the Robotnik (one of very little vintage western Sonic merchandise to use the original Japanese Eggman design, and because he looks like a really angry tomato on a shish-kabob) and that Egg Prison toy, the amount of Egg Prison merch is tiny and on this one when you pull the ripcord (what IS the proper name for those things?) it opens and spins so you can see Joe Sushi inside! Cute little walrus glee!
Minnie Mouse Koosh Ball…
I bought a dirty Minnie Mouse Koosh Ball *sigh* (this was defiantly a dirty week, and you will really question your life choices after spending 10 minutes cleaning dirt from between the toes of a sunburt E.T. toy). I’d had ‘a really good couple of isles’ (things like this and ‘on the other side’ are real things I think and say when at bootsales, why don’t I have a life?), filling up my bag with 90’s wrestlers, barely clothed video game heroines, glow-in-the-dark bats, Mystery Inc and Ninja Turtles all in the space of five or so minutes and I was in a groove or some shit because I saw this, thought ‘KOOSH BALL!’ and bought it. The second I put it in the bag my thoughts changed to ‘why the fuck did I buy this?’ and consigned it to the ‘donate to charity shop’ box before I’d finished walking away from the stall. It’s not a bad shopping trip when the buyer’s remorse inducing stupid purchase sets you back less than a Mars Bar though is it?
I’m done; thank you for putting up with me being happy about shit I bought, as knobbish as this may sound after the week I’ve had I think I’m allowed to a) waste money on other people’s old toys and b) be super glad about it. Speaking of super glad, I got a second Happy Dinosaur, for a pound:
Twice the happiness! Cute little dinosaur glee!
1 it may be King Hsss’ pet velociraptor, I’m not certain
2 I called it a Stegosaurus when I bought it, I still feel genuinely ashamed of myself for that.
3 well Azrael wore red but this isn’t Jean Paul Valley so I don’t care, I saw three Kenner Azbats at this bootsale, all of them without their capes, damn.