2/09/13 (Saturday) – Alamo

After the previous week’s short venture I decided to go back out to the Alamo market.  I went out on Saturday while the wife was attending a meeting.  I set out early and managed to make significant finds.  Here’s the swag…

1.  Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker (Cold Weather Gear) and Emperor Palpatine Figures

I found these two carded figures being sold by a vendor and the distinctive cards caught my attention right away.  They are older figures, one being from the Revenge of the Sith line (2005) and the other from The Clone Wars set (2010).

I had been looking for an Emperor figure for a long time to compliment my Imperial Guards so it was a lucky find.  The Anakin figure was a nice bonus.  Variants with different colors or clothing is usually nice but I like Cold Weather variants because it reminds me of playing with my Empire Strikes Back figures when I was a boy.

2.  Marvel Universe – Captain Marvel Figure

One of my usual guys had this carded Captain Marvel figure for sale.  I was a little hesitant at first but since I was already going to be buying a couple of things from him I decided to add it to the mix and make it a done deal.

I don’t have very many Marvel Universe figures.  There have been many that I have wanted but adding another collection of figures to the ones I already have was an expense I couldn’t indulge in.  Thankfully, the secondary market is good for catching up.  Case in point, is this classic Captain Marvel figure.

This figure portrays Captain Marvel (or Mar-Vell as he is also known) which is a classic Marvel character from the 70’s.  He was one of the first great cosmic heroes for Marvel Comics and also known for being a character that not only died a tragic death (cancer) but remained dead in continuity.

Although he is a cool figure and I do like the character I was never a true fan of his unlike my friend from High School, Wag (Javier).  I was more of a fan of his replacement, Quasar.

I picked up this figure for $5.

3.  Star Trek Bendable Figures

I stumbled across a new vendor who was selling a large pile of mixed items on his table.  Pretty much everything was a dollar.  I saw this loose Jem’Hadar bendable figure.  It’s rare to find Star Trek stuff on the second market around here so I asked how much.  When he saw my interest in the figure he dug out a couple more still in box.  One was another Jem’Hadar and the other was Borg.  The were old and damaged but cute and only a dollar each so I snagged them all.

4.  Belt of Nerf Darts

At the same table as the bendies was this belt of Nerf darts.  It was made for the large rapid-fire Nerf guns and are quite expensive for pieces of rubber and foam.  The man gave me the whole belt, darts included for a dollar.

5.  Magnaguard and Zatanna Figures

I found this Magnaguard at the same table that I found the Captain Marvel figure.  I had been looking for one of these guys to man the Magnaguard Fighter that I had found awhile back.  He was missing his cape but still had his staff and was in good condition.  $2.

Zatanna was found at a different table and was a last minute addition.  The wife and I collected Justice League figures a while back when the show was still on and the figures were still being sold.  I didn’t know if we had a Zatanna figure so I snagged her.  She was a dollar.

6.  More Mini-Figs!

This mix of miniatures was scavenged from the bottom of toy piles.  The two Star Wars figures are for a tabletop game and the other is Raven mini-fig from the Teen Titans line.  They were each about 50 cents.

7.  Transformers Mini-bots

A couple more things I found in the bottom of the toy piles.  These Transformer Mini-bots are of Long Haul and Classic Jazz.  They were also each 50 cents.

8.  Rebel Snowspeeder Christmas Ornament

I found this Snowspeeder on the same table as the Captain Marvel figure and the Magnaguard.  I thought it was just a model or plastic miniature until I saw the brass hanger bent over the top of it.  I wanted it instantly since I love collecting geeky x-mas ornaments.  It was electronic but the underside where the battery case was kept was completely rusted out.  It was $3 so it was a good deal even if the electronics didn’t work.

I got it home and after about 10 minutes of fiddling with it I managed to pry out the rusted batteries from the compartment.  The insides were completely rusted out but I tried my best at scraping off all the rust from the insides and wiping it down with alcohol.  Once done I tried to find some new batteries for it.  I had a few batteries that would fit but they were pretty much dead.  I tried them out anyways and pressed the button.

A faint voice came from the speaker.  It was Luke Skywalker planning the attack run on the AT-ATs.  Some new charged batteries would fix that.  So, after a couple of bucks and a little elbow grease I have a snazzy new Star Wars X-mas Ornament.

9.  General Rieekan Figure

The toy lady that I get some of my toy figures from rarely gets new figures but I like to dig through her supplies.  You never know what you’re going to find, right?  After digging I saw this General Rieekan figure from 2004.  Nothing special about him but he is a rare figure, came with his weapon and made a great addition to my Hoth diorama.  This made the expense of $2.50 a little better to swallow.

10.  Stuffed Klingon Teddy Bear

The last thing I found before leaving the pulga was this little guy sticking out of a pile of plushies.  There are many stuffed animals to find at the flea market but I think because of Valentine’s Day they went the extra mile and dug deep from their suppliers.  He was a little rough around the edges but I would expect nothing less from a Klingon warrior.  Even slightly used he was a great find.  I’ve been playing a lot of Star Trek Online lately and writing Trek stories so it was a sign.  I got him for $1 and sent him off to my best friend and fellow Trekkie, Trish for Valentine’s Day.


Sunday 2/03/13 – Alamo

A short post for this day since I’m already behind.

On Sunday the 3rd of February I managed to stop by the Alamo Flea Market for a couple of hours.  It was a short trip since I had to meet my wife and parents for lunch.  I tried to make a complete circuit of the market but could not even come close.  I didn’t even manage to make a complete circuit of the first tier.

I only managed to find these few mini-figs before having to leave.

1.  Hoth Rebel Trooper, Zuckuss and R2-Q5

More mini-figs for my collection.  The Rebel Trooper I found last minute from a different vendor than the other figs.  He’s from a set of older mini-figs but he goes great with my little Hoth display setup.

Zuckuss is one of the bounty hunters from that infamous scene in the Empire Strikes Back where Darth Vader hires them to find the Millenium Falcon.  I have most of the other ones in mini-fig form so he’s a great addition to the set.

R2-Q5 is one of the more rare droid figures.  I don’t normally collect them but I couldn’t pass him up.  Being a black, Imperial R2 unit has its advantages and another good addition.

2.  IG-88 and Darth Vader Mini-Figs

These other two mini-figs were bought with Zuckuss and R2-Q5.  IG-88 is part of the bounty hunter set so he was naturally added.  I only have Bossk and Boba Fett to add and I’ll have all the ESB Bounty Hunters in mini form.  The Darth Vader fig is a duplicate for one I already have but I got it for my desk at work so it works out.

All together I spent less than $5 on all these figs.  There may have been more there at the market but with having lunch with the family and the Super Bowl later on I had to cut things short and wait for another time.

1/26/13 – 23rd St. Pulga

A few things to mention before getting into the swag that I got from this latest excursion to the pulga.  First off, this is the first time I have gone out to the market on a Saturday instead of a Sunday in quite a while.  The reason for this is because Iggy  finally had time to go out before going into work and decided to take me to the pulga.

We went to the 23rd st. market since there had been a better assortment of toys there lately.  I don’t think it really mattered where we went or what we did since it would be the first occasion for us to hang out in a long time.

It was good that he came along with me since he brought a much needed mojo which had been severely lacking as of late.  Without further ado, here are the artifacts which I found there.

1.  Cybertronian Cliffjumper Transformer

Iggy actually found this version of Cliffjumper early in the expedition while I was looking at other things.  He was going to take him home but decided at the last minute to pass on him hoping to find something else in the market.  It was a good find and was complete in his blister pack missing only the instructions and cardboard backing.

Part of the fifth wave of Generations Deluxe class toys, Cliffjumper is a red retool/redeco of Cybertronian Bumblebee with a new head, transforming into a round “Cybertronian racer mode”.  His toy comes with a handgun and features two wrist-mounted, flip-out blades. The handgun can be stored inside his rear bumper in either robot or vehicle mode.

Bumblebee is the more popular character in the Transformers line but Cliff was more like the older, cooler brother and I like that.  He cost only $5.

2. Geek T-Shirts

While Iggy was talking to a local DJ scoring some sweet music I was across the way looking at some T-Shirts.  I like to look through the used shirt racks looking for interesting things.  I’ve been able to find some nice used/vintage clothes before so I like to keep my eye out.  I noticed an odd shirt from a distance and decided to look closer.  It was a shade of brown with a western theme printed on the front but there was something familiar about it.  I examined the logo closely.

It was a Firefly themed shirt!  Browncoats are what fans of the Firefly series call themselves and Serenity Valley is a significant location in the Firefly Universe. I enjoy Firefly, the followup movie Serenity and the fandom but I rarely consider myself a “Browncoat”.  Still, it was a cool geek shirt and not seen often in these parts so I decided to take it.

I kept looking and only found one other cool shirt in the mix.  This Transformers Autobot T-shirt.

I decided to take it too.  Problem was, both shirts are a Large (L) in size and I wear, at minimum, an Extra Large (XL).  Both shirts were a dollar each and good deal.  I figured I could give them away as gifts or possibly sell them at a later date.

3.  Nyan Cat T-Shirt

Further on as Iggy and I looked out for things, I swung by another vendor who sold shirts.  I hoped that my luck would hold and it turns out it did.  Several gamer shirts were available that I had seen before but I am not much a fan of  Nintendo themed merchandise.  Then, I saw this.

It’s a Nyan Cat Shirt!  Nyan Cat is an internet meme that was quite popular about a year or two ago.  The original website can be found here but you can see the original video here.  Basically, Nyan Cat, also known as Pop Tart Cat, is an 8-bit animation depicting a cat with the body of a cherry pop tart flying through outer space.  Lots of little games and animated pictures popped up during this time and everyone thought it was cool.

I had seen this shirt at the pulga before and had planned to buy it earlier but it disappeared and I assumed it had been bought.  I was overjoyed to see it back on sale, seemingly just for me!

I like collecting classic meme, pop culture type stuff to reflect my enjoyment of them since back in the day.  Guess, it’s the hipster part of me but I want to be the guy who still wears a “Frankie Says Relax” shirt knowing only the cool people will know what it means.  The shirt cost me $2.

4.  Aqua Droid Star Wars Figure

We were on the hunt for Star Wars figures but hadn’t had much luck.  The usual guy who had figures wasn’t there that day and there didn’t seem to be anyone there that had any figures or at least figures we didn’t already have.  I found one person who was selling a couple of Droid figures but Iggy wasn’t interested.  These were a couple of “bad guy” droids and he only collects the cute, friendly ones that the good guys use.  LOL.  One of these droids was an Aqua Droid which was used on water worlds in the Star Wars universe and one I did not have.  I got him for $3.

5.  Optimus Prime Mini-Figure

We found a few vendors that sold a variety of toys.  Iggy found some small troopers for himself and I found this little guy and another Transformer in the mix.  This Optimus Prime Mini-Fig is in great condition and it the classic Generation One Optimus Opening the Matrix of Leadership.  He cost only$1 and was well worth it.

6.  Transformer Barricade

The last thing I found was at the same table that I got the Mini-Prime from.  It was the Transformer Barricade from the first live-action Transfomer Movie.  It was complete and in good condition.  I plan to set him up in my office at work.  Got him for $3.

Well, that’s it for now.  A big thanks to Iggy for taking me out on Saturday and I hope that we can do it again soon.  I miss you bro!

Till next time…

1/20/13 – Alamo Flea Market

After striking out the previous week I decided to start back at the Alamo Flea Market.  It took some doing but I finally found a couple of things to take home.  Hopefully, next time there will be more or I may have to start worrying about my mojo.

1.  Cad Bane Clone Wars Figure w/Droid

I ran across a vendor who was selling several virtually new Star Wars figures.  This wasn’t one of the usual toy vendors so it seemed that someone managed to get a box of unsold figures.  I wasn’t surprised as I had already seen new series of figures in stores so a lot of the older, unsold figures would be moved to sell.

I didn’t see anything that I wanted at first but since I had been having no luck finding anything good I decided to look again.  I already had most of the figures so it would just me getting something for the sake of getting it.  That’s when I noticed something different about the Cad Bane figure.

The figure was a variant that I had been searching for for quite a while.  This particular figure had a bonus to it that other issues of this character did not have.  This one had a little droid companion added to it which was issued at the start of the Second Season of The Clone Wars cartoon a few years ago.  I had planned to buy this figure at the time it was issued but could not find this particular variant again after I saw it.  Yay!  It cost me $5 which for an older figure in excellent condition is a fair price.

After buying this figure I saw another vendor who had a similar assortment of figures in another isle but there was nothing there that I wanted.

2.  Darth Vader Talking Key Chain

I spotting this little item amongst an assortment of little toys.  I wasn’t sure what it was at first.  It had a key ring attached to it but it was quite bulky to be a key chain.  It had a speaker in the back but it made no sound.  There were no buttons or even any way to open up the device to replace the battery so I guess it was issued as a one time use device.  It was probably a issued with a kids meal at some restaurant but now its just for looking.  Still it is unique and makes a good addition to my Darth Vader collection.  The price, $.50.

3.  Commander Faie Action Figure

After passing the previous two stalls that had Star Wars figures I lucked out and found a man who was selling this figure of Commander Faie.  I had never seen this figure before and instantly noticed the special helmet that matched the one I had found on a figure I got on a previous expedition.  One mystery solved!  The vendor wanted only $2.50 for him and though the package was damaged it was still intact.  It even had the bonus Droid leg on the back of the package.

4.  Lego Star Wars figures

Along with Commander Faie there was also a loose Lego Star Wars figure for sale from that vendor.  It had no helmet but it was obviously a trooper of some kind.  After perusing the Lego Star Wars Character book that I had gotten previously I deduced that it was a Snow Trooper, minus the helmet.  I bought it for a dollar along with the action figure.

At another table I found another Lego Trooper, this one a Stormtrooper.  I decided to buy it and hold it in my collection.  I will probably give it away as a gift but I may start to collect these figures if I can find them for an affordable price.  This little guy cost me $2 which is the limit I will pay for these guys unless they are rare, special or I become interested in collecting these figures in earnest.

That’s all for this occasion.  Hopefully, my luck will improve and I will find more great stuff in the future.

1-3-13 or the Lost Markets of the Valley

On the 13th I went out on my usual Sunday run.  I decided to change up the routine and check out some of the more obscure markets around here.

1. Wesmer Flea Market

I started at the Mercedes Flea Market or the “Wesmer” market as it is sometimes called.  It shares the same name as the old Drive-In Theater across the road from it.  Both these locations are placed on the border between Weslaco and Mercedes, hence the name.

Its a small market but it has been known to hold the occasional treasure.  It costs only $0.25 to get in so it’s good price for what it has.

It doesn’t look like anything special with market stalls just like the other Flea Markets.

One thing this place does have the other markets don’t is a Pavilion that they use for their local bands and other small events they hold there.  It’s also good for keeping out of the rain.  This is great because it contains the music to a single area which keeps the noise to a minimum while still allowing the ambient music to still reach the rest of the market.

I looked around the market and saw pretty much the same stuff that I had scene before.  The vendors there that I knew had very little to offer with nothing new to entice me.  I went through the whole market and found nothing to take home.  Time to move on.

2.  Weslaco Flea Market

I moved on, heading back in the direction of home.  I stopped off in Weslaco to check out some local stores to see what I could find.  Nothing special was around but there was the Weslaco Indoor Flea Market.

I had visited this place many times before but there was never anything especially great.  It has all the kitschy crap you find in all the other markets with only the rare vendor who has something special.  It’s much like the Bargain Bazaar in McAllen, in which has all the same people selling the exact same thing day after day.

As it happens I did see something that interested me.  A vendor was selling antique metal signs along with some video game merchandise.  He had a metal Silver Surfer sign for sale that I wanted.  Unfortunately, he wanted $12 for it.  He was willing to selling it for $10 if I bought two or more signs.  One of the things I hate about these places is that they never haggle.  They are consistent sellers for their merchandise and might as well be a dollar store or mini-mart.  I passed on the sign but took heart that it was very likely that the sign would be there for a while.

3.  Donna Flea Market

Or the “Fiesta” Flea Market as it says on the sign.  As I left Weslaco I decided to make a last stop in Donna to see if there was anything at the Flea Market there.  Like the Wesmer its only open on Sundays and I have found a few treasures there before so I was praying that I would get lucky after having such a lousy day.

There was not much there even for the time I got there.  The weather wasn’t great but it seemed like nobody wanted to be there.  I made a quick run through which didn’t even take Five Minutes.  I found nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  It had been quite a while since I struck out at one of the Flea Markets let alone Three.  Guess it had to happen sometime.  At least I got the experience of going and documenting the trip so as I could share it with all you nice people.

So, there you have it.  I will be posting what I found at the Alamo Market this past Sunday soon so keep an eye out for that.  Till next time!

1/6/13 – 23rd St. Pulga

I went back to the 23rd Pulga this past Sunday to see if any of the things I past up the week before were still there.  It was my friend Melinda’s birthday (Iggy’s wife) and I wanted to see if I could get her something from the market on top of some things I already had in my collection.  Also, since I know that Iggy loves Lego Star Wars I wanted to see if there were any more of those books for sale that I had picked up the previous week.  Unfortunately, the lady who was selling the books was no longer there but I did pick up a few interesting things.

1.  Welding Goggles

I had been searching for a pair of goggles for a long time.  They aren’t as common to find secondhand as you’d think.  Luckily I managed to find this pair in a toy pile of all places.  It was still in a plastic bag like a cheap pair of sunglasses and I think the lady I got them from didn’t know what they were.  She gave them to me for $2.  I plan to paint them and use them for a Steampunk costume I plan to put together.

2.  Magnifying Visor

Another item I had been looking for was a magnifying device to help me with my toy/collectible repair.  I needed something that allowed my hands to be free to do this but had no luck until I found this visor in a junk bin.  It was clean and in good condition.  The lenses had some very slight scratches to them but they were more than adequate and had a velcro attachment in the back to make the fit upon my head much easier.  They were only $1.

3.  Star Wars Figures

I had seen a vendor who was selling Star Wars figures the previous week for $3 at his stall.  I had seen several that I wanted but did not have the money to spend.  He was obviously a collector.  All the figures were in individual plastic bags and had a weapon or accessory with them.

Since it was Melinda’s birthday I knew that I could possibly get some figures there for her collection.  She favors Troops just like Iggy and I do and hopes to become a real live Stormtrooper someday.  So, I headed back to the vendor to see what he had.

Most of the figures were still there but a few that I had hoped were there were now gone.  Still there were a few gems, including a special Chewbacca figure that I had had my eye on.  Most of the troops were gone but there were a few pilots left.  I got an Imperial TIE Pilot for Melinda, the Chess Playing Chewbacca and a Imperial Clone Pilot for myself.

I gave the vendor $10 and while I was waiting for my change he told me that he would let me take another figure and call it even.  I didn’t need to be told twice. I chose a older Clone Pilot to make the set of pilots complete.

4.  Boxed Star Wars Figures

On my way out I decided to check out something I had seen previously before. I saw that a man had an opened Obi-Wan Kenobi figure in his stall.  Normally, this would not be a big deal.  Although he is one of my favorite characters, I already have several figures for him.  What did catch my attention was the fact that there was a pack of hidden weapons in the back.

As I said before, weapons are always gold so I decided to ask how much he was.  The guy didn’t know so he asked his wife.  She settled on $2 which was a great bargain for the figure.  He was missing his lightsaber but the pack of weapons more than made up for that.  I agreed and gave him the two bucks.

As I handed him the cash he mentioned that he had another figure that he would give me for just one dollar more.  It was a figure of Yarna d’al’ Gargan, one of Jabba’s Dancers or as she is otherwise known as “That fat chick with the 6 tits from Return of the Jedi”.  She was complete, still in her blister pack so I figured, “Sure, why not?”

She was an uncommon figure since no one really wanted a fat girl with 6 boobs to play with and was a very rare figure back in the day so I took her home.

Well, that’s all for now.  More soon.  Stay tuned!

12/30/31 – 23rd St. Pulga

On this occasion I went to flea market on 23rd st.  It had been a while since I had gone out and wanted to get back into the rotation and mix things up.

It was a good haul and I even found a few things that I wanted but could not either afford or figured I could go back for later.  Here’s what I found.

1.  Samuel Adams Boston Lager Perfect Pint Glass

I had been searching for one of these pint glasses for a long time.  I’m a big Sam Adams fan and when they introduced their new pint glasses with the “special design” built in, I knew I had to have one.

I came across it completely by random chance finding it in a cardboard box full of junk.  As I had mentioned before, the 23rd street pulga is a place where you have to get your hands dirty and rummage through things in order to find treasure.  Since beer glasses are one of my new collection items I always keep my eye out for glass items.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I pulled out the exact glass I had been looking for.  It was in great condition without any scratched or chipping but I noticed that it was missing the trademark etchings that made this glass so keen.  I decided to get it anyways since I’m a Sam’s fan and it cost me a dollar to take it home.

After some research I found out that it was indeed the correct glass that I had been looking for which sells for $30 for a pack of four from the company direct but was a factory reject that was sold off in smaller quantities to bargain websites, promotional offers, etc.  All in all, a good find for a great bargain and I still get to look for the special glass in the process.

2.  Star Wars Books and Manga

I always like looking for new books at pulga but it’s rare that the plebs in my area will sell them.  Most people throw out what they don’t use but I can’t really blame them.  There are so few books stores here and most of them will not take in used books.  Oh ‘Hastings’, how I miss you…

I stumbled upon a small mob of people rummaging through some boxes around a lady and her family.  I saw that they were books but not the usual kind.  They tended to be large, flat and colorful but I thought I should check em out anyway.

Turns out the boxes were full of school supplies and books for children.  It was probably surplus from a school; the lady did look like a teacher.  I saw that there were some Lego books so I started there and went through every box.  I found these Star Wars Lego books, a Warcraft manga and couple of Star Wars Blueprint books!  I made sure that they were all clean and in good condition.  The Lego books were missing the bonus figures that were supposed to come with them but that’s to be expected.  The blueprint books came with bonus fold-outs and I made sure to find them and stick them inside the books.

Total cost for all the books combined?  $3.

3.  Star Wars Baseball Cap

Baseball caps are everywhere around here and are quite cheap.  Problem is finding one that has something special about it.  I have managed to find a few cool ones here and there but this one has been the best so far.

I was on my way out when I found this hat tucked away in a back stall.  It cost me only a dollar but it wasn’t till I got it home that I learned that it was too small for my head.  Basically, it’s a kid’s/teen’s hat.  Still a good find and would make a great gift to a young Star Wars fan.

4.  Pony Figures

I found these two ponies at different stalls.  One was a blind bag Rarity I got for $.50 and the other is a larger rubber Pinkie Pie that I think may be a bath toy as she can blow bubbles if you squeeze her.  She was $1.

5.  Captain Rex AT-TE Transformer

I found this transformer on my way back to the car.  It was in good shape and still in its blister pack.  There were no instructions or packaging so I wasn’t sure what character it was exactly until I got it home and researched it.  This is what it was.

Turned out it was one of the Captain Rex transformers and was pretty easy to transform even without the instructions.  Got him for $2.