Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Me and McKay's

A couple of weeks ago, a person I'm following on Twitter mentioned going to a place called McKay's (used books, CD's, video games, etc.)  -- which was previously unknown to me -- after seeing what they got, and how much they got it for... I decided to try see where this place was. Much to my delight, I found that this store is exclusive to Tennessee and North Carolina, now it was just a matter of figuring when I could go.

There are three locations in Tennessee, Knoxville being the closest, so that settled the "where". The "when" was figured out thanks to a timely eBay selling promotion, in which I was able to sell a couple of things within just a day of their listings. I think the stuff sold on a Thursday, and I made my way to Knoxville the following Saturday (two weeks ago).

I can tell you right off the bat that it was well worth the trip, normally I end up being disappointed by places that I really want to check out, this was definitely not one of those times. Now I'm just a little annoyed that I've lived in this state for three years, and I'm just now finding out about this place.

Hey look, I actually took a picture of somewhere I went! This is from upstairs, there was too many people around me on the main floor to get any pics. Not knowing what to expect, I was bit surprised by some of the things that you see when you first walk in. For example, once through the main doors on your immediate left you will find a huge bin of loose LEGO's, next to that is huge bin of MTG cards. There was a s*** ton of people in front of both bins during the entirety of my visit, so I didn't get a good look at what's what, but I think it's one of those deals where you fill up a bag for a certain price.

Next was a whole mess of board games (I'll try to get a pic next time I go), I do love board games, but I don't have anybody to play them with so my heart wasn't really into looking through them all that much.

On the other side of part of the board game section was a pegboard wall full (maybe three quarters) of action figures, some in package, and some loose in bags. The stuff ranged from a few original MOTU figures, to some of the newer Star Wars releases. There was some really good stuff there, the only problem was that it was stuff that I already have. They did have a bunch of mid 90's basketball SLU's though, which I was tempted by, especially with their $1.95 price tags, but ultimately I decided to pass. It's funny, those figures were on clearance at just about every store for what seemed like years, and now even twenty years later, people still don't want them. Although in retrospect, I should have probably grabbed a few for some of my fellow bloggers.

Right behind the action figure wall, is the DVD section. All the vertical rows that you can see in this picture are DVD's and Blu-Ray's, the middle of the photo shows what seemed to be the most popular area, which is mad up of waist high tabletop like bins full of $1.95 and less DVD's/Blu-Rays. There was easily a couple of thousand to choose from, you can also sort of see some yellow sticking out from underneath the tables, those are rolling bins that are all full of what I'm assuming was just overflow. Not surprisingly, I was able to find a few things in this section:

I really can't remember if I had seen this one or not, so...

Like a lot of folks, I was surprised at how good JCVD was when I first saw it. And like a lot of people, I thought this film was gonna lead to bigger and better things for Van Damme, unfortunately Jean-Claude wasn't able to capitalize on it's success, primarily because he seems to be his own worst enemy. I almost bought this DVD years ago for like seven or eight bucks, by waiting I was able to find this copy for just 95 cents!

This was an upgrade from video.

Never heard of it, and the odds of it being any good are probably very slim, but for $1.95 I'm willing to give it a chance.

For anyone who doesn't know, this was the TV movie that led to the Forever Knight series, which was one of my favorite shows as a kid. Another upgrade from video too.

This is two-disc special edition, which is an upgrade from my regular one-disc edition. There's no synopsis on the back of this box, but that's ok because there might be something wrong with you if you don't know what Predator is all about.

I have never been much of a James Bond fan (although I have seen all of them up until Pierce Brosnan took over), but my mom recently mentioned wanting to upgrade all of her 007 videos to DVD or Blu-Ray, so I couldn't not pick this up for her.

After finishing up with discount section, it was time to hit the television aisles:

I'm sure a few of you might be thinking "Why buy this when you can just watch it on the Netflix?", well, as any regulars to the blog know, I'm a physical media kind of person -- always have been, and always will be!

I'm a little late to the Gotham party, while far from perfect, I do like what I've seen so far, I especially like the willingness of the creators to change up the mythos.

I'm happy to finally get the second season of this series. This was the cheapest that I had ever found it, eBay included.

When it comes to reboots, nine times out of ten, I will strongly oppose them, but... I really did enjoy the 2011 Thundercats reboot. Although I don't like the fact that the show's only season was released in separate volumes, with this purchase I now have the whole season.

After getting done with the DVD's, I went over the video game/expensive collectibles in glass cases section. I didn't take any pictures because there was just too many people around. This seemed to be the area where all the rude patrons were congregating, not that I was overly surprised by this, as this was the section where all the "retro" games were, and it's been my experience that people who identify themselves as "retro gamers"... tend to be dicks. And for the record, I do buy and play old video games, but I'm not a "retro gamer", I'm just a dude who buys, and plays (heavy emphasis on "plays"), games that he grew up with, that's all!

I didn't find anything that I couldn't live without, so I decided to head upstairs, which is where you find the CD's, records...

... and comic books!

I'm sure these get picked over on a daily basis, but there was still fairly decent selection. I'm so out of date when it comes to comics pricing, that I really can't tell you whether the prices were reasonable or not.

They have a bunch of bargain bins separated by publisher - DC, Marvel, and indie - which not surprisingly, is where I started first. It seemed like there was an awful lot of newer titles in these boxes, which isn't for me, but I did find a few oldies. Personally I don't consider the 90's as old or vintage, but it seems like a lot of people online do. While mildly interesting, ultimately I didn't buy these Death's Head books, I just thought I'd show a few of the possibilities.

There was a box of magazines right next to the discount DC box, most of it ended up just being issues of Wizard from the mid-2000's (if only they would've been from the 90's!), but hiding in the middle of all those was this super cool first issue of Slaughter House Magazine. Published in 1987, this periodical was completely unknown to me, and after reading it, I can honestly say that that was my loss, because it made for a very enjoyable read.

I had been thinking about the What If... series just a few days before my trip to the store, trying to decide if I wanted to go back and finish collecting both runs. It was always one of my favorites, and to my knowledge there aren't any super expensive books in either series.

This visit kind of made up my mind for me. All of the above books were $1 each, which seemed like a fair price. Other than these, I didn't really see anything else for me, so it was off to the CD's and records.

The vinyl section that I wanted to look through was terribly crowded, and not wanting to wait, I figured I just look next time. My heart wasn't really into looking though the CD's, but I did find one of some interest. I probably already have half of these tracks, for $1.95 though, I thought the remaining songs were well worth it.

Even though I need more books to read, like I need another hole in my head, I still went back downstairs and walked down a few of the bajillion book aisles, which yielded...

... five of the last ten Nero Wolfe books that I need. I don't think I've ever mentioned here on the blog before, this is my favorite book series of all time, and I've been trying to complete it for like two decades now. It's been a few years since the last time I found one that I needed, and yes I know I could go on Amazon or eBay and overpay for the remaining titles, but that's not how I work, besides, judging by how many they had at the store, I might be able to find the last five within another trip or two.

It was at this point that I was soooo ready to leave, between the sensory overload, and the insane amount of people that seemed to be showing up (at least 200 in the store), I was officially done.

And here's where my only real complaint about the store comes in, like I said, there was a lot of people in the store, and probably 25 waiting in line... with only two cashiers! Granted, the line was moving fairly quick, but those two employees should not have to work under those conditions, especially when there was two other closed checkout stands.

After the line started moving, I spotted a three-shelf cubby hole type thing at the end of that board games/action figure shared wall, this shelf just happened to be labeled "laserdisc", Laserdisc! Are you kidding me? I walked right by it at least twice and now I have to see it when there's a good fifteen to twenty people behind me in line. Also, did mention that I was ready to leave?

I was trying so hard to ignore this new development, but I have not had the opportunity to look through stacks of laserdiscs since I moved to Tennessee, meaning that it's been at least three years. So after letting out an audible four-letter word (which drew the attention of the person in front of me), I stepped out of the line.

There probably ended up being around a hundred LD's, a lot of them were of no interest, and the ones that were, I already had. I did manage find one thing though, even at $5.95, this Panther Girl of the Kongo felt kind of like a steal. It's now readily available on DVD and Blu-ray, but at one time this serial was quite a rarity, which is part of the reason that I wanted it, the other being that I had never seen (watched that is) it before.

While is was fun to be able to look through the laserdiscs, I have to say that I hate where they're located. People walking into the store have walk right by you, and people in line are watching you (or rather me)... definitely not good for someone with social anxiety.

With my new LD in hand, I got back in the now even longer line, paid for all my crap, and was finally able to leave.

It's hard to believe that the sale of really just one card, that was sitting in my closet in a box that I never looked at, could pay for this whole trip, as well as the card show that I attended the following weekend (posts coming), and if I don't do anything stupid, the baby National at the end of September will be covered as well.

So there you have it, my first trip to McKay's. For anyone in the North Carolina/Tennessee area who has never been, I would highly recommend checking out your nearest location.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.


  1. Huge fan of Dexter. Pretty sweet pickup!

  2. Great stuff! Now I want to go there.

    1. You'd probably hit the book section and never be seen again :)

  3. Wow! Some super sweet pick ups you found there. Do you know how these stores acquire their merchandise? It looks like a Goodwill on steroids from the pictures you presented. That Slaughterhouse magazine is fantastic! Haven't seen one of those in person for decades. Always enjoyed them but, I don't think that magazine was produced for too long . Good job hooking up your mom with James Bond as she hooked you up a few weeks back.

    1. Most of their inventory comes from people trading stuff in for cash or store credit. I know on the day that I was there, the trade-in line was huge, and people were bringing in literally boxes and 25-gallon totes full of stuff.

      I think you're right about the magazine, it looks like it only lasted for a few issues.

      As for my mom goes, she's always buying me stuff, mostly from estate sales and thrift stores. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and she really went overboard, thanks to a choice estate sale in Knoxville. No matter how hard I try, I'll never be able to catch up with her in the gift giving department.

      Also, on an unrelated note, you never came back last time to let me know what you're Twitter handle was?

    2. I really thought I had replied. Maybe I typed it and didn't hit publish. Plus, I think we're following each other now but, if not, you can find me at @477marcbruins. I use Twitter more for reading than posting so you may not find a lot of content from me but, that also will be changing soon.

    3. You were right, we are already following each other, apparently I didn't realize that that was you. I hope to see some more content from you, as you do seem like an interesting person, so why not share that with everyone?

  4. Your 'tour' of the place had me laughing. Love that '64 hits CD...The Name Game. Holy crap I remember that one so well.

    Let's do Billy!
    Billy, Billy, bo-gil-ly, bo-na-na
    Fanna, fo-fil-ly,
    Fee fi mo-mil-ly, Billy!

    1. I'm glad you liked it. And I'm very impressed with your ability to properly type out lyrics from The Name Game :)

  5. Oh man... I could spend hours in this place. I wish they had something like this in my area. You found some really cool stuff. By the way, I enjoy having physical copies of media too. Dexter is an awesome show. One of these days I'll grab the collection.

    1. And you could probably do it on a fairly regular basis too, as it seems like the turnover in inventory happens pretty quickly. Apparently there's more Dexter fans amongst the bloggers than I realized, not that that's a bad thing though.