A chancer with a fondness for small wooden things and decent threads sets out to make his fortune in the world of antique dealing.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Another long overdue update, but I've been busy. The mantra has been 'stick to what you know'. As far as my mum's concerned, it really is a mantra. She never tires of reminding me. 'Stick to what you know, Ben'.

Now, I don't know much, but I have spent quite a long time playing with toys. In my youth! So, building on the success of last time out, I've been using this whole exercise as an excuse to invest in some action figures from my youth. I'll talk you through the whole grubby enterprise:
L-R: Hordak, Stinkor, Spikor, Rattlor, Your Mum.

He Man Figures
I swear to god, someone at work the other day hadn't heard of He Man, I almost euthanised myself. You remember this lot, right? I swept up an armful of them from the Help the Aged (or something) on St Clement's for 20p a pop. There would have been seven, but there were a couple of last-minute withdrawls from the squad due to injury. Whiplash had some conspicuous tail damage and the other Hordak had his gammy leg ripped off by my mate Ross in a moment of overconfident physiotherapy. Still, the remaining buggers would make a decent five-a-side team. I'd play Stinkor up front to unsettle defenders, Zodak and Spikor drifting in the middle, Rattlor at the back to soak up long balls (his head pops up when you press his tail!) and Hordak in goal, because you've got to have a 'keeper with a cloak.
Bought for: £1
Sold for  £12.50

Spiritual precursor to some pretty geeky shit.
Oi! Dat's my Leg!
I found this at a car boot sale, in great condition. All the bits and bobs were there, and it even still had the cassette of 'Trolly songs' that it came with. I've no idea why they included that, but I suppose if it gets wee tots into board games then it's for the good. I had to listen to the bloody thing just to check that its guts hadn't turned to dust. It was a racket.
Anyway, this was made by the much maligned Games Workshop, back in the day before they stepped up the geekery a few dozen notches and committed to more serious stuff. They made four such games, all themed around trolls and goblins, and aimed at youngsters. Then they realised that they could make their main line of models out of non-toxic metal and flog said kids Space Marines like everyone else. I had high hopes for this one, as a similar copy had gone for £20 on Ebay recently, but after hounding a couple of people who had it on their Boardgame Geek wishlists, I settled for a bit less.
Bought for: £2
Sold for: £9.99

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Figures
The foot soldiers and Splinter were also found at a car boot sale, this time at Eastbourne on a comic-making soujourn. We got up early in the morning after a late night at our friend Adam's wedding the night before, but it turns out it was worth it. A chap was selling them in bags for £1.25 a pop, and Ross and I took a punt. He ended up with that awful one with Donatello on a giant skateboard with a foot that pops out the front. It's now on display on his mantlepiece along with the rest of his motely toy collection. Shredder was cowering in the same basket as all the He Man suckas in the charity shop.
None of these guys have got all of their (admittedly shit) accessories, but they're all in good nick and the two big boys have got their respective cloak and robes. Plus Splinter's got his sword stick, which was the coolest thing about him. Turns out these are quite popular. I also bought a Baxter Stockman figure, but his fly wings were missing. He'll go into a 'mixed lot' of toys that I'm putting together to shift in one go (along with Whiplash). Anyway, they made a packet, and Shredder brought home nearly eight quid on his tod! Lad.
Bought for: £3.95
Sold for: £17.91

These Polly Pocket rip-offs did the business. Read on.
At the very same boot sale, I dug around in a box and found these. Remember them? Mighty Max? I had a snake one that I remember playing with for literally hours, back when I had an imagination and shitloads of free time. Anyway, it turned out that I was a Max and a caveman short. At a subsequent boot sale though, I found another box of stuff and, loading my hand to its absolute capacity, I asked the bloke if he'd take a quid for the lot. He agreed, no doubt impressed by my feat of grasping. The handful included said Max and also said caveman, and the rest is history. The short story is that these sets are now the second-highest-grossing thing I've picked up since starting The Finder. They are second only to those once-in-a-lifetime football cards, the shadow of which still hangs over this whole narrative.
Now, I've no idea why these made so much money. Individually, the sets weren't going for more than a few quid each. I think that the black one is a rarer version than the normal blue alien, and all of the sets are complete and in perfect condition so I suppose it was just a lucky combination.
Bought for: £4.25
Sold for: £44.53 (yes)

So what's the upshot? Well, as you can see, branching out into toys has brought some pretty earthquaking good fortune and no little cash. This puts my funds at about £125, which is pretty good considering that I've still got over £100 tied up in stuff that I've bought but can't sell.

Chiefs among these obstinate items are of course the four sets of ancient cigarette cards that I bought in a rush of idiocy and have discovered to be worth a great deal less than I paid for them. The good news is that I've found a guy in Eastbourne who might well buy them off me for a not-criminally-low price. So more news on that in a couple of months when I make it down there again.

Also sitting on funds and refusing to budge are these two bits:

A ball signed by the Wolverhampton Wanderers team of sometime around 2002-2004, and a pair of boots signed by Nigel Quashie when he was at West Brom. I paid £25 the pair, but despite listing them on Ebay twice, I've had no takers. Bit stuck for what to do with these, but I might have to tout them around some club-specific message boards and see if anyone's into it.