|Hanging with the Batmobile|
This show is really packed with the hotel parking overflowing to the lot across the street. It occupies a series of rooms, some interconnected and some not, in the back of the hotel. I think the show has really gotten too big for this venue as there are several choke-points where it's difficult to get through the crowds - there are also vendors displaying goods in some of the hallways. There's a wide hall where the guests share table space with several sellers - the GI Joe highlight this year was comics legend Larry Hama who designed many of the characters for the Real American Heroes comic and animated TV series.
I ran into quite a few friends and toy dealers I've known for as long as 20 years - it's hard to get it out of your blood, it seems. My old buddy George Felix (spideegf) was setup with long-time Major Matt Mason collector Rick Porter (framer4u) - they had most of the vintage toys that were non-GI Joe on hand including quite a few Matt Mason rarities as would be expected. There were several booths of interesting items - it was a bit too crowded to take many photos so I deferred - I did get this show of a Barbie Dream House for the mid-mod interior:
|Mid-Mod Barbie Dream Home|
As for Shogun Warriors and Japanese toys, I only saw three booths of note: On one table was a first-issue Mattel Mazinga with both swords, otherwise missing the Condor and missiles. The missile banks on the legs were also busted up, which is fairly common as these bits become brittle with age. Seller wanted $125 for the figure which seemed a bit high to me but it may be on target for a beginning/asking price. The guy had no idea that it was a first issue and really didn't care unless it impacted the price.
A second guy who had a mix of vintage and new toys had a really ratty Raydeen on the top shelf - missing the shooting arm - the left arm was missing the shield spike - seems that's fairly common - it was so blackened by dirt or ash that it was difficult to tell what condition it was in otherwise. I spotted someone walking out with it and asked what he paid - $15 which I thought was fair but wouldn't want to go through having to clean it up.
The third guy I spotted had most of the Bandai Creations Power Rangers jumbos on a top shelf with boxes. I asked to see a couple and ended up buying both - they were complete and in decent shape with original inserts, bags and instructions. I paid $30 for the Delta Max and $90 for the Dino Stegazord. It seems the recent sales of Jumbo Megazords have been trending upward with this figure in demand (for some reason). Since these figures were retailed for $50 (with a discounted price of around $30 at Walmart) when new, I thought it was a fair price. There does appear to be some paint touch ups on the Delta Max but that may be from the factory.
|Jumbo Delta Max Megazord|
|Jumbo Dino Stegazord|
|Me and Dennis Widner|
The thrill of course is hanging out with friends and talking about collecting - and one highlight was running into Dennis Widner, The Toy Surgeon (thetoysurgeon) - this guy was THE GUY to go to for an accurate and seamless restoration of the Major Matt Mason and Colorforms Alien figures (he would rewire and repaint to new). He disappeared many years ago and it was fantastic hanging out with him. Quite the talented guy.
|Isidro checking out the Batmobile|