I wasn’t planning to go bootsailing this week despite being a bank holiday (meaning Dunton and many other bootsales are on both the Sunday and Monday), we had rubbish weather predicted and I had no one to go with BUT I couldn’t sleep Saturday night, my sleep pattern is very often atrocious, so as I was still awake at 6am I decided to wander down to Collier Row bootsale. I’m sure I’ve gone into this before but just in case I haven’t: Collier Row Bootsale is my local bootsale that’s about a four or five minute walk out of town, the reason I very rarely go to it and instead drive half an hour to Dunton is because Collier Row bootsale is an utter shithole. Amongst its various problems is 90% of the buyers and about 75% of the sellers are curmudgeonly arseholes and so after about five lines of dirty stalls and rude bastards so was I. The benefits of the place come down to it being nearby, it being small enough to do in an hour and there being a good chance you’ll see a fight, because of all the curmudgeonly arseholes. I didn’t see a fight this week – sadness.
How well did I do in terms of purchases? Terrible. I didn’t even take a haul photo. Buuuut Given that it only took roughly 75 minutes out of my day and there was little else to do at 6am on a Sunday you could argue that it was in fact worth going - I got some stuff after all, and what I did get was all pretty decent but yeah, not a great ‘haul’. Still if I do these every time I have great success it only seems fair to do it when I have little, plus I want to vent.
The Spy Who Shagged Me Soundtrack!
I’m sure I bought this just for the utterly tactile CD case, you want a reason that physical copies of music are still worthwhile in today’s digital age: A pink velvet case with a prismatic inside and a title that’s one big puffy sticker, so much joy before you’ve even played the CD. Being the exact right age to find its juvenile bullshit hilarious I was SO into Austin Powers as in my early teens, I don’t think the second one has held up as well as the first personally but Heather Graham is at her most gorgeous and y’know using Willie Nelson as a penis joke and actually getting Willie Nelson to be in the film to facilitate it? That’s more than praise worthy. It’s also better than Goldmember but then most non-fatal diseases are better than Goldmember (I paid to see that, embarrassing).
Heel Macho Man!
So that venting then. Mr Savage here was being sold amongst a pile of about four or five wrestlers on a tarpauling otherwise filled with mostly worthless broken things and the nanosecond I bent down to look at them the woman selling them snaps at me “they’re the original ones”, which is one of a selection of phrases including ‘they’re collectible’ ‘they’re original’ and ‘they’re from the ‘80’s’ (they’re never from the ‘80s) that, when spoken in such a… direct manner, actually translates to “I in fact know nothing about these but have convinced myself they are sought after collectibles so will overcharge and will meet anything you say or do with nothing but rejection and often hostility” and it pisses me off, it’s dishonest, rude, arrogant and ignorant at least. How I respond to this depends on my mood, which having been awake for around 20 hours and having spent the last half an hour walking ‘round a bootsale filled with pricks was not the best - “are they.” was all I could ooze out. The woman then stands directly in front of me, watching me with this intense stony face as I look at these things, I fucking hate this when it’s just harmless enthusiasm about you actually taking an interest in their crap but this was flat out hostile, did she think I was going to steal her precious wrestling treasures? Why kind of arsehole steals from a place where nothing costs more than a fiver? The sort of arseholes at Collier Row bootsale I guess.
But I want Macho Man, I don’t have a WCW era Randy Savage and even though I know it’s not going to be that fairly priced I’ve decided to buy it, she then does this thing and though I could point it out to you I couldn’t describe it, but you go to enough bootsales and the like and you get to notice it; it’s basically changing the price of the item on the fly from what you originally wanted to something else because of who’s buying it. Sometimes it’s a good thing, you see people do it so as to charge significantly less for adorable children for instance and that warms the tiny piece of charcoal that is my heart but mostly I encounter another kind, charging you more because you’re an adult interested in something that is not typically for adults but is considered to be something a niche group of adults collect. This woman did that, in fact she was leaning towards adding another quid. It also pisses me off, so she’s three for three, it’s not always done to ‘rip off’ the buyer, in fact it seems that it’s more often done out a fear that the seller is going to be ripped off by the buyer but still irritates me, it’s a horrible attitude and a rather transparent bit of underhandedness. Wrestling figures are usually about £1 at most because they’re so irritatingly omnipresent, my offer of 50p less was met with instant, snappy refusal because ‘they’re the originals’ (this isn’t the original Macho Man Randy Savage figure by the way, it’s not even the original WCW Macho Man figure) and thus I was a bit rude. I feel bad about this, oh she’d done enough to earn a sentence of irritation but a) I said something like ‘you’ve got a cheek’ which is completely nonsensical as what I mean was more along the lines of ‘why behave like this?’ and b) I always feel bad when I act like a rotten human even when I feel it’s justified. Normally I dismissively return the item to the stall and say something more intelligible (though I have no idea why, they only snort at it, I could say ‘banana daiquiri please’ and they’d still react the same) but £2 isn’t horrendous and I wanted change of a tenner (she gave me the wrong change and did so on purpose because pettiness is the best answer) so I settled for just being a rude bastard and spent the next two isles being annoyed at myself that I’d allowed Collier Row Bootsale to infect me.
Buster and Babs1!
Then this seller restored my faith in bootsale sellers and myself, he was a lovely geezer and I was able to return to my usual jovial Dunton Bootsale self, he even charged me less than he originally said for this and the pull along spider to follow for no damn good reason. Anyway I really wish someone would get the licence and put out a nice big line of Looney Tunes, Tiny Toons and Animaniacs collector’s figures, DC Direct did a couple one time but it didn’t go anywhere. The possibilities for such a line are fantastic – imagine a Daffy Duck with a swappable head where the beak has been blown around to the other side of his face, imagine all the Acme™ accessories that could come with Wile E. Coyote, imagine have decent figural representations (such a posh term) for the Tiny Toons and Animaniacs that didn’t come from a fast food restaurant (the Good Feathers are the ultimate pack-in figures, you know it to be true). Anyway you push down on the bunnies and then it speeds off – goes pretty swift too for a toy that probably cost 1/8th of a penny to make – it’s from a fairly uncommon set of UK only Burger King toys from 1994 that maintains a small amount of resale value, Dizzy Devil seems to be the hardest to find though Plucky Duck’s my favourite, he spits water, how could he be anything else?
The Kiddicraft Webster line is amongst my favourites, they are pure nostalgia but also pure charm, a line of small happy cartoon spiders who spend their days rolling around hexagonal houses and playing sports while nearly all wearing stylish hats. For me, finding one at a bootsale is the rough equivalent of a streaker at a football match but finding one at Collier Row Bootsale, that works, with its hat and both deelyboppers, is closer to pulling an 18 year old blonde while on holiday. Hyperbole? Not if you’re that keen on little cartoon spiders in stylish hats, and I am.
A Highlander, a Future Mutant and…um…Someone Else!
£2.50 ($3.23) for all three
The rest of my action figure scores for the trip. The METAL fellow in black is Ransik from Power Rangers Time Force, also known as THE BEST POWER RANGERS EVER. Like a lot of the main villains from this time frame (Mesogog, Lothor, Master Org…) he was only included in a set so while he’s neither mega rare nor mega expensive he’s still a steal at £1, even if this one has seen better days; some paint has worn off his shoulder pad and before I took the Fairy Liquid to him he had all the hallmarks of having been dragged through a pigsty. The angry ginger fellow isn’t Gambit but Quentin, the main character from the short lived and underappreciated Highlander: The Animated Series, I found him amongst the very last few stalls and couldn’t be happier, though he appeared to have been partly smeared in barbeque sauce he’s complete with sword and trenchcoat and is the perfect background figure: their destiny is to stand at the back of my 90’s toy display, you might never really notice them but you’d certainly notice if they weren’t there, the Pirates of Black Water thank you Quentin. The lad who mixes sasquatch, karate master and cyclists though? Him I have no idea about, his size and construction (I’m so saaaad) is pretty similar to the Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos figures so I thought he might be one of those – he isn’t. He is as delightfully ridiculous as those figures though and I’m more than happy to have paid 50p for the chap, he needs a vaguely ethnic sounding name that unintentionally reveals the racially stereotyping mindset of 1980s America, I know, I’ll call him Kwang the Karate Kyclist! That’ll more than do than until I can I.D. him.
And that’s it, not a pleasant experience but one that delivered unto me Kwang the Karate Kyclist - so it wasn’t all bad.
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