Archived entries for Toys & Collectibles

I need tiny hands to play these mini arcade cabinets…

Sometime last year (in the spring, maybe? honestly, I’ve been out of the blogging loop so long, I don’t remember) friend,  fellow blogger & TMNT fan Tommy over at Top Hat Sasquatch posted some photos of mini arcade cabinets that looked to be the perfect size for action figures.

I was really impressed with how detailed they were, down to the tiny glowing coin slots and paused game images on the screens. Not to mention, tiny arcade machines that fit into the palm of your hand are fucking adorable. I asked/begged/implored Tommy to tell me where he got them, and before I knew what was happening I was dropping $60 on some “fun-size” arcades of my own.

TMNT Mini Arcade Cabinet

I knew right off the bat which cabinets I wanted in miniature format, my two favorite arcade games of all time: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the 1992 six-player X-MEN game, both by Konami.

Custom Mini Arcade Cabinets

These miniature works of art are made by Justin Whitlock, who obviously does incredible work. In fact, he may have been put on this earth to make tiny replicas of classic arcade machines, they are that awesome. Check out his Flickr gallery of custom mini arcade creations and prepare to want to buy everything you see.

TMNT Mini Arcade - Front & Side View

Xmen Mini Arcade Cabinet - Front & Sides

Of course, a tiny TMNT arcade cabinet needs a tiny Ninja Turtle to play it. Even better when said tiny Ninja Turtle is a custom action figure hand-painted by my own boyfriend, Shawn Robare of Branded in the 80s, who did a much more amazing job than he tends to give himself credit for.

TMNT Action Figure Playing TMNT Arcade Cabinet

Do you SEE this? I mean, look at all the dark, gritty detail! It’s hard to believe this is the same Nickelodeon TMNT figure that’s hanging on the pegs of toy store shelves right now. Shawn’s more of a traditional, pencil & paper kind of artist, but he totally surprised me with this hand-painted Raphael for my birthday back in September. Not only is Raph my favorite turtle, but now he’s also my favorite birthday present.

Close-up of TMNT Arcade Screen

Hey, what’s this? Raph is playing as Leo!

Front View of TMNT Mini Arcade
Irony, or just further confirmation that Leo is the best Turtle to play in the video games?

By the way, if you’re interested in getting some mini arcades of your own, you can get in touch with Justin on this this page. From what I understand, he’s pretty backlogged taking custom orders, so it may take a few months for you to get yours fulfilled, but I promise you it’s worth the wait.

Do you like board games? ANSWER ME, YOU MAGGOTS!

Few things have been able to drag me out of hibernation status, but one of those things is the Nerd Lunch podcast. Specifically Episode #119, in which we remember all of the awesome board games we had growing up.

I joined resident nerds CT, Jeeg, and Pax for a lengthy discussion about games we loved, games we hated (anything ending in “opoly”), and all the crazy stuff in between–licensed games, adult party games, “gimmicky mechanical bullshit” games (Operation, Perfection) and some games that probably shouldn’t even be considered board games (Cranium?) but we talked about them anyway, as well as Things You Should Never Do with the Buzzer from Taboo.

Topping my list of awesome board games is a relic from the VHS era called Nightmare: The Video Board Game. If you’ve played it, my subject line should sound pretty familiar, and hopefully not just sound like me being a dick.

Nightmare: Video Board GameImage credit: Chud.com

Nightmare, a paragon of early 90s technology, was a board game you played while watching a VHS tape, much like Clue: VCR Mystery Game I’ve written about before. Yes kids, this is what passed for innovation back in 1991!

The game’s host, a sort of ghoulish master of ceremonies, was The Gatekeeper.

Before and After: The Gatekeeper in Nightmare

Part friend, part foe, and possibly part hobo with a vaguely Scottish accent who just happened to take up permanent residence in the graveyard, he held all the keys you needed to escape and win the game. Throughout the 60 minutes of gameplay, he would pop up on the screen by yelling “STOP!” and either reward or punish you, based on where your player piece was situated on the game board. This happens seemingly at random, but of course everything is prerecorded because, you know, it’s a VHS tape.

After you’ve played the game a few times, it’s easy to predict when he’s about to appear and plan accordingly. You also had to make an ass of yourself by answering, “Yes my Gatekeeper!” whenever he would address you. This is literally written into the rules. You see kids, it’s interactive! (…to use a favorite 90′s buzzword). If you’re curious what the Nightmare tape is like, or just want to watch for unintentional comedic value (which I recommend), you can watch the full thing on YouTube.

Some of the other games I brought up on the podcast, accompanied by awesome commercial sound bytes:

  • Risk
  • Stratego
  • Clue
  • Mall Madness
  • Pizza Party <– The song that goes through my head whenever I order pizza.
  • Bumper Cars
  • Hotels
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Bargain Hunter
  • Crossfire
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Pizza Power!

Listen to the full Nerd Lunch – Episode #119 about board games here!

I don’t do yard sales.

This week’s League assignment is to write about our most epic yard sale or flea market find ever, and so far there’s been a lot of great posts as everyone shows off their treasures. I, on the other hand, almost never go to yard sales or flea markets, so I had to get creative.

tl;dr

The tagline for this site, before I decided to embrace my immaturity with “30-something going on 12″, used to be “A girl who doesn’t get out much.”

Though the new tagline is more indicative of my personality (I like poop jokes!), the old tagline is just as true now as it ever was. In fact, these days I get out even less than I used to, what with my long commute, freelancing evenings and weekends, and being in a long-distance relationship. I’m so drained most of the time all I want to do is ride the couch and watch Netflix or dumb crap highly educational programming on YouTube (What does the fox say?). Sometimes even gaming requires too much mental energy. I don’t have a very active social life, is what I’m saying.

So you see,  it’s not that I don’t enjoy rooting through boxes of someone else’s old crap or staring down at old floral comforters piled with grimy, broken toys, it’s that I just can’t find the time or motivation when I already live in front of the computer and Ebay and Craigslist, are like, right there. I’m also not a fan of the awkward interactions that tend to accompany such situations, like not making eye contact with the dumb neighborhood kids who are over there by the mailbox selling gross, piss-warm lemonade, or having to politely turn down grandpa’s enthusiastic offer for 3-for-$1 Jane Fonda workout VHS tapes.

And then there are the serious shoppers–the hardcore yardsalers–with their fanny packs and bottled water, who’ve already picked through everything and made off with the few worthwhile items at every yard sale in the neighborhood because they were already beating the garage doors down before they opened.

So yeah… Yard sales? Not for me.

But if I DID go to yard sales…

Lately I’ve gotten really nostalgic about some of the toys I grew up with–of the electronic variety, in particular. The 80s were such a weird time when all of this cool technology was coming into the market and being used by toy companies in innovative–often creepy–ways.

Here’s some stuff I’d definitely be on the hunt for:

#1 – Pink Casio SK-1

I’ve writ­ten about my love of syn­the­siz­ers before, and I’ve owned a bunch of dif­fer­ent mod­els over the years, like the Yamaha PSR-420 I had in high school:

Yahama PSR-420

But the Casio SK-1 has a spe­cial place in my heart because it was my first (and yes, mine was pink too!) Well, technically it belonged to my older sister, too–we used to fight over this thing like you would not believe. To this day the  demo song fre­quently gets stuck in my head.

Pink Casio SK-1

 

#2 – Worlds of Wonder Talking Mother Goose

Though Teddy Ruxpin and Talking Mother Goose were both made by now-defunct toy company Worlds of Wonder, I’ve always thought Teddy Ruxpin was CREEPY AS FUCK, and so while Teddy Ruxpin was the big-ticket item on a lot of other kids’ Christmas lists, I was content with the less-popular but way less creepy Talking Mother Goose who sang songs and told fairy tales with a pleasant, Angela Lansbury-like accent.

Listening to Mother Goose was quiet, comforting, and soothed away all the anxiety I felt at the time over my mom forcing me to get this terrible bowl cut:

Jaime and Mother GooseWhen I got too old to play with her, my mom thought she was doing me a wonderful service by carefully wrapping her in plastic and packing her away in the attic, only to forget to remove her batteries, so that one day a few years later I was devastated to learn Mother Goose’s entire right side had corroded into a fuzzy, gangrenous-looking mess of acid-green goo. It was traumatizing, ya’ll.

#3 – Questron

I’ve blogged about Questron before–mainly because I was THRILLED when my years-long search for it on the internet finally came to an end thanks to this post over at Copywrong–which instantly brought back memories of laying on the living room floor with one of Questron’s learning books spread before me, eagerly roaming the “answer wand” over the pages, hoping I didn’t get buzzed. That was Questron’s way of warning parents that you might belong in the “special” class at school.

Questron

 

#4 – Pocket Rockers

You have NO IDEA how much I loved these things. Pocket Rockers were kind of a high-concept but low-functionality portable music toy for kids. They were about the size of small cameras that could fit in your pocket (no shit!) and played tiny, two-song cassette tapes by 80′s musical groups du jour. I had Tiffany, Belinda Carlisle, Debbie Gibson, and The Jets, because I clearly had amazing taste at 8 years old, and I felt like I RULED THE FUCKING NEIGHBORHOOD when I rode my bike through the streets with one of these bad boys strapped to my handlebars.

Pocket Rockers

#5 – Fisher Price Tape Recorder

The original, classic brown Fisher Price Tape Recorder used to accompany me everywhere, and was durable enough that you could literally throw this thing out the window of a moving car and it would still play your Read-Along Adventure tapes!

Here’s some photographic evidence:

In the sandbox with my Fisher Price Tape Recorder

Not even a full day of hardcore sandboxing can ruin this thing. I like to imagine that somewhere out there are entire landfills of Fisher Price Tape Recorders that are still perfectly functional that people would have kept around if only they weren’t so fugly. Brown on brown went out of style in the 70s. Get with the times, Fisher Price!

Now let’s check in with some people who actually enjoy going to yard sales.

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was to write about our most epic yard sale or flea market finds. Here’s some of the cool stuff my fellow Leaguers scored:

  • Branded in the 80s recalls the time a complete set of Garbage Pail Kids came into his life
  • Erik Johnson, Illustrator scored a totally sweet Excalibur original movie poster
  • Toyriffic scored a massive box of Masters of the Universe toys!
  • Nerd Out With Me found some vintage Pac-Man air fresheners still in the package!
  • Nerd Cantina’s wife found some Cabbage Patch Kid sunglasses I’d totally wear if they fit my adult-sized head
  • The Goodwill Geek bought a ghetto pool party tub plastic bin packed full of random toy goodness

 

 

 

I’ve got Turtle balls!

When I saw a tweet from my pal Dex of AEIOU & Sometimes Why that mentioned “Stuffed Turtle Balls” I thought it sounded like a gross appetizer from a fancy French restaurant (for the record, I don’t think I could ever bring myself to eat Turtles, since they’re my favorite animal, let alone eat any animal’s scrotum–wait, do turtles even have scrotums? Anyone care to weigh in?), but he was actually referring to these a-freaking-dorable TMNT Beanie Ballz made by TY:

Set of 4 TMNT Beanie Ballz

(Also for the record: TY has a horribly-designed website.)

A few weeks ago @Smurfwreck and I went to Myrtle Beach and every time we went out shopping we made a game of trying to hunt these things down. A lot of the touristy places and gift shops that carried TY stuff had a decent selection of Beanie Ballz, but only a few of them had TMNT. Rarer still was finding a store that had all the Turtles left in stock. After hitting up a bunch of different places, I finally picked up all four.

Supposedly Beanie Ballz “always land on their feet” when you roll, throw, or catch them, but I’ve found this to be true only about 60% of the time, according to scientific tests performed with my cat. Speaking of feet, I give props to TY for giving the Turtles the correct number of toes, and yes, I realize it’s sad to get this excited over two little pieces of green felt. I also love that each of the Turtles’ weapons are printed on their shells, although it’s kind of weird they gave Donatello two bo staffs–erm, staves?–which is something you don’t often see.

Here are some front and back shots of each ball, and I couldn’t resist posing them with my 11″ Turtle figures:

Leonardo

Leonardo TY Beanie Ball - Front & Back

Michelangelo

Michelangelo TY Beanie Ball - Front & Back

Donatello

Donatello TY Beanie Ball - Front & Back

Raphael

Raphael TY Beanie Ball - Front & Back

A bunch of awesome crap I’d buy from Hake’s if I wasn’t broke!

Hake's Americana and CollectiblesBack in March, my homies and I in The League went on a fantasy shopping spree to Hake’s Americana and Collectibles where I racked up a bill for over $1600 worth of useless but totally awesome crap that I’m certain would look fantastic adorning the walls of Casa de Crafti. It was one of my favorite League assignments to date, so I was pretty happy to see we’re doing it again this week–not only because it’s fun to window shop (hey, I’m great at picking out stuff I can’t afford to buy), but also because it requires practically no writing effort on my part. Win/win!

As a  child of the 80s browsing an auction full of collectibles decades older than myself, it was hard for me to find stuff that really “spoke” to me, as most of it was way before my time (not to mention, there was a disappointing lack of Ninja Turtles this time around).  But buried underneath all the Howdie Doodie, Roy Rogers, World War II memorabilia, and other pop culture stuff I mostly don’t care about, I was able to find a few gems that are much more “me.” And Star Wars. There’s always Star Wars…

Here’s what I bought, or would have bought, if I wasn’t living on hot dogs and baked beans right now:

 

Hakes Auction Collage

And now for the less exciting part where I explain what drew me to these items:

#1 – Set of 4 “Star Wars” Glasses

These Star Wars drinking glasses were sold in Burger King restaurants in 1978, and the set comes with the original cardboard display stand. I love the vivid colors and classic Star Wars imagery. But you know what I love more? Back when Coke was just 59 cents…

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#2 – 1991 “Batman” Statue by Graphitti Designs

It’s Batman perched on a Gargoyle. What’s not to love?  Designed by Dick Giordano and sculpted by Randy Bowen, this gothic Batman statue looks badass and captures the essence of my favorite era of Batman.

Starting Bid Price: $150.00

#3 – Rare “Space Invaders” Arcade Button

Promoting its 1980 arcade release, this mildly suggestive Space Invaders button is not only a rare piece of gaming history but also a badge of honor for nerds everywhere who don’t know what it means to score otherwise.

Starting Bid Price: $65.00

#4 – Eyeball in Hand Pez Dispenser

Of course this psychadelic Pez dispenser came from the 60s, because drugs. Back then you hippies were probably loading more than just Pez into these things. I just think it looks cool.

Starting Bid Price: $155.55

#5 – 1940s & 50s Drug-Themed Paperback Books

Speaking of drugs, these old drug novels caught my eye. Back then, people’s attitudes toward relatively harmless recreational drugs were hilarious (Reefer Madness anyone?), and not just because they apparently have no idea how to spell marijuana.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#6 – “Midnight Owl” Boxed Transistor Radio

Does this owl look familiar? He’s a replica from the 1981 fantasy film Clash of the Titans! Cooler still, he’s a working transistor radio with jeweled eyes you turn for tuning and volume. With its stop-motion weirdness and crazy Medusa head, That movie used to scare the crap out of me when I was little. But me and the Owl were cool.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#7 – Life-size “Superman the Movie” Standees

Fresh off seeing Man of Steel in theaters, I’m nostalgic for the 80s Superman movies I grew up with. As much as I enjoyed Henry Cavill’s performance, Christopher Reeves will always be “my” Superman. This lot of life-size Superman standees are 69″ tall and would look great in my future movie theater room. Or laying next to me in bed. Can you give me and Superman some time alone, please?

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#8 – Rare 40″ Tall “Pee Wee Herman” Doll

YES! One of my life goals is to own a Pee Wee Herman doll! Look, I never said I was much of a dreamer. Sadly, this doll isn’t the kind that talks, so I guess I’ll just have to keeping working on my other life goal of perfecting my Pee Wee Herman impression.

Starting Bid Price: $200.00

#9 – Indiana Jones “Raiders of the Lost Ark” Action Figure

With the exception of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I love all of the Indiana Jones movies and have fond memories of watching them with my Dad. This Indiana Jones action figure from Raiders of the Lost Ark is fully poseable, has “quick draw” whip action, and captures Harrison Ford just the way I like him–young, handsome, and capable of making good movies.

Starting Bid Price: $121.00

#10 – “Snoopy” Moon Landing Button from 1969

The excitement and wonder of the Moon Landing is one of those things I’m jealous older generations got to experience. In stark contrast, my “exciting” space memory is being sent home from school the day the Challenger exploded, trying to understand why all the teachers were crying. (Hey, I was only 5.) I love this Snoopy moon landing button for it’s historic significance and simple innocence.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#11 – Topps Insult Postcards/Funny Valentines

I really dig the wacky artwork on these Topps Insult Postcards wax packs from the 1960s. If you sent me one of these for Valentine’s Day, I’d have totally gone to first base with you.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#12 – “The Golden Girls” Cast-Signed Photo

My love for a sitcom about four old ladies living together started because there was nothing else to watch late at night on the shitty TV in my bedroom while growing up, but has since turned genuine. With only 1 out of 4 cast members still alive, it’s only a matter of time before this Golden Girls signed photo skyrockets in value. No pressure, Betty White.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#13 – “Robot” Battery-Operated Directional Toy

I must have a thing for these retro Japanese robot toys, because I picked out a similar-looking item in the last auction assignment. This one is battery-operated and changes direction whenever he runs into an obstacle.

Starting Bid Price: $500.00

#14 – “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” Metal Lunchbox

Classic Spielberg, and one of my favorite movies of all time. This E.T. tin lunchbox features great, Alvinesque artwork and comes with a matching Thermos.

Starting Bid: $100.00

#15 – “Blinky the One-Eyed Florida Gator” Button

This item is kind of an oddball thing to pick, even for me. I just love the sheer kitschiness of it, and the fact that at some point, back in the 1960s, the people of Florida worshipped a one-eyed alligator. Too bad there’s just a button. I would watch a whole cartoon of this.

Starting Bid Price: $65.00

#16 – “Star Wars” Jewelry Lot

Finally, some Star Wars stuff for girls! This lot of Star Wars jewelry includes three rings and stick pins bearing the likenesses of Darth Vader, 3CPO, and R2D2, as well as a set of six pendants featuring these same characters plus Chewbacca, a Stormtrooper, and an X-wing.

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#17 – Lot of “Blackstar” Carded Action Figures

I have this auction to thank for helping me remember Blackstar, a favorite fantasy cartoon from my childhood I had long forgotten. I almost peed my pants in excitement when I took a closer look at these action figures and realized what they were. A) That cartoon was awesome. B) I had no idea there was an accompanying toyline (but I shouldn’t be surprised, since this is the 80s we’re talking about), and C) I must find a way to re-watch it soon!

Starting Bid Price: $250.00

#18 – Early 1900s Risque Corkscrew

Another oddball item for me. I like weird, fringe stuff like this that reminds me how some things throughout human history never change–Victorian people were horny too! I imagine this corkscrew would have been quite the conversation-starter back then, what with the placement of that screw…well, do you really need me to connect the dots here?

Starting Bid Price: $100.00

#19 – Vincent Price Horror Record Album

I would listen to Vincent Price read from a phone book I love the man’s voice so much, but one of the more entertaining things he’s known for are his narrations of horror stories. This double LP set features The Story of Witchcraft, Demonology and The Occult.

Starting Bid Price: $100

#20 – Franken Berry Cereal Box Flat

Franken Berry isn’t my favorite of the General Mills monster cereals–an honor that belongs to the elusive Yummy Mummy–but he is is the only monster who can lay claim to turning little kids’ poop pink, so that makes him #2 in my book (pun fully intended). This Franken Berry cereal flat is notable for its free Monster Action Ring offer.

Starting Bid Price: $200.00

What’s the damage?

I only had starting bid prices to go on, so the actual total would probably be many hundreds if not thousands higher, but here’s how I did:

Hake's Receipt

I’m kind of proud I spent even more money than last time!

Let’s go shopping!

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was to go on another fantasy shopping spree at Hake’s Americana and Collectibles. Let’s take a look at what everyone bought!

AEIOU & Sometimes Awesome Stuff in the Mail

Awesome Mail!

Well, I guess that’s one way to get me back in the swing of blogging… Send me cool surprise gifts in the mail and I’ll have no choice but to write a thank-you post! That’s what Dex of AEIOU and Sometimes Why did, anyway. Well played, Dex.

It turned out to be an awesome mail day all around, as I came home to Dex’s package, my Ouya (more on that in a future post), and a TMNT blanket I totally don’t need but ordered anyway because, well, I’m me. Such a perfect alignment of shipping logistics was totally worth driving home through an almost-tornado for.

Awesome Mail Day

Here’s what was inside:

TMNT Animated Adventures Comic

I’ve been so busy lately I totally missed this on Free Comic Book Day a few weeks ago, so Dex sent me his extra copy. I love how the new Turtles look in 2D. I keep saying I kinda wish there was a whole show done in this style.

IDW TMNT Free Comic Book Day Comic

ActionTime Buddies Comic

Another Free Comic Book Day title, ActionTime Buddies #1. I’m not super-familiar with this one, but the fact that its cover features a character named Bro the Kung-Fu Pegasus is a good indication that I should give it my full attention. Anyone out there an ActionTime Buddies fan? Feel free to tell me how uncool I am for not knowing much about it.

ActionTime Buddies Comic

Dark Horse TMNT Miniatures

The pièce de résistance of this package. These miniatures of Dontallo and a Foot Solider were produced around the time of the RPG, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness and were hand painted by Dex. I didn’t have any of the figurines from this line, and it’s so much cooler to get ones that someone I know customized.

Dark Horse TMNT Miniatures

Dex also threw in a gift card for a free one-year subscription to Pure Nintendo Magazine, cuz he’s just super thoughtful like that. I’m already all over it.

Seriously, I have THE BEST blogging buddies! Most of you probably already know Dex, but if not, do check out his blog for toys, games, comics, thrift shop finds, and all sorts of other neat stuff. He’ll always be “Halloween Guy” to me, though.

Why do toy makers think little girls are obsessed with poop?

That’s my burning question for The League this week, which asks “why?” No, really, WHY? Profound, I know.

I was willing to let this whole pooping pets thing slide when I thought there was only one of these dolls–specifically, the one with the glitter-pooping rabbit (she typed, feeling utterly ridiculous) that I had seen on a friend’s Facebook page in one of those “I can’t believe this actually exists” type of posts, as it borders the line between totally awesome and kinda fucked up. It’s a thin line.

According to this extremely annoying website, “moxie” means having “the courage to go for it!” Someone at MGA Entertainment certainly did.

Meet Lexa. She’s an outgoing brunette girl with “Moxie” and a hideous fashion sense. And more importantly, A PET RABBIT THAT POOPS GLITTER!

I Poop Glitter!

Being a Moxie Girl is all about having “the strength to do something amazing.” Yes, girls, “Anything is possible as long as you stay true to yourself and never give up on your dreams!” Apparently Moxie Girlz dream about animals that shit sparkly things, like glitter, which really makes me call into question this whole idea of teaching little girls to dream big. Are there no kittens that poop diamonds? Or Fabergé eggs? At the very least, how ’bout a hamster that shits arcade tokens? What the hell are you going to do with glitter? Certainly not wear it, I hope, considering it just came out of something’s ass.

On a recent trip to Toys ‘R Us, I discovered glitter-pooping rabbits are just the tip of the giant floating turd. Take sweet, girl-next-door type Avery, for example. She dreams about koala bears that shit jewels!

I Poop Jewels!

At least I think that’s supposed to be a koala. If it is, it’s a shitty koala. Anyway, despite being a dumb blonde, Avery has the good sense to have found a pet that poops something valuable, at least. You go, girl!

Finally, we have Kellan (have I mentioned how much I hate these names?) who I’m declaring the winner of having pets that poop awesome things. First, it’s a unicorn, so that automatically wins, and B, it poops RAINBOWS.

I Poop Rainbows!

I know what you’re thinking–of course unicorns poop rainbows! I am, however, a little disappointed in the execution. Those turds look more like jelly beans, not actual rainbows. That should be a disclaimer on the package. But then again, I guess real rainbows wouldn’t be so easy to feed back to the unicorn, so she could shit them out again.

WTF

If I haven’t mentioned it yet, that’s clearly the best thing about these pets–they eat their own poop.

Why did I just spend so much time writing pooping pet toys?

That’s a good follow-up question, I think.

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was to ask “Why”? Here’s what my homies in the League wrote about:

*More links coming soon!*

My Sticker Book from the 1980s

20130424-140559.jpg

My older sister and I didn’t have much in common growing up, aside from having been pushed through the same vag and the few mortifying occasions our mom forced us to wear matching outfits. My sister, the prissy straight “A” student who was into clothes and make-up, versus me, the tomboy who was into pretty much all the same (read: much cooler) crap I’m still into now.

One of the few ways our interests overlapped was our mutual love for stickers. Then again, every kid in the 80s collected stickers, so saying we had this in common is like saying we’re both fans of breathing.

We were never “hardcore” in our sticker-acquiring aspirations, but we did enjoy filling up this sticker book with our shared treasures, giving careful thought and attention as to how they should be arranged. Well, sometimes.

1980s Sticker Book

I’m sure at the time it seemed like a good idea to “protect” our stickers inside this old album meant for photos, with its sticky pages and clear plastic page covers that would yellow and wither over time. I may not have learned much in the 20 years since I last touched this sticker book, but I think I can safely say that was a fucking horrible idea. Of course it wasn’t mine.

Also not my idea was the inclusion of lame-ass stickers like Paddington Bear, but one of the reasons I love this sticker book so much is that it’s a time capsule that reveals the differences (and sometimes similarities) between its two curators.

20130424-133401.jpg

Those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles plastered on the inside back cover? All me.

It’s fun to flip through these worn pages and try to remember who contributed what in cases where it’s less cut and dry. That Poochie sticker could have been either of us.

Also worth noting are the loosely adhered-to “themes” we attempted to create on some of the pages, which I’ve provided my best guesses for below (when it isn’t something obvious, like unicorns). As was often the case, my sister, ever the more cautious and detail-oriented daughter, would get a good theme going until I came along and fucked it all up with my random sticker bombs and less than artful placement. STICKER ANARCHY!

And now, to simulate the full experience of trading stickers back in the 80s…

“GUYS! GUYS! GUYS! LOOK AT MY STICKERS!”

Page 1 – Candy & Sweets

Candy Stickers

Page 2 – Moodies

Who remembers these little guys?

Moodle Stickers

Page 3 – Metallic Messages & Music

Metallic Message & Jammin' Stickers

Page 4 – Hearts

Heart Stickers

Page 5 – Bears

Bear Stickers

Page 6 – Fuzzy Things

Puffy Animal Stickers

Page 7 – Kittens

Cat Stickers

Page 8 – Hot Air Balloons & Garfield

Garfield & Hot Air Balloon Stickers

Page 9 – Ice Cream

Ice Cream Stickers

Page 10 – More Ice Cream

More Ice Cream Stickers

Page 11 – Peaches ‘n Cream

Peaches 'n Cream Stickers

Page 12 – Junk Food

Junk Food Stickers

Page 13 – 80s-Tastic!

Super 80s-Tastic Stickers

Page 14 – Easter

Lame Easter Stickers

Page 15 – Skating & Ballerinas

Ballerina Stickers

Page 16 – Sparkles & Shiny Objects

Metallic Stickers

Page 17 – School

School Stickers

Page 18 – Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Stickers

Page 19 – Muppet Babies

Muppet Babies Stickers

Page 20 – Puffy Stickers & Googly Eyes

Puffy & Googly Eye Stickers

Page 21 – Lemons

Lemon Stickers

Page 22 – Valentines

Valentine Stickers

Page 23 – Chore Rewards

Reward Stickers

Page 24 – Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake Stickers

Page 25 – Dogs

Dog Stickers

Page 26 – Teddy Bears

Teddy Bear Stickers

Page 27 – (Not Really) Balloons

Rainbow Heart & Star Stickers

Page 28 – Unicorns

Unicorn Stickers

Who wants to trade stickers?

Having gotten reacquainted with my checkered sticker collecting past, I think I’m inspired now to start an adult sticker book (NOT the kind you’re thinking of) to give a proper home to all of the rad stickers I’ve accumulated from my blogging friends lately, between Branded in the 80s, Top Hat Sasquatch, Strange Kids Club, etc. which reminds me–have you seen the totally kickass Cult Film Club stickers we’re selling?

Do also check out Rediscover the 80s totally rad sticker album from 1984! It puts this collection to shame.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I Can Hug!

Rabid TMNT fangirlism + childhood memories + tax refund =buying all four of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cuddle Pillows (or “Pillow Buddies”, depending on which store you buy them from).

There was really never any question that I would end up owning these, but I need to thank Tommy over at Top Hat Sasquatch for tipping me off that Walmart.com has them for less than $18 each. With free Site-to-Store shipping, I got mine in a matter of a few days.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cuddle Pillows

Here they all are, chillin’ in my bedroom (and you should feel special, because I NEVER make my bed):

My Bedroom Today

From left to right: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael

If the order of the Turtles looks familiar it’s probably because a few days ago I posted a photo of what my bedroom looked like in 1989, the pièce de résistance being my Ninja Turtle plushies all lined up on my bed:

My Bedroom in 1989

Here’s a closer look at the 2013 version of that photo:

TMNT Pillow Buddies

And some shots of the individual Turtles:

Leo

Leonardo’s the leader in blue, he’ll do anything it takes to get his Ninjas through.

Leonardo Plush

Donnie

Donatello is the fellow, has a way with machines.

Donatello Plush

Raph

Raphael’s got the most attitude on the team.

Raphael Plush

Mikey

Michelangelo, he’s one of a kind, and you’ll know just where to find him when it’s party time.

Michelangelo Plush

Hi, my name is Jaime, I am 31 years old, and I like Ninja Turtles…

My Bedroom, Circa 1989 (Mildly TMNT-Related)

I recently dug up this photo from one of my family’s albums. Why on earth they had a picture of my bedroom on a random day in 1989, I don’t know, but I’m glad it exists if only so I can re-live the magic of getting splinters from my unfinished pine furniture and staring loathsomely at the ugly pastel wallpaper.

Let’s take a tour!

This was taken around the time I had started to transition away from girly stuff and get more into comics and video games, and obviously, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The striped wallpaper, floral border and “ugly art thing” I’ve so helpfully pointed out in the above photo are holdovers from when my bedroom was floor-to-ceiling peach. (I know. Ew.) That bed used to be a four-poster affair with a big, frilly canopy that matched my frilly peach bedspread, but I demanded my dad saw it off. I think my official reasoning was so that my room would be “less gay.”

I still had a couple of dolls, but they were of the collectible “do not touch” variety my mom would bitch if I messed up. I’m dying to know what cassette tapes those are over in the corner there. I’m thinking probably California Raisins, the soundtrack to the first Batman movie, and Paula Abdul. Yeah, let’s go with that.

I’m pretty disappointed in the angle of this photo. If you could pan another foot or so to the right, you’d see the bitchin’ neon-colored Habitrail setup where my hamsters lived. On the opposite wall from my bed there was an armoire (also of rough pine that gave me splinters) that housed my TV and video games.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why Raphael’s mask is loose, it’s because I had a dog who was fond of eating my stuffed animals and Raph was a frequent victim. Just had to be the Turtle I loved the most.

Reunited with one of my best buds. It’s a Kodak moment…

This past weekend I went spelunking for priceless childhood artifacts over at my parents’ house and didn’t come away disappointed. Between their attic, basement and crawlspace I was able to find a number of items I probably haven’t laid eyes on in over 15 years, having long ago chalked them up as rotting away in some landfill. One of those items–this stuffed Michelangelo, circa 1989–may as well have been.

Michelangelo Plush - Front

Michelangelo Plush - Back

 

Poor Mikey. He’s seen better days

Judging from the chewed-up appearance of his belt, I have a feeling he may, at some point, have been a plaything for my family’s old dog, which was Raphael’s fate:

Elky frequently ate stuffed animals...

(Also, my dog was possibly a Terminator.)

Now Michelangelo is the only surviving member of my foursome of plush green heroes, which back in the day I would not have hesitated to call my most cherished possessions.

By day “the guys” hung out in the most coveted spot in my room–front and center on my bed–and by night they slept snugly in my arms (or, if Raph and Leo were fighting, in groups of two on either side of me).  The Turtles accompanied me on play dates, beach vacations, camping trips (bet you didn’t know I was a Girl Scout!), that time I “moved out” into my playhouse, and I wouldn’t dream of opening up my presents on Christmas morning without them beside me to share in my–I mean our–delight if I got something TMNT-related. I told them all my secrets and would often seek their advice on everday matters of importance, like what Sega game to rent, or if I should cheat on my math test. Which Turtle I asked depended on the answer I was hoping to get.

They were, in short, my best buds.

Outside the cartoons and movies on VHS, my plushies were one of the few tangible pieces of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fandom I was allowed, which is part of the reason I loved them so much.  My mom never liked the idea of me playing with “boy toys” so I barely had any TMNT action figures to speak of, even though I always asked for them at Christmas (aside: that’s how I originally started to suspect the whole Santa thing might be a sham) and birthdays.

Speaking of birthday parties…

TMNT Birthday Party

Yes, I’m well aware I had the worst haircut ever. It was a combination of a perm gone wrong and me trying to take matters into my own hands with the scissors. It’s a miracle I even had any friends left to invite to this party. By all means, make fun of my hair if you must, but if you’re going to make fun of anything, it should be my pants. I have no excuse for those.

Remember to Stop and Blow Some (Ice Cream-Scented) Bubbles

Here’s some totally unsolicited life advice from me to you:

Catching Bubbles

Remember to stop and blow some bubbles every now and then.

By that I mean take some time out to do something that makes you feel like a kid again. Today it’s bubbles, but this could really be a metaphor for anything you loved doing as a kid–coloring, roller skating, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, going for a swing, building a sand castle. Remember how happy you were in those moments? When the only thing that mattered was how much fun you were having?

Every now and then I need to be reminded that there was a time before the pressures of adult life–work, bills, relationships, taxes, politics, health problems–when all I needed to be happy was myself and maybe a fresh box of crayons or a run through the sprinkler. Not having children means I don’t have a built-in excuse for doing silly things like blowing bubbles, but I’ve got plenty of stress and responsibilities, and sometimes I just need to do these things, neighbors who give me funny looks be damned.

Today is one of those days, as the tax deadline is Monday and I’m filing today, like a boss. (Yup, I’m that person.) I’m also sending out positive thoughts to a friend who’s going through a rough time and gearing up to spend my Sunday night working to meet a Monday morning deadline–thank God for DVR. (Sorry Mad Men and Game of Thrones, but I’ll make it up to you.)

These ice cream-scented bubbles (holy crap, there are ice cream-scented bubbles!) are exactly what I needed:

Ice Cream Scented Bubbles

I found these at the grocery store a few weeks ago–two for $3!–and have been waiting for the right time to head out to the backyard and have some fun. Spring has officially arrived in Maryland, which I can always tell by the cherry tree in bloom in my front yard (and the unholy amount of cat hairs I keep finding everywhere). The fresh air and afternoon sun was a perfect backdrop for bubble-blowing, and the slight breeze carried my iridescent, chocolate-scented spheres all across the neighborhood.

Blowing Bubbles

The breeze made taking pictures challenging (picture me blowing bubbles then frantically trying to capture them with my camera before they disappeared or blew too far away), but I kept trying even though I’m no photographer. I’m glad I did, because I was rewarded with some of the loveliest photos I’ve ever taken.

Bubble Wand

Bubbles in the Sunlight

Double Bubble

Sky Bubbles

Have you blown any bubbles lately, metaphorically speaking?

Box Full of Awesome = Boxsome Nostalgia Packs!

When I heard my friend Tommy from Top Hat Sasquatch was starting up a business selling geeky nostalgia packs, I had a feeling it was going to be awesome, just based on the fact that Tommy’s an awesome dude. Really, I didn’t need any more convincing than that. Judging from the package I got in the mail today, I know this to be true.

Look!

Closeup of the Awesomeness

The new venture is Boxsome, a mail-order service delivering “Nostalgia Packs” right to your mailbox. Every box or bundle is crammed full of cool geeky, nostalgic stuff, like unopened wax packs, trading cards, stickers, Pogs (remember those?), and other small items you probably collected as a kid. You get a whole lot of awesome for less than $10 (each pack is $7 + $2.50 shipping), and you can customize each pack to your interests based on the available themes. Of course, I went with Ninja Turtles and Nintendo.

Here’s a better look at everything in my customized Nostalgia Pack:

Boxsome Pack

Even though you can choose which wax packs you want, the fun of Boxsome is all the surprise items you get, like a mail-order grab bag! I got some Star Wars, Lion King and Simpsons pogs, Nintendo cards, Pizza Point stickers, Batman cards, and other assorted geekery you can have fun identifying in the photo above. It’s a pretty good deal for all you get, and there’s no subscriptions, fees or other B.S. Just pay once and get cool stuff! Who doesn’t love getting cool stuff in the mail?

Want your own Nostalgia Pack? Get yours for 20% off!

Tommy is hooking up ShezCrafti readers with a 20% discount! (I told you he’s an awesome dude.) Just enter code “SHEZCRAFTI” when you check out.

If you decide to take the plunge, be sure to post some pics of your loot on Twitter or Instagram and give a shout-out to @HeyBoxsome! You could end up in the Boxsome Gallery and be internet famous.

Here’s mine:

It’s so bad!

ShezCrafti Loves Boxsome!


For Trade/Sale: My Catwoman Comics

This week The League is trading our unwanted stuff! I’ve got plenty of that around here, but I tried to pick something that I know you guys in The League might actually want–that is, unless any of you are interested in Hello Kitty stuff or Insane Clown Posse CDs… Anyone? Bueller?

Didn’t think so.

So, here’s what I’m hoping to unload:

Catwoman Comic Books

Are you surprised I have Catwoman comics? See, back in the 90s I was obsessed with X-MEN after getting hooked on the cartoon, so I started collecting the comics. I still have hundreds of them, between X-MEN, Uncanny X-MEN, X-Factor, X-Force, X-MEN 2099, X-MEN Adventures, all the character-centric titles like Wolverine, Cable, Storm, etc. etc. etc. I even have some Avengers crossovers. Here’s a glimpse:

X-Men Comics

Feeling overly entrenched in the Marvel universe, I decided at some point to branch out a little and try something new. For whatever reason, Catwoman is the book I chose to do that with. I loved Batman, but was overwhelmed by the volume of Batman comics out there and didn’t know where to start. I’ve also never been one to collect comic books just for the sake of collecting–I actually do read the stories and I won’t buy a book that I’m not “into” story or character-wise. When I saw Catwoman #1 hit the stands back in 1993, I thought here was good chance to get into something Batman-related from the start so I jumped on it.

Plus, the cover is embossed, so you can totally feel up Selina Kyle’s cat-bewbz. Fun, right?

Cat-bewbz

I tried my best to get into Catwoman, collecting it for about a year or so, but unfortunately it never grabbed me the way X-MEN did, so I gave up. It did, however, teach me a valuable lesson: that I shouldn’t have to “try” to get into something. If you’re trying too hard to like something, it probably means you don’t. And if you don’t like something, stop collecting it. Otherwise it’s just a waste of time and money. That’s what these books represent to me–a waste of time and money. I have no emotional investment in them whatsoever, and I’d be more than happy to pass them on to someone who’ll actually appreciate them.

So here’s exactly what I have up for trade:

Catwoman Comics, Group 1

Catwoman Comics, Group 2

Catwoman Comics, Group 3

  • Catwoman #1 – Aug 1993
  • Catwoman #2 – Sep 1993
  • Catwoman #3 – Oct 1993
  • Catwoman #4 – Nov 1993
  • Catwoman #5 – Dec 1993
  • Catwoman #6 – Jan 1994 (2x copies of this one)
  • Catwoman #7 – Feb 1994
  • Catwoman #8 – Mar 1994
  • Catwoman #9 – Apr 1994
  • Catwoman #10 – May 1994
  • Catwoman #11 – Jun 1994
  • (I don’t have #12 for some reason…)
  • Catwoman #13 – Aug 1994
  • Catwoman #14 – Sep 1994 (2x copies of this one)
  • (I don’t have #15 either)
  • Catwoman #16 – Dec 1994
  • Catwoman #0 – Oct 1994
  • Catwoman Annual #1 – 1994

All of these comics are bagged and boarded and have been resting undisturbed in my comic boxes since 1994. In other words, they’re in great condition.

And here’s what I’m interested in for trade:

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles anything, especially if it’s related to the first movie
  • Retro gaming stuff (NES carts, Atari, Sega Genesis, etc.)
  • Choose Your Own Adventure Books (Hardcover)
  • Vintage board games or card games
  • Atari Hot Wheels (I need the 2600 GMC Motorhome and the Centipede van)

Of course, money’s always good too if you’d rather just outright buy them. I have no idea what the’re worth though, so you could probably swindle me pretty good.

Let’s make a deal.

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was to post items we want to trade or sell. Here’s what we’ve got on the trading post:

Best $3 I Ever Spent: Bicycle Zombie Playing Cards

When the zombie apocalypse happens–and it will–you’re going to need a good set of playing cards to pass the time with other survivors.

I suggest Bicycle Zombie Playing Cards:

Deck of Bicycle Zombie Playing Cards

You really can’t go wrong with Bicycles. They’ve been making these cards since 1885.  You think a little thing like the zombie apocalypse is going to stop them?

Back of Zombie Cards Box

I picked these up in Walgreens the other day for just $3. With priceless zombie survival tips printed on every card, this deck has already paid for itself.

Zombie Playing Cards

The face cards for every suit feature different-looking zombies. Clubs are a sickly flesh color, clearly in the early stages of decay. Hearts are a pale, icy blue–perhaps these are cold-weather zombies? Diamonds are a putrid yellow reminiscent of puss. Finally, Spade zombies are a classic grayish-green.

Zombie Face Cards

The Joker card pays homage to the original, with a zombified King rising from his grave marked 808. Nice touch.

Zombie Joker Card

The backs of the cards feature a bloody take on the zombie King theme, with rotting hands stretching into the four corners.

Card Backs

I’ve already stashed these away in my survival kit. If you’re lucky enough to end up in my group of survivors, you won’t be without entertainment.

The Walking Drunk and Disorderly Dead

I was on my way to the bank this morning when I saw this sign:

CAUTION SLOW FOR WALKERS

My first reaction was excitement, thinking the zombie apocalypse had finally come. Then I got a little further into town–where all the bars are–and realized it’s St. Patty’s Day weekend, and by “walkers” this sign is referring to drunk and disorderly white people. That’s all Bel Air, Maryland has to offer, really. But it was fun for a few seconds to think  at any moment I might have to start running down undead bitches with my Civic.

While I’m on the subject of The Walking Dead, I recently added the board game to my collection. I picked it up at Best Buy, of all places, because I had some Rewards money. It’s pretty rare for me to walk in there and not come out with a video game of some sort, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I must have hit it on a bad day because their selection of games sucked.

So instead I settled for some good old-fashioned analog entertainment.

The Walking Dead Board Game

It’s a shitty, depressing day outside, so I thought it was perfect for photos considering the subject matter. Enjoy the serene beauty of my muddy backyard and rotting deck.

The Walking Dead Game Pieces

The Walking Dead Game Pieces

I haven’t yet had the opportunity to play game, as you can probably tell from the un-punched playing pieces, but already this game has a huge strike against it:

No Daryl.

It does, however, have a Single Player mode just for losers like me!

Single Player Mode

The actual “board” part of this board game is pretty cool, too, because it’s made of flexible fabric and rubber, like a mat. It rolls up for storing neatly in its own compartment in the box. I guess you could also attempt to used it as a weapon when the real zombie apocalypse happens, but I would not recommend that.

The Walking Dead Game Contents

According to the back of the box, this game is a “Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit.”

Walking Dead Board Game Back Cover

I don’t know where the game makers are getting their information, but I doubt there’s much inside this box that would save you from one zombie, let alone multiple zombies who all want to eat your face off. If you have a good arm, maybe you could throw dice at them hard enough and take out an eye?

6 Inches of Vintage Turtle Power!

What does it say about me that on my recent fantasy shopping spree to Hakes Americana & Collectibles I only came away with $1639.00 worth of stuff? I had carte blanche with my pretend money to purchase all the coolest, most ridiculously expensive pop culture artifacts I wanted, but wound up buying tschotskes and a couple of cheap buttons. I suck at being rich. If I ever suddenly come into a lot of money because I invent Vapoorize or something, I’ll probably still eat at McDonald’s and drink Arbor Mist.

One of the items I was most excited about was (of course) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-related–this two-pack of 6-inch TMNT buttons:

TMNT Buttons

I ended up snagging the pair, not because these buttons are rare or even all that particularly interesting, but because I had one as a kid. Don’t ask me which Turtle it was, though, because I don’t remember. I just remember it felt important at the time to boldly display my Turtle Power to counteract the scourge of ridiculously over-sized New Kids on the Block buttons that seemed to be everywhere. That was worth getting mocked relentlessly for, right? (In related news, HOLY HELL there’s a lot of cheap NKOTB stuff on Ebay. Which one of you is flooding the market with Cover Girl cassingles?)

A while back I had picked up Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo buttons from Just For Fun Collectibles, a local store that buys and sells old toys, comics, and games, among tons of other cool crap that fills its tiny retail space from floor to ceiling. I was thrilled to find these guys buried in a plastic bin full of Pez dispensers and the shop owner gave me a good deal on all three of them, however I was super-bummed they didn’t have Raphael. Figures it would be the most important one.

But thanks to Hake’s, the cool but crude Turtle has finally joined his brothers and completed the awesome foursome:

TMNT Vintage Large Buttons

If you haven’t checked out Hake’s auction site yet and all the awesome pop culture memorabilia they have for sale, you might want to cut up your credit cards before taking a look! Just sayin’.

Fantasy Shopping Spree at Hake’s Americana & Collectibles

I want money, lots and lots of money, so I can buy all this cool stuff at Hake’s!

HakesThis week’s assignment from The League was to pretend money is no object and go on a fantasy shopping spree at Hake’s Americana & Collectibles. Part of Baltimore’s famous Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, Hake’s is a huge auction site filled with tons of nostalgic collectibles and pop culture memorabilia, ranging in price from surprisingly reasonable to somebody’s going to have to donate a kidney. Browsing through the hundreds of pages of toys, novelties, comics, pins, posters, autographs and everything in between, I was overwhelmed at how much stuff they have. I spent a good hour or so just clicking through all the links and typing in random searches to see what I could find. Naturally I checked out their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stuff first, however, I did resist the urge to fill up a blog post with just TMNT collectibles. You should be proud of me.

Anyway, cue the cheesy montage music. It’s time to go shopping!

Seriously, do it.

So, we’re supposed to pretend like we’re buying stuff to decorate our mansions, but if I were filthy rich I’d totally live on a huge yacht like Goldie Hawn in Overboard complete with useless, empty, hair-polishing, toe-polishing rich bitch sun tanning days. Instead of traveling the world collecting fine works of art, I’d fill up my yacht with vintage video games, valuable comics, toys, movie memorabilia, rare Ninja Turtles stuff, and other priceless (to me) treasures from all over. Basically it’d be just like Overboard except I’d own much cooler stuff and my crew would play ’80s music around the clock. And also I wouldn’t be a total bitch.

Here’s what I bought!

Hake's Americana & Collectibles

I know it’s a lot to take in. Believe me, I had a hard time narrowing it down to just this stuff. Here’s a breakdown of everything I purchased with my pretend monies, and why:

1. ‘Blues Brothers’ Button

The Blues Brothers is one of the best movies of all time. If you disagree, you are wrong. The Blues Brothers were a few years before my time, but I grew up watching the iconic film with my Dad and catching up on those early years of Saturday Night Live (somewhere along the way I also developed a mini-crush on John Belushi which is pretty weird being that he’s a dead guy, and all). This vintage Blues Brothers button predates the 1980 film and depicts Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi in character as Elwood and Jake.

Price: $12.00

2. Buster Brown Plastic Ring

The mall in my town where I’ve lived for over 30 years used to have a Buster Brown children’s shoe store back in the early 80s, and every time my mom took me there to buy a new pair of shoes, it meant I would get one of these cheap plastic Buster Brown rings. For me, that was the whole point of going because I hated shoes and still do. I think I must have been traumatized by a shoe salesman at an early age or something. I know it’s atypical because I’m a woman and we’re supposed to like shoes, but if I could get away with going barefoot or wearing flip-flops year-round, I would.

Price: $15.00

3. ‘Star Wars’ Ken Steacy Signed Lithograph

This Star Wars print is so bad ass! Not only do I love the copious amount of hot pink, but the perspective makes Darth Vader look like a giant. Either that or somebody shrunk the Death Star. This Star Wars lithograph is from a limited run of just 50 prints and is signed by artist Ken Steacy.

Price: $150.00

4. Pair of 6″ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Buttons

You knew there was going to be some Ninja Turtles stuff here, right? These oversize 6″ buttons are the kind that have a pop-out cardboard stand on the back to prop them up. I already have the matching Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo versions; I just need Raphael and the group shot with the logo, which are sold together in this TMNT button lot.

Price: $35.00

5. David Bowie ‘Serious Moonlight’ Tour Pin

This super 80s-tastic David Bowie pin (I seem to have a thing for pins) is from his 1983 Serious Moonlight tour. I was only two years old in 1983, but I love me some David Bowie–especially 80s Bowie (blame Labyrinth!)–and I love this abstract style of art. Thank God for YouTube which is like a time machine where I can watch the whole concert. Lets dance!

Price: $15.00

6. Jim Henson’s Muppet Watches

I love all things Jim Henson and Muppets, so this Kermit watch with a Rainbow Connection theme caught my eye. It’s part of a larger store display of Muppet watches and clocks from 1982. I really like the simplicity of the artwork and the green color of the band which matches Kermit.

Price: $250.00

7. Nintendo Power – ‘Final Fantasy’ Crystal Orb Prize

Here’s one of the few video game-related things I could find at Hake’s, but it’s a good one! Back in 1990, Nintendo Power ran Final Fantasy-themed Treasure Contest and second prize was one of fifty custom decorative Final Fantasy crystal orbs with the game’s name and emblem etched into the glass. As a nice bonus, it even comes with a copy of the Nintendo Power issue it was announced in, which is awesome too because the cover is dedicated to Maniac Mansion, one of my favorite NES games.

Price: $250.00

8. ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ Roller Skates

I had no idea Star Wars roller skates existed, but now that I do, I must possess them. I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised, since there is Star Wars everything. Another thing I’d own if I were rich is my own private roller rink modeled after a late-80s Skate Land. You’d all be invited to come hang out anytime you want, of course. And if skating in wide circles to The Cars is not your thing, don’t worry–there’ll also be a bitchin’ arcade and pizza parlor.

Price: $100.00

9. Mechanical Mighty Robot with Spark

I don’t really know anything about this mechanical windup robot toy, except that he seems like a lot of fun and looks totally rad. The description on the website tells me he’s from Japan and was made in the 1960s. Supposedly when you wind him up he walks forward and you can see sparks shooting off inside his chest window. See what I mean? Totally rad.

Price: $50.00

10. Batman Outfit with Button

Who doesn’t want to be Batman for a day? With this cape, mask, and official “Charter Member Batman & Robin Society” badge, you could be. I just like the silliness of it all, and how the packaging says “TV Cape” instead of Batman. I don’t know what that’s all about, but evidently this Batman outfit only costed 98 cents back in 1966. Being Batman for less than a dollar sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

Price: $75.00

11. X-Men Comic Panel Buttons

You might not know this about me, but for a time in the early 90s I was even more obsessed with X-MEN than I was Ninja Turtles. I have since gone back to Turtles almost exclusively but I still keep up with X-MEN to a loose degree, and still hold on to several long boxes full of comics that document that period of my life. These X-MEN comic panel buttons are from 1986-1987 and feature awesome artwork, including my favorite 80s-era red and brown Wolverine style.

Price: $35.00

12. ‘Top Gun’ Showtime Button

More buttons! I could probably easily fill up a whole wall of buttons, or at the very least, a whole jean jacket. This one is a Top Gun promo button  from 1987 promoting the Showtime network. I don’t really care about that part, I just like it because it’s Top Gun.

Price: $15.00

13. Miss Piggy Campaign Button

Did you know Miss Piggy ran for president back in 1980? This Miss Piggy for President button was distributed as part of her campaign, along with an appearance in Life magazine. Personally, I would not have voted for Miss Piggy and her feminist agenda, but it’s fun to imagine what the country would be like today if she had won. #Beaker4President, amirite?

Price: $25.00

14. Walt Disney’s Game Parade Board Game

This vintage 1940′s Disney Game Parade caught my eye because of the box art and interesting design. Supposedly this thing is 15 board games in one, using different boards and playing pieces. But the real reason I like it so much is because Toby Tortoise is represented on the cover. You just don’t see that guy around much. It’s a shame he never became more popular after his Silly Symphony days.

Price: $125.00

15. Toby Tortoise Toothbrush Holder

Speaking of Toby Tortoise, check out this keen Toby Tortoise toothbrush holder from the 30s, which was back when they said things like “keen.” It makes sense that Toby would store your toothbrush in his shell, you know, because he’s a turtle. Just like how it also makes sense that he’s wearing boxing gloves, because he’s a boxer.  In a way, Toby Tortoise is kind of a precursor to the Ninja Turtles. He’s definitely cool enough to warrant more cartoon appearances than the few lousy ones he got. I’m rooting for ya, little buddy.

Price: $200.00

16. ‘Tales from the Crypt’ Pinball Advertising Button

Though I’m too young to have grown up with the original comics, one of my favorite horror anthology shows was HBO’s Tales from the Crypt. My mom used to let me and my sister stay up late and watch it with her over a shared bowl of popcorn. This Tales from the Crypt button is associated with the pinball machine that was produced in 1993. Sadly, Hake’s doesn’t have the whole pinball machine or I’d buy that, because why not, I’m all rich and stuff now? The Crypt Keeper is definitely someone I’d hang out with on Friday nights. At the very least he deserves credit for my love of terrible puns.

Price: $60.00

17. ‘Reform School Girls’ Large Promotional Button

This is a large promo button from the 1986 extreme low budget B-movie Reform School Girls. Don’t be surprised if we–and by “we” I mean “I”–end up covering this one over at Cult Film Club.

Price: $28.00

18. “The Swingers” Beatles-Like Figurines on Card

I had no idea The Shitty Beatles existed outside of Wayne’s World. This set of “The Swingers” plastic figurines is clearly a knock-off of The Beatles. The fact that they’re made in Hong Kong is a dead giveaway. I think knock-off products are hilarious, especially when they have such sexy names.

Price: $25.00

19. Reagan Satirical 1980s Postcard Lot

Not much to say about these satirical Reagan postcards, except that I find them hilarious because I’m immature. Ronald Reagan + Rambo = RONBO. Ronald Reagan + Ronald McDonald= Ronald McReagan. DO YOU GET IT, GUYS? I just want them for kitsch points, and also because the lot includes a card where Reagan has a giant penis on his head.

Price: $35.00

20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Power Rings Set

Okay, I had to sneak one more TMNT item in here. These are a set of eight Ninja Turtles “Power Rings” that came from Nabisco Shreddies (hurr hurr!) cereal in Canada. I like that the Turtles are all making different faces, which is rare for pieces like this; usually they just use the same sculpt and change the mask color. I’m also a little upset there’s no Bebop, but these are just trifles. In no way does that mean I want the whole set any less than I do, which is badly.

Price: $35.00

21. ‘E.T.’ Jewelry Necklace Lot

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, if at all. I hardly even own any “nice” jewelry. When I do wear jewelry, I like it cheap and crappy like these goldtone E.T. necklaces, or even the plastic stuff from vending machines. It’s not that I don’t appreciate nice jewelry, it’s just highly impractical for me and I’ve lost more than one nice rock. I’d wear the shit out of these E.T. necklaces, though, which come in  four different designs, including my favorite, Transvestite E.T.

Lulz.

Transvestite E.T.

Price: $20.00

22. Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’ Lunch Box

Here’s another fun ShezCrafti fact: my Dad’s name is Robin Hood. No joke. As a result, I’ve always been kind of drawn to Robin Hood-related stuff since my family has always sort of unofficially collected it. This Robin Hood lunch box is a little beat up, but I love Disney’s version of the Robin Hood legend and I like the artwork.

Price: $60.00

23. ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Souvenir Button Trio

Lastly, I couldn’t resist this set of three Rocky Horror Picture Show souvenir  buttons. Again with the buttons. Not only do I love the movie, but it’s the ultimate cult film.

Price: $24.00

So, how much did all this awesomeness cost?

Receipt

$1,639.oo. Yup, I’m going to have to donate a kidney.

 

What would you buy from Hake’s if money were no object?

Wondering what this is all about? This week’s assignment from The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was to go on a fantasy shopping spree at Hake’s Americana & Collectibles. I purposely did not look at what my fellow Leaguers posted before putting together my own list, so I can’t wait to take a peek at all the crazy things they bought. Or maybe it’s just me who went crazy?

I’ll update this section with more links & info as everyone finishes the assignment and I actually get a chance to read them.

Huge Thank You to Shawn Robare for this Epic Care Package!

When my buddy Shawn from Branded in the 80s told me he was sending a couple of TMNT comic books my way, that’s all I expected–a couple of TMNT comic books. I didn’t expect a giant box full of extra goodies and TMNT stuff in addition to the comics, but this is Shawn, and he’s famous for his awesome care packages, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised! I’m just overwhelmed at how much cool stuff Shawn crammed into this thing, and find myself wondering what I did to deserve such a great friend who sends “just because” gifts.

Care Package

It was a rainy night when I got home to find this box waiting on my door step. I knew who it was from right away, and by the Ninja Turtle wrapping paper lining the box, I also knew it was going to contain lots of awesome.

TMNT Gift Bag

Inside the box was a large Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gift bag that you can bet your ass I was extremely careful to preserve as I unpacked it. I’ve actually been looking for NickTurtles gift bags, but have only been able to find rolls of wrapping paper. I haven’t even dug into the real goods yet and I’m already excited. Over a gift bag. (Yeah, I know I need help.)

Notecard

Shawn’s attention to detail is amazing. Tucked inside the package was this card with a very nice handwritten note, decorated with Shawn’s artwork of my favorite Turtle! There is nothing I love more than getting sent original drawings, especially from people I know, and more especially from talented artists, which Shawn is. I mean, have you seen the awesomeness he designed for Cult Film Club? So again, I’m already loving this package and I haven’t even gotten to the meat yet.

Letter

Also inside was this very detailed letter explaining each and every thing inside the package and why Shawn sent it. Did I mention his attention to detail? I think he may have missed his calling as an archivist. Decorating the pages were more original art and some rad stickers. Always with the stickers! That’s why Shawn’s packages are the best.

Drawing

Here’s a closer look at that drawing, and the mini figure that inspired it. OMFG IT’S A PURPLE POOP MONSTER! With an outhouse as a body! How bizarre yet insanely cool. Of course, I had to know more about it, so I took to Google and discovered OMFG! (Outlandish Mini Figure Guys) who make all sorts of cool little guys like this. Now I recognize that sticker in the previous picture! How appropriate is that name, by the way? “OMFG” is pretty much the reaction I had. You know, because it’s A PURPLE POOP MONSTER WITH AN OUTHOUSE AS A BODY.

Outhouse Figure

According to the OMFG website, this mini figure is named “Phantom Outhouse.” But whatever! He’s “Purple Poop Monster” to me! Maybe even “Purple Poop Monster, Jr.” because the Outhouse “shell” makes him seem very young to me, like a Poop Monster that hasn’t fully hatched. Kind of like Sheldon from Garfield and Friends. (Wow, did my mind really just go there? Yeah. It did.) It took everything I had to put Purple Poop Monster Jr. down and stop imagining all kinds of disgustingly awesome scenarios for how he came into being.

TMNT Comics

Now we’re getting into the real meat and potatoes, and the original reason why Shawn sent me this package–Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics! Shawn had been cleaning out his single issue stash and asked around on Twitter if anybody needed his extras. Although I have a lot of TMNT comics, there’s definitely a few gaps in my collection that I’ve slowly been trying to fill. These were three books that I didn’t have.

Drinking at the Movies

Shawn also threw in this autobiographical indie comic called Drinking at the Movies by artist Julia Wertz. It looks hilarious, and I like Julia’s style. I plan to read it one one of my lunch breaks this week.

TMNT Story Adventure Books

Nestled in with the comics were these retro TMNT Storybook Adventure books! I remember having a couple of these as a kid, but like most cool things I had from my childhood, I have no idea what happened to them. Holding these books in my hands was like re-capturing a little piece of my childhood, and that’s something that I consider precious.

Isn’t it crazy how you slowly lose things like toys, books and games over time when you’re growing up, as different things become more or less important in your life? In my case, I had a mother who was borderline OCD about cleaning and organization, and every couple of months she’d make my sister and I go all through the house and round up things to sell at yard sales or give to Goodwill, which is what happened to a lot of my stuff over the years. On the one hand I’m thankful because her OCD rubbed off and made me the very neat, clean person I am today. On the other hand…I miss my stuff.

Garbage Pail Kids & Creal Killers

More sticker cards! Garbage Pail Kids are always a welcome sight, and frequently turn up in Shawn’s mailings. I’m slowly building up a nice collection just from the loose cards Shawn and a couple of other bloggers have sent me. Mixed in with the Garbage Pail Kids were Cereal Killers cards from Wax Eye! Until now I only had a single pack of these cards which I won from Wax Eye’s Facebook page, so I’m stoked to have more to add to my collection–and even better that they’re cards I don’t already have! I think you must be psychic, Shawn.

TMNT Valentines

Now here’s something that goes straight to my heart–TMNT Valentines! I had mentioned on my blog that I was having a tough time finding these awesome sticker card Valentines (even though I did find this totally sweet TMNT Valentine watch), so Shawn sent me his leftovers. When it comes to TMNT, I don’t mind sloppy seconds in the least! I love the design of these cards, and how non-committal they are as kid-friendly Valentines go. There are no hearts or the word “love” anywhere to be found, which is what you want to look for in a Valentine you’re planning to give to schoolmates who could potentially misinterpret your gesture as a crush, or worse, beat the shit out of you.

V DVDs

Somewhere around these parts I also mentioned very recently that I’ve never seen V. This caused much shock and disbelief among my circle of bloggers, and I guess Shawn felt it was his duty to remedy that. My geek cred was at stake! He passed on these well-loved DVD copies of V: The Original Mini Series and V: The Final Battle to me, which were tucked inside a TMNT goodie bag. I can’t wait to start watching, because apparently I’ve really been missing out on a good show, according to what everyone has told me. I think I’ll try to knock out an episode per night.

Atari Candy & Hi-Chew

Something that’s also always a welcome sight: candy! Especially when it comes in retro video game tins. This Atari Joystick makes an excellent addition to the small collection I now have of video game candy tins, including the Pac-Man Arcade candy tin Shawn sent me for Christmas. He also threw in a pack of Strawberry Hi-Chew, because they have a similar taste to Pink Starburst, which Shawn knows I have an obsession for. These are already gone, by the way.

TMNT Pens

So much awesome stuff and I’m not even done yet! Also buried in the package was this set of four TMNT pens, which each hang by a lanyard that matches the Turtles’ mask colors. I’m guessing these are meant to be party favors for TMNT-themed birthdays? Certainly not office attire, but that’s not going to stop me from wearing them around mine just so I can be there at the ready when someone asks, “Anyone got a pen?” and I whip out my Raphael pen with ninja-like reflexes, impressing everyone around me.

Cookie Butter

Last but definitely not least, Shawn included this jar of what looks like peanut butter, but is actually something called cookie butter. When he first mentioned it to me, I was skeptical because “cookie butter” sounds like something that’s too amazing and magical to exist, like unicorns. But here it is, a whole jar of the stuff, which is marketed as “deliciously unusual.” Let’s play a game: raise your hand if you think Jaime immediately opened the jar of cookie butter, violently tore the seal off, and plunged a finger into its gooey depths then into her mouth because you can do that kind of thing when you live alone? If your hand is raised, you’re a winner. I don’t really have any prizes to give away, so as a reward I will describe the taste of cookie butter to you:

Shame. It tastes like shame.

Shawn, for reals man, I am so humbled by how thoughtful and generous you are, and your attention to everything that went into this care package. I feel so lucky to have friends like you in my life, even though we’ve never met!

Speaking of TMNT watches…

Not to keep turning this blog into “Hey! Look at my Ninja Turtles stuff!” but I thought some of you might want a closer look at the sweet Nick Turtles watch I scored last weekend at Toys R’ Us. I only went there to buy a TMNT iPhone case, I swear it, but this elegant timepiece ended up coming home with me too.

Nick Turtles LED Flashing Watch

Flashing, color-changing LED lights!! Like I said, elegant. The flashing lights effect is actually pretty cool. (I wish I had thought ahead enough to take a video of it, but if you’re a regular reader you should know by now I’m always winging it.) The color changes rapidly between blue, red, green, and purple and then slows to a more soothing, pulsating pattern. The display lasts about 30 seconds–plenty of time to annoy the shit out of everyone around you!–which is a perfectly good reason to wear this thing, if you were looking for one. Not recommended for use around people with epilepsy.

TMNT Watch Face

The Turtles’ faces are rendered in the 2D style (which I’ve really grown to love!) of Nickelodeon’s 3D animation, preserving all their most distinguishable features, like the gap in Don’s teeth and Mikey’s babyface. The different shades of green used for their skin colors are relatively the same, but here their eye colors are all black instead of individual colors like in the cartoon. I can live with that, I guess, though I do miss the sharp green of Raph’s icy stare.

I love too how the Turtles are strategically arranged around the watch face. Leonardo is the leader, so of course he would be in front. That’s Ninja Turtles 101. And whenever Raph is flanking Leo’s right side and Donnie and Mike are on the left, I’m always reminded of the very first panel of the original Mirage comic book to which we owe the entire Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles phenomenon:

TMNT Comic First Panel

Let’s also talk about how the watch face is a NYC manhole cover, and how I always have trouble saying “manhole” with a straight face, because honestly, I’m running out of things to talk about.  If you’re planning to buy this watch, you might also consider hanging on to the packaging or taking a photo of it, because that’s where the instructions are. But who cares about that–MANHOLE! LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

TMNT Watch Instructions

I also wanted to mention the substantial size of this thing. Here it is on my delicate, lady-sized wrist:

Closeup of TMNT Watch

Even without the flashing lights, it’s an attention-getter for sure. It’s socially acceptable to be 31 and wear a Ninja Turtles watch, right?