Sunday, May 17, 2015

Flea Market Finds: Whatever Happened to Dead-Eye Duck?

My Sundays off are mostly spent at the local flea market, a few towns over, twenty minutes or so from home-base. Attending so frequently, well, I don't usually find anything big enough worth sharing here. The vendors rarely change, their wares even less so, but I still go a couple times a month, more out of habit than anything else. This weekend, I was able to deviate from my normal, boring routine, thanks to the semi-annual Rotary Flea Market at the nearby Marshfield Fair Grounds.

This is the first one I've visited in several years; the last one was a particularly rainy Sunday, with few sellers and fewer attendees, and it kinda' soiled me on revisiting. Until today, where I spent a fair amount more than I was expecting to, but also walked away with quite a lot more goodies than I could have anticipated. We're gonna take a look at what exactly I scored, broken down by vendor.

The very first table to grab my attention, maybe five minutes in, was mostly knick-knacks and worn dinnerware, but stacked up on the far end were several board-games and puzzles. That pile happened to include three of the four G.I.Joe Mural Puzzles from 1987. The woman selling them said that she couldn't guarantee that they had all pieces accounted for, a detail I told her didn't matter, especially when she asked for two-bucks a pop. I was tempted to grab all three, but decided to settle on getting just one, because I'd only just arrived a few minutes before. No need to piss away what little cash I brought along on my first find of the day.

Of course, I picked the puzzle that happens to include one of my all-time favorite Cobra agents, Croc Master.

Table two was located directly across from the first, and I almost passed it by. It appeared to be just another seller with tchotchkes to spare, but sitting at the end of the booth, nearly tucked away under a table, was a storage bin full of loose action figures and vehicles. What you see above is the small selection that I secured for a mere seven dollars. A couple of them, Casey Jones and Walkabout [both from the original run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles], are duplicates for me, but I couldn't pass them up for so cheap. Likewise, I wasn't super-interested in the generic Kung-fu master in the yellow gi, not until the seller named his price. Turns out that Mr. Karate Man is actually from an old Remco line called Secret of the Ninja. You may see more of him in a little bit. 

Snout-Spout, alias Hose-Nose, is obviously from the tail-end of the Masters of the Universe line, and he's actually a figure I was sorta' hoping to find today. I don't actively collect vintage MotU toys, but he's one of the few that I had to have. Another childhood favorite once more in my possession.

That just leaves Guile from the Street Fighter sub-set of G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero circa the early '90s. Sonic boom.

And here's the mini-haul, the bulk of what I purchased today, all snagged from a single seller. His booth was the most enticing at the show, with a complete set-up of vintage Star Wars and Space: 1999 toys to draw in collectors. I discovered that he also runs a comic and toy shop in the same town the flea market took place, and given the deals he cut me, I'll be stopping in sooner rather than later.

I wanna take a better look at this odd-ball menagerie, so bare with me as I discuss homicidal sheep and four-armed ducks in closer detail.

Power X-Treme!

I was a huge fan of The Centurions animated series back in the day, but was never able to score any of the accompanying toy-line. They were a little too expensive compared to smaller scaled contemporaries like GoBots or M.U.S.C.L.E, and I was content to collect cheaper stuff in bulk. Today, for a single dollar, I was finally able to add Jake Rockwell, the team's Land Operations Specialist, to my collection. I doubt that I'll ever be able to find any of his module armor for cheap, but I'm happy to settle for this guy sitting on a shelf as is.

I wasn't sure what this pair of Greaser-esque dinos actually were; I was, however, entirely enthralled at the mere sight of them. Completely ridiculous with their mohawks and sunglasses, looking like the cast of ABC's Dinosaurs recreating Happy Days, I couldn't leave them behind. A little bit of research revealed their identities, Crank and Tarr from the B.C Bikers line, originally released by Ace Novelty in 1993. I thought maybe figuring out who they were would jog my memory, but somehow this series managed to evade me during my pre-teen collecting years.

This guy I recognized immediately, but really, who could forget the true face of evil?

The Overlord was the main antagonist on the old Blackstar cartoon, Filmation's precursor to He-Man and The Masters of the Universe from the very early '80s. Again, here's a toy-line that I didn't collect as a kid, but have a total appreciation for these days. He'll look good hanging out with Skeletor, Mumm-Ra and the rest of his bad-guy brethren.

It's no coincidence that I keep mentioning Masters of the Universe and here we have one of Remco's many knock-offs of Mattel's blockbuster brand, Arak, Son of Thunder. He was part of a collection called The Lost World of Warlord, which featured several characters from DC Comics' Bronze Age fantasy titles line-up. I've somehow owned the first sixteen issues of Arak's self-titled series the last few years and have yet to read them. It looks like that is about to change, though.

Or, well, maybe not.

I told you before that we hadn't seen the last of Remco's Secret of the Ninja. Here's another master of ninjitsu, this one garbed in black, that I probably would have passed on if he hadn't been so damn inexpensive. There's, uh, not really a lot more to say about him outside of his cheapness. Cheap, I think, perfectly encapsulates Remco's toys as a whole, and especially this unnamed ninja warrior.

Oh yeah. 

Playmates Toys claim to fame may have been TMNT, but they produced a slew of equally bizarre and brilliant toy-lines during the same period as Ninja Turtles original run. Barnyard Commandos hasn't stood the test of time as well as their mutant peers, but it's a series that I was absolutely obsessed with for a brief time. I had a complete set of Series 1 figures, as well as a couple vehicles, but they quickly fell out of favor when I got more into comic books and video games. I remember selling them off at a family yard-sale, an act of betrayal that I wouldn't regret until a few years ago.

It's not a series that I've set out to reclaim, but when I saw a complete Woolly Pullover, the R.A.M.S resident would-be Rambo, there was no going back. He's easily one of my favorite finds from today.

Hooves down.

The number one position actually goes to this guy, Dead-Eye Duck, gunner extraordinaire and ship-mate to Captain Bucky O'Hare. Another series that owes its existence to TMNT, the Bucky O'Hare line was based on a small-press, black-and-white comic book created by the legendary Larry Hama and artist Mike Golden. It's also another staple toy-line from my youth, one I've slowly been rebuilding in secret the last couple years.

Like Snout-Spout, Dead-Eye was one of the action figures I was hoping to find while rifling through the cheap bins. He cost me a dollar, but I gladly would have paid twice that to take him home.

Moving into new territory, we're now looking at my finds from the last table I hit before calling it a day. The seller didn't have much, a half-box of .50-cent comics and some odd, loose collectibles. The two pieces that I had to have were a vintage G.I.Joe thermos, featuring the Class of '85 [which includes fan-favorites like Shipwreck, Quick-Kick and "Commando" Snake-Eyes], and an absolutely incredible Darkwing Duck night-light. The two packs of Dinosaurs Attack! trading cards were added to the mix to sweeten the deal, even though I already own a complete set.

I also grabbed an issue of Weird War Tales, because I can't resist The Creature Commandos facing off against Hitler. I like to imagine a retroactive continuity where The Commandos end the war after tearing Adolf limb-from-limb, and I'm hoping this comic somehow knows that.

Oh, right, the A-Team Action Activity Book. Yeah, despite being a huge fan of the TV series as a kid, I'm not particularly nostalgic for B.A and the gang. The guy only wanted a half-dollar for it, since I'd already bought the other items, so I handed him a couple quarters and wished him a good day of selling.

And the night-light works, which is probably the greatest thing ever.