Tuesday, October 9, 2012


“Nicky, when I was your age --  a ball game cost less than a buck, the Verrazano Bridge was only 50-cents when it opened & a movie cost just nickel.  Sorry Nicky, but you kids are seriously screwed.”
     - Grandpa Monte

When I was a kid – I didn’t really understand what my grandfather meant by that statement.  Now that gas is $4 a gallon, and a Blu-Ray costs upwards of $30, I know exactly what he meant.  I may not know how it feels to watch a movie for a nickel, but I miss paying $7 as a kid, compared to $12 now. Oh to be able to relive those childhood memories.

For two dollars though, you can! It's such a great deal that even Grandpa Monte would approve.

Wish I bought this Donald Duck
For just a measly $2, you can visit the 'Wayne NJ Toy & Collectible Show'. It's much cheaper than a time traveling DeLorean, and you don't have to worry about bumping into your parents at the wrong time. 

Multiple dealers would tell me…
“Here you’ll find genuine and different types of items.”
“Literally something’s here for everyone.” 
“Besides the items, you find great energy.  It’s a little show and I love it.  Collectors and merchants are always happy and eager to help one another.”

Just when I thought my toy hood nostalgia couldn’t get any better -- I saw a mass 80's toys collection and was in awe.
Then I saw a ton of must have comics - well I figured that'll be the highlight of the show. 
That was till - I saw the classic tin toys. 

I couldn't run over fast enough at this lot

After walking from table to table I discovered an array of collectibles; it was truly a sight to see. 

Makes me wonder why people stick purely to sites like eBay and don’t give shows/conventions a second thought.  The seller of ‘PD Classic DVDs’ only sees positives when it comes to shows like this one.  “You get to know the sellers.  They take care of their products, and want to help you.  Besides that, you get to hold the item you’re interested in, meet people who share your passion and become smarter in the field.  It’s a special thing.”

As the show went on I heard more and more people laughing and talking about particular items.  At one point the old school Nintendo became a topic of conversation; so of course I got into the middle of that one.
Someone buy me these comics please.

I do love reading my comics, but I also enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal (not to the same degree obviously).  So I had to ask the dealers how much the show helps them. 

“These shows definitely help dealers and the community in general.  People on the way here stopped at a local Dunkin Donuts; that’s money spent locally.  When people leave they’ll likely stop by the flea market across the street; that’s more money spent locally.  Besides that, dealers get their name out, and the better off they become,” ‘PD Classic DVD’s’ seller added.

‘Absolute Best Collectibles’ also said, “Small businesses gets a boost in a hurting economy.  Any commerce is positive.”


Crowd: 10
-       It was remarkably easy to navigate throughout the show.  To top it off, the other people were extremely courteous, kind & helpful; very Boy Scout like.  Really couldn’t ask for anything more.  Even Kitty Pryde (aka Shadowcat), who can phase through people, couldn’t have had an easier time.

 Staff: 10
- Know how I just praised the crowd?  Well that goes double for the staff. You couldn’t ask for a nicer group of people to run a show.  The only thing nicer than the staff though, was the bacon, egg & cheese the kitchen staff made for me.  It’s nice being able to order food at all times of the day.  When the sandwich you order is one of your major highlights, well life’s just grand.

 Size of Show: 6
- It was a good size show that was attached to a fire house.  Honestly, I thought it was going to be much smaller, but in fact, it was a little bit bigger than the Asbury Con I visited a few weeks ago prior.  The size worked out for the best; with so much merchandise to take in, any more probably would’ve been over bearing.

Vendor Quality: 9

Probably my favorite childhood memory of the show
- While walking around the show I was consistently doing one thing, looking at random merchandise and saying to myself, “Oh my mom would like that.  Wow that’ll be awesome for my buddy Paul.  Holy ish I’d kill to own this.” There was literally something for everybody at this show.  From old classic tin toys to merchandise recently sold out at a Toys “R” Us, you get a real nice variety to pick from. If I had to be picky – I wish they had more Ghostbuster toys.  Again, that’s being picky.  If I was a Transformers guy – I would’ve given multiple dealers my future kids for the toys they had.
Getting In/Out: 10
- Right off several major highways, making it very easy to get to.  Really – Can it get any better than that?  Oh wait it does – FREE PARKING!!!  Sorry for getting so excited, it’s the little things in life that make me happy.

Atmosphere: 7
- In terms of atmosphere, you can’t compare it to the Asbury Convention.  To be fair though – All of Asbury Park has a classic throw back look.  Wayne New Jersey is a different story.  The lights shining out of the fire department’s bay doors, before the sun came up, was absolutely stunning.  Which to me, as a guy who grew up with a photographer as a father, was just gorgeous. 

- It’s hard NOT to say enough good things about this show, or is  their?  Every time the show is held, money goes to the local firehouse to meet its ever-demanding rise of cost for operation.   COME ON...WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FOR?!?!  So get off your ass on a Sunday morning, have a giant pot of coffee ready & get ready to have an amazing experience. 

Monday, October 1, 2012


After doing my week of comic blogs, I heard about the second annual Asbury Park Comic Convention.  It seemed like a total win.  It’s not that far of a drive, sounded like a small personal venue, and I might be able to find some really inexpensive items with an even cheaper admission fee. 

I’ve been to smaller conventions (cons) that were located in a church basement or auditorium.  However a bowling alley was a first for me.  

My friends and I left early in the morning to check it out, but it was nice knowing I could get a beer whenever I wanted one.  Besides that though, I wasn’t sure what to honestly expect between the crowd and exhibitors. 

 I was just going on an assumption and hope of having a good time.  Then I had a gut feeling that this was going to be fun. 

 While waiting to enter the bowling alley, the conversations I had with total strangers consisted of the best ways to mix alcohol, to how awesome my Teenage Mutant Ghost Busters shit was.  Then, the second I finished my giant iced coffee, they let us in.

 After a mad dash to the bathroom from drinking a big gulp sized iced coffee, I hit the floor.

 Everybody was super nice, helpful and overall just great to do business with. The items I picked up were...

A good chunk of Frank Miller's Daredevil run, Daredevil: Reborn hardcover & Ghostbusters Minimates
   Courtesy of The Comic Book Shop @

An original piece of Mirage Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Artwork.  BTW – If anyone could tell me which issue it’s from that would just make you awesome!!!
Courtesy of Gary Fields @ http://garyfieldsstudios.blogspot.com/

The Wonder City Vol.1 trade paperback
Courtesy of ‘The Wonder City’ @

Vector style cinema Daredevil poster
 Courtesy of Artist Jason Quinones @  http://jasonquinones.deviantart.com/


Crowd: 8
-       Extremely bearable.  In no way did I feel like a sardine stuck in a can.  More importantly – it didn’t have that hot B/O smell you usually get from big crowds.

Staff: 9
-       Very helpful and kind.  I didn’t see them too often (due to the fact my head was buried in long boxes).  When I did though, they were either laughing with guests, or helping them find something.

Size of Con: 5
-       It was a nice small crowd, which honestly, is the main reason I wanted to visit.  I just wish they had one or two more vendors/stores there selling comics.  Otherwise – no complaints

Vendor quality: 9
-       Nice assortment of Indy comics, mainstream, toys, artwork, guests & just random/surprising good stuff.

Getting in/out: 9
-       Easy to get there from the Garden State Parkway.  Had no trouble getting in and out of the place.  FYI – as a visitor there’s no reason for us or anyone to pay for the $10 parking.  After two or three hours you’re just about done with the place.

Atmosphere: 10
-       Simply put, this was pretty bad ass.  It was in an old school bowling alley, and fits the backdrop of Asbury Park perfectly.  As I said earlier it was a different change of pace, and just unique.  

-       Admission was $7 and I was there for probably 2 ½ hours.  Way I see it; much cheaper than a movie, and the same amount of fun.  I spent my con budget spread out around 1 ½ hours, and still had fun walking/talking with people.  An overall great experience.  Again, the only critique I can say is that I wish they had more comic store vendors, and that I didn’t pay for a full day’s worth of parking. 

So when the third annual Asbury Park Comic Con comes around…make sure to get your tickets and expect to buy a lot of cool stuff.