In early April, there was the first “Mega Sale” of the season at the local fairgrounds. I usually go a few times a year, typically ending up at the booth with old trading cards and spending far too much on things like packs of Dinosaurs Attack! that I plan to write about but keep putting off.
This time I am only about a month late and finally getting to tell you all about the majestic wonders of a medium-sized town’s “Mega Sale”
Here we go!
This is new…and frightening. On the outside of the building is this sign, featuring Rummage Vintage/Collectibles and….Direct Sale Companies.
For those who don’t know, Direct Sale Companies are a fancy way of legitimizing Multi Level Marketing (MLMs) programs, also frequently known as Pyramid Schemes. You have heard of Amway, Avon and similar, but there are many many more out there and they all have the same method. Get you to buy in to more than just the products but get you to sell the products yourselves, as the person who recruited you gets more money the more you sell, and then you get to recruit people so you get more money, etc.
MLMs have been prevalent in the past at these but this was a new level.
They were everywhere. These are just the tables that didn’t mind me taking a picture of their tables. The others were very adamant that no photos were taken because they are used to spread “propaganda” or “smear their company’s names”. I get some people enjoy these products, and that is fine, but this is insanity. 3/4 of the tables were MLMs, every one of them promising free stuff if you do a free in-home demo/party/makeover/tasting with your best friends. This made hunting for rad treasures a bit harder.
In fact as I looked at my wider shot photos of the building, they are almost indistinguishable from the photos posted above.
I found a really neat pen table full of fountain pens and old inkwells. Plus these awesome Garfield Pens! I didn’t grab any but my wife did, she got some shark fountain pens because sharks are awesome and she is as well.
I found this incredible WWF PowerPenz Cyclone Pen that has discs you can use to battle with other pen havers? But it called me a Bozo, so I had to have it. for $3, who would be able to resist? Other pens in the WWF line include such legends as Kane, HHH and Val Venis. Yep. The Big Valbowski can battle the Undertaker when you are in study hall! I don’t think I ever saw any PowerPenz back in the 90’s. Why? I would have loved them. They are the perfect match of licensed useless garbage that does weird stuff, is collectible, and I can convince myself is practical at the same time.
One thing I love but never understand about these sales are the junk dealers. Tons of rusted tools from a time long gone and random bits and pieces that are covered in dust older than I am. I am sure there are people that buy this stuff but every time this vendor is at the sale, nothing ever seems to change. How could this be worth lugging around, paying for the space and then packing up at the end of the day? Remember this is a one-day affair here, so these tables and bins have to be packed up after the seven hour show. At least I know if I need a funnel or a hoe I know where to go.
The usual vendor where I get my retro trading cards wasn’t there, much to my chagrin. We were making our last once-overs and I noticed the side room was open…and like a personal heaven, this is what I saw as I turned the corner.
This vendor occasionally shows up with a corner setup, but this time he got the side room all to himself and his action figures and retro toys.
Classic comics, book and record sets, LEGO toys and so much more. This was an incredible spread.
I never was really into GI Joe but I always loved the breadth of the playsets and vehicle lines. The Star Wars figures and WWE figures were neat but they weren’t my target. I always am looking for the usual. ALF, Ghostbusters (Real or Filmation only), Gremlins, POGs and My Pet Monster stuff. Well those and anything funeral or hearse related for my son. He’s a weird kiddo.
Those WCW Nitro TCG cards were calling my name but I don’t really need more TCG cards cluttering up the house. I needed other clutter and finally came across a few clutter-worthy gems.
Wolfman from the Monsters line and two fright feature Ghostbusters (Egon with the requisite broken tie) but with accessories! Winston came with his appropriate ghost, but egon for some reason came with the Ecto-1 ghost. Either way, a great deal for $8 total for all 3, even though Winston has a hard time getting his spinning, toothy head back to neutral position. I still love him anyway!
The same vendor also had a really neat Real Ghostbusters retractable vinyl sun shade that had to come home with me.
These were HUGE in the 80’s along with folding cardboard sun visors for your windshield. You could get them for pretty much any popular property out there including ALF and the Simpsons. This was only $6 and I was very happy to have it, even though it didn’t come with suction cups to put in my car immediately. Apparently they are pretty easily found on eBay for very fair prices, but the thrill of discovery is what made this one worth it.
We went to leave the show and my wife’s eye was caught by some necklaces with neat clasps on a table, and I was taking a few more shots for this article, when I saw a Ghostbusters something in my phone’s camera that I would have completely missed otherwise…
Why yes, that is a $5 price tag on that Stay Puft toy. Even in the neglected condition, it was more than a steal! A bit of cleaning and it will look good as new! This was a surprisingly successful event for me, and my wife even found a set of red depression glass cups for $6.
Hopefully there are less MLMs at the next sale, and more random 20+ year old packs of cards to open!
Thanks for joining me on this adventure through the MEGA SALE!!