My local board game store has an annual ding and dent sale where you can get some great deals. Everything is from 50% to 90% off! I got there early so there were a lot of tempting games. I had to talk myself out of so many games but here were what I was most excited about.
All that in the picture above only costed me about $40. I have been getting back into Dungeons & Dragons and have some new players who never played before so I was very happy to find the Starter Set for 80%. They also had a couple of DnD books and I got the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount solely because it had the best discount (70%). My friend got a ton of DnD/ RPG minis and I was able to only find one blind pack. But it is from a set I really wanted and I pulled the Death Tyrant which is probably the mini I wanted most from the set.
I also found a board game, Ricochet Robots that a friend really wanted for some time now and I also got more escape room type games including the Star Wars themed Unlock games which I was always kind of interested in.
I was so lucky to find Pikachu V Union Pokemon TCG Celebrations boxes (Premium Playmat Collection) in stock. In fact when I saw them in Target, they were just about to be on put on their shelves and I knew that if I waited, it will sell out. (Then the only way to get them is at a significant markup from scalpers.) Anyways I got two boxes but I think I will open one and keep one sealed for now.
This box came with a 25th anniversary themed playmat, 6 packs of Celebrations, 1 pack of Vivid Voltage, 1 pack of Battle Styles, 1 pack of Chilling Reign, Pikachu V Union promos, a Pikachu V Union oversize card and a promo of Professor Burnet. The Pikachu V Union card has 25 Pikachus on it for Pokemon’s 25th anniversary. I normally give away my oversized cards but I might make an exception here. I also love the playmat and it is already my favorite playmat in my small collection.
I pulled a lot of fun cards from the Celebrations packs. Two cards that stood out to me immediately is the Surfing Pikachu V and the chubby Pikachu full art card. I love nostalgic sets like Celebrations and I just wish they were easier to get a hold of. I have to take a closer look at all the others cards later since I am so excited about all the Pikachu stuff. I didn’t get anything of note from the other packs.
The Pikachu V Union box is definitely a fun break if you can get your hands on one. I am so tempted to build a Pikachu theme deck now.
It is crazy to think I haven’t be in a convention or really any crowds for nearly two years until yesterday. I only went to New York Comic Con one day this year and as much as I like to say things are back to normal, there are some noticeable changes from the last New York Comic Con in 2019. Long story short, there were A LOT less people compared to years past (even for a Thursday) and it is also weird to see a lot of the booths you see year after year like all the major comic book publishers not attending. In my opinion, there was only one or two can’t miss panels each day so with all things considered, you can do the whole convention in one day which can be a good thing or bad thing.
Here is my New York Comic Con haul. I find myself more excited about AEW shows over WWE shows lately and AEW had a big presence in NYCC. They had autograph signings throughout the weekend but unfortunately the signings were over my budget. Instead I got one of the freebies at the AEW booth, Upper Deck AEW cards and I found an autograph of the Acclaimed, one of my favorite tag teams in AEW for only $20 at another booth.
This year I found a lot less deals in general with the only exception being comics. I have been getting into X-Men after the House of X so I got a ton of X-Men comics for only $1 each.
Finally there were a lot more vendors selling Pokemon TCG but I found in general singles are better priced than sealed products. I bought a bunch of singles that I thought I can used in some of the decks that I was thinking about building including a budget version of a Rapid Strike Urshifu deck. Also one thing I found weird was there weren’t any mystery boxes in general that I found interesting or cheap enough to take a chance on so to scratch that itch, I bought two mystery packs of Pokemon for $1 each (which means I saved a ton of money). The best cards from those packs are a Zekrom rare from Black & White Next Destinies, a holo Rapid Strike Style Mustard and random old commons from Jungle and Fossil. Not bad for $2.
All in all, I had fun and I am glad I went. It is nice not having to wait on long lines for everything and being able to walk the con without being shoulder to shoulder with everyone.
Mystery bags/ boxes always intrigue me so I was so tempted to get a Lootcrate subscription when that was a thing. But maybe about 2 years back, Lootcrate hit a rough patch and I don’t even know if they are still in business now. Anyways a lot their “exclusive” items can be found in blind bags that you can find in many big box stores like Target and Best Buy. The Ultimate Superhero Blind Bag is one of them. The packaging claims $25 worth of superhero themed toys and collectibles for only $9.99. I bought a Superhero Blind Bag awhile back and against by better judgment I got another one now.
From my experience with these blind bags and from a few Youtube videos I watched, there are usually 4 items and it seems a lot of times 2 of those items are pins. In my Superhero Blind Bag, I got Wonder Woman socks, a Gundam bottle opener, a Doctor Doom pin and some sort of gaming pin. Honestly a lot of the fun is opening these bags and I don’t find too much of a use for the actual items. But I think the socks and the bottle opener should make for some good Secret Santa type gifts this year. The Doctor Doom pin is probably my favorite item in the blind bag so it is probably going to be the only item I keep.
I got these Lego Minifigures – Marvel Studio series packs for $4 each so a little less than retail. I am not a huge fan of this series but I took a look at the set before and I see a lot of cool accessories and pieces I can possibly use elsewhere.
I got Sylvie and Winter Soldier. Between the two I like Sylvie a lot more. With even a quick glance, Sylvie just looks like the more interesting minifigure (and a more interesting character in the shows.) I also love the alligator accessory that comes with it (which I definitely can use elsewhere). For the Winter Soldier, the Captain America shield is probably the standout piece but I find everything else like the print, the hair, the knife etc boring.
Ever since the lockdown last year, I have been a fan of construction block sets and I know Lego is the named brand in this field but I really like Mega Construx too. I like some of the themes that you can only find there (like Pokemon), the figures generally have a more realistic look to them and best of all, it is usually cheaper than Lego.
I haven’t got as much free time lately and I had a few Mega Construx sets that I have accumulated over the last couple of months still sealed in box. The thing these sets all have in common is I found them all in clearance sections in either Marshalls or Target. I decided to dig out all these sets out of my room so it is more likely that I will build them in the near future.
The four Mega Construx sets I found (there could be more I have forgotten about) are Game of Thrones Battle Beyond the Wall which I got for $4, Game of Thrones The Iron Throne which I got for $8, the 2020 Pokemon Advent Calendar which I think I got for $14 and the most recent set to my collection the Thank You Heroes set for $10.
I am probably going to save the Pokemon Advent calendar for the fast approaching Christmas season, build the Heroes set soon since it seem like the quickest set to complete and hope to build both Games of Thrones set one day when I have a lot of free time.
I thought the Pokemon TCG card shortage was over a little more than a month ago when packs could be found stocked again almost everywhere but I guess Pokemon cards really comes in waves. A lot of product is released at once, it dries up eventually and then there isn’t much packs or boxes for sale until the next wave happens. I use the price of packs at my local gaming store as my gauge on how bad the shortage is at the moment. I was buying packs at for 3 for $10 like old times then it was $5 a pack then there weren’t any packs at all. So I haven’t bought much Pokemon TCG packs until I found this Ice Rider Calyrex V box and Morpeko blister pack.
I got 3 packs of Chilling Reign, 1 pack of Darkness Ablaze and 1 pack of Rebel Clash and honestly these are packs from the sets I want the least. I was hoping for at least a Battle Styles pack in the Ice Rider Calyrex V box. I have gotten super lucky not too long ago but I have been a bit of an unlucky streak the last couple of packs I opened so I guess my luck is evening out. I pulled a few interesting foil cards but nothing else to be too excited about.
The Ice Rider Calyrex V promo is a pretty bad card gameplay wise though it is stronger than the Shadow Rider Calyrex V counterpart. I was avoiding getting both Chilling Reign V boxes until I pulled an Ice Rider Calyrex VMax recently. I don’t own the better Ice Rider Calyrex V card from the set so when I saw the V boxes for sale again I was a bit more motivated to get the promo so I can pair the two cards.
There is an used bookstore, Book Off that I checked every week than often has interesting collectibles and toys for sale in addition to the usual books and DVDs. Lately they had a ton of Heroclix figs priced at a $1 piece and I couldn’t resist. So here is my “cheap” Heroclix figs haul.
These figs are mostly from the Wonder Woman set and unfortunately they did not come with the cards (but I should be able to find and print them out easily). Figures from the latest sets have a bigger scale which I love but what don’t like is that Wizkids are still using the softer (and presumably) cheaper plastic. Because of the softer plastic, most of the figures develop a very annoying lean or curve even if you pack it super carefully. It is the main reason I don’t buy Heroclix packs anymore and I probably wouldn’t get them individually for more than a $1 piece. But with that being said I love the look of of some of these figures especially Zeus and Ferdinand (the Minotaur) and even though I never play the game I may use these figures for random RPGs I have planned.
I did take a look at the dials of the characters I bought and looked up their cards and wow these figs are way more powerful for the cost compared to my now much older figs. I actually think there are 50 point figs can outperform 200 point maybe even more figs when the game first started. The dangerous thing about buying all these figs is I want to play it again… but it is so hard to find anyone to play the game with.
I am back with another thrift store haul. If I had one word to describe this haul, that word would be weird.
One of the weirdest things I found and purchased from a thrift store had to be this signed photo of the Harlem Globetrotters. I am 80% sure it is signed by Tiny Sturgess and Handles Franklin and it is from a tour they did in China. The frame is a little beat up though. It definitely was hanging on a wall, dropped and landed on a corner. But I got for a little less than $2 so it was too cheap to pass up.
I also found a bunch of DVDs for about $1 each to add my collection but the most interesting one by far is Manos Hands of Fate. It is one of the best worst movies of all time and it is also one of my favorite episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I have a bad movie night about once of month and I am definitely going to bring this to the next one.
I also found at the same thrift store this Beyblade happy meal toy for $1. I kind of accidentally got into collecting Beyblades and I was a bit disappointed when I missed my window to get the Beyblade happy meal toys so I was very happy to pick one up now. I am keeping my eye out for the whole set.
Finally I found a murder mystery game for just $1. I have been intrigued by the concept of murder mystery parties but I just didn’t think I had the time or energy to ever run one. But for $1 and with all the contents new, I couldn’t resist. My current plans are to read it and maybe use some of its components and concepts in my RPG that I am running.
About a week ago I got a chance to check out Andy’s Brick Shop in Langhorne, PA. It is one of the biggest Lego resellers that I know of. There is so much to see there. They had something for every type of Lego collector. Vintage? Ninjago? Bulk Lego? They have it all and the prices are comparable to buying them online. I had to take a couple of walk throughs of the store before I can even narrow down what I wanted. I was traveling so I couldn’t buy too much but here is what I decided to get.
One thing I always wanted to get into but couldn’t find at a good price was the Lego board games. I find most of them to be fun, easy to learn light games. They were released a bit before I got into Lego. But I was happy to pick up two games, Banana Balance and the Harry Potter Hogwarts Game. They join my only other Lego board game in my collection, Pirate Plank. I actually got the Pirate Plank game at a thrift store (missing a few easy to replace pieces) and Andy’s Brick Shop had a copy of it for $25 so it has some value and I am very happy to get it for much cheaper.
The big purchase I was waffling on is this pre- built Ferris Wheel. It was part of the Amusement Park Roller Coaster set which I always wanted (and still do). My latest project has been an amusement park so this Ferris Wheel will fit right in. I already have a little MOC roller coaster and a little carnival games area. The set was a pain to carry around while traveling but I am so happy I decided to get it.