September 27, 2009

Ottawa Fall Garage Sale

Filed under: collecting — fairplaythings @ 3:27 am

Well, you know me. Sucker for a chance to hit a garage sale, particularly after the last one turned out to be so good. So when the Landsdown Park electronic sign listed it as an upcoming event, I was sure to add the Ottawa Flea Market to my list of must-see events for September.

Boy, was that a waste of time.

With the newly acquired car, I was certain that the day would be carefree. No worrying about where I’d pack my great finds, no time delays because of bike transit. Or so I though. Funny thing though - and this is an indication of how unfamiliar I am with the whole car thing - pedal power may wear you out but you can also bypass the bottlenecked traffic of the Glebe, in a way you cannot in a car. And then there is parking. It costs! Five bucks for the privilege! So the convenience of having space has saved me no time and cost me money.

Inside the main event, I went straight to the good table. And they did not disappoint me, with a special find that is going to end up under someone’s Christmas tree for sure. But they were the only real bright light at the show. Other than a white barbered MLP for a quarter and a set of Sigma Six figures (Duke and Destro for $10), my adventure came back pretty much empty handed. There were only little bits of toys here and there and most of them were only interesting because of the mislabeling. A 12″ Street Fighter Blanka? He’s $10 and listed as Snake-Eyes because someone has dressed him in the 1991 12″ Snake-Eyes clothes. Thirty year old Fisher-Price toys listed as “collectables” for $15 a pop. That sort of thing.

There were only two real points that stood out for me. The first was early on when I spotted a small 1984 Ravage toot bag. Yes, I passed on it even though it was only $5. Why? Well, I really couldn’t figure out what I would do with a Ravage toot bag, but I was also completely turned off that, when I asked, my question was met with “and I think this is the original…” as if there was a reissue.

The second was quite sad. Toward the end of the misadventure, I come upon two tables with nothing but GIJoe vehicle carcasses. Wonderful!, I think. Something to get excited about. Repaint city! That is until I get close enough to see the price tags:

  • HISS - $25;
  • Wolverine (no treads, missiles or cord) - $20;
  • Night Raven (no small jet, one rear wing, no missiles) - $60;
  • HQ main front gun - $15;
  • Skystriker (no rear wings, missiles cockpit) - $40…

And it went on like this. The fellow at the table tried to tell me that he and his son spent time putting parts together. But it’s hard to believe they had any idea what they were doing when they were charging these kind of prices for accessory-less husks. I picked up the Night Raven, for example, and noticed they hadn’t gotten the drop-down cockpit inserted corrected. Later, the proprietor would ask me if I knew what a certain green sled was, to which I responded that it sit itself in the middle of the H.A.V.O.C. vehicle, and the doors opened up to reveal the secret vehicle.

Until that point, one could get a H.A.V.O.C. with one door and no accessories for $20, but needed to spend another $15 for the sled. If I thought the guy who tried to get $20 out of me for a series of vehicle accessories was being too serious, I take it all back now.

All in all, a bit of a bust, particularly given that I would later snag six assorted MLPs (for customing, of course - I don’t really have a problem..) for $7 at Value Village by St. Laurent. But I have learned one thing though. Sometimes you just have to bring a camera. Somethings must be seen to truly be appreciated.


  1. Yeah, this is why i generally avoid Flea Markets. I never find anything worthwhile and when I do it’s tremendously marked up.

    Occasionally there’s an ok deal to have I suppose but more often I just end up disappointed.

    Comment by JoshMiller — September 27, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  2. [...] home two or three times a year of a decent flea market-style event, the likes of which I’ve previously discussed. It is usually¬†a decent¬†place to find collectibles of the plastic variety - sometimes [...]

    Pingback by fairplaythings.com » In Ottawa, no one can here you Mego-scream — April 18, 2011 @ 12:52 am

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