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Monday, April 11, 2011

Goodwill Hunting 2: Extreme Edition: Day 2

Who runs Barter Town?
Who runs Barter Town? Actually, it's the Bellwood Flea Market. Still, would you be surprised if they had a Thunder Dome equivalent?
Despite how much ass the first day of my thrift store journey kicked, the next day would prove to be even more advantageous. Due to major life events sapping my wallet dry, You'll notice I didn't purchase a whole hell of a lot of goods. That said, the experience of being there, handling this stuff, and speaking with the shopkeepers I encountered was almost worth a truly epic find. In the interest of brevity I'm keeping this article picture heavy, and word light. If you missed Day 1, check it out before reading on. Otherwise, On to Day 2!

Holy Shit!
You can't see everything in this picture, but if I'd emptied out this bin it would have looked like the whole of the 80's-90's gaming scenes exploded into the dirt. Consoles,games, controls. Just tons of stuff! I bought
Kung Fu (didn't own it yet).

Can you tell the difference between those two Playstations?

A tale of 2 Playstations
How about now? This is the transition between the working optical drive, and the one where you had to turn the console upside down to get the stupid thing to work.
N64, a Game Gear, and a pile of junk
There were an awful lot of Game Gears and N64s in this place... Actually, there were a lot of Game Gears everywhere I went now that I think of it.

If it was anything but Guitar Hero Guitars and a PS-ONE I'd think this was an odd scene.

What a mess
The woman running this stand wanted $35 for each of these GBA-SPs! That's actually pretty average, but there was only 1 power cable between them and I didn't come to the flea market to pay average prices.

Who runs Barter Town?!
Just to give you an idea of an idea of the scale of this joint.
Up until this point, I'd seen what could be called "typical flea market fare." Controllers, consoles, carts, and CDs stacked on tables, in bins, and the dirt. The last booth I would visit however, was far from ordinary... For a flea market at least. Behold!

Am I crazy for putting a mosaic over that kid's face? How about, I don't care, I'm not trying to get sued.

Seriously, have you ever been to a flea market where there were this many games, that clean, and under glass? How about any of those circumstances by itself even? Probably not.

This just keeps getting better and better!
The older couple who ran this stand definitely knew how to take care of this stuff... and how much it was worth too. I ended up buying Castlevania Adventure on the Game Boy from em. It was a little pricy at $5.00, but I couldn't help myself.
Not too much beyond that. I did pick up copies of Atlantis on the 2600 (which I confused with the super-rare Atlantis II), and Ducktales for the NES from another booth that wasn't all that photo-worthy, and stopping at a pawnshop later in the day would secure me a new in box copy of Vector Man for the Genesis, which only ran me around $7.00! It was a great time, and if you're ever in Richmond, VA, I highly recommend going on a little treasure hunt yourself!

What I went home with
That's the complete haul. Photo taken with yet another terrible camera. I'll be using my D-3000 again for the next post, so keep an eye out!
That's it for the epic thrift-store weekend. I got to see some unusual things, speak with new and interesting people, and more likely than not, became a carrier for a new strand of tetanus. I hope you enjoyed my filthy exploits. There are more pictures if you're eager to see more console porn (you can thank @AzureLeeonardo for that phrase :D), just check out the Retronick flickr page.


  1. That last booth you visited looks like it was owned by someone who actually runs a proper store. As you said, everything is actually clean.

  2. @Brendan It's possible. They were also selling an assortment of pots, pans and other non-game related stuff. I spoke to a bunch of people who just go between different area markets trying to peddle their wares and it seemed like this couple fit that mold. But still, those were some very well-cared for items.

  3. Wow! Consider me jealous -- esp. of that last stop on your 'flea market journey.' I think I'm going to have to see if there are any flea markets around where I live...

  4. @Bryan It was a good time! I don't think I've ever seen so many abused consoles all in one place. I really needed that last booth to remind me that not everyone thinks older consoles are simply disposable.