30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Flea Market Finds #114: Junk Wax Era

The first weekend of every month is my favorite weekend, because that means it's time for the De Anza Flea Market.  Imagine an art and wine festival version of a swap meet.  There are a lot of crafts, antiques, and collectibles with a handful of sports memorabilia sprinkled in here and there.

Unfortunately... you don't find a lot of hidden treasures since the vendors typically know what they have.  But every now and then, you'll find people who are trying to clean out their garages.  This month's flea market didn't disappoint.

Purchase #1:  1991 Topps and 1994 Score Wax Boxes $10

If you're a fan of unopened wax boxes and factory sets from the late 80's and early 90's, then you would have been in Cardboard Heaven on Saturday.  I ran across a couple who had four bins filled with the stuff.

After I handed over the ten bucks, I immediately started having buyer's remorse.  Do I really need more overproduced Junk Wax Era cards cluttering my office?  Not really.  But... $10 is a small price to pay for an hour's worth of entertainment.

Preview:  Another Junk Wax Era purchase down below.

Purchase #2:  Venom Figures $5

Crowds usually mean something of interest.  And that's exactly what gathered around an elderly couple with a ton of comic books and comic book action figures.

Normally these kind of vendors don't command a lot of attention.  But they were selling comic books for 10¢ each and figures for $2.50 each.  Unfortunately most of the stuff had been picked through, but I did manage to secure these two Venom figures which will end up being displayed in my classroom.

Purchase #3:  Basketball Binder $10

I rarely pick up basketball cards anymore... but when I do, it usually involves Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.  This binder has both.  There's a complete 1996/97 Fleer Metal set which contains two Kobe Bryant rookie cards and a rookie year insert:

Plus there are a bunch of other inserts thrown into pages.

The Magic Johnson refractor and the Bird/Magic rookie reprint were the two cards that sealed the deal for me.

Purchase #4:  1990, 1991, and 1992 Upper Deck Factory Sets $5

Remember the guy with $5 wax boxes?  I went back a few hours later and he dropped his prices even more.  He told me I could have any box/set for $4 each or 3 for $10.  When I didn't bite, he said make me an offer.  I jokingly told him I'd buy 3 more items for $5... thinking he'd never accept the offer.  He said "okay" before I could finish my sentence.

I picked out these three sets, because it fills the gap between my 1989 and 1993 Upper Deck factory sets.

Purchase #5:  1978 Donruss Sgt. Peppers Wax Box $15

If there was one purchase I made this month at De Anza that could be considered a hidden treasure... this would be it.  I have never seen the movie... nor have I had the desire to watch it.  But it's still an unopened wax box from the late 70's that cost me about the same price as a modern day blaster.

The next day I also walked around the Capitol Flea Market, which is the exact opposite of De Anza.  It's dirty... but it has tons of vendors with piles of garbage.  The good news is that every now and then, you'll hit the jackpot and find something of use among the trash.

Purchase #1:  2003 Oakland A's Babushka Dolls $3

This isn't exactly worth tons of money.  But when I discovered it, it kinda felt like I had found a hidden treasure.

It was sitting in the original plain white box handed out at the Oakland Coliseum on Father's Day back in 2003.  I'm sure most people could care less about Oakland A's Russian nesting dolls, but even if there was someone out there looking for these, they'd have a helluva time finding them.  They were sitting at the bottom of a Rubbermaid bin with a bunch of random items like picture frames and photo albums.

Three dollars seemed like a fair price for a unique stadium giveaway featuring The Big Three and Ramon Hernandez.  Not exactly sure where I'll end up displaying these guys since there's no room left on my Oakland A's shelf in my office.  I might need to bring them into my classroom and give the students another reason to tease me for being an A's fan.

Well that's it for now.  I didn't go out to flea market last weekend.  It was too cold and I wanted to sleep in.  Next Saturday is the Branham Flea Market.  Hopefully the "box bottom" guy is there.  He always has at least a few pieces of cardboard I'm interested in.

Until then... Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Great buys on the Upper Deck sets.. I sa the Sgt Pepper movie in the theater the week it came out. Huge Beatles fan. Horrible movie. I've never seen the cards. Should be fun to open

  2. Great deal on the Upper Deck sets.I don't even want to think how much I spent on those 3 sets back in the early 90's.

  3. Those Upper Deck sets are fantastic! Nice find on those.

  4. I'll fourth that. Lot's of great cards in the UD sets. I like the basketball cards too. The Metals are very cool.

  5. Those Venom figures are pretty cool, but I think my favorite out of this bunch has to be the Basketball Binder. I love those Metal cards.

  6. Great finds. That basketball binder with kobe and inserts was a steal

  7. Mrs. S and I watched the Sgt. Pepper movie a couple of years ago; we're both big Beatles fans, she'd seen the movie when it came out. Her entertainment came from watching my varying expressions of horror as the movie went along. Awful, awful movie... But it might make for a decent card set because there were a number of big names in the movie: Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees, Steve Martin, George Burns, Aerosmith, Earth, Wind & Fire, Alice Cooper, Billy Preston... and there are a lot of cameos listed on IMDB.

  8. You got a nice deal on the Metal set. If you want to cringe, search Kobe autos on Ebay and filter from the highest price....yikes!

  9. Excellent finds, especially the basketball binder!

  10. Excellent finds, especially the basketball binder!

  11. The Sgt Peppers Box is off the rail, great find-I mean really a '70s entertainment box for a good price, I am in.

  12. mark hoyle - i was only six when the movie came out, but i remember hearing how terrible it was. i tried to watch the trailer last week and turned it off.

    sg488 - i think i paid $30 to $40 each and that was with my employee discount.

    adam sanders - yeah... i helped balance my overpaying on the two wax boxes

    hackenbush - fleer metal ruled back in the 90's. i went through several phases with those cards. loved them at first. then it was too much foil for me. now i love them again.

    raz - i was so bummed that i didn't get my hands on the carnage figures.

    sport card collectors - thanks. i don't collect basketball anymore, but i just couldn't pass up that binder

    shlatbotnikreport - that's good to know. the possibility of pulling an aerosmith rookie card is very intriguing.

    matthew scott - yeah... i've given up trying to buy a kobe auto. i have one in my pc. hopefully he'll keep signing for panini and one day the price will fall.

    jafronius - thanks!

    b man - yeah. 70's wax for $15 is an auto-buy. they actually don't sell for much more... which is very surprising.

  13. You can never go wrong with getting VENOM figures!