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Sarge's Toys Toys Toys!
In the paper last week I was reading the auction listings, as I do every week hoping against hope to see an arcade or pinball machine, or perhaps a complete collection of Transformers at a farm auction. Most every week I'm met with the same crushing disappointment, but this that what I think?! There's really an ad in the paper for "Toys Toys Toys!" auction! Better yet, it's being held by some dude named "Sarge" - how can you beat that?!

It just so happened that this weekend was going to coincide with a visit from The Uncle, who shares my overwhelming fascination with the toys of the 80s. I knew that events of the weekend would conspire to make getting to an 11am auction, with time for preview, difficult, and indeed we got little sleep on Friday night/morning. My hollered revelry to The Uncle in our distant guest room Saturday morning was met with muffled obscenities and dull crashes. He was a man of his word though and was ready to go in 5 minutes. We jumped in the Ford Ranger full of hopes of filling it with 1980s toys for pennies on the dollar. We wanted to get that USS Flagg back there, barely fitting in the bed, and barely fitting in The Uncle's house. A twenty minute drive later, and we arrived at Sarge's Auction House.

It was basically a room with many tables of ziplock bagged tin toys, a short-order kitchen where "Grandma" was making $1.50 Bratwursts ($2.50 with a soda) and Sarge himself pacing the room.

The best part of the room were the dozens of hand-written, framed sayings and quotes all around the room, both moralistic and nationalistic!

A quick free-registration later, and I had number 33 and was ready to go. We scoped out the available items, and it looked like most of the toys were, as we expected, older tin farm toys and dolls.

Stuff wasn't in the best shape either, but after much searching we were rewarded with the discovery of some G.I. Joes, and 3 original 1977 KISS dolls.

We took seats right up front to get a good look at the action, and to not miss a word of solid gold out of Sarge's mouth. He started in like a barn-a-fire and was selling crap at a furious pace!

Several lots into the auction, one of his assistants, who I think was his brother/son/other son (yes, all different people) held aloft a small bag. Sarge immediately and confidently announced Well here we have a fine bag of whatsthatnow...Star Wars figures! Yes sir got some Star Wars figures do I hear5dollarsOnTheseStarWarsFigureGimmeFiveDollars HowAboutThreeGiveMeThreeHowAboutADollarCanIGetADollar THANK you sir! I got OneDollarNeedTwoGotADollarNeedTwo..." and before I knew it, I had bought this bag for $7.00. Interestingly as soon as the bid was over and I held up my number, the helper delivered them to me right in the stands. I was then able to immediately notice that there were in fact no Star Wars figures in that bag, but I was now the proud owner of a set of Micronauts. Well, clearly not a full set, but a few pieces none the less, which is pretty excellent actually. The auction powered on, and we saw more farm implements, tractors and various trailers than we had ever heard of.

The Uncle at this point discovered the awesome deal on Bratwursts at Grandma's Kitchen, being as it was that I'd not gotten us any food and it was after noon by then. He had run off in the direction of cooking meat and returned baring a veritable feast for $2.50. After much convincing I tore my attention away from the action up front long enough to agree to some food, and it was so worth it! Best part of the auction really.

After about an hour, finally one of the few sets of G.I. Joes that we had found was coming up for bid.

As usual I was all nervous and we tore into it. Up the figures went, and I grew more and more dissapointed that it was passing $5, passing $10, passing $15. We had been holding out hope that no one in attendance would be at all interested in what we were looking for, but it seemed that we had a little competition in the stands.

In the heat of the moment I wasn't sure how high to take the bid, and deciding that I shouldn't just throw money at it stopped at $18, losing. Sadly The Uncle thought that we had won, and was beside himself when he learned the awful truth!

"You mean we didn't win??" he asked me. A hurt, confused look was written across his face, the pain of which I knew only too well. That's the sort of statement that makes me start losing money, in pursuit of a goal. The Gods of spending-money-at-auctions were with us that day, and since there were two halves of the carrying case, they had auctioned it as a 'choice', and the winner only wanted one of the halves! The second half went up for bid again, and this time I decided not to blow it. I stuck to it like white on rice, and this time we won for $16. The fresh victory filled our souls like a 16 oz medium rare steak for the soul.

Sarge took no notice, and motored on. In an effort to make amends for our prior gaff, we were able to snag an additional 'flat' of Joe vehicles for a mere pittance, adding to our military collection, the envy of the attendees if only they knew!. That lot, much to our excitement, also contained an original unused bar of G.I. Joe soap in a plastic box! Unreal!

What seemed like a hundred tin tractors later the KISS figures were on the block! We had been discussing the price prospects of those figures for the better part of the auction, and now was the moment of truth! The bidding escalated...maybe against the same punk who got one half of our G.I. Joe case....and before I knew it we had won for $11. Not bad at all.

The final piece we were intersted in was a bag of some pretty excellent old Joe figures, and they were getting so very close to pulling it off the table and onto the block. Then, with no warning, Sarge announces that the auction is over! Apparently too many people had left, and the bids were too low, so he called it a day. I've never heard of that before, and figured that the whole point of sitting through a whole day of dolls and skid-steers was to get some good deals on the Joes. That was not to be had, though. I immediately approached Sarge, like the jack-ass I am, and asked him what was the deal. He assured me that whatever didn't get sold today would get sold at his next auction which will be on March 30th, at 6pm. You had better believe that I'll be there, and between the dairy cattle, canning jars and shovel heads will be those Joes. It's a matter of honor now, and I've got a job to do.

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