13th Oct2011

Introducing Thrift Justice: YSE!

by Will

What can I say? I love TV, I love branding, and I love spinoffs. So, I figured it’d be a good idea to separate my normal thrift store hauls from my yard sale hauls, especially since there are usually some pretty good stories from those yard sales. That gives us Thrift Justice: Yard Sale Edition, or Thrift Justice: YSE for the hip kids. Think of this just like the normal Thrift Justice you’ve come to know and love, only with a dose of Ice-T and Mariska Hargitay thrown into the mix. I’m typically the guy who doesn’t enjoy the party until it’s almost over, so it’s only fitting for me to start this little feature just as the yard sale season begins to wind down. In any case, there are quite a few items I haven’t shown you, and I hope I can remember the stories behind them. So, shall we get on with the show?

What you see here is a nice little collection of G.I.Joe vehicles that I acquired last weekend. You Joe collectors will recognize the following:

-Cobra WOLF


-Skystorm X-Wing Chopper


-Desert Fox 6WD

-Dreadnok Cycle

-Cobra Imp

-Action Force Missile Launcher

I tend to plan out my route on Friday nights (yes, some of us plan these things), and I noticed a listing just kinda snuck in the fact that there were be G.I.Joe vehicles. It was an odd blurb that read something like “Fine crystal, linens, G.I.Joe Vehicles, artwork”. Well, those are certainly strange bedfellows! The sale was slated to start at 7:30, so it went to the top of my list.

The next morning, I pulled up to her house and was somewhat shocked that nobody was there except an older lady who was having a conversation with the seller. I immediately thought that someone had beat me to the Joes! After all, the ads always say “No early birds!”, but that doesn’t mean someone didn’t swoop in just before I got there. I cautiously walked over to a large plastic storage unit, and my eyes filled with joy and wonder! There they were, in pretty nice condition given their age. The lady explained that they had belonged to her sons, but had just been sitting in the garage. She said they had kept their figures, but didn’t seem to want the vehicles anymore. So, their loss was my gain. We didn’t even have to haggle. 10 minutes later, I was driving off with a car full of 1987 treasures. Anyway, if you like anything you see, you should know how to find me by now…

One concept I’ve adopted over the course of my travels is the idea of of “thrift karma” – I tend to believe that something awesome is out there waiting for me, and when I do find it, I try not to be greedy. For instance, I hit paydirt at this first sale, so I should’ve called it quits and gone home with my wares. Instead, I ended up freestyling (I got that from American Pickers, thank you very much!) for another 4 hours, which just wasted gas and yielded nothing. Listen to Kenny Rogers, folks – know when to walk away!

Notes From The Road

(courtesy of vintagegameworld.com)

This is where I’ll share a few observations that I’ve made while racing from sale to sale. Over the weekend, I noticed that everyone is finally cashing in their Trivial Pursuit SNL Edition investments. Let’s take a trip back in time, to around 2006. Licensed versions of Trivial Pursuit were nothing new, but one of the most niche offerings was Trivial Pursuit SNL Edition. As KB Toys starting shutting down across the country, these games were some of the last items they had left, eventually marked down to around $7 or so in my area. Now, let’s fast forward to last weekend. A game I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years resurfaced at 3 separate yard sales, a few with the KB price tag scratched out on the box. That’s the danger of speculating – not everything’s gonna be a collector’s item, especially when your neighbor’s selling the same exact thing.

Anyway, I hope you liked the new series. Tune in next time, as I’ll share with you a few of my biggest yard sale failures!