Cool Toy Finds: The Magical Rummage Sale
Monday, June 25th, 2012 by Pixel Dan
Have you ever gone to a garage sale or a flea market hoping that you might just stumble upon something incredible to add to your collection? A find that could be considered almost robbery, because you got such an amazing deal on a piece that goes for way more money than you’d ever pay online? A find that fills your toy collector heart with much joy and pride?
The answer is yes. Yes you have. At least, I’m willing to bet you have. I have certainly been in that position many times, but never had the luck that I always dreamed of. That was until a week ago, when I stumbled upon the Rummage Sale from Heaven.
You see that image up above. That’s my haul! For real! All of this came from ONE AMAZING RUMMAGE SALE! Allow me to recount this amazing tale.
As I was driving home from work one Monday afternoon, I drove by a building a few blocks down from my house that I often pass. Only this particular day, I noticed many signs that stated “Rummage Sale Open Tuesday” and “Toys! Toys! Toys!” Of course, that T-word written multiple times across those signs caught my attention.
My initial thought was that surely there isn’t going to be anything in there that I want. I’ve stopped at many yard sales and such, and have really never found anything too incredible. But I figured I should go ahead and stop in just in case.
So Tuesday rolls around. Work ends and I start driving home. I make the stop at this building, and walk through the door. And I swear, I heard angels sing.
I’m immediately drawn to the shelves that are stuffed with action figures and board games. The lady running the sale walked up and introduced herself, followed by “We’re pretty kid-heavy right now. It’s mostly toys.” To which I responded “That’s ok. That’s EXACTLY what I’m here for!”
She explained that she has two sons, both about my age, who have long since moved out. She’s had all of this stuff in her basement since they were kids and finally decided to sell it all off. If that doesn’t put into perspective what I found in this place, let me just say this: most all of the toys were from the 80’s and early 90’s, with a mixture of items from the early 2000’s from her younger son.
One of the very first things that caught my eye was a Transformers Generation 1 Trypticon! I know I’m not the biggest Transformers collector, but I knew exactly what this was. And how often do you just come across G1 Transformers at a Rummage Sale? How often do you see Trypticon with a $10 price tag? Almost never. So home with me it came!
She had an amazing assortment of vintage board games and puzzles. I grabbed an awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles puzzle from 1987. All of the pieces were included, and it had some amazingly cool artwork on it. Only $1.00.
My wife and I had recently discussed how we’d love to have some of the old board games we used to play for our young nieces when they come over to visit. So I just could not pass up a 1984 Candy Land, 1984 Mouse Trap, and a 1986 Hungry Hungry Hippo. They are all complete or near complete (Hippos is only missing 2 marbles) and are the exact versions I had as a kid. Only $2.00 each.
After talking at length with the nice woman who ran the sale, I left for the day with the instruction that I should return each day of the week. She says they were still cleaning out the basement at home, and would be bringing new stuff in all week long until the sale ended on Sunday. So I followed her instructions and returned each day. And each day, I found more incredible items!
She had a ton of awesome books on a shelf in the corner. So I started digging through them to see what all I could find. My stack started building up quickly, as I came across most of the McDonalds Gremlins books complete with their records, A Masters of the Universe Golden Book, Masters of the Universe Power of Point Dread complete with record, four hardback Teddy Ruxpin books, a Transformers the movie Sticker Album, and a stack of mostly unused coloring books that included Transformers, Masters of the Universe, M.A.S.K., Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and one from Showbiz Pizza Place, which admittedly is what I consider the most unique find of this batch.
Each of those books only cost me $0.50 a piece. On top of that, I got a stack of 7 Masters of the Universe mini comics including The Power of Point Dread, The King of Castle Grayskull, and The Terror of Tri-Klops. I only paid $0.50 for the whole stack!
Speaking of cool books, I also found a bunch of classic Nintendo Power magazines. I’m a total sucker for the old Nintendo Powers. So I grabbed a few of these as well, including Issue #1 with the Legend of Zelda fold-out map still in tact, several Nintendo Fun Club issues which pre-date Nintendo Power, and the Official Nintendo Players guide which covers several NES video games! I paid a little higher for these, at $2.00 an issue for the magazines and $1.00 each for the Fun Clubs. But I couldn’t pass them up.
Alright, now let’s get back to some more toy finds. Pretty much finishing up my Captain Power collection, I grabbed the Powerjet XT-7 with instruction manual and a VHS tape for $10.00. I grabbed a working Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Green Ranger Dragon Dagger for $5.00. And I got one of the playsets I’ve been wanting for years: the 2003 TMNT Sewer Lair playset! It appears to be mostly complete, and I paid $15.00 for it.
On my last visit there, she had brought in a tub of Transformers. I opened it up, and could not believe my eyes. It was almost entirely full of G1 Transformers! At this point, I finally shared my secret with my friend Jason Devall. He brought along his Transformers guide books, and began piecing together many of the weapons. Because of him, I was able to find a set of instructions and many of the pieces for the Trypticon I had bought a few days earlier. The lady was nice enough to let me have them free of charge, which nearly completes my Trypticon!
In this bin, I also found two die-cast metal Voltron Lions from Matchbox! So I added the Blue Lion and Red Lion to my collection for a total of $10.00. I already have the Matchbox Black Lion at home, so now I just need to track down a Green Lion and Yellow Lion to complete my Die-Cast Voltron!
Finally, I built up my G1 Transformers collection even more by adding a few Dinobots in Sludge and Slag, as well as a vintage Soundwave! We were able to find most of their weapons, as well as their instruction manuals. Unfortunately, there were no cassette tapes and no Grimlock. But I can’t complain. I got this set of three Transformers for $50. She knew these were worth a little more, so I can’t blame her. I still feel like I got an incredible deal on them!
So there you go, my friends! A detailed look at the amazing week I had! This was probably a once in a lifetime find. I don’t know that I’ll ever find such a magical Rummage Sale ever again. But I’m certainly glad I found it!