Your NON-Game Thrift Store/Bargain Finds for 2018
Jason Monroe
United States
St Louis
Missouri
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Wait a minute. That's not a game! Oh well. Let us oooh and aaah over what you've found.

This list will serve all NON game thrifts for the entire 2018 year

Put in what you consider a bargain, tell us how much you paid. Bargains can be thrift store finds or any second-hand purchases.
Don't forget to add your encounters with the Thrift Store Irritant Squad and any other embellishments in order to make it even more interesting.

Last years's non-game thrift list:
Just shift the Picasso's aside and be amazed by the collection of valuables we tend to pick up.
Your NON-Game Thrift Store/Bargain Finds for 2017

Our GeekGuild:
Please mind the stacks of games. Don't mention the musty smell and try not to sneeze.
The Ancient and Loyal Order of Thrifters thanks you.
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1. Board Game: Godzilla: Stomp! [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:10636]
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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Godzilla: Final Wars on UMD from 2nd & Charles, with case. Was $4, used trade credit along with another purchase, so paid about $2.50 for it. Naturally I already own this movie, but I could not pass up buying it on UMD now that I have a PSP!
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2. Board Game: Tiki [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:9736]
Danny's Land

Salem
OR
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A copy of Sven Kirsten's "Tiki Style" book -- the smaller edition (as compared to the honkin' huge coffee-table version) which is apparently NUDITY-FREE so Old Navy would feel comfortable selling it.

$4.99 @ GW.
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3. Board Game: LEGO Racers Super Speedway Game [Average Rating:4.73 Overall Rank:14733]
river tam
United States
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large box lego train tracks (I have lego trains) $7
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4. Board Game: Calling Superman [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bob Pony
United States
San Jose
California
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I picked up a boxed DnD adventure today, and inside the box I found two comic books, both in plastic sleeves. There was a signed copy of the Death of Superman trade book, and a copy of the Gen 13 first issue. Nice finds!

I want to read them, but I need to see if they're worth anything first. It would be a shame to bend the spines and ding the covers if they're expensive books.

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5. Board Game: Puzzle Me! [Average Rating:4.40 Unranked]
John Crawford
United States
Renton
Washington
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Last week, I stopped into a small thrift store, and I saw a wooden box sitting on top of a clothing rack. Something struck me in thinking that it might be a puzzle box (something I've never had, but wanted to find). Sure enough, it's a Japanese Puzzle Box. I have no expertise in trying to figure out details on it, but was happy to pay the $1.19!

TOP


BOTTOM


And yes, I did get it open.
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6. Board Game: Risk: The Dalek Invasion of Earth [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:7179]
Bob Pony
United States
San Jose
California
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Found this today at a flea market. Works great, looks new, and it exterminated two dollars from my wallet.

It even talks!

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7. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1005]
river tam
United States
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on the way back from the doctor's. I found a small unopened LEGO kit that make a 3d version of the android logo robot, arms,head, and antenna move. Pretty cute

$0.80

should you want to make your own see

http://www.instructables.com/id/Android-Lego-Bot/
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8. Board Game: Puzzle Strike [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1365]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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Yay, another Wasgij! This was "The Bake Off", which I had been looking for. For AU$ 2.60 after my discount, in near-new condition, and complete (I know that because we already finished it )
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9. Board Game: LEGO Constructionary Game [Average Rating:4.45 Unranked]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
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I found a rather unusual Lego set today: The LEGO Studios Steven Spielberg MovieMaker Set (1349). I had never seen (or heard of) this set before, and it contains several unique pieces, e.g. a baseplate with lava print, a two-piece road baseplate that can be used to simulate an earthquake, a slope with a video editing screen printed on, etc. Originally, this also came with a camera and software to film and edit stop-motion movies.

This set was missing the camera, software, backdrops, a green slope, 2 minifigs and the little cat, but someone had added two raised "underwater" baseplates an danother minifig. I hesitated a bit, as it was AU$ 60, but it seemed too interesting to leave. My son agrees, he is very happily playing with it

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10. Board Game: The Legend of Robin Hood [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:4412]
J Weintraub
United States
Commack
New York
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Got the song and stories LP of Disney's Robin Hood for $1.
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11. Board Game: Twister [Average Rating:4.56 Overall Rank:15313]
J Weintraub
United States
Commack
New York
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Also, an original 70s era Spin Art, still with paint and papers. $2.
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12. Board Game: Mighty Monsters [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:6746]
Bob Pony
United States
San Jose
California
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Picked up a 'Mighty Men & Monster Maker' at a flea today. And it's complete!

I saw it at the same flea last week, but the guy wanted $20. So I put it back down.

Today he was asking $15. I told him that that was ok, I didn't need it. So he asked how much I'd pay.

I thought for a moment and said 'five dollars'. He hemmed and hawed a bit, and I jumped in and told him (with a smile on my face) 'it's ok if you hang onto it, my wife will probably be happier if you do'.

He looked at me, probably thought about his wife, and said 'Yeah, five dollars, that's fine'.

So, a complete MM&MM for five bucks. The box is in really good condition as well, just a bit of wear on the edges and end flaps. Gotta be happy with that!



And here's a neat blog about it. The artist that did all of the tiles for the set is the same guy that did The Rocketeer!
http://www.muddycolors.com/2015/01/mighty-men-monster-maker/
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13. Board Game: Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:3111]
Ms Dew
United States
Massachusetts
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I’ve been waiting for this kind of thrifty find for awhile. Thrilled to find a dvd set of the 1st Doctor’s first three story arcs. Couldn’t pass up owning the first ever Dalek story! $2 at my local thrift store.
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14. Board Game: LEGO Champion [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:11210]
Crazy Adam
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I found this about a month ago, but it's taken some time to get it to the point where it's worth posting. You see, I came across a giant collection of Lego at two thrift stores. The total I paid was $30 for about 700-800 pieces. For the most part, some very common vehicles were found and a couple of harder-to-find ones. But the vehicle I'm posting at the end is the BIG EXCITING STORY here and one of the best finds I've ever made in my 18 years of thrifting.



I had some Lego as a kid. Loved it. But as a collector today with many different collections (especially 1980s toys) I've purposely stayed away from Lego. Like "all board games vs Advanced Squad Leader" you're either in one camp or the other. Like ASL, Lego is a lifestyle hobby. It's almost impossible to just dabble. It eats all of your time and money and if you collect Lego, that's what you collect. That's the trend anyway.

But I've always felt a tiny hole in my collection where Lego should be.

When I came across this beat up box of a spaceship from the 1980s Lego Space line, the epiphany came to me almost immediately: What if I just collect 1980s Space Lego? Would that singular restriction keep me from falling into a pit of pointy bricks? I can say for the most part one month later: yes!... with some exceptions.



The above box came jammed with parts that were clearly from the pictured ship and some clearly not. I found the box in a medium-sized bin with a bunch of other pieces, some space-y pieces there too and some not. As there were no manuals, it took me a few weeks to figure out most likely what sets were all mixed up into these two containers. After much research, hours of sorting bricks by colour and type, and sourcing missing parts from the excellent (Excellent!) bricklink.com, this is what I found:



COSMIC FLEET VOYAGER (6985) - 1986
The one that matched the box. It was missing about 10% of its pieces. The picture I posted above shows it in that state, but I've sourced out parts and its now at about 98% completion. Most replacement pieces cost between a nickel and 30 cents or so. Unfortunately, the semi-transparent yellow windows were only used in very few sets and cost $5 each. Fortunately, I was only missing two. It's got a lot of nifty features and was one of the largest ships to be released in this line. It has a separating back module, windows, hatches, and doors that open and close, and lots of little details to look at. When I get it completed, it will be worth about $120-$140 in the shape it's in.



COSMIC CHARGER (6845) - 1986 [front vehicle]
The red laser turrets move up and down. The wings also raise and lower like a gull-wing sports car. Complete, it's worth around $10-$15.

SPACE SCOOTER (885) - 1978 [middle vehicle]
It's possible this wasn't original to the set I had, but I had enough pieces to make it and I wanted a vehicle that came from the first year of Classic Space. I've probably robbed another vehicle of pieces but with combining and recombining pieces and research, I think I made the best approximate stab of which vehicles I could complete with the least investment given the parts I already had. It's a little plain, but it's a good ship and it will get you to where you need to go. It's worth about $7.

CELESTIAL FORAGER (6896) - 1990 [back vehicle]
The second-largest vehicle I acquired. Although it branches out from Classic Space and into Lego's M:Tron brand (1990-1993) it still looks vintage and it's super cool. The M:Tron vehicles often used magnets, and this set is no exception. It's got great neon-green highlights, can lower and raise a magnetic grabber to pick up a box, and has nice movement and articulation as it drives. As great as it looks, this vehicle is only worth about $10.



PULSAR CHARGER (6811) - 1990 [leftmost vehicle]
This is just a small support vehicle from the M:Tron line. It doesn't do anything of real interest but it still looks neat. Worth about $9 complete.

SPACE DIGGER (6822) - 1981 [centre vehicle]
I suspect this vehicle wasn't original to the collection I acquired as its pieces were also used in a larger vehicle which I also had pieces for. However, that one was missing so many parts that I decided to make this smaller vehicle out of them. Not a lot going on for it except the fully poseable claw on the back. It's a neat feature. Complete, this is worth around $7.

SEISMOLOGIC VEHICLE (6844) - 1983 [rightmost vehicle]
It's got articulated steering. It also has two containers to hold tiny little pieces of radioactive Lego. Otherwise, it's a kind of funny looking vehicle, but totally from the era. Complete, it's worth about $9.



SIEGE TOWER (6061) - 1984
This was one of the only clearly non-Classic Space sets in the collection. While it immediately broke my rule about non-Space Lego, I warmed up to it pretty quickly. You see, the only Lego set I had as a kid was a large Castle set, and I played with it so, so, so much. I remember losing one piece to it and crying forever. So it was sort of precious to me. This is the Siege Tower. It came with two parts: the wall to siege and the tower to siege it with. A draw bridge goes up and down (when I find some black thread, that is). At this moment it's missing a few accessories for the soldiers (like a ladder, shield, and ax) but the tower and castle wall are all there. Complete, this goes for about $30. While apparently lots of 1980s Lego doesn't go for that much, Classic Castle Lego retains some value.

-----------------

OKAY, now the BIG find. Would have never believed it when I found it that it was anything special. And I don't think most would. But if you're a SERIOUS LEGO COLLECTOR (and I mean "serious-with-a-capital-S") and it is your goal to collect rare Lego sets, then you know all about what I'm going to show you and how exceedingly crazy it is that I found it. Here it is:



UNICEF TRUCK (106) - 1985
That's it? Just a common truck with a UNICEF logo on it? Well, here's the story, the best I can figure it, based on what little information the internet has:

So apparently in 1985 there was a contest in Canada. Remember those UNICEF coin boxes that you'd wear around your neck for Hallowe'en and collect pennies from your neighbours as you also collected candy? It was all over Canada but I don't know how far it reached into America. (Apparently, the Orange Box program was discontinued in 2006, after 50 years of being in Canada. Wow!)

Anyway - in 1985 there was a contest. The top 100 children who gathered the most money for UNICEF during their Hallowe'en campaign would win an exclusive Lego set. Exciting!! And so somewhere in various parts of Canada 100 children did collect the most money. And lo, those kids received a... tiny van? Probably not something you treasured all that much once you put it together and saw that it was just a typical car with a UNICEF logo.

But here's the thing: What children didn't realize back then was that there were only 100 of these things. Who cares if it's just a van? You are one of the very few of MILLIONS who have it. And while anyone could build this van out of common parts, the printed UNICEF side pieces were exclusive to this and would never be made again. But as a kid, you didn't know that, did you?

So this kid, now an adult, didn't make much fuss when his parents donated his dusty Lego collection to a thrift store. And like a handful of those original winners, probably never thought those pieces he once won in a contest would be worth that much.

Turns out... that little UNICEF van is worth about $500.

So I just started my Lego collection, and ended up getting one of the rarest vehicles ever produced. Not a bad beginning.

-----------------------

The photo right at top is the Lego I have remaining after building all these sets. It is what was left over from that find from a month ago and with another box of Lego I found just a few days ago. It was full of Classic Space pieces and Classic Town pieces. Fortunately, there were also some beat up instruction manuals, so I have an inkling of what might be in there. Clearly lots of pieces are missing and somebody stole the minifigs from the box before I bought it. (ARGH!) But I'm looking forward to building many more sets. My love for Lego has been rekindled. And there is something just so damn satisfying about sorting pieces and then slowly revealing the ingenuity of Lego designers from 30 years ago as I slowly put together their ships, vehicles, and space stations... brick by brick.
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15. Board Game: The American Girls Game [Average Rating:4.89 Unranked]
Kaitlyn Morgan
Canada
Kanata
Ontario
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Found 2 American Girl books titled "Meet Samantha" and "Samantha Saves The Day" for $1.79 each at Value Village Walkley. As my daughter's name is Samantha, I couldn't turn them down. She's not old enough to read them yet but she will be one day.
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16. Board Game: Citadel [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Bob Pony
United States
San Jose
California
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I picked up some Citadel model paints & washes over the weekend. Looks like they're about ten years old, but they seem to be in fine shape. Ten dollars for two kits, one of washes, the other of paints and shrubbery and such.

I know these paints can be pricey, and I do like painting my own dnd figures. So I figured why not.



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17. Board Game: The Mansion of Bliss [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Crazy Adam
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Such a cool find!

At Value Village today for $2.99 I bought a book written in a language I'd never heard of. And probably most of us haven't heard of:

Blissymbolics.

The interesting thing is that the book is 'Romeo & Juliet'. It's heavily abridged to support the limitations of the language, but it's great that someone took on such a classic title for a translation to a modern, symbolic language. This book was published in 1983.

Here are a couple of pics and a brief explanation of the system:



Blissymbolics ('Bliss' for short) is an ideographic language, meaning that its symbols represent concepts rather than phonemic sounds. There are several hundred different symbols in the original Bliss lexicon and apparently several thousand today. It was invented by Charles Bliss during World War II while he lived as a refugee after being kicked out of his native Ukraine. His personal understanding was that people could easily hate each other because they spoke and thought in different languages, and an easy-to-understand common written language would bring a little peace and understanding to all. While it is clear that his utopian ideals regarding language were not adopted, his system was eventually used in the 1970s and onward as a way to help people with severe language impairments (like cerebral palsy) to communicate.

During this time there was a lot of friction between Bliss and the major organization that was researching and employing Blissymbolics, the Ontario Crippled Children's Centre (OCCC). The OCCC continued to alter the language to make it more of a bridging language between symbolics and English, while Bliss held on to the idea that Blissymbolics could be its own language without the need to ever move towards English literacy. After years of heated entanglements, in 1982 the OCCC received the rights to use Blissymbolics in any way they saw fit (with a large payout for Bliss as compensation). Another organization was also formed during that time, the Blissymbolics Communication Institute, to oversee international consistency. It is this organization which published the book seen here. As all of these organizations are located in Toronto, Ontario, which gives a good reason why I was able to find this book locally.

It also has several black-and-white illustrations which are quite amateurish, but only adds to the interest. Anyway, it's such a neat curiosity and I was surprised to see that it is still a language being used today in certain fields, though not in the way Bliss originally envisioned. Then again, if Esperanto couldn't make it, Bliss and other global languages didn't stand much of a chance either.
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18. Board Game: Dolce Vita [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:6191]
Bob Pony
United States
San Jose
California
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TLDR; I got a PS Vita for $60.

I ran across a guy selling a PS Vita last week at one of the flea markets. He wanted $100, but I pointed out that it was missing the memory card (and those are expensive), so I offered $60. He countered at $70, and I just couldn't get him lower. So I walked away.

Came back to his booth on my way out, and he told me he'd take the $60. I asked if I could plug it in to see if it booted, and sure enough, it didn't. I tried four different outlets. The outlets weren't close together either, so I had to disassemble the power cord and box the whole thing back up each time I moved. But it just wouldn't boot, and the PS button wouldn't light up.

So I told the guy I thought it was broken and got my $60 back.

Over the weekend I read up on the Vita some more, only to find that with the original systems the power cable can go into the system in two different orientations (like an iphone cable), but only one of the two provides power. Hmmm...what are the odds that I chose the wrong orientation each time?

I went back today and the guy still had the Vita out for sale. So I took a gamble and told him I'd just take it for the $60. Got it home, checked the cable orientation and bam! I have a lit PS button. An hour later it has enough charge to boot up, and everything works great!



Happy happy.

Oh, did I mention that it's *new*? It had been powered up, but never used.
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19. Board Game: Snap Election! [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Sean Turner
United States
Bexley
Ohio
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Found a 300 experiment Snap Circuit. It looks brand new, $3.99 Goodwill in Dayton. First may try to donate this to the Children's hospital and if they don't want it I will find someone local. I loved playing this with my son. It killed me that it was just sitting on the shelf. I am sure that I can find a good home for it.
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20. Board Game: LEGO Creator [Average Rating:5.30 Overall Rank:14158]
-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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Found for $6.99, a box of 7 lbs of plastic American Bricks, a precursor to Legos in the US. Interestingly, the Halsam company had them under their 'ELGO' (Elliot+Goss) line and Lego paid them $25,000 ahead of entering the US market to avoid any conflicts.

More info here about the bricks and company history.

I love finding cool stuff I've never seen before, then finding more about the history of it.....

EDIT: wow you guys sure are demanding laugh

Ok here's my 'proof':


7+ pounds of American Bricks for $6.99


Inside the box


Dumped on a 3'x5' table for maximum effect. I also added the container of bricks into the picture from a previous find - those are still in the container.
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21. Board Game: Luck of the Draw [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:5796]
Bob Pony
United States
San Jose
California
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Kind of a cart grab here. At a flea.

Saw a worker unloading stuff from a huge cardboard box - she reached in and pulled out this big, flat, bubble-wrapped thing and put it out on a table. I scooped it up, flipped it over, and saw 'Wacom' and 'Intuos' through the bubble wrap.

It's a PTH-850, the largest drawing tablet Wacom makes (I think). It's huuuuge. The pen and holder were bubble wrapped on top of the tablet. Bonus!

Four bucks later it was headed home with me.



That's it sitting next to a fifteen inch macbook.

I own a CTH-480, it's a very small Wacom. This thing dwarfs it. But it also uses the same drivers, so I unplugged the little one, popped the cable into the big one, and everything happily works great!

Now to decide whether I keep this or not. It's a nice-to-have if I'm being honest. But it is a really nice nice-to-have.
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22. Board Game: Shogun Triumphant [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:7229]
Bob Pony
United States
San Jose
California
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Picked up this old toy at Savers for $1.50. It's from 1978, but unfortunately one of the wings is broken off. I have a buddy that builds Warhammer 40k models, I suspect he'll know how to pin this all back together.



Even broken it apparently is worth a great deal more than the dollar fifty I spent. Just the Grendizer robot figure goes for $25-$30 by itself.

Very cool little die cast toy!
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23. Board Game: Rising Sun [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:64]
Crazy Adam
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont.
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Have you ever heard of motion lamps? I have two of them already and this makes a third. They're not particularly easy to come by, but I've been lucky enough to find one at an antique market and another at a thrift store. This third one came from the antique market I got the first from. Oddly enough, for all the overpriced crap at that particular market, I've found these motion lamps to be undervalued.

I picked this one up for $60 (talked down from $70). Apparently, it's copied from an American design from a company called Scene-in-Motion. The lamp pictured here is based on a lamp made by them in 1931 titled "Japanese Twilight". When I compare the one I have to pictures of the American version, they are virtually identical. There is a sticker in mine that shows it was made in Canada. Like many vintage lamps that I find, they are often made in Canada. This leads me to believe that there was some sort of difficulty importing lamps or it was simply much cheaper to produce them locally. So most likely companies would buy the schematics for American and other international lamps and create them locally to avoid whatever extra costs were cutting into their bottom line at the time. I get the impression that significant permits were required to produce anything that required electricity, so my guess is this has something to with the under-representation of American made antique electric lamps here in Canada.

Anyway, without further ado!



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24. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:170]
Ryan
United States
ATX
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Managed to find 2 Akira Kurosawa DVDs for $1.99 USD each at 2 different Goodwills! Criterion Collection copy of Seven Samurai and Janus Films (Criterion adjacent) Essential Art House release of the Hidden Fortress. Would have loved to find a copy of Ran as well, but I'm not going to complain about finding any Kurosawa films at a thrift shop!

(Edited to include where I found these)
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25. Board Game: Bongo! [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:4295]
Jeff Black
United States
Walpole
Massachusetts
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I found a pro quality set of bongos recently for $8-$10 that currently retail for a whole lot more. They look completely unplayed.
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