Oh wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? Of course, with that being the only other “Big Haul” article I’ve written, it’s not like this was ever a storied annual tradition or anything.
I digress, however; spring is in the air, and it was a beautiful day yesterday. So beautiful that I couldn’t stand the thought of staying indoors all day… much as I did when I slept through my alarm on a similarly-beautiful day last Sunday, causing me to miss out on the better part of a big sale on Transformers: Combiner Wars limbs (though at least I got Ironhide). As such, I got myself ready and headed out to enjoy the day…
…only to find out when I went to purchase a day pass for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) at the grocery store that their stock of passes were defective. Try as we might, we could not scratch off the corresponding month and date — much harder, and we’d have torn through the card! They ended up refunding my money (seems the entire batch was defective; they’d already had one other person return theirs after the bus driver accused them of forging it), and I thought my day was ruined. Fortunately, it turns out there was one other place nearby that did sell them, and I went over and got one that worked! Huzzah!
I was on my way!
I wasn’t expecting a big haul, to be honest. I thought I might get one Transformers figure on a Toys R Us sale I ended up misreading (25 percent off instead of the 50 they were boasting), but in lieu of that, I ended up getting more — much more!
As I said, the Toys R Us run was largely a bust — except for when I spotted these. 25 cents apiece on the clearance table.
Now, I’m not much a fan of Mtn Dew in itself (Mello Yello, Surge, Vault? Sure, but Mtn Dew? I’ll have the Crab Juice, thanks) — I’ve heard there are some great variations on it out there, but I’ve not been able to try them, perhaps owing to the whole “you can’t have caffeine in it” ruling of whoever decides such things in the Canadian government. But I do love soda-themed paraphernalia, and lip balm shaped like tiny cans of Mtn Dew fits that bill to a tee.
I gave one to my wife, and she broke it on open. It’s kinda tasty, inasmuch as a lip balm would or should be. Almost as flat as a real Mtn Dew, too.
After a bunch of travel and a stop at Wendy’s for lunch, I hit up the EBGames next door. It wouldn’t be the last time I was in one today, but more on that later.
I had seen these Iron Man figures from Disney Infinity 2.0 at the location in Yorkdale Mall previously, but had to pass at the time. Next time I was in, they were all gone, but after a bit of hunting at this location, I found their one and only used (er, “recycled”) Iron Man figure at the back of a peg.
I don’t have the game itself, but I might grab it someday, and when I do, having the figure will be nice. For now, though, it’s a replacement for the smaller drink topper from when I saw Iron Man 3 at Cineplex that had been occupying space on my desk. Not that I don’t like that figure, but this fits in a little better with all the amiibo and Mega Man and such I’ve got up there as well. Too bad they didn’t have a recycled Elsa, too.
The figure normally comes in a three-pack with Thor and Black Widow for $35, and while I’d love those figures, too, I’m not quite that interested — especially without the game. So the $7 I dropped for this suits me just fine. Fingers are crossed that whenever the Hulkbuster Iron Man figure is old enough to be sold as “recycled” that I can snag a similar deal on that, too.
After EBGames, I went over to Value Village, and what I found there can be summed up in just one word: Jackpot!
There were some used DVDs there in iffy condition, and for $4 a pop, I decided against it. Too bad; I’d have loved to have checked out Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan or Akira, or even gotten Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (I liked it), but that kind of adds up. Plus, Broly had no disc inside — I guess someone else thought $4 was a bit steep, too, but handled it the wrong way.
As for what I did find:
A preview CD-ROM disc of the original Earthworm Jim from Activision. I don’t know if I can even run this on anything I have, but for the couple of bucks I paid, I’d have felt bad leaving this little piece of gaming ephemera behind.
This was a bit of a shock. I had this book when I was a kid, and knew there was no way I could leave the store without it. Nadia checked to see if the record was included, but it looks like this was a version that was sold without it.
While the art inside is alright (save for the disturbingly old looking Prince Adam), you have to dig that painted cover. Someone should put that on the side of a van.
Another find that surprised me was this. I never had this book as a kid or anything, but besides being “Classic” Sonic the Hedgehog merchandise from back in his original heyday, there was another reason I knew I had to have this one:
That’s right: if you’ve ever seen the Swatbot “No Fun Allowed” meme around online, this is where it originated. Actually owning the source of a semi-popular meme is kind of a cool bonus on top of the points for just being a Sonic book from 20+ years ago.
Another book I had when I was a kid — may I be so lucky as to have one of my own to pass this down to. In any case, Bedtime Bear was one of my favorites when I was a kid (for some reason), and though the stories it’s filled with are kind of truncated/abridged/sanitized, it does have some pretty wild art.
I spotted Garfield, and true to form, I made sure to add this to the pile. I can’t recall if I have/had this already, but it has some nice art inside, and even a crossover between Garfield and U.S. Acres — one I think was originally printed in Garfield Magazine years ago. The Avengers have nothing on Garfield teaming up with Orson Pig, Roy Rooster, and Wade Duck to fend off Orson’s three brothers in a snowball fight!
Wait, does this make Orson the “Thor” of the group? Crap, now I’m going to be spending all night thinking of analogues…
While the Pokemon games are okay, depending on the game, my true love for the franchise comes in the Pokemon Adventures manga. What luck that I was able to find one of the latest ones here! Better still, each book was 99 cents, and the fifth one comes free when you buy four — score!
Sadly, I put a small tear on the blank page near the start when I was trying to read it while on the subway. I haven’t gotten to read much, really, but I do know that the main male character’s name is “X,” and the female is “Y,” though unlike X, hers is short for her full name — Yvonne.
Anyway, books and CDs (and an empty Sonic Mega Collection case — rats) weren’t all I found.
I don’t think it’s any small secret that I’m a fan of Happy Meal toys. And while I love the licensed stuff, the classic McDonaldland gang toys hold a particularly special charm to me.
Besides a new addition to my collection of Changeables, there is a Ronald McDonald in some sort of car, and Ronald in some sort of barrel that you wind up and he creepily, slowly rises from.
The one that caught my eye most, the sole thing I wanted in the entire $3 bag it was in? Officer Big Mac in his pull-back police car — another find from when I was a kid. I don’t know why, but of the assortment, I particularly liked that one and I am quite happy I have a new one now. Still, hopefully I can get the rest someday.
Turns out there was something else in there, too, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Some of the leftovers will find new homes soon, though, so no worries there.
This was a particularly interesting piece. Looks like the McDonaldland gang shopping at some sort of fruit market, and that was enough to catch my attention. When I got it home and looked at it, though, I heard a rattling. Upon finding the “door” for the building, it turns out another toy was inside — Birdie the Early Bird driving an apple car!
I guess this is where McDonald’s gets their apple slices — by putting their ex-mascots to work. Kind of sad, really, but I guess it beats being unemployed?
The other thing I mentioned was actually a pretty recent toy: Thunderhoof, the Decepticon voiced by Sly’s brother Frank Stallone in the current cartoon, Transformers: Robots in Disguise. He doesn’t transform, but he does lift his tool and fire a missile when you press the button on top.
Another recent one from McDonald’s is this toy of Snoopy and Schroeder from Peanuts: The Movie (which I still need to see). Not much too it, really: besides Schroeder’s pissed-off expression, Snoopy rotates when you press the button. Cool, but I think it would have worked better with Snoopy in a dance pose.
I have no idea what this is or where it’s from, just that the tip of the thing it’s on is a paintbrush that came off. It looks enough like Yooka from Yooka-Laylee that I’m willing to keep it for that reason alone, though.
And now we come to one of the two parts of the haul I’m most proud of:
A vintage Transformers: Generation One Throttlebot Goldbug (the once and former identity of Bumblebee) in pretty damn good condition, if I do say so myself! The rubsign is a bit iffy, but the pull-back motor still works perfectly!
And they weren’t about to sell it to me.
See, there were some little hellions running roughshod over the toy section at the Value Village — enough that the people running the store were making announcements over the public address system for parents to keep an eye on their kids. Apparently one of the things they were doing was ripping open the grab bags of toys and playing with them, and one of those bags just so happened to contain Goldbug, which I was able to spot.
Unfortunately, the people there kind of have some weird hang-up about these bags. Everything as-is, and if it’s a smaller toy that’s not in a bag, they don’t want to sell it to you. I looked for any option I could for it, including swapping it for something in one of the other two bags I was getting.
For all the stuff I did get, one might think they could do me some sort of solid, and I guess they did: they said “we could sell it to you for $2.99 (the cost of one of the bags), but you wouldn’t –”
Took me all of a second to do the math in my head: I figured that if I got this anywhere else, I’d probably be paying more than $2.99 for it, so I went for it. The lady I was talking to about it just shrugged and told the cashier to ring it up as such.
From there, I hit the Real Canadian Superstore — disappointing as usual, but I did see where a big, thick glass vase of flowers had been shattered as I crossed the parking lot to the store. I also cringed as some guy drove over the glass in his car. Looked like the scene of a really big breakup — I wish I’d gotten a picture, but at least I told someone inside.
I did come really, really close to buying a sealed copy of Duke Nukem Forever, but decided against it. I didn’t want to spend too much that day, and I still had one stop left for my other big win of the day.
I hit the EBGames at Yorkdale, as I’d put in a “pick up in store” order online for Chibi Robo Zip Lash and the time was up for it that night. The price was $14.99, so it was like getting a discounted amiibo figure with a free game included! I liked what little I got to play last year, so that’s a cool bonus, if nothing else. I just need to find a way to arrange the box on my “Wall of amiibo” that resides above my workspace.
I was incredibly lucky with this find, too. I only learned about it when finishing off the Canadian Video Game Deals for the Week on Friday morning, before they’d opened. Turns out they’d initiated the sale a few days prior to the flyer being posted, and I wound up with the last one — the “floor copy,” as it were. I’d asked at the other EBGames out of curiosity, and they’d sold out as well. Lucky!
A fine finale to a fine day. I got out, I got some fresh air and exercise, I got to see the sun set over Dufferin Street (always a delight), and I made out like a bandit for relatively little money. Not counting Chibi Robo, I think all this cost me less than $25.
After all that, there was only one thing left to do: collapse in bed.
David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.