I have been a toy collector for many years now. I have made a lot of cool purchases, and have acquired some pretty awesome items for my collection. Two weeks ago however, was the craziest week I think I have ever experienced in all of those years of collecting. Lucky… VERY lucky finds, a comic shop buying old personal pop collections, and even a really heart warming story about a fellow collector and complete stranger. That week was one hell of a ride! So let’s break it all down…
First lets get a good idea of everything that came into my possession that week. All of it. All in one group photo:
When I see it all like that, I feel just completely amazed that I not only found all of this great stuff, but also in the same week! Well, to be honest I didn’t find all of it on my own. Lets start with Monday.
Monday, June 14th, 2021
I was at work, doing the usual work stuff when I had gotten a text from my buddy who had decided to take the day off from work. Boy am I glad that he did! He happened to be strolling through a local Walmart in our area, and stumbled across something that I never thought I’d actually see in the wild myself! He snapped a picture and sent it to me, and I almost dropped my phone when I saw it:
Castle fucking Grayskull! These are, and for awhile will be hard to find in stores! They are only just slowly trickling out to Walmart stores, and I had no plans at all in getting one anytime soon. I didn’t think I’d even see one until much later this year! Well of course I had to ask my buddy to help a guy out. We will grab smaller toys for each other at stores when we see them and pay each other back, but this was an almost $80 playset! However he totally came through. I had the money on hand, and he had his hands on the only Castle Walmart had in stock. We met later that afternoon to make the trade off. Let me tell you, I was like a kid on Christmas morning when I saw it in person for the first time. My eyes lit right up!
I went home instantly, and of course I kept the new addition to my collection safe during the travels…
Before you ask, yes I opened this bad boy up, and it was well loved and played with by me and my daughter on Fathers Day later in the week. But we will get to that in a bit 😉
Tuesday, June 15th, 2021
The one thing I like to do nearly every day after work (and get teased by my wife and friends about) is make a trip to my favorite store: Target! It’s always been a good spot to find toys for my collection, and it’s pretty much around the corner from my house. So why not right? Boy was I in for a huge surprise when I walked over to the toy section!
Finding Grayskull the day before was already crazy as it was! In the case of Grayskull though, it will end up at more than just Walmart. But not this one. Nope, this 2 pack is a Target exclusive (jokingly referred to by frustrated collectors as an eBay exclusive… damn scalpers)! The Masters Of The Universe Rise Of Evil 2 Pack! There were 2 on the shelf, so I grabbed them both and ran to another isle (where the above picture was taken) and called my buddy who is also a huge MOTU collector. Of course he needed and wanted this exclusive as bad as I did, so I bought them both, one for me and one for him. That’s just what we collectors do for each other. 🙂
With this addition to my collection, I now have all of the released exclusives for the Origins line so far (the other being the Walmart exclusive MOTU Flocked Panthor)! Now if I find a third Rise Of Evil, that bad boy is getting opened up. 😉
Wednesday, June 16th, 2021
This was the one and only dud of a day for the week. I found absolutely nothing new. Moving on…
Thursday, June 17th, 2021
Those who know me well, know that I have an obsession with WandaVision and any of the Funko Pops they have released for it. It’s still my favorite Marvel Disney+ series so far (though Loki is right behind it), and I am trying very hard to complete the Funko Pop set. After the Walmart exclusive GiD Vision fiasco, I ended up doing the same thing for the Hot Topic exclusive Scarlet Witch: eBay. I broke down and bought her the week prior and she had finally arrived!
I had taken a huge chance on this purchase also. The eBay seller was new, had basically no feedback score, had the buy it now listed at a price that was way below the Pop’s current value, and shipping charges that were much cheaper than most sellers. Sounds too good to be true right? Exactly, and that made me nervous. I am happy to report though she arrived packaged very well, and the Pop was in damn near pristine condition. This for sure was one of the better eBay purchases I had made in a very long time.
Friday, June 18th, 2021
Ah Friday’s. The last day of work for the week, and the excitement of hitting some favorite spots after work to see if I can find anything new for my collection. While it wasn’t the most spectacular day, it did bring a couple more goodies my way!
Buzz Saw Hordak! There is nothing I like more than collecting MOTU figures, AND being able to cancel preorders for the same figure over at BigBadToyStore. Buzz Saw Hordak is the newset in the ‘Deluxe’ line of the new MOTU Origins figures, and now I finally had one of them! Now I just needed a second one to open, and I wasn’t going to have to wait long for that to happen.
After I left Target with Hordak, I popped into GameStop and saw Wall-E sitting there. While I don’t plan on collecting all the pride Pops, I LOVE Wall-E, and had to add him to the collection! It’s my favorite Pixar movie of all time, and he doesn’t get enough love in my opinion.
With these 2 new additions to the collection, I headed home. I was in the mindset that the week was a wrap in terms of collecting, and was ready for a relaxing Father’s Day weekend with my wife and daughter. Little did I know that I would not only have that, but the next day would also be the craziest day of the entire week for toy collecting! Let’s get to Saturday, shall we?
Saturday, June 19th, 2021
There is a bit to unpack for this day, so let’s do this one step at a time.
The day started when I had actually decided to return some toys back to Target. You see, I had purchased some Funko Pops the week before that I had decided I didn’t want after all. Most specifically the Seinfeld Pops I had purchased.
I always liked the show, and the Pops are super cool! However, I like to complete sets, and there are going to be way too many in this set to keep up with! I decided to part ways with them and I took them back to Target.
Now I want to make this point very clear… I did NOT have to return them this day. I was actually going to wait until Father’s Day weekend was over, and do it Monday. For some reason though I felt that today was the day, and I was soon about to discover why.
After making my returns at the Target customer service desk, I of course had to mosey over to toys to see if there was anything new. I had found Hordak here the day before, maybe I would get lucky again?
Battle Armor Skeletor! The only one hanging on the peg, and the only one I needed to now have 2 of him! Also another preorder to cancel at BBTS. I of course snapped him up, and then wondered what might be at the other Target store in town? I was going to just head back home, but at the last minute decided to go across town to the other store. This is where the story get’s even better!
Now it could have been the fact that I was wearing my WandaVision t-shirt, or it was just a lucky day! See, like I said earlier I am a massive WandaVision fan, and I collect more than just the Pops. I collect the action figures as well. So imagine my surprise when I see this guy hanging out in toys at the other Target store!
I love these Kenner Retro inspired releases from Hasbro, and being Vision I had to snap him up!
Ok, so here’s where it gets more interesting. I am standing in the toy isle with Vision in hand, and now I am looking at the Marvel Legends figures. They once again restocked another batch of the newest wave (Disney+) and while Vision was hanging there (I already have him at home), still no Wanda! I have never been able to find her in stores and have basically given up on it. Que the strange customer who dashes in front of me…
I am standing there and this guy runs to where I am at, gets on the floor and starts lifting the shelves up. You know, the very bottom shelves of the isle? He just looks at me knowing I am trying to figure out what the hell he is doing, and he just replies; “I found an $80 toy under one of these and the cashier is giving it to me for $10. I wanna see if there’s anything else hiding”. I didn’t bother asking what toy he had found and didn’t really have the chance anyways, as he then quickly saw the Kenner Vision I had in my hands and said; “Ah Vision? Yeah I thought about grabbing him, but grabbed Wanda instead”. Wait what?!? What Wanda? Yup, he snagged a Marvel Legends Scarlet Witch. The one I can’t find anywhere, and I had missed grabbing her by a couple minutes. My heart kinda sank a little, but I was happy for this guy. I simply said; “Nice! I have been looking for her everywhere, glad you found her though”. He looked at my WandaVision shirt, then at me and said; “You know what? Follow me”.
I don’t normally follow strangers around a store, but I had to see where he was going with this lol. So follow him I did. We ended up at the electronics counter, where his wife was waiting for him to make their purchases. And right there on the counter was Wanda. He grabs ahold of the toy, looks at me and asks; “Are you a dad?”. “Why yes I am”; I replied. “Here, Happy Fathers Day”; as he hands me Wanda.
I am not going to lie, I had a couple visible tears coming up lol. I asked him 3 or 4 times if he was sure, and he said yes over and over. He wanted to help a fellow fan and knew how important the figure was to me. Well I shook his hand (which still feels weird in this crazy post pandemic world), said thanks again to him and his wife, and bolted to the front to buy my toys and get the heck outta there! I didn’t want him to change his mind, though I doubt he would have. This was truly the nicest moment I have had encountering a fellow collector in the wild. THIS is why I love hunting in the wild over buying online. Interactions with other fans and collectors. Makes it so much more worth it!
At this point, I figured I may as well pick up my comics from the local comic shop since I was so close by. I never look at toys too much while there though they do have some. Sometimes even some cool Pops. So I get there and start to wander around. As I am looking around I start to notice that not only have they gotten some new Pops since I was last there, they are older pops. As in Vaulted! Apparently the store had bought someone’s collection from them.
First I see a couple Iron Man pops, and texted my buddy who quickly came to meet me there and snag them up. Iron Man is his all time favorite Marvel character. Then as I wandered more, I saw not 1 but 2 different Vision Pops! I grabbed them and was about to check out and leave, till I saw a familiar face looking at me from behind the counter! It was Wanda! She was behind the counter as she was a little pricey but no matter! I had to have her too!
Whew! At this point it was time to head home. This had been the biggest day ever for toy collecting for me, and it certainly left me with some cool stories to tell. It was now time to enjoy the rest of my Father’s Day weekend with my family.
Sunday, June 20th, 2021 (Father’s Day)
I had a great day with my wife and daughter, and after a nice breakfast we went shopping. They wanted to get me a few things for Father’s Day, and after finding a couple cool shirts and a hat… I found another Hordak?!?
Now keep this in mind: this was found at the very same Target I had found Skeletor the day before, and the first Hordak the day before that. Are they putting these out one at a time, one day at a time? Sheesh! No matter, that’s now 2 Hordak Deluxe figures, and yet again ANOTHER BBTS preorder cancellation lol.
As mentioned at the start of this post, Castle Grayskull was the big event for my daughter and I at the end of the night. We opened the box up, assembled it, and had a lot of fun playing with it and the figures!
And this everyone, was my crazy week in toy collecting!
I know this was a longer post than I usually write, but if you read this whole thing, thank you so much! I truly do not expect there to be any more crazy weeks like this for a long while, but who knows? 2021 has been shaping up to be a great year for toy collectors, MOTU fans, and Funko Pops! With more new stuff being released over the coming months, who knows what exciting collecting adventures I may have to look forward to!
Stay safe, be happy, and Game On!