August 3, 2012
Thrift Store Thursday #1 (Part 2)

I was pretty exhausted last night, so I didn't get around to posting the second part of Thrift Store Thursday #1 -- but here we are now! And remember what I wrote yesterday? This feature can go up whenever! Even though it's Friday now, it's still Thrift Store Thursday. ANY DAY CAN BE THRIFT STORE THURSDAY.

So let's recap.

Last time, we glimpsed three bags of thrift store toys and took a look inside one in particular -- which we bought not because of the ginormous Rodney Copperbottom or the two G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra Snake Eyes figures within, but because of Lieutenant "Gears" Mecaniks of the Major Powers & the Star Squad line. And since we bought her precisely because she looks like somebody (we used to know?), we took a closer look at Lieutenant Gears and invited readers to speculate as to her resemblance.

Seriously, that looks really familiar...!

Feel free to keep speculating -- we'll reveal our thoughts on the matter at the end of this post. 😉

In the meantime, let's move on to the bags into which we didn't get to delve yesterday! Above, we have the contents of the $0.90 bag -- another yellow-tagged item that wasn't discounted on the Sunday that I bought it. Inside: a translucent red Ben10 figure with minimal articulation (probably from a kids' meal of some kind), G.I. Joe ROC Destro, a Minion top from MegaMind (again, probably a kids' meal toy), a Star Wars Transformer missing its arms and legs, a wide robot labeled "Zog" (more kids' meal fare?), a realistic toy hippo, another G.I. Joe figure (I don't know who that is), a vending machine container full of marble-headed ninja dudes (quite a few, actually; they're packed in there like freaking clowns), and a couple of Beanie Babies.

The contents of the $0.90 bag.

Again, I mostly snagged this one for one item in particular... and snagged it despite my extreme aversion to the Beanie Babies. Let it be known that I absolutely hate getting plush toys from the thrift store. Actually, I hate getting toys in general from the thrift store, and I really hate the idea of people giving toys from the thrift store to their children. I have seen some of the grossest shit come out of thrift store toy bags -- from snot-crusted masses of hair to dust-flocked pre-sucked lollipops to the crumbling carcasses of dessicated crickets -- and I know well that there's all kinds of gross shit in those bags one can't even see with the naked eye. Germs, dried child slobber, sticky substances that remain undetected until one rips open a thrift store toy bag and dares to handle the items within: it's nasty, nasty stuff, and if you're a reader who actually buys toys for your children at the thrift store I urge you to fucking cut that shit out right now. Most of the thrift stores I frequent are located near stores with inexpensive toys -- and while the lower end lines available at Dollar Tree and Walmart aren't always fantastic, you'll never open a Corps figure and find a chunk of Werther's Original candy stuck to its ass.

But remember that I'm cheap as all hell, so despite my disgust regarding thrift store toys I continue to buy them. That said, I cringe and grimace and thoroughly scrub every thrift store toy I get with a toothbrush and antibacterial soap before placing it in my fodder bin (which I'd do anyway, since cleaning figures of oil helps with paint adhesion, but still) or adding it to my collection (on the rare instances that I do that). I can't do that with stuffed animals, though, which is why I hate getting them. You can't scrub away the plague: you have to burn it. But I don't throw away or burn anything, so I just look at the plush toys and feel really sick. At least the Beanie Babies in this bag look fairly new, so maybe I'll be able to give them away (or something) without feeling like I'm passing along a hot potato of disease and spider eggs.

I'm afraid to look any further.

Also gross? THRIFT STORE TOYS WITH OPENING COMPARTMENTS. I really did want that ROC Destro (that's the reason I got the bag, and the limbless Star Wars Transformer didn't hurt because their tiny screws can be harvested for use in customs), but holy crap I might have passed on it if -- in addition to already being aware of the presence of plush toys in the bag -- I'd known Zog here opened up the way he does. If you ever see a thrift store toy with an opening compartment, know this: there's something potentially nasty inside. There's never not something potentially nasty inside. Even if there doesn't appear to be anything inside, there are potentially dried teardrops and spit and semen inside. Zog here -- and no, I'm not going to show you -- had lint and hairs and those nasty nasty tufts of dust that look all sticky and mosslike and okay let's move on before I vomit. But seriously, do not buy thrift store toys for your kids. Or for anyone's kids. The kids might not care about the nastiness -- but you really, really should.

Triple H for $0.30? I'll take it!

The last bag contained WWE wrestler Triple H. Since he was in an orange-tagged bag that was among the discounted wares at the thrift store that Sunday, he cost me $0.30 rather than $0.60. Honestly, he looks kinda gross, too -- something went kinda wrong with the placement of the figure's hair, such that the strands falling down over his forehead look like silly string (at best) or typical thrift store grossness (at worst). At first glance, it's also not a terribly useful figure for customizing: the T-hip articulation doesn't appeal to me and the range on several of the joints (such as the ankles) is so limited as to make those points of articulation almost entirely useless. As such, at $0.60, I would have passed on the toy. For $0.30, however, it's not a bad deal. I can probably make use of the fists and forearms; I can grind down and sculpt over the head without feeling like I'm ruining something amazing; and I can play with the other joints to practice techniques for improving the range and function of various POAs. As neat as some of the stuff I discover at the thrift store can be (when it's not making me sick, anyway), these are really the kinds of cheap fodder figures I'm looking for and expecting to find when I stop in.

Seriously, that looks really familiar...!

Aaaand since we've now discussed all three bags, it's time for the big reveal! When I looked at Lieutenant Gears -- though it took me a while to realize it -- I saw...

...Jen Lindley, or Michelle Williams. The rounded shape of the face, the wide mouth, that cute little nose -- it's obviously a stylized, cartoony sculpt, but it's totally Jen. What do you think? Do you see the resemblance too, or am I completely off base here? In any case, I feel like I now have a Jen Lindley head among my fodder... and that is pretty cool! I doubt I'll actually go on to make a Jen custom figure (I have no plans to make Dawson and the gang, and Jen by herself would be kinda lonely), but making another character with her likeness by way of tribute and/or acknowledged similarities between the characters could be interesting.

That'll do it for this initial, two-part installment of Thrift Store Thursday, then! See you next time, when we'll talk about... who knows what we'll talk about. This is Scary-Crayon, after all! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 12:29 pm | Comments (0)
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