Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Of trails long since cold (and broken)

I am never ever ever the guy who gets the good deals. You know the stories of that legendary little old lady at the indoor swapmeet selling her son's still sealed Autobot cars from 1984 for whatever the original price tags said? I met one of those types once back in '02 at a toy show in Tucson. By the time I got to her table she'd already sold all the good stuff and caught wind of what she was doing wrong. But her remaining selection of one Jumpstarter didn't really justify the crazy markups she instituted after she saw another dealer got over a hundred bucks for the sealed Sunstreaker she sold him for 9 dollars. But its not like being at the right place at the right time would have mattered anyways because I am legendarily cheap and wishy washy. If I would have come across nine dollar sealed Sunstreaker the idiotic internal monologue in my brain would have been, "Hmmmm. Nine dollar sealed Sunstreaker. I already have a couple nice broken ones. Do I really need a sealed one? And nine bucks? They cost that much new 20 years ago and this box has some dents and tears and a hellacious flap crease." And I would probably only have five bucks on me anyways. It's like if Scarlett Johansson was giving out free blow jobs and all I can think about is how her lips look kind of chapped and if she cared about me as a person.


Yesterday I was in downtown Rapid City at the library trying to get some pictures of K-Mart newspaper ads from 1987 for the Vintage Space Toaster Palace. It wasn't going good because I think the microfilm machines are going bad so I decided to give up and go home. But the meter where I parked still had twenty minutes left on it and I really didn't want to waste that extra dime worth of meter time. I decided to walk over to the antique store where I saw G2 Optimus Prime for 20 bucks a couple months ago to see if he was still there. You know, to say hi to an old toy robot friend. Talking to the robots must be all the antique store people think I ever do because I'm so cheap god knows I never buy anything. And when I went to the glass case to catch up on old times with my favorite toy robot semi from 1993, he was gone. I was slightly annoyed. That antique store has a plaque on the wall that says "The thing you are thinking about coming back and buying tomorrow is the thing someone else is coming back to buy today". Okay, so I never intended to buy it but I will miss all the imaginary conversations G2 Optimus Prime and I had together through the display case glass. At my antique store the sign would say "That toy robot you are buying today is something someone will want to talk to tomorrow". Good times.


Instead there was a different toy robot truck where G2 Optimus used to be. It was a pre-rub Trailbreaker from 1984 still sealed in the box. It didn't make sense to me that something of this caliber would be at the antique store. Sure I've found old Robotech figures and lots of beat up vintage Star Wars and even a three inch Shogun Warrior there before, but a sealed Autobot car from 1984? That was pretty wild. And the kicker was the price-$40.50! I looked at that thing over and over to make sure it wasn't $140 or $405, which is what something like that usually pulls on eBay. But no, it was $40.50. A sealed Trailbreaker from 1984 for $40.50. Hmmph. My idiotic internal dialogue kicked in. Although the box was bright and glossy it had a hellacious flap crease and various nicks and dents and honestly, Trailbreaker isn't anywhere near as sexy as the yellow toy robot Lamborghinis from 1984. He was the four wheel drive black camper truck with crappy seventies pinstripe graphics on the side. I was thinking, $40? That seems kind of high. I've seen Sunstreakers go for nine. But I didn't have time to deliberate because the meter where I parked was ticking. I had a nickel's worth of time to make a forty dollar decision. I realized not everybody is as cheap as me and at that price I don't think Trailbreaker would have lasted long in the store, so we'd probably only get one or two conversations in before someone bought him. In the end I decided I'd take him home so we could discuss at length little old ladies with nine dollar Sunstreakers and theoretical Scarlett Johansson blowjob scenarios. He is quite the conversationalist.


agentmorris said...

Nice find, indeed!

I usually end up paying more for something than its worth.

Anonymous said...

Strangely enough I found my self purchasing a Transformers Universe Sunstreaker after this. I don't know why. Do you think Sunstreaker cares about me as a person? Really it's freaky Scarlett BJ = happy robot times? Who's to know?

P.s. Thanks for not out bidding me on that Robotroid Robot 101 recently (about 2 months ago)

Keep up the good writing,

Aleister C


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