Much to everyone’s delight (or dismay?), here’s another post already. There must be something in the water, because I’ve also got another post that’s simmering on the back burner as I write this one.

Today, I am going to blather on about thrift stores. I used to do this in my Livejournal from time to time, but I haven’t been junk hunting in quite a while. Since I had a few dollars in my pocket and some gas in my tank, I decided to go do just that.

I’ll start by saying that it’s actually quite difficult to find anything of value in thrift stores these days. Sure, you can find old things, but…mostly things that are old in that obsolete, halfway-functioning, worn-out way. Stuff that should probably be thrown away instead of sold.

Also, awesome 80s toys are sort of rare in these places nowadays. (I blame eBay.) I have gotten lucky before though, and that’s what keeps me going back.

Here are the things I’m usually looking for when I go to these places:

1. Toys. Older toys are preferable, but if it’s cute and cheap I’ll typically buy it.
2. Unique VHS tapes. I also look for the home-recorded kind, because those often have cool commercials.
3. Kids’ books. I try to find ones that I had as a kid, but that’s not necessary.
4. Anything that’s old and quirky or otherwise catches my eye. Like knick-knacks or what-have-you.

The first place I went today was the nearest Goodwill. Let me tell ya, if you’re looking for cool old shit, do not go to this place. You’ll find plenty of shit, lots of which is old, but very, very far from being cool. I swear to God all they have is racks and racks and racks of clothes– which isn’t a bad thing, but they never have anything that fits me or looks decent –and four walls full of shelves that are packed with cups, glasses, plates, and useless odds and ends.

In the toy department, this Goodwill fails utterly because it DOESN’T HAVE ONE. How can you be a thrift store and not have a damn toy section?!

The VHS section was too sad to even talk about.

The books section was a complete nightmare, so I didn’t even bother trying to look through the kids’ books. Damn kids not knowing how to put things back on the shelf properly.

And quirky things? Well…they had a pile of records, most of which were from people nobody’s ever heard of. But they did have a couple that stood out.

One of them was called Sesame Street Fever. The jacket was covered in images of Grover and Bert and Ernie wearing white polyester leisure suits. The other was that Mickey Mouse Disco record that every kid in America had a copy of. Living in the 1970s must have been…interesting.

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I seriously considered picking them up just for the novelty of owning such ridiculous things, but the records didn’t have any prices on them, I didn’t feel like tracking someone down to ask about it, and I don’t have a record player anyway. I really hope I’m not going to regret the decision to leave them behind.

So, overall, Goodwill sucks ass and I don’t know why I keep trying to find things there.

Next, I went to this little bitty thrift store and I really wish I hadn’t. There was no one in sight when I went in, and it was silent. I was sufficiently creeped out. Just as I was going to leave, the owner came out from the back of the store. He asked me a bunch of semi-personal questions and then told me he was looking to hire someone. I said I wasn’t looking for a job, because I’m not, and I just wanted to get out of there.

But I didn’t leave empty-handed. For 50 cents, I got one of those Christmas-y Baby Fozzie plushies that McDonald’s sold in 1988. Here’s what he looks like, except mine is missing his hat. Sadface.

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This thrift store failed in all categories. AND it was uncomfortable. I don’t think I’m ever going back there again.

Next up is Ultimate Thrift Store. Pretty pretentious name if you ask me.

Toys? They had plenty but they were all uninteresting and/or ugly. LOTS of naked Barbies. Also, just about every single thrift store does that thing where they stuff a bunch of random, unrelated toys into a plastic bag, seal it up and mark it “$2.98”. And it has a note on it that says that it can’t be sold if the bag is opened. I hate this practice so damn much. I can understand why they do it, but still.

Books? Couldn’t find any, but I could have just missed them.

VHS tapes? They had plenty of them, but none were really of interest to me. Except for the home-recorded ones. They had a couple bags full of them that were priced at $1.98, but it was more of this “DON’T OPEN THE BAG DAMMIT” crap. One bag had a bunch of recordings that dated back to the early 90s (according to the labels), mostly of movies and stuff. Another bag only had one tape that was labeled. I thought about getting one of them, but I couldn’t decide which one, and buying these things is a pretty big gamble. You either get a goldmine or a pile of uselessness. So I left them there. Sigh.

Oh, and as for other interesting things…well, they had this VCR that I probably would have bought, but the power cord was cut off! Eff that noise. Even if it is only a dollar, I don’t have the means with which to put on a new power cord. I would’ve liked to have had that thing, too.

Lastly, I hit up Unique Thrift Store. Another bad name, since it was pretty much exactly like all the other stores I’ve been to.

However, I can’t complain too much because this is where I really scored.

Their toy department was loaded with those bags, and I finally decided to look at some of them. One had a big white Pound Puppy in it and a little black one, and a Miss Piggy plushie like the Fozzie one I got. But the little Pound Puppy’s nose was coming off, and the other toys in the bag looked pretty forgettable, so I kept browsing.

Another one caught my eye– it had a Care Bear in it. I took a closer look, thinking about how I don’t really like to buy Care Bears because they’re almost always the new, dumb ones and HOLY SHIT WAIT A MINUTE. This Care Bear was not a newer one. This sucker was VINTAGE. Its name is Good Luck Bear, so it’s green and has a clover on it. I could tell it was old by the different face and the funny lock of “hair” on top of its head. Its right eye is fixed in a permanent wink as if to say, “You know you wanna take me home, baby.”

Here’s what it looks like. Thank you eBay.

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So now I was torn. Pound Puppy and Miss Piggy plus a bunch of other toys I didn’t want, or VINTAGE CARE BEAR? In the end, I went with the Care Bear and was pleasantly surprised to find a circa-1980s Odie plushie hidden in there, along with a few other random cute things and only a few that were lame, including Beanie Babies of Donkey and Puss in Boots from Shrek. Who needs those bastards when I have VINTAGE CAAAARE BEEEAR.

Why am I so excited about VINTAGE CARE BEAR? Because I only paid three dollars for it. These things typically go for at least ten or more on the internet, not including shipping. Victory is mine.

Other than that awesome find, though…this thrift store was about as boring as the rest of ’em. What’s odd is they also had VCRs with the power cords cut off. Okay, now I’m wondering what sick reason they have for circumcising these poor machines. Why even sell them if you’re going to do that? I mean, I guess if you need VCR parts they’d be worth the money, but still.

Also, a lot of their other small appliances were grossly overpriced. They wanted ten bucks for a rice cooker. I can get a brand new one for fifteen to twenty dollars. Who do they think they’re fooling here? Not me, that’s for sure. They also wanted twelve dollars for a thirty-year-old food processor, which is pretty hilarious. Mark it down to five and then we’ll talk.

Anyway, junk hunting sure does get frustrating sometimes, but there have actually been very few times that I haven’t come home with anything. I think VINTAGE FUCKING CARE BEAR OMG was definitely worth all the bullcrap I went through today.

Well, that’s it for that! Expect a post in the next day or so relating to everyone’s favorite thing: food.

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