The Big Flea rolled into town again this weekend. I got there early on Saturday and on my eternal quest to find some pop culture treasures, Ihappily spent most of the day browsing through the booths and chatting with the vendors. The Big Flea is held at the Dulles Expo Center, and its two huge buildings were filled to the brim with buyers and sellers. It seemed like everyone was clutching a bag or two of goodies, which I hope is a good sign for the collectibles market. I certainly did my share, and came home with some fun new items to add to my collections.
One of the nice things about going to a recurring show like the Big Flea is that you get to know the vendors and seek them out. One of my favorite booths to visit is Henry Karp’s which always has amazing movie posters, most of which are linen-backed, which makes them that much better. Henry must have known I was coming, because look at this beauty…
This is a giant 3-sheet poster for an old Buster Crabbe movie called, Rocket Ship. A 3-sheet poster is basically three regular-sized posters that would have been hung together to make one large image. So, these posters are a massive 81″ x41″ and make a huge statement on the wall. The interesting thing about this poster is that it features Buster Crabbe portraying Flash Gordon at the top, but Buck Rogers at the bottom. Plus, it has a big King Kong-like gorilla with horns. Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and King Kong — three of my favorite things — all on one poster! I’m going to have to do my homework on this one.
One of my other favorite things, Planet of the Apes, tempted me with this great double feature poster:
I loved this two-tone western poster. The price was certainly right at $75, and this is the one item I am having non-buyer’s remorse about today:
If you can’t make it to the Big Flea but want to buy some great linen-backed posters, you’re in luck, because Henry is now selling on eBay under the seller ID: henryk301.
Another on of my favorite booths is owned by Brent, who runs toyshows.org. He always brings a huge assortment of vintage toys that quickly empty my wallet. Brent epitomizes what it is to be a good seller. He takes the time to chat with you and helps answer your questions, and his prices are always right. He has so much stock, and he knows exactly what it is and what it’s worth, so he has some of the fairest prices at the show. If you collect vintage toys or pop culture, seek out Brent’s booth!
Check out this odd little fellow:
This KISS jigsaw puzzle was overflowing with awesome. I have not yet succumbed to the lure of KISS merchandise, but I came awfully close when I saw it.
This huge Ronald McDonald head was also tempting, but I think my wife would absolutely cut up my credit cards if I brought it home. Want to give your kids nightmares? This is a surefire way:
If you know me, you know I dig Space toys. This great windup robot was beyond my budget, but the blue plastic Marx figure came home with me.
These friction powered space ships were beautiful, and they all had their original boxes:
Another one of the Big Flea’s pop culture experts, Mitch, always has something for me to buy. I was excited to see this Spiderman Mobile Crime Lab since I wrote about its cousin, the Mobile Bat Lab, a while ago. I had no idea how big these vans were, but seeing it in person, showed me that it is huge! They were made for Mego figures in the 70’s so the vans are around two feet long. You need a lot of space on the shelf for this bad boy.
There aren’t a whole lot of places to find vintage pop culture collectibles around here, so when the Big Flea comes to town, I get excited. It’s like a museum where you can pick up and touch everything. I always learn of ton of great information and meet some really great people. Of course, I came home with a few treasures for my collections, and I’ll save the details for my next post, but here’s a sneak peek:
Anyone else go to the Big Flea? What did you get?