Sunday, July 8, 2012

Local Toy Hunt

I went to the flea market today with dreams of Transformers. After something like a ten year absence, there was finally a toy dealer at the flea market! And from what I had been told, he had a ton of toys! Hot dog!

I walked into the guy's booth (stall?) and he's holding a Chromedome in car mode. So far, so good. I asked him if he was complete and he looked at me and said "I'm not sure". That's not a good sign. I then noticed that he had an iPad and was looking on eBay. That's not good. He let me look at Chromedome and I knew right away that he was missing everything, it was just the body. So I told him Chromedome's name and I even told him the price range that he sells at. The owner then asked me if I wanted Chromedome for the low price of $25. Uh, no?

I talked up the owner, Tommy, and told him that I was looking for G1 Transformers. Looking around, I saw mainly Star Wars and newer Transformers from Energon and Cybertron lines. Tommy stated that he had two drawers of Transformers for sale. Hot dog again! I looked in the first drawer. I found Sludge's left leg, half a mini-spy, a Ratchet missing an arm, and the back half of his van and all accessories, and the top half of Long Haul. Eww. Time to check out the second drawer.

This drawer seemed more promising, there was a Motormaster missing his right arm, but there was a gun, a rub sign Bumblebee missing tires, and a Bombshell missing his gun. I found a Seaspray with joints tighter than the one I own and a Warpath with it's barrel intact, but missing his head. My Warpath has a broken barrel. I reasoned that it wouldn't be too hard to swap their heads. I asked Tommy how much for the Warpath. That's when things got bad.

Tommy pulled out his iPad and started fumbling around with it. He then said "Well, it's going on eBay for about $10-$15, so I'll go $10". Ten dollars. For a Warpath missing his head. Ten dollars. I didn't even counter offer, that's how stunned I was. I put Warpath back and then asked if he had any G1 parts for sale. Tommy told me that he had four 16 gallon totes of Transformer parts. Music to my ears, since I need some parts for various figures. Then, Tommy broke my heart. The totes of parts were in a storage trailer in Tennessee, apparently. It sounded like the Canadian girlfriend excuse to me. I got his email address so I could send him a want list.

All in all, it was a fruitful trip. I made a connection that could be on the lookout for parts and figures for me. I'm not so sure about his pricing practices, however. From talking to Tommy, it appears that he prices his toys and collectibles based on what they sell for on eBay at that particular moment. We'll just see how this works out. Maybe I'll try checking out some yard sales.


  1. Sounds like Tommy bought someone else's rejects and is trying to sell them to people who don't know any better. He obviously doesn't know the market, I would be very wary. If he's only willing to base his prices on the most recent eBay sale then he probably won't be a good resource. The more reputable sellers know their market and know their prices w/out resorting to eBay. You obviously know more about what he's selling than he does :)

  2. These are the types of sellers I'd avoid at flea markets. They don't know their stuff and they think that because its "Transformers", it should sell for a lot of money. I mean, I Warpath without the head? wft right?

    Regular collectors would know straightaway that that's almost worthless because its not really possible to get the head as a "part" and you'd have to get a whole figure to replace just the head (contrast with a HM, where you can buy the body and then buy the head separately).

  3. Listen to Arkvander and HD...they hit the nail on the head. I know it's tempting, but sounds like you're better off sticking with dealing w/ fellow collectors and reputable websites.

  4. You're all right, this guy is a horrible seller. I really want to see what parts he has, though. I've been scouring the Internet for over a year looking for a barrel for my Galvatron with no luck. Frustration man, it can make a collector do crazy things.