I haven’t been blogging a lot lately, why? I just didn’t think I had anything interesting to say. I still don’t but now I’m not depressed enough for it to bother me.
But Bootsale season has begun and I need to justify me spending over £20 a weekend on other people’s old crap and blog posts are a great way to do that, and it of course pushes me back into posting, so it’s win-win. A culmination of various factors – including weather, lack of other options and a need to avoid the London Marathon on TV – turned today’s bootsale into one long, slow, hot scrum. Traffic was already backed up when we got there at around ten to 7 (am) and by the time I’d woken up enough to chat with other bootsailors™ (say, 9ish) there was traffic jams at on both routes to the field, by the time we left (10-ish) it was backed-up a LONG way. The bootsale itself was pleasing big, having been forced to go ‘on the other side’ with the amount of sellers necessitating a line of stalls on what should be car parking space but even at that size it was still jam packed and there was still little cover from the sun (no clouds today, clouds can go fuck themselves) and whoever was directing the stall holders needed as isles varied from so wide you had to walk down one side then the other to see the stuff to so thin they were one long bottleneck, one long, sweaty, smelly, sun-baked, swearing in various languages bootlneck. I came home feeling like I’d been beaten up by a sunbed in the middle of a dust storm, this is probably why my haul photo kind of sucks today:
I obscured two heads and a giant gorilla, I should go work for National Geographic or some shit.
So was it worth it? From the point of view of someone who collects action figures? No, not really – though I did manage to find an X-Men Evolution Nightcrawler after binge watching X-Men Evolution all week which was a nice coincidence. From the point of view of someone who has a blog post to write about the shit he found at a bootsale? Hell yeah.
So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:
Daley Thompson’s Decathlon!
So last season I bought Sam Fox’s Strip Poker for the ZX Spectrum even though I didn’t currently own a working ZX Spectrum, that was a good day. I still don’t have a working Speccy but that doesn’t stop me because a) I have poor impulse control and b) DALEY THOMPSON MOTHERFUCKERS! Daley Thompson is a multiple times gold medal winner for Great Britain and to the disgust of every woman alive in Britain in 1985 he doesn't strip in this game, instead he partakes in Konami’s Track & Field style joystick-waggling sports mini-games and looks a bit like Mario, but who cares? DALEY THOMPSON MOTHERFUCKERS! It’s easily in my top 20 Spectrum games but even if it wasn’t this’d be worth £2 because DALEY THOMPSON MOTHERFUCKERS! The man’s a god, even if he did make an Irish joke on national TV that one time (oops).
A Knock-off Goop!
Goops were the shit; they were to Frisbees what Madballs were to baseballs. Milton-Bradly devised soft rubber Frisbees and stuck monster faces on ‘em and they were some good monster faces. The softness made them fly easier and much safer, so of course my dad found a way to knock me out with one – we were playing with it at Hainault park and dad bounced the thing off my head, causing me to fall and knock myself out on the ground. It was right by the snack hut too, just to make sure I was made a fool off in front of as many people as possible.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t an official Goop, I remember these dinosaur ones being on sale at the same time (including in the snack hut my dad K.O.’d me outside) but I can’t find anything that suggests MB made any more than the original wave and the TMNT wave. The problem with the concept was, like Madballs, it was easy and completely legal to copy the concept, hell one knock-off (that even used the same name), used the face from the Nabisco Ugly Ball, which was itself a Madballs knock-off:
I was pleased with how sandy this toy was btw, it’s not sandy now because I sat and spend a good while cleaning sand out of its crevices like the sad friendless human being I am but it was sandy when I pulled it out from under some random Power Rangers. For some reason I just associate Goops with sand, probably because using Frisbees as sand shovels was just something kids felt compelled to do when bored at the beach?
Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Bobble Heads!
Well technically they’re Bobble Waists but no-one ever seems to differentiate depending on exactly where the Bobble Heads or Head Knockers actually bobble and/or knock. I spend way too much time contemplating things that need not be contemplated.
These things are just fucking awesome, I’ve wanted a set for years for but never found them at the right price, and while 8 quid is pretty expensive for bootsale standards, it’s nothing for Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Bobble Waists standards. I am an admitted tight wad at bootsales and have probably frustrated a lot of sellers, I put back a large RoboCop today because I didn’t want to pay a measly £3 for it for instance (it wasn’t by Kenner but from the Toy Island line, I’d pay £3 for some Kenner Robocop accessories), yet at conventions I’m happy to fork out £30. Fuck me and my double standards, now I don’t have a 9” RoboCop to play with.
Fun fact: for years Rock ‘em Sock ‘Em Robots were distributed in the UK under the name Raving Bonkers, it should translate to ‘raving mad’ but thanks to other uses of the term ‘bonk’ in British slang it can also mean ‘more than one crazy person having sex’.
A Large 90’s M&M Dispenser!
I have carefully chosen the angle for this photo because I was trying to make it look like Red wasn’t wanking. I’m trying to round up one of each of these various M&M dispensers, they all came out in the very early ‘90s and were sold at retail, I’m particularly fond of the small Handy M&M Dispensers that were sold carded but I wanted at least one in this size, the ‘fuck off big’ size. I didn’t think I’d able to get one for less than the price of a good meal out but that’s why bootsales exist, to surprise us with cheap crap.
Other than a scuff on his arm, Red’s in pretty good nick too, that said I don’t think I’d want to actually put M&Ms in him, not if I wanted to eat them afterwards. I might put some Smarties in him though, just to be a prick (I assume if you put Smarties in M&M dispensers they burn like vampires with holy water).
Wile. E. Coyote Mug!
Everyone has these little things that they’re just disproportionately enthusiastic about, they’re not always as obscure as say, plastic mugs given away at KFC of course but everyone has something like that. At least I hope that’s true or I’m going to feel even more of a freak than I already do.
Anyway yes, Kentuky Fried Chicken offered a whole bunch of these for purchase when you bought some finger lickin’ chicken in, I think, 1995ish. I think the complete line-up was Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, Tweety, Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam and Taz and they are some of the best Looney Tunes likenesses ever committed to plastic, and thus I am committed to tracking down a complete set - but they turn up depressingly infrequently (honestly all fast food premiums and prizes that don’t come from McDonalds turn up depressingly infrequently, I’ve got a better chance of finding powdered rocking horse shit than I have of finding those big hand puppets Wimpy made). Taz was the one to have, and the best of an already good set of likenesses but Wile. E Coyote and Foghorn, I say, Foghorn Leghorn were fucking huge, with their mussel/beak in full scale, we’ve had to hang this one up because putting he doesn’t fit in any of our cupboards.
And no I don’t know why Brains felt the need to examine Blue Bomber’s arse workings just as I was taking this shot, that’s just the way he rolls.
Dancing Coca-Cola Can!
There are two lessons to be learned from this purchase, well three: 1) always look in random boxes at bootsales/yard sales you never know what you’ll find 2) trust in Basil Rathbone, for he is the lord and 3) putting sunglasses on things makes them instantly cooler.
For the curious this was one of the various mail-away offers Coke did, this version came out in 1990 (the first time the promo was done was in 1989 I think) and is basically one of those dancing sunflowers but a Coca-Cola can, he is adorable and I’ve named his Sammy. Now it’s story time. A stall selling mostly ‘proper antiques’ had a big cardboard box of DVDs including loads of Sherlock Holmes, I dug through the box in the hopes that they’d have some starring the almighty Basil Rathbone, they didn’t but laying at the bottom of the box was Sammy: still in his box, completely new. Sammies have a very thin layer of rubber on them to allow them to boogie convincingly and the box gives you a list of things you shouldn’t do (including hitting, poking and putting in the fridge) if you want your can’s flesh to stay on it so getting one boxed is the easiest way to guarantee yourself a can with no wounds. I was well happy, even more so when it was dismissed as junk by the couple running the tall and sold to me for a mere two quid. I love antique sellers, they always put no value on things I prize, these are about £40 online btw.
The box itself looked and felt like it’d been stored in someone’s outside toilet since 1990 but Sammy himself is minty fresh, I haven’t tried him yet though, because I can never find any batteries. I think they hide from me.
I also bought Duck Tales on DVD for a £1. It’s not in the haul photo because I was watching it while cleaning and taking photos, I bring this up not to gloat but because I realised today that no-one ever judges you for watching Duck Tales as an adult, they never say ‘oh why are you watching that for? You’re a grown up’ they instead go ‘oh I fucking love Duck Tales’ or some variation thereof, and then they get the theme tune stuck in their head
Just like you have right now
Moo hoo ha ha
Thanks for reading!