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Awesome Antique Store Finds

I'm seriously considering renting out a space in my favorite chain of Antique Malls just to have a place to lounge in day in and day out. Is there any otherbusiness so filled with wonder and nostalgia? I submit that there is not! In the meantime I'll have to settle for the occasional 3 hour visit. Here's some of the awesome items I found recently while wandering those retro laden halls.

Andre The Giant Clip-On, 1985

If you were a pro wrestling fan in the 80's, nobody was bigger than Andre The Giant, literally. Hulk Hogan was the poster child for the World Wrestling Federation, but Andre was the show stopper. The massive Frenchman has inspired all sorts of merchandise from Thumb Wrestlers to those OBEY stickers and graffitti art. That being said I still can't justify the existence of this peculiar fashion accessory.

Yes, this is a clip-on figurine of an 8 foot giant in a speedo that was meant to be attached to your favorite polo shirt if I am interpreting the example photo correctly. Notice how the kid can't even make eye contact with the cameraman? He is in fact modeling the shame that any child would feel wearing this thing to school. I applaud the manufacturers for their honesty in marketing, but I have a feeling that the WWF had to give some serious consideration to firing their licensing executive over this one.

Ninja Rogue, 1997

There were no comic book characters more recognized in the 90's than the X-Men and as a result there was a never ending stream of action figures by Toy Biz. But by the end of the decade they had run out of justifiable story based variant toy ideas and just started mashing up the X-Men with Monsters, Robots and yes, Ninjas. This figure is a perfect example of their desperation. I give you, Ninja Rogue. 

Now if this was a new Marvel super hero called "Rogue Ninja", I would have been all over it as a teenager, but instead we have the sassy, southern mutant dressed up like a reject from Mortal Kombat. Totally out of character and with no context for her new martial arts prowess, I literally busted out laughing when I saw this one on the shelf. Keep in mind that this figure also stands 10" tall, another attempt at getting attention in toy aisles by taking up more space, that just never made sense to me. An all around oddity so indicative of the EXTREME decade I couldn't pass it by.

Spy Tech Reese's Camera, 1992

Where the previous entry made me scoff, this one had me giddy with excitement. SPY TECH, baby! I had totally forgotten this line of covert surveillance gear for kids from TYCO, but the logo on the box instantly took me back. I actually owned one of their smaller sets that came with reflective rear-vision sunglasses, but this device had to be their finest hour. Tell me you wouldn't have saved up a month's allowance to add it to your collection.

What better way to gather photographic evidence of wrongdoing (or blackmail fodder) than carrying around a package of Reese's Peanut Butter cups that is actually a camera! Truth be told, if caught by your photo subject you would have to concoct a quick story about the importance of smelling your candy to ensure freshness and the bright orange packaging can't really be called covert, but otherwise this thing was pure win.

Ugh, so many Trolls! A new movie hit theaters recently and is sure to kick up nostalgia for the originals, but I don't think anybody is missing the glut of imitation brand Troll dolls found in every retail space from 1987-1995. Did you ever own any of these knock-offs?

Here we have 2 dueling skateboard themed Trolls with names like Frolickin Trollickin Happy Skateboarder and Troller Boys (which is actually pretty clever), right next to a Magic Trolls Babies doll that came with a charm bracelet. Each is there own brand of crazy, with the wild plume of colorful hair the only common requirement needed to be called a Troll. By that logic, Yahoo Serious from Young Einstein or Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld could have justified their own brand of Troll toys.

Special mention needs to go to this Stone Protectors action figure. You might recall Stone Protectors as the very Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles inspired toy line that gave Trolls a tough guy edge, which was weird phenomenon we all seemed to accept at the time. What I didn't know is that the line lasted into spin-off series like this Sports Heroes version with a Hockey theme. Something tells me that this toy sat on the bench in K-Mart clearance aisles immediately upon release, but I am so happy it exists.


Now this glorious golden box of adventure made my jaw drop, an original Batman Batcave playset by Toy Biz from 1989. No film was more merchandised that summer (click here for my look back at Bat-Mania) and this toy line was the focal point for my 7 year old self. This was an item I never dreamed of owning (and to keep my wife from killing me, still don't), but had I opened it up on Christmas morning 1989, it probably would have changed the trajectory of my life.

Looking at the box now, there are some elements that contradict the lofty statement that, "Eleven exciting play features capture the authenticity of the Batcave featured in the movie." Turning to the back of the box for help, we see that a mere 6 features are highlighted, one of which is a "Carry Handle". You remember the big part Batman's lead pipe exhaust system played throughout the film, right? 

Also, if the box art is to believed, Tim Burton did some major re-shoots of the film's climax, unless we missed Batman's final showdown with The Joker in the Batcave. And you thought people got mad when Alfred let Vicki Vale into Bruce Wayne's secret lair? Imagine how much flack he'd have gotten for giving Jack Napier all access.

The point at which I realized that the Toy Biz people had no integrity, but a fantastic sense of humor was this glorious image and accompanying text, "Bottomless Pit: Right off the movie set, Batman uses his exercise bar to keep in shape." If you are not currently busting a gut, we can't be friends. Toy Biz is claiming that Batman does pull-ups over an endless abyss to stay in shape sometime during the film's run time and we just missed it. Let's not forget that the word "authenticity" was part of their pitch just 6 inches above this complete lie and I love them for it.

As a bonus, allow me to include this Batman 1989 TV tray, a relic of days gone by when eating in front of the TV was a celebrated event. Saturday mornings would have been something special indeed watching an episode of Batman The Animated Series while munching on a bowl Ralston brand Bat-Cereal being held aloft by this beauty. (NLogan, can you spare a cup of Bat--Chow?)

So how many of these items did you come across in your youth? Still hanging on to one or two of these?

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Rick Ace Rhodes Posted on Jan 23, 2017 at 06:47 AM

Seeing that Andre The Giant figure wants me to have my childhood collection of wrestling figures back.

jkatz Posted on Jan 22, 2017 at 04:09 AM

I still think of antiques as "Great-Grandma Ethel's music box". Seeing stuff from 89 being considered antiques bothers me, but I can totally get why lol.

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