Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Few More Items Crossed Off The Bucket List

Man this month was full of surprises. A few months back, I mentioned my "I'd Never Think I'd Ever Get To Do This" bucket list when I met the Soup Nazi. That was great and all, and this past month I got to cross a few more things off that list! I'd give you guys the full list, but since it's full of stuff I'd never think I'd get to do, its stuff that I never think to put on that list until it happens. 

But anyway...

I got to be a Power Ranger! (Kinda)

I'll admit that this had been on my regular Bucket List for most of my life, but at 28 years old I realized that I had let that dream fade away after I realized that I was now only 5 years older than the people who actually play the Power Rangers.

But imagine my shock that four of the original MMPR team was going to be at Eternal-Con this year. Well three and a half, Karan Ashley was the second Yellow Ranger, but it still counts. I'll go into detail with that con at a later date, but as you see above, I got to do the morphing pose with them! And I'm holding a vintage morpher in my hands, not that overpriced cool looking Legacy version. My face seems to simultaneously say "I look ridiculous in front of some childhood icons" and "best $140 I ever spent." This took all of two minutes, but this was a pretty damn good two minutes.

I was briefly Turd Ferguson!

This is all thanks to SNL: The Exhibit (site is here http://snltheexhibition.com), a thirty dollar museum dedicated to the forty years of Saturday Night Live's history. The exhibit details the process of creating a single show, from the pitch, to the writing, to the acting, to what happens behind the scenes when the show finally goes on. The only thing this place was missing was the part when someone like me goes online and says "What the hell are they thinking?! Worst episode ever!"

You can visit various sets, like Wayne's World 

The home base of the original cast 

And as you can guess from above, the Celebrity Jeopardy set.

Well, part of the set. The real set was in a different part of the exhibit.

In that section, you have a podium from the Black Jeopardy set, plus the tricked out podium used by Burt Reynolds, er, Turd Ferguson during the 40th Anniversary Show (since it recently happened, there's a lot of 40th Anniversary representation in here). And yes, you can take pictures with all of it. That picture made me the envy of everyone around the age of 25.

And that's not all, there's a whole exhibit on props from all your favorite fake commercials.

Colon Blow and Uncle Jemima's Madh Liqour!

Little Chocolate Donuts, with the Bass-O-Matic!

And my personal favorite, the Nerf Crotchbat! While it saddens me that these were all sitting in a prop closet for decades, I'm very happy that they were kept at all, and they're a part of a real museum where they belong. There's wear and tear on all these things, ensuring you that these are all the real deal. Although I'm not so sure about Little Chocolate Donuts, I'm pretty sure that the Box Tops logo wasn't around during the seventies.

Oh yeah, there's costumes too. From King Tut to Laser Cats to Mr. Robinson to Astronaut Jones, just about all your favorites got representation here.

Even Master Thespian's outfit is here! It sits on a rack with a Five Timer's Club robe, the Coffee Talk outfits, Brian Fellow's duds, and even...ugh, Garth and Kat. Yeah, there's a bit of Kristen Wiig's presence around here, but she's no more in the spotlight than anyone else. 

The exhibit ends with a wall of pictures of every single cast member. The original cast is on top while the current folks line the bottom.

See if you can spot Gilbert Gottfried! Don't worry, I already did that for you: 

Top left corner, third from the left.

If you're in the NYC area within the next few months I highly recommend checking it out!

I saw the Pez Dispenser from Seinfeld!

Holy crap, I never thought I'd see the day when I could see THE Tweety Bird Pez dispenser from that Seinfeld episode "The Pez Dispenser" up close!

Well, it wasn't the ONLY Seinfeld relic that was on display in Manhattan last week. Hulu set up an entire recreation of Jerry Seinfeld's apartment.

Holy crap!! It's like I'm on the tv! I got to sit on the couch! Pretend to toss George's toupee out the window! I even got to snoop in Jerry's fridge!

Empty. Kramer must've gotten to it first.

It's been a while since I watched Seinfeld on a regular basis and I don't know if this is the exact set, but I assure you that this was 99.99% close enough to the real thing. There's Junior Mints strewn everywhere and the computer in the corner was a PC...until super fans complained and they brought in an old fashioned Mac, just like 90's Yuppie Jerry intended.

And if you ever wondered what was on Jerry's bookcase, let me show you:

Sim City! Sadly it's not the real box, but none of us could tell anyway so screw you. I'm glad they stuck real movies in there because if they stuck VHS copies of some of their fake movies like Chunnel on there they would be missing one fake VHS box.

And here's Jerry's CD collection:

Nice detail with Big Willie Style. It's the one where Jerry got jiggy with it!

And among other Seinfeld relics, they had Fusilli Jerry!

Again, not sure if this was the real thing. This was just sitting there while other Seinfeld props were sitting behind a velvet rope or behind glass. Like so:

God I love that. If you were able to catch this last weekend, you were one of the many lucky ones. And if you didn't, well, you got me to see it for you! Hell, I didn't even know this was going on until the day before I went to see it!

So all in all, I had a pretty good June. Let's hope July doesn't suck.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stuff I Should Have Bought At That Flea Market Yesterday

It's summer once again and that means flea market season is upon us yet again. My friends over at Dinosaur Dracula and The Sexy Armpit had their own flea market adventures recently so I figured it was time to join in on the fun.

I've written about past adventures at the Bellmore Train Station Flea Market here and here and yesterday's trip did not disappoint on the goods. Good weather on Memorial Day weekend always guarantee good vendors coming out and there was plenty of great stuff. Sadly, I've been running out of room to put random junk so stuff really had to tickle my fancy enough to justify buying it. Sadly, not much did but I took plenty of pictures to give me enough buyer's remorse to write about it. Well, not buyer's remorse. What's the kind of remorse you have for not buying something? I have that kind.

When people ask me if I had Prince Albert in a can I'd actually have an answer, but I couldn't justify any kind of price tag on a joke older than my parents.

Hey, a genuine chemistry set that is sure to put some smiles on your kids, and this picture on a few government lists. Can't believe Sears used to sell My Little Bioterrorist sets back in the day. Kids today can't be trusted, I guess. Did I say kids? I meant meth addicts.

Ooh, Second Edition. I'm not that big of a nerd, I have enough giant spiral notebooks full of stuff I'll never read again, thanks.

You want old Disney stuff? Well, there were plenty of tables selling plenty of odd things with Mickey's face on it, with a candy box from...I wanna say China? amongst those tops and that box with Sleeping Beauty on it.

From that same table, a few books, a bank, that sweet Disneyland tin box (looks Mexican), and a Sword in The Stone trash bin. It could have been one of those big popcorn tins but who didn't use those for a makeshift wastebasket?

Old Disney stuff sometimes crosses that blurry line between really crude crafting or equally crappy bootlegs. I see a copyright on the top of the box, it must have been made during that time when toy manufacturers weren't paid enough to give a shit about keeping to character design. Seriously, Minnie's dead eyes are gonna haunt me for a while.

These kids really have that "I wish we were playing with an Easy Bake Oven" look on their faces.

Or maybe they were pining for these awesome electronic football games sitting a few feet away. The games around here all seem to suck but man I miss how awesome box art used to be. They used to set us up for disappointment.

And this neat Disney China set used really old Mickey and Minnie designs and didn't really want to know the price tag. Since there's a lot of Chinese packages on this table, I'm calling bootlegs.

By the way, if you can't read it, the Great Flying Boat at the top of the picture says "Go action with da da sound." That's just enough broken English to be charming and I wish I didn't notice that until just now.

This looked old and legit. And most likely expensive. Seriously, it was under glass, I'm sure artwork that good would have set me back a few bucks.

This, however, was just laying out in the open on a stack of cels from things even I couldn't identify. While having a cel from some forgotten Sugar Bear commercial would be pretty neat to have, I kept getting reminded of what Comic Book Guy told Bart about the value of a cel of Scratchy's arm: 

"This is a drawing of nothing, drawn by nobody. It is worth nothing."

A Pink Panther cel WITH the original artwork?! And you're telling me this is one of THREE on sale?! And that they were going for $20 each? Man I wish I was a big enough Pink Panther fan to buy that. If it was Looney Tunes or Simpsons artwork, then you'd have my full attention.

The vintage video game sellers were out in full force today, too with just about every platform under the sun. If you were looking for Blast Corps for the N64 or Rainbow Six for PS1, that's was your lucky day. That mostly MIB NES you are above was probably the best find that day. The gray zapper alone makes it valuable.

The seller had a lot of games in rental boxes, too. Sure they're not the original box but those big plastic boxes are pretty neat in and of themselves. At least they had the artwork on them.

Oh snap, Rad Racer! Yeah, I'm hoping that this'll be the only page on the internet where that sentence has been typed.

Now we're really getting into the "stuff I really wish I went home with" part of the entry. A big, red metal S has a dozen uses, many of those uses involve being mounted on my bedroom wall. My big problem would've been lugging it home and explaining to my folks why I would've spent money on this.

When I was taking the picture, the last guy looking at this said "I would be like Flavor Flav and wear it around my neck" as he walked away. Now I REALLY regret leaving that behind.

Since I'm in New York, memorabilia from the 1964 World's Fair is a common sight at flea markets (there were certainly two or three booths selling stuff from it), so anything from any of the other World's Fairs is a rare sight, even a glass from the Knoxville fair from 1982. I figured I had enough glasses I don't drink out of, and I don't really trust myself around fragile things (I dropped a glass I bought in Vegas for a friend not two minutes after buying it, but that's a story for another time) so I took the picture and left it behind.

Of course the Simpsons fan in me loves it for the association with "Bart on The Road," where Bart and his friends take a road trip to the Knoxville World's fair, only to find the site in ruins and the iconic Sunsphere filled with wigs. 

And of course a fellow fan out there already ran the picture through photoshop:

Beautiful. I have a friend who lives in Knoxville who hates it whenever I bring up this episode and even she told me she wanted this glass. And now I'm thinking about scouring eBay for it, and they happen to be plentiful.

And now for the one thing I did buy, this Simpsons thing from 1990! From what I was told, this was a promo card that stores would stick up to advertise it, I guess. I've said it before but I just love the crudeness of early Simpsons merch, it's only here and in bootlegs where Bart wears blue shirts. This was only a dollar and since the guy had like twenty of these I just couldn't pass it up! That guy also told me that these things had been going for $10-20, but I wouldn't pay more than a dollar for this anyway.

I also bought this: 

I've been loving Hot Wheel's "let's make tiny versions of classic pop culture cars" series, and finding the BTTF DeLorean is a hell of a score, even if it was in a pile with about eight of the same one. It joins the Flintstones Car, the Jetsons Car, the A-Team Van and The Homer in my collection. I just need to track down the Mystery Machine and I'm good to go.

And with all the stuff I did get pictures of, there was plenty of good stuff I didn't get, like stacks of Jet magazine, license plates from 49 states (Hawaii was nowhere to be found), and genuine Nazi memorabilia. I don't believe in the cause, I don't like them, but man that stuff looked awesome. Please don't take that last sentence out of context. I feel like I'm on enough lists as it is with that picture of the chemistry set.

(EDIT: The pictures in this post were originally posted with the "Instant" filter left on; the colors have been corrected and now look much nicer. Compare the two World's Fair glass pictures, the old pictures were too bright.)

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Vintage Disneyland Tickets!

So...this month I went a little eBay crazy.

Last June I told you about some old ride tickets from Disneyland I got off eBay last year. And this past month, I got three more ticket sets. Older ones. Like, "probably older than your parents" old.

Like I said in that post, Disneyland used to charge for tickets to ride the rides, with the better rides being on the more expensive D and E tickets and were usually sold in books to save money. Four dollars was a lot back in the '50s, which is roughly $26.50 today, a total steal.

And if you remember, the older and more complete a ticket book is, the more they're worth. The two I got last year ran me back about 40 bucks for the set, these three ran over a hundred bucks. Each. You'll see why in a bit.

This book comes to us from 1958 and is a little beat up, but hey it still looks good for being nearly 60. The sellers were quite generous about presentation and included C and D tickets that were from a different book. The chances of having a ticket book that old with at least one of each ticket inside is so highly, highly unlikely that it'd be worth a lot more than the $139 I paid for it. It's a miracle that the other tickets were included at all.

Look at all those rides that aren't there anymore! And if you're wondering where the E tickets are, they were introduced in 1959 with the opening of the Monorail, the Matterhorn and the Submarine Voyage.

Of note is the Viewliner on the B ticket. It was a "futuristic train" that only operated from 1957-58 and was replaced by the Monorail. Walt Disney really loved his trains, there were three different train rides in Disneyland at the same time:  The main Disneyland railroad, the Viewliner, and the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland (called the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train back then).

You'll also notice that there were also three different Autopia rides. You know, the ride where you get to drive cars to simulate the miracle that is the Interstate Highway System. I'm not joking, that was the basis of the ride. Walt Disney thought interstates were so novel that he wanted his own Auto Utopia. So now you learned a new fact today that you can bother your girlfriend with.

The one in Tomorrowland is the ride that's still currently in Disneyland, which was merged with the Junior Autopia in Fantasyland in 1999. The Junior Autopia was pretty much the same ride but for the kids that weren't tall enough to ride the regular one. The Midget Autopia on the other hand was for the really little kids and was short-lived, lasting until 1966 when "it's a small world" was built on its space. You can read more about it here.

I also bought a book from 1957 from the same people, which was in better condition.

There was one ticket of each type in the book, with only the B ticket not being original. The only difference between the 1957 book and the 1958 one is size, with the 1957 being a rare Jumbo version, compared here:

Other than that, the rides on the tickets are exactly the same, with the E ticket rides I mentioned before coming in 1959. One's just easier to read while the other fits more easily into a pocket.

And just as I thought I was done with impulsively buying these things, someone pointed me to an auction for an A and B ticket from 1955, the year Disneyland opened. That was too tempting for me to pass up and one massive bidding war later, I am now in the possession of a pair of Disneyland relics.

Tickets weren't available in books until late in 1955, and the "ride" underneath each letter was changed to "coupon" in 1956.

You can find ticket books that old, but be prepared to pay at least a grand for it, like this pair of 1955 ticket books that only have A and B tickets in them.

$1200 for the unicorns of Disneyland memorabilia, folks. Even if these are rare as hell, there's a much better things to blow 1200 bucks on. For that much money I could actually take a nice vacation to Disney World! Maybe four, five days tops.

But the main reason I bought these tickets is right on the B ticket.

The Phantom Boats was the first ride to be removed for the park, only lasting until July of 1956. What I do know that it was a weird looking boat ride that kept getting plagued with engine problems, which led to its early closure. As it only existed during Disneyland's first year, there aren't many pictures of footage of it in action and any evidence I find, photographic or otherwise, absolutely fascinates me. I'm really happy to tell you all that I now own official evidence!

This is one of the clearest pictures I could find of it. Not even Yesterland could help me, I had to dig a little deeper into Google to get to this one. I can be corrected here but I'm pretty sure that they were in the same lagoon that the submarines are in.

Tomorrowland was pretty empty in the first few years of the park, with stuff like Space Station X-1 (also called Satellitte View of America) and Monsanto's Hall of Chemistry being star attractions before better rides like Space Mountain, the Astro Jets and Innerspace were added in their place. Stuff in that section felt  old and obsolete pretty quick and attractions were replaced all the time.

And just when I thought I was really done with this spree and filled with regret, I discovered that the people that sold me the 1957 and '58 books included some special gifts with the '58 book.

A complete book of Magic Key tickets! These were special tickets that got you on to any ride in the park. The catch is that you couldn't get these through normal means, you had to be in some sort of club or knew someone that worked at Disney or something to get these. But it really doesn't seem that exclusive since finding these on eBay is relatively easy, and this specific book was in near-pristine condition. A small crease on the back cover is what keeps this from being a 10/10 on terms of minty-ness.

According to the checklist on the back, this book seems to come from between 1974 and 1977 since it includes both the Mine Train (removed in 1977 to make way for Big Thunder Mountain) and America Sings (opened in 1974 and later had all the animal performers migrate to Splash Mountain). Since they're so common, these usually go for about $15 but getting one for free and in this great of condition was a really awesome treat.

I also got this Magic Key ticket in that same package and in sure it's older. If anyone can tell me what year this is from, that would be great.

And with that I had my eBay privileges revoked, at least for now. 

Be sure to check out Yesterland for more info in the extinct attractions and to Disneyland Memories' eBay page, where I got most of these tickets from.