The thrill of the hunt is pretty great, but you know what’s even better? Gambling! Thrift shop gambling to be precise.
Shopping at thrift stores is a guilty pleasure of mine — like the good man says, it’s f*%king awesome. They’re basically year-round yard sales, and you know how I like a good yard sale! The items I find at thrift stores rarely make it into my personal collection, but you just never know what you’re going to find.
Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a lucky streak when it comes to the thrift stores. The other day, I came across a huge bag of toys. Nothing that I could see looked all that exciting, so why did I buy it? For the gamble, of course! Who knows what treasures lie packed within those clear vinyl walls? It clearly had the makings for an episode of “What’s in the Box?” and it was only five bucks, so what did I have to lose? Roll them bones!
Side note: my kids love this stuff! I can still justify buying these bulk lots because I have two boys who enjoy the toys that I’m not interested in keeping — that’s right, Dad gets first dibs. Honestly, this hasn’t been an issue yet, but now that my kids are “all-in” when it comes to Star Wars, we may be coming to a crossroads.
So, what was in the bag?
A whole lot of Bakugons and Rescue Heroes, which are still awesome toys for boys. I can see middle-aged men scrounging around for these 30 years from now in an effort to recapture their youth. Sure, go ahead and laugh now — my kids are going to have crates of these things in their attic, and will be happy to sell them to your kids.
The best item in the bag was a Godzilla figure, which had me shouting “dibs” as soon as the bag was opened. This guy is worth twice what I paid for the whole bag, so the rest is just cream on the top.
There were some wrestlers that I know nothing about. I haven’t followed wrestling since the days of Ricky the Dragon Steamboat and Rowdy Roddy Piper — before anything called the WWE even existed. There were also a few dinosaurs, and a really large arm from some massive figure.
You’ll ALWAYS find trash in these bags and boxes. This one had some feathers and a toy laptop that was leaking battery acid, but overall it wasn’t too bad. In total, I could probably resell the contents of the bag on eBay for around $60-70, which will cover the costs for what I really want.
Like I said earlier, I rarely find items for my own collection, but things were different this day.
This Warthog jeep from the Halo video game franchise was just sitting on the top of a display rack, drenched in a cool beam of blue fluorescent light, calling to me. The price: 99 cents.
I found a stack of unopened View-Master reels, including three that hit me squarely in my collecting gut. I (over)paid $5 each for these! In a few weeks, these will probably be marked down to 50 cents each, and that’s when I’ll go back and scoop up the other 20 reels that featured pop culture properties that didn’t interest me quite so much.
These 1981 PVC Garfield figures are so great. A collector obviously dropped off the whole set, and this collector was happy to scoop them up.
I also found a basket filled with these die cast figures. These things are barely worth their own weight, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave them behind. They’ll make for good freebies for people who buy stuff.
Here’s something I just keep shaking my head about — a matted sheet of Legends of Baseball postage stamps for $0.58. The last time I looked, postage stamps are legal tender, so basically I bought $6.60 for $0.58. It’s almost as if the government was running this thrift store! The stamps aren’t really collectible, so I’ll probably end up using these when I mail in my bills (yes, I still use the mail).
But wait, it gets even better…
Five vintage She-Ra figures in amazing condition, with most of their accessories. On a good day, some of these figures could sell for up to $35 each on eBay, so this lot was an absolute steal for $10 — totally worth the funny look the Asian lady gave me when I brought them up to the counter!
I wonder if there’s a gamblers anonymous for thrift store hunters? At least with thrift shop gambling, you usually come out ahead. Have you taken a chance on any thrift store goods lately?