Thursday, November 17, 2005

How Much Do You Want For That?

Yesterday we left a young version of me desperately wanting one of those shiny new Nintendo Entertainment Systems, but only having some of the money for one after beginning work on a paper route.

At this point in the story, I had been pining for an NES for months. As a pretty young kid, that might seem like an odd amount of dedication. It was in some respects, but as the saga of getting a Nintendo dragged on, I actually wanted it more. For one thing, I was going through a lot of work to get the stupid thing. For another, everyone I knew was picking them up left and right.

Now, this wasn't really a peer pressure type thing, where I needed an NES just so I could say I had one. Sure it would be nice to be able to contribute to the incessant conversations about new games, tricks and tactics. But I didn't want an NES so it would collect dust in my room. I wanted it because it was cool and fun to play. I wanted to be able to play those games as much as I wanted without having to wait for another person much, much more skilled then I to lose a guy in Super Mario Brothers.

So, that summer, after working the paper route for several months and being closer to, but still out of reach from getting an NES, I decided that I needed to do something to make that additional money.

I decided I would sell some of my other toys at a local garage sale. And not just any toys. No, I decided to sell my prized original Star Wars action figures and toys.

I've mentioned before what a huge Star Wars nerd I am, and it included having a massive collection of Star Wars toys when I was a kid. And by massive, I mean I literally had every single toy they made for the first two movies, and most of the toys they made for the third. I had acquired some of these over the years for birthdays and holidays, but I had also won first place in some contest at a toy store where the grand prize was a shopping spree of Star Wars toys.

The end result was that I had an enormous assortment of figures and vehicles, far more then I and an army of little playmates could use. Plus I was getting older, and while playing with action figures was fun, it was starting to lose its appeal. So I made what seemed like the obvious choice at the time, and decided to put up the collection for sale.

I dutifully put prices on everything, and hauled the boxes of toys across the street for the garage sale. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the whole lot was bought by one guy on the first day, excepting one imperial speeder bike driver, of which I had two for sale. The guy walked in, added up the ridiculously low prices I had put on everything and said "I'll take em all". Probably snickering under his breath while handing over a (relative) pittance in cash.

At the time I was quite happy with my sale. I didn't miss the toys and I finally had enough to buy that NES I so badly wanted. Having plotted for so long, I knew exactly where to get the best deal on a Nintendo at any given time and immediately dragged my parents out to buy my new game system. The NES turned out to be just as fun as I had hopes, and I could finally play all those games I had only heard about at school.

Now, looking back I am somewhat aggravated that I sold all the toys. Not because I missed playing with them (I didn't), but because that same collection I sold for maybe $60 would have been worth a fortune on EBay. But, that is the magic of hindsight, and my toys were not in their original packages (although I probably had more then the 67 that guy is selling, certainly I had addtional vehicles and such).

Regardless, I eventually did get my NES and enjoyed it thoroughly. And I probably even learned a thing or two in the process, which I suppose was what my parents were trying to accomplish. Plus the whole thing makes for an interesting story, I think.


Brenden Johnson said...

I thought that this was *that* story. Your poor Star Wars collection. >sniff<

But like you said, you enjoyed your NES. How many days and nights and countless hours were spent with that rectangular controller in your hand?

Steve Eck said...

As you are well aware, I only have so many stories to tell, so it was inevitable that eventually this one would make the cut. :)

And I spent way too much time playing my NES.

wleino said...

I have to say the hours spent playing NES have payed off.

As for a Star Wars collection, I have a very nice one that I could let you have for that fortune you've been talking about. I don't want to sell, but this way I would know it was getting a good home.

Steve Eck said...

Bill, as much as I would like to have my very own Star Wars toy collection, I don't have much interest in actually storing something like that. :)