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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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Beginning of the End: Big Fun February 2nd, 2018

Early in the week–around January 29 or so–Big Fun of Cleveland, Ohio announced it would be closing…with a 50%-off-everything sale to commence that Friday, February 2nd.

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This is a store that I remember going into with a couple of friends as far back as1999 or so–basically half a lifetime ago–when it was much smaller and across the street. It recently got back onto my radar and had become extra special, a destination store, a reason unto itself to visit the Coventry area, as much so as BD’s Mongolian, and I’d been looking forward to getting several friends out for visits specifically to get them to this store in the nearish future.

Having gotten some missing TMNT figures from them throughout last year, I opted to venture in for the 50% off sale…figuring ignorantly that it wouldn’t be THAT crowded. But man, was I ever wrong there! The entire store was jam-packed, as the line itself to check out snaked throughout basically the whole of the place, with one having to fight through the line itself to look at anything, and staff doing their best to attend to prospective customers in need!

Ultimately, after finding what I wanted within the first 15 minutes in the place, it was another 100+ minutes standing in line to check out, and found a couple more items than planned specifically due to being in line for such a long time!

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I spotted this Barbaric figure in the Ninja Turtles case. After verifying the price, I decided it was WELL worthwhile, as the 50% off put it at contemporary pricing despite being a very rare late-line figure from the trailing-off end of the original TMNT toy line!

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Loose in the case, but with an accessory, I spotted the best-condition Tattoo I think I’ve ever seen since I was a kid. The figure’s clean, has a number of the sticker tattoos, and they don’t seem to be faded or peeling (or outright MISSING) the way they’ve been with a number of instances I’ve seen online. So he was a definite one to get!

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Knowing I was in for a long wait in line, I figured I should make it "worthwhile" and take advantage of the 50% off while I was there. So I snagged this Chrome Dome,which seems particularly shiny and clean, and comes with a couple of accessories. My main interest was for the wing on the back…my original figure is missing one! So this whole figure can either outright replace that, or if the part is able to be swapped without breaking anything, can complete my existing figure.

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Then Rahzar was another that had accessories, and though it turned out a friend did indeed have the character, is a relatively worthwhile acquisition for the accessories.

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While waiting in line, I spotted a display of several of these Eaglemoss figurines. I recognized Booster Gold and Penguin as ones I had, but then spotted Blue Beetle. Then I had a sudden bit of doubt: had I merely SEEN the design/pose of Booster so many times that I only thought I had him already? I distinctly remembered a Heroclix mini of the character in my display case, but was no longer absolutely, 100% sure that I had this one. I knew I didn’t have Blue Beetle. And sadly, I was unable to find any posts searching this very blog to cofirm, nor locate a photo in my phone. And since I certainly did not want to pass up either figure for the price…I bought them both.

And promptly discovered on getting home that yes, I did indeed already have Booster. Still, for prices I’d seen online for these, and the 50% off…it was not a horrible price to pay for Blue Beetle, and the "magazine" for Booster. And hey…it means I have an extra Booster to do something with.

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Here they are… Blue & Gold in the display case. You can also see the Heroclix Booster that threw me off.


Without getting into too much…I’m amazed at how many people showed up that first day. Further amazed when I saw a post on Facebook from the store’s Page, showing that there was a line down the block before they even opened that morning, and it was jam-packed all day. I know there were loads of toys and such on display of immense collectability, but I guess I underestimated the eagerness and widespread demand that would be triggered by a 50% off sale.

I probably should NOT have been surprised, though, given my own eagerness at various places to get something for 50% off that I would pass on at "full price" but is suddenly very worthwhile at the discount.

I don’t know if I’ll make it in again or not–while a couple months seems like a long time for "going out of business," I wonder at the pace of backstock from their basement being brought up and being stuff I’m interested in…and not sure about the crowds. Most likely I won’t be going back alone anyway, but perhaps with (a) friend(s) it would be worth it!

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