It’s bloody hot, I can barely keep my eyes open I’m so tired, I’m listening to a playlist that jumps between Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ to Junior Brown’s ‘And My Wife Thinks Your Dead’ via ‘My Boy Lollipop’: what better time could there be to talk about other people’s old crap?
Just getting to the botosale this week was a pain, there’d been an accident on the roundabout the bootsale lies off of and this combined with perfect weather and a bank holiday the next day meant we queued for nearly half an hour just to get near enough to the field for me to get out and walk across to the bootsale itself. The end result was me being later than usual to start looking and being beaten to the punch by at least four bastard dealers who were hoovering up anything remotely collectable and action figure-y and had a serious effect on my self-worth, when you always feel third place you don’t need something as insignificant as bootsales confirming things for you. Here’s their leavings, delightfully posed on my worktop by the Coke bottles and my medication:
Now I know what you’re thinking (if you were real anyway) so you might as well say it: “dwitefry, you have two of the same dinosaur monster” – YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW?? YOU THINK I’M STUPID ENOUGH TO BUY THE SAME THING TWICE AT THE SAME PLACE WITHIN HALF AN HOUR OF EACH OTHER? If you answered 'yes' to that then you’re correct. No joke, I seriously bought the same dinothing twice by complete accident, I was very tired. They are actually different versions in different rubber from what seems like different time periods but yeah, I still bought the same thing twice.
Anyway are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:
When you’ve got a T-Rex like this you just gotta brag. Trevor is actually mildly collectible – he’s a Dormei model from 1986 – but that’s just the icing on the ridiculous dinosaur cake for me. Some toy dinosaurs just call to me, they have this certain something that makes them something I need to own, I think I know what Trevor’s certain something is: it’s the fact that he’s posed like he’s been caught sneaking into the kitchen in the middle of the night.
I’m going to put Trevor in my loft, right by the light switch so he’ll look guilty every time I turn it on.
£2 ($2.70) the pair
I don’t buy many back issues nowadays, I think these are the first I’ve bought in over a year but they were just far, far too good a pair of stories in far, far too good condition for far, far too cheap to pass up. What we have here are Uncanny X-Men 205 and Annual 9, the Annual is the second part of the ‘Asgardian Wars’ pseudo-crossover with New Mutants, both drawn by Art Adams and written by Chris Claremont, this is the issue where Loki falls in love with Storm (because Chris Claremont loves her and may or may not have paid prostitutes to dress up as her and do things that involve lots of lube) and she gets to become Thor and fight Hela and is just about as awesome as you’d expect Storm being Thor to be. I had the other part (New Mutants Special Edition 1) but not this. Uncanny X-Men 205 is the real winner though, a brilliant one-off story called ‘Wounded Wolf’ by Claremont and Barry Windsor-Smith. This issue has Wolverine and (of all people) Katie Power from the Power Pack trying to survive a battle with Lady Deathstrike during a snowstorm in the middle of Manhattan, it’s one of the best Wolverine stories every published, one of Claremont’s best fight scenes and Lady Deathstrike’s finest outing, this amount of white per panel never looked so good. In fact - stop reading this stupid blog post and go and read Wounded Wolf now.
Half a Goldberg!
Man Goldberg was awesome, yeah he couldn’t wrestle a technical match, or a 10 minute match, or a 5 minute match really, but it was somewhat irrelevant when every episode of Monday Nitro was showing you he was an unstoppable squash machine who could’ve jackhammered a tag team of Godzilla and King Kong into submission in under 2 minutes if given the chance. It’s been a decade since Kevin Nash ruined Goldy’s winning streak just to make his balls feel big and I still see Goldberg walk out and think ‘shiiiit, that guy is fuuuucked’. And there’s no better way to pay tribute to this man, surely, than with Bop It!.
I got this from a regular stall, the only regular toy stall we have at the bootsale at the moment, run by a skatty woman and her long-suffering husband. The husband showed it to me with a mix of delight and befuddlement and perhaps a hope that I’d know what the fuck it was. I didn’t but I shared his mix of delight and befuddlement, this thing makes noises – you can push his head, twist his arm or press that big panel on his chest and make ol’ Bill shout a catchphrase! I had to have it, weird wrestling toys are always an easy way to get me to part with my money, even if I wasn’t sure if it was complete (theoretically it could have had a base or something, maybe legs). It then made noises the whole way ‘round the rest of the bootsale (which was about 2 thirds of it) I would have been less conspicuous to have walked ‘round with the actual Bill Goldberg.
I have since found out what it is, and it really is Bop It: The Goldberg Edition, well unofficially speaking. It’s from Tiger Electronics (and is complete) and it works in the same fashion, the correct name of for is the WCW: Goldberg Smash & Crash Game. It’s fairly addictive actually - JACKHAMMER! FEAR THE SPEAR! JACKHAMMER! FEAR THE SPEAR! FEAR THE SPEAR! BOP IT! TWIST IT! BOP IT! FEAR THE SPEAR!
£2 ($2.70) for all 3 plus a bag of little Spider-Man figurines that came with a book
Holy shit, how’d the dealers miss these?
Hasbro’s Marvel Legends is not my favourite toyline ever, in fact I think they don’t deserve anywhere NEAR the praise the adult action figure collector’s community heaps on them buuuuuuuuuuuut…it’s a figure of Machine Man for 50p. This bag of figures seemed to have been put there by god just to please me, all three figures are Marvel Legends I’ve passed on in stores for just being too much (£16-20) for their sculpt quality but that I did still want for one reason or another, and then some woman just has them on her tarpaulin with a bunch of Ben 10 shit and the only accessory with them is one of Machine Man’s extendable limbs, the only accessory that either one of these three actually NEEDED to have. Is there a toy god? What am I saying, of course there is! He’s Mel Birnkrant (Google him). I respect that this is a bit similar to the X-Men paragraph but I really wanted to post a picture of X-51 with an Extended Kirby Fist™.
£2 ($2.70) for both
Well technically I paid £2 for one and the other was free, can you guess which one it was? This is a great mini-study of ‘worth’ and ‘value’ and how despite the accepted concept of items having an agreed on value and resale price it’s really all bollocks: the bloke who sold me these two records, who had a box of them including many copies of that Kate Bush single (it’s This Woman’s Work, being a proper rock snob like I am I bought it for the B-Side) amidst mostly old trophies and novelty items (because of course) saw no worth in a My Little Pony single, to him he couldn’t imagine a My Little Pony single being worth anything because it’s fucking My Little Pony. To me it was the one record in the box that I had to have, a piece of My Little Pony merchandising from 1985 is worth a hell of a lot to me and would certainly have been worth the £2 per record he was asking. The collector’s market agrees, this is worth about £25, more than any copy of This Woman’s Work that hasn’t been used as a masturbatory aid by Kate Bush herself (and as far I know Kate Bush has never wanked with a record, her’s or anyone else’s) but I certainly wouldn’t pay £25 quid for it, it’s not ‘worth that much’ to me, so how much is it really ‘worth’? As things only maintain their ‘value’ for as long as people are willing to pay that for them, what I’m saying is ‘value’ is as arbitrary as what is or isn’t art and you should all refuse to pay no more than £3 per Real Ghostbusters figure so I can get the few I’m missing cheap and the dealers can be punished for that one getting to all that Manta Force stuff before me this Sunday.
Teenage Mutant Porcelain Monkey!
Honestly I just thought I should spotlight this because anyone who comes across that haul photo up there would want some context or at least confirmation of what the hell that this is. It’s a knock-off Ninja Turtle money bank from around 1993, there’s no maker’s mark (because that would allow the lawyers to find them quicker I assume) and the reason I bought it was…because it goes with my other one. Yeah… I’ve got two strangely simian knock-off china Turtles:
Well kind of, as you can hopefully see they’re completely different sculpts (honestly, how can you NOT see that, GOD!), ‘Raphael’ has far less definition and is clearly based on the Fred Wolf cartoon while ‘Leo’ is mirrored, actually decked out with all four Turtles’ weapons and looks to be based more on the live action movies. This means that it’s very likely that someone saw one of these abominations and thought ‘yes, we’ll knock that off and make a few quid’. If I was The Doctor I wouldn’t be running around alien planets, I’d be spending my time with the TARDIS’ translation circuit on, secretly listening into the decision making conversations of dodgy eastern knock-off toy manufactures: it’d be just as strange.
These Fucking Annuals!
£5 ($6.76) for all 7 plus a whole box more
I’ve never wanted to nut an old man for giving me a sweet deal before.
Right, I like me some British comic book annuals, I’m fairly picky because I have limited space and limited funds and if I wasn’t I’d have a room full of them and no money as they are exceptionally common at bootsales. This old boy who was selling off half his house had a box of them that he’d clearly found in his loft, all I really wanted was the Vulcan annual. Vulcan was a short lived companion series to Valiant but like most its name got used to churn out annuals years after it was
cancelled merged. This one is
magnificent, it’s just a collection of reprints of British superhero comics
(yeah we had those once upon a time): Kelly’s Eye, The House of Dollman, Mytek
the Mighty, Robot Archie, The Steel Claw, The Spider and Robot Archie all feature
and there’s even a full-colour reprint of a Trigun Empire story in the centre
(which is where that super-happy dragon from the cover comes from). The old boy
informed me (before I’d asked, which bugs me: if I want something that isn’t
priced I’ll fucking ask mate) that they were £2 each or it was £5 for the box.
I thought that was a fine deal (as well as these there was a bunch 70’s Beano,
Beezer and Topper) but decided it was more trouble than it was worth to lug a
box as wide as me ‘round in the blazing sun. So I just decided to buy the one I
really wanted, reluctantly passing on the Tarzan and Lion annuals.
“Didn’t you hear what I just said?”
“Yeah but I only want the one”
“Five pound for the whole box, I need to make space, come on”
“What would I do with them?”
“Sell ‘em, you could make your money back easy with them” (which was more than true)
“Sell ‘em, you could make your money back easy with them” (which was more than true)
This jolly passive-aggressive exchanged lasted for what seemed like an hour with little variation in what was being said until it became very clear that this old sod wasn’t going to let me go with my Vulcan annual unless I bought the whole box, and my desire to read about superheroic puppets and giant robot apes was just too strong, so I gave in. Fucking idiot.
I had too: carry the box until I could get in touch with the other people I was at the bootsale with, a box that was heavy, wide and falling apart by the step (it collapsed just as I put it down, having met up with the others); get them to bring me bags that I hoped they had (they did), pull the annuals I wanted to keep (pictured) and transfer them to the bags right in front of a burger van while completely disrupting their queue because that was far as the box would have allowed me to go and I was knackered from carrying the box in the heat; then get rid of the other annuals – which no-one would take! No one wanted free annuals to sell! I was sweating hot, I’d had no sleep so I was tired and irritable, I was feeling completely inferior, I wanted to go home and have an anxiety attack and sleep until Wednesday and was only staying at the bloody bootsale because I’m addicted to acquiring old toys (actually I use it as a form of therapy but that’s not as funny) and now I have to convince someone to take 15 quid’s worth of stock for free??! The actual fuck? In the end I casually left them amid the other toot on a large junk stall without asking, I imagine about 9:15am some bloke asked how much their Topper annuals were and confused the hell out of the old couple running it. Hopefully they just mentally shrugged and gave him a price.
Still the Pippin and Lion Annuals have a great variety of strips in them (Pippin has Sooty, The Woodentops, Trumpton, Camberwick Green AND the Poggles of Poggle Wood in it! TV puppet joy! The Lion Annual was worth the effort just for the Adam Eterno and Robot Archie strips) but what a bloody pullava. I was knackered and even further behind the dealers in the end, I had to stop and have a five minute chat with Trevor about the purpose of it all (his reply was ‘stealing lasagne’).
And after that rant I’m mercifully finished. Thanks for letting me vent about something unimportant, see ya later all and remember FEAR THE SPEAR!