New Year, New Old Things

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It’s a new year. I think it’s time for the type of post I haven’t done in a long time. Time to look at all the random crap I’ve collected over the past few months. Given that yard sale season has been long over with, I’ve been mainly finding crap at thrift stores and antique malls. I’ve discovered antique malls are kind of a secret place to find random 1980s toys for cheap(ly enough).

First up is that amazing Nickelodeon alarm clock. Three bucks at the thrift store. It regularly sells eBay for around $100. Wait, what? How is a 1995 alarm clock worth $100? I have no idea why, how or what, except I’ll say that even though I was a teenager and in high school by the mid-nineties, even I feel a tiny nostalgia for the mid-nineties Nick. For the people who were kids in the era— nope, I still have no idea where the hell they get a hundred dollars for an alarm clock.

I also have no idea what is compelling me to keep it instead of cashing in my instant lotto ticket on eBay. Instead, I’ve set it on my bedside end table where I feel oddly comforted by the gaudy purple plastic and neon green slime nightlight. I actually needed an alarm clock anyway, and I just like this one. Bonus points for waking up to the alarm of a rocket ship taking off, followed by a bugle horn, followed by a bouncy spring, followed by the classic nineties Nick jingle.

Next: my favorite action figure in all of my collection.

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These are crappy bootleg figures that are either supposed to be Masters of the Universe or wrestling, or some strange hybrid thereof. All I know is that I have Hulk Hogan on He-Man’s body–and not one, but two of them, albeit with various crappy paint jobs—and you can easily see why it’s my favorite action figure. Found these guys at a thrift store for about a quarter a piece.

Here’s a cool story to get any collector salivating:

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I found this Brooks Robinson-signed baseball at a thrift store. It was inside of big bag of grubby other baseballs. I noticed one of them was signed. Didn’t know by who, know nothing about baseball, but for a buck for the entire bag, I figured it would make a good story if it was in fact signed by somebody cool. In fact, Brooks Robinson is pretty cool. I might get the signature authenticated, but I’m certain it’s legit given comparisons to pictures and just considering the naturalness and fluidity of pen lines on the ball itself.

For now I’ve just been enjoying it on my “collectible balls” shelf.

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Onto my recent antique mall finds.

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I picked up these three puzzles for eight dollars a piece — a little higher in price than what I’d normally pay, but see, collecting is like going out to restaurants. Some people prefer restaurants with white table cloths and mineral water. I collect stuff like I’m going to the Sizzler for the $9.99 steak and lobster night. Eight dollars for a puzzle puts us somewhere in Applebee’s territory.

Still, I dig these puzzles. I’m even doing them. The wife is making fun of me for doing kid’s puzzles, but I’m telling you, a 200-piece DinoRiders puzzle is no joke for someone with latent ADHD.

Let’s have a closer look at the gorgeous artwork:

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Another antique mall find: Sega stuff!

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Strangely enough, I’ve never found any original Sega Master System stuff in all of my years of collecting. We even had a Sega Master System growing up, but it was so obscured by my Nintendo/Genesis/Super Nintendo obsession, that I barely remember playing the SMS for five minutes. No clue what happened to it, but there isn’t a single scrap of evidence that we ever even owned it. I guess it was sold at a yard sale and forgotten.

So I’m excited to finally own some things with that weird graphing-paper background. I paid $20 for the light phaser in the box, which puts me in a restaurant where the utensils are wrapped in gold-lined cloth. Also found two games for a buck each.

One of them had this amazing poster inside:

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Happy New Year everyone. My New Years resolutions are to:

- read more books, write, exercise, go outside and enjoy existing, put together that DinoRiders puzzle and feel satisfied forever

- clean the house (that is, to make our spare storage rooms into actual rooms that you could like, go in)

- make the basement (which is my den of 1980s crap) into more of a family room (right now that vaguely means it’s less of my eight year old self’s dream world and more of a place where the wife might watch TV occasionally or something.)

- maybe organize the shed. maybe.

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15 responses to “New Year, New Old Things

  1. Wow, best $3 find on that alarm clock! I can’t believe it’s going for so much on eBay. The graph paper SMS design always bugged me. The carts are pretty lame looking, too. Always felt it was a missed opportunity– they could have come up with some awesome box art (or some awesomely bad box art a la Megaman)!

  2. Splinter does not look amused in that TMNT puzzle. “What have I told you guys about eating pizza in my van?”

  3. Great finds! I can’t believe that alarm clock goes for so much on eBay! I didn’t have one, but I remember a friend of mine did and it did not exactly work well.

  4. I have two MOTU puzzles from my childhood still!

  5. You find the coolest stuff! I got some Yogi Bear puzzles off Etsy, but I think I need a TMNT one now, too.

  6. Happy New Year, Pizza. Enjoy your wonderful treasures!

  7. Nice Cringer/Battlecat in the background. Do you read comics? MOTU just came out with a new comic series.

  8. The clock is certainly a super cool find. I can’t imagine it works all that great but then again perhaps back then it wasn’t really worth or bought for $100; ya know how it is….. the price of nostalgia i assume is where the $100 on Ebay price came from. none the less, awesome find. The hulk Hogan action figures had me in hysterics!

  9. Nice finds! I have that bootleg Hulk Hogan and what I guess is supposed to be Andre the Giant, though it’s Andre by way of Larry from the Three Stooges. They make me laugh.

    Happy New Year! I love reading your blog.

  10. Here’s one to keep your eye out for: it also used the He-Man mold but it was actually really cool (from what I remember). It had a clear plastic chest with water and glitter inside–when you pressed on his crotch it made the glitter swirl up and float around. He had a devil’s head with horns but all black and white, and his clothes were all black and white too. I have no idea what his name was or the brand but he was one generic toy that rocked my world back in the 80s.

  11. Speclatron. And yes, they are awesome. I have the skull guy, Dethlor. I found him in a bin of dollar figures at an indoor flea market. I quickly threw the dollar at the lady and giggled all the way home, because these guys are crazy rare.

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