This should have been posted Monday, but I completely forgot about it until today, no excuses, no reasons, I just forgot I'd written it untli I did the photographing for the stuff I bought at this bootsale.
So I froze my arse off at a bootsale, it was about as small as that bootsale gets and about as cold as anyone should be while trying to buy other people’s unwanted crap. I got enough cool crap to justify my lovely new selectin of frostbite but…well… they all seem a bit boring. I mean I’M pleased I now own them but they just don’t seem very exciting as far as blog material goes. So instead I’m going to do something different, a kind of ‘overview’ of my bootsailing life.
First I go to the bootsale, obviously. I seem to have a habit of going during extreme weather – this is a bad idea, bootsales are at their best on a sunny, warm Sunday after a sunny, warm Saturday – if it’s too hot, a fucking coldsnap like it was this time, or there’s forecasts of rain, it won’t be that great and thanks to mobile phones EVERYONE knows if rain’s been forecast. I generally go to Dunton Bootsale, it’s not quite as good as it used to be for me personally because a lot of the sellers who specialise in vintage toys have moved on (or retired) and also because the sellers are particularly weather weary and I have a habit of going just before The Great Flood or some shit. If you want advice on bootsailing? Just know your stuff, I can tell what boxes (and in fact whole stalls) are worth digging through because I know roughly when the McDonalds toys on the top were released and thus whether or not the box (or stall as a whole) is worth my time, I can spot things at a good distance because I know what I’m looking for looks like at a distance, I can tell if something’s complete or worth buying because I know if it’s complete and/or roughly what price I’d be expected to pay for it in the condition it’s in at a convention or online. If you know your stuff it’s easier, quicker and harder to waste money. Of course I still fuck up and get home and find something’s missing a finger or a belt or something but I still save a lot of time and money regardless. Also expect people to take the piss. FOUR EXAMPLE this happened when I was buying Ivan Ooze this time: the woman sold one figure to a 30-soething woman for one price, and then the same size figure from the same box to me for double because in the seller’s mind she was clearly a mother buying for a child and I was clearly buying for myself so what I wanted was either ‘collectible’ or I was going to resell it. It wasn’t worth arguing with her over it because no matter how obvious they are they will never admit to doing anything shitty. Just haggle normally or if you’re still getting a good deal at the higher price (in this case, and in this case I was) just go along with their bullshit.
Being a hardcore toy collector I of course leave all my purchases in the bag I got from whatever seller had some (took me ages to get one this time, I thought my fingertips were going to freeze off carrying around Chewbacca and two Power of the Force figures) in my hallway until it’s time to clean them. They sit between my shoes and the phone table depreciating in value and making mint-on-card collectors shake their heads in disgust. Good.
Everything I buy gets at least a wipe over, because even if it’s clean it ain’t clean after sitting out on tables in the dust bowl that large open fields become when you allow cars to drive all over them while people stomp up and down on them all morning during times of little rain. I take everything out the bag and pile it up on one side (in this case of my kitchen worktop, isn’t our worktop cool? It looks like alien rock) and once cleaned, everything is put in another pile (so in this case everything right of the Wookie is clean) this may sound obvious (and boring) but I’m the sort of twat who will wash the same Ninja Turtle 3 times if I don’t do something this counting-on-your-fingers level. I wash everything using warm water, Fairy Liquid and a jay cloth because I’m lower class and from Essex and we’re raised to believe that is how you clean everything from your car to your baby’s bum but it’s actually a pretty good idea, nothing is going to do any further damage to paint or stickers and yet it get things surprisingly clean. I tried to do a before and after thing with ol’ Del Wilkes here:
But you can’t really tell can you? I can assure you he’s much cleaner, Luke or the Stormtrooper would have been a better choice but I didn’t think of it until after I’d cleaned them. I sometimes resort to using an old toothbruth but I don’t like to - that’s a bit too rough for my paranoia. Still given all the paint damage on The Patriot up there I doubt it would really have mattered. That’s about as battered as I’ll buy a toy by the way, and only for things that typically suffer more wear than others (like bend ‘ems, who loose paint much easier than regular action figures) or are hard to find/unusual (like a bend ‘em of The Patriot).
I also take these pictures while cleaning and/or before unboxing, I have a lot of these sort of pictures on my computer. They’re just so I can remember the maker and exactly line name/toy name, because I keep the information for all of my toys on a word document:
Once it’s been updated I delete the random packaging shots but I’m lazy and it requires thinking so I don’t update it very often.
Then I take my ‘haul photo’ (which still needs a better name), I do use these on this blog but I do this for my own amusement. Lord knows why, I think I just like pictures of lots of different toys stood together, or it’s so I can feel smug. Probably both? All that’s left to do then is unbox things that I managed to get packaged because I keep VERY little carded or boxed, I just don’t like to do it, toys are supposed to be played with, fiddled with, stuck up the cat’s arse etc. some boxes I keep, the odd thing I keep carded but mostly they come out and play with all the others:
For this Sabrina thing I wanted to keep the card in good nick so I could scan it. Mostly because who else is going to bother to scan and upload the Sabrina Animated Series Collectible Figures card to the internet? So I cut the bubble off – better to have a few darker patches than most of the front of the card ripped away. I find a serrated knife is best for this because…well because it’s easier, no other reason; that’s a steak knife I’m using because fuck buying proper tools for things, right? I’m such a fucking bodger, it’s upsetting. Then everything gets put back in the carrier bag to be photographed.
I photograph every toy I own and keep them in a folder called Virtual Toychest, named after an old website because everything I do must have at least one reference to something somewhere in it:
This may seem exceptionally anal, and it is, but it’s also exceptionally useful, as lots of my toys are in my loft and the rest are scattered round the house, this puts everything in one place that’s searchable. So it’s well worth doing and it’s not like I tell everyone except all of the internet, but no one reads this blog anyway and the only one of my friends who looks at it knows what a sad bastard I am and has known for years, he hasn’t left yet so I guess he’s ok with it.
I sort my stuff out into lines and photograph them all together, it saves time after they’ve been taken and I’m sorting them out on the computer. Because all of this takes effort and again I’m a lazy prick I don’t do this until I’ve got a good few things to photograph, so this session includes some other crap I’ve bought lately like the awesome new Pokémon action figures and a random Violator I found in a charity shop. Everything is then put out onto a shelf or into the drawers of the boxes in my loft because I don’t have enough shelf space for them or because I feel weird about ‘displaying’ them - some toys just aren’t meant for display in a shelf or cabinet type scenario, they’re for putting near your PC or on top of a box or something, y’know? This whole part of the process shouldn’t take very long (even with my terrible photography skillz) but my inability to resist sodding about with the toys I’m photographing (and taking Instagram photos) will drag it out – but fuck it, they’re for playing with.
And that’s my boring life. Want this shitshow to go on longer? Good!
What do you mean ‘no’?
Back to what I bought, but in a general overview-y way:
These are what I should be buying. I actually use collecting as a suicide prevention technique and a form of therapy. I’m absolutely serious. As it was put to me (by a therapist) the concept is having long-term goals made up of short-term rewards to keep you going and thus even though you’ll still want to kill yourself (can’t stop that) you’re less likely to actually attempt suicide. It works ok, it’s helping keep me alive which most people around me think is a good thing, though I’m not too sure I do. I think I’m cross at my toys now.
To help with this task, I have checklists built in Photoshop keeping me informed on how those long-term goals are getting on and which short-term rewards I still need:
The guys up there are ‘Checklisters’ if you will, the short-term rewards that this whole ‘hobby’ is supposed to be about. Their satisfaction levels vary from the I need it just to complete a set-ness of the velociraptor to how can you not be satisfied with it-ness of Feathers fucking McGraw. I’ve been a bit unfocused of late with this and it was at this freezing bootsale I realised this, realised that it actually was having a negative effect and decided to sort that shit out.
The purple thing is from Small Soldiers by the way, it was packaged with Fletchoo and looks like living baby food, cool innit?
Yeah that’s genuinely what I call them - being raised with a heavy input from your grandmothers will have an affect after a while, I will say ‘ooh isn’t a lovely day out?’ and I bloody love Mr Sheen. These are things that I know about beforehand, want, but aren’t on the checklists for various reasons – either I’m not too bothered (Mashers), there’s only 1 thing from a line I want (such as the Indominous Rex from the Jurassic World line), I’m not focussing on them as such (Power of the Force II) or I don’t think I’ll find at a price I can afford. Technically ol’ Ivan Ooze is one of those last ones, as far as I’m concerned Ivan Ooze is as good as any movie villain ever and I was well keen to get a new, updated action figure of him – but he was sold out everywhere and the only way I could have got him was to buy a 7-pack at a convention – yeah, no. Since then I haven’t had any luck and didn’t expect to have it at The Baby Man, a huge stall that sells primarily items for the under 2s (well, their mums, I mean under 2s don’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on The Big Red Fun Bus or whatever).
On a completely unrelated note, have you ever listened to the words of John Fogerty’s ‘Lookin’ Out My Backdoor’ (it’s playing as I write this)? It’s genuinely a song about what’s happening in his garden, and on the Long Road Home compilation it’s sandwiched between Fortunate Son and Up Around the Bend, you’ve got these two fist-pumping anthems and between them a song about John Fogerty’s rockery and happy frogs. Madness.
I swear it didn’t look like the raptor was about to mount the triceratops when I set the photo up.
Dinosaurs are the best. I started writing that to mean ‘for the above therapy’ but come on, dinosaurs one of the best things ever in general. I don’t get why some religious folks are so anti-dinosaur, wouldn’t you want YOUR God to be responsible for something as cool as a Spinosaurus? Anyway if you have a genuine love of toy dinosaurs – as I do – it’s great, no matter how small the bootsale is, no matter how shit the charity shops in your area are, no matter how many toy train enthusiasts are selling at the toy show you can always find a great dinosaur and no-one puts any value on them. And I say that as someone who’s fairly picky with their dinosaurs – mostly because dinosaurs take up a lot of room, especially if you’re a fan of Chap Mei (which I am, that Velociraptor is one of their MEDIUM sized dinosaurs), gawd knows what you do if you (or your kids) are into Imaginex – build an extension I guess.
Have a Chewbacca that I don’t? I’ll buy it.
Stuff I Don’t Need But Won’t Leave Without
If someone were to ask me why I bought this, the response would be “because it’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch – dressed as a witch”. They will either get it or they won’t. it has nothing to do with anything, I didn’t know it existed beforehand, I’m glad I’ve rectified this but I have absolutely no interest in buying anything else related to it, it’s not ‘for the collection’ I just want it because it is. Funny thing is though, these things have a habit of staying out while things that are ‘for the collection’ are far more likely to wind up in drawers in the loft, even though they’re of greater significance (and usually cost more) – see for reasons having just 1 random silly thing, even if you have lots of 1 random silly things, don’t carry the stigma of having a set of something, so I feel far more comfortable leaving them out around the house. Also because I care less if someone’s child sticks it in their mouth
Also because it’s less likely to kill the child if it does that
Nobody rolls their eyes at the chattering teeth that sit next to the dining table, even though it’s next to Gudetama, an angry parsnip and a light up cat, they wind it up and chortle with glee as it bounces around between the placemats adt the salt & pepper pots, but they would roll thier eyes if I had a collection of Tomy wind-ups in the same place.
That’s what you should take away from this. People suck. I suck, I don’t know you so I can’t say for certain you suck, I hope you don’t and if you don't I bet you know lots of people who do. People suck so I absorb myself in sad hobbies to avoid the pain that comes with the realisation that the word is awful. You’re welcome.
I’m kidding, I just wanted to talk about the surprising amount of effort I (sometimes) put into looking after the crap I buy, it all went to a good home sellers, a good home who cleaned them, photographed them and made fun of them trying to mount other toys online. Ta for reading, ‘night all.