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Collector Tales Part 2 - Play the Nostalgia Card

There’s another comic store in town that I have mixed feelings about. Technically it’s a better store, but the owner is an asshole. I’ve actually been kicked out of his store for being a regular patron of another store. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth to go in there. But the sad fact is that it’s a better-stocked store, and my kids like it more.

We were killing time one day and my youngest son asked to go to the comic store that had the “Pringles”. This shop had a little snack area by the register and he just loved the fact that he can look at comics and get Pringles. Who am I to say no?

This store has a fair amount of toys, but most of them are crap. DC and Marvel hero toys, with some Spawn toys mixed in for good measure. Typically nothing I am interested in. But today, something on the counter caught my eye.

Standing alone on the counter was larger Red Legioss fighter by Gakken – more commonly known as the Robotech Alpha Fighter. Unbroken, great shape, with gun. Next to it, a loose Macross Joke Machine VF-1S, also complete. There are no prices on them.

A million thoughts race through my head. How do I play this? I can’t let on that I am a collector, nevermind a collector who runs ONE OF THE BIGGEST SITES on these things.  I look around and the owner, who knows me, is not there. Just a couple of lackeys at the cash register.

I decide to play the nostalgia card.

I asked the guy at the register “How much for the Robotech ’bots on the counter?”

“Is that what those are? I have no idea. I just showed up and they were there this morning.” He said.

“Well I’m interested in buying them. I used to watch them on TV”. I say, technically not lying.

“What are they called? Let me look them up and see what they are worth”. He says.

My heart sinks. HE’S GOING TO LOOK THEM UP ON EBAY. I have no interest in paying ebay prices for these. I choose my words carefully.

“The red one is a Robotech Alpha Fighter. The small white one is a Robotech Veritech, but you may want to look up SD as well, as that’s what that style is called”.

He looks them up and while I don’t see what he finds, he mentions that the red one seems to be going for about $65, and that the small one seems to be selling for $25 boxed. I imagine he’s found the Toynami versions of these.

I tell him I can do $50 for both. After a minute of deliberation, he agrees.

Part of me feels a bit guilty, but I have to remember what an asshole the owner is. I could tell you many stories about this guy, but I won’t stoop to his level.

My son picks his snack, and we scoot out of the store in a hurry, half-worried that they will change their mind.

I felt like what I magine runner's high is like, only for collectors.

Posted 24 May, 2012 - 08:50 by JoshB


6 comments posted
Run like you stole something!

Oh man. I have been in similar situations. The best part is I am laughing imagining Josh booking as fast as he can to his car. In my mind the owner, who was really in the back, comes running out the door just as he drives off shaking his fist in the air!


ActionAwesome's picture
Posted by ActionAwesome on 25 May, 2012 - 01:08
These tales are wonderful~

I don't have much of a collector community or similar around me, so these kind of stories are really unique and different to what I'm used to; plus the darker spin (rather than the normal happy, upbeat feel of bros helping each other to get the gokin goods) makes these hilarious and engaging. You gotta do more!

Rankarana's picture
Posted by Rankarana on 25 May, 2012 - 07:29

This is great. I'm not sure what it is about some comic shop owners but it always seems nowadays that they are consciously striving to be like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. The last time I went to the closest comic shop by me I brought $140 worth of collected editions and back issues to the register. As the owner rang me up he called every single one of my choices "crap". Literally it was scan, beep, crap, scan, beep, crap. When he asked me how I wanted to pay I told him "no thanks" and walked out and have never gone back. I'm all for small business ownership, but I can't wait for the day that digital delivery system becomes the medium of choice and puts the vast majority of these guys out of business. Sorry to rant. Good for you for pulling one over on a jerk.

GetterVolt's picture
Posted by GetterVolt on 25 May, 2012 - 19:16
You have the coolest toy

You have the coolest toy stories. Never had anything like that happen so far, but then again I dont visit comic stores enough

chachipower's picture
Posted by chachipower on 3 June, 2012 - 10:53
Reminds me of the time I went

Reminds me of the time I went to a comic store and asked how much a Megalon vinyl was,and the guy said I would have to come back another day when the owner was there. I told him,"look,I've got 35 bucks,it's a fair price,I'm here today," but no dice. I never went back.
Well,that's a lie,I went back because they had one of those variants of IDW Godzilla #1.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 11 June, 2012 - 12:15