Of Course Your Stuff Is Worthless...What Did You Expect?


While doing my usual pursuing of Youtube videos, I came across the below video from creator, Quarter Flips. In the video, he opens a box he packed up two years ago with random items, and the purpose of doing so was to see if the items inside would have any form of increased value.

Upon opening the box, I could immediately tell that the items inside were not only pure junk, but would have minimal if no value at this point. As I watched, Quarter Flips also came to the same conclusion.

However, the bigger question I found myself asking was, "Why on Earth would anyone even think these items would retain any sort of value, let alone in a mere two years?" All of these items are probably still sitting on a clearance shelf somewhere across the US, or at minimum, have been shuffled off to Ollies where they're continuing to collect dust.

I don't know, maybe I just thought it was a basic enough premise to understand. The only reason collectibles are so valuable these days is because Generation X has a very keen desire for nostalgia from their childhoods. The unfortunate downside to this is that there's an offset of supply and demand. Hypothetically, for every ten people who want to replace their 1982 He-Man figure from their childhood, there are only five available. Now couple that in with people who want said figure mint, carded, or complete, and that statistic drops even lower. That's just basics of collectibles and reselling.

Meanwhile, toys of "today" only seem to resonate with Gen X, and in that regard, only very specific ones. Typically, those are the ones that harken back to their childhood, such as Masters of the Universe Origins, or build on it, such as G.I. Joe Classified or Marvel Legends. Your average Gen X isn't buying Descendent dolls. On the other hand, nor are the kids of today.

Today's generation isn't interested in toys. They're plugged in to social media, and other forms of electronic devices. Most of this seems driven by 1) their lack of attachment to physical items, 2) the general poverty level of most young adults, and 3) their desire for life experiences over materialism. The point being, they're not buying this stuff, and they're not going to.

Meanwhile your average Gen X'r is getting older by the day, and our priorities are shifting. We're moving closed to the horizon of retirement (if that's even possible with how much we spend vs. save), and not necessarily adding to our collections. In some cases, we are actually trying to downsize because we don't want them to be a burden on our loved ones.

This in turn causes another problem, which will ultimately become the reality of all of these collectibles. The market is getting over saturated, and with so much available, but no buyers, the prices are going to start dropping drastically. That 12 back carded Luke Skywalker that you paid $10,000.00 for will suddenly be worth a few hundred, and maybe it will sell to that one random Millennial or Gen Z who picked up the collector bug from their mom or dad.

All I'm saying is that it's no surprise that the items in the above video were relatively worthless, and for anyone holding on to their toys, comics, etc., thinking they're going to see a return with profit, don't expect this. That door is closing fast.

What Generation X will leave behind is one heck of a landfill of useless plastic and paper. I hope the recycling plants are ready for us.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Retro Spins: Bananarama - True Confessions


Bananarama strikes me as what the Spice Girls would have sounded like if they were an 80's band. There's no real "lead" singer. Instead, they all sing at the same time, just different pitches, while throwing in their own distinct sounds and what not. It makes for unique songs, but not necessarily good ones.

True Confessions, the song and the album, starts with a fantastic drum beat, which being a drummer myself, hooked me right away. I was really into it until the girls themselves started singing. From there, I dipped out pretty quick.

Between ballads and fairly bland and generic synth tracks, I really found myself uninterested in the album. All of this by track number three. With the exception of Venus, which wouldn't make its way around until track six, I'd never heard any of the songs on this album, and at this point I really wasn't excited for it. However, I suppose it would be fair to say I never really fancied myself a Bananarama fan to begin with, so it's not like they had that going for them to begin with. In other words, the bar was already pretty low in terms of expectations.

Things didn't get better with the song, Dance With A Stranger, which sounded like something you would hear at a cocktail lounge, or if instrumental, in an elevator. I was starting to realize quickly why I didn't hear much from the group in the 80's beyond their handful of hits. Had I not been working while listening to the album, I probably would have started skipping through the tracks.

That's not to say the album was a total loss. I did hear tracks that were okay. However, here in lied the problem. As I said, they were just okay. Not catchy. Not memorable. Not something I necessarily wanted to hear again. Overall, it was just decent 80's music. I suppose in the long run, there's not much more you can ask for. Sure, it's great when you get excited about a song and want to hear it over and over again. But, at the same time, at least it wasn't annoying and terrible.

I don't see myself venturing out any further in the realm of Bananarama. I have their three albums which encompass their few hits, and I think that's going to be good enough for me.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

Awesome Con 2024 - Part 6: My Buddy Dave Braun And Cosplay

Unlike prior conventions, I made sure to keep Awesome Con organized, in terms of the books I brought with me. This ensured I was able to move through the process of getting things signed, while also leaving me time to wander the convention hall. In doing so, I saw a lot of vendors selling things that really didn't interest me, and among them were the very few comic vendors.

I didn't end up taking photos of the show itself because by the time I finished getting things signed, the place was so packed. People were everywhere, and it was impossible to get a clear photo. Additionally, since I was also at a point of exhaustion and pain both in my feet (from walking), and shoulders (from lugging the bag around), I was also reaching a point of being done.

As I said in my prior post (part 5), there were comics I was looking for, but either dealers didn't have them at all, or had already sold them. Honestly, I wasn't sad about this. It saved me money in the long run, and I can't honestly say I "needed" what was on my list. 

I was able to get some photos of some passing cosplayers, most of which was at the start while everyone was lining up to enter the exhibit hall.

"Velma" seemed legitimately happy that
I asked if I could take her photo.

I snagged this Hogwarts wizard as he was walking by.

Believe it or not, it's Jar Jar Binks

Warriors...Come out and plaaayaaaay!

These two were determined to get autographs
and pictures from Hayden Christensen and
Rosario Dawson. I hope they were successful in their quest.

Remote control droids! Sweet!!!!

It was surprising that there weren't all that many people dressed up at the show. Of course, there were more than I took photos of.

Then there was my buddy, Dave Braun.

Dave enjoys coming to these shows with me, and though he's not a comic collector he did pick up a few things. Things like this Punisher print from Art Adams...

...He also got a Jerry Garcia drawing made by Jim Salicrup...

...and picket up a Batman rogues gallery print from Jeph Loeb, which included a doodle on the side of it.

At the end of the day, did I see everything there was to see at Awesome Con? No. Not even close. However, unlike Baltimore, I have no regrets. No missed issues that I had with me, but couldn't get signed. No sadness from not walking end to end, checking out everything. Everything worked out perfectly, and I accomplished all I set out to do.

One more post to go, and it's a goodin'. Make sure you check back next week for my last entry about Awesome Con 2024!

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Retro Spins: Aaron Neville - Warm Your Heart


Aaron Neville is a nice change of pace from the hard drumming, loud strumming music I'm accustomed to. Thought I'd be lying if I said it was my favorite, it's still nice to sometimes just listen to something mellow. That's what I got from Aaron Neville's 1991 album, Warm Your Heart.

I purchased this album for two specific songs, Everybody Plays The Fool and Ava Maria. Much like the style of music, these are far from my favorite songs in the world, but again, the quieter, soothing nature of them is a nice change of pace. Especially when you're having a blah sort of day, which I was. It was one of those boring sort of Saturdays where I just didn't want to do anything. Even perusing through 80's albums felt like work, and I just wasn't feeling it.

Perhaps what I really needed was a nap. Because that's what I (somewhat) got while listening to Warm Your Heart. It was so relaxing that I kept finding myself tilting back in my chair with my eyes closed. That may have been driven by the massive lunch I ate though. Check this bad boy out.

Don't let the tin foil fool you. That massive Big Mac looking beast is home made, including the special sauce. I've felt pretty lethargic (and miserable) ever since crushing that beast.

But that's a different kind of "warm your heart". This post is supposed to be about Aaron Neville.

Um...Yeah, the album was okay. Nothing to write home about. A nice change of pace, but not with any songs, beyond the two noted above, to really get excited about. Anyway...back to my nap.

This is going to be my last 90's and beyond album for a while. Honestly, my desire for these albums got derailed by Alanis Morrisset. Killed my desire. Coupled with the shear volume of 80's albums I still have that are sitting unheard, I really don't have the time to delve into anything beyond that decade.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

What's All The Hub Bub With Jif Peanut Butter And Chocolate?

The inter web has been talking about the all new Jif Peanut Butter and Chocolate, the newest, and first flavor from the brand in a decade. But, is it any good? Is this going to be my new go to flavor for peanut butter sandwiches?

Being a new product, this wasn't something that was immediately available at my local grocery stores. However, with each passing weekend since hearing about it, I continued to check, and eventually came across a few jars remaining on the shelf. What was interesting was that the only size available was the "small" size. Oh well, no big deal, and better than nothing.

Swirling out a knife full, the texture is creamy, but also smooth, a common characteristic among Jif products. Smell wise, it definitely has a chocolate scent. It spreads easily across bread, and because it's thick, holds its own as an evenly distributed layer.

Flavor wise, it's good, but tastes more like Nutella than anything. Though I would occasionally get a district taste of peanut butter or chocolate, I didn't get an actual combined taste of the two. Because of this, I don't see how people can be professing that this tastes like a Reese's peanut butter cup. I don't get that flavor profile at all. I think that this would ultimately taste better on a graham cracker than on bread. I think it would benefit more from a sweeter compliment than yeast. It may even be a beast as a s'more, which I may have to try.

Would I buy this product again? While I wouldn't give an absolute, "no", I will say that as it is I don't tend to buy Nutella in any sort of frequency. I couldn't even tell you the last time I did. However, if the mood struck, and coincided with the opportunity, sure, I would pick it up again.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Retro Spins: Go-Go's - Vacation


As far as I'm concerned, this album could have been two minutes and fifty-nine seconds, starting and ending with Vacation. I've never been a big fan of the Go-Go's, and that definitely hasn't changed with their 1982 album, also entitled Vacation. 

A lot of people associate the band with punk, but honestly I don't hear it. In fact, I don't know what I hear. It's not new wave. It's not rock. It's not punk. It's just...Annoying. Their songs aren't good. I'm sorry, but they're just not.

I made it to about song seven of this album before I just couldn't take it anymore. It was torture on my ears to have to sit through it. I'm officially tapping out of the Go-Go's as of this Retro Spin. I just can't take them anymore.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

Awesome Con 2024 - Part 5: Mark Bagley (Part 2), And Keith Williams

My adventure with Mark Bagley continued into a slew of signatures on his Amazing Spider-Man run. As I mentioned in my last Bagley post, with all of these below, there are only thirty-four issues left which I "need" his signature on. Of course, when you throw in annuals, and other work, there's more...so much more... I'll keep chiseling away at it (hopefully).

Mark Bagley after signing my convention book - 
He actually signed on the back side

Alright, let's dig in.

I started with issues 351 through 358, as well as 363, 373, and 374. These were a priority because these "older" issues in his run were ones I have fond memories of from when I was a teenager.

Key issue!

Key issue!

I love this cover for The Amazing Spider-Man 374!

After checking off those books, I had to get a bit selective as to what I wanted. Again, it all came down to space. I couldn't feasibly carry them all with me. Because of this, I opted to focus on key books throughout his run (which I hadn't gotten signed already).

Issue 394 is a flip book, and I asked if he would sign both sides.

Same for issue 397.

Though the series ran through issue 441 (initially), issue 416 was Bagley's last. It's not a key, per se, but it is to me for being his final (in the original volume).

Could I have hopped on the metro, grabbed a ticket for Sunday, and cleaned up on my Bagley signatures. Yeah, I could have. But, it just doesn't feel like it would be as special if I just dropped the whole pile on his table, and said, "Get to signing....please and thank you" I'd like each batch to be meaningful, picking them in priority order, and eventually (if the opportunity allows), get to the finish line. Plus, there's just something exciting about the thrill of going to a future convention he could be at. It keeps the process fun, and not done and forgotten.

Mark Bagley: $10.00 per signature / free if personalized

Once I had all my signatures from Mark Bagley, which included a few more issues we'll go into below, I made my way to Keith Williams.

Keith Williams after signing and
remarking The Official Marvel Try-Out Book

Okay, story time.

It's widely known that Mark Bagley got his start at Marvel Comics after submitting a copy of The Official Marvel Comics Try-Out Book. I brought this along with me to get Mr. Bagley's signature on it, which he did indeed do, and drew a little spider logo.

I also brought with me What If (volume 2) issue four, which is a story based on the symbiote, and coincidentally, was worked on my both Bagley and Williams. Once I got Bagley's signature on the issue, I made my way to Mr. Williams table to get his autograph.

Signed by Mark Bagley and
Keith Williams at Awesome Con 2024

Because of the size of the Try-Out book, it wasn't something I could put in my backpack. Instead, it spent the entire convention tucked under my arm, being put down on the various tables I stopped at. It was at Mr. William's table that when he saw it, he lit up, beaming with a smile. He asked, "Is that the Marvel Try-Out book?" To which I said, "Yes. I brought it with me to get signed by Mark Bagley, because that's how he got hired at Marvel." Mr. Williams said, "Me too!"

Wait, hold the phone! Keith Williams also got hired at Marvel after submitting his own copy? Sure enough, that is the case. Turns out, his wife didn't even know, and she too wanted a photo of him holding the book.

Also signed by Mark Bagley at
Awesome Con 2024, as well as  Al Milgrom
at Baltimore Comic Con 2023

Sweet remarks from both Williams and Bagley

My initial goal was to get this signed by Al Milgrom (check), Jim Shooter, and John Romita (sadly passed away in 2023), as the three creators behind the book, as well as Mark Bagley (also check) based on his history with it. However, after hearing Keith Williams' story, it makes me want to research just who got hired at Marvel based on this publication. More signatures may "need" to follow.
Marvel did print an official list of winners for the contest, and while Williams isn't on it, the announcement also says that people can and should continue to use the book in soliciting the company for opportunities, and even printed the address to send a payment directly to them to get a copy of the book. So basically, it's anyone's guess as to just who got hired at the company based on this book. I guess I'm going to have to ask when I meet people, which means I am going to have to have this behemoth in tow with me when I go to conventions.

Keith Williams: $5.00 per signature / $5.00 per remark

Another book which I got multiple signatures on was Spider-Man 26. This one got signed by Mark Bagley, Keith Williams, Klaus Janson, and Joe Rubinstein throughout the day.
While signing, Mark told a story about how at the time Spider-Man books were selling a million copies per issue, and as a result, the royalties being paid out were ridiculously high. As such, he was baffled when Ron Frenz, who was initially hired to do the pencils for the book, stepped away after completing just four pages to chase after a girl. Bagley happily finished the issue on his behalf.

Signed by Renee Witterstatter
at Big Lick NOVA 2024

Despite having a list of books I was interested in (possibly) buying, none of the dealers I went to had any of them. They either didn't at all, or sold them earlier in the day, or the day before. In short, shopping was not lucrative.

I did, however, pick up the Bagley cover of Ultimate Spider-Man (2024). This series is red hot right now, with multiple prints of issue number one selling out just as quickly as they hit store shelves. As of this writing, they're up to five published printings, with a sixth on the way, hitting shelves June 12, 2024.

Naturally, I made my way all the way back to Mark's table to get my copy signed. This was actually the very last thing I did before leaving the show.

I'm glad he said how ugly the cover was, because I was certainly thinking it. The artwork, especially for his history on the character, is awful. All the female characters could easily pass as men, and in general, it's just really bad work. Still, I hear the story is amazing, so I'm looking forward to checking it out.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.