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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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Black and White Mini Turtles

The other day, I picked up a 4-pack of Mini Mates TMNT figures. While I already owned the Leonardo and Raphael Mega Bloks figures styled after the original Mirage comics, getting all four in this new format prompted me to seek out Donatello and Michelangelo in the Mega Bloks format to complete that set.

Which now gives me a set of all four turtles in both formats, very similarly sized, but quite different visually.

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Despite the recent mega-haul comics-wise, I see 2017 possibly being the year I delve much more concertedly into completing specific "runs" or "sub-collections" much like this. In 2016, I "silently" (I have yet to really cover it in this blog) completed my "reading copy" of the Ultraverse, and it’d be quite cool to "complete" my Mirage run of TMNT (though I content myself with later printings, I still want one of each Mirage-published issue!)

Who knows…I might even (also) expand my TMNT Mega Bloks collection beyond what I’ve already bought–there’s a Second Time Around set to go with the black and white Turtles, as well as a Party Wagon set for the classic cartoon series. I’ve no illusion of coughing up $250 + tax for the Technodrome set, though that one makes the others seem very cheap by comparison!

New "Old" MiniMates: Wolverine and Sabretooth

I’m definitely a fan of miniature figures of favorite characters. Tonight while checking a local Barnes and Noble for the squarebound edition of DC Universe: Rebirth, I spotted a huge clearance table…and ultimately settled on a couple things.

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I have not much cared for the newer iterations of the costumes for Wolverine or Sabretooth…I’m very much rooted in their early-1990s appearance, as depicted on the X-Men animated series. While there may be slight differences in details, I’m quite happy with this pack.

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I’d forgotten that MiniMates come with stands…I’ll definitely need to utilize them to display these guys at work. They barely balanced for this photo, and would topple if a slight breeze hit them, it seems.

For $5…I’m quite happy with ’em…even though they were not something I’d set out to locate/purchase.

Recent Impulse-Buys: Power Rangers, Loki, and Thanos

I recently found myself out ‘n about with some extra time on my hands, so decided to stop in at a Marc’s* to see if they had any cool/cheap toy stuff, as I’ve found some amazing "closeout" deals there in the past. And given the nature of closeouts from what I’ve observed, I figured they MIGHT have some Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers figures.

(* Marc’s is a value grocery store in Ohio that has a lot of discount/closeout items as well as a meat and produce section, with a section specifically of closeouts stuff; they have an ATM and take cash-only, outside of Discover cards)

And sure enough, I found something VERY cool for a mere $2.99 (compared to $9.99ish+ in Target/Walmart for newer Power Rangers figures).

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I was disappointed in there not being a White Ranger in the 2010 "basic figures" Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers line, and having recently acquired the Legacy White Tigerzord, getting this figure is all the cooler to go with it!

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I went to a second Marc’s location to see what else I might find (the closeouts nature of the chain means variety store-to-store and maybe even day-to-day). I found this Red Ranger, and can’t remember if the 2010 one had the sword, but figured for the price I’d get it. Worst-case, this’ll be something I can give to someone else.

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Hasbro/Marvel seem to have realized that the $9.99+ price point is a bit MUCH for figures (and I’m constantly amazed at Target ratcheting the price up to $12.99 and now $13.59 or something like that definitely more atrocious than $12.99/$13 on the dot). Having a line of lower-priced figures (in the $5.99 range) is something I want to support, and Cinematic Loki is cool, so, I picked this up for the character and to "support" the line.

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Recently at Toys R Us, I came across this, and for the price and my being all about anything Thanos-related, I declined to talk myself out of buying this 4-pack. Slightly cheaper than two 2-packs, and $5 cheaper than a Deadpool 4-pack, so I figured this was likely to go up in price later, so get it now while it’s more reasonably-priced.

Lake Effect Comic Con Haul 2015

This weekend was the (I believe 6th) annual Lake Effect Comic Con in Mentor, OH at the Great Lakes Mall (specifically the Atlas Cinema). This is a local one-day show, primarily a "dealer’s room," but also an Artists’ Alley, and a small slate of events–a couple panels, a costume/cosplay contest, etc. The event is organized by the owner of Comics and Friends, a comic shop in the mall (that I find it hard to believe has been there so long now!)

I’ve been to at least 4 of these now, with varying degrees of luck finding stuff I’m looking for. One year I found a bunch of X-Men and Valiant stuff; another year I happened across an X-Men omnibus for 60% off cover minutes after walking in and bought it and walked out before I could spend more money. I believe it was last year I scored several action figures I’d been looking for.

I went in hoping to find a discounted Thanos vs. Hulk paperback or X-O Manowar deluxe hardcover vol. 1 and barring those, perhaps a Thanos Mighty Mugg or perhaps the Hulkbuster Iron Man Marvel Select, or maybe some cool quarter-bin issues or Power Rangers blind-box mystery vinyls, etc. Sadly, the only real bargain bins I saw were Comic Heaven and I have access to that store anytime I’m (frequently) in the area.

But one dealer had a bunch of old toys, mostly loose, as well as several classic board games…and Munchkin.

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I’ve been putting the newer Munchkin Legends in my cart at Target and then jettisoning the thing before I check out for over a year, and often considering some of the expansions elsewhere when I come across them (and not getting those for lack of having the core/original game).

Finding this "classic edition" for only $12 was a great find, and means I can at least play the game itself.

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I came across this Minimates Enterprise (with Captain Kirk) and picked it up, put it back, picked it up again, put it back, walked away, and then back to actually get it. Despite being a Star Trek fan, until now I’ve never actually had an Enterprise, and for the price (and the branding), I decided this is worthwhile and will definitely get some shelf space.

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There’s also the coolness factor for me that it’s the Original Series and not based on the new movies version. While I like the new movies, I like the "classic" stuff and it seems there’s much more available than for the new films.

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And I was recently remembering the classic/original Pokemon stuff, and finding the complete original mini-series for only $3 was well worthwhile.

With these three items, I figured I had spent enough and didn’t need to go looking for more to spend money on just for the sake of spending money; and since I hadn’t really seen anything particularly eye-catching or promising…that was that.

I was in and out in under a half-hour, spending only about what I’d usually spend in a typical weekly comic shop run, so I did well, and walked out with half my "budget" still in-pocket, which itself can now go to this week’s new comics.

New Toys on New Comic Day

Despite it being a New Comic Day, I’m more excited with a couple of toy purchases this week.

Valiant‘s weekly email noted that the announced-awhile-back-and-I’d-forgotten MiniMates pack of X-O Manowar and Bloodshot was now in Toys R Us stores…so I stopped by my local TRU and found it. And bought it.

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While in TRU I also browsed the Lego stuff, and happened to notice a new Mech:

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Since they’re often cheaper at and I was going to Target anyway, I ended up getting the Mech there, though it proved to be the same price as TRU.

I suppose I might be “back” into Legos again for a time. We’ll see, though…

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