Monday, April 18, 2011

Boot Sale Bonanza

It's that exciting time of year again, when every weekend morn the green and pleasant fields of England ring to the sound of hard-nosed bargaining, the rattle and rustle of cold hard cash or crisp pound notes changing hands, not to mention the wailing of snotty-nosed kids decrying dropped ice lollies.

It's Car Boot Sale season, which means a bo
nanza for those of us who foolishly like to pick up the shite others wisely discard. For the pleasure of spending a morning offloading clutter long since past it's usefulness sellers obtain extra space and spare cash, whilst I gain the exact opposite. I do this for no apparent purpose other than force of habit...

Growing up in the countryside, the occasional Car Boot sale was always welcome distraction, but with the parents controlling the purse strings via the tactical deployment of tiny amounts of pocket moment, one was somewhat hampered when it came to the amount of crap one could reasonably escort home.

Now, long since unhindered by any sort of immediate restrictions I can happily buy any old rubbish that takes my fancy - only to suffer repercussions after the event due to dwindling shelf space and ever decreasing support for this type of behaviour from Mrs Poptique...

I used to "do" eBay full time, over ten years ago when I temporarily left the exciting media whirlwind to pursue bric-a-brac and distribute it to all four corners of the globe. Those glory days of easily coming back from a Boot Sale with carload of collectibles are also long gone. Firstly, a large majority of potential Car Booters now regularly offer their discards for sale online without the need of a go-between.

What gems remain offline and do become available in fields up and down the nation are almost immediately hoovered up by the joyless, blank-faced Hawks who pounce the second carboots are unlatched. With nothing but Amazon hit-lists and a vague notion of what's worth what, the Hawks seem to sweep down with the dawn and soon scurry away, bags bulging, back to the desktops from whence they came.

The only thing I genuinely have against these hawkers morally, and personally, is they really don't seem to take any enjoyment from picking up the assorted rubbish I still take great pleasure from. The somewhat pathetic joy I experience when chancing by a random silver age Marvel comic, a beautifully boxed NES game, or super-strange print, combined with careful consideration of the journey that item has taken before arriving in my grubby hands seems completely lost on the trolls who trawl the opening moments of Boot Sales these days, looking only for recognisably collectible commodities to shift on.

Of course, I'm being ungenerous and arrogant in the supposed superiority between the "Collector" and the "Hawker", but balls to it - this is my blog so ya boo sucks to the lot of them. Those buying for fun rather than pure profit will also take precedence on the respectometer as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, that preamble leads me to the point of this entry - to alert readers regular and irregular alike that every now and then I'll post a bunch of images from recent boot sale finds in a similar, flag waving, "look what I got" fashion. To this end, here's a bunch of bits and bobs I recently acquired and bought home to scorn and loud discontent - very much like a tatty cat innocently dragging in a half-deceased toad or two...

Is it possible to have too many Corgi Batcopters? Yes.

The sculptor of this wee Corgi Jnr Wonder Woman car might well have been a misogonist - having given the Star Spangled Amazon the body of a builder on benefits and the face of an uprooted Easter Island head...

Lucky me - I picked up a stack of Smash comics from the mid-60s, the first publication in the UK to feature reprints of silver age Marvel characters - in this case the Hulk and subsequently Daredevil. Due to the success of DC's Batman show, the caped crusader got cover duties, with sparsely coloured repastes of his newspaper comic strip adventures. A rare case of DC & Marvel super-heroes co-existing in the same book!

A little bit further on I also nabbed some self-published Marvels from the early 70s - including the first edition of the long-running Spider-man Comics Weekly. Woo, and indeed, hoo. In the same stack was a few things dating back 60 years - including a nice copy of Adventure from 1950 (and not to be confused DC's Adventure Comics, either..!)

Battered and bruised, but still working like a charm, this is a 1965 Tom & Jerry music box, or jack-in-a-box. Turn the handle and Pop Goes the Weasel chimes along until a ragged Tom jumps out.

Highly amusing for at least 30 seconds.

What makes this a particularly attractive addition to my collection are the jaunty Chuck Jones era illustrations that adorn it's tin sides. I was never a fan of Jones' version of Tom & Jerry during the constant rotation their entire output was given on the BBC when growing up, but these are pretty nifty.

Here's Jerry being a right bastard to a happy-go-lucky Tom. As seen below, 60s Tom would rather spark up a biffter and smell the flowers - good lad. Sadly for him, 60s Jerry is a complete shit.

Cleaned up I'm sure this will make a nice addition to my desk area - especially since placing it elsewhere in the flat would most likely result on instant banishment to some out-of-sight location...

What's this nasty pile of stinky vinyl?

Surely it can only be one thing...?

It's that smarter-than-the-average-bear, Bilko rip-off Yogi Bear - in the guise of a 60s inflatable Bop Bag. Who'd what to bop good old Yogi though? Not me.

A face only a mother could love.

And here's Yogi's rapidly deflating rear-end. Made in Scotland - a long way from Jellystone Park.

And just incase you start to feel sorry for Mrs Poptique, having to put up with such dreadful items dotted around her abode, then have a gander at the rather nice fencing French fillies I picked up to appease her...

Not a bad haul at all, if I do say so myself...


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