Posts from the ‘toys’ Category

Nostalgiathon 2009 #1: Thrift Store Finds

I’ve mentioned before that here in Norman, finding cool 80s stuff is kind of difficult. Today, I went and hit a couple of thrift stores, not really expecting to find anything, but I did!

First, I went to the local Salvation Army store. Toys rarely turn up here; I don’t know if they even accept them anymore. They mostly have a lot of clothes, random knick-knacks and especially 1970s furniture, which is kind of neat in its own way, but it’s difficult to collect furniture. (However, I did buy my dinette set there!)

A while back, I did find something cool here, but I couldn’t buy it because I didn’t have 20 bucks at the time– a Betamax machine! It was huge and hefty, a real relic. I wanted it just for the novelty of owning one, but even if I’d had the 20 dollars, I doubt that I actually would have purchased it, since I have become something of a practical person. I only have so much space, and I only have one Beta tape anyway (which I also bought simply for the novelty factor). Still, it’s kind of sad that I couldn’t get it.

Anyway. After leaving there empty-handed, I decided to go hit another store on the other side of town: Outreach Thrift Store. I used to go there frequently to look for clothes, dishes, sheet sets, stuff like that, but I hadn’t gone there for quite some time. It’s a nice place and things are generally pretty clean and organized. Until today, I had never scored any old stuff there except for maybe a couple of children’s books.

I went through some clothes, didn’t really find anything that caught my eye, so I went over to the books, and didn’t see anything there either. Then I spied a big pile of plushies and stuffed animals. I didn’t expect to find anything, so I was only halfway looking at them. I found a cute stuffed rabbit, so I picked it up to look it over and in doing so, unearthed a treasure: ANOTHER VINTAGE CARE BEAR!

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It’s Cheer Bear, which I also own a non-vintage version of. She’s in very nice shape and cost me two dollars– a teensy bit pricey for this sort of thing but definitely not unreasonable. I tucked her under my arm and went over to the little room near the back of the store where they keep the housewares.

I don’t really remember what I was looking for in here; I think I was just browsing for the sake of browsing and enjoying the air conditioning. Then it jumped out at me: a glass Garfield mug!

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McDonald’s sold these in the 80s, and I found one a few years back, but the shop wanted too much money for it. I wasn’t going to pass up this sucker, because they were selling it for 29 fucking cents! 29 cents barely gets you anything of value anymore, but today, it got me a damned Garfield mug! I looked to see if there were any more; sadly, there were not. But still, what a great find!

I also bought an old blender. Yeah, I know, not my usual fare. It’s an Osterizer Galaxie, one of those things that used to be in everyone’s kitchen back in the 70s and 80s.

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I needed a blender, and they said this one works fine, so I figured, what the hell?

After killing about an hour searching the web for info about these babies, I decided to try it out by tossing in some ice cubes and water. The results? Not bad for an appliance that’s probably older than I am. The thing certainly isn’t quiet, but it blends, and it even kinda smashed up the ice cubes. Plus, it has vintage charm, and best of all, it only cost me six dollars. I call it a win.

Non-Thrift Store Adventures

Junk hunting is not so easy in the lovely city of Norman, Oklahoma. I mean, you can find plenty of junk, but when I say I’m going to go “junk hunting”, I really mean that I’m going digging for retro treasure, not random broken useless things or out-of-style clothing that doesn’t fit.

So, I got my “junk hunting” fix in a different way. I went to Hastings.

If you live in the Norman area and you love DVDs, random movie merchandise, and weird novelty items, the place to go is Hastings. Oh yeah, and they sell music, books, comics, electronics, and video games too. And Japanese candy, but I’ll talk about that some other time.

I haven’t had the chance to blow money at Hastings in a while, so while we were there picking up a gift for someone else, I took the opportunity to browse around.

First, I found this Luigi figure and I had to get it, because Luigi is awesome. Does he count as “retro” though, since Mario Bros. is still very much a part of the public consciousness and they make new games all the time? You be the judge.

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Then I went over to the DVD racks, which is where I spend most of my time when I go to Hastings. They buy used DVDs/CDs/books/etc., so sometimes you can score something great without breaking the bank. On this trip, after some debate, I decided to pick up:

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I felt like my DVD collection was incomplete without Jaws and Flight of the Navigator, plus they were cheap. I am going to watch both of them today.

That’s pretty much all for now. Maybe one of these days, I’ll make a trip up to Oklahoma City and see if I can score some more cool old stuff.

Blurb: In My Dreams…

Last night, I had a dream that I went garage sale-ing and I found some rare toys/promotional items from McDonald’s. They were Christmas-themed Garfield figurines and big plastic cookie jars (what?). I was like “FUCK YEAAAAH” so I was about to buy them but ran into two problems: I had forgotten my wallet, and the lady wanted like a zillion dollars for them.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am a LOSER.

Blah Blah, Barbie, Blah Blah.

I know, I said I was going to write about that other anime movie, but…well, in order to subtitle something, you have to time the subtitles first, and guess whose job that is? I have very little tolerance for tedious tasks, so…it might be a while before I get it done. 😐

Anyway, do any of you girls still keep up with Barbie these days? Yeah, me neither (bitch never returns my phone calls or texts). In fact, walking down the Barbie aisle tends to send me into a conniption fit and I go off on a rant about how awful her face and clothes are and how they’re trying to make her like those awful Bratz things and I don’t shut up for like 20 minutes.

I try to deny it, but– sigh –I loved Barbie when I was a kid. At first I thought she was lame and at the ripe old age of six, I told myself I didn’t need no steenking plastic girly Barbies. However, peer pressure is a powerful thing when you’re six. Before long, I asked for one of those My First Barbies and found myself liking her. Then came the 1990 Happy Meal Barbies, which I loved to death:

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Later came the Soda Shoppe:

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…and the rollerblading Barbie whose skates made sparks, a Southwestern-themed Jeep done tacky early 90s style for her and Skipper to drive while wearing their tacky early 90s “Western” clothes, Happy Meal Stacie, and all kinds of bullshit like that. (Where the hell did my parents get the money for this stuff?)

Then I grew up and forgot how much I used to love Barbie. That is, until I went to Walmart the other day and saw the new My Favorite Barbie line, part of Barbie’s 50th birthday celebration. This is a series of reproduced vintage dolls and I daresay they are really cool. You can look at the whole line here. These babies almost make me forget that Barbie really pisses me off!

They come with the doll, a repro outfit from the same time period, and repro booklet (which, honestly, is one of my favorite parts about the whole thing). They sell for around 40 dollars, which is entirely too much for me. My favorites are the 1977 Superstar Barbie and the 1962 Brunette Bubble Cut Barbie.

1977 Barbie comes with two really nice dresses and has that nice, friendly 70s face.

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1962 Barbie wears a red swimsuit in the box, but the pink dress she comes with is fantastic. Very glamorous.

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I bet you thought I was going to say that I wanted the 1986 Barbie and the Rockers one, huh? Well, I certainly wouldn’t mind having it, since it’s like a little 1980s time capsule, but based purely on the aesthetic value, the 1977 and 1962 dolls win. Let’s face it: 80s fashion was pretty damn bad, and rocker Barbie is a shining example of it, and hopefully she will remind people that real people almost never look good in pink spandex and shoulder pads.

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Retro Wishlist V: That’s “Five”, Not “Vee”

Before I get started, permit me this outburst:

OH MY GOD I GOT 99 HITS YESTERDAY. NINETY-NINE. BEST. DAY. EVER! Also my total hits are OVER NINE THOUSAND. (Over eleven thousand, actually!) If I had some money, I’d buy everyone who reads this thing a drink. But alas, I am one broke-ass bitch. So instead, have a new post!

9. TMNT 25th Anniversary Figures

When I was a kid, I was all over those pizza-scarfing ninja-fighting turtles. I got up to watch the cartoon every Saturday, I watched the first two movies so many times that I memorized them, but I never got to have any of the toys! I guess I never thought to ask for these action figures, thinking that my parents probably wouldn’t have bought them for me anyway because I was a little girl. I actually didn’t have much Turtles merchandise at all, come to think of it. But now that I’m a big girl, I have the opportunity to buy whatever I want within reason, and these suckers look exactly like the old ones! Joy!

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My favorite Turtle when I was a kid was Michelangelo, because he was the “funny” one, and I was all about the funny back in those days. But later on, I started to really like Donatello. He’s smart, nerdy, and kind of a goofball. I married a guy who is smart, nerdy, and kind of a goofball, so…yeah.

10. A Turntable

I would love to own a turntable, so that I can play any weird old records I happen to come across in junk shops. Some of you might remember me having found copies of Mickey Mouse Disco and Sesame Street Fever on vinyl, but I didn’t buy them. I hoped that I would not come to regret that decision, but I have.

Anyway, some might say that I’m too young to remember vinyl. Those people would be 100% wrong. My grandmama had one of those big cabinet stereos, and I would listen to records on it all the time. If it were up to me, I would have that very stereo in my house right now. But it ended up in my sister’s house with her 87 dogs, 40 cats and three boys, so it’s toast.

So yeah, I have some pretty fond memories of records, and even though I’m not a big vinyl enthusiast, I would like to own some. You know, for posterity.

That’s all for now, folks. I tried to come up with a third item, but…I got nothing. So how about a survey: Least favorite Ninja Turtle and why?

Surprise Find At Walmart

This little guy was hanging with some of his brethren in the canned foods aisle:

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Even though his price tag was somewhat hefty for this sort of thing ($3.99), I could not pass it up. You know how those Pound Puppies are. They look at you with those big, sad eyes and then it’s all over.

Also, I have no idea why they didn’t put them in the cereal aisle instead of the canned foods aisle. Maybe they were trying to target nostalgic adults like me. But be honest: most nostalgic adults spend a lot of time in the cereal aisle buying Cap’n Crunch and Lucky Charms.

Anyway. My new little friend will now go join his larger, older relatives on the shelf.

(I really need a tripod. Taking non-blurry pictures with the camera in my hands is really, really difficult.)

I Got Mad Retro Lootz

So I went to my dad’s place the weekend before Christmas to visit my other sister that I hadn’t seen in several years. Since Dad’s a big junk hunter just like me, and there was nothing better to do, we all went and checked out some of the junk shops/antique stores in the small town where he lives. And boy, am I glad I did!

The first place we went didn’t have much that I was interested in, honestly. However, at the place across the street, I scored:

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It’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms II for the NES! Actually, I didn’t buy this for myself. It’s for my husband, who is a huge fan of video games in general, and he likes old games, AND he’s a very loyal follower of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. So when I saw this for two dollars, I couldn’t resist. I’ve just done a quick eBay search, and this game typically goes for at least twenty bucks!

This place also had a couple of Barbies from the 80s, complete with triangular neon earrings and crimped hair, but I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted, and if something doesn’t make me say “HOLY SHIT” aloud and snatch it off the shelf, I typically don’t go for it. So Barbie will just have to wait.

Next, we went to the downtown area, which has certainly seen better days. There was an antique shop there, and the place was a damn goldmine. I could’ve easily spent a hundred dollars in there if I’d had it to spare. They had toys, they had pretty things, they had mugs and jewelry and art and lots of other great stuff. But, of course, I stuck to the 80s memorabilia, which they had plenty of.

I ran around like a kid in a candy store for a while before I finally decided to go with a Gloworm (which still works!), a vintage My Little Pony, and a Garfield mug. 😀

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Among the things I wanted to get but couldn’t afford were various old character glasses. You know, the ones that places like McDonald’s and Burger King used to sell. They had Return of the Jedi, Great Muppet Caper, Care Bears, and a few other ones. They were marked at about three dollars a piece, which is pretty reasonable compared to what most eBayers are charging. I would have bought every single one of these if my funds weren’t so limited. So with a heavy heart, I left them all behind. If they’re still there the next time I’m in Sulphur, Oklahoma, I’m gonna go snag a couple.

A Vintage Stock store recently opened near me, so I went to check it out. They sell lots of cool junk, like old video games, action figures, DVDs, comic books, and VHS tapes. There were actually quite a few NES games that I wanted to pick up just for the hell of it, but again, none of them jumped out and said “HEY HEY BUY ME”, so I left them for now.

What I was really interested in was the huge collection of VHS tapes. I went over it with a fine-toothed comb, with a few specific titles in mind. I didn’t find any of the ones I was looking for, but I did find something that I was definitely not expecting to find!

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It’s a VHS of the first two episodes of the Rainbow Brite cartoon! With the original clamshell case, even! Admittedly, the case is in poor shape, and it’s an ex-rental, which is usually risky, but I popped the tape in the VCR today and it plays like a charm. The picture’s not even particularly deteriorated like you’d expect from a 20-year-old tape.

The cartoon itself, of course, is pure unrealized potential. By that, I mean to say that it wasn’t all that great, but I had a good time with it and I’m ecstatic that I was able to add it to my collection.

I also picked up another tape: the first volume of a short early 90s anime called Detonator Orgun. My husband is really into mecha series, new and old alike, and even though he’s already seen this rather obscure offering, I thought it might amuse him to actually own this tape. If only they’d had the second volume, too!

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A few months back, when we were getting ready to move, we took some stuff we didn’t need anymore down to the Goodwill. When we got there, I saw these guys in the window:

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I don’t know why Garfield would dress in a football jersey or a fisherman’s outfit, but do you really think I, of all people, would pass these things up? Like hell I would! They’re now on my shelf with the rest of the plushies.

As much as I love this old stuff, I don’t think I’ll be buying any more for a while. Two reasons: number one being that I need to stop spending money, and number two being that I’m running out of places to put it!