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Rad Retro Weekend Part 2: Antique Store Finds

In part 1 of the Rad Retro Weekend, I chronicled the nostalgic pursuit I shared with NLogan to re-create the magic of childhood sleepovers, which we did with a mix of late night movies, Nintendo and junk food. When the morning rolled around we were ready to roll out on a retro treasure hunt to a selection of local antique stores.

Donning our Goonies t-shirts (and consulting NLogan's hand crafted One Eyed Willy Treasure map) we took to the streets like The Dukes of Hazzard, only instead of blaring country banjo, our adventure was scored with my custom CD of 80's TV theme songs. With rockin' tunes from shows like M.A.S.K., Thundercats and DinoSaucers we were supercharged for rummaging.

Fittingly enough, our first stop was the Treasures Antique Mall which had the perfect feeling of nostalgia one would expect. There was no shortage of 80s cartoon merchandise on display as you can see from this Smurfs lunchbox released during the later seasons when a trio of youthful Smurflings was added to the cast. The Get Along Gang bank featuring Montgomery Moose was unique piece I could totally imagine on the dresser of an elementary school friend's room.

We also ran into a trio of TV trays which was a major timewarp. How many great memories were had watching our favorite TV shows after school or on Saturday Mornings while eating off of one of these things? Despite the smile on his face, something tells me that NLogan was not scarfing down his G.I. Joe Action Stars cereal off of a Strawberry Shortcake tray, but I would have been all about eating my Popeye brand spinach off of the orange beauty in my hand. The Smurfs model was pretty cool too.

Knowing I would get distracted, my wing man waited until the end of our walk around to reveal the heart of the store where shelves full of tiny figures from Happy Meals and other fast food promotions were to be had. Having earlier expressed my desire to walk away with a Noid figure on this trip, my prayers were answered. I also picked up a Tang lips mascot and two 7-Up Cool Spots!

Before we made our exit we also spotted a retro oddity from the 90s. Did you know that there were Home Improvement rack toys? And not just a couple, according to the back of the card there were 12 different sets for kids to play Tim "The Toolman" Taylor with. Sadly none of them promised a "more power" feature. But now that I think about it, this show could definitely have inspired a wacky toy line with crazy power tool inventions that injured a talking Tim Allen figure in hilarious ways.

Luckily our next stop was just across the parking lot, where a whole new selection of ancient artifacts awaited. One of the first things we spotted was a Michael Jackson "Beat It" doll from 1984 complete with his sparkly glove! The $25 asking price actually seems pretty fair considering the condition of this King of Pop doll.

Next to Dick Tracy movie merchandise (which we will get to), Cabbage Patch Kids items like these oversized puzzles are what I see the most of and this store was no exception. There's something fascinating, yet unsettling about presenting these dolls as living beings, especially ones that need to bathe...awkward.

We ran into a lot of lunch boxes on this trip (more to come), but this thermos duo for some pretty obscure properties was a real treat. Visionaries were one of the coolest action figure lines of the 80s to make use of holograms (rivaled only by Supernaturals), but unfortunately their cartoon series never caught on. The Lazer Tag cartoon (inspired by the popular light gun toys) had a similar fate, though I think Lazer Tag Academy was one of the most original productions that Ruby-Spears ever produced for TV in the 80s.

There was also a nice rack of vintage comic books featuring Archie, Spider-Man and even Tarzan. More exciting though were the books based on famous cartoons/toy lines like Count Duckula, Captain Planet and Police Academy. I ended up walking away with the first issue of the Hook movie adaptation, since that 90s Robin Williams film is a childhood favorite.

Our third stop was a literal brick and mortar store called Confetti Antiques & Books, which just sounds like a magical shop that would contain The Neverending Story book within. As we climbed the faded green steps NLogan caught sight of the one and only Pruneface from Dick Tracy (what did I tell ya?). Just around the corner was some Strawberry Shortcake glassware and old school metal lunch boxes. Fun Fact: I recently learned that the creator of Strawberry Shortcake was also the mastermind behind killer doll, Chucky, An American Tale and the beloved Disney Halloween flick Hocus Pocus. Weird, huh?

NLogan also zeroed in on this radical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunch box, which was extra special since it had a sticker on the inside, obviously applied by the original owner after eating a Hostess Turtles Pie. Also interesting is that although the logo doesn't indicate that this was a promotional tie-in to the Secret of the Ooze movie, the graphics are obviously invoking the fight with Super Shredder on the docks during the finale.

The upstairs was a vintage book lovers paradise, with shelves lined from floor to ceiling with ancient print materials. We took turns sifting through some Little Golden Books, but the real treat were the movie novelizations, comics and magazines! I walked away with a Nintendo Power, Halloween Issue of Wizard and NLogan spotted this SyFy Magazine with The Shadow on the cover for me. But he found a real winner too...

Yes indeed, that is an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom lunchbox in pristine condition. NLogan is a major Indy fan and though he already had a similar lunchbox, it did not feature these particular graphics. After grappling with this purchasing decision like Dr. Jones taking on a burly German airplane mechanic, he decided it was too sweet a find to pass up.

By this point we were famished, but while heading over to our lunchtime destination we spotted a Yard Sale and decided we were hungrier for the thrill of the hunt than actual edibles. My goodness, did we make the right decision. Walking onto the property, we found it strewn with boxes pulled from the attic of a recently deceased old lady, who was either the best or worst Grandma in history depending on your point of view.

We were told that she often bought presents for her grandkids, then forgot where she put them, so they went ungifted and the evidence was there on the lawn. Price tags remained on dozens of unused kids books like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Gremlins 2 and of course, Dick Tracy. I even picked up a wacky X-Men themed kids travel toothbrush along the way. Then we hit the jackpot!

First, I found an empty box from 1984 that once contained an animated Mr. T gym bag that frankly, I would have paid $5 for on it's own. When I brought it up to the sellers they said, "Oh we have the bag around here somewhere", which was music to my ears. Though I was mentally prepared for the disappointment of a bag that looked to have been through a fight with Clubber Lang, I had no need to worry. Not only did they come back with a totally unused bag, they had a second unopened box in hand! I pity the fool who didn't stop for this Yard Sale. But if I thought I scored, NLogan had a Guardian Garage Sale Angel on his shoulder for sure.

Digging through an old cardboard box, he spotted something pink and blue that is going to make you pass out in a mix of jealousy and disbelief. Yes my friends, a sealed box of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures from 1985! The glee in our voices over 30 year old toys must have concerned the people running this yard sale, but although Grandma failed to gift these presents to her grandchildren, she just made us the happiest kids in the neighborhood. Unbelievable!

Giddy beyond belief, we decided to celebrate this amazing day of treasure hunting with a chinese food meal at a quirky diner called TBone (very fitting for my Yard Sale find). Tangerine and Kung Pao chicken were the order of the day along with some cream cheese rangoons. And though the food was delicious, the satisfaction of our miraculous finds on this antique store odyssey was the real treat.

That brings us to the end of this section of our Rad Retro Weekend, but if you can believe it, there's an even more amazing trip back in time to be shared with you in part 3. Yes, we found a Video Store from the 80s that was still in business and had VHS tapes on the shelves for rent! You won't want to to miss the sights and stories to come. 

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Superman Posted on Sep 17, 2018 at 05:25 PM

Looks like you guys stumbled across some great finds. I especially love that TMNT lunchbox.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Aug 14, 2018 at 08:40 PM

@Jkatz I still can't believe our luck, the retro hits just kept on coming.

@vaporman87 If we told you the prices we got those things for your head would explode. So if you want to believe we irresponsibly depleted our savings accounts to walk away with those items, it's probably the best for your blood pressure.

NLogan Posted on Aug 14, 2018 at 04:14 AM

Harsh Vaporman! It was delicious. Jkatz the day did get better and better!

jkatz Posted on Aug 14, 2018 at 03:05 AM

This is so cool. It just kept getting better and better with each place you went to. I was telling myself "there's no way they're gonna top that one!"

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 14, 2018 at 01:27 AM

WHAT!? How!? Man, you two scored big time. Some of that is stuff you could only ever find on Ebay. So stinkin' jealous right now.

I hope you got diarrhea from the Chinese food! LOL

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