05th Jun2013

Thrift Justice – One For Me, And One For You

by Will

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Welcome back to another installment of everyone’s favorite feature, Thrift Justice! As most of you know, I run Will’s World of Wonder, where I happen to resell a lot of the stuff that I find. Today, I’m gonna show you some stuff that I got for myself, but also some stuff that I particularly plan to resell.

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I collect deluxe Power Rangers Megazords, and I’ve been looking for the yellow Turbo Rescue Zord for quite some time. Luckily, I finally tracked it down, and I was able to complete my Turbo Rescue Megazord:

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For some reason, yellow Zords tend to be the hardest for me to find when I’m trying to assemble Megazords in piecemeal fashion. I also needed the yellow Lightspeed Rescue Zord, which I happened to get through a Craigslist deal.

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As life likes to play cruel jokes, it turns out Special Forces had one that he was planning to give me later that day. Anyway, I now have a complete Lightspeed Megazord:

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To wrap up the Power Rangers trifecta, I tracked down the yellow Jungle Fury zord from another Craigslist lot. If you recall, I’d had some issues with this zord in the past. Anyway, I finally have the correct one, and I now have a complete Jungle Pride Megazord:

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I haven’t talked about it in a bit, but I was quite the Stargate fan. From SG-1 to Universe (never really cared for Atlantis), I loved the Hell out of that franchise. That’s why I was pleased to find this talking Hallmark ornament for $0.99.

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The likenesses may not be spot on, but it plays actual dialogue from the show. This is the kind of ornament that won’t be restricted to just Christmas. This is a year-round ornament!

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This will come off as sacrilege to some, but I’ve never been a Monty Python fan. Don’t find it funny. Only bit that ever remotely made me laugh was the whole “It’s merely a flesh wound” thing. Anyway, I’m no fool when it comes to collectibles, so I snatched up this 14-disc complete series set for $15. I’ve currently got it on Amazon, as I’m not sure it’s the kind of thing that appeals to my typical WWoW clientele.

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If you’re familiar with the comic industry, then you probably know about the Kubert School, which specializes in cartooning and graphic design. Started by the late, great artist, Joe Kubert, many of the industry’s hottest artists are alumni of the institution. The Kubert School also runs a sort of correspondence course, with lessons focusing on different topics. This oversized book is the course textbook for the Horror course. These typically come in a kit sold for $250, but I picked this up for $3.63. It’s never been used, so I shouldn’t have a problem finding an artistic buyer for it.

Anyway, I’ve got to cut this short, as I’m on my way to Ithaca, but thanks for reading. Be sure to come back Friday for West Week Ever!

23rd May2013

Thrift Justice – Hell Naw! Are You For Real?

by Will

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Do we really need an intro. Y’all know what this is all about. These are things I find in thrift stores. Usually, I write about the things that I buy. Every now and then, however, I focus on things that I simply HAD to leave behind. This is one of those posts. These are recent items that I just couldn’t believe I found, but felt would make great conversation pieces. So, away we go!

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Sure, Jakks eventually figured out how to make a decent wrestling figure, but those earliest offerings were hideous. This hails from the “Attitude Era” that I missed in its entirety, so I know next to nothing about Sable OR Shotgun Saturday Night. From what I can tell from this figure, Sable was just a wrestling groupie, right? She wasn’t a “Diva”, was she? Please tell me she wasn’t a Diva. She looks like someone’s slutty mom. She needs to take that chair packaged with her, and go sit down somewhere.

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Hehe. And notice that the seal is unbroken on this CD…

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I’m sorry, but no one has ever said “Man, I could really watch 26 hours of The Price Is Right today!” If they did, they’re probably a stoner, and can’t remember where they left this box set. I mean, really? I would watch a compilation of every episode where Barker did something sleazy to spokesmodels and women contestants, but just random-ass episodes? No, thank you!

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I’m amazed this thing actually exists. For those not in the know, this is Harry from Harry and the Hendersons. I’ve never seen the movie in its entirety,  but I was really into the Saturday afternoon syndicated show. The dad was the evil senator from the X-Men movies. That’s all I really remember about it. Well, that and that it aired along with What A Dummy! and Tiny Toon Adventures (before it was repurposed as a kids show).

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This saddens me, as I wonder how it ended up being donated. It’s such a personal thing, and not something that would really sell to anyone other than its original recipient. As you can see, it’s some sort of CD to commemorate Mothers Day 9 years ago. Did Mom die? Did the family get a divorce? Did she finally get to the age where she started throwing away all the homemade gifts the kids made her over the years? I’m always curious when I see such personalized items being resold.

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California Dreidels?! Can’t black people have anything to themselves?! First Elvis came along, then Eminem, and now this?!!

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OK, read this slowly, as it gets kinda good. When you get cards from a questionable source, always inspect ya deck! I saw this in a batch of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards I got, and noticed that it looked…janky. Look at the edges and borders. I don’t think this card is real. So, I grab a corner and start peeling…

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WTF?! It’s like finding Narnia! What’s under this nefarious cover?

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An entirely different card! There’s some kinda card shark on the Yu-Gi-Oh! scene! How does a tween turn to such a life of crime? Who taught him to do this? Has he already been shot in the face following a Chinatown game gone wrong? Why?! WHY?!!!

Welp, that wraps it up for this installment. I gotta Google “Chinatown Yu-Gi-Oh! shootout”. Come back tomorrow, ’cause it’s Friday, and you know what happens around here on Fridays…

17th May2013

West Week Ever – 5/17/13

by Will
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Who has the West Week Ever? Read on to find out!

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I was so proud of myself when this came on the radio this morning, and I remembered the rap from 18 years ago!

It has been a week, hasn’t it? At least it feels like it to me. I guess it’s because I started it with a bit of a subtweeted post in the Monday Musings. Most people have guessed who that was about, but I’ve got more than one “e-nemy”. I mean, think of whose podcasts I haven’t been on yet, and you’re getting warmer…I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that, though. I’ve made some good friends online, and I really cherish that. From daily emails, to daily tweets, that’s the good part of all this, so I can’t let a few ne’er do wells ruin a good thing! Anyway, this is a pop culture site, so, let’s get it started!

Speaking of online friends, I’ve been meaning to talk about the host/producer of the UnderScoopFire! and MadCast podcasts, Corey Chapman. This guy is a runner, and he’s constantly posting stats like “Ran 14 miles today”. While some folks might be haters, I consider him an inspiration. Believe it or not, I used to run. Not competitively, but just for fun. Back in college, my friend Eric and I would run to Wegmans at 2 in the morning, just for shits and giggles (I needed him there or else I’d just look like a black dude who stole something). Anyway, I enjoyed that running, and years later, I found myself dating someone who decided to run a marathon…out of nowhere. I mean, if you saw her, “marathon” was not the word that would come to mind. But I’d run with her, and help her train for those marathons. They say that a good chunk of the marathon is in your head, and I’ve just never felt like I was “there”, psychologically. Still, I was talking to my boss yesterday, and doing the math, realized I’ve probably gained 80 lbs over the past 10 years. I’m 31 and on high blood pressure medicine. So, something has to change. It’ll be a slow process, but I want to try running again. Nobody “in real life” wants to run with me. I won’t be posting 14 miles anytime soon, but I kinda hope I can look to Corey as a virtual “run buddy” as I slowly get back to where I was before. That, my friends, is the power of social media.

Buy something from my store! I’m not begging here, but the hustle is gettin’ kinda hectic! I’ve never been blown off as much from Craigslisters as I have in the past week. Buy this shit so I don’t have to meet a stranger in a dark parking lot!

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I’ve written about it before, but I made a realization this week: if I only read one comic a month, it would be Ultimate Spider-Man. Wait, I guess I mean Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. I know a lot of people don’t focus on the Ultimate Universe because it’s not the “real” Marvel, but it’s so damn good. If you haven’t read it, just go back to the introduction of Miles Morales. Don’t even bother with all the Peter Parker stuff. So damn good. BTW, I’m still trying to teach myself to love the digital medium for comics. I’m getting there, thanks to a wonderful gift from @Ponderiss, but if you’ve got any unused digital codes, send them my way!

Some weird stuff’s been going on that I feel funny for telling you, but I need content filler. Lately, I’ve been going to places that I’ve been to only in dreams. I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. For example, I had a dream a few weeks back where I was in some weird banquet hall. Fast forward to last Sunday’s Mother’s Day brunch – IT WAS AT THE SAME HALL!!! I’ve never been to that place in my life, but the layout was the same and everything. Plus, randomly enough, a few nights ago I had a dream that I got a really shitty tattoo on my shin probably after playing hacky sack at a Dave Matthews Band concert). Then, a few days later, I found myself in a tattoo parlour. Sure, I wasn’t getting a tattoo (it was a Craigslist deal), but the timing was really weird. Anyway, I sold them some Star Wars figures that they’re gonna display in the shop. They let me take pics of what they already had.

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Just a random pic of Paige Davis. Nothing to see here...

Just a random pic of Paige Davis. Nothing to see here…

I briefly toyed with the idea of a West Weekette, but then I remembered that I like sleeping in my bed…

Links I Loved

Head over the DoubleDumbassOnYou and read ALL of their Star Trek Week posts. Trust me! Here are links, so you have no excuse!

Welcome To Star Trek Week

Star Trek Week — Review: Star Trek #1 (DC Comics, 1989)

Star Trek Week — In Defense of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Star Trek Week — Collection Spotlight > “Star Trek III Taco Bell Glass”

Star Trek Week — My (Model Kit) Ships of the Line

Star Trek Week — From The Archives

Star Trek Week — Forging A Klingon Bat’leth with the Man At Arms

The Robot’s Pajamas Turns a Million – Congrats on 1M page views!

This Week’s Posts

Monday Musings: Twouble With Twibbles

Thrift Justice: YSE – Trials & Tribble-ations

Farewell to Friends & Foes: The TV Cancellations of 2013

Star Trek Week – Why Starfleet?

10 Television Shows that Outgrew Their Premise – cowritten with my boy, @HowardTheDeck

Also, this was the first week that I participated in Thriftasaurus over at Sir Thrift A Lot’s site. It’s a weekly link party for thrifters, and hopefully I can get some more eyes on the Thrift Justice posts. Head over there and check it out!

One lost their shit on Facebook after a poor showing on Kitchen Nightmares, while the other’s gonna need a new job, dawg. One is a Kardashian minor who has triggered several “countdown” sites, while the others had their televised swan song last night. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

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 Ah, The Office. In recent years, the show has been “Simpsonized”, with everyone claiming “It’s not as good as it used to be!” I disagree. While most felt it should’ve ended with Steve Carell’s departure, I disagree. If anything, Michael stayed too long. It was great to see how the workplace evolved in his absence. We got to see the “Nard Dogg” in the manager role, we saw an alliance and friendship bloom between Jim and Dwight, and characters like Darrell got more of the spotlight. The Office did NOT end with Michael Scott, and it’s too bad most people didn’t realize that. Sure, this past season was a chore at points, but these were still people we had come to know and love. Look at your own life – your real friends aren’t always doing something interesting, and they probably tell stories you don’t care to hear, either. That’s how it was with this show. Still, through all that, it ended strong. Last night’s finale was true to what the show was about, and everyone got a fitting sendoff. If I had one problem with it, it’s that I don’t feel NBC really showed its appreciation. The show carried Thursday night for YEARS, yet it didn’t even get a real credits roll (as pointed out by @zacshipley). Instead of going out with its autonomy, the credits were highjacked by a promo for Hannibal. Plus, I mentioned this on Twitter, but it needs to be repeated: in years past, when a long-running show ended, the network would post a card after the credits that said something like “Thank You For All The Years of Making Us Laugh”. I always thought that was a classy gesture, and it tended to bring a tear to my eye for certain shows. To my knowledge, Married…with Children was the last show to get that distinction. I feel like The Office certainly deserved something like that, and it was a shame that it didn’t come to pass. I know they got the retrospective special, but this is a different animal to me. So, thanks for all the laughs, guys. This is why The Office had the West Week Ever.

14th May2013

Thrift Justice: YSE – Trials & Tribble-ations

by Will

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Can I just take a minute to saw how much I love that real life is gradually evolving into my vision for Thrift Justice: The Series? I mean, I’m not a bounty hunter (yet), but Special Forces has become a full fledged sidekick, just as I envisioned. Anyway, last weekend’s haul wasn’t huge, but it’s about quality and not quantity!

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It was supposed to rain Saturday, so I made a point to look for sales that labeled themselves as “rain or shine”. Luckily, the clouds held it together long enough for us to hit a few choice sales first thing that morning. I’ve always tried not to be an “early bird”, as a lot of sellers hate that. So, when I arrive early to a sale, I just hang out in my car, looking like a sketchy black guy in a white neighborhood. It’s all very hilarious to the people living on that street. Anyway, we did this on Saturday, and missed out big time, as another guy pulled up who didn’t care about being an early bird. At first, I thought he lived there, seeing as how he bounded the steps with ease and familiarity. Then, I saw him walk to his car with a stack of books in his hands about a foot and a half high. I’m not exaggerating. SF and I were trying to figure out if they were graphic novels. I decided it was time to hit the sale, and we jumped out of my car and up the steps. It turns out those were all LEGO manuals, to accompany the $100 of LEGO he had just purchased. And there had to have been a good 70 lbs! Do you know what that would get on the secondary market?!! Feeling deflated, I managed to get the figures you see above. She had a bunch of Marvel Universe figures, but wanted $1 each, and I just felt that was too much. I’m sorry, but I like $0.50 for my used 4″ figures. Thing and Iron Monger were $1 each, which was fair. IM is broken, as his slam action no longer works, but he’s still a good looking figure. Plus, I got a bag of Transformers Robot Heroes for $5.

 

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Here’s a closer look at the Robot Heroes. I haven’t counted them yet, but there are well over 25 of them. A lot of them also have the kid’s initials written on their foot – ya know, to distinguish them at play dates. This was an OK haul, but I wanted those friggin’ tubs of LEGO!!! 🙁

 

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While I was looking at the Marvel figures, a woman from down the street ran up, and saleblocked her neighbor by telling us that she was also having a sale, and that we needed to come by and look. Well, who am I to pass up a forward older woman? Once we got to the sale, I noticed it was mainly National Geographic memorabilia. Then, I noticed a few Star Trek trinkets. Once the other seller at the house (don’t know if they were sisters, partners, what) asked, “Am I gonna have to get out my Star Trek stuff?” I said, “Yeah, I think you are!” She went into the house, and brought out several boxes of carded Star Trek figures from the Playmates era. As nice as the figures were, she mentioned something that caught my interest: she had gone to Toy Fair in ’97, and had received the Playmates catalog, as well as 3 shooter glasses. THAT was what I wanted. After all, my love of toy industry catalogs has already been documented. I’d promise to showcase what’s inside, but I’ve made that promise in the past, and I never make good on it. One day? One day. Anyway, the TNG hardcover is really just a notebook, but I kinda liked it, so grabbed it, too. Finally, I got the “Trials & Tribble-ations” Captain Sisko figure. I already have all the T&T figures, but I didn’t have any carded. I’m trying to bolster my carded figure collection, and I figure I should probably “keep it in the community” by buying the black guy. So, I got all of this for $20, which I don’t think was too bad. I’ll probably sell off the shooters and make some of it back.

 

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At one of the last houses, I got this sealed Mad Men Season 3 for $2!!! Sealed. Needless to say, it’s listed on Amazon as we speak. Finally, at the last house we hit, they were selling a lot of World War II DVDs and whatnot. Again, I have an affinity for sealed DVDs, as well as things from the BBC. In case you weren’t aware, BBC DVDs cost an arm & a leg, just like TV season sets of HBO shows. Regardless, I don’t know any war buffs, so I walked away from the $3 price tag. As SF & I were walking to the car, something told me to check the going prices on Amazon. $65?! Needless to say, I turned right around, and gladly handed over $3. At this point, the clouds let loose their fury, and we decided to spend the rest of the morning in thrift stores.

Luckily, Special Forces and I don’t like the same things. I’m the toy guy, while he’s the video game guy. Since we don’t “cross the streams”, we make a good pair. Anyway, here’s what he got:

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At the sale where I got the Mad Men set, SF got all of this for $8. He thought the tag said $18, but I swore that it was $8. After asking the woman of the house, it was confirmed at $8. While the system was nice, I think SF was more intrigued by the “mystery” game you see above Warioland 4. Remind me to ask him what that turned out to be (or just tell us in the comments, SF!).

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Since video game pickings are sometimes slim at yard sales, SF typically does better at the after-sale thrift store rounds that we make. He got this at thrift store #3 (yup, we roll that hard) because it’s apparently a rare color. It seems the clear/clear purple are common, but this fuschia is a bit more rare. I guess those games were packaged with it.

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Finally, he grabbed this 3-disc Final Fantasy (can’t tell if it’s 6 or 7) for about $2. He tells me this is the first edition, and not the Greatest Hits version, making it more sought after. He’s the game guy, so I bow to his expertise.

So, there ya have it – another one for the books…and the net. Later this week, I think I’ll treat y’all to a traditional edition of Thrift Justice. Stay tuned!

08th May2013

Thrift Justice: YSE – Back To School

by Will

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Yes, it’s back – Thrift Justice: Yard Sale Edition. It’s all in the name, folks. The sun is shining, garage doors are opening, and the baseball cards are overpriced. It’s yard sale season, kids! I actually started hitting sales about a month ago, but I haven’t really gotten much worthy of a blog post (except that awesome McDonalds playset you probably saw Joe Colton shooting up on Instagram – add me: williambrucewest). Last weekend was noteworthy for another reason. You see, my thrifting buddy, “Special Forces”, actually just moved into my apartment complex. So, I asked if he wanted to come along, and he replied “Absolutely.” Seeing as how it was also Free Comic Book Day, as well as the monthly Civitan Flea Market, we had a busy day ahead of us.

At the first sale, I ended up being guilted into buying an ass-old World Atlas. The lady was giving me the hard sell, and all I could say was, “Look at all the countries that no longer exist!” Still, it was only $2, and I’m a sucker for a nice wall map, which was included with the atlas. No pics, ’cause you don’t care. Trust me.

Next, we hit up a community sale going on at an elementary school. Man, was this sale perfect! After parking, I immediately saw a table surrounded by 7 yr old boys, and I knew I’d hit paydirt (No MJ!). These kids are the age to have owned the stuff I’m after. It also helped that they had a framed All-Star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder poster leaning against the table. I immediately started picking through a tub on the ground, which was filled with action figures. I grabbed all the DC stuff I could find, while the boys tried to have a conversation with me. One tried to give me the hard sell on a Simpsons season 9 DVD set. He knew the retail price and everything! I told him I was going to pass, but thanks. I noticed a lot of Superman stuff, and asked, “So, are you guys Superman fans?” One replied, “Yeah, we were when we were little.” I mentioned they were 7, right? It’s cute how much kids want to be older; it’s nothing but stress and taxes – you don’t want none of this, kid! While picking through the box, the dad tells me that they actually just sold a set of the “big Justice League figures” to someone before I got there. I don’t know if he meant the 10″ or if he meant DC Universe Classics. That’s gonna bother me for weeks to come. Then, one kid said, “There are other Justice League guys somewhere.” He disappeared, and came back with a small tub filled with DC Super Heroes Superman, Batman, and Bizarr0. I snatched up the latter two, and threw them in the back the dad provided me. Here’s what I ended up with:

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Oh, and I remember the Batman poster I mentioned, well…

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The wife was PISSED! The kids and dad couldn’t really figure out a price. Dad said $2 each, but mom jumped in and said she had paid about $50 from AllPosters.com ’cause they frame them and send them to ya. Not sure if they were fighting or if Dad was deaf, ’cause I got them both for $4. I didn’t even need it, as I have the retailer version of the poster (which is the same size), but it was such a beautiful frame job, and I couldn’t pass up that price! I grabbed my spoils, and basically ran before they changed their mind. SF didn’t get anything at that sale, so off we went to find more stuff!

Since the elementary school had been so successful, we decided to stick with the education theme, and we hit up a high school having a sale. They were raising money for their marching band, and I figured they’d be just old enough to want to get rid of their toys because they were “too old for them now”. A) the sale sucked B) the dork manning the toy area said something I hate: “Are these for your kids?” Look, I understand that it’s a valid question, but I feel we live in a world today where that’s almost as bad as asking a woman if she’s pregnant. Does it matter if they’re for my kids? Sometimes, I’ve gone along with the “lie”, and said “Yeah”, but then they usually ask me how old my kids are, and I stand there stuttering. Yes, I’m either buying this for me, or I might resell it, but we’re not here for my life story. We’re here for my dollars and your “junk”.

Anyway, since the sale sucked, we continued on to a neighborhood sale that claimed it was going to have 30+ families. Once we got there, it became apparent that our lack of knowing Japanese might hurt us. Everyone there was Japanese, and looked at us like “Where did you come from?” Still, I like Japanese stuff (sentai!), so I didn’t care. Almost immediately, SF picked up a Kamen Rider OOOs game thing. I describe it as such because we still don’t know what it is. It had cards and tokens, and little figurines, and was boxed like a board game. Still, my eBay searches have proved fruitless in identifying it. He also picked up some of those plug-n-play joystick games. After rummaging through some boxes, I found these:

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If you’ve been here before, you know I like Power Rangers. My favorite season, however, was Power Rangers: RPM which was based on the Japanese Engine Sentai Go-Onger. These are essentially yearbooks to the series, highlighting all the characters and tech from the show. Despite finding his Kamen Rider game, said he was so jealous that I found these. I’d promise to show y’all the interiors at a later date, but I always suck at fulfilling that promise.

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After finishing up at that sale, we decided to take the trip down to Arlington for the flea market. Bottom line, it sucked this month. It sucked so bad that I probably won’t go back until around September or so. Everything either wasn’t up my alley or it was overpriced. I wish I had taken a pic of the messed up Marvel Legends Dr. Strange that a woman had the gall to charge $2 for. If you think that’s not too high, look at this Chris Jericho figure to see the quality of her wares:

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WHAT HAPPENED TO Y2J?!!!! It’s like he was the victim of a bulldog gone HORRIBLY wrong! And she was charging money for this that didn’t have “cents” in the price.

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This was another swindle. I’ve run into this a lot since this yard sale season started. Resellers, take note: if you’re going to completely overcharge for something you found in a thrift store, at least have the decency to remove the thrift store’s price from it before you try to sell it. Look in the lower left side corner, where it says “$1.61”. Yeah, I know that price, because it’s the same charcoal pencil used by the thrift store I frequent. If she got it on a Monday or Thursday, it only cost her $1.20. She, however, wanted $15. I don’t begrudge her, as that’s not an insane asking price, but it’s a matter of laziness and lack of professionalism. Then again, it is a flea market, so maybe I expect too much…

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I almost pulled the trigger on these. I used to have the whole Dick Tracy series except for The Brow and The Blank, but never found the cars. Forever, I thought maybe they were an urban legend. I eventually say one in the wild, but it was too high. This guy was only charging $30 per car, which wasn’t too bad at all. I only had $30 with me, though, and I didn’t want to blow it all on one thing. So, I left them there. Not really regretting it, but they were still awesome to see. Of course, once I finally did buy something, I got swindled.

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Few people know this about me (especially online, since I only rant about toys and comics), but I’m a bit of a watch whore. I’ve been this way since I was 2, and I just LOVE watches. Most people replace the battery when their watches stop, but I just buy a new watch. I go through watches the way most people go through cell phones. I just love them, and I love getting new, unique ones. So, I was intrigued when I saw the watch above. The girl at the table said it was an LED watch, and tried to show me the sample. Unfortunately, someone had dropped it, so the LEDs didn’t work so well. I thanked her, and SF and I moved on to where we saw the Dick Tracy cars. Once that was done, I went back to the watch table, and the husband was there now. I asked a few more questions, and sensing my skepticism, he said he’d sell me the sample for $5 instead of the $10 they charged for new ones. I said, “No, someone dropped the sample! She just told me that.” He assured me that he was actually wearing that one, and had just opened the sample once he got back to the table. I searched the girl’s face to see if “fear of a beating/a smirk” crept across her visage. I couldn’t read her, so I agreed to the $5. He even said, “You can test it if you want”, but I was so tired of the place, I just said “I trust you” and I left. Stupid, stupid Will…

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How it works: push the button on the side, and the time is supposed to show up in LEDs inset in the band. First off, it’s not a watch you can really wear in the daylight. Nor can you wear it in the rain. Once I tested it, I realized this was the sample. Oh, that’s supposed to read “12:55” up there. Then, I looked at the manual, and realized it was probably shitty to begin with. Forget dropping it – this thing is crappy through its mere existence. Look at this shit:

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If the manual to your new anything reads like a spam comment on a blog, you might’ve gotten swindled!

In all, it was a good weekend, but you’ve just seen the low points of our travels. Oh, and I lost Free Comic Book Day trivia. Apparently, I didn’t know where Dr. Strange was born. SF told me he wasn’t sure he wanted me to give him a ride after my loss. So, I left him there! No, I didn’t. Or did I?

02nd May2013

Thrift Justice – That Figures

by Will

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I’m an action figure guy. That really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but just in case you’re new here, I thought I’d let you in on that little tidbit. So, when thrifting, the main thing I’m looking for is some sort of cool action figure – usually to fill holes in my many odd collections. Here are a few I’ve found recently.

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Everyone remembers the various Playmates Star Trek lines, but the earlier Galoob TNG series gets no love.  Released in 1988, these 4-ish inch figures depicted all of the bridge crew (except Counselor Troi). There was even a role play Phaser and a shuttlecraft playset. When the line first came out, my mom bought my Riker and the Phaser from People’s Drug (it was the precursor to CVS in the DC area). I loved that Phaser, but it went through HELL. I still have it, but it doesn’t have a prayer of working, and I lost ever part that could be lost on it. Anyway, due to a time rift, Riker traveled back in time to fight alongside the G.I. Joes. Later on, I got Picard from a friend, and he joined Riker in his 20th century adventures. So, when I saw Worf (in his rare Lt. JG colors), I had to snatch him up. The odd thing about these figures was that their Phasers were molded into their hands. This is fine for Away Team missions, as they’re always at the ready. In bridge scenarios, however, it’s like everyone’s expecting a Shakespearean ending to things.

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This is probably the only Wonder Woman villain who matters. Get away from me, The Mary Sue! You know it’s true. Anyway, I bought the “classic” Cheetah, as she’s the one who resonated with me from the old Secret Society of Supervillains comic. I really had no desire to buy this one, but I found her for a dollar, so why not?

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I’ve mentioned it a ton of time, but The Undertaker is my favorite WWE character. A lot of people are over him, but that’s exactly why I love him: his gimmick has no idea still “working” in the current WWE climate. It’s like when kids are way too old to still believe in Santa, yet their parents still go along with it (I was that kid, btw). The current WWE Universe is comprised of stars who USE THEIR REAL NAMES! If I were a wrestler, I’d probably be Bruce Williams or some shit like that. Yet, in the midst of all of these steroid case prettyboys, there’s a dude who we’re still supposed to believe comes from Hell, has a mangled brother, gets his power from an urn, and continues to return from the dead more times that Jesus, Jean Grey, and Wolverine combined! Anyway, the larger figure hails from the late Jakks era, after Taker married Sara, hence the neck tattoo. I’ve said it a thousand times, but my favorite Undertaker quote comes from the WWE Unscripted coffee table book. They ask him, “Given the success rate of wrestling marriages, what happens if you break up?” Even though it’s in print, you can still hear his voice saying it: “I guess I’ll have to find another girl named Sara.” Well, they did break up, but his next girl was named Michelle, and he had the tattoo removed. Next to him is a mini Taker who came from one of those little playsets. I just like him ’cause his tiny tongue is hanging out like a puppy.

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I never really collected a ton of Batman: The Animated Series toys while they were out. There were too many overlapping toylines, so I was still busy with the Batman Returns line when B:TAS debuted, and then I moved on to Power Rangers. Still, today’s kids have got no love for the show, as there have been 2 other animated Batman incarnations since then. So, these are kinda plentiful in thrift stores today. Usually, it’s just a bunch of beat up Jokers, but every now and then you can find a Scarecrow, or a Man Bat, or even a Catwoman. So, I’m currently fortifying my villains. I already had Riddler, Joker, and Two-Face from the old days, but I’ve since picked up Man Bat, Catwoman, Penguin, and this guy right here.

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I like Iron Man armors. I wasn’t always that way. Like most comic fans, I didn’t give a shit about Tony Stark until those movies started coming out. Then, I went back and read the “iconic” Iron Man stories (which reminds me – I really need to start doing Adventures West Coast again!), and realized I had been wrong. So, I’ve found myself buying up all the various armor figures I find. I think I have all of the 4″ Iron Man 2 Comic Series figures, and I’ve snatched up an cheap Marvel Legends I can find. I kinda hate that Rhodey’s missing his mask, but it’s still a cool figure.

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MEGO! I got this thing for $2. I was so shocked when I saw him, and snatched him off the peg. I couldn’t believe I’d gotten an authentic Mego, in pretty good shape for such a low price. I couldn’t wait to get on Twitter and boast to all of my followers about him. Until I got him home. You see, his left knee is busted, but you could really tell outside of the suit. So, he casually sits around, hoping that trouble comes to him. Still, he’s a good looking figure!

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I recently said that I secretly collect Marvel Legends movie figures, but that wasn’t the whole story – I also collect ML X-Men. As long as they’re not retail, I’ll pretty much buy anyone who’s even tangentially related to the X-Men franchise. This Storm has some stray marker streaks on her, but she knew what to expect when she left home wearing white after Labor Day!

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Yay! Power Rangers! ‘Cause we don’t talk about them nearly enough on this site. Anyway, I hate the price point of the 4″ figures, so I only buy them used or in gift sets. That explains Super Samurai Green, Dekker, and Samurai Yellow. As for RPM Red, there’s another weird collection I have. Ya see, I used to buy each season’s team, but I got to an age where I didn’t care as much and fell behind. Still, the key ranger in ANY team is the red one. So, if I come across the Red Ranger for a series I don’t already have, I buy him. One day, I may continue to fill out that team, but Red’s really the only one who matters. And the big Lost Galaxy Red is a Super Legends figure, with the same articulation as the MMPR Red figure that’s currently hard to find in stores. He’s got some play wear, but if you’ve ever watched that season, the “battle damage” is on par with what Leo put that suit through.

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Finally, we’ve got the 6″ Flame On Human Torch from the FF movie line. Again, this is Marvel Legends compatible, and he was $1. So I had to get him, and now my FF team is complete!

So, there ya have it. What figures do y’all collect? Be sure to share that in the comments!

25th Apr2013

Thrift Justice – The One With All the DVDs

by Will

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Well, I pretty much showed my hand in the title, but this one’s all about DVDs. Back in the days of yore, I was what you might call a “DVD whore”. Hey, that rhymed! Anyway, if it was cheap enough, I’d buy it. I used to tape any and everything off TV, even though I’d never watch it again. I’d probably have done it with discs, had it been easy enough. If I found a movie that I’d seen and kinda liked, or had never seen, I’d buy it if it was under $10. And I’d buy the first season of ANY show. Now, I’ve got more DVDs than I’ll ever watch before I die, yet I can bring myself to get rid of them. Don’t have time to watch them, either, ’cause I have 39 hours of Burn Notice on the DVR I need to get through. So, needless to say, I’ve cut back a lot in recent years. Still, with thrift stores, I still find myself succumbing to amazing prizes where DVDs are concerned. So, I’ve added a few more to the collection in recent months, much to my disappointment in myself.

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I’m totally the kind to kiss & tell, but I’d like to think I might have something in common with Colt Seavers. I mean, I’d love to jump my truck over shit, and I’d hire Heather Thomas if given the chance. Anyway, I had to buy this. I love this show, and this was only $4. This was one of the first shows where they did they “Season 1 Part 1” shit, so it’s a nice deal to get the entire first season without having to buy 2 different sets.

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By this point, the “cool kids” had moved over to Fox Kids on Saturday mornings, but NBC ran all the steam out of the Chipmunks franchise. Once the whole pop star angle got tired, they decided to have the Chipmunks doing movie parodies, and the show was retitled Chipmunks Go To The Movies. It didn’t last long, nor was it very memorable, yet I had one episode on VHS – “Batmunk”. I had to get this DVD, as it has “Batmunk”, as well as “Star Wreck: The Absolutely Final Frontier”, and “Funny, We Shrunk The Adults”. I can finally get rid of that VHS tape! Yeah, I still have it, along with 21 tapes of Power Rangers episodes…

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I’ve never  understood why everyone raves over this show. Sure, I watched it, but it was never “destination television” for me. It was simply “the show Fox hasn’t gotten around to canceling yet”. I enjoyed it when it was on, but I’m amazed it has this rabid following now, signing up for Netflix JUST to watch the upcoming season. So, clearly I missed something. I found these for $3 each, so I had to do it. I found Season 1 a few months ago, so now I just need to carve out some time to get through them.

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This is basically “Knight Rider In The Air”, right? Children of the 80s love to reference this show, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it – this or that show that was “Knight Rider on a Motorcycle”. Sorry, but actual Knight Rider was good enough for me. After I did What’s the Scoop on UnderScoopFire’s podcast, I was mocked by the Twitter community for not knowing who “Stringfellow Hawk” was. Anyway, I swear I found these the very next week and figured, “Why not?” I mean, it’s worth is just to see that dude with the blacked-out glasses lens. He’s really on the show, right? Why he thought that was a better look than a regular old eye patch, I do not know.

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Surprising to many, I’ve only seen about 1/3 of Pixar’s output. I like 2D animation, I don’t go to many movies, and when I do go, I don’t want to deal with the squeals of children. At this point, I’ve only seen Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.,The Incredibles, and Up! That’s it. No Finding Nemo, No Wall-E, no Toy Story 3. Nothing. So, when I find cheap Pixar movies, I pick ’em up, even if they’re just investments in my future “Shut The Fuck Up On This Roadtrip, Kids” stockpile. I’m really weirded out by the concept of this movie, though. Who drives the cars? If they’re sentient, were they built, or were they put on this Earth by some kind of Car God? Are Click & Clack: The Tappet Brothers their Car Gods? Are there people in the stands, or are other cars the spectators? So many questions!

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If you’re new here, I like “bad” pop. No, I LOVE it! One of my favorite groups from the past 15 years was S Club 7/S Club from the UK. Over there, they had a weekly TV series, sold out tours, and movies. Here, their show aired on the Fox Family Channel (before ABC bought it), but they were nobodies here, so it didn’t really have any resonance. Well, right before they broke up, they released Seeing Double, a movie about clones or some shit. Their TV series was just as cheesy as The Monkees, so a movie about S Club clones doesn’t seem that farfetched. It’s unbelievably hard to find UK stuff in the US, as half the torrents don’t work, and the streaming sites are being taken down every week. I still haven’t seen The Inbetweeners Movie. Anyway, I think this was $2, so it was worth it to me. Even if it’s horrible, it can’t be as sad as half the group’s recent “comeback” attempts:

They didn’t even lure back any of the hot members! It’s just token black guy, chick who got kicked off Big Brother for calling someone a “Paki”, and the one who pulled a “Geri” a quit before the group broke up. Let’s just say folks weren’t exactly lining up to support them.

Welp, that’s it for this installment. Until next time, continue looking for treasure, but keep your hands off my shit. It’s mine!

19th Apr2013

West Week Ever – 4/19/13

by Will
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Who had the West Week Ever? Read on to find out!

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This week’s post is gonna be bitter. Maybe you’ll find some humor in it, but there’s some stuff I wanna get out. So, “hold on to yo’ butts!”

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Something’s been bothering me in the reseller world, and it’s only been exacerbated by the influx of shows like Pawn Stars, Toy Hunter, etc. Where to begin? OK, I’ve got an Avengers Helicarrier on Craigslist for $35. If you follow me on Twitter, you know what I really paid for it, but this price is still WELL below retail. So, the other night, I get this email:

Hello there! I saw your add at CL. Can you do 17? thanks!

FUCK. THIS. GUY.

If you don’t even know much about the item, know this: IT’S THREE FEET LONG! That’s $5.66 per foot. Even in real estate terms, that’s a joke!

I replied with,

That’s half what I’m asking. The art of negotiation is truly dead.

Then, he replied with something that always sets me off:

Im a retailer, I need some room to make money on it. $17? Im sorry I dont mean to insult you with my price offer.

I don’t give a fuck if you’re a retailer. That’s what I always hated about Pawn Stars – the whole, “Well, I’m running a business here, and I’ve gotta make a profit.” It assumes that the buyer is doing the seller a favor, which is only true in an emergency or drug fiend scenario. If I really needed money, and you were my last outlet, maybe you can lead the negotiations. However, outside of those situations, the seller should have the power. Your business and your profit aren’t my concern. With Toy Hunter, he’s offering 50% of what he feels he can get, but I’m just of the mindset of “Why don’t I just sell it myself?” Sure, he has connections and whatnot, but I’d eventually find a buyer, and I’d just sit on it until then.

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The buyer has already shown his hand by being interested, so don’t just give your shit away if you don’t like what he’s offering. Unless you just need to clear out space or truly need the money, you’re doing him the favor. His business DEPENDS on stock. He has more to lose than I do. Now, we’re not talking about some rare prototype here, but it’s all the same thing. At the end of the day, a retailer needs stock to sell. I run into this with Will’s World of Wonder. I scour Craigslist and whatnot, but I never go after something if it’s priced at a point where I don’t instantly think it’ll make money. I don’t haggle unless I’m buying multiple items, and then I’m just going for a “bundling” deal. I would never, however, go in at 50%. Even if uneducated in the market, the seller has already settled on a price they’d like to receive (even if they don’t think they’ll actually get it). It’s up for the seller to decide just how low they’re willing to go. I just think an initial 50% offer cuts everyone off at the knees, and I don’t think it would be as prevalent if reality shows weren’t teaching every “retailer” that that’s how to do it.

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While I’m being a drag, there’s something that still keeps me up at night. You see, back in college, I think I was a pretty shitty friend. I was in an a cappella group and glee club, and was always begging friends to come to my shit. On the flipside, I never went to theirs. I had friends who competed in ballroom dancing competitions who were ALWAYS at my stuff, and I didn’t see any of them dance until long after we’d graduated. It’s not that I didn’t want to support them, but I was just so self-centered. So, let’s apply that to the internet. I’ve spent a lot of time promoting my wares, while not always reading your posts. I’ve rectified that over recent months, as I like to get some interaction with my social media. Still, even not reading or listening, I still supported you by sharing your posts/pods with others. You’re my social circle, so I’ve come to know what I can expect from you in terms of blogging and podcasting. I’ve noticed 2 things from this, though: 1) if I don’t promote my stuff, who will? and 2) it doesn’t always go both ways. It’s a lot like gift giving – you should NEVER give a gift based on the belief that you will get one in return. That said, IT WOULD BE NICE. I’m not talking about material things here. There are things I do here, where you tell me you enjoy them, but you don’t share them. Why is that? Are you ashamed you enjoyed it? Are you ashamed to be known for reading my site? I recently visited someone’s site who essentially had a “How You Can Help Me” tab, asking readers to Like his posts on Facebook, post them to Reddit, etc. On the one hand, it rubbed me the wrong way that he felt he even had to write something like that. On the other, it clearly helped, as his engagement rates are off the charts. So, here we are. This isn’t directed to at all of you. Hell, if you’re reading this, it’s probably not even directed at you. What I’m saying is that I’m taking this personally. Classick Material over on the Cold Slither Podcast once said “We’re not taking attendance”, but I am. If you’ve ever said something like, “Well, you don’t even listen to my podcast”, take a minute and think about what you’ve done for me. The average time it takes to read one of my posts is about 01:09, while you expect me to dedicate 2 hrs of my life, listening to you talk? Are we a “community”, or am I just another hit to help your arbitrary stats? I’ve already been the change I wanted to see in the digital world, but I’m starting to think that’s just a cute fortune cookie concept. In wrestling terms, “Why won’t you put me over?”

How about some pop culture stuff, huh? Good.

Can someone please blow the lid off how people get paid from YouTube? I’m not a video guy, but it’s a closely guarded secret as to how people monetize their videos. This was brought to my attention here:

Did you watch the video? Touching, ain’t it? I had a discussion with Vincent over at The Robot’s Pajamas about this after it went viral. Leave it to me to be the downer. There are two ways to look at this video: on the one hand, it’s a nice “It Gets Better” tale. On the other, I worry about this guy because so much of his self-worth comes from external sources. I relate to him because of it. See how I berated some folks in the paragraph up there? Yeah, that came from this. Anyway, it’s interesting to wonder which followers/readers would step up to stop you from committing suicide. Don’t worry – this isn’t a cry for help. It’s just such an odd thing to think about – one that past generations never would’ve imagined. Still, the takeaway, however, is that I wanna know how he makes money!

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The other night, I was honored to be welcomed back by the guys at the Nerd Lunch Podcast (I’ll post the link when it goes live). We discussed 90s sitcoms, and I’m ashamed to admit that I failed to do any research before the ep. I honestly forgot that I received the outline (in case you’ve never emailed me, I’m the worst emailer who ever emailed. I wish everything could be done by tweet). As a result, I forgot about a few 90s shows that kinda haunt me. I wonder if anyone else remembers these.

The New WKRP

I wonder if Tawny Kitaen punched anyone in the face after this was taken…

First up, there’s The New WKRP In Cincinnati. While everyone’s probably seen the original, with Dr. Johnny Fever and Andy Travis, but not as many people flocked to the newer incarnation. I’m a big sucker for “Next Generation” shows like this and What’s Happening Now!!, so of course I was a fan. Kinda like Police Academy: The Series, the cast was comprised of the bare minimum of original cast members, just to lend credibility to the venture, while all the bigger stars were missing. So, we still got Les Nessman, Herb Tarlek, and Arthur Carlson, but gone were Venus Flytrap, Johnny Fever, Jennifer, Bailey, Andy, etc (though most would guest star at least once). It was also the mainstream debut of Mykelti Williamson (who would later star as “Bubba” in Forrest Gump), as station manager Donovan Aderhold. Seeing as it was the early 90s, most of the “humor” came from the fact that all these white people at a rock station were surprised that their boss was a black guy. The show only lasted 2 seasons because it was in syndication, and just wasn’t performing on a consistent level. I’ll never forgive them for their cliffhanger series finale, though – Donovan finally finds love, but his plane goes down and there was no hope of survivors. I think they were going for a M*A*S*H* moment, but people cared about M*A*S*H*.

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Another show haunts me due to its concept, despite the fact I forgot everything about it, including its name. You see, I remembered hearing about a sitcom starring a black family, which wasn’t anything new for the early 90s. There was a catch, however – this family lived in Archie Bunker’s old house. The final spinoff of the All in the Family franchise, the show was called 704 Hauser and was also produced by Norman Lear. Basically, Lear felt that America needed to have real discussions again, like they’d had during All in the Family‘s run. John Amos (of Good Times fame) played the patriarch, and he was pretty much just as pigheaded as Archie had been. The son was a disappointment, due to his conservative views and white girlfriend. Oh yeah – that girlfriend was played by Maura Tierney. So, the only footage that seems to survive online are the scenes in which she appeared (stalker alert!). The show only lasted about 6 episodes, but I still think it was an interesting concept. I don’t even think I watched it when it was on, but I wish it could have another shot. It was a CBS show, which really didn’t have a great black track record during that era. On Fox, it would’ve gotten a whole season, right after True Colors.

Links I Loved
Are Thrift Stores Running out of “Good Things” to Buy? The End of an Era? (Thrift Core) – I’m slightly biased, as my question was the basis of the post. Still, there’s some good conversation in the comments

The X-Men Cartoon that Wasn’t: Pryde of the X-Men (The Robot’s Pajamas) – I’ve always loved this cartoon, and Vincent did some detective work that I’d always been too lazy to do myself.

Visiting my bedroom circa 1995… (Branded In the 80s) – I’ve yet to determine if I’m laughing with Shawn or at him on this one, but it took a brave soul to post it.

Will There Be A Mild Mannered Reporter in “Man of Steel”? I’m No So Sure (Double Dumbass On You) – Jon has a pretty interesting theory on the development of Clark Kent in the upcoming Man of Steel. Honestly, I had no desire to see this film until I read this and saw the newest trailer.

One of them accomplished the amazing feat of being embarrassing on MTV, while another made nerds wet themselves over an overrated Star Wars filibuster. One of them, from a “show about nothing”, is about to train some turtles, while the other is “cunt punting” her way across the University of Maryland campus. Only one of them, however, had the West Week Ever.

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What you need to know – this email was forwarded from the listserv of the University of Maryland chapter of Delta Gamma sorority. Basically, “Julia” didn’t feel that her sisters were bringing all the boys to the yard – particularly the Sigma Nu fraternity guys with whom the sorority is matched. This is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. I clipped it from Gawker ’cause who knows how long it’ll be up:

If you just opened this like I told you to, tie yourself down to whatever chair you’re sitting in, because this email is going to be a rough fucking ride.

For those of you that have your heads stuck under rocks, which apparently is the majority of this chapter, we have been FUCKING UP in terms of night time events and general social interactions with Sigma Nu. I’ve been getting texts on texts about people LITERALLY being so fucking AWKWARD and so fucking BORING. If you’re reading this right now and saying to yourself “But oh em gee Julia, I’ve been having so much fun with my sisters this week!”, then punch yourself in the face right now so that I don’t have to fucking find you on campus to do it myself.

I do not give a flying fuck, and Sigma Nu does not give a flying fuck, about how much you fucking love to talk to your sisters. You have 361 days out of the fucking year to talk to sisters, and this week is NOT, I fucking repeat NOT ONE OF THEM. This week is about fostering relationships in the greek community, and that’s not fucking possible if you’re going to stand around and talk to each other and not our matchup. Newsflash you stupid cocks: FRATS DON’T LIKE BORING SORORITIES. Oh wait, DOUBLE FUCKING NEWSFLASH: SIGMA NU IS NOT GOING TO WANT TO HANG OUT WITH US IF WE FUCKING SUCK, which by the way in case you’re an idiot and need it spelled out for you, WE FUCKING SUCK SO FAR. This also applies to you little shits that have talked openly about post gaming at a different frat IN FRONT OF SIGMA NU BROTHERS. Are you people fucking retarded? That’s not a rhetorical question, I LITERALLY want you to email me back telling me if you’re mentally slow so I can make sure you don’t go to anymore night time events. If Sigma Nu openly said “Yeah we’re gonna invite Zeta over”, would you be happy? WOULD YOU? No you wouldn’t, so WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO IT TO THEM?? IN FRONT OF THEM?!! First of all, you SHOULDN’T be post gaming at other frats, I don’t give a FUCK if your boyfriend is in it, if your brother is in it, or if your entire family is in that frat. YOU DON’T GO. YOU. DON’T. GO. And you ESPECIALLY do fucking NOT convince other girls to leave with you.

“But Julia!”, you say in a whiny little bitch voice to your computer screen as you read this email, “I’ve been cheering on our teams at all the sports, doesn’t that count for something?” NO YOU STUPID FUCKING ASS HATS, IT FUCKING DOESN’T. DO YOU WANNA KNOW FUCKING WHY?!! IT DOESN’T COUNT BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN FUCKING UP AT SOBER FUCKING EVENTS TOO. I’ve not only gotten texts about people being fucking WEIRD at sports (for example, being stupid shits and saying stuff like “durr what’s kickball?” is not fucking funny), but I’ve gotten texts about people actually cheering for the opposing team. The opposing. Fucking. Team. ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID?!! I don’t give a SHIT about sportsmanship, YOU CHEER FOR OUR GODDAMN TEAM AND NOT THE OTHER ONE, HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO A SPORTS GAME? ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND? Or are you just so fucking dense about what it means to make people like you that you think being a good little supporter of the greek community is going to make our matchup happy? Well it’s time someone told you, NO ONE FUCKING LIKES THAT, ESPECIALLY OUR FUCKING MATCHUP. I will fucking cunt punt the next person I hear about doing something like that, and I don’t give a fuck if you SOR me, I WILL FUCKING ASSAULT YOU.

“Ohhh Julia, I’m now crying because your email has made me oh so so sad”. Well good. If this email applies to you in any way, meaning if you are a little asswipe that stands in the corners at night or if you’re a weird shit that does weird shit during the day, this following message is for you:

DO NOT GO TO TONIGHT’S EVENT.

I’m not fucking kidding. Don’t go. Seriously, if you have done ANYTHING I’ve mentioned in this email and have some rare disease where you’re unable to NOT do these things, then you are HORRIBLE, I repeat, HORRIBLE PR FOR THIS CHAPTER. I would rather have 40 girls that are fun, talk to boys, and not fucking awkward than 80 that are fucking faggots. If you are one of the people that have told me “Oh nooo boo hoo I can’t talk to boys I’m too sober”, then I pity you because I don’t know how you got this far in life, and with that in mind don’t fucking show up unless you’re going to stop being a goddamn cock block for our chapter. Seriously. I swear to fucking God if I see anyone being a goddamn boner at tonight’s event, I will tell you to leave even if you’re sober. I’m not even kidding. Try me.

And for those of you who are offended at this email, I would apologize but I really don’t give a fuck. Go fuck yourself.

For this post, mystery University of Maryland DG soror Julia had the West Week Ever.

10th Apr2013

Thrift Justice Road Trip – Hershey, PA

by Will

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Who cares if this happened 2 months ago? I know what you folks like, and I love spinoffs, so Thrift Justice Road Trip is BACK! I mentioned this back in West Week Ever, but the wife and I had a belated Valentine’s Day weekend in Hershey, PA. It was supposed to be a winery/antique mall tour, but the wineries seemed to dominate. Anyway, at the end of Day 1 we were able to meet up with my Twitter pal, @LamarRevenger at the Crossroads Antique Mall, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I don’t have a ton of pictures from this day, but here’s what I’ve got:

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There was a tempting case of MEGO figures. They didn’t know what they had, as there were figures from Space: 1999 labeled as “Star Trek: TNG”. I almost got the Penguin you see, but I knew that would open a can of worms. He wasn’t in the best shape, and to buy him would mean I’d have to get a Joker, and a Batman, and a Robin. MEGO is not easy to find in good condition, so I nipped it in the bud. Lamar debated on whether or not to get the Star Trek McCoy figure. He passed, but I think he went back to get it later on.

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I’m not a huge Muppets person, but I loved this phone. Kermit is straight chillin’, with the handset propped on his leg. Pimp!

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This made me think of Brian over at Cool and Collected. Look out, Bond! She ’bout to shoot you!

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Sometimes I forget how much I was into Dick Tracy back in 1991. This hand puppet was kind of cool, and I like how his two-way wrist radio is represented on it.

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This is FAR from an “antique”, but I know how some of y’all love your bootlegs and knock-offs.

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Here’s a nice little display of “rack toys”. I always refer to these as “Toys For Poor Kids” because, after the dawn of the “program-length commercial”, only a poor kid would be happy with something that’s not a tie-in to a cartoon or movie. Yeah, I’m a toy snob.

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I just thought this police car was sleek. I’m not a huge car guy, but every now and then I can appreciate a nice one. I loved this model.

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Finally, I love this phone because it looks like it’s a face, saying, “Oooo, he did WHAT?!”

Anyway, promotions and lodging were provided by The La Quinta Inn. Only at La Quinta can you get a good night’s sleep, and then come downstairs to a swanky Nickelodeon show. Just look at this place!

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There are more antique mall pics from that weekend, but I can’t give you everything at once! Stay tuned for a future installment of Thrift Justice Road Trip in Pennsylvania!!!

19th Mar2013

Thrift Justice – Power Rankings

by Will

thriftj

I had planned a Thrift Justice: Road Trip post for this week, but then The Robot’s Pajama’s had to go and do an antique store post. So, I’ll table it and go with Plan B. I need to clean out my Dropbox, and Power Rangers stuff brings all the boys to the yard. So, here are some Power Rangers things I’ve thrifted over the past few months. Yes, I save the Power Rangers stuff for it’s own, branded posts #marketing. Anyway, I’ve gotten spoiled because Power Rangers merch is fairly common in thrift stores these days. The whole disposal nature of it (new incarnation every year) means that you can almost time when you’re going to see stuff. As an added bonus, Power Rangers kids tend to be FANS, so you get an influx of the whole collection. You typically don’t find A zord – you find ZORDS. If I find a Zord at a thrift store, I will spend another hour frantically searching for the others that were surely donated along with it. With that in mind, I’m not sure I’ll ever pay retail for a Power Rangers item again.

 

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This is an interesting story, and probably deserves its own post; still, it serves as the real “meat” of this post. So, I was cruising Craigslist, and someone mentioned that they had some MOC Ninja Rangers for stale. Of course, learning from Brian over at Cool and Collected, I asked if she had anything else. Turns out her son was a huge fan, and she was a diligent mom. Apparently, he had everything both opened and carded. She had sold the Zords, but still had these MOC figures. She had tried to sell them on eBay, but didn’t really know what they were worth. By this point, she just wanted what she had paid, so I got them all for retail. 1995 retail. Yup, paid the price that was still on the sticker. And I thought I was gonna make a KILLING. And I thought wrong. The only real jewels here are the army builder Putties, Lord Zedd, and Goldar. Everyone else is the standard Monster of the Day, and few of those were very memorable. So, after listing them on Will’s World of Wonder, I decided to try my hand at selling them on eBay. And I sold them a few weeks ago…for the same price I paid for them. In fact, after eBay takes its cut, I’ll probably lose money. Womp womp. This is the problem with “shitting where you eat”. Power Rangers is MY thing. Sure, there are some items that have after market value (complete Megazords, Morphers, etc), the vast majority of it is disposable. Bandai’s good at that (look at the Ben 10 line). Even it being MOC, there’s still a small customer base unless I flew them to Power Morphicon or something. So, this was probably my last attempt at buying Power Rangers for resale. I’m going back to buying just for me, and that’s what you’ll see next.

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This is the Blue Dolphin Zord from Power Rangers Ninja Storm. That season was Disney’s first, and I loved it despite what fandom thinks of it. Mainly, I think I just love the theme song. Anyway, this is my first Ninja Storm zord, so now I need to track down the other 2 to build the Ninja Storm Wind Megazord. I used to hate the idea of a 3-zord Megazord (this was the first season of that), but it definitely makes them easier to complete!

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 This is the Mystic Phoenix Zord. I’ve said it before, but I’ve never seen a single episode of Power Rangers Mystic Force. I was defeated by the combined forces of premium cable and my lack of love for sword and sorcery shit.

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 This is an arm for the SPD Megazord. If you read this post, then you know that I’m now 3/5 of the way to completing this Megazord.

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 Here’s how thrift stores are weird: here you have two zords. However, these two zords were attached at the time, and I guess the staff didn’t realize it. So, I got this “combo” for $1.50. Again, since Power Rangers Jungle Fury‘s Jungle Pride Megazord was another 3-zord Megazord, I’m 2/3 of the way done here.

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 Here’s an interesting case of how some thrift trips connect to others, and you’d never guess it would happen. In this post, I bought 2/3 of the Power Rangers Jungle Fury Jungle Master Megazord, yet the Yellow Penguin (which forms the leg/foot) was missing. I had no reason to believe that I’d ever really find it, but I wasn’t going to pass up on 2/3 of a zord (especially since it could still stand without the penguin). So, imagine my surprise a few months later when I found this guy in a thrift store grab bag. Oddly enough, I didn’t even know what it was. I looked it and thought “This looks Power Rangers in nature”. I took a risk and bought it. Once I got home, I realized it slid right into its slot on the Jungle Master, and I ended up with the completed zord you see here:

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 Here’s the Armadillo Zord from Power Rangers Wild Force. I love this season, as the zords are all die-cast metal – a far cry from the cheap plastic of the recently released Megaforce Megazord. He serves as an alternate set of legs for the Wild Force Megazord that I showed you here.

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 I recently had a Thrift Fail (which I’m sure I’ll get around to writing about soon), and the only thing of real value in the lot was this guy. This is the Dozer Driver from Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. This was one of those seasons with, like, 87 zords, and I seem to have acquired every single arm and leg. I still haven’t gotten a “core” zord, so I can’t form any of the Megazords. So, in terms of Operation Overdrive, I’m always a bridesmaid, but never a bride.

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This is the Power Rangers Wild Force Growl Phone, which is probably my least favorite morpher in PR history. I tend to hate the cell phone morphers because it’s just so…normal. I like crazy wristmounted things with lights and signs. I don’t want something just kinda looks obsolete compared to comparable tech of the day. I especially hate this one because it had the added gimmick of being a transformer. The phone, for some reason, turns into a bastardized version of a four-legged animal during the morph sequence. Needless to say, this “fun” doesn’t translate to the toy.

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This is the Senturion Synergizer from Power Rangers Turbo. I tend to love role play devices if they were actually used in the show. The Blue Senturian was a bit of a goober, but I still thought this badge/gun/sword was a cool concept.

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The Samurai Megablade, from Power Rangers Samurai. Oh, Bandai! This thing only exists because Bandai wanted America to make changes so they could make more toys. So, we ended up with the unnecessary  Mega Mode suits for Zord Cockpit shots, and the whole Megazord was controlled by these transforming swords. This thing sold for about $24, depending on where you went. I got this for $0.90. Yes, cents. I don’t even care that it has “BJ” written all over the blade. While I’m sure those are the initials of the prior owner, I like to pretend the Rangers had a really naughty finisher that never made it to air.

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 Here’s Aero Rescue 3 from Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. Yeah, it’s been beat to Hell, but I kinda like that. If Power Rangers ever had a Syfy incarnation produced by Ronald D. Moore, this is how it would look. It has probably taken me the longest to acquire the Lightspeed Rescue zords, as those kids have long ago donated those toys. With this, however, I’m now 4/5 of the way done with the Lightspeed Megazord, as you’ll see here (Aero Rescue 3 forms the head):

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 Above, you saw the Mystic Phoenix, and this is the Mystic Minotaur from the same Megazord. Since it forms the torso, I’m well on my way, but I’m still only 2/5 of the way to completing this one.

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This is another great example of Thrift Karma. Remember Operation Time Dig? If you remember, I ended up with a Red Dragon Thunderzord head that I had no clue what to do with. It was part of the haul, so I kept it. Fast forward six months. Someone on Craigslist was selling her kid’s Power Rangers stuff, and I saw the Red Dragon Thunderzord in the pics – WITHOUT THE HEAD! I’m ashamed to admit I paid WAY more than I should have for this thing, but I think I just wanted to see the transaction through to the end, as there had been a lot of drama and back & forth. I don’t even need this thing, so I’m definitely selling him. I just loved that it all came together unexpectedly.

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 I missed most of the Disney seasons, as I didn’t have cable. So, whenever I see the DVDs on the cheap, I snatch them up. After all, we’re a LONG way from these seasons being collected. I’ll just buy the box sets once they’re available and chuck these. I want you to notice something cute/sad about the “Joining Forces” SPD cover. It’s signed by “Lunar Wolf” and “SPD Red”. First off, Lunar Wolf wasn’t even a character in that series. Second, it’s clear these were just suit actors at a mall. Back during the height of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the “Rangers” used to do mall tours. Sure, if you lived in LA, you MIGHT get the real ones. Not in Bethesda, MD, however. I went to White Flint Mall, and ended up meeting the Red and Black Rangers. Of course, I knew they weren’t the real ones (especially since they wouldn’t take off their helmets), but to add insult to injury, they signed autographs as “Go Go Red Ranger!” Ugh.

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 This is the Triceratops Zord from Power Rangers RPM‘s Paleomax Megazord. It’s funny to me when later seasons “go back to the original”. Like, you see this and say, “That don’t look like Billy’s Triceratops”, as if MMPR was the end all, be all of sentai footage. Anyway, I’ll probably never complete this Megazord, as it’s obscure as Hell.

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Another Operation Overdrive zord, this is the Drill Driver. Again, no torso zord, so no Megazord yet from this season. I actually bought this from a guy in a facebook toy group. I didn’t get ripped off, but of course I ended up finding another in a thrift store a few weeks later.

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 Scroll up. See that 2-Zord combo I got for $1.50? Well, I thought that this guy would complete it. The same facebook guy sold this to me, and I thought, “Ha! Another Megazord completed!” I was wrong. In one of the dumbest moves I’ve ever encountered (and Bandai’s done a LOT of dumb stuff), Power Rangers Jungle Fury had the Deluxe Jungle Fury Megazord AND the Transforming Jungle Fury Megazord. In terms of scale, the difference is almost negligible. They basically look the same. But they don’t combine the same. So, now I’ve got 2/3 of one Jungle Force Megazord, and 1/3 of another – they are both the SAME Megazord. So, I guess the race is on to see which one gets finished first.

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So, here you go: I’ve assembled all of these guys purely through thrifting. Originally, they were each around $30-40, and I paid a fraction of that much for all of them here. It’s actually quite the treasure hunt, to come home and add another piece to my “puzzles”. Anyway, if I bought these at retail, I’d assmble them, put them on a shelf, and they’d collect dust. Kind of a waste of $40. Buying them used, however, I’m not as much of a stickler for condition, and it gives me a nice sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, thanks for playing our game, and tune in next time when I’ll talk about…well, I haven’t decided yet. Just come back, ‘K?

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