Monday, 30 October 2017

Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Winter MCM 2017 Edition

I am so tired.
Sunday was exhausting and I’m not over it yet, we spent the daylight hours at the final day of the winter MCM London Comic Con – or getting there – and then after returning I hosted our group’s annual Halloween get together which ended at quarter to 12. That may sound early but after five hours of convention, three hours of travelling and then 4 and a half hours of socializing midnight seems pretty late, and then I still had to clear up. The Halloween do was a great success – no egotism there it wasn’t a success because of me, it was just success in my domicile – MCM meanwhile was probably the best MCM ever, spread over two halls it had more dealers than ever before, a slew of impressive names signing, a large artist alley and stalls from a host of big guns from CEX to Bandai, in terms of balance between the various things to do it was easily the best MCM I can remember and in terms of the amount of each thing to do it was the best MCM I can remember – I only wish I’d got to see more of it. 
The fact that I didn’t wasn’t the fault of MCM – it was the fault of TFL Rail, the current private company who own the trains in London (thanks Maggie, privatisation still giving us all issues decades on) – they closed a whole segment of the overground rail but put on no replacement bus service, stranding us in Ilford. I’m assuming the thinking behind not bothering to put a bus service on was because there were buses that run from Ilford to Stratford – the part of the railway line closed – anyway. HOWEVER have you ever been to Ilford or been to Ilford and tried to get a bus? I’m guessing not as most of the readers of this blog are imaginary – Ilford is a place where joy goes to die and half of it is a confusing ring road, it’s a horrible place and a horrible place to navigate if you don’t go there a lot, and I don’t because I avoid Ilford like the fucking plague. So instead of a replacement bus service that stops outside the station (or nearabouts) we had to walk around a bad area looking for an 86 bus going the right way. It took us over 2 hours to do a 50 minute journey, I was exhausted before I got to the convention, which closed at 5, we got there at 20 to 1.
I feel better now. Anyway of course I still bought a load of crap and spent over £100, wanna see?

With one exception (to come) I’m pretty damn satisfied, I worry about buying too much of one type of item at conventions because I have a shitload of baggage and one of them is that I worry I’m becoming obsessed. I was particularly concerned I was buying too many action figures, especially as three of them cost £15 or more – but seeing it all together, well mostly (to come), sure it’s nearly all toys but not all the same type and that’s enough to calm the nagging little voices in my head – well the ones that nag me about being obsessed anyway. Now to go into specifics the way I do with these – so are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll (finally) begin:

£15 ($19.71)
Achievement unlocked! This is my last Thundercats figure! The only figure I was missing for a complete set. I still want to replace a few so I’m not done with the line as a whole but this is the only character I was short and woo-hoo! That said he’s really a case of ‘Only Missing X Left Syndrome’, something that I made up but I think should be relatable: It’s the willingness to pay more for something when that something is the only one missing from your set regardless of how comparatively rare it is: £15 for Cruncher at a convention isn’t extortionate by any means, especially as the Berzekers are generally priced higher because of their bulk (I’ve never bought a Thundercats figure new so I can’t tell you if the Bezerkers cost more at retail but they were packaged the same as a regular carded figure) but the Berzerkers aren’t especially rare (unlike the Rampagers) and I’m sure I could get him cheaper, even at a con, if I tried but because he’s the last one, because he’s there and because he’s affordable enough I had to buy him right there and then. I’m not displeased, the Berzekers (Hammerhand, Cruncher, Top Spinner and Ram-Bam) are my some of the nicest figures the 80’s put out and finally having a complete set is satisfying - as is this Cruncher, he has a little bit of paint ware of one hand (and appears to be laying down some sick beats, we’ll forgive him for that too) but I’m sure he’d be in a worse state if I’d had him since childhood like poor Ram-Bam and Top Spinner.   

Random Little Guys!
£4 ($5.26) for the lot
One seller – the one I bought the Golden Girl figure from – had a tray on his table filled with mini-figures, lots of people have these chess board looking buggers and they’re usually filled only with 3 year old Pokémon and bootleg anime gashapon – neither of which I’m averse to owning but nothing too amazing. Not with this geezer though, check it out: two Kombattini, a Trash Bag Bunch, a Bone Age figure and a vintage E.T. Figurine – all for less than a pound each, by convention standards that’s not free, that’s him paying me. I’m especially pleased with the Kombattini (which are the Spanish version of Army Ants) - it’s hard enough to find them in the wild and find them with their abdomens but to find them at a convention and find them at a convention for an affordable price on the last day of the con, that my imaginary chums is a reason to feel smug. Not a very big reason and arguably a bit of a sad reason but fuck it; I’ll take my little victories where I can find them, even if they’re little victories about rubber ants.

Lil’ Mechagodzilla!
£3 ($3.94)
This is probably my favourite buy from the show – simply because I’m not sure it was actually the stallholder’s to sell and nor was he. When asking for a price for it the seller didn’t seem to recognise it at all and obviously and openly pulled a price out of his arse on the spot. I’m sure it WAS his but the way the whole thing went down made it feel it’s equally likely that I’d just paid him £3 to buy something someone had left on the edge of his table. It left me with a smile on my face and a small rubber robot in my bag.

Screamin’ Meemie!
£20 ($26.28)
I fucked up on this one. The seller – who I also bought other stuff from that was all fine – had three Head Poppin’ Madballs, one I owned (Wolf Breath) and two I didn’t (this guy and Bruise Brother). I got a bit excited at seeing a Screamin’ Meemie at less than eBay prices (I’ve been very keen to replace the one I lost) that I didn’t pay proper attention to the figure itself, the seller popped it straight into a bag and I didn’t notice until later that he has an obvious chunk out of his nose, now I have to get him a new head which’ll jack up the price to eBay prices or thereabouts - I should have bought Bruiser Brother.  Now I don’t think the seller was out to fuck me as such – though he didn’t bring up the damage – he just did what he always does ‘do you want a bag? You do, ‘k’ *puts it in bag* and I did get a working Screamin’ Meemie body out of it (Head Poppin’ figures with busted mechanisms are common, for those who don’t follow eBay auctions on Madballs figures – you weirdos), I just should have had a closer look at the figure before I blew the price of a decent meal out on a toy. Shit, fuck, arse.

Jason Vorhees Mr Potato Head!
£11.99 ($15.75)
I honestly don’t have much to say about this beyond ITS A MR POTATO HEAD DRESSED AS JASON VORHEES AND IT WAS CHEEEAAP!! I just realised when taking the photos that I had a Mr Potato Head dressed as Jason Vorhees and I really wanted a picture of that on my blog, ever so sorry. 

Cheap Care Bears Stuff!
£7 ($9.20) for all of it
I often think people think I’m joking when I refer to my borderline obsession with vintage Care Bears merchandise and my compulsion to buy it - I’m not. I genuinely love the vintage-era of Care Bears (roughly 1982-1990) and even though my focus is the 13-inch plush and poseable figures pretty much any merch that isn’t badges, jewellery or clothes (they all make me feel sick) is fair game if I come across it. Here’s proof, a carded figurine and a stack of Panini Sticker Album stickers. I generally don’t keep my stuff boxed or carded because I think that toys should be played with but I’m keeping that figurine carded because I’m a hypocrite but more so because I just love the art and colours of the cards for the figurines and poseable figures and I’ve not had the chance so far to get any carded at an affordable prices. The stickers were in a huge box of shit trading cards, I was so genuinely overjoyed to find ancient Care Bears stickers at five for a pound, people stared.

This Tim Burton book!
£17 ($22.33)
This got left out of the haul photo because I forgot, I’m just-run-a-marathon level tired remember?  This book is very shiny and I will admit that I looked at it because I wanted to see what the shiny thing was but I bought it because I’m actually a big follower of Tim Burton - I’m almost certain that I’ve never brought it up on here but I am. I don’t think he’s perfect; I have films of his that I don’t much care for and I have this thing where I regularly get sick of A Nightmare Before Christmas and won’t watch it for a year or so to allow it to regain its ‘specialness’, a thing that no-one around me seems to understand – which is fairly common with my quirks really - but I’ve been following his stuff since Batman Returns and I’ve seen everything he’s done before and since (I missed Dark Shadows at the cinema though, I fail), I’m a big fan. And this book looks lovely; I’ve only flicked through it since stalls get pissed off if you stand and read their books cover-to-cover (unfair i know) and I’ve been busy since but it’s laid out lovely, it’s got a nice amount of text, it goes film-by-film up to Ms. Peregrine’s and has a complete filmography time-line that folds out, it’s also really shiny.

And now I’m done, I’m going back to bed, you can’t stop me and I refuse to feel lazy: I got to bed at 3am yesterday after being up at half five the morning before (I just woke up, no reason) and doing loads of shit. I have today spare and I’m gonna use it to try and sleep myself back to life , thanks for reading my crap, I appreciate it – a lot.

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