Friday, November 30, 2012

Cart Blanche: Ghosts of Clearance Past

Before you get too excited, this photo was taken last year and this pile of 15-dollar Toy Story Collection RC remote control cars vanished faster than chocolate cake samples in the Target bakery.

RC originally retailed for around $60, but these days, he routinely fetches a ridiculous amount of money on the interwebs. This is one of those rare occasions where I wish I was [more of] a hoarder.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thrift Store: I See London, I See France

Lumiere seems genuinely flustered by whatever Cogsworth is doing. I don't want to insinuate anything, but Cogsworth may have exposed his pendulum.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cart Wheels: S&M&M

The fun doesn't have to stop when you exit the automatic doors. There's plenty to observe in the parking lot. Car antenna toppers are some of my favorite auto accoutrements to spot.

It's rare to find an antenna topper in pristine condition. They've almost always seen better days. The elements have taken their toll, weathering away the foam features. Sometimes it is these abnormalities that make spotting antenna toppers so much fun.

And sometimes it's the awkward placement of the antenna.

It's not so much where the antenna is as it is the expression on Green's face that's disturbing. It's as if she's saying "You like what you see?"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A La Cart: When You See It, You'll Shape Bricks

I found this giant LEGO man at Barnes & Noble. I don't know why they couldn't wait put him up until they finished building the giant LEGO toilet he's obviously supposed to be sitting on.

It looks like giant LEGO man couldn't wait, either.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thrift Store: Look Ma, No Hands

Another thrift store treasure unearthed after tens of years. Some readers may not be old enough to remember a time before iPods, but for us children of the 80's, CD players were the ultimate in cool. The only thing that could make a portable CD player better was if you could carry it around in a fanny pack.

Enter the Tune Belt. No, I'm sorry, "The Original Tune Belt". It's comfortable. It's secure. It's hands-free! It probably caused your CD to skip, making it impossible to get through an entire song. But whatever. It was all about presentation in the 80's. Half the people who bought these probably never even owned a portable CD player.

The Tune Belt doesn't serve much of a purpose in today's digital age, but just like all of the misfit toys who wind up at the thrift store, it can take solace in knowing that at some point, someone, somewhere paid actual money for it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

As Is: Teenage Mutant Naked Turtle

This is what this is supposed to look like.

Earlier in the week I blogged about Jazwares and their small company problems. As it turns out, it's not only the little guys who occasionally let things slip through the cracks.

This is Leonardo from Nickelodeon's new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Playmates Toys have been manufacturing the Turtles toys since the very beginning and the formula hasn't changed much since 1989.  Four turtles, red, blue, orange and purple bandanas, varying shades of green, ninja weapons and belts to store them in.

Unfortunately for this particular Leo, someone let him leave the factory without his belt! It's amazing how naked he looks without it. It's really freaking me out. I need to stop looking.

Where is he going to store his katana now?

The Metal Head figure from this same assortment includes a goof of his own. The back of his packaging features photos of four Turtles: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and a second Raphael. 

Michelangelo must have been too busy being a party dude to make it to picture day on time.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eats: Happy Thanksgiving

Take a moment today to remember what you're thankful for. Then make sure to eat lots of turkey (or ham, if you're weird) so you have plenty of strength for Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thrift Store: Baby, Can You Lend a Hand?

The original idea for this blog was to feature thrift store finds exclusively. Ultimately I decided to expand that concept to include all stores, but I think the thrift store posts will always be my favorite.

This is a porcelain statue of hand holding a tiny baby. Saying anything more could only detract from the grandeur of it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Swap Meat: Fantas-Trick 4

This is what this is supposed to look like.

"Swap Meat" is a term used to describe toys that have been returned to the store with some or all of their contents removed or swapped out for something else. It should go without saying that this practice is illegal and you shouldn't do it!

If you think of a boxed toy as a sandwich, the packaging is the bread and the toy is the delicious meat within. I like the food analogy, because just as in the culinary world, not all Swap Meat is the same cut of beef. If you start out with prime rib and end up with a bologna sandwich, that's a pretty lousy swap.

In this case, the swapper removed the original toys and replaced them with his own hand-painted custom versions. It's like a dish prepared by young children on Mother's Day. The bacon is smothered in jelly and the eggs are equal parts yolk and shell. But it's the thought that counts.

I can't place Mr. Fantastic or the Invisible Woman, but Thing is unmistakably Killer Croc from Kenner's old Batman: The Animated Series toy line painted orange.

I'm not sure what's going with H.E.R.B.I.E., but he looks droopier here than he did in his original condition.

Have you found Swap Meat in the aisles? Send your photos to

Monday, November 19, 2012

As Is: Chuckie is "Unarmed"

This is what this is supposed to look like.

You may know Jazwares for their Sonic the Hedgehog or Mortal Kombat toys, but the company has found recent success with lines based on less convential properties such as Scribblenauts, Poptropica, Classic Nicktoons, and Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Their Adventure Time and Regular Show toys have even caught the eye of the all mighty Wal-Mart.

Even though Jazwares has been around for some time, they're still a comparably small company, complete with small company problems. Problems like glue that doesn't hold well enough. Unfortunately this is not the last time a Jazwares toy will find itself in a not-so-sticky situation.

Poor Chuckie. You can't blame this one on Reptar. Maybe an enterprising Toys "R" Us employee will drop this guy in the puzzle aisle where his malfunction is actually an advantage.

Have your own Aisle Show You-worthy submission? Send photos and descriptions to