Sunday, April 30, 2017

DC Big Flea (Replace Flea with Waste of Time)

I stopped by the DC Big Flea this weekend, and not surprising the thing has gone way down hill in terms of appealing vendors. I spent $20.00 in total that day, and what did I get for that price? Admission to the show for two.

99.9% of the vendors were selling antiques, while the only three toy vendors fit the following stereotype;

  • Overpriced Old Guy - This is the guy that has many obscure toys from the 30's to 80's such as puzzles, board games, figures, cars, lunch boxes etc. Unfortunately he is so far out in left field with his prices that anyone with a Smartphone is soon walking away shaking their head. This is the guy that thinks just because it's not on store shelves anymore that it has to be worth several hundreds of dollars. He's easily offended when you point out a more realistic buying price, and will tell you to buy from someone else before he budges on his price.
  • Random Old Lady - You've seen her before. She has crates full of loose / incomplete / broken figures that she's asking eight to ten dollars a piece for. She has no clue what she has on hand, nor would you buy it anyway because for that same price you can get it complete, and in better condition off of ebay. If she were lucky, someone would offer her ten dollars for the entire bucket - Which she won't have the good sense to take.
  • Local Scalper - Everyone's home town favorite. The guy that goes to all the local stores to buy everything new so he can sell it to you at a substantial mark up. He's particularly pleased with his wares as he smiles arrogantly at you, and explains his stock in great detail to you as if he's the only expert in town on the subject matter. He's not the local hero he thinks he is who has all the new figures you want. He's the local jerk who is making it so you can't buy it off store shelves for a reasonable price. In his mind he doesn't understand why you hate him. After all, he's doing you a favor. He's saved you the hassle of going to the store to find it, and all he wants is three times the retail price for his troubles.

Admittedly I've only been to the DC Big Flea twice (my first was with Brian of Cool and Collected). After shelling out twenty bucks to walk away empty handed, this will certainly be my last one for a long time, if not forever. There was just nothing there.

I came with camera in hand to take photos of everyone's exciting wares. Sadly, there was nothing to see.


  1. Man,that blows.I think people just like to see their inventory stocked all the time.And what better way to to do that than by selling at ridiculous prices so that no one will buy."We've got all the toys you want,all the time...because you can't afford them!"

    1. I've seen that a lot. It's as if people do these shows to show off their collections, and not to sell them - Unless there's that one sap that will pay more than enough to make up for losing it.

  2. Man, it's been at least 15 years since I've been to a good flea market. Sadly, your stereotypes are spot on with what I've seen.

    1. I'm almost desperate to find a place to spend money on vintage toys that aren't pocket gouging. Let me know if you find anything.



All logos, products, names, and descriptions are the property of their respective copyright and trademark holders. No infringement is implied. Photographs and articles (unless otherwise noted) are copyright of The Toy Box, and may not be used without prior written consent. This website and its pages herein are designed for educational purposes only. No items shown are for sale.

Market prices fluctuate daily, and the prices as listed herein are not intended to be a set point, but rather a benchmark of where prices were noted at during the time period in which the article in question was written/posted. The value of any item shown here is always subject to change based on supply and demand, as well as seller/buyer preference. We are not affiliated with any buyers/sellers, and have no influence on prices set by secondary market dealers or individual sellers.