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Flea Market Find: Vintage Trading Card Edition

PopCultureLeague-Logo-BigThe Pop Culture League challenge this week:

Buying Blind

Who doesn’t love gambling on a blind box or mystery package?

Well, I sure don’t, and judging by the responses of other League members, I’m not alone. As a toy collector, nothing is worse than spending some hard-earned cash for just the chance to get a toy you want. I feel the same about Magic: the Gathering cards, Dice Masters packs, and the like. I’d rather look online for exactly what I want.

That said, I certainly enjoyed one particular type of blind buy item when I was younger: trading cards! Busting open a pack and looking at a checklist to see if you got them all was a good way to spend a few dimes, back in the day. On Labor Day weekend, we did a little flea market shopping, and I found three items that struck my fancy. Coincidentally, they were all trading card related, so why not talk about them for the challenge this week?

I was surprised that the alien card packs were all the same. But the two bucks I wasted on the two extra packs means my loss is your gain! I’m giving away the extras. Just post a comment here if you are interested, and I will randomly choose two commenters and send them the cards. The date of the alien encounter from card #8 is September 19, 1961, so I will end the giveaway commenting period on September 19, 2016. Good luck! These cards are out of this world! (Groan.)

Here are a few other interesting Blind Buy posts:

  • Green Plastic Squirt Gun has two really nifty Tron figures that would look great next to my new trading card box!
  • 2 Minute Toy Break shares my disdain for blind buy toys, but reminds us all of the coolness of toys found in cereal boxes.
  • Calvin’s Canadian Cave of Cool has a deep loathing for blind buy stuff, as well as Build a Figure toys, which have been a thorn in my side for years now.

The rest of the Pop Culture League posts can be found here. Don’t forget to comment below if you want a groovy set of holographic alien trading cards!

Help! My House is Being Invaded by Wax Saucer Men!

PopCultureLeague-Logo-BigThis week’s Pop Culture League Challenge is a fun one! Here’s the question:

House of Wax: The local Wax Museum is having a fire sale and you have the opportunity to add a life-size, life-like action figure to your collection. Who do you choose?

First of all, if I were to be put into such a situation, I would probably pass on having ANY life-size wax figure. I am terrified of my own shadow once the sun goes down, and there is no way I’d want a realistic figure of any sort looming around and scaring me half to death when I momentarily forget that it’s just a sculpture. For Pete’s sake, I just about peed myself when a buddy put our life-size cardboard Princess Leia in my bed when I was out late on a date. It just wouldn’t be good for my blood pressure.

93463652_3ef5479914Having said that, I’m going to go off the wall, and reach way back into the memory bank. When I was a tiny tot, back in the late 70s, McDonald’s gave out space themed rubber erasers in various colors in Happy Meals. I had several, including a cool flying saucer and a rocket ship, but my favorite was a strange alien. I recall it being blue or green, but may be misremembering. I dearly loved that little alien but he was eventually lost or thrown out to wherever cool old toys disappeared to.

Fast forward to the mid 90s. I was a big monster movie buff, and picked up a copy of the Encyclopedia of Monsters at a local bookstore. It was full of pictures and information on hundreds of old horror and sci-fi movie monsters. Lo and behold, I turn the page and there was an alien that looked almost exactly like my old rubber eraser. It was from a movie called “Invasion of the Saucer Men”.

A few years later, when Ebay became a big thing, I looked there for a copy of “Invasion of the Saucer Men” for sale. There weren’t any legit copies available, but there was a nice bootleg VHS tape that I gleefully overpaid for. My expectations weren’t really high for the movie, and it absolutely met them. It’s one of those that’s so bad it’s good. Frank Gorshin as an obnoxious drunk is particularly fun, and at one point a severed alien hand grows an eyeball and attacks on its own. The fingers are sort of like needles, and inject alien blood that affects humans like alcohol. Seems weird, yeah, but Aliens have acid for blood and that makes about as much sense, right?

invasion-of-the-saucermen

So, without a doubt, if I were forced to get a wax figure for my collection, it would be one of the oddball alien Saucer Men. The look of them is iconic, in my opinion, and when you add in the C-movie cheesiness as well as the callback to a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy, you really can’t go wrong. BONUS: Invasion of the Saucer Men is on YouTube in its entirety. What a glorious time we live in!

Honorable mentions: a wax version of Godzilla or Optimus Prime.

Here are a few other entries that really stood out for me this week:

Collector’s Universe goes way back in time for a prehistoric amphibian.

Pop Rewind shared my trepidation for selecting a wax figure, because they are straight up creepy, really, seriously, they are.

And Cool and Collected chose my favorite actor that never wore a Godzilla suit.

You can read the rest of the Pop Culture League entries for this week here.