May 2016 Brimfield Antique Show Finds

This morning, I spent some time at the first Brimfield show of the year. If you’ve never been, this will begin to give you some idea as to the scope of it, but hardly The way I’ve described it to people is this: imagine a good-sized, busy flea market with a few hundred vendors or so. Then imagine about a dozen of those (in total, there are 21 dealer fields at Brimfield, but they’re not all open simultaneously; some only operate on certain days of the week), lining either side of a highway for about a mile, right next to each other, with nothing but the good stuff. This was my 3rd show and 5th trip out there overall, and while rain and sleep dep (it’s been a long week at my house, lots going on) cut today short just slightly (I was going to check out one more field), I had a lot of fun, and picked up a couple of great things.

I’ve never had a Mego Spock before, and he’s my first new original Mego in close to 30 years. Missing his belt, insignia and accessories, but he’s a clean lookin’ figure without much wear on his joints or costume. Welcome home, Spock!

The card to his left is from the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams card set. I’m *very* slowly building the set (not even in double digits yet on an 80 card set with one very tough card in it), and this is one of the cards I wanted the most from it, as it’s a picture of Ted with Jim Thorpe. It’s a gorgeous picture, one of the best in the set, and, again, it’s Ted Williams and Jim Thorpe on the same card. Here’s a scan, for more detail…

It can admittedly be tough to find bargains at Brimfield (though the window shopping is unparalleled, even if you decide not to buy much; you are guaranteed to see something amazing that you’ll only see once in your life, every single time you go there), because in an environment populated by about 6,000 (not a typo) antiques dealers, everyone tends to know what they have and table fees are higher than they’d be in a local flea market, but both of these finds were very affordable.I probably won’t make it back out there this weekend, but I’m already looking ahead to the July show, which is happening between the 12th and 17th.

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Digital Card (And Wider Collecting) Dilemma

As some of you already know, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the Topps Digital apps since last summer, collecting digital trading cards (ridiculous concept that they are). I mostly collect Topps Bunt (their baseball app), but I also do Star Wars, Huddle (American football) and Kick (football) as well. (I also do the non-Topps Kitten Cards, which is a hoot, and has a really fun community.)

I’ve run up against a dilemma of late with Bunt, though.

I got the one card I really, really wanted, above all others. I mean, look at this card. Look at how happy Vladimir Guerrero looks to be on this card. That’s pretty remarkable, considering that digital trading cards didn’t really exist back when ol’ Vlad was still on the Montreal Expos. How did he know? It’s a great card, and I’d love to actually have a physical copy of it, but if I can’t, this is still pretty cool.

Now, this is a dilemma in any hobby, whether you’re collecting JPEGs or antiquities from lost civilizations. What do you do after you get the best thing you can get? I will say that 2016 Topps Bunt is leaving me cold in terms of both card designs (kinda lackluster) and in-app bullshit (they’ve stacked the deck against free players like myself, complicated the app needlessly, and they keep running into glitches in the app that make it pretty easy for people to amass a ton of cards and game the in-game contests at least short-term), which really isn’t helping matters much. But even with that aside, there’s kind of a hangover period in any collectibles hobby when you get the best thing you can get (in your own view, anyway), and aren’t sure where to go next.

The other apps I use are far more casual, because they’re not baseball, and baseball’s kinda my thing. I do collect build-a-ships in Star Wars, but I’m up-to-date on the complete run of the base variant there, so mostly I’m just sitting around, waiting for the next one to be released. Football and, well, football, I don’t really follow, so I gather those mostly to trade for baseball. I could start trading these things for Kitten Cards, but while Kitten Cards are awesome, I’m not especially completist or committed to being where they’re concerned.I’m curious as to your thoughts on this. Feel free to comment here, and, if you want to know how to find me on Topps Digital or Kitten Cards (to trade cards and whatnot), drop me an email.

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A recent flea market adventure…

(Retelling this story from social media, to put it somewhere a little more static.)

Our local flea market just had its second weekend of the year, and almost immediately upon arriving, I came across this fella…

For the uninitiated (and those who can’t read the original box he’s sitting in), this is Paul Winchell’s Jerry Mahoney. I’d never seen one of these anywhere but in one of the first Sears Wish Books I’d looked at (though by that point, the Charlie McCarthy and Jerry ventriloquist dummies they sold were not as well-constructed as this one).Now, I don’t actually collect ventriloquist dummies, but I have a friend who is a huge fan, so I messaged him immediately with this picture, to see if he was interested. As it turns out, he was, and I managed to facilitate a PayPal deal between my friend and the seller, which was pretty cool (I do like the future sometimes…).

As the seller was carefully laying Jerry in his box, there was something of a bittersweet moment. The dealer wistfully said “So long, pal…” to Jerry (perhaps hinting that he’s had Jerry since he was a kid, but I didn’t ask). Without missing a beat, Jerry responded, “So long, asshole!”

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