DC Big Flea


This weekend brought to the Dulles Expo Center the DC Big Flea. I honestly hadn't been to this "convention" in years because my prior excursions only resulted in my buying one thing; admission to the show.

George of G.I. Jigsaw joined me for this outing, and as we walked around, we both pretty much came to the same conclusion. There was a lot of fun stuff to look at, but nothing we necessarily wanted to buy. Basically, nothing really changed over the years.

Mind you, this didn't stop me from taking a ton of photographs.

I was hoping to find CD's, McDonald's Changeables, and anything 1964 / 1965 World's Fair related. Most of this didn't pan out.

Pop's....You just can't swing a stick anymore without hitting Pop's. I'm so glad we cashed out on these a few years ago.

I see more and more "newer" stuff at these shows anymore. 80's toys are getting harder and harder to find out in the wild. People selling are cutting out the middle man (for the most part), and selling directly on ebay to maximize profit.

Ah, there's the good stuff.

Twenty dollars for a scuffed up and incomplete Masters of the Universe figure? Um....No.

I actually considered buying this record. If it would have been the version I had as a kid, cover wise, I probably would have.

I swear this guy always has the same stock. Probably because he's always so overpriced that nobody with any sense will buy from him.

$100+ dollars for the Ewok movies on laserdisc? Seriously? Those things sell for $30.00 (or less) all day long. But, that's exactly what I'm talking about with this guy. It's as if he just wants to show off his collection, and if people are stupid enough to pay the price he's asking, he'll happily sell it.

While there were a few CD's and records strewn about from the various tables, I didn't really stop to look until I cam across a table with several boxes of both. The guy wanted three bucks a piece, or two for five, which isn't a terrible price. As I dug through the discs, I pulled out a dozen or so, and though they weren't necessarily on my want list, if I could haggle the guy down, I was interested.

He threw out fifty, I threw out forty, and while I quite frankly still overpaid for these dollar bin fodder CD's, I was still content to walk away with them.

It's interesting how my perspective on greatest hits albums has changed as of late. I used to avoid them like the plague, but now I'm actively looking for them. A lot from the 80's have tracks that were exclusive to them, making them a bit desirable for me. I'm also putting together a playlist called "70's Greatest Hits of the 80's". Basically, greatest hits albums released in the 80's that contained music from the 70's.

After dropping George off, we grabbed a bite to eat, and headed over to eStarland. I found about six NES games that I was going to grab, but after checking the prices on their computer, put them all back. Let me put this in perspective for you. They wanted $30.00 for Super Mario Bros., a game that sells for five bucks on a good day. This was the price point I was looking at for games, and had zero interest in that.

From there, we headed over to Echo Base, said hello to owner, David, and here was where I grabbed a few more things.

They had quite a few McDonald's Changeables, which I grabbed for two bucks a piece.

I have a full set of all three series, but quite honestly keep buying these to fill up my display jar. It's coming along well, and is actually almost filled up. Just a few more. I honestly don't care which ones they are. I just like the way they look in jar.

Next up I grabbed David's personal copy of Filmation's Ghostbusters Volume 1. This is a series I had been kicking back and forth in my mind to add to my 80's cartoon collection, but always passed because of the price. He made an offer I couldn't refuse. Now I just have to track down the harder to find Volume 2, by no means a priority.

The last thing I grabbed was a couple NES games. I'd been on the hunt for these two for quite some time, and while I could have easily bought them both on ebay, I just really never got around to it. Finding them in the wild was an instant buy.

And with that, it was back home to start ripping CD's to iTunes, and play games.

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  1. The problem I have here with vintage toy stores are the high prices and smelly environments. Not old toy smelly but morning breath smelly. At least flea markets are wide open and the air is semi- breathable. I think out of all the toys you photographed I liked the Adventure People mini van the best.

    1. "I love the smell of BO in the morning." - Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore

      I totally know what you mean. There are places I have gone into that I've had to immediately turn around and leave because of the smell. Fortunately, this has yet to be the case at Echo Base.

      The high price part, yeah, they totally have that going for them on a lot of their stuff. I've found this is where it is crucial to have a solid relationship with people on a personal level. There's the average customer price, and then there's the "friend" price.

  2. The jar of McDonalds Changeables look fantastic. Yeah - the show was a bust, but still fun to look around.

    1. Thanks. I'm going to try to focus on a few specific ones to top it off that aren't so predominant in the jar; ice cream cone, quarter pounder, small fries, and egg McMuffin.

  3. Yeah, that Changeables jar is a cool way to display those. Looks good. I do get a kick out of places with outrageously high prices who keep the same stuff sitting around for years. Must just be a hobby for them. And yeah, those $20 dollar MOTU figures all beat up with no weapons. Ridiculous.

    1. Glass jars for McDonald's Changeables, and a fruit hanging basket for Madballs. That's where it's at!

      Agree with the outrageously priced vendors. I don't get this model of selling at all.