Monday, May 30, 2011

At Yard Sales, No One Can Hear You Scream!

Though you can almost always cut the awkwardness with a knife, I absolutely love going to yard sales. You just never know what you're gonna find and though you mostly only find other people's dirty and used crap, there are always exceptions. Case in point, a couple years back there was a yard sale right down the road from me that was being run by a woman who had previously owned a video shop ... a video shop with a MASSIVE horror VHS selection. She was selling all the tapes for $1 a piece and I spent a good portion of that weekend over there, rifling through hundreds upon hundreds of tapes including rare stuff like The Town That Dreaded Sundown (which I later sold for $25 when I was strapped for cash). Needless to say, it was awesome and I came away from that weekend with a plethora of goodies. Pretty much every weekend of every summer since then I try and pass that house to see if another yard sale is going on, but to no avail thus far. That being said, i've come to find out that the woman running the yard sale is actually the mother of my parents' next door neighbor, who we kinda know. Next time I see her i'm definitely going to ask if her mom still has any tapes and if she'd let me stop by and take a peek.

In any event, I have one cool yard sale find to show off from this past weekend's scavenging. Behold, one of the old school Kenner Aliens figures of none other than Lt. Ripley!

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Scored this for five bucks, though the old dude selling it was originally looking for $10 for it. I talked him down to six and then decided to bargain with him even more to get it down to five. At first he refused and then he broke down and proposed we compete in some kind of game of chance. If I won, he'd sell it to me for five. If I lost, the price would remain six dollars ... truth be told, I still probably would've bought it either way. I suggested we play rock, paper, scissors and I wiped the floor with him the first two rounds, allowing me to walk away with the figure for a mere five smackers. Go me! The package is pretty beat up and i'm aware that I could probably get a mint condition one for a similar price online, but seeing something like this at a yard sale is just something I can't walk away from.

I just love these old school figures and still find it so fascinating that big name toy companies back in the day actually made action figures based on horror movies. Yes, there are a lot more horror movie figures made these days, but they're always by specialty companies that were created specifically to make genre figures. The fact that a company like Kenner was whipping out Aliens figures is just so cool to me and it really goes to show a serious lack of iconic characters in the more recent days of horror films. Where have all the cool monsters and action figure worthy movies gone?!

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By the way, did you know that Kenner released Alien vs Predator figure two packs way back in 1993, over a decade before the movie ever came to fruition? How cool is that!?

6 comments:

Jeff K. said...

Yeah, the AvP comics and books from the early 90's were awesome... WAY better than the travesties that finally made their way to the screen...

MJ said...

I bought that 2-pack back in the day. My mate was/is a huge Alien fan, and I'm a Predator nut so i just gave him the Alien figure, and kept old Claw-Face for myself. Good times....

Cenobite said...

That's awesome! I am also a collector of as I call them Horror in-action figures, and what a great find man!! Kudos! I myself can't resist an amazing deal!

B-Movie Becky said...

Nice find! My husband, who is an Aliens fanatic, has the same figurine of Ripley and a few other characters. Good stuff.

Matthew said...

I think the keyword there is awkwardness. If you pull up, and you're the only one there, with 3 yard-salers staring back at you from their lawn chairs, yeah - it's awkward all right.

I haven't been to a good yard sale in - heck, I don't think I've ever been to a good one, except for the ones I ran :) I'm pretty sure I was the only guy attempting to profit from horror Blu-ray's at a yard sale. I put out way better stuff than most people, and yet they still come to haggle with me.

So when I go to yard sales, I never see anything remotely cool - all I ever find are piles of clothing and cookbooks. I would have a heart attack if I came across a horror collection of any kind.

It's not for lack of trying though - I pick up the free local papers, and sometimes read the yard sale descriptions (in the classifieds for the coming weekend). I long for the day that I come across one that reads: "Clothes, toys, 4-Wheeler, Kenner Aliens figures, Vintage horror t-shirts still in plastic, '80s Fangoria collection, Italian horror VHS imports, cast-used gore-or movie props..."

I've resigned myself to the sad shelving of the Salvation Army stores, just to get my "used" fix; however your postings of incredible finds do keep my hopes up, and maybe I'll have to take a chance on another yard sale, but there's just no worse feeling than walking to the top of that ridiculously steep driveway and seeing that all they have for sale is a candelabra, Fabio books, used socks and a rusted toolbox.

Johnny said...

Matthew - Yep, the majority of yard sales are full of nothing but crap, and are totally awkward, but it's worth checking out a few from time to time because ya just never know when you're gonna stumble upon a gem!!