Friday, July 6, 2018

Target Finally Paid Off Today

  I rarely get to go to Target since the nearest one is 25 miles from me. Today I was able to go for once. Today's Target Run had paid off. I collect Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. Recently if you are in the Hot Wheels collector community you might know that the Hot Wheels Batman The Animated Series Batmobile has been hitting the shelves at Target stores. I absolutely love Batman The Animated Series. It was one of my favorite TV shows growing up in the 90s. I still have all of my old Kenner figures and own the complete series on DVD. I would need to get at least 2 of these Batmobile's for my collection. Why 2? Well I'll open one up and keep the other MOC to hang on my Hollywood car wall. In addition to the Animated Series Batmobile hitting Target shelves was King Cuda which I also was able to get. It turns out they had 2 Batmobile's and 1 King Cuda left.
  What takes the cake though is the 4th car that I got today, The Matchbox Jurassic World Legacy Collection Jeep #12, the one with the Soft top variant. Everytime I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Target to find this exclusive vehicle, there would be Zero single Legacy Collection cars on the shelf. They might have had the 5 pack but they didn't have any singles. The Legacy Collection is a Target Exclusive by the way. I really dislike store exclusives. They are a pain to get a hold of and make collecting more frustrating. Anyway Jeep #12 was the last one left they had of this Jeep. Fun fact, Jeep #12 was the Jeep Dennis Nedry took to get the embryo's to the East Dock.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Another Great Vintage Thrift Store Find

  I love shopping at thrift stores. I am kind of semi retired from buying unnecessary items such as jackets and different clothing to test my shop scissors on. I do pop in thrift stores quite often enough to see a lot of interesting items.
  Yesterday I decided to venture to The Salvation Army. I didn't get a chance to get there on Wednesday so I decided to go on Saturday. My week was really busy so I didn't have time to go until Saturday. So I go inside to immediately look at the hats that they have. I like to see if they have anything new or interesting when it comes to hats. So I walk to the men's dept and look at the hat shelf and I immediately spotted a vintage US Mail winter hat. Yikes! This has got to be too good to be true. So I grabbed the hat and checked the price. It was $0.99! Well I know what I'm getting.
  I was dead set on getting this vintage hat. I needed it badly. So I looked around at other various things and saw some more hats for sale but they weren't worth getting. So I passed on them. I went to the basement section to look at the various stuff they had for sale there. I spotted a wicker shotgun thingy that was unusual. I didn't check the price but it was really strange to see that. I looked at the appliance shelf to see if that vintage check writer machine was still there. To my surprise it was still there. I wonder how long that will rot on the shelf. I have a vintage check writer that I found in my attic so I have no need for the one at The Salvation Army.
  So I ventured back to the main floor and purchased my US Mail hat. I did really good on buying this hat. I checked to see what people want for hats like this on eBay and they want $30+ for a hat like this. Some things that I have noticed about this hat is that it was made by Some's Uniforms in Paramus, NJ. The hat is also Union made by the United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union, a defunct union. I'm not a big fan of Unions but I have to admit that this hat is cool. It's really a great piece to my Made in the USA hat collection.

I Finally Got Public Enemy Number 1.

  I'm a Hot Wheels collector among many things. For years there was one car that has eluded me. You see ever since I first saw the Mercedes 300TD Collector # 606 from 1997 in a book, I've always wanted that car. I love station wagons so having this car in my collection made sense. This car isn't like other Hot Wheels cars. Why is that? Well for one thing, this wagon isn't technically a Hot Wheels car. It's an ex-Corgi casting. Back in the early 1990s Mattel bought out Mettoy which was the makers of the iconic Corgi brand of diecast. So Mattel had acquired a bunch of old Corgi castings and released them as Hot Wheels cars for a brief amount of years in the late 90s. In fact most ex-Corgi castings were only released once such as the 300TD.
  For years I've been going to the local farmers market to look for this car from the various sellers who sell Hot Wheels cars. I've been fortunate to find other ex-Corgi cars that I've wanted. The Mercedes 300TD has always eluded me, until a few weeks ago. Ironically I didn't get the car at the farmers market, I got it in a Reddit trade.

  I am a Reddit member who is mostly active in the subreddit r/HotWheels. I've been fortunate enough to engage in several trades with other members there. Buying those non super Treasure Hunt cars have paid off so far. I'm very grateful for buying that Pink Cadillac Sixteen Regular Treasure Hunt car because it enabled me to get the Mercedes 300TD. I was originally trading the Cadillac Sixteen for the Matchbox Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. The other member asked if there was any other car I was looking for. So going out on a limb, I asked if he had the Mercedes 300TD. I was in luck, he had it. So we traded cars and I ended up with the Mercedes 300TD that I've wanted badly for years. It's such a quirky car. I love it because you can automatically tell it isn't a Hot Wheels design. Heck even it says on the carding, European Styling. This car is one of the most obscure Hot Wheels cars out there. Not because it's an ex Corgi car but because it is a station wagon. Many years ago Station Wagons just weren't popular in Hot Wheels form. Now they are getting quite popular. Now Hot Wheels has given us collectors many wagons in recent years such as a Chevelle Wagon and a Skyline Wagon. Will this 300TD make a comeback some day? I highly doubt it will ever see a mainline release ever again. So I'm glad I have this One Hit Wonder Hot Wheels car.

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Look Back at Jurassic Park III Human Figures.

  In honor of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom being in theaters now, I decided to look back at Jurassic Park III Human Figures. I have a love hate relationship with this toyline as well as the movie itself. By the time Jurassic Park III was in development, Kenner who previously made the toys for the previous two Jurassic Park Films had been shut down by Hasbro in 2000. Kenner was purchased by Hasbro back in 1991.
  So since Kenner was closed down in 2000, the Jurassic Park license went to Hasbro. A year before Kenner was shut down, Hasbro released a line of repainted Kenner Jurassic Park figures in a line called Jurassic Park Dinosaurs. The human figures were a mish mash of parts from different figures. Some figures used old heads from the Jurassic Park Dino trackers line with The Lost World Series 2 Ajay Sidu's body or simply repainted InGen hunter figures. That was Kenner's last breath with the Jurassic Park License.
Series 1 Alan Grant
  Now fast forward 2 years ahead to 2001. Hasbro now has the license instead of Kenner. So Hasbro decided it was a good idea to get rid of the iconic Kenner scale that their Jurassic Park figures were known for, Kenner's Jurassic Park human figures were 4.5 inches tall. Hasbro made their Jurassic Park III figures 3.75 inches. This was a massive shrink in height. In addition to the change in height, Hasbro thought it was a good idea to make the human figures have tattered and torn clothing. Ok this is something new, I guess they want to simulate the humans surviving a plane crash into a tree in Isla Sorna. It's a good idea but the figures look stupid with tattered clothing.
  Series 1 of the humans contained, Alan Grant, Billy Brennan, Amanda Kirby, Eric Kirby and a Military General. This line lacked a lot of interesting characters. Hasbro missed the ball by not
making figures of Udesky, Nash and Cooper, the 3 mercenaries hired by the Kirby's to help find their son. I mean who wouldn't want a figure of Michael Jeter?
  Series 2 contained 3 human figures, an Alan Grant without tattered clothes, Paul Kirby and the most WTF action figure in the history of this toy franchise, the Military Diver. That's right Hasbro made a
The Diver
military diver that was not a part of the plot of Jurassic Park III whatsoever. I have a soft spot for the military diver figure because I used to use him when I would play search and rescue with my action figures. I never associated him with Jurassic Park.
All Terrain Dino Trapper
  Then there was the figures that came with the vehicles and playsets. There was an Alan Grant that came with a motorcycle. Ok let's stop here for a second and talk about what is wrong with this figure and vehicle. Nobody used a motorcycle at all in Jurassic Park III! Again WTF was Hasbro thinking when they greenlighted this? This was a very bad idea! Excuse the JPIII reference there, I couldn't resist making it. Then there was the All Terrain Dino Trapper vehicle that came with a Billy Brennan figure. This vehicle was utter nonsensical bullcrap. I understand they didn't have any specialized outfitted vehicles when they went to Isla Sorna but this vehicle crosses the damn line.
  For vehicles they could have made an airplane like the Beechcraft Super King Air 200 that the Kirby's chartered to get to Isla Sorna. An airplane would have made a lot of sense. The airplane could have had a battle damage feature like previous Jurassic Park vehicles included. They could have had the airplane's wings pop off and the nose of the fuselage fall off. You know from when the Spinosaurus attacked the plane when it crashed into the tree.
Air Heli-Sabre Marine Copter.
  Speaking of vehicles the final vehicle made the most sense out of them all, the Air Heli-Sabre Marine Copter. This vehicle kinda spoiled the ending but it made sense because the Marine Corps showed up at the end of Jurassic Park III to rescue the Kirby's. This vehicle included a really cool pilot figure. This figure is in his G-suit and his head is a fighter pilot helmet and oxygen mask. The pilot doesn't contain any tattered clothing at all. However only 5 Human figures from this line didn't have tattered clothing.
  The 4 main figures that didn't have ripped clothing were, Series 2 Alan Grant, The Marine Copter Pilot, and Military General from series 1 and Billy Brennan that came with the all Terrain Dino Trapper.
The Dino Tracking Set
  However there is a fifth figure that is not like the other four that I have mentioned, This figure is not discussed too often in the Jurassic Park action figure collector community. This figure is really rare. It was a Walmart store exclusive. This figure is the 4.5 inch human figure's last stand. This was the last time there would ever be a 4.5 Inch Jurassic Park Human figure. What makes this Dino Tracker figure so odd is that it is an repaint of Harpoon Harrison from the Jurassic Park Dino Trackers line from 1993. Harpoon Harrison and all of the other Dino Trackers and Dino Raiders were completely fictional and are not canon at all. What makes this Harpoon Harrison repaint so unusual is that Hasbro repainted him in a Hispanic skin tone. No other Jurassic Park figure had ever been given a different skin color. I am proud owner of this Harpoon Harrison Repaint and I love it. He used to go on many adventures with my Kenner Batman figures, I would use him as a guide. Here's some food for thought, could this Harpoon Harrison figure be attempting to represent Enrique Cardoso who ran the illegal Dino-Soar parasailing operation? I mean he could be, but I'll leave that with you to decide.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Today's interesting Thrifting adventure.

 I went to the independent thrift store today to look around and it paid off. I went to look at the hats today to see if there was anything new. I was in luck there was some new hats. In today's assortment of hats they had 2 Hummer unstructured hats. One was green and the later was black. You don't run across Hummer merchandise too often. So for $0.95 I couldn't pass up the black hat for my car company hat collection. I collect hats from different car companies. So I was lacking a Hummer hat for a long time. You see when GM discontinued Hummer they never put any of the official licensed Hummer merchandise on clearance unlike what they did for Saturn. Years ago I wanted to buy a Hummer Trucker hat, It was $20. This was during GM's restructuring when they received the government bailout. I couldn't pull the trigger on a $20 Trucker hat. I ended up paying $0.95 for the Hummer hat. I couldn't complain.
The Glass that I saw.
  Next I ventured a few feet from the hat rack to look at the glassware. I can't buy anymore glassware from thrift stores. We currently have no need for more glassware. I love seeing beer glasses with company logos on them at thrift stores. You tend to see a lot of different beer branded glassware. I guess people get them for free and donate them. Most of the glassware like that almost always look brand new. I did see an old Terry Labonte Slim Jim Beer mug. However it was $3.95. Too much for my price point.
  I then spotted a Marlboro Adventure Team duffel bag for $4.95. I picked it up and inspected it for a second. I didn't bother to open it up. It was too small for my taste. I wonder how many packs of cigarettes somebody had to smoke in order to send away for that?
  I then ventured off to look at the CD selection to see if they had anything good. I've had decent luck when it comes to finding good CD's here. In the past I've found a ton of film score CD's. In fact the other day I stopped by this thrift store for a quick second and found a Jan Lewan CD. You may have heard of Jan Lewan because they made a movie about his Ponzi Scheme called The Polka King starring Jack Black. You may not know this but Jan Lewan lived here in Hazleton, PA. He no longer lives here in PA. In fact the CD I bought titled Jan Lewan and His Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Polka Album in 1995. However Jan Lewan lost out to Walter Ostanek Band that year.
  So today I hit big on CD's again. Today I spotted a 2 disc deluxe edition that I have been on the lookout for. It was Beyonce B-Day 2 disc Deluxe edition. Not bad for $0.50. I looked forever for that at the local record store for that deluxe edition for years and I only ever seen the single disc version. So I checked the 2 discs for scratches and didn't see any. I checked the CD's again and spotted Ashley Tisdale's debut album Headstrong. As usual I checked the disc for any scratches. I was in luck, there wasn't any scratches. However I did have to wipe them down with eyeglass cleaner spray.
  So I did good today, I only paid $2 for all three things. Not too shabby in my opinion.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

My Final Toys R Us Purchase.

  Today was a bittersweet day for me. I made my last Toys R Us purchase. I was pondering what kind of toy that purchase would end up being. It was a toss up between a WWE figure, Hot Wheels car or some type of action figure. Well for starters Toys R Us barely had any Hot Wheels cars for that matter. They had a handful but they were all of the same car. Nothing worth getting. They didn't have any Monster Jam 1:64's or new basic Matchbox cars with the exception of the few Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom cars. So buying a diecast was out of the question.
  Now the WWE figure selection was awful. There were a few sporadic figures from 2017's Elite 41 wave. I have all of the flashback figures from that set, so there wasn't a reason to buy any figures. If you wanted a WWE fashion doll, TRU has tons of them. They can't give those away no matter how much they are on clearance for.
  I've been pondering what will happen with all of those unsold WWE Fashion Dolls once Toys R Us goes out of business. Will they end up at Ollies or Five Below, or Big Lots? Who knows for sure. However the WWE Fashion Doll line was a complete failure that really warmed the shelves like crazy. I think Toys R Us overestimated this line thinking it would be a success. It's a huge flop.
  Anyway since it wasn't a Hot Wheels car or WWE figure, I turned my attention to another action figure line, Once Upon a Time. I love ABC's Once Upon a Time. I'm a bit upset that it ended after 7 seasons. It ran it's course. So I decided that I would buy an Emma Swan action figure. Normally this figure is $25. However I was in luck and It was 50% off. So I thought it would be a perfect closure to an end of an era, Once Upon a Time gets cancelled and Toys R Us goes out of business. It was the last purchase I'll ever make at Toys R Us. Thanks for the memories Toys R Us. You will be missed.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

My Life has 100% Improved Since I bought that Snap-On Jacket

  Ever since I bought that Snap-On jacket at The Salvation Army, I feel like my life has improved 100% How do I know this for a fact. Well for starters I've been on a lucky streak as of yesterday. I hit the jackpot twice. If you don't already know this by now, I am a Hot Wheels collector. I have hundreds of cars MOC and loose. You're probably wondering where I am headed with this and I'll explain it to you.
  Yesterday my mom sent me into Boscov's to pay her charge card bill. So I happened to check the toy dept just for the heck of it. So it turns out that they just recently restocked Hot Wheels cars. Sadly they weren't 2018 models but they were from last year. So I figured it wouldn't hurt to look through the pegs for a Super Treasure Hunt car. So after browsing the pegs for a couple of minutes a few times over just to be sure there wasn't a treasure hunt car there, I saw something that wasn't like the others. I spotted a 69 Chevelle SS 396.
  I didn't think much of this car at first as I passed over the car a few times that I browsed the pegs. It wasn't until I realized that there was only one of this car on the pegs. Upon this realization that it was a Super Treasure Hunt car, I immediately went to a register to purchase my 19th Super Treasure Hunt car!
  So later on that day I went to the dinner theater to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. At intermission time, they have a 50/50 drawing. Guess what happend? I won the 50/50 raffle! I won $29. So I guess you can call my Snap-on jacket lucky. I'm on an upswing.