Well, another Sunday means another trip to the flea market. I’m not complaining. It’s how I motivate myself through the week. Monday too tough? Only 6 days until the flea market. Tuesday stinks? only 5 days until the flea market. What can I say? It’s my thing and I’m not embarrassed. I know I’m not the only one too. This Sunday was a big football week and the flea market was still packed even at 10 AM, the exact time that our home team The 49ers were locked in a gnarly playoff battle on TV.
To make it in the flea market game you have to keep your priorities straight and it’s probably best to not get too invested in football. Not that there is anything wrong with the game. It just that it often happens at the same time as the flea. You got to make some tough choices if you want to score the cool retro stuff.
This week we made it out there nice and early and like I said before the place was packed. That’s not always a sign that you are going to find anything good. The size of the market is no indicator of success. I’ve been to huge flea markets like the one in San Jose California and come back with nothing and I’ve been to really small sales in church parking lots where I’ve found pounds of good stuff. You just never can tell what you’ll get until you get there.
Me and my wife poked around the sale for a while without finding anything until we came across one of our least favorite vendors, The Mandolin Guy. We call him that because he plays a mandolin (badly) while he sells. I guess he thinks it’s a way to attract customers but since he’s not the most equitable with his prices I see his mandolin as sort of a gimmick that a heel would use to separate himself from the pack. He’s The Mandolin Guy, low-level flea market super villain.
So anyway we poked around The Mandolin Guy’s stuff and lo and behold dude had a big box of Atari things, I saw it from a distance and clandestinely maneuvered my way over there trying not to let anyone see my interest.
The box was great, well the box was great and it was full of great things but all of it was totally water damaged. I was so sad. There were game manuals and system guides as well as boxed games and a few complete Atari computers in it too. All of it ruined and stuck together. Ugh, that’s the worst. I picked through it and came up with a few different manuals that were still in good shape. I got one for Defender and Frogger for the 2600 as well as a catalog.
I approached Mandolin Guy with my findings and asked him how much he wanted for them. He answered 15 dollars. I told dude that he was tripping. He asked me how much I wanted to pay and I told him 2 or maybe 3 dollars at the most. I explained to him that the box I got them from was totally ruined and if I didn’t spend my time digging through it that he wouldn’t be able to sell anything from there at all. Despite my very valid argument he stuck to his 15 dollar offer. I handed over the manuals and told him not to throw them back into the water-logged cardboard box or they would get soaked. He said thanks and put them into the little glass display case that he kept near his mandolin for valuables.
So far the day wasn’t going great when right at that moment my wife found The Space Case Action Figure Carrier. I really wanted it but was hesitant to approach Mandolin Guy again. I totally wanted the case though so I gathered up my courage and went up to where he was. He started off by asking me how much I wanted to spend. I told him maybe 7 dollars, totally low-balling him. He seemed interested and asked me if I still wanted the manuals.I told him I did and he asked me if I’d be willing to pay 10 dollars for the manuals and the case. I told him of course I would and took both for basically what I wanted to pay. That’s a win.
The case is really cool. I totally love the art on the front. I can’t say that I had this particular case but I do remember having a knock-off carrier for my Star Wars figures when I was younger.
The case was manufactured by Tara Toys of Glendale New York. It has two trays and can hold up to 24 action figures. On the front it says that it’s for 4 1/4 inch figures including Star Wars, Shogun Warriors, Metal Men and Galactica. The price of the case on Ebay varies. I saw some for as low as 3 dollars and some for as high as 30. I think that somewhere in the middle is probably accurate. I probably came out a little bit ahead on this deal but I plan on keeping the carrier for my loose figures. It’s a little less common than the big Darth Vader head that folks tend to use and for that reason alone it’s a keeper to me.
Thanks for taking the time to read this folks. I really appreciate it. I understand how valuable time is. Until next time, see you at the flea market!
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