Pickins that Time Forgot

OK, I think I have found all the little things I discovered at the flea markets between my previous posts.   They were not much at the time I got them but putting them all together I think they will make a worthy post and will get this blog back on track.

1.  Force Unleashed II- Starkiller Mimobot Flash Drive

There’s a lady at the Alamo Flea Market who sells toys exclusively.  They are mostly stuff for younger kids and old discarded toys from decades past.  She does have a small collection of Star Wars figures and I have found some cool stuff there in the past.

On one of my visits I found something unusual.  This small large-headed figure appeared in the pile in a small plastic bag.  I had seen Mimobot flash drives online before but never in person and certainly not at the pulga.  I knew it was a Star Wars character but I was unfamilar with it.  Nevertheless, it was a USB flash drive of a Star Wars character and I knew I couldn’t pass it up.  The lady sold it to me for $3.

After some research, I discovered the identity of the character that this flash drive was modeled after.  Turns out this particular Mimobot was a special exclusive that came with the Collector’s Edition Force Unleashed II Boxed Set.  The character was that of Starkiller, the main character from the Force Unleashed video game.  I never had the opportunity to play the game even though I heard it was awesome.  Still, having managed to acquire this small collectible was quite the feat.  It was only sold in the Collector’s Edition of the game and had exclusive game content installed on the drive.  Unfortunately, the USB drive was wiped clean but its a perfectly good Star Wars themed 2GB USB drive and for $3…that’s just fine.

2.  Star Wars Figures

I found these two figures on the same excursion as the Mimobot.  The Clone Trooper was found at a random stall and the alien pilot was from the same vendor as the flash drive.

The trooper is a member of the 501st Legion and is noted by having the blue markings upon the armor and are noted for being Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader’s contingent of troops.  His is missing his right hand but as I mentioned in previous posts this is easily repaired.  I got him for a dollar.

The alien pilot figure is a female Mon Calamari Rebel Pilot by the name of Ibtisam.  She was part of a special line of 2-pack of figures for X-Wing:Rogue Squadron comic book shown here.  There are not many alien pilot figures and even less of them female.  She makes a good addition to the collection and is missing her helmet and weapon.  She cost me $2.

3.  Headless Star Wars Figures

I found these two headless figures at a random table.  Never ceases to amaze me what kids do to their toys.  I don’t remember ever doing anything like that when I was young but I did have a friend who liked to chew the heads off of figures so…

The body is that of Captain Rex from the Clone Wars line and the Rebel Pilot is unknown.  It could be anyone from the various Rebel pilots that have come out over the years.  Refitting Rex with a new head is easy to do but I think adding a new generic head might make the figure better and make him some random part of the 501st.

As for the pilot it actually makes it a better figure to have the head missing.  Now, I can pretty much put any figure’s head on the body and make it a special Rebel Pilot version of the figure.  Cool, huh?  For now, they will remain headless until I can come up with something for them.  I got them for $1 each.

4. Miscellaneous Star Wars Weapons

It’s rare to be able to find large quantities of action figure accessories at a random place like the flea market, but sometimes fate smiles down upon you and you find yourself lucky.

One of the main action figure vendors at the Alamo Flea Market had a second table setup across from him, managed by an older woman.  His mother perhaps?  And there they sold a number of Episode I figures and other stuff.  I found a number of random weapons and made a small batch that would fit my Star Wars figures.  Got them for $5.  Although it seems pricey, it actually works out for me in the long run.

5.  Mini Figures

On another excursion I managed to actually go out to the flea market with Iggy.  Sadly we did not find much and didn’t stay that long.  I found these small figures in different stalls.  All together they cost me $3.50 with the Slave Leia figure costing the most at $2.  The table where I got the weapons for my Star Wars figures (see #4 entry above) had a lot of these little Star Wars for sale.  Iggy and I both collect them but they wanted way too much for us to buy them up.  I made the exception for Leia because she’s cute, sexy and rare among those figures.  As for Sully and Wicket, they are both hard plastic and I thought they would look good in my office at work.

6.  Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Novel

On a recent excursion I left to the pulga in a foul mood.  Kim was still looking for work and money was tight.  I had a few bucks and a pocketful of change so I decided to go anyways so I could get out of the house and blow off some steam.

Once there I started walking through the parking lot and found $4 on the ground.  I took this as a sign and decided that this would be the money I would spend that day, saving the rest of my money for other things.

I saw a few things that had potential but nothing that was worth spending the small amount I allowed myself to spend.  Then I ran across this.  It was buried under a pile of loose books and random clothes on a table ran by an old lady.

As I’ve said before, a good sign of treasure of seeing something that doesn’t belong with what the vendor is selling.  Since she was selling clothes with a few books thrown around on top, I knew that there could be something there.  There were a few potentials but at the very bottom was this copy of the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  This book contained 5 books and 1 story of the series all in one novel.

It was slightly used and leather-bound.  I remember seeing this exactly copy of the book some years back and I always planned to get it but never did.  I think it may have run around $30 back in the day.  There are not many books of this type being sold and a new edition of this novel is selling for almost $300 on Ebay at the time of this entry.

I bought this book for $2.

7.  Borsk Fey’lya Action Figure

The other $2 I spent on this outing was for an unusual Star Wars figure.  It was for the character of Borsk Fey’lya, who was an influential character in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.  He appeared in the Star Wars novels that took place after the movies starting with Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn.

He was included in a special comic book 2-Pack and is the only Bothan action figure in the series as far as I know.

Well, that does it for now.  This covers the few things I managed to scrounge between major outings so I hope it makes up for my time away.  I plan on making a “Best Of” series of entries on things I found before I started this blog so stay tuned for that.

Till next time!

X-Mas at the Pulga (12/23/12)

Hello again.

It has been a while since my last post, and for that I must apologize.  I had not had much opportunity to go out and venture to the flea markets as of late.  Money has been tight since the wife lost her job and the few times I did manage to go out I did not find much of interest.  I will make a posting later on collecting the few things I did find in the previous month but right now I wanted to show off the cool things I found at the Alamo Flea Market this past Sunday.

The occasion for the trip was quite special.  Not only was it the weekend before Christmas (which means more people selling and buying stuff) but also the first time I would be able to share the experience with my best friend, Trish, who was down from Santa Fe, NM for the holiday.  She had never been to the local Pulga before and I had been promising to take her the next time she came down to the Valley.  I made sure to make time for us to go so when her and her boyfriend Scott came down I made plans for us to go on Sunday so they could get the full experience.  Fool that I am, I did not take any pictures of us while we where there to capture the experience.  I keep forgetting I have a camera on my phone.  😛

In any case, it was a lot of fun and I showed them everything there was to see.  They found a few things for themselves and helped me find a few things to add to my collection.  Here’s what I found:

1.  X-Men Nightcrawler Figure

This small figure is part of a set of X-Men related figures (which were also for sale) which may be part of a diorama or merely for display purposes.  I don’t know its exact origin but considering that the Rogue in the set was wearing her costume from the 90’s its safe to say that this is a good sign as to its age.  Nightcrawler is one of my favorite Comic Book characters and favorite X-man next to Shadowcat.  I snatched him up for about a $1.50

2.  12 inch Scale Jawa Figure

I don’t normally collect 12 inch scale figures, not that there’s anything wrong with them.  These larger figures are usually bought up by both completest collectors and older nostalgia fans.  Action figures used to be full scaled “dolls” (most around 12 inches) which sold primarily up to the 70’s.  It wasn’t until Star Wars came out and pushed the line of smaller 4 inch figures that the trend took off in the 80’s and stayed as the current go to size.  The larger 12 inch figures were still made and sold but they were never as popular as they once were.  I came from the time when smaller figures were all the rage.  Star Wars, G.I.Joe and many other lines were all small and we thought that big figures were just…dolls.

Visiting one of my usual tables at the market I saw that there were no new figures that I had not seen before and was discouraged from buying until I saw this little Jawa figure.  He was really cute and well detailed (which was one of the main selling points of the larger figures).  I have a small but growing collection of little Jawa figures in my collection and wondered if I should buy the little guy.  He would be my first large scale figure and would look great on display.  Trish thought I should take it but I wasn’t convinced.  I was preparing to move on when she called me back and showed me that she found the gun that came with it.  Sure enough it was indeed the gun that Jawas use and fit the figure perfectly.  I have a rule that when it comes to “maybe” type figures; guns and accessories always make it a “yes”.  The cost?  $5.00.  This is the vendors usual price for large figures so it was a no-brainer.  I fished out a handful of change from my pocket and bought the little guy.

After some research I was able to conclude that this figure was from the 90’s Power of the Force line of figures and was one of the first smaller characters to be made to the 12 inch line.  The back has a button which makes the eyes light up (which still works!) and has real fabric clothing along with the plastic gun and belts.  A little bonus was a small detachable “remote control” that was inside the belt which he uses to control the droids he captures.  Pretty cool, huh?  So, we have a complete 90’s era 12 inch scale Jawa figure, in good condition, with clothes and accessories for only five bucks.  Not too shabby!

3. Leather-bound Pocket Bible

We visited the small book vendor hoping to find some new reads.  My friend Trish loves books just as much as I do, if not more.  I had not seen much of late but then she might have found something that I had missed or something that would interest her that I would normally pass on.  We looked around and did not find much but this small bible did call out to me.  I normally avoid religious texts unless I’m shopping for my mother or find something of intellectual value.  This small pocket bible stood out from the dusty, second hand books and was obviously fairly new.  It was small, leather-bound with an etched Celtic cross on the cover and had silver leaf covering the page ends.  It was in modern English and had seen very little use.  There were no writings, signatures or highlighting on any of the pages inside the book.  I was impressed but did not really see the need for it.  We moved on.  I took but a few steps away from the table when I looked back at it.  I don’t know why, but it did call to me.  I was reminded by my inner voice that I no longer had a bible of my own.  My confirmation bible was lent to a friend some years ago and was never returned.  Any others that I may have acquired over the years were either shared, given to the church or otherwise outside of my collection.  I went back for it.  The cost?  $1.00

4.  Stargate Figures

We were on our way out of the Flea Market at this point and I was talking with Trish discussing where we would go for lunch.  Her boyfriend Scott had been checking things out behind us and caught our attention when he mentioned that he saw a vendor that had small Star Trek figures for sale.  Trish and I are big Star Trek fans and we had actually seen a few figures there that day for sale but they were not worth the price that was asked for them.  Seeing the possibility for one last thing to buy before we left, we headed back to check them out.  Upon inspection I had seen these figures for sale before.  I had never asked about them because they were very tiny, low quality figures.  They came out in the 90’s when Micro Machines were all the rage.  I actually have some of the Star Wars figures from this line but they are all currently in storage and not of much use to me these days until I start gaming again.  Both Trish and I decided to pass on the little Star Trek figures but the vendor was also selling these vintage Stargate Figures.

These figures were merchandise from the original Stargate movie which came out in 1994.  I was a big fan of the movie and watched it several times and collected a few of the things sold for the film.  I never did collect the toys though.  I wanted to but at the time I was in college and had not started my toy collecting.  Buying toys as an adult was a stigma at that time if you were not buying for a child.  Also, I was still seeing my Ex-Girlfriend Monica who was living in Chicago at the time and money was really tight.  I made a pass on buying the toys and did not look back.  Years later the movie was franchised into a TV show and that sparked interest in Stargate once again.  The Collectibles market was already underway in the late 90’s and everything was very expensive.  These toys became popular on the secondary market for a while and could only be found online.  I was already restarting my Star Wars collection after selling my originals to my friend J.C. to pay for my trip to Chicago so, once again, I passed on these.

Now, 18 years later I had my chance to buy them.  They were being sold for $3 a piece which was a respectable price.  Seeing as money was currently tight and we still had lunch to do I had hoped to pass on them and come back for them a week later after getting paid but Trish would have none of it.  Despite already getting me Christmas presents, she bought me one of the figures and wished me Merry X-mas.  Having no choice, I shelled out 3 Dollars for the other figure to match the set.  Now, both are part of my collection and I can start looking for the vehicle that goes with them.

So, that ends my little X-mas excursion for this year and I want to thank Trish and Scott for accompanying me to the Alamo Flea Market.  I hope you guys had a good time and hope that we can do it again soon.  There are plenty of other Markets out there to check out so plan for it!

Sunday 11/11/12

Yesterday I made my way to the 23rd Flea Market.  I knew it was going to be an off day but I needed the outing.  A cold front was through so the weather was decent.  However, because of the dry conditions of the season there was a lot of dust blowing around.

It was a fairly packed day, even for a Sunday.  I actually had to park in the back for the first time since I started making the habit of going to the market.  This made it strange for me since I had to walk the market backwards to the way I normally walk it.

There was a lot to see and I found several things that I wanted to buy but sadly they were far too broken or incomplete to make it worth my while.  Still, I did find a couple of things for my collection.

1. Imperial Guard

Here is another Imperial Guard figure that I got from the vendor where I got my last one.  This one isn’t in as good condition as the first one but it is still in box so it  was a good deal.  Got him for $3.

2.  More Clone Troopers

I found a few more troops that I needed for my collection.  One was the Cold Weather version of Captain Rex that was only missing a hand (easily replaced, see Broken Troops in a previous post).  The other was a new troop I could not identify.  With some research her appears to be a Clone Pilot from around 2005 but the helmet does not match.  I have yet to still identify it.  Each figure was about $2.

3. Mini Troopers

I also found a couple of mini troops there at the pulga.  One was a rare Sandtrooper in great condition and the other is Clone Trooper, not sure what type just yet.  Each one was $1.

Sunday 11-04-12

My apologies for not having anything to post last week but I was out of town and the Flea Market I was planning to visit in Santa Fe was a bust.

I did manage to go to the Pulga yesterday for a little bit and pick up a few things.  I didn’t make a full run as I had planned so I could have probably found some more things but I wasn’t in the mood.

Anyways, here’s what I found.

1. Magnaguard Fighter

I found this ship early on being sold by an old couple.  It was a good find.  It has seen little use and is complete.  It normally runs from $20 to $25 but I took it off their hands for $3.

2.  Action Figures

I did manage to pick up a few figures before leaving the Pulga.  Here they are from left to right.

A.  Headless Clone Trooper  –  Found another broken troop but this one was in good condition with his weapon with only the helmet missing.  Easy enough to replace once I find one.  Got him for $.50

B.  Inspector Gadget  –  Inspector Gadget toys are fairly rare nowadays.  This would be the second one that I have found at the pulga, this being the larger of the two.  The elusive figure in this collection would be the Dr. Claw figure which was rare and was the only indication of what the character looked like.

C.  Damaged R2-Figure  –  This little guy is missing a foot and is pretty scuffed up.  Still I think he might be able to fit in one of my spaceships so I decided to get him to find out.  Not sure which one this is but he looks like Obi-Wan’s droid R-4.

D.  Obi-Wan Kenobi Mini-Figure  –  Another addition to my Star Wars minis.  Not too many old man Obi-Wans out there so I decided to get him.  I’ve always had a fondness for the classic Obi-Wan figure and this one is very cute and in good condition.  I got him and the previous two figures all together for $2.

E.  Captain Britain Marvel Figure  –  This was a cool find.  I’m actually fond of Captain Britain since I started reading comics again back in High School.  One of the first comics I read was the British X-Men spin-off Excalibur which Captain Britain was a member.  It was one of my favorite comics and still holds fond memories for me.  Got him for $2.

Alamo Flea Market

Since I have been talking so much about it, and I frequent it so often, I have decided to post about my local pickin’ spot, the Alamo Flea Market.

The sign above is what you would see from the front entrance by Expressway 83.  I usually go through the back which is closer to my house and has more of the vendors that I frequent.

Here is the back gate which leads into the market and the first site upon entering is this.

From here you have the option to go down one of the numerous isles that make up the market.  There is no particular scheme for what makes up the flea market.  You could go down any of the isles and find something that you could find in any other the other ones.  What does occur here in the rear entrance is one of two  “food court” style areas of the market.  The rear being the larger of the two.

Food vendors have small stalls or snack trucks that provide food for the patrons of the market.  Tacos, Hot Dogs, Burgers other “carnival” type foods are the usual fair.  The “Spyro Papa” is a local treat which is popular here.  Its a spiral cut potato which is deep friend on a skewer and served with condiments.

Another thing that is located here is a stage area where local performers will play music and sing for the people who stop here to eat.  It’s all in Spanish and they play way too loud for my tastes but the locals seem to like it.

A great thing about his place is the availability of fresh produce.  There are all kinds of fruit and vegetables for sale here at the pulga.  It used to be a Farmer’s Market back in the day and I guess it still is for all intents and purposes.  The items are cheap and usually of good quality.  It’s better to go early to get the best choice of food if that’s what you’re looking for.

On top of fruits and vegetables at this market you can also get your hands on all manners of animals.  From barnyard to domestic, all kinds of animals are to be had.  I’ve seen chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and even the occasional pig.  A lot of vendors sell litters of puppies and kittens that they have from their own pets so you can get a pet cheaper than what you would find at a pet store.  There are also more exotic pets like parrots, snakes, spiders, scorpions, turtles, etc.  Most are healthy and clean but there will be the occasional wretch for sale in the market.  It’s an old trick to have a poor animal for sale to tug on the heartstrings of the patrons and get them to buy the poor animal to keep it from suffering.

Upon reaching the back corner of the lot you will find an anachronism.  An old-fashioned “Freak Show” of the kind you would see in Circus’ back in the day.  I don’t know how long it has been here but it has been located at the flea market for as long as I remember.  It’s only a dollar to see but the quality if obviously sub-par.  I’ve never been in myself but a lot of people go in for a cheap thrill and to freak out their kids.

On the flip side of the coin is a little carnival area that has rides for the kids.  Its located closer towards the front area of the market next to a music vendor and “restaurant”.

As far as the rest of the market goes there’s a little bit of everything.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  Be prepared to walk and don’t be afraid to haggle.  Some merchants will even be good enough to let you try out some of their wares before buying or allow you to return it if it doesn’t work.

Happy hunting!

Saturday 10/20/12

So today I went to the Alamo Flea Market instead of alternating to one of the other markets like 23rd, Wesmer or Donna.  Normally, I would have done so but I was on a mission this weekend.  The wife and I recently upgraded our phones so we needed accessories for them.  Alamo has several phone vendors so I decided to go there this weekend.  Plus it was another opportunity to find awesome stuff.

1.  Phone Cases

Found these phone cases which are basic and in the same colors as our phones (black for me and white for her).  We plan on getting better ones that suit us but I figured we needed something in the meantime to better care for our phones and keep them clean and undamaged.  The white case is plastic and the black one is rubber but they both were $6.

2.  Phone Stylus

I already have a small stylus for my phone but I thought that the Wife needed one since this is her first smart phone and she loves playing games and texting. They didn’t have the same stylus that I had and most of the ones I found were for Game Boys and they were unsuitable for phones.  I did manage to find this iPhone styles which works pretty well with the Galaxy II.  Got it for $2.

3.  Vader Car

Found this awesome little Darth Vader car at the table from one of the Toy vendors.  It’s going to being a great addition to my Darth Vader collection.  Got it for $2.

4.  Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Outfit)

I got this sweet Lando figure from the same guy that I got the Vader Car from.  He comes with his helmet, staff and even a pistol in his holster so he’s pretty complete.  Got him for $2 as well.

5.  Headless Troopers

I don’t know how or why I ran into this assortment of headless Star Wars troopers.  Maybe it has something to do with Halloween.  Anyways I found these guys to use as spare parts for my other Troops.    I did consider having them around as some sort of  cadre of Undead Troops sent in for special missions or cannon fodder.  Ha!  Anyways, I got them for $.50 each.

6.  Luke Skywalker (Stormtrooper Outfit)

Found this Luke figure in his Stormtrooper outfit from A New Hope.  He’s missing his helmet but otherwise in good condition.  I got him for $1.

7.  Star Wars Lunchbox Tin

Got this box for $4.  I have a similar box with a different design that I use to hold my Magic the Gathering cards.  Its in good condition with only a few dents in it.

8.  Assortment of Books

I browsed through a book vendor looking for a gift for a friend but couldn’t find anything appropriate.  I did find these books there that would be great for my library.

Dr. No by Ian Fleming – I love James Bond and always wanted to build up a collection of the original novels that made up the film franchise.  Cost… $.50.

Watership Down by Richard Adams – I never got to read this book but watched the animated film many times.  I did have a copy before but I gave away as a gift before I could read it.  Now I can!  Cost…$.50.

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman – I’m a fan of Neil’s work and already have several of his books.  Its been awhile since I got a new book of his and this book of short stories is just perfect for getting back into his work.  Cost…$.50.

Writing Movies – Gotham Writers’ Workshop – I’m an aspiring writer and have several books on how to write in different styles and different mediums.  This would be my first book on writing for movies.  I learned how to write screenplays in school but it has been many years since then and I have not had the need to write them in recent years.  With today’s media being very Hollywood focused it would behoove me to brush up on screenwriting and maybe turn some of my stories into scripts for marketability.  The book cost me $1.

Sunday 10/14/12

This past Sunday was another expedition to the Alamo Flea Market.  It was fair out and the crowd was decent.  There was much to see and there were some good finds.  If I had more time and money I could have gotten more but today I walked away with these finds…

1.  Darth Vader Pillow

Found this great pillow with Darth Vader designs on it as I was leaving the market.  It is most likely homemade but it is of good quality.  This would make the third Star Wars bedding item I have found at the Pulga.  Now I just needs a few blankets and I’ll have a whole bedroom set.  This pillow cost me $4

2.  Momo Plush

I have been collecting these plush Momo dolls for a while now and have started quite the little collection.  They are from the Happy Meal set of toys for The Last Airbender movie by M. Night Shyamalan.  The movie was a horrid abomination which was an insult to the fans of the original cartoon (myself included) and it ended up ruining M. Night’s reputation as a director.  Take that you Hack!  The only good thing to come out of that movie were these little toys which are so cute!  When I have enough I’ll probably give them away to Avatar fans on Reddit.

3.  Jack Ball

This Jack-in-the-Box antenna ball cost me $.50.  Cheaper than the one you could get from the restaurant.  They used to come in different assortments during the holidays but this the basic one they sell year round.

4.  Padme Amidala Legacy Collection Action Figure

This was a very lucky find.  It was in the same pile of toys that I found the Jack Ball in which was mostly just a pile of old kiddie toys and broken plastic junk.  Dumpster diving pays off!  She was fairly clean and had her mask and gun which is rare in second-hand figures.  I got her for $.50.

5.  Sphinx Baseball Cap

This baseball cap jumped out at me on my last isle and only cost $1.  I noticed the skull and Egyptian style headdress right away.  I have a fondness for Egyptian decor so I snatched it up.  It’s in good condition but not of the best quality so I don’t think it was something premium like a souvenir from the Luxor or anything like that. I can’t identify its origin but in my mind it’s part of the Venture Brother’s mythos.  SPHINX!

6.  Wounded Star Wars Troopers

These two figures were in a bin full of junk that was going for $.25 a piece.  Normally I don’t give a second thought to broken figures but troopers make an exception.  Since they are soldiers they are prone to being damaged so having a few “wounded” troops around makes a certain amount of sense.  Besides, you never know when you might be able to swap out a few parts to make a complete figure.

7.  Men in Black Figures

It’s rare to find MIB figures, especially from the cartoon show.  I believe these came from a kid’s meal and have no special properties other than being figures of Agent J &K.  Still, I am a fan of the cartoon which was very good and I’m happy to have these in my collection.

8.  IG-88 Action Figure

This figure is from the 90’s but he is a good place holder for my Bounty Hunter collection.  IG-88 hasn’t changed much since the 80’s so it’s a good fit plus he came with his weapon, which as I said before, is rare and adds to the value.  I got him for a $1.