The DC Big Flea graced us with its presence again this weekend. I visited the show on Sunday and was surprised to see that the parking lot wasn’t gridlock as usual. I typically have to circle the lot several times, dodging all the GMC Suburbans, before finding a space, but not this time. There were plenty of spaces which made me wonder if the show was losing some steam, but once inside, those fears were put to rest — the crowd was as big as ever.
My first stop is always booth #542, which is operated by Mitch McCaffery. Mitch brings a totally different selection of great vintage toys to every show, and this time, he had a ton of pop culture goodies. I was immediately drawn to this plastic robot from the 70’s. There were no markings on it that I could see and it looks like a generic toy, but it’s pretty great!
Another fun find in this booth was a stack of recent comic books with these Snake Plissken books right on top. i don’t know about you, but I always feel better when Snake is in the house.
I’ve bought something from Mitch at every Big Flea I have been to, and this time was no exception. This time, I found a figural Spiderman radio from 1973 for $8, which will go great with the Batman radio I have from the same line.
Next stop, was booth #570 where I chatted with Jim Driscoll, a real nice guy, who sold me a couple of old Eerie and Vampirella magazines. He was trying to think of other items I might be interested in and started digging through some vintage postcards until he found this…
Now, there’s a familiar face! Alfred E. Neuman makes an appearance on a postcard from 1941. I was baffled by this since Mad Magazine didn’t start publishing until 1952, but there’s no mistaking that face. Once I got home, I hit up Wikipedia and learned that this character has actually been floating around since the 20’s. Who knew?!
Nancy’s Nostalgia’s booth is always filled with fun pop culture items piled high. I never even knew that Harry and the Henderson’s toys were produced, and check out these great E.T. and Gremlins items…
At this booth, I found a figural Hulk bubble bath bottle. Nancy wanted $8 for it but I asked if she would take $6, to which she replied, “Sure, why not. I’m no museum.” Now, THAT is some advice I wish other dealers would follow. Thanks, Nancy!
While walking the aisles, there were a few items on display that caught my pop culture eye, including this R2D2 Pepsi cooler…
This thing was awesome and priced to sell at $125. I’m still kicking myself for leaving this behind, but my marriage is just too precious to me.
And check out this Fonz motorcycle from Happy Days…
Tell me you weren’t the coolest kid on the block if you had this trike as a kid!
I was thrilled to find this 70’s Shogun Warrior Godzilla (with flaming tongue and shooting fist) looming high on a shelf…
If I didn’t already own one of these, you can bet this would have come home with me.
The “Back in the Day Collectibles” booth always has drool-inducing vintage movie posters on display. I always enjoy talking about posters with the shop’s owner, Hanery Karp, while he unrolls treasure after treasure for me to see. Take a look at this amazing 6-sheet for Captain Nemo and the Underwater City…
This poster is massive! A 6-sheet poster is just that — six regular posters hung together. This thing would take up your entire wall, but I can think of few things that would look better in that space!
If a 6-sheet is too big for you, how about this 3-sheet for the movie Hysteria…
I came very, very close to bringing home this Planet of the Apes double feature poster this time…
The “Nostalgic Toys” booth is always the one that pulls at my wallet the hardest. Brent consistently brings a variety of pop culture toys ranging from die cast cars, to toy trains, to space toys. He has so much stuff he even runs his own toy shows. These vintage Micronauts were awfully tempting…
I was surprised that there was hardly any Star Wars merchandise at the show. These were the only vintage action figures I found…
I came very close to spending a lot of money on something very stupid, but it is soooo cool…
I really do have a monkey fetish — King Kong, Planet of the Apes, Lancelot Link — you name it, I want it. This is an unlicensed gorilla shooting toy that would have looked great in my King Kong collection or vintage shooting gallery collection. The box was rough, but good luck finding another box anywhere!
The gorilla itself was immaculate and Brent made me an amazingly generous offer, but dropping the coin on this guy would have caused me some serious marital strife.
Of course I didn’t come home empty handed but I did behave somewhat. Here are the goods…
I’m exhausted now but will put together a follow up post to show some of the highlights of this pop culture haul.
Reminds me of the dirt mall from MALLRATS.
Ha! The big Flea is about as far as you can get from the dirt mall. You have to pay $8 to shop there, and you would be hard-pressed to find many items for less than ten! Jay and Silent Bob would be kicked to the curb. 😉
No latest GODZILLA bootlegs of topless psychics then?
The Sexy Geek says
I am extremely jealous over the Batman halloween mask and Spidey radio. This BatSpidey collector will be scouring ebay for those. Congrats on the haulin.
Thanks. I was pretty excited to find that Spiderman radio. I always like to find figural items like that, especially items from the 70’s.
I love the robot!
You also forced me to Google Trebitsch-Lincoln 🙂 (what a great magazine cover!)
I love old magazines — the more bizarre the better! Now I need to go read that article. 😉
Man I would have so bought that Godzilla if I was there and it looked to be in great shape too! What a fun event I would of spent hours in there and came home hands full and wallet empty lol.
Those Shogun Warrior toys look amazing on the shelf. I have Godzilla and Raydeen, and if I ever come across any of the others and the price is right… I think you know where this headed. 😉
My friend had one growing up and when I finally convinced him to trade it to me he had lost the firing hand and the handle for the fire was broken off (missing some toes as well). I still loved it (till my mom threw it away while I was at school…curses).
Nice finds Brian! I wish something like this would occur near where I live. But Albany Comic-Con is coming up October 30, so maybe. Can’t wait to read the follow up.
That R2D2 cooler looks amazing! You’re a stronger man than me, Brian – At $125 I don’t think i could pass that up!
It was tough, but then I thought about the fact that I would need to find somewhere else to sleep that night and the doghouse is already occupied, so…
Paxton Holley says
I have that giant R2D2 cooler. They are fairly rare, especially in good shape because they were in gas stations for months then usually taken home by employees. I found mine around 1998. A friend of my brother’s that worked at a convenience store took it and was using it for parties on his deck. One of the bottom legs had come off, but they still had it. I bought it for about 30 bucks and taped the leg back on. Other than the taped leg, the body is in great shape. I’ve seen them go for around 90 – 150 bucks. They are a nice piece.
I also love that Shogun Warrior Godzilla and the Happy Days toy motorcycle. What a great place!
Alright Paxton, I’m coming over. I want a ride on that bike! 😉
If you’re a fan of men’s adventure magazines, be sure to check out the exhaustive coverage by subtropicbob at menspulpmags.com and on Flickr! He digs into the careers of some of the artists and has some rare original art featured.
Thanks for that link, Kris! I’ll have to explore that site a bit.
Thanks for thinking of me Brian.
i would have bought the r2d2 unit for that price. man you get good vendors at your flea market. the fle markets here are just junk.
This venue might be called the “DC Big Flea” but don’t be fooled by the name, it’s a fairly high-end antiques show. There are some truly amazing things there. (And yes, I am still regretting not buying that cooler!)
There are many toys at the show including my booth that was right next to the movie posters. We have lots of toys from every decade. Step out of the box and take a look at some older toys. The DC Big Flea may not be a flea market, but it is also not all high end. There are things to be found in all price ranges. Try coming on a Saturday morning, before the good deals disappear.
Hi Mickie- I always stop by your Yesterday’s Toys booth! I missed you at the last show, but I’ll be sure to stop by and say hello in November. I’ve been using the philosophy of going to the show on Sunday afternoons to get some good deals, but maybe that’s not the best tactic. Maybe I’ll give Saturday morning a try. See you then!