Posts from the ‘vhs’ Category

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!

The Christmas Rabbit in Outer Space

Today, I offer unto thee more obscure retro junk. What else is new, right? I suppose I could make a bad pun with that, but I’ll spare you.

First of all, last night I found a VHS copy of Jim Henson’s The Christmas Toy at Second Chance. I suspect most of you haven’t heard of it. That’s because it hasn’t been aired on TV since probably 1993 or something. It hasn’t been released on DVD, which is why the VHS goes for at least twenty-five bucks on Amazon.

When I saw it on the shelf, I would have excitedly spouted profanities if there hadn’t been some kids hanging around. There wasn’t a price tag on it, and I was expecting it to cost at least fifteen dollars, but guess how much it was? Five dollars. Made my frigging day. I haven’t seen this special since it aired on Nickelodeon in the 90s, and I didn’t want to pay thirty dollars for it.

The Wikipedia article talks about the similarities between this and Toy Story, which came about ten years later. Coincidence?

Next up: Pinocchio in Outer Space. No, I am not making this up.

My dad recorded it off TV when it aired on a local station. I was only about 3 or 4 years old; haven’t seen it since probably the late 80s. I remember watching it a whole lot, rewinding my favorite parts over and over again. (Maybe that’s why that VCR broke.) I almost want to see it again just to figure out why I liked it so damn much, but this might be one of those things that would be better left in the past.

For one thing, it involves Pinocchio trying to save the world from an extraterrestrial whale called Astro. Sounds like a bad acid trip, huh? Well, it was made in the 60s.

There’s actually a lot more info about it online than I thought there would be. I guess that even though it’s obscure, it’s so bizarre that people never forget it. I certainly never did.

And now, The Velveteen Rabbit. No, not the book (though I have and enjoy that too). I’m talking about one of the several animated adaptations. This version seems to be little-known, only having minimal details on IMDB. It doesn’t even have enough votes to have a star rating.

I first saw it when I was about 4 or 5 years old. They showed it to us at Head Start (kinda like preschool, if you’ve never heard of it). It made a very lasting impression on me, because it was one of the first things I saw that almost made me cry.

A year or so ago, I actually found it on DVD! At Walgreens, of all places! I was shocked. It was only about two bucks. Unfortunately…I got what I paid for. The audio is horribly out-of-sync throughout the whole thing. Very distracting. So, since Second Chance has a VHS copy of it (told you that place was a goldmine), I think I’m gonna buy it next time I get a chance.

They also have a different version, which looks like it was one of the ABC Weekend Specials (anyone remember those?). I might also pick that one up. It’s also pretty obscure, since I haven’t found much info about it yet. People also seem to frequently confuse the two versions.

Well, that’s all I got for now. I apologize; the quality of my writing has faltered lately, I think. I promise to do better in the future, so hang in there…if you’re interested.

Edit: Think I said “also” enough times in this damn post? I really am slipping.

Books! They Do A Body Good.

When I was a kid, I loved books just as much as I loved movies and cartoons. I learned to read at a very early age, and would look at my collection of books over and over again. I even wanted to make my own children’s books– and often did, taking great care to crudely assemble them with copier paper and Scotch tape, complete with even cruder illustrations.

Obviously, old children’s books are a one-way ticket to Nostalgia Land for me. They’re also the easiest retro junk to find, and the cheapest to boot– they’re often only a dollar a piece. I assume that people get tired of their old books and leave them in Mom’s attic for a few decades before they finally end up in a Goodwill or other second-hand store. So it’s no surprise that I usually find some pretty cool books in places like that.

Today, I hit the jackpot.

About a block from my apartment there’s a place called Second Chance Books and Comics. I’ve passed it several times, and today I finally decided to pay a visit. Boy, I’m glad I did because this place has everything. I found five books, four of which I had as a child and one of which I thought was too hilarious to pass up. They even had a huge collection of VHS tapes. I wanted to buy like, ten of them, but settled on just two, because I’m poor, dammit. All the items are things that would have ended up on my Retro Wishlist at some point.
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