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Journal Archives from May 2012
eBay Watch - Rock Lords Sabre Stone and Speadhead

One of these days I really need to break down and add Sabre Stone from the rare later-series Rock Lords line to the Preserve collection. I think the wacky and improbable weapon that the figure sports is the greatest draw of my attention, and in a highly unusual turn of circumstances there are two complete examples of this figure available on ebay right this second! Here is one of them, and you get a Spearhead figure along with! This auction is still a great bargain, especially if you happen to be missing both of these figures, or know of a hot trade you can make. Sure it has to come over from jolly ol' England (Gravesend! Blimey!), but think how worldly and well versed in the methods of fried cod preparation they will be upon arrival!

Posted by charlie on May 31st 2012, 10:29 PM
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eBay Watch - 1985 Sears Toy Specialog

Due to my late-onset toy catalog fascination, I spend a considerable portion of my eBay searching time looking for dealer catalogs and, of course, the famous Sears catalogs of historical record. As we've seen lately, I don't do a very good job at winning any of these items, but it doesn't stop me from window shopping!

Here's one today that I found particularly lovely, in all of it's tattered and faded glory - the 1985 Sears "Specialog" catalog! The cover is rocking Baron Von Joy - one of the best named figures in history - and a sure indication that delightful things await inside. Much like the change machine from yesterday, I guess I'm on a 'well used' kick this week, where things were clearly enjoyed and had a good life - instead of living in a high castle. Let's hope many happy christmas presents were ordered from this catalog, and also hope that it can itself become part of a collection now that the shadows grow long and the UV rays grow hot.

Posted by charlie on May 30th 2012, 09:11 PM
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eBay Watch - Rowe Arcade Change Machine

I like this machine.
It seems like a good, honest machine that has made someone a lot of money over the years, and is still ready for it's next adventure.

When I had my arcade, I probably skimped on some expenses that would have been really useful - one of which would be a good change machine. When you are used to getting all of your machines on the cheap, and fixing them up with your own sweat and marginal skill, the amazingly high prices that these changers typically retain comes as a big sticker shock. They hold value better than just about anything else in that industry, it is safe to say. This one, in all it's glory, is priced pretty fairly - I do find myself wishing I still had a use for it. So - if you do - then good for you! And think about adding this sturdy fellow to your lineup.

Posted by charlie on May 29th 2012, 11:17 PM
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eBay Watch - Nintendo Airwolf!

Ah well, another week another 5 eBay Watches...maybe next week will see some original content! But, it's all cool products, be they in my livingroom or that of someone across the world, and I'm glad to feature them for us here in any capacity!

And to wrap up the week, because it's 1am and I'm exhausted, we have this delightful Airwolf game for the NES! I admit that I'd forgotten (or never knew) that this existed, and it makes me very happy. Sure - it's probably awful, but my passion for that franchise could override all but the most ETish of bit twiddling. Maybe the opening shot will be Stringfellow Hawke, badly pretending to play the cello on the end of a wooden dock - just like the show!

Posted by charlie on May 25th 2012, 09:45 PM
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eBay Watch - Machine Robo MR-15: Rest-Q

I've coveted the MachineRobo versions of the GoBots for many years, but they are in the realm of things I never set my mind to collecting (a very large realm that is, these days). However, this beautiful boxed example of MR-15, also known as Rest-Q here in the States, is hard to pass up. I admit to you all that I failed to win two Nasta Catalogs today (!!) - though thankfully they were not for the the Reactors era - but maybe that money is better spent on a fun, original series, GoBot...

Posted by charlie on May 24th 2012, 10:55 PM
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eBay Watch - Nintendo Balloon Fight

I've always been a fan of Nintendo's 'Black Box' games - I guess dating all the way back to 1985! As you all likely remember, that is the pet name given to the first set of NES games that came in the black package with the hilariously low resolution pixel art on the covers. I thought they were beautiful, myself, and think so even more now! Well, while some of the titles are still in the 'somewhat common' price range, others keep going up and up. Heck, even the lowly Duck Hunt is experiencing a resurgence in popularity - thanks hipsters! As such, I couldn't resist celebrating that this copy of Balloon Fight has just hit the $100 mark - guess it'll be a while before I finish off my collection!

Posted by charlie on May 23rd 2012, 06:56 PM
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eBay Watch - Playmobil Pirate Ships 3053 and 3940

How would a little vintage Playmobil grab ya? What's that? It would do just fine? Well then, me hearty, you be in luck! Here is a lot simply brimming with the treasure of vintage piracy at its finest - and so far the price is even a steal! If you, for instance, have a line of custom 3" tall figures that you create, who need some transportation, that ship may have just come in!

Posted by charlie on May 22nd 2012, 09:49 PM
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eBay Watch - January, 1951 Playthings Magazine

Back issues of Playthings magazine have always been tricky to come by, but now they are just getting ridiculous. I haven't seen a single issue show up on ebay in months, and the last few which did all (understandably) sold for $30 or higher. Here, then, is a pretty thing for us all to ooh and ahh over - a January 1951 issue of the definitive industry mag, with some page popping Alice in Wonderland artwork on the cover! There are actually two issues posted currently, clearly from a Wonderland collection, interestingly enough. I encourage you to throw in a bid on this rare auction - while I would be fascinated to see what lies between the covers, it is a tad outside of the sweet spot of the Preserve, decade-wise!

Posted by charlie on May 21st 2012, 11:32 PM
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Air Raiders - Wind Seeker Packaging Proof

Know what I think is cool? An original proof sheet for the Wind Seeker Battle Dasher from the Air Radiers line! Super rare and hard to find, this piece can belong to one of us who is willing to pony up $200. The more I think about it, the more this sounds like a great idea! I mean, that's a few meals out at a lousy restaurant, or an irreplaceable piece of artwork from the toy industry of 1986. Click through to make it yours now!

Posted by charlie on May 18th 2012, 10:49 PM
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Rollercoaster EM Pinball Machine - Gottlieb (1971)

It's no secret that I'm a huge pinball fan, in particular leaning towards the older 'Electromechanical' machines that are easier to work on and from that same, more civilized time as that Kenner catalog from yesterday (well, in some respects at least). There were an astonishing number of different titles released over the decades, and even so much as seeing them all is a tall order. What helps are the periodic pinball conventions, often featuring several hundred machines, all brought there by people like myself (but less lazy!), giving everyone the chance to really expand their silverball experience.

It was at one of these shows that I played Rollercoaster - a pin made by Gottlieb in 1971. I'm a sucker for simple and clever (and most importantly, unique) gimicks, and totally fell for the little lift-ramps that this machine features down near the drain outlanes. For some reason, this machine popped into mind today, and the Internet was nice enough to return a video all about it! Check out this great fan-made walkthrough of this machine, and if you find yourself at a pinball show, maybe you'll be lucky enough to play it yourself!

Posted by charlie on May 17th 2012, 09:04 PM
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eBay Watch - 1968 Kenner Toy Catalog

Per the comment by DoctorKent about the relative rarity of catalogs from small shops vs. the Big Dogs of Hasbro, Kenner and Mattel, I felt compelled to post this odd little 1968 Kenner catalog today. It was a simpler time for the company, before their profits soared to a galaxy far, far away (I almost bet that was used in the 1981 book...). This is a catalog of Spiroman and the Easy Bake Oven - and actually a bunch of other rocking '60s gear you should be sure to check out! Click through to the auction listing, and see the generous number of pics that the seller has provided to give a real flavor for this book. An elegant catalog, for a more civilized age...

Posted by charlie on May 16th 2012, 09:43 PM
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eBay Watch - 1988 Parker Bros Toy Fair Catalog

I'm convinced that the recent spate of toy catalogs available on eBay, and their subsequent lofty selling prices, has ushered in a lovely renaissance of such sales! I'm seeing odds and ends pop up from across a number of different brands, one of which being Parker Bros! Here is their 1988 Toy Fair catalog, and the giant, gesticulating Daddy Moneybags on the cover made it a shoe-in for the front page of the Preserve today!

Posted by charlie on May 15th 2012, 09:33 PM
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eBay Watch - Gadget Mobile

It's something of a disaster, how fond I've lately become of the 1993 Inspector Gadget figures. In particular, the Gadget Mobile, which is proving to be as rare and exciting to search for as the famous Snarlie Narlie! While several beautiful boxed examples have passed through our digital fingertips over the past year and change, here is a loose example that comes with Yellow Gadget, and still selling for $300! Maybe I just need to watch a few episodes of the show and clear my head - it's probably been 15 years since I have, if it's been a day!

Posted by charlie on May 14th 2012, 09:28 PM
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eBay Watch - RCA Studio II Set

We'll wrap up another slim week here at the Preserve with a big lot of one of my favorite lesser-known gaming consoles - the RCA Studio II. I know I've talked about it before, but there are only so many things I can watch like a hawk every day, and this is one of them!

This lot has two main problems:
  • The deck doesn't power on
  • It is missing one of the key games: Biorhythm
Otherwise, it's a good looking collection of gaming paraphernalia that is slowly inching up in price, a little every month. At the current price of $20 that's still well worth it for those complete games alone!

Posted by charlie on May 11th 2012, 10:01 PM
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eBay Watch - Air Raiders Battle Dashers

Fluctuating in value here and there, but always an important part of the small yet much adored (around here anyway) Air Raiders line, the Battle Dashers were fun in feature and form factor. Here is nearly a complete set, but the photo was so pretty I just had to give the seller credit for their effort, and feature their sale! Sure they are a little pricey, with no packaging or instructions but that picture speaks 1000 words. Good thing too, since the pack-in comic pages are missing as well!

Posted by charlie on May 10th 2012, 10:19 PM
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eBay Watch - Rufus and Mr. The Kid

It's almost certainly the case that it is too late on a weeknight, and that I have spend too many consecutive hours writing code into this little glowing machine, but something about this picture of Rufus and Billy (Mr.) the Kid seems infinitely sad. While the seller did a good job of highlighting the positive (with tons of accessories), the angle they achieved in the photo looks like the two remaining from the band of adventurers are looking forlornly down at the tokens of their lost or missing comrades. One imagines a Bill and Ted 3 which never came to pass! Come on Alex Winter, let's see if you can still rock that bare midriff shirt at 50!

Looks like this seller, while brand new and with only 1 feedback, has over 70 active auctions featuring all sorts of different stuff. In particular, DoctorKent, be sure to see his Power Lords set!

Posted by charlie on May 9th 2012, 09:22 PM
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eBay Watch - Warrior Beasts: Guana

I am so fascinated by these Warrior Beasts figures that Remco released around 1982 - I think probably because I don't have any of them in my collection, and only recently have become a student of their particular place in '80s toy history.

Of course, having said that, I fully expect that I do in fact have some of them, but that they have been lost to the sands of time and bad memory, buried completely by a decade of He-Man, Transformers and G.I. Joe that was just about to unfold while these were on drugstore and impulse buy pegs.

So today, be sure to check out Guana, on card! The seller was even nice enough to include a great shot of the back of the package, so we can see all the cross-sells for the rest of the line (and you know how I'm all about the packaging!). The price is still rock bottom after 30 years (anniversary year!) though I will note that the "$1.99 Clearance!" sticker is a nice touch. Maybe one of us should start a Warrior Beasts collection today!

Posted by charlie on May 8th 2012, 08:57 PM
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eBay Watch - Epic Toy Catalog Auction

There was, simply put, an epic auction of toy catalogs this evening. I saved you from yourselves by not mentioning it until it was over, or you would have, like me, sat huddled around your computers, throwing a few hopeful bids towards some of the simply amazing and rare books, only to see your hopes dashed at the last second. The feeling of certainty that you should have gone a dollar higher the instant the auction ends is both folly and unavoidable - human nature being what it is. Thankfully, one of the books I wanted spiked over $180 at the last moment, which makes me feel a little better about missing it, but it was truly a shame.

I just wish I'd had the gumption to bid a little higher, since all I want to do is share the content with all of us here! Now I fear these gems will go off to someone's closet, never again to see the light of day...well, so would mine, but they would end up here first!

Well, since I'm a sore loser, and since the seller really did a wonderful job of posting pictures of his catalogs, I snagged a few shots from the two books I really wanted to win - and of course did not. They were Schaper 1986 (Filmation Ghostbusters) and Panosh Place 1986 (Voltron). Here are some images - the last we'll ever see of these books.

That last picture is sort of how I feel now (though obviously I am not as incredible as that picture) - after watching 1 hour+ of auctions whiz by, with little to show for it. What I did manage to coax away from the real players, will hopefully give us some new content here at the Preserve in a few weeks!

Posted by charlie on May 7th 2012, 09:46 PM
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eBay Watch - Jumpin' Jacks EM (1952)

My standing search for cool arcade stuff near my house has been ringing off the hook this week, so I am compelled to share another fine, classic solid wood electromechanical gem with you all today! Here we have Jumpin' Jacks by Genco from 1952. It is an interesting and novel layout, featuring a vertical playfield, and some nightmare-fodder clowns! The peeling paint really helps with the effect - I couldn't really deal with them on the front page, so do be sure to check out the actual auction for some more fantastic pictures of this bargain basement piece of history!

Posted by charlie on May 4th 2012, 09:08 PM
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eBay Watch - Troll Force: Medieval Warriors

Ahh, Troll Force. A great illustration of what happens when a madly successful fad tries to masquerade as something with longevity. Angry Birds Space - I'm looking at you, by way of a contemporary example. Of course, since it was pre-2000 toy time, the figure is still colorful, fun and well packaged, so had no trouble making it to the front page of the Preserve!

Posted by charlie on May 3rd 2012, 07:07 PM
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eBay Watch - Gottleib's Knock Out (Pinball, 1950)

Here's a pretty one for you, and it looks to be going for a King's Ransom! Knock Out is a classic of the genre, and one of the more rare and collectible titles. Also - in beautiful restored shape. I sure won't be adding this one to the Preserve, though I'd really like a 'wood rail' some day - I'll bide my time and find one in a basement for $100 eventually. Maybe by then I'll even have a place to put it!

Pay careful attention to the amazing animated features on this game - not often you see a mini-boxing-ring on the playfield!

Posted by charlie on May 2nd 2012, 09:17 PM
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eBay Watch - Li'l Loggers: Ranger Rick & Chops The Beaver

I admit to being 100% unfamiliar with this Kenner line from 1982, largely because I was busy buying Star Wars toys then and, more recently, because the Kenner dealer catalogs cost over $100 each from that era thanks to aforementioned Star Wars toys. I sure am glad I found them today, though, because they are delightful. Click through to the auction for a chance to take home Ranger Rick & Chops The Beaver!

Posted by charlie on May 1st 2012, 09:25 PM
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Play Meter Magazine: April 15, 1985
Play Meter Magazine
April 15, 1985
Yahoo! Internet Life: August, 2001
Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine
August, 2001
The Pinball Trader: July, 1986
The Pinball Trader
July, 1986
IEEE Internet Computing - July/August, 2005
IEEE Internet Computing
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Science Activities - November, 1973
Science Activities
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NASA Station Break Newsletter: June, 1991
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June, 1991
Countdown Magazine: December, 1990
Countdown Magazine
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The Bisquick Banner: March/April, 1984
The Bisquick Banner
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NASA Activities Newsletter: September, 1983
NASA Activities Newsletter
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Egon: w/ Symmetrical Book Stacking
w/ Symmetrical Book Stacking


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