Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I'd buy that for a dollar!

Between stores not putting out as much as they used to, and moving to a part of the country that doesn't seem to celebrate the holiday as much as everywhere else, it really seems like it's getting harder and harder to try and find new Halloween decorations that are of interest to me. Even with that being said, I still enjoy the thrill of the hunt, even if I do leave empty handed more often than not.

This season really didn't start of well, it began with trips to multiple different Dollar General's (only because they're so prevalent here), which not surprisingly, yielded absolutely nothing. A couple of them had a decent amount of stuff for sale, the problem was, it was all just crap.

I then tried Walmart, which I knew would be pointless, and it was.

Next up was Big Lots, Ha! Terrible selection.

How about K-Mart? Overpriced and uninteresting.

Hobby Lobby had an almost overwhelming selection, that is if you like glitter on everything.

Target? They're aren't any around here.

All was starting to look lost, until about two weeks ago, when I went in to one of few and far between Dollar Tree's. Aah, finally, a place that gets it! This particular location that I was at had an incredible selection, and of course being a Dollar Tree, the prices were spooktacular (sorry, I had to get that in).

So other than the masks I posted about last week, everything seen here today represents the whole of my 2017 Halloween retail purchases.

These goblets are really fantastic, although trying to find a couple that weren't all scratched up was kind of pain. After seeing these, my mom suggested putting LED tea lights in them, which I intend to try once I get some LED tea lights. I picked up a couple more of these went I back a few days later.

Try as I might, I just couldn't get a decent picture of this raven skeleton, so you'll just have to take my word when I say that it looks far better in person.

This picture of the back came out a little better. It's not uncommon to find these plastic animal skeletons for sale around Halloween time in recent years, but they always seem to be overpriced (in my mind at least), so to find this one for only $1 seemed like a real bargain. This is what you, or rather I, call a "year round decoration".

Standing around 5" tall, and made of nice thick plastic, this ghost has a lot going on for only a $1. He's got a motion sensor, that when activated, sets off not only a sound (song?) that I can't describe in writing (you'd know it though), but also a multi-colored light emanating from within.

They had three different LED paper lanterns available, I got the spider nest, and the pumpkin. I can't remember what the third one was, but it didn't look all that interesting.

Here's a better look at it once it's set up.

And the pumpkin once it was actually set-up. These things are far from perfect, construction wise, but they don't look too bad at night...

My phone doesn't like taking pictures under near dark conditions, but you can still get a general sense of how they look in the dark.

Got a graveyard you need to enclose? Try these nifty fence posts. Coming in packs of two, you've got your choice of...

... bats, or...

... or spiders.
 
I was bit surprised to see three different jointed cutouts among this year's offerings, as it feels like it has been a couple of years since I have seen any for sale. And of course, I had to buy all three.

And here's the mummy after he's risen from his plastic tomb. To me, he looks more like an androgynous zombie covered in bandages, which is a little disappointing, but there's always got to be at least one thing that doesn't end up looking as good as you thought it would.

The cardboard on these is a little flimsy, which means that they appear to bend/crease easily, so I had to do a bit of digging to find a couple that weren't damaged. On the plus side though, they are around five feet tall, so they do create somewhat of a presence.

At the time I took all these pictures, I hadn't opened the reaper skeleton yet, but you can still get an idea of what it looks like from the image on the package.

All three cutouts were on the same hook/rod, which meant I hat to take all 40-50 of them off when trying to find the non bent ones. This one was buried (pun?) behind the other two, and once uncovered, I could not believe my eyes when I saw Yvonne De Carlo looking back at me!  It's been two weeks, and I still can't believe the designer(s) of these cutouts would have, in 2017, used her likeness for a decoration.

After a very quick search, I believe this to be the image that was used to get this:

Stunning, absolutely stunning! I picked up four of these, one for year round display, and three as back-ups.

I don't want to take her out of the package until we get moved back to the other house, so here's another grainy picture from the package.

So all in all, this turned to be a pretty decent Halloween haul. Many thanks to Dollar Tree, as they were, at least for this year, my last hope.

                

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

NPN Win

After getting all those packs of 2017 Topps Archives for my birthday a couple of months ago, I decided to do something I had never done before... which was to enter one of those no purchase necessary contests that are always mentioned on the back of the wrappers. And as you may have inferred from the title, I actually won something!

I had forgotten I even entered this contest until just a couple of days ago, after remembering I had done so and then looking at the date, I just assumed my name hadn't been one of ones chosen -- and then just yesterday, this arrived:

It was kind of exciting to imagine what kind of treasure could possibly be contained within this package. I took a few seconds to get the picture taken, and than tore in to that sucker like a kid on Christmas morning.

And here is my major award, a peach parallel of Jose Quintana. While it's certainly no leg lamp, it's still not too bad of a card to have won.

It's a little hard to see, but it's numbered 50/199. Since I'm not actively collecting the Archives parallels, I think I might just leave this in the toploader it came in, sticker and all. If I don't, I might eventually forget where this card came from, and this is, silly as it sounds, something that I would kind of like to remember for as long as I can.

Now that I've won something from one of these contests, I'm kind of jonesing to try my luck on a few more.


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Monday, October 16, 2017

The most important meal of the day

Time for another group of cards culled from my recently cleaned up photo/scan folders. Post cards are today's theme, with four from '61, and two form '62.

If I were able to focus on just a couple of sets at a time, the offerings from Post, and Hostess, would probably be the sets that I would put the most effort in to trying to complete. Besides just being fun, they also offer collector's the ability to pick up some of the bigger names from the 60's and 70's for a lot less than their Topps counterparts, which is certainly very appealing to a set collector who doesn't have an infinite amount of money to build said sets.

Will there ever be another World Series MVP selected from the losing team? I wouldn't put money on it.

First card: Yankee. Second card : Yankee killer!

I didn't recall ever hearing of a major leaguer who had graduated from Princeton before, which mad me think Dave might have been one of a select few, turns out there have been 29 Princeton graduates that have played in the bigs. Bonus fun fact: Apparently the matchup between Princeton University and Columbia University on May 17, 1938 was the first ever televised baseball game. Princeton ended up winning 2-1.

It seems strange to see Billy Martin with the Reds.

Thanks to a broken finger that never healed properly, his slugging potential would never fully mature.

Don has a little bit of water damage on the right side, which is something I normally try to avoid, but the just over a $1 price tag was just too cheap to pass up.


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tales from the Thrift Store vol.1

Hey everybody, welcome to the start of yet another series! For the no one who's keeping count, this is my third new series, with one still in the works.

I usually hit a couple of thrift stores a month, so with my continued effort to produce more non-card content in mind, I figured why not make a series to cover these purchases as well.

This inaugural edition will recap my trip to a new (to me) thrift store called, Hilltoppers, in Crossville, TN.

I found out about this place a few months ago, but every time I've been close to the store, I'm always running short on time. Last week I was finally able to make it in there, and I can honestly say it was worth the wait.

This series will hopefully contain plenty of variety as thrift stores usually plenty to offer in that department, but this particular post (spoiler) is going to be another VHS fest. Mainly because that was the most impressive section of this store, as I can't remember the last time (if ever) I saw so many videos in one spot. There were two back-to-back rows of at least six book shelves on each side that were just packed full of what had to be around 1,000 videos. For me, it was basically heaven!

For once I even remembered that I should try and take some pictures while I was there, the only problem was, the guy working there was stocking stuff on one side of the videos pretty much the whole I was there. And then when I got to the other side there was woman who came over and started doing that, what I call "I have nowhere else to be, so I might as well look", kind of looking -- which is very annoying, especially when they walk over and just start half-assedly picking up videos at random, right in the middle of a row. I seem to run in to those people all the time, their always the one's that seem to be milling around looking for someone to talk to, thankfully I don't give off the "hey, let's talk" vibe, so they normally don't try with me.

It took me a good 45 minutes to look through all the videos, which unfortunately was about all the time I had that day, so I can't really comment on any of the other offerings as I didn't end up looking at anything else.

So as I said, I expect future posts in this series to contain a great of variety, but this first one is nothing but glorious VHS:

Most of the time when I get a bunch of videos (or DVD's) from somewhere, there are always a couple that get watched within the first few days of bringing them home, and the rest usually get put with the rest of the "to watch" stuff. Well, this was the one that got watched the very first night. This was something I have been wanting to see for quite some time, and it didn't disappoint. I don't suspect that too many people reading this ever saw the television series Cannon, even if you haven't though, you still might enjoy this TV movie that was made four years after the series ended. Although my opinion may be slightly biased as I am a huge William Conrad fan so...


I had never seen this sequel to Romancing the Stone before, and after watching it, it's not hard to figure out why. This film seems to be made up of about 50-60% actual movie, and 40-50% filler. Overall I didn't particularly care for this one, but I did find some joy in Avner Eisenberg's character.


I remember watching an episode of Nature a couple of years ago that was all about crows, but I'm pretty sure this isn't going to be the same one, as I don't remember Patricia Clarkson being the narrator of the one I watched.


For the life of me I cannot remember if I ever saw this or not.


A straight-to-video release, with a terribly un-original plot, that also happens to star Robocop... how can you go wrong?


Like a lot of people, I was really in to dinosaurs as a kid. Even though I was starting to grow out of my dino-phase when Jurassic Park came out in 1994, I still saw it four times in the theatre, and had I been able to find anyone else to go with (anyone I hadn't already gone with that is) -- I probably would have seen it a few more times on the big screen.

Even though a lot more discoveries have been made since this episode of Nova aired in 1994, it was still packed with a lot of relevant information, and was still quite enjoyable.


Here's one I hadn't even heard of before, but I have yet to see a William Powell picture that I didn't enjoy, so I'm assuming this will be good as well.

You know those random memories, the kind that seemed to be lost to time and will seemingly  resurface out of nowhere, which can either be triggered by something similar to the memory -- but also can be triggered by something that has absolutely nothing to with what ever that past event was? Well, a couple of weeks ago while doing something probably very mundane (showering, teeth brushing, etc.), I had just such a memory come back to me.

I was around 8 or 9 years old and we were getting ready to move from Portland to Beaverton, OR (about 20 miles away at the time). My best friend at the time was named Larry, and he lived just a couple of houses away. For whatever reason, we decided to borrow a couple of things from each other literally right before I moved. From him I borrowed WWF Summerslam '92 (VHS), and the game Renegade (NES). And from me he got, Wayne's World (VHS), and the game MLB Baseball (NES). Well, we ended up only seeing each other one more time after I moved (20 miles when you're that age, might as well be 2000 miles), and I guess in our minds it was still too soon to give back the items we had exchanged.

Now that this memory has come back to me, I am resolved (don't ask me why) to try and find replacements for my never gotten back items. So even though I have it on DVD, when I came across this copy of Wayne's World on VHS, I had to buy it.

The good news is that both of my items that Larry borrowed can now be had for next to nothing, so with Wayne's World taken care of, all that's left is that NES copy of MLB Baseball...


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fun(ko) with Dracula

This going to be a really quick one today, featuring another recently gotten figure from the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters series.

The figure was listed as having the bubble re-glued to the card, that wasn't much of a concern though, as it was being bought to open no matter what condition the package was in. Heck, for $5.49, I would have bought it loose!

This is now my fifth figure from the series, meaning I only need three more to complete the set.

                 

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bing, Frank, and Kiki

After going through all of my old photo/scan folders last month, I ended up finding quite a few things that I had forgotten about, including today's triple shot of 1960 Fleer.

I'm not entirely sure when I got these, but I am certain that they represent the last three that I have gotten, because I don't recall cracking open the 1960 Fleer binder any time recently.

Was a member of two Philadelphia Athletics world series winning teams, in 1929 and 1930. He, and the team, ended up missing out on a third consecutive championship in 1931, by one game.

I don't know if it's been mentioned before or not, but I just noticed that the stats on the back of the card, don't match up with those on Baseball Reference. They have him listed with 1820 games played, 1934 hits, .311 lifetime average, 993 RBI', 96 triple's, and 116 home runs. All the World Series stat match-up though, so it leaves one to wonder, which source to go when looking for his correct statistics?

A prolific home run hitter in his time, he also won a couple of championships with Philadelphia ('10, '11, and '13).
Once again, Fleer, and Baseball Reference, seem to differ slightly when it comes to the numbers. On the site it says that he had 5984 at bats, 991 RBI's, 315 doubles, 103 triples, and 96 home runs. But once again, even with some of those glaring differences, the World Series totals match-up.

An outstanding hitter, he also led the NL in stolen bases four times. Won a championship with Pittsburgh in 1925, and was robbed of the opportunity to potentially win another in 1927, thanks to a dispute with Pirates manager Donie Bush.

Since I've already done so with the previous two, let's take a look at the stats. This time Baseball Reference only differs on two of the major league totals with 157 triples and 128 home runs. And for Kiki, there is finally an alternate number on one of the World Series stats, as they have him listed as having 12 RBI's.

Again, I don't know if anyone has brought light to those statistical difference before, but I find kind of interesting and am certainly keen on finding out more about it.


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