Tales From The Thrift: Volume 1

I have two conflicting New Year’s Resolutions: the first is to save money, and the second is to spend more time hunting for finds at flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, and the like. As a compromise, I’ve given myself the following caveat—2016 must be the year where I actually make more than I spend on collecting.

Will I succeed? Will I fail? Will I find something truly amazing? The only way to find out will be to follow my new series of blogs: Tales From The Thrift.

As you might imagine, this is going to be difficult. It’s easy to keep the things you acquire, but it’s significantly harder to let go of them. However, it also seems like it would provide quite a bit of blogging material!

It’s been a good week of hunting through thrift stores, antique malls, and retailers who carry older merchandise. I’ve found some great items so far. Some will be staying in my collection, some will be sold, and others I remain undecided on.

Without any further adieu, let’s get started with volume 1 of Tales From The Thrift! Note: prices will be rounded up to the nearest dollar.

The Antique Mall

Last Sunday after lunch, my girlfriend and I decided to visit a nearby antique mall. I wasn’t expecting much from this visit, but I was wrong. This particular antique mall had a variety of items for sale, and very reasonable prices.

For $20, I acquired a toy I’ve wanted for years: The Wolverine Combat Cave. This is one of the earlier X-Men releases from Toy Biz, and the character designs seem to be much closer to those found in the Pryde of The X-Men pilot than those of the more popular 90’s animated series. I overpaid a bit for this piece, but I just couldn’t resist being able to pair this with the matching Wolverine Figure in my collection. In a nearby booth, I also found a coffee mug featuring the Batmobile from Batman (1989) for $2.

X-Men: Wolverine Combat Cave from Toy Biz

Near where I found the coffee mug, I was able to acquire a copy of Crystal Castles for the Atari 2600 in excellent condition for $5. After a bit of searching in the same booth, I found an Atari compilation cartridge for the Gameboy Advance containing Asteroids, Pong, and Yars’ Revenge for $2. Just before checking out, I spotted my best find of the day: A Sega Genesis model 2 with 14 games, controllers, cables, and a system storage case for $72. Though I already own a Genesis and some of the games, this was still too good of a deal to pass up.

Sega Genesis lot, Crystal Castles (2600), and Atari Gameboy Advance compilation

When all was said and done, I spent about $110 at the antique mall (tax included). I will be keeping the Wolverine Combat Cave, the Batmobile mug, Crystal Castles, The Atari compilation cartridge, and about half of the Sega Genesis games. The other games, the system, and the accessories will be going up for sale.

Total spent: $110

Movie Trading Company #1

I decided to stop in and check out one of the larger Movie Trading Company stores in the area on Tuesday night, and I was rewarded with a nice (if unremarkable) haul. Image Comics are the back issue special this month; buy one, and you get another free. I was able to pick up Savage Dragon #1, Savage Dragon #3, The Maxx #2, and Savage Dragon/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2, all for $2. I was especially excited to pick up the Savage Dragon/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue, as I rarely find any TMNT comics from the Image run.

Savage Dragon, The Maxx, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Superman Comics with Grand Slammin' Raph figure

I also picked up a back issue from the Return of Superman story arc (a personal favorite) for $1, and a Grand Slammin’ Raph action figure for $4. After tax, I spent about $8. All of these will remain in my collection.

Total Spent: $8

Half-Price Books

My local Half-Price Books can be a bit frustrating. There are times when I’m able to find interesting items at a fair price, but the prices are usually a little on the high side. I did find one thing that I couldn’t walk away from this week: a sealed copy of Blade Runner on LaserDisc for $7 (tax included).

Sealed Blade Runner LaserDisc

I’m not sure if I’ll be selling this or keeping it in my collection, but I just couldn’t pass it up for that price.

Total Spent: $7

Goodwill

On Saturday morning, I visited the nearest Goodwill, and I didn’t find much. I haven’t had great luck at this particular Goodwill store, but I did find a VHS copy of Robotech II: The Sentinels for $1. This tape will be staying in my collection.

Robotech II: The Sentinels VHS tape

The total was slightly more after tax, so I will have to round it up to $2. No one said this was going to be easy!

Total Spent: $2

Movie Trading Company #2

After my experiences at Half-Price Books and Goodwill, I visited another antique mall. However, I found nothing that piqued my interest. I was getting a bit frustrated, so I decided to visit another Movie Trading Company store that I frequent. I was desperate to find something good, but again couldn’t find much.

To make sure I didn’t waste the trip, I picked up a couple of Animal Crossing Amiibo for my girlfriend (excluded from the total) and a copy of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero for the Nintendo 64 for $18 with tax. I didn’t realize this when I was getting ready to checkout, but that would be my most important purchase of the week.

While checking out, the cashier asked me if I collected retro games. I told him that I did, and he mentioned that he had some for sale. I said I was interested, and after I paid for my purchases, we walked outside to his car to take a look. There was a bag full of NES and SNES games, both systems, and controllers and cables. He wanted $200 for the lot, and after a day of searching without much luck, I was willing to take a chance. I paid him the $200, and headed home to take a look at what I bought.

When I pulled everything out of the bags, I knew that this was my find of the week by a wide margin. There were sixty games to go along with the consoles, and it wasn’t just budget titles. Super Mario World, Super Mario All-Stars, Super Metroid, Super Castlevania IV, Mega Man 3, Castlevania…the list goes on and on. Best of all, it was a good mix of games I already owned, games I wanted to add to my collection, and new games to try out.

NES and SNES lot

Some of the games will be staying in my collection, and others will be sold. I’m particularly happy to have acquired Super Castlevania IV! When all was said and done, though I spent quite a bit, there was no doubt that this was my best find of the week.

Total Spent: $218

The year is off to a good start so far, but I’ve certainly dug myself into a hole spending-wise. Hopefully I will be able to recoup some of the costs by selling off some of the goods.

Stay tuned for updates, new finds, and more Tales From The Thrift!

2016 Tales From The Thrift Running Total: -$345

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  1. Doug
    March 6, 2016
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    I’m too lazy to do this anymore. Found so much stuff over the years, my buds as well from the Salvation Army, Vakue Village, estate sales, etc. have a lot of games systems, Atari, Sega, Nintendo, etc. the local Sally Ann had an auction for a big collection of Atari stuff about 2 weeks ago but I didn’t bother. My bud’s store is full of old comics, over 1/2 million or so. We have spent months sorting through them. A bud of ours passed away last year and we added 50,000 of his comics to the mix, as well as all his anime and manga and toys. Too much! My bud collected laser discs and has 2,000 of them. He was transferring the ones that were never released again to MKV but it’s slow going. I still have several working Sony and Pioneer LD decks as does he. My house is full of stuff. I can’t collect more and selling on EBay has become a nightmare, especially for international sellers. I just gave up on them. I still have to acquire new computer equipment, new scanners, slide scanner, etc. and though I acquired an LP to CD box late last year, I have yet to use it. I have lots of tapes and vinyl to transfer. Just not making time for it all. And then there are the Beta tapes still to mail out. Pikes just sitting here. Postage in this country went up, not down with the lowering of gasoline prices, so we are in a pickle as to how to get these to you. No easy task…

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