Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bring 'em Back Alive!! Big-Game Hunting for fun & profit.

Thanks to Dwayne, aka okiedokie (The "66 Bowl" animated avatar guy from Boardgamegeek) for the following. His blog is AKA Mike Horsehead.

I walk into the store, gently lifting on tip-toes, looking over all the racks and racks of..... thrift. Normally what I look for is in the back, sometimes they have signs on the wall "Women" "Men" "Housewares" "Kids" and sometimes, just sometimes, "Toys" . I make my way to the back, hoping that the games are up on a shelf, far out of reach of grubby little hands that will pull all of the wooden pieces out of a copy of Diplomacy and then, in a very undiplomatic gesture, shove the said wooden pieces up their collective noses.

I have learned to scan the shelves quickly once, and then a second time more slowly. Once I would have bypassed a copy of Twixt (because I already have 5 copies) but on closer examination I discovered that the box was almost square! It was a first edition, complete. It was now mine. I have also learned to look elsewhere for games. They can be secreted behind the checkout counter, or maybe even with the books. I have even located a copy of Kensington among the records!! I used to buy almost everything I saw, hoping that it would bring a sweet return on ebay ("A Sweet Return" Def. clearing more than $10 after ebay & paypal fees) but sadly I now have a garage full of things that I can't even sell at a garage sale. Spending $2-$4 doesn't seem like much, but if you do that about 100 times you have about $900 worth of junk (that would be $400 worth of actual goods plus the $500 of pain & suffering brought about by my Lovely Wife's "gentle reminders" that I'm supposed to be selling this stuff and making room in the garage for her car.)

Once at the 'game section', I smile, wince & grimace. Sooo many copies of Trivial Pursuit, both old and new. How many of these were happy games in happier times? Channel Surfing, what a great idea to incorporate TV, fighting for the remote, and screaming party fun into a game. It's such a great idea that it's taking the thrift store by storm. The Ungame, if games were people, the Ungame would be the large fat guy in his underwear shuffling towards the house in Night of the Living Dead. Or maybe it's the woman with the terrible facial wounds that eats a centipede off a tree. But once you eat that bug, tell us how you feel about it. Or Unfeel about it.

My pulse quickens when I see an Avalon Hill bookshelf game. Perhaps it's Acquire, Feudal, or Squad Leader. Nope, it's only Outdoor Survival. Other things that can make my thrifting heart go pitty-pat are copies of Heroquest, Stop Thief, Bandu, Raise the Titanic, Mystery Date, or even Dark Tower. My thrifting heart has learned not to covet these games to keep, but to move them quickly to ebay. Then there are the games I look to keep, Polarity, Survive, any good Euro. But every one in a great while I gaze upon a game thinking "What the ever-lovin heck were they thinking?". I pick it up, thinking it's funny or odd, and later find I have picked up ebay gold. Into this group falls Gusher (a precursor to King Oil), 3 original copies of Skip-Bo printed by Skip Bowman, and the Bill Gaither Homecoming Game.

This time I walk out, nothing in hand. Hoping that the next store may have what I seek, some huge stash of childhood/high school/ college fun that is being cleaned out by an unsuspecting loved one. I envision myself walking out with games stacked to the sky, gently hearing the wailing cry of the previous owner when he realizes what terrible fate has been dealt to him.

1 comment:

Todd D. said...

The best I've ever done are a couple of copies of Cathedral, Can't Stop, and Liars' Dice.

Of course, I did trade Can't Stop and Liars' Dice for Ticket to Ride, so that worked out nicely...