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The 45-Family Mega Yard Sale of DOOM!
by: -RoG-

If there's one sure sign that Spring has arrived, it's the emergence of yard sales. If there's one sure sign that a neighborhood is inhabited solely by aliens hell-bent on destroying the foundations of our society... it's discovering a yard sale in which 45 families would supposedly be participating. Being a big fan of yard sales, garage sales, tag sales, yard tags, garage swaps, and estate fleas alike; you can imagine just how excited I became when I first heard about it. But was it real, or was it just a cruel hoax?

I'm happy to report that it wasn't a hoax at all. In fact, there were signs for it everywhere within roughly a 5-mile radius. I'm not sure, but I think that's pretty close to the advertising budget of some presidential campaigns. Well, with 45 families, I'm sure they could make the money back. Another impressive thing is that all of the signs were hand-drawn with multi-colored markers. They had to have made at least 30 of the things. Makes you wonder who got put in charge of completing that sucktacular assignment, eh? I'll bet they made the very last family who signed up to participate in the yard sale do it. But isn't that always how it is in life?

So we all got up bright and early on that Saturday morning so that we could get to the yard sales at 7:30am (which is when they were starting according to one of the other signs we say) to get first dibs on all the good stuff. Maybe it was just the "WOW!!" and "DON'T MISS IT!" statements on the signs that drew me in. I'm such a sucker for those brilliantly catchy ad-phrases :( . Naturally, I was going for one thing in particular: toys.

Wouldn't ya know it, the very first place we stopped at had a couple tables covered with nothing but toys. Most of them were generic toys that nobody's ever heard of, but there were a few recognizable ones in there. Godzilla, Stretch Armstrong, and an old G.I. Joe canteen to name a few.

Proto found this evil looking thing. While we were both in agreement that with a little slime it could look just like that demon creature on the wing of the plane from the Twilight Zone movie, it was probably just some old Spawn figure. Yo McFarlane, if you're reading this (and I'm sure you are), that's a toy I wouldn't mind seeing. Especially if it comes with John Lithgow freaking out inside the plane. Get your ass working on it now.

(note: it turns out the figure is apparently from the "Skeleton Warriors" series)

There was also a colorful little giraffe & elephant transport truck. It appeared as though it would spin them around while it moved. Yeah, that's just what you want to do with a giraffe and an elephant, spin 'em around until they puke up the contents of their huge animal stomachs. As you can see, there was also a Barney tote bag... how anybody could part with such an awesome item is beyond me. Especially for a mere 50 cents. Also found a pink Slinky. I guess the Slinky people were trying to appeal to the Barbie fan demographic with that one? Eh, anyone who's anyone knows that the only Slinky worth buying is a metal one. The plastic ones just don't have enough "Slinky ooomph" if you ask me. But look closer in that photo, what else do you see?

A ptero-friggin-dactyl! It's not every yard sale that you can find an extinct dinosaur at, unless you count Godzilla... but he could breathe fire and I can't think of too many dinosaurs that could do that. As you can see, this fella's wings weren't in the best shape, but you can't ask for too much when he was only .25 cents. I'm still hoping that I can find a Kronosaurus at one of these yard sales. If that happens, my life will truly be complete. Me and Krono could then walk off into the sunset, hand-in-hand... and life would be good. Ahem, ok back to the toys:

Where to begin... a box of used Power Rangers sneakers. Oh if only they weren't 10 sizes too small for me, I'd be wearing those in a heartbeat. Also there was the "generic remote-controlled guy on an extreme skateboard that's larger than his body" toy. I guess if you're a really sucky skater, the best way to stop from falling off is to get a board that's roughly the size of a car. Yep, then you'll get a date for sure.

Other things found in the pile was a "sparkle" utility box (because if you're gonna carry tools around, they should at least be glittery?), a tiger with a foot broken off, more Barney junk, an assortment of generic jets, cars, and robots, a toy cash register, and one of those crappy bubble-blowing toy fans. Santa Claus was also in the mix... and lemme tell ya, if you want to find cheap xmas crap, just go yard sale hopping. It's almost guaranteed that you'll find last year's hot xmas decorations for dirt cheap. Also in the mix was a memory game called "I SPY", but since I can barely even remember the names of people I know, and instead resort to calling them "hey you", I decided to skip on that one.

There was one shocking find inside that big mess o' toys though... behold!


THE SPECTRAL GROPER!

Ok, well it probably wasn't marketed as the Spectral Groper which Proto wrote about a while back... but it's a dead-on match for it. It even had the yellow fingernail on the pointer finger. What are the odds!? If you haven't read his tale about the Spectral Groper, you can view it here. What's cool about it, is that it opens up to reveal a little spooky monster scene. Check it out:

It's like a Polly Pocket toy... from HELL! Actually, after a little bit of research, I found out that these things actually are part of the Polly Pocket toy line. They're apparently called "Mighty Max" playsets and they're made by Bluebird Toys - the same people who make Polly Pocket. I guess that would explain the "MM" logo on one of the fingers. Though since it has an uncanny resemblance to the Spectral Groper, I'm sure it could also stand for "Mega Molestation" just as well. Oh yeah, in case you're interested in seeing it, there was a Gorilla one too.

Ok, now would someone like to tell me just what in the hell this thing is? I'm always amazed at how many poorly made, giant generic-brand transformer toys I find at yard sales, and this one was no exception. The entire back was hollow and it was missing a head, but the thing was like 3-feet tall. Where the hell do these things come from? I never see them at Toys R' Us or even at the local "Dollar General" store, but they have to come from somewhere! I'm not sure, but I think it swallowed a nearby infant too.

(note: this big thing is apparently part of the Power Rangers toyline. Such a shame I didn't buy it, eh?)

Moving on to more yard sales, Proto found a set of pirate hooks. For when you want to dress up as the pirate that didn't learn his lesson the first time he lost a hand, now you can wear two hooks at once. All for a whopping .50 cents.

Later on I found a Star Wars "Galactic Battle" electronic game amidst some more crappy remote control cars. I was really tempted to buy it, but it was missing some of the game pieces and I couldn't justify spending 6 bux on an incomplete set. Still, if you ever happen to find one of these things complete, do yourself a favor and buy it. It's the same thing as Battleship, only it has nifty Star Wars voices and sound effects. Plus, I don't think anybody is going to deny that an X-Wing is much cooler than a battleship. And if you do deny it, you're wrong.

Now, it's fine if you want to get your kids interested in playing music at a young age, but kryste... if you're gonna do it, at least buy them a decent guitar. Some mom swiped this thing up for 8 bux shortly after I took the photo of it. Two of the strings were missing from it, and although it said it was made of "quality wood", trust me it was a cheap piece of crap. I pity the parents that will have to listen to their kid try to play "hot cross buns" on that thing for the next couple of years. What a nightmare.

Ha Ha! It's "The Better Pasta Pot!" Yes my friends, another thing you can count on seeing at yard sales is all of those "As Seen On TV!" products that people were stupid enough to buy into.

Wife: "Honey! Come in here quick! Look on the TV! Do you see that pasta pot!? It has holes on the top of it!"

Husband: "Holes???"

Wife: "HOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Husband: "Well smack my ass and call me Chef Boyardee! IT REALLY DOES HAVE HOLES IN IT!"

Wife: "We must buy one!"

Husband: "One? Step aside woman... I'm ordering TWENTY of these bad boys! We will be the king and queen of pasta-land!"

I mean really, are people so fucking lazy that they can't pull out a strainer and dump the pasta into it? Bah, it's just another one of those inventions (and I use the term loosely) that pisses us all off because some idiot managed got rich off of it.

Oh yeah, you've got yourself quite a powerhouse system here. A real workhorse. Just hook this AST bad boy up and you'll be playing Solitaire and Minesweeper in Windows 3.1 on a glitchy VGA monitor in no time. All for the price of $150. WHAT A STEAL!

So I found a pink Barbie jeep that came with a cell phone. And while I decided not to buy it (I mean COME ON, it didn't come with a Ken doll! Sheesh!), it turns out the cell phone was actually a remote control for the thing. Way to go Mattel, teach the kids at a young age to use cell phones while operating a vehicle. That's foresight if I've ever seen it! You know, considering all of the remote control toys we've already seen today, I think that's a pretty sure sign that parents should steer clear of them. It's obvious that they're just gonna end up selling them off at a yard sale in the near future due to lack of use.

Yes! No yard sale is complete without spotting the "Mouse Trap" board game. I don't know what it is about the game, but I've seen this thing at more yard sales than any other item that comes to mind. Maybe it's just because it's a pain in the ass to setup and it's really not all that exciting once you've already seen the trap do its thing once. Considering that we still had plenty of yard sales to go to, I made a bet that we'd see it again. Would I be right? I guess you'll just have to keep on reading now won't you.

WELL WELL WELL! If it isn't my old nemesis from last Halloween: the Bleeding Skull Mask! I guess I shouldn't even be surprised to have found this piece of shit at a yard sale. For those of you who don't remember, this thing had a heart pump that you squeezed to make blood trickle down the face of the skull mask. Only problem was, the thing was capable of SUFFOCATING you! You can read my write-up on it from last year here.

Another staple of yard sale history is without a doubt the used Casio keyboard. Usually a sign that a) the kid wouldn't practice, b) the parent got sick of hearing the kid press the "demo" button, or c) they never thought to buy an adapter for it and got tired of purchasing 6 C-sized batteries for it all the time. Hell, before I learned to play piano (and even afterwards) I know I damn near wore out the demo button on one of my first Casio keyboards so that I could hear "Für Elise" over and over again. Don't dismiss these little synths though, they can still be quite handy for recording if you've got some decent software on your computer. You'd be surprised at what you can do with 'em.

SAY KIDS! GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS???
THAT'S RIGHT! IT'S...

IT'S WACKY HAT TIME! YAAAAAAY!!!!

I'M A SHERIFF! YEEEEEEE HAWW! I'M A FIREMAN. ALL THE LADIES WANT ME NOW, RIGHT?
OH SSSSSSTOP YOU SSSSSILLY PARTY PRINCESS YOU!

Yeah, I think it's safe to say that Killing Joke wins the wacky hat pageant. I've always thought of him as the #1 party princess in my life... this photo just confirms it. While I'm sure you would love to see hundreds of more wacky hats, it's time to continue on with the tour of yard sale crap.

Where would we be without Mr. Potatohead? While some people will overcharge for 'em, if you can get a good deal on 'em, some collectors will actually pay a decent amount for a family of Potatoheads. I didn't bother buying 'em though because I'm far too lazy to try to sell 'em off on eBay. Neat gag though - if you fill up a Mr. Potatohead figure with red syrup, when you pull out his eyes or ears, it'll look like he's bleeding from the holes. That's a sure-fire way to scar your kid for life. "MOMMIE! I KILLED MR. POTATOHEAD!"

Another box of assorted toys to scrounge through, but nothing of real interest. Well, nothing of interest unless you wanted to see the Silver Surfer giving some guy oral action while Cyclops watches. Well, there was a little Cobra boat in there, but it wasn't from the 80's G.I. Joe collection, it was a crappy reproduction. Throw in a few sucky wrestling toys and a figure without any arms, and you've got yourself one big box full o' SUCK.

INFLATABLE SHARK! That's easily gotta be one of the best things I saw all day long. Man, I wish I had room for the thing in my house, but I've already got a giant inflatable Spiderman hanging from my ceiling. Somehow I think Spidey would be pissed off if I had a killer shark move in on his territory, and you don't want to piss off Spidey. He's raped people in their sleep before because they pissed him off, and he won't hesitate to do it again. But mark my words, as soon as I become rich and have a pool installed, the first thing on my list to buy for the pool will be a giant inflatable shark.

No. I'm sorry, but I can't justify paying 5 bux for a used strip of plastic in which you will surely impale yourself on at some point in the future. And don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. Anybody who's ever used a Slip 'n Slide has had to endure the "SLIP 'N SLIDE RIGHT OVER A FUCKING ROCK WHICH LEAVES A HUGE BRUISE ON YOU BECAUSE SOME JACKASS DIDN'T CHECK THE GROUND BEFORE HE SET THE GODDAMNED SLIP 'N SIDE UP" experience. Lay about 5 layers of bubble wrap under the thing and you might get me to try it again.

Ah yes, how could we go for so long without finding the obligatory "naked doll" in the mix? Odd though, this doll had a very short buzz cut and his hair was pink. Actually, you know, it kinda looks like Flea now that I think about it.


eh, close enough...

While some of the yard sales had very little to offer, others look like a toy factory had exploded on their lawns. I mean look at this...

I couldn't even fit everything into the picture, it just went on forever. Absurd amounts of Beanie Babies (man the popularity of those things died off quickly, didn't it?) and assorted plush toys. Veggie Tales, Lite Brite, boomboxes, more naked Barbie dolls, ancient computer monitors, used kids sneakers, broken Sony Aibo dog robot clones, and more. And all this time I thought it was *me* who was buying too much crap. Boy was I wrong.

Oh goodie! MORE xmas crap! In addition to some ridiculously tangled light sets and some holiday-themed gingerbread cookie cutters, we found a nativity set. But the box it was stored in was upside-down! OMG! THEY MUST BE SATANISTS!

You know, being tall has its benefits here 'n there, but I envy anybody who is small enough to still be able to fit on kids rides so easily. If I could fit on those things, you can bet your ass I'd spend all day riding down the street on my badass 4-wheeler singing the "POW-POW-POWERWHEELS!" theme song. But don't worry about me, I'll get over it. You wanna know why?


Because I won the bet about finding
another copy of the "Mouse Trap" game!

(if only I had actually bet something tangible on it... you know, like money.)

Hah, now there's another thing you're almost guaranteed to see at yard sales: workout equipment and videos. Why? Because people get bored with the equipment or simply don't have the motivation to keep using it, so it ends up just collecting dust. Same goes for the videos. Still, I would just like to state for the record that when faced with the choice of watching some crappy workout videos or Jerry Maguire, I'd go with the workout videos.

I've never been really huge when it comes to board games, unless you count Hungry Hungry Hippos. I'LL KICK YOUR ASS IN HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS AND I'VE GOT DIBS ON THE GREEN ONE, GOT IT? Anyway, this hangman game caught my eye. Not because I particularly cared for hangman, but because of who was on the box:


Vincent "Theatre of Blood" Price!

Some actors resort to appearing in softcore porn flicks on Cinemax when they have trouble finding work. Not Vincent! He simply took on odd jobs such as posing for board game boxes. Rock on Vincent, rock on.

In the end, it turned out there wasn't nearly 45 yard sales. It was more like 20 tops. That's entrapment damnit! So who do you sue for false advertisement of a yard sale? Eh, no matter, we just went to a bunch of other yard sales that day and still managed to get some good stuff. I snagged a Mr. Mouth game, a Mattel Classic Baseball handheld game still sealed in the package, and a crappy Darth Maul 3-D figure paint set which I'll be painting in the near future for all of you to see. But most importantly, I had a chance to pay respect to one of my fallen homies...


AALIYAH 2001. NEVER FORGET.
GYEAH.

the end.

-RoG-


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