Its my 25th Bootsale Report! I need help.
This weekend’s bootsale was… an uncharacteristically disorganised mess, it was like the whole thing had been organised by someone who had their eyes closed who had never heard of a bootsale before and everyone (and I do mean everyone) was late setting up, I was a third of the way ‘round and people were still just putting up tables, so either there was some trouble with getting everyone in at the right time or everyone in Essex just couldn’t be arsed Sunday morning except me – usually it’s the over way ‘round.
And then I had a panic attack. Don’t have a panic attack with a three-foot Darth Vader under your arm, people will stare.
So it wasn’t the most successful bootsale, but it was hardly a waste of time:
I didn’t really realise I’d done as well as I had (which should show you how unproductive a trip I thought it had been) until I got home, and that photo doesn’t show the books or the W.I.T.C.H. DVD I totally didn’t buy because I’m far to manly to watch girls’ fantasy cartoons (because I forgot them, they were in the kitchen).
But I got enough to squeeze and Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On post out it, so are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:
The Sort of Books Everyone Sells!
£1 ($1.27) for both
While you will get the occasional stall where the seller clearly had an ‘interest’ (read: worrying obsession) that everyone fed into with birthday and Christmases so they’re selling off two dozen books about Elvis or Marilyn Monroe or World War II or some other boringly unoriginal interest (there’s a LOT of people ‘interested’ the Nazi party in my area) a lot of books for sale fall into the ‘books someone clearly bought when on holiday’ category.
A spread of titles that just scream ‘something to read on the plane’ or ‘something to read on the beach’ or ‘something to read in the caravan because we’re in Wales and it hasn’t stopped pissing down for three days straight nor will it stop the whole time we’re here’, books that people with no real hobbies or interests have bought just before, at the airport for, or while on vacation. This will occasionally benefit me, as I do have real hobbies and interests and sometimes the book Aunt Kelly bought at the last minute in WH Smiths so she wouldn’t have to watch whatever film was on the plane while she flew with you to Disney World when EPCOT Centre was the new attraction fits perfectly with those hobbies and interests. In this case post-war 20th century history and Arthurian and British myths legends. Neither are things I particularly shout about (why would I? they make me sound intelligent, I’d much rather shout about my love of Care Bears and The Beano so everyone can feel superior, it’s a service I provide ok?) but both being things I enjoy immersing myself in while snuggled up in bed with Monster Munch and a creeping sense that I should be out meeting girls and having babies instead of reading about how dodgy JKF’s family were.
I can hear you, I can hear you, your imaginary voices all going “you’ve got a Sectaur RIGHT THERE and THIS is the action figure you highlight?”
Damn right. See this teddy bear is something I’ve wanted for a while without actually knowing if it existed or not, ‘cos I’m like that. For a while I’ve been thinking ‘it sure would be cool if there was an action figure of a teddy bear, the way there were poseables of other primarily soft-toy toylines like Care Bears, Wuzzles and Rainbow Brite” it’s the same thing that make me want a fully poseable set of Green Army Men action figures in 6-inch scale, that compels me to buy the same character in multiple scales or to squee over tiny bottles of toiletries in Boots, god knows what it is but I know it’s connected. Anyway this is here in case you, too, have thought this to tell you that, yes, it does exist, you can buy an action figure that looks just like a plush teddy bear but is all plastic.
See, isn’t that a much nicer thing than contributing another few hundreds words to the mountain of paragraphs nerds have typed into the internet about how awesome Sectaurs are? Even if those paragraphs are all correct.
The 2nd Coolest Souvenir Ever!
Look at this gorgeous piece of tat! Random King Kong merch is one the best things in the world to find anywhere, it makes me happy in ways usually only things I can’t write about on here in case my mum stumbles on it do, I asked how much this was with a voice that was overtly saying ‘I will pay anything for this, just give me a number so we can all get on with the inevitable’.
What I find especially endearing about it is how Kong looks like he’s been caught unawares by a photographer mid-scratch. What I find especially fascinating about it is how someone managed to get it, unbroken, from New York to England and then to a bootsale in Essex, I can’t get the big Toblerones from Gatwick to my house without them ending up in three bits and yet some clever sod managed to get that spire all the way across the Atlantic without it snapping off. But what I like the best about it is that Kong is in the public domain, so for the perhaps the only time ever, the souvenir bastards in New York weren’t breaking copyright laws!
(The 1st Coolest Souvenir by the way, is the snow globe my friend brought be back from Romania with Dracula’s castle in it where the snow is in fact bats)
Big Figs Darth Vader!
Sorry, I had to take a picture of this on my phone because, well, Big Figs are just phone camera shape aren’t they?
This was a ‘treat’ to myself, buying a huge Darth Vader isn’t something I’d normally do but, you know what? Why the fuck not. However, this toy clearly came from a dog home and the only way I know how to get dog hair off of anything, be it capes or jeans, is to wrap a piece of brown tape around my hand and get to it. So for about 15 minutes I stood in my kitchen de-hairing the cape of one of the most beloved (and child scarring) villains in film history the same way you de-hair your granny’s cardigan. I just thought I’d share that with you all.
Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers!
50p (64¢) each.
Now you have the theme tune stuck in your head!
And it won’t leave for days!
So, for a while (because the show was airing) the Rescue Rangers outfits for Chip and Dale was just the look that Disney used while making merchandise of them, these two are (I think) from the Disney Store but Disney Parks did it too, Rescue Rangers character sheets were just what Disney and their licensees used for a while in the 1990s. This was probably quite annoying for older Disney fans but for me the only irritating thing about it was that there was no way I could talk any of my family into paying out for two soft toys at the prices the Disney Store charged/still charge at the same time – but that’s what adulthood is for, right? Using what little disposable income you have to buying the things your parents denied you in childhood.
I’m bringing this up just because I’m sure many people (like me) forgot all about this old Rescue Rangers Uber Alles policy Disney had, especially given how minimal Rescue Rangers merchandise feels and felt, I mean it took until this year for the whole world to get a figure of Gadget and we’re still waiting for one for Monty, y’know, two of the main characters of the show? I only remembered Sunday morning when I saw these right at the end of my bootsailing and jumped on them like a hungry man on a stake.
Sorry, I had to take a picture of this on my phone because my camera just would not focus on the GIANT FUCKING EYEBALL RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT.
You should have seen the seller’s face when I walked up to his table and this random piece of madness caught my eye, you could just hear ‘Yonder Comes a Sucker’ playing in his head. “At last” his face said “someone who will buy my giant skin-covered eyeball and stop it from putting off other people from looking at my beautiful wares” (actually he’s a stall that generally specialises in junk shop and antique shop style stock so he did have many actually beautiful wares, please don’t judge him by the two things I bought from him – a giant eyeball and an old plastic wind-up spider - that reflects badly on my taste in everything, not his stock).
He was right. It looks like a stitched-up Frankenstein maggot with a giant eyeball in its mouth, of course he was going to be right. I have no idea what it is or where it’s from (something like Gross Magic?) but I do know what it does and you bet I’ve made a gif of it:
What am I doing to do with it? Nothing, I’m going to put it on my side amidst all the other disturbing shit that lives on that top and occasionally walk past and it squeeze, that is what I knew was going to happen with it and knew that this was why I HAD to buy it, because I knew there was no way my life would not be ever so slightly improved by squeezing the frankenmaggot to make the eyeball pop out.
A Whole Ark of Playmobil!
My Playmobil interests are very narrow, other than the licenced stuff that I’m going to buy regardless because it’s Ghostbusters or TMNT or whatever, my focus is on the animals and dinosaurs. This is mostly because of the days’ worth of fun I had as a child with my Playmobil Zoo set (the colour-in one, Set 3145 for the Playmonerds). It just left me with an uncontrollable love for plastic animals from Germany.
But you know what? Playmobil isn’t that easy to come by in bootsales, you’d think it would be and technically is it at times plentiful but most of it gets gobbled up by actual parents looking for actual children, the bastards and the fact that you’re picking up other people’s leavings is disheartening no matter who it was buying them, but it’s doubly disheartening to know that you lost out to the people you really should be losing out to. And you know what If there’s a good reason for being racially prejudiced against Indian and Pakistani immigrants in the UK then their 40-sometings hoovering up all the second-hand Playmobil is just as crap a reason as any other but this is what I’m up against, these men and women buy and buy in bulk – and their prey is all the ‘major’ toys – Disney, Lego, Playmobil, Barbie, Sylvanian Families and toy cars are shovelled into bags and dragged back in multiple trips to rapidly filling 4X4s and vans. I honestly think the only reason I got lucky here is that the woman selling them didn’t allow herself to give in and sell this lot at the ridiculously cheap prices these toy hoovers expect as a right in exchange for taking your four boxes of ratty, naked Disney Princess dolls. These were supposed to 50p each but I just bought the entire tray plus two old Pokémon toys, and as that’s over 20 items then I got me a deal I think. And with it a nice selection of ‘my era’ animals like the giraffes, lioness and chimps and a bunch of animals I could only have dreamt of back then (a warthog? A fucking ostrich!?! Are you shitting me?!). Obviously the real winner is the Buffalo because it’s a fucking Playmobil Buffalo but I’m happiest with the baby elephant; old style Playmobil elephants are a bitch to get second-hand because some clever chap decided to attach the ears as separate pieces, seemingly by using pegs as thin as Doritos and just as sturdy. You find a lot of earless and semi-earless elephants out there and that just makes me sad, not because I can’t buy them and add them to my zoo but because they have no ears. It’s normal to be saddened by the pain toys cannot actually feel right?
Actually while we’re on Playmobil…
This wasn’t from the bootsale, but it was given to me the day before so shut up. A friend of mine gave me this, I won’t tell you what she did to get it (along with some awesome pirates) but all you need to know is that she went above and beyond to save Playmosanta from a terrible fate and give him a happy future standing in my Christmas tree for all foreseeable Decembers and I thank her for it. I have some wonderfully accepting and enabling friends.
I don’t have a final paragraph do-do-de-do
Um… oh I tell you what, did you know that Secaturs were invented by a former member of Jim Henson’s Creatures Workshop? That he licenced them out because Jim couldn’t be convinced to go into the toy world? That it was the same man who created Boglins, and in fact Boglins were going to be part of the Sectaurs line? That Remco licenced them up for inclusion but Sectaurs pricing themselves out of the market meant they never got ‘round to incorporating them and so they ended up getting picked up by Mattel years later? Well there you go, now you do. Thanks for reading, Sectaurs are unendingly cool, see ya.