Friday, September 6, 2013

Adding to the Trash Pile: The Goodwill Edition

Don't let the title fool you, kids. I haven't visited any local Goodwills recently [or ever, actually], but I am here to brag about some awesome new additions to The Trash Man's collection. Everything you're about to see is courtesy of the nicest nerd on the internet, The Goodwill Geek. You see, I'm a big fan of Mr. G.W Geek. His blog is what inspired me to finally get off my ass and start "writing" again, which is why we're all here right now. And from Day One, he has been extremely supportive and just an amazing friend to me. Of course, then he manages to be even nicer and more amazing and sends me [completely out of the blue!] a box full of incredible stuff.

The kind of stuff I can't help but wanna brag about. Which is why [again and again] we're all here right now.

This is the delicious sight that was waiting for me when I opened that box for the first time. Absolutely filled to the brims! I was like one of Pavlov's dogs, salivating, slobbering at the mere thought of getting to dig through all these wonderful toys. Sure, every now and then, I take home little trinkets and vintage goodies from my trips to flea markets and thrift shops. Little onesies and twosies that brighten a dark day or get me through a wretched week. A box like this, jam-packed with junk, is a goddamn blessing. Practically heaven sent from the Big Man himself.

I immediately gravitated to this collection of Disney PVCs for purely nostalgic reasons. There were so many days from my childhood, just home from school, where I would flip on WSBK-Channel 38 and bask in the glory of The Disney Afternoon. And this group of mini-figures, mostly cereal premiums from Kelloggs circa '91/'92, covers nearly all my old favorites.

You've got Gadget, Chip and Monterey Jack from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. Max, Pete and P.J all hail from Goof Troop, which didn't start airing until my appreciation for everything Disney had started to wane. I thought that Molly and Wildcat, both from TaleSpin, were also cereal prizes, but they're not. Kit Cloudkicker, piloting that plane, was available in McDonald's Happy Meals, but I'm still not sure where the other two came from.

These two are trouble.

I've avoided collecting any adorable, comic-based minis like Superhero Squad from Marvel or DC's Action League, because I knew it would be too tempting to get them all. I'm not sure why, though, because the Pros certainly outnumber the Cons. They're pretty affordable, they don't take up a lot of space, and I adore the selection of characters from big-league heroes to obscure or forgotten weirdos. Like these two.

Tomar-Re, the fish-headed Green Lantern, has been dead since the first Crisis on Infinite Earths event back in the mid-'80s. That hasn't stopped him from appearing in other media-forms, like cartoons, or being immortalized in plastic.

Zilius Zox is a more recent addition to the DC Universe. He was recruited by Atrocious to join the Red Lantern Corp and has been raging across the galaxy ever since. His assigned space sector is Sector 3544 and that is the absolute most useless fact you will learn today. I can only hope it pushed something useful from your brain, like how to bake a souffle or the capitol city of Oregon or which president Jame. K. Polk was in numeric order.

More mini-figures, but this time of a generic persuasion! I love any plastic, mono-chromatic figures, whether they're a legitimate brand like M.U.S.C.L.E or Monsters in My Pocket, or the cheap, dime-store variety. So, of course, I'm head over heels for this assortment of army men, pirates, space-explorers and Indian warriors. My absolute favorite of the bunch is front and center and just happens to be a skeleton archer of some sort. I don't know if he was part of a play-set or what, but I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more of the same.

I couldn't help but get a huge kick out of finding these guys inside. I've never been the biggest fan of The California Raisins, but I know that the Goodwill Geek is, so I'm thrilled that he shared these with me. It's a great trio, all from the Series 2 Hardee's Collection, and I can't wait 'til post-move, when I can display them with all my other character PVCs on a new shelf. They'll be the coolest dried grapes there.

Originally, I wasn't sure what to expect when I pulled this tin from the box. It had the Robots in Disguise-era Transformers logo on the side, the image of a transformed sports-car and the name Sideswipe on the top. I certainly wasn't expecting the tin to slide open and reveal the non-transformed car inside. I'm not sure why, but I am so very into the idea of this Transformer having his own little tin to store him in. This is the item from "The Goodwill Box" that I've fiddled with and played with most so far. Very cool.

Here's another Transformer, but this one is based on the young adult book series, Animorphs. The books are a little after my time, not something I knew much about outside of the fact that they existed. The same goes for the licensed Transformer toys that were based off 'em. I remember seeing them on store shelves around the same time as the Beast Wars line, but didn't give much thought to either. Up above is Marco, who can transform from a gorilla to a really awful looking half-boy, half-gorilla.

A fun fact concerning Animorphs, however, is my odd, little connection to the television-series that was also based off the books. When I was living in West Hollywood several years back, working at a local chain of video-stores, we used to have a lot of celebrity sightings. I've mentioned my run-in with Quentin Tarantino before, but that was a one-time thing and I never saw him again. One of our weekly regulars, though, was a girl named Brooke Nevin, who I later found out was a main character from the Animorphs program. I sometimes secretly wish that I had been a huge fan of the show growing up, so that I could have totally geek-ed out when she came in all the time. Oh well.

Trading cards! I am a sucker for collectors' cards, especially those based off comic books or other pop-culture properties.  I've never been a big sports fan, so these were a blessing in disguise when I was younger, because it gave me something to trade with the other kids in the neighborhood and on the playground. This is a small stack from the second series of X-Men trading cards, which I only ever had a few of before, so these are going right into an old shoe-box with the rest of my "collection". I'm sure I'll dig them all out in a couple months and stare lovingly at them for hours and hours without interruption. We can pretend that I'm kidding, but I'm really not.

It makes perfect sense that Oscar the Grouch would find his way into my grubby paws and I know that he was included as a nod to my chosen nom de plume. Combined with knowing how much The Goodwill Geek loves his Sesame Street collectibles, this makes him my favorite piece in the whole bunch. Alongside the evil warlord from Dimension X, Krang, I've always seen Oscar as being my totem. He embodies everything that makes me who I am, from my love and hoarding of garbage to my being a complete and total misanthrope. I also sometimes feel like I live in a trashcan.

This isn't even everything that came in the box. It barely scratches the surface, in fact, but these were the definite highlights. I wanted to share them, sure, but I also wanted everyone to get an idea of what a great guy The Goodwill Geek is. Not just his generosity when it comes to giving things, but also just how genuine and nice he is. He's always taken the time to comment here on the blog, and to share links and show support to myself and others in our wonderful, lil' community. It means a lot to me and I owe him far too many thanks.

So, here's the first of many! Thank you for everything; for boxes of goodies and kind words and for giving us one of the most entertaining and fun blogs out there.


  1. What a pal!

    Have to agree, he is a standout fella.

    1. Mos def.

      That's who I sometimes confuse him with. I heard he was gonna play Baxter Stockman in the new TMNT live-action movie. We were talking about Mos Def, right?

  2. Just incredibly cool of Derek to send all of those goodies!

    1. Very generous, for sure.

      And it's so great how awesome everyone in our little "blogging" community is. Just total class-acts all around. I'm very glad to be a part of it.

  3. I'm just really glad there was stuff in there that you enjoyed. I AGONIZED over what to send you and what not to. I just stuck some stuff in there at random, for the weird factor (the Animorphs Transformer was an example of this) while there were some things I did by design (Oscar was very much meant to be a ode to the Trash Man! And the more Raisins I spread across the U.S. the more I believe they may make a come-back some day!)

    I dove deep into my storage bins for stuff I thought might "fit" a package for you. I genuinely hope it was as much fun for you to open as the stuff I received from you was. I'm keeping my eyes peeled now for weird old VHS whenever I'm at Goodwill... so you may see other packages in the future. Time will tell.

    Please keep up the great blogging!

    1. Everything was great, really. Just a fun and amazing mix of stuff. I had an absolute blast digging through the box and taking everything in. My love for mini-figures is pretty common knowledge, sure, but everything else was spot-on, perfect for me to add to my "collection".

      Also, weird but true: I used to try and collect a card, from any series, for every character in the Marvel Universe. Those X-Men sets had such a bizarre array of obscure characters, not entirely unlike the original Toy Biz line of toys [who is Comcast, anyway?], and a couple of the ones you included were for characters I didn't even know -had- trading cards.

      As always, thank you. So many thanks. Possibly millions!

  4. The Goodwill Geek is a very nice guy. Just super nice and beyond cool. Just like you Trash Man! I love the items you shared with us, super fun and super cool. I'm really glad you blog too, your sense of humor in what you write is very nice. I always have a smile on my face when reading your stuff. I hope your weekend is treating you well.

    1. I can't thank you enough for your kind words, Miss M. I do my best to try and keep up with you and the Goodwill Geek and everyone else whose writing I adore. It means a lot to me that you're enjoying the blog.

      Hope you're doing well, too..!

  5. I wasn't sure how else to contact you so, I hope you don't mind this.

    I wanted to say I really enjoyed checking out your blog. It never ceases to amaze me what joy and and nostalgia can be sparked out of seemingly innocuous thrift store finds.
    I wanted to be sure to extend to you an invitation to our website, RetroDaze (retro-daze dot com). We could really use your enthusiasm and skill there, and If you would be willing, contribute. Being that you have your own blog, I encourage the use of links to it in any article you might submit for our members to view and rate.
    But, if you don't feel like submitting an article, there is plenty more to do. You can stop by the forum and say hello, check out our collection of VHS cover images, download some sweet Read-Along Adventures, watch some videos, play an exclusive "retro" text MMORPG, and more.

    I was thinking of adding your site to our Links page if that's cool. And if you choose to do the same, that's great.

    Thanks for your time Trash Man


    1. Wow.

      I certainly, very much so, appreciate the invitation to take part in your site. I've been checking it out the last couple days and it seems like it shares a lot in common with my blog in terms of content: VHS and old action figures, McDonalds and retro video games. It's a great array of topics, for sure.

      However, my blog is only a few months old. I feel like I still need to develop its identity a little more before I branch out; whether that's contributing to other sites/blogs or something else entirely. I am really, truly, honored that you'd ask, though.

      I'd be more than happy to add a link to your site, and I would definitely appreciate it if you did the same. Feel free to contact me again at anytime [my email address is], and I look forward to seeing more from you..!


  6. I know I'm probably a decade or so ahead of you but I was totally into Animorphs! My only regret is that I never finished the series. For whatever reason I stopped in the late 30s and it only ended up going to 55 or so.

  7. Sweet merciful heaven, what a generous gift box! The GWGeek is the man!

    Oh, and by the way, I recently came across more skeletons that include the exact same skeleton bowman mold! They're a nice crimson color and I think they're a tad smaller than your cream-colored one. I found them in a Pirates play set at a Family Dollar. I posted about them here:

    I also came across another set that matches the size and color of the one you have. It was a bit pricier at $7. I spoted it at a Red Balloon.