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Archive for Adventures in Thrifting
I stopped by the Seneca GW last Friday as I was heading to Funagain (the local Eugene store - THESE GUYS ARE AWESOME BTW!!!!!! If you're ever in town, you have to go visit them!) to pick up Rampage stickers for the meeples that fortuitously appeared in a shipment the day after I asked if they had them available! WOOT!
Anyhow, I went into GW and first spotted Quicksand. It looked interesting, but maybe a little sucky. Looking up on BGG confirmed it wasn't rated high. I was still intrigued....but I passed.
I roamed down the shelves and didn't see too much. I wandered by the Hot Wheels to look for something for my son. I spotted a couple that looked decent and a stock car for me for Stock Car Championship Racing Card Game that I've been collecting cars for. But, I was just in an 'iffy' mood and usually I don't pick up the cars unless I find something bigger of interest. And I didn't really need another stock car. But I held on to them and went back to grab Quicksand.
While deciding if I was dumping my 'finds' or not, I went to the back end-cap near the board games and spotted Inside Moves on the top shelf. It looked like a potentially interesting abstract. The box was terrible condition (water stains and such). I was still iffy.
I decided to pass. On everything. I dumped the cars and Quicksand and left.
But Inside Moves was still nagging at me. Sitting in my truck I did a quick search on my phone (lord knows why I didn't look while in the store....I'm funny that way)
It turned out the alternate name is 'Camelot' which is a tweaked and republished version of the original Chivalry game - the first official game designed and published by George S Parker, founder of the Parker Brothers company was back in 1888! Hmmm, my interest immediately went up! And, the BGG rating looked pretty good too.
Back into the store I went. I grabbed everything including the Hot Wheels.
Well, Quicksand is 'ok' but kind of a bust even at $0.99 (half off) - I tested the timers and only 2 of them work properly - the rest look like they're working but I left them set up for several hours, came back and........well, they still hadn't emptied.
Not sure why I even grabbed in the first place. Such is the life of a Thrifter I suppose.
Inside Moves proved to be a bit better (well, because of it's rating). The box still sucks:
The game pieces are nifty except it is missing one small light colored piece. The board is ok.
I can't decide if that woman on the cover is hot or frightening....
Well, it was an 'ok' thrifting day. I'll give it only because of Inside Moves (aka Camelot). But that may go down after I play it......at least I'll have some unique/interesting pieces for displaying if nothing else
Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:30 pm
Last week on Wednesday I made a stop by the Greenacres GW and found a couple of 'maybe' items including a Star Wars Clone Wars Monopoly and a Pirates of the Caribbean Life. However, I decided to pass...I've got a bunch of Star Wars stuff already I need to deal with and it didn't seem worth the effort for value. The Pirates game had some nice plastic pirate ships but at $2.99 didn't feel worth it just for those. I guess I'm going all soft.
I did notice a 'vintage' Capsela 400 (building toy, not board game) which immediately put me into NOSTALGIA mode since I had a set almost exactly like it when I was a young boy (why does it make me feel old thinking toys from my childhood are 'vintage' now.... ). And yet, I wasn't sure I was interested....until I checked for potential value on eBay and saw they sold pretty consistently and for $20 (low) to as high as the mid $50 range (and possibly higher) making it a potential HIT.
I was a bit worried since the box was bulging and one of the metal axles had migrated out of the partially opened box, but held in place by the GW added shrink....
Still, it was worth taking a chance so I picked it up for $2.99.
Once opened it was a bit of a mess, but not bad really.
Its missing a couple of connectors and the battery case is corroded and needs some cleaning, but I think its definitely workable/sellable.
So, I got it counted out, then sorted....
And finally back together properly:
Just need to do cleanup on the battery pack and test it out a bit to see if it works before selling. No, I'm not keeping it for me or my kids - there's some nostalgia but not enough to keep it at this point.
For some fun, thought I'd mention a couple of MISSES other than the two mentioned earlier.
First was Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon - I thought this was just a fun pastime (ah, more NOSTALGIA) but, no, they actually made it a board game (read the wikipedia link - pretty interesting actually)! If it was NEW in SHRINK it might sell but, other than being a fun novelty....not something I need cluttering up my game room. Sorry Kevin, I still love you!
(Personal side note: Our pastor at the church I attended as a teen took our youth group to see Footloose!)
I also spotted Pig Mania, another NOSTALGIA item for me. Funny, I've found several Pass the Pigs versions in the past year, but not Pig Mania which is the actual version I had as a kid. It is (as far as I know) the only one to have the 'Makin Bacon' roll where if the pigs are touching you have accomplished this. Get it? HA! Its in the 3rd column on this image of the box back:
As kids we thought that was HILARIOUS!
(Oh, Piggy Back is pretty funny too! Oh dear!)
Later versions renamed 'Makin Bacon' to 'Oinker' which isn't nearly as funny! They also got rid of the 'Piggy Back' roll....darn censors!
Anyhow, I mentioned Pig Mania being my favorite in one of my Pass the Pigs Thrift List posts last year and someone was kind enough to send me their Pig Mania version!!! Love the Thrifters in this community! Anyhow, I didn't really need another copy of it. I suppose maybe I could have passed it along to someone else but decided to, erhm....PASS.
Well, that's it for this report! I think my hit is pretty solid but all the misses/passes distracted so I'm giving it a
Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:30 pm
Last Wednesday, Jan 15th, I made another thrift run, this time to the GW in the opposite direction on Greenacres road. This is one of two primary sources of good games.
It was the first one I would visit in my area as it is directly off the freeway I would take to work. So, it was an easy target and perhaps my 'favorite' due to a large game section AND a large toy section, plus I also like perusing the 'wood' aisle (all manner of wooden bowls, boxes, display cases and such) and also the 'frames' aisle that has various sorts of picture and wall art frames in a large variety of choices...perfect for my (non-existant but in-my-thoughts) projects - I *really* do have projects in mind, but never seem to get to them.....
Anyhow, this particular day was pretty good. Here's a quick peek at the 'haul'
First up, I spotted a Pokemon Master Trainer game for $2.99.
I am not much into Pokemon but my kids are. I thrifted a pile of discs from this game late last year (thinking they were something else) and gave them to my kids. I also later learned that this game can be somewhat valuable (much to my consternation after having passed on it in the past)
Looking inside it was a bit of a mess with the cards, but the tokens were mostly sorted properly:
Well, this copy is probably not so valuable - it has obvious fading on the right side of the box (a light yellow/white Pikachu....) and it is missing 1 token, 5 character cards, and a few other cards. Drat!
Here's the game after my sorting and cleanup:
The components are actually in really great shape, including the board, so hopefully I can eventually complete it....or maybe it will have to go onto the 'project' pile. Whatever that means...
Next up is Villa Paletti for $2.99! And its the German version!?
It ALWAYS surprises me when I find good games on the shelves. Its that excitement it generates that keeps me coming back. This game was no exception. I saw it and it was an immediate grab! I'm thinking: "I'm sure it's missing something since it is taped shut and the lid is protruding up higher than it should - maybe its just stuffed full of kids blocks or somethings..."
Well, looking inside and checking it out in detail shows it, in fact, is NOT full of kids blocks but actual game components.
It actually has ALL of the game components! Well, all but one lesser important one - it is missing the wood block (aka 'Seal') that is used for tracking the current 'leader' during the game. Yes, its 'important' but, it's not 'critical' to actual game play in the sense that it is something I can easily make a substitute for! Woot!
I still need to make the replacement block, but at least it wasn't a missing pillar or floor.
All-in-all, this was a solid thrift day:
I am awash in games. Not just 'new' games but also games I have thrifted. The garage is filling up with them. It is a cardboard tidal wave. Sometimes I'm ok with it, other times I feel like I'm drowning.
A while ago, when a 'friend' suggested thrifting was fun and a good way to sometimes find some interesting games, but I was skeptical. Well, at some point I decided to go. I felt a bit anxious going in - thrift stores had a sort of stigma in my mind for some reason that it was all just junk. I'm not sure why because my grandfather used to go all the time - he was a machinist and found all sorts of interesting things...I guess I never really realized that back then as a kid, but he got all sorts of expensive tools and machinery for a bargain, plus he could fix broken stuff most times so probably some REALLY good deals as a result.
Anyhow, I don't remember specifically the first time going, but I did find my first thrift list post:
Item for Geeklist "Your Thrift Store / Bargain 6 - 12 December 2010" - Clue with the painted miniature figures (instead of dumb pawns like in the version I had as a kid) for the unbelievable bargain of $1.99!
Also, I posted from the same trip a Netrunner starter pack SEALED for $1.00 (Item for Geeklist "Your Thrift Store / Bargain 6 - 12 December 2010" ). This was before the reprint so it was a really great find (well, still is, but perhaps not as valuable now)
And a 1960's double deck of standard cards but with really nifty Native Amercan/Asian inspired artwork by Heraclio Fournier Vitoria for $0.99 (Item for Geeklist "Your Thrift Store / Bargain 6 - 12 December 2010" )
Pretty neat stuff!
I'm pretty sure those weren't my first finds though. At first I didn't really record/post what I found but I'm pretty sure prior to those posts I'd actually found a variety of other games, nothing hugely exciting, but stuff I was interested in at least and it was all cheap!
Anyhow, it was all very intoxicating and I bought a lot of stuff I didn't really need or want, so I learned after a while I couldn't buy EVERYTHING. I also came to realize later that for some reason, the area I live in is a hotbed of thrifting goodness attributed to the Pacific Northwest in terms of games - other areas of the US are not so fruitful unfortunately. But when you have a lot of choices it is easy to go overboard, at least at first...
Eventually, I learned to 'pick and choose'. Ok, that's a relative term - I still tend to pick up stuff I have no idea what I'm going to do with it.
Fortunately, some games I can re-sell for a tidy profit which helps fund future thrift purchases and nets me a lot of 'free' games when factoring in what $$ I get out of some games. So, what games have I sold?
My best deal was buying Crossbows and Catapults for ~$2.99 and selling it a year later (after playing with it first) for ~$180! Nothing else has garnered that much, but other stuff has done really well such as Heroquest and one of its expansions, Civilization (mostly unpunched), For Sale (in shrink), Qwirkle, Smess, Scrabble Deluxe turntable, vintage Bridge boards, Survive and more!
On the other hand, many have become keepers such as Sid Meier's Civiliation, Star Wars Epic Duels, Heroscape, Netrunner, 10 Days in the USA & Africa, Trans Europa, Pit (various versions), Scrutineyes, Big Boggle.
But many, MANY games have just piled up and piled up. I am drawn to many games for a variety of reasons if not for monetary value. Sometimes it is nostalgia, sometimes it looks like fun to try, sometimes it is the artwork or the look, sometimes uniqueness (it isn't in the BGG database or needs more pictures) and sometimes it is 'just for the cool bits'
All those different varieties of Monopoly that most gamers pass on? I often look at the different versions to see if they have interesting pewter movers, different house pieces, interesting artwork, etc. Those movers can really be appealing and interesting. Lets just say I have my fair share of them now. More than I care to admit.
But now I have lots of 'cool bits'. And dice. I have LOTS of various bits. I SWEAR they will be useful. Someday.
I've filled up a jar with a wide variety of dice (and have many more lying around). Its pretty neat to look at. And the kids always want to play with them...........
Luckily I have some space in the garage to keep the thrifted games. And, I have also purchased organizer units to store all the cool bits. One was given to us for free, but one I purchased. Ironically, it was not thrifted (although it wasn't too expensive either)
Those piles of games and bits get a bit overwhelming sometimes and I wonder if its worth it. I really enjoy the hunt of thrifting and finding some great treasures, sometimes by sheer luck (instinct?) other times because I've read up on what is valuable and what isn't. I think its that joy that keeps me going back - finding something amazing, or even anticipating finding something regardless of if I actually do or not. Perhaps its the caveman in me - hunting for that big prey...
I also enjoy reading the thrift lists and seeing what other people have picked up - they find really interesting games and great deals on some amazing games. For those that don't know, there is a new list posted each week that starts Monday and runs through Sunday - the most recent is here: Your Thrift Store/Bargain Finds 9 - 15 December 2013 (or do a search for 'thrift list' under geeklists to find the most recent).
I never have time to read through much of the list - I usually just 'look' over items near the items I've posted when I find stuff.
Hmmmmm, this has got me thinking so I'm curious to know how many people go to thrift stores looking for games themselves and, if they do, do they post them to the thrift lists here on BGG?
Perhaps a POLL is in order. Please take a moment if you are so inclined (and post a comment for some of the 'other' items if you want - or to give an idea of what/why if you don't want to take the poll). (OH POOP! I put numbers on each question but it automatically numbers the questions for you - as you can tell I'm a poll noob... )
Thrifting Games Poll for Board Game Back Room post
Whether you think you are a thrifter or not, take a few moments to answer 6 short questions, please?
Now, get out there and thrift some games!!!
Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:00 pm
(This is the final installment in my 3-part posting of my Game Bit Storage Obsession)
Still sticking it out with me?! There are some really interesting boxes and ideas here, so don't leave now!
SMALL CARDBOARD CRAFT / JEWELRY BOXES
Acquired from: Michael's craft box section
Not only have I found a variety of interesting plastic boxes at Michael's, I also found some nice cardboard boxes as well.
First, when I was looking to pimp out Twilight Struggle, I ran across some cardboard jewelry boxes. I bought them hoping they would fit in the box and they did! Well, they ALMOST fit. Length-wise they fit fine, but they were a little too tall. The lid itself was actually small enough but not the bottom. So, I set about cutting the box base down.
Then, I needed a way to separate the components so I cut some extra pieces of thin cardboard I had (actually, I think it was the backing from a pad of paper) and glued them into the boxes as dividers.
Here is the final result:
Plain white jewelry boxes used to hold Twilight Struggle counters.
A look inside.
Eventually I will decorate the outside of the boxes with a printout of some sort. I'm thinking a player's aid inside the box lid might also be a neat idea. Yet another project to complete!
PHOTO BOXES and TRIVIAL PURSUIT BOXES
Acquired from: Michael's craft section (photo boxes), Goodwill (Trivial Pursuit boxes)
Back in November 2010 I decided I was tired of having to all haul all of the Dominion boxes around. I had read that Dominion cards fit perfectly into Trivial Pursuit trivia card boxes. So, I went to the local Goodwill (GW) and picked up a nice looking copy of Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition + Expansion cards box (which gave me a total of 4 trivia card boxes).
I then took all of the cards out of the card boxes and moved all the cards into the boxes and they fit very nicely! I then started looking at how to possibly arrange the boxes within the Dominon box by itself. They sorta fit in there ok, but obviously they were too tall for the box. I thought about maybe putting some foam rubber in the top of the lid to protect the tops of the cards but it just looked silly hovering above the bottom box section and it was difficult to haul around as it wasn't very stable.
So, I was a bit bummed. I loved that they fit into the TP card boxes and saw that this would save a ton of space, but I just couldn't figure out how to put it all together.
In the mean time I put together a file for dividers for all the cards borrowing bits and pieces from different graphics and files on Board Game Geek. Then, I printed them out, laminated and started cutting them out. Believe me there is a LOT of dividers that you need to make.
Then one day I was looking at our book shelves and realized the photo boxes we we stored our 'old' photo prints in were pretty tall. So, I grabbed one, and tried out the TP boxes with Dominion cards and dividers inside - and it fit perfectly! I immediately went to Michael's and bought a beige photo box and a black one.
Here's the one I ended up using:
Photo box from Michael's
All of the cards and components in the photo box.
Yes, I have the following crammed in to this box: Dominion, Intrigue, Seaside, Alchemy, Prosperity, all the promo cards, all the extra treasure and VP cards (in the back), all the tokens and all the player boards (on the right and in the back)
Read more (see closeups of the dividers, plus storage solutions for Fresco, Age of Steam and others)
(This is the 2nd installment in my 3-part posting of my Game Bit Storage Obsession)
Ok, I'm back. And I'm still obsessed. Are you ready for some more? Good!
CARD STOCK CARD BOXES
Acquired from: www.amazon.com (card stock), printed from www.boardgamegeek.com, www.createforless.com (paper punches), Michael's paper craft section (scissors)
Another game I made card stock boxes for is the Catan Card Game. This game has a variety of expansions and they all fit in one box but sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between the decks when you just use Hugo's Amazing tape to hold each deck separate.
There are several files on BGG (here is one example) that you can print out to card stock, cut out, fold, and glue together to make nice custom-sized card boxes. If you take your time to ensure clean cuts, score the lines and fold carefully, they come out very nice. I even used a 1/2" paper punch to cut a clean half-circle finger hold to make opening to box easier. It actually looks fairly professional when complete!
All card boxes and components in the box.
A total of 9 boxes are needed for all of the expansions.
I will say cutting out the boxes can be a bit tedious. If you try it, I suggest you invest in a nice set of SHARP scissors that are designed to cut paper. I found a nice set that has a large pair of scissors for doing the bigger cuts and a small pair for doing the smaller detailed cuts. Ultimately, it was well worth the time. BTW, be sure to let the glue dry COMPLETELY before inserting the cards into the boxes if you make them.
JEWELRY MAKING / BEAD STORAGE SYSTEMS
Acquired from: Michael's bead section, www.wargamedepot.com (counter trays)
Many of the boxes I'm showing in this thread have come from the bead section of Michael's where I've found all sorts of interesting storage options. Between the 40% and 50% coupons that are often available and the sale prices that frequently come through, you can usually get pretty good deals on them, too.
Here's another type of storage box I found:
Plastic storage box with 24 separate round bead boxes inside.
Each small box has a screw-on lid. When I bought this I wasn't sure what I might use it for, but I had a coupon AND it was on sale, so I figured I'd pick up a couple. If anything, I could use it for an art project of some sort.
Well, for Christmas I signed up for the Secret Santa gift exchange. My Santa was PARTICULARLY awesome in that he sent me both Civilization in UNPUNCHED condition similar to one I had in my youth (and which I still haven't had the heart to punch yet) and a used copy of Samurai (an older Avalon Hill war game) which I knew nothing about.
Samurai was used and had a ton of chits all mixed together. I sorted them out into baggies and labelled the baggies. I know there are also war game counter trays but I didn't have any at the time. Later, I remembered I had this box and decided to try it out. It seemed a little strange, but why not?
Here's the filled container inside the box:
Bead containers holding Samurai chits.
(3 part series will include Plano boxes, hand-made boxes, thrifted boxes and more!)
In the last year I've been having fun pimping out games, upgrading them and looking for better storage solutions depending on the needs. In the course of doing this I've actively been seeking out a variety of game bit storage solutions, in particular small boxes of different varieties, plastic and otherwise.
I should back up a BIT and say that I'm OCD about game bit storage. As soon as I get a game and punch it I always have to bag each player's pieces separately, then bag all of the various chits, cubes, meeples, etc, separately as appropriate.
And, I'm one of those people that has to come to the rescue of a friend who comes over with a game and doesn't have it 'properly' bagged. I will pull out my box of baggies (yes, I have a special box just for baggies) and my Hugo's Amazing Tape (for keeping cards together) and get them all set up. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Nicely organized!
The box of baggies!
What irks me more than anything is doing a trade or purchase of a used game, have it shipped to me, and have bits and cards all mixed together and floating around in the box! Don't any of you other gamers care about your bits like I do?!
<breathe in, breath out, breath in, breath out....phewww>
Alright, I'm ok now. So, let me show you how far I go to get my games organized.
Acquired from: www.boardsandbits.com
First, here we have the standard array of baggies that I'm sure you already know quite well (and if you don't, well, look CLOSELY, this is important):
Common sized baggies + Hugo's Amazing tape
The key is having a variety of baggies for different sizes and amounts of components. You can never have too many sizes. In the picture above, in front from left to right we have: 2"x3", 3"x3", 3"x4", 4"x4", and 4"x6". I find these sizes are usually sufficient for a majority of bagging needs. Also, you can see two rolls of Hugo's Amazing Tape (1") - one in blue and one in purple - that I use mostly for holding decks of cards together. Hmmm, I'm getting low, I better buy some more!
Baggies in use:
Stone Age components, each in appropriate sized baggies.
Games like Stone Age are really good to use baggies in - there are a good number of components but not too many of each. Setup and cleanup are pretty easy with baggies for this game.
SMALL PLASTIC CONTAINERS
Acquired from: Dollar Store (via friend)
So, baggies got me by for a long time. However, one day my 'friend', Chris, gave me about 30 nice, clear, plastic containers that he found at his local Dollar Store - 10 for $1. Rectangle boxes! And round boxes! With nice snap-on lids! I was hooked! Or rather, I soon would be. (Yes I blame him for my game bit storage obsession, although I probably would have stumbled into on my own anyhow. It's always nice to have a scapegoat...)
Round and rectangle bits containers.
(3 part series will include Plano boxes, hand-made boxes, thrifted boxes and more!)