27 August 2010

Yard sale score: Vintage Pac-Man bank

A few days ago, Craigslist had an ad for a yard sale coming on Friday and Saturday that promised "old Atari game cartridges". I e-mailed them asking about them, but got no response. A year (or maybe less) ago, I had a bad experience of getting up early and driving all the way across town for a sale that promised Atari games. First, the guy didn't bother to start his yard sale at the promised time. After waiting and waiting, I wound up having to leave before he even came out. When I was able to return, it turned out someone had e-mailed him and bought the games days before the yard sale even began. At least this time the yard sale was on the way to work, so I wouldn't be put out if the games were gone or the sale not begun on time.

So, I got up early to get there around their 7:00 a.m. opening time. Actually, thanks to Hannah, I got up even earlier than I intended, but by the time she was asleep, it wasn't worth going back to bed. For the first time, I trusted my new phone's GPS completely and headed out with only a rough idea of where I was going. It got me there with no problems and I started looking around.

This yard sale was pretty cool! Many old board games, some old Disney and Sesame Street records, a few old Mad magazine issues, and Sweet Pickles children's books. I'd completely forgotten about Sweet Pickles! It was like a big slice of my childhood. Apparently the couple used to frequent flea markets and antique stores, buying up this stuff, but now they were getting rid of much of it at great prices. Luckily, I resisted the urge to buy a bunch of stuff and try to resell it on eBay. I've already got too much of that stuff, which I never seem to get around to actually selling. I did almost buy an old copy of the Clue board game that was the same as the one I'd grown up with, though.

I didn't find the games immediately, but it didn't take long. Two freezer bags of four cartridges each marked "$2.50 each." Unfortunately, it was all fairly common games. However, I did find a vintage Pac-Man bank by Tomy. Tomy took advantage of the products they'd previously produced in association with their Mr. Mouth game and simply rebadged them as Pac-Man. But they were officially licensed by Bally/Midway! (Kids, Mr. Mouth started out as a big, yellow, bald dude, not a frog. And why doesn't Mr. Mouth have a Wikipedia entry?!?) I got it for $1. Works fine, but needs some cleaning. Oh, and it had a penny already in it, so I guess technically it was 99 cents.

And as you can see, I also picked up a not-so-vintage Pac-Man lunch box. It's not a quite full-sized lunch box, being only about 2/3 the depth (I'd estimate) of a standard '50s-'80s metal lunch box. I almost put it back, but for $1, I went ahead and kept it. But I'm much more psyched about the vintage Pac-Man bank.

1 comment:

  1. God i miss the 80s. The world was a better place back then.

    speaking of the 80s Lee. get a load of my latest blog posting in which the Comics Code Authority apparently made quite an over site on ROM issue 41 (1983). it's a real hoot!