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Flea Market Bootlegs, take 1

15 August 2003 by Gnoll One Comment

This weekend, the girlfriend and I decided to go all sorts of domestic and headed out to the Lakewood Antique mart in South Atlanta. We spent four hours looking at old furniture that people wanted too much money for, rotting magazine cutouts that people wanted too much money for, rusted metal lunchboxes that people wanted too much money for, and Muppets Burger King glasses that people wanted too much money for. After poking around for a while, I managed to pick up a Christmas gift for me mum, as well as a few assorted loose toys and other knicknacks for myself.

But that’s not the interesting part of the day. You see, we decided to take an alternate route back to the highway, and as we reached an intersection, we spotted a sign that we couldn’t refuse: FLEA MARKET USA #1. Turns out this was quite a find.

First off, I *really* wish I’d had my camera with me. It’s not often you see an entire row of signs that say “Gold Teeth, Ready in one hour.” But after wandering around for a bit, we found a Chinese-run dollar store that had rows and rows full of boxes of junk. So I poked around a bit, and next thing I know, there’s an entire wall of these:

Now, seeing this one figure isn’t all that impressive. Yes, it is pretty amusing that it says “BATMAN” in big bold letters and yet is clearly a Spider-Man figure. The strange Bat/Spider hybrid creature that appears right above Spidey’s shoulder is also nice. But you have to understand the kicker: This figure is about eleven inches tall (the package is about fourteen inches), and there was an entire wall of them. And if you look closely in the bottom right hand corner, you’ll find the funniest thing about it:

WHO MISSPELLS THEIR OWN COUNTRY?

Anyway, looking further, I found BatSpidey’s younger brother:

Super Change! As you can see, Batman is clearly in Spidey’s company again. This time, they’re also flanked by a Power Ranger and Superman, or someone remotely related to him at least. That appears to be a “Z” on his chest. This figure is a smaller version of the one on the left, both of which have tiny jewel-type things embedded below their Spider-symbol on their chests that light up when a button on the back is pressed. For no good reason, mind you. And there’s a tiny web included as well. But Super-Change is probably the least interesting find from the trip.

Indeed far less interesting than the next find:

Yes, you read that right. It’s a Spider-Man Telephone. Now, unlike the other figures, this is one whose existence was already well-known by yours truly. Wizard Press magazine ToyFare runs a “Knockoff of the month” feature, and recently the Spidey phone earned this award. And it’s truly a find. Apparently, you can put batteries in it (size is not indicated, but they appear to hold AA’s) but the battery cover was a pain so I gave up on it. I’m guessing maybe the phone makes sounds when you press buttons once the batteries are installed, but the box tells nothing of this. It does, however, tell you this:

Okay, if my camera came out too blurry, then I’ll translate the Engrish for you here: That middle field does indeed say “Nighttime a bankable actor Electric torch use.” Now, I’m not sure what that means, but it was easily worth the price I paid for the item. But yes, sure enough, when you look at the figure itself from the top, you can see the bizarre light thingy in its full glory:

So while Spider-Phone is worth hours of entertainment value, it wasn’t over at that point. Next thing I found were these two absolutely weird items:

Yes, those are your generic toy revolvers complete with rubber bullets, handcuffs, and a tiny whistle. Now, while they would normally be pretty uninteresting items, they caught my eye because of the fact that they have the Batman and Spider-Man logos on board. But looking closer, there’s more to it than that: These are actual cards from Toy Biz and Hasbro action figures reproduced on cheap cardboard and slapped with these toy guns! Check out the card backs:



I’m guessing they just figured nobody would notice. Of course, just when I thought I could find no more, I find the best one yet: HERO HOUSEHOLD!

Yes, Hero Household is apparently just a family of Spider-Men with different paint schemes. Of course, the package would indicate that there’s more in the assortment, including Batman, some Power Rangers guys, and, uh, I think that’s a BeetleBorg, but I’m no expert on the subject. But just imagine what life is like in the Hero Household! Domestic disputes are probably resolved a lot differently than they are in your home. I’m thinking of pitching “Hero Household” as a pilot for a sitcom on a major network. I think it would be a hit right out of the gate.

So here is the entire collection of Spidey (and Bat) stuff I managed to scrounge up:

Now, we figured that this collection would be the end of it, but we weren’t able to escape the flea market of doom without finding perhaps the greatest attempt to knock off a popular entertainment property.

BEHOLD…

STAR WARRIO!!!

What you see here is a fine job of bootlegging Star Wars figures and trying to pass them off as the real thing. I’m assuming these are supposed to be distributed in a Latin American nation, but “Warrio” is no word I ever learned in my many years of Spanish. The cards, as you can see, are all from the short-lived Shadows of the Empire series, and all say they contain the AT-ST driver. As you can plainly see, that’s not who is contained in any of these. Looks like Yoda, R2D2, and Princess Leia to me. But perhaps the key buying point of all this is an image that is likely to haunt me for eons:

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS.

And, well, I don’t really know if I can top that, so I’m going to go ahead and end this now. I will definitely be looking for more Chinese dollar stores in the near future, however, because I’m looking to complete my Hero Household collection.

One Comment »

  • ColdFusion said:

    STAR WARRIO! IMMA GONNA WIN!

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