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A (solo) Birthday Trip and Haul

Getting older is a mixed thing. On one hand, I feel "old" and "older every year." On the other hand, I gotta count my blessings–especially that I still have both my parents, even at MY "old age" and grateful for THEIR continuing-to-increase old age.

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Without getting too deep into the "weeds" on stuff, I took a day off work and set out for some "distraction" to keep busy and not let myself "think" too much ABOUT another solo birthday and all that.

So I set off for Columbus, OH for the day. My plan was more or less a "mini version" of my "HPB Quest" from September 2019 where rather than trying to hit ALL of the HPBs I was aware of, I figured maybe I’d shoot for 3 and a comic shop or 2-3, a comic shop, and a couple Walmarts for some "toyhunting" or such.

BUT I’d also been thinking about trying to hit IKEA while I was down that way to hopefully score 2-3 Detolf display cases.

THEN I totally forgot to even plot out a route/note addresses and such, so I ultimately wound up picking the northernmost HPB and setting GPS for that one, planning to figure out the rest once I got there.

On the way, I actually had to go past Ikea Way, so plans changed a bit on the fly.


I went to the Half-Price Books and ended up scoring a few comics. More expensive than I wanted, but better pricing than I feel the HPBs in northeastern Ohio have.

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Found a handful of Uncanny X-Men 500s issues that the list I have in my phone indicated I was still missing. (although several seem really darned familiar so hopefully it’s just that I’ve seen them in the past and/or passed on them in the past due to price!

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And I could not pass up the Amazing Adventures issues.


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I decided to duck into the Walmart in the same plaza, and happened across a Raw10 figure I hadn’t even known would be out! "Hoof."

They also had some red "chase variant" of the character, but this thing’s too large for me to be bothering with odd-colored variants, "chase" or otherwise.


Since I was already really close to IKEA, I decided to go there next. And realized that it wasn’t as big as I’d imagined…yet soon found out it was more labyrinthine than I had.

And long story short, ultimately despite several COLORS existing, they only had ONE single Detolf letf in stock that I was able to buy…and I’d pretty much decided I was going to get at least 2, maybe 3, prior to discovering that last, lonely, single unit that remained. I couldn’t very well pass on it after so much time and such, so got it…but "only one" necessitates a return visit some other time…hopefully with "pre-ordering" a couple units ahead of time!

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So I’ve got my one…not sure if it’s gonna get put together today or not, but at least as of this typing, it’s still in its 2-box packaging to await assembly.


By this point I was a bit discouraged and decided I didn’t "have the heart" to run around to a bunch of HPBs. I remembered that a friend had recently posted about Big Fun Columbus where she’d gone with her kids, so I decided that I’d try that instead.

After a bit of an adventure trying to find and figure out parking (what ever happened to classic, MECHANICAL simple parking meters???) I was able to park and get into the store.

Where I found what I’ve been missing for close to 4 years since the Cleveland Big Fun closed in February 2018!

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One key purchase was this Cyber Samurai Mike. These came out "after my time" collecting the TMNT figures as a kid (though I have fond memories of the Archie comics 5-parter featuring these!) While a bit pricier than I’d prefer, the novelty of one of these now in my collection is well worth it…all the more when stacked against the novelty of a mere 6-10 new comics these days.

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I was going to get the Raph one but it was more expensive…AND had a tag on it that it was "incomplete." This one had no such note, and was $10 cheaper so I opted for this one. I don’t know that the other was missing much of note, but I do really dig this one! And bonus: it came with this "clip and collect" profile card! (already clipped and collected).

birtthdayhaul_marvel_legends_shikah_to_get_jeffWhen I’d first walked in, I found several "cheapo" loose figures that I was going to buy–some old Toy Biz X-related characters (I think I had a Gladiator and Weapon X at least). But I eventually decided to put those back, in favor of some other finds.

While looking (only intending TO LOOK) at the loose Marvel Legends figures, I noticed a little figure that really caught my eye. Did a double-tacke: nahhhh….couldn’t be! When the heck would they have made a Jeff the Land Shark figure?!?

But given the way they had the thing standing between another figure’s feet, I figured they probably came together, but asked anyway.

Sure enough, Jeff was not a "solo figure," and was part of a "package deal" including the character he was with.

Now, I’d had a price in mind, that I was willing to pay just for the little guy.

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And all the more as I had absolutely no clue who the character was that he came WITH, I was thrilled that the PAIR were a mere $10! (Which was cheaper than what I was prepared to pay for JUST Jeff!) Some post-trip internet sleuthing (aka "Googling") tells me the character is Shiklah, and was released in a wave of Marvel Legends back in 2020 or so. I remember seeing that wave in stores…I’m sure I even SAW this one, including Jeff! But that was BEFORE I was consciously aware OF Jeff or had any interest at all in the character.

The figure came with a small wire "doll stand," which also added value for me…even discarding Shiklah, that leaves me a figure stand and Jeff for less than what I would gladly have paid just for Jeff!

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There was an old card catalogue unit that–rather than cards–had a bunch of small figures and accessories. I spotted one drawer labeled "minimates" and decided to peek. Spotted what had to be–and indeed turned out to BE–Steel. Not a horrible price….but BONUS! That price INCLUDED a Cyborg Superman! So…not a bad purchase at all! And I added the bag to my basket.

birtthdayhaul_vintage_ish_aprilWhile still having the Cyber Samurai turtle on the brain, I found a bin of classic loose figures for $5/each. Not bad, but they were mostly early non-turtles figures that I already had…mostly from my own ORIGINAL childhood collection.

I did find a variant April O’Neil that I don’t think I had, so I grabbed that.

I also found two Triceratons and was all set to grab those, too, as army-builders…but then noticed they had no tail.

That explained the $5, I guess. And not caring to bother with online prices and hassles for "replacement" tails, I opted to pass on those.

The lack of "finds" here solidified my intent to get the Cyber Samurai Turtle, so this was when I decided to put back the other bagged/loose figures.

I was also going to get a Batman Beyond/Batman 2-pack but cool as it was, I only really wanted the Batman Beyond and otherwise find myself–overall–so sick and tired of BATMAN at this point with the dozen or so (seemingly!) Batman comics out every single week that it was not hard to talk myself out of getting it.

I’d also spotted some figurines that appealed to me…and while they ratcheted me way above what I wanted to spend for the day, I knew I’d be kicking myself if I "passed" on them.

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Rogue, and Gambit. Especially with both figurines being present, and these being older units…I figured it was not likely I’d come across them again, so might as well suck it up and buy ’em while I could.

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While I was willing to pay what I did for them–about 4-5 comics’ price each–there was an unexpected bonus!

They had the "books" that the figures came with! They were filed away, so I had a few minutes to continue looking around while the store employee went to pull those. Since I was willing to pay for just the figurines themselves (knowing that as "originals" they’d have come with the books) I was not about to turn down the books….and I really like these, too!

While I had those few extra minutes looking around…I found some old Wolverine and Wolverine and the X-Men figures from back in 2008 or so, when the first X-Men: Origins movie hit, and that animated series. I still have a bunch of those figures–loose–somewhere but I need to dig them out.

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Considering Marvel‘s (Hasbro‘s) 3.75" figures are about $10…seeing this 12-13-year-old figure still in packaging for $5, I decided I might as well snag it as well as part of my purchase, if only because I like the yellow on this a bit better than my (memory) of a 3.75" Wolverine I already have from around this time.

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So all in all….an expensive, frivolous, but fairly satisfying "haul" for my own birthday.


And between the drive to and from Columbus, between stores, and time IN stores…it was definitely a full day’s trip, which kept me busy/occupied and distracted for the day.

Not exactly what I’d had in mind or intended going into the day…but can’t really complain much with the outcome.

Especially as the haul rivals that of any convention, minus the admission cost and other convention frustrations.

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Winston World and the Weekend Haul: Weekend of March 17-19

winston_world_weekend_haul_blogtrailer1While this weekend was Wizard World in Cleveland, I never had any intention of attending that. I’d attended a Wizard World convention in Columbus a few years back, and decided that it’s not a convention "brand" I care to deal with (long story’s another post someday; short story is that it’s too expensive for too little comic-content, and it seems unlikely that the brand can possibly ever get back to the Chicago edition of the con I attended in 2007).

Fortunately, Carol & John’s opted to hold a sale for those #NotAtComicCon: Winston World!

Along with that, Half-Price Books had a week of coupons beginning last Monday, with two days of 20% off your most expensive item; two days of 30%; two days of 40%, and culminating in the final day’s 50% off your most expensive item. While 20% didn’t mean much to me, I jumped in, taking advantage at the 30% and snagged a few things, as I showed off in last week’s Weekly Haul post for Wednesday and Thursday.

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My primary interest in the Winston World stuff was the 75%-off graphic novel bins. There’d been several books I’d had my eye on that weren’t quite justifiable to me even at 50% off (and/or just didn’t have room in the "budget" weeks I was there) that would certainly be more than worthwhile at 75% off!

While one of the main books I was interested in was no longer there, I did find the three above that I couldn’t quite talk myself into passing up for the price. (Namely, each was cheaper than 3 current Marvel single issues!)

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The Ultimate Comics: Divided We Fall, United We Stand was still there, so I snagged it. Then I started poking through back issues, and snagged the Peter David Supergirl #1, which puts me one issue closer to a complete run on that.

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The 50% off back issues brought the cost of these issues to around or under half the cost of a current DC issue, so I snagged the three Superman Specials and the actual Superman issue that had Superman meeting Destiny for the first time (and reprinted in the DC Retroactive – Superman: The ’80s).

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I also picked up several Batman issues post-Death in the Family/pre-Lonely Place of Dying that I’m missing (or pretty certain I’m missing). A bit more expensive than I’d’ve preferred, but they’re issues I don’t tend to see in quarter-bins, and for 50% off, it brought them into the price-realm of "no worse than buying a current comic." And kept me well under $10 an issue!

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For convenience’s sake, snagged most of the The Day of the Krypton Man arc, likely to join with Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite as nostalgia reading in the near future. Unfortunately, they did not have the second Adventures of Superman issue (Chapter V) but I was pretty sure I’d be able to snag that without much problem later.

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Along with the Winston World/St. Patrick’s Day edition of the shop’s sticker that was being given away with any purchase, I also opted to buy one of the regular ones. I haven’t decided yet where to actually stick them, but I’ll try to remember to post a photo here or on Facebook once I do!

All in all, I got out for around the cost of 12 current Marvel issues!

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I then ducked into Half-Price Books to use a 40% coupon. Despite the spine damage (which I’m hoping I can at least somewhat repair with some glue) I opted to snag the Five Years Later Omnibus, as I can’t imagine finding a copy anywhere near this price elsewhere/when. This completes my "set" of New 52 "event-Omnibus" volumes (already having the #0 issues volume from 2012’s "event" and the 2013 Villains volume).

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A friend visited over the weekend, and while we were out and about, we stopped in at a vintage toys store in the Cleveland area–Big Fun Toys. Loads of great toys new and old to see, plenty of classic games and books, too. While I have my eye on some figures that were in a display case and thus more expensive…I picked up these four TMNT figures at the excellent price of $3 each or 4/$10! I was going to get three, but on learning of the 4/$10, I went back to the bin and grabbed the Fugitoid figure! I’d had a Fugitoid back in the day, but it disappeared over the years, so this one will (for now) serve as replacement. Genghis Frog, Groundchuck, and Scumbug are new-to-me characters that I’d never owned.

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At HPB again, using the second day’s 40% coupon, I snagged the Dungeons & Dragons boardgame Tyrants of the Underdark. Way above my price range at full price…but far more reasonable at 40% off! Not quite as cool as a couple of the other D&D games, but still a worthy addition to the games shelf!

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Sunday, I drove out to a third HPB location, hoping to snag a hardcover I’d seen some weeks back. Unfortunately, it was no longer there…someone apparently was more determined than me to get it, taking advantage either of opportunity, the week’s coupons, or both.

On my way back, I swung by Comic Heaven and found that Adventures of Superman issue I wanted! Also snagged some card boxes to use for shelf displays, having found them to be excellent, cheap "risers"!

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I stopped back into the closest HPB, determined to go ahead and use the 50% off coupon. I hadn’t seen/"left" anything at the one I bought the D&D game at, so went back into this thinking of getting the Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years that I’d been eyeing. While it would have made for an excellent purchase…I figured it’s a sort of "anthology" volume, I’ve no clue my likelihood of getting other _____: A Celebration of __ Years editions beyond the Superman and Lois Lane ones I already have, and it seemed a shame to use 50%-off on such a low-priced item that’s well worth its marked price.

So, since they still had it, I opted for the "set" of Impulse #s 1-89 plus Annuals 1 & 2.

With the coupon, they became 25-cent books…these 91 comics cost me the same as what SIX current Marvel issues would.

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All in all, a VERY expensive weekend (compared to usual). But, no money out of pocket solely for the privilege of walking around and then giving dealers cash for product. No significant lines, no major miles or gas costs, no lodging, etc. Yet the weekend’s "haul" is certainly on-par with a solid convention’s haul…but without the general hassles OF a convention.

Now I’m really counting on the upcoming "new comics day" being a small one!

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