Usually in October, a free weekend is non-existent for my wife and I. But somehow this year, we had one. So we took advantage of it, doing something we’ve been wanting to do for a while, but just never had the time. Which was heading out to the Haunted Halloween Flea Market in Wheaton, IL. We have several friends of ours that go to this every year, and even had some friends setting up there too. So the wife and I headed out early on Saturday afternoon, with a beautiful day for it too! No rain in the forecast and a nice cool evening.
The thing about flea markets, or really any kind of show that has vendors, you really need to know your market to know if the prices you’re seeing are fair or way over priced. I’m sure there are plenty of fair vendors out there, but there are also that are there trying to make a living, so their prices might be on the high “collector” side. You can find some great deals there, don’t get me wrong. You just need to know your stuff before hand, otherwise you can end up spending more than you should.
But that being said, there is plenty of different items to keep you interested. While I didn’t find anything I needed to have for the collection, we did see a bunch of our friends while there, such as John Borowski, who was set up selling his books and documentaries on serial killers. While I’m not a huge follower of these real life monsters, Borowski is the man to talk to if you are. He has made some documentaries that will make your jaw drop when you learn about some of human dregs of society.
We also caught up with our friends Bryan Ruff and his wife Kirsten, who were set up there as well, selling prints of Bryan’s work. If you haven’t seen his stuff and you like your horror with a nice little cartoonish twist, then check out his work at the Art of Ruff. Good stuff! We could only talk for a bit because he was getting some interested customers!
Our good friend Dave Kosanke and his wife Deborah are always coming out to this show and sure enough, we ran into them as well. Dave’s the editor/creator of the infamous Liquid Cheese magazine. So it was nice to see them and chat for a while before we were both off shopping again.
While we didn’t spend any money, other than some tasty treats, we left empty handed. Which is probably a good thing, since the next day, I headed out to the Chicago Toy Show in St. Charles. I went there last year with the wife and son, and found a couple of items, but mainly the stuff that I would have been interested in were way too pricey for my blood. But we did end up meeting Rick Goldschmidt, the biggest Rankin/Bass authority, who has written several books on them, including one on Mad Monster Party, which he was selling copies of! So this time, I thought I’d do it but made the trip by myself.
The first building I go into, and there are a few buildings at this show, I see this little gem, a resin kit from the film The Manster. The funny thing is that we just watched this the other night. Not a great movie by any means, but a damn entertaining one! Since I just got there, I decided to look around more, to see what else might be here, but I ended up coming back for it. For $65, it will be a nice addition to my collection. Just not sure if I’m going to try and paint it or leave it the gray color it is.
Just like last year, there are plenty of cool items, with a ton of classic monster stuff. But again, way too much money for my blood. Not saying they were overpriced, but just that to me, it’s not worth spending $50 on some little Frankenstein toy from the ’70s. I’m pretty thankful that I’m not a huge monster toy collector or not only would I really not have any room at the Krypt, but I would also be broke!
But I did see something that I broke down and purchased, which was a Mondo Frankenstein poster, by artist Francesco Francavilla. Some of these Mondo posters are just beautiful but I normally out of my price range. I love the fact that they are creating posters that have actual artwork, instead of the crap they used for today’s movies. But I’ve never seen one that I felt I had to have, until today. Being a huge Frankenstein fan, this one is just beautiful. One of my concerns was that it was raining earlier and was supposed to be on and off all day. Trying to get this to my car in between downpours could be tricky. And for the $145 price, that decision could go badly, very quickly.
After doing a little research online, the price the dealer was asking was pretty damn good, especially since it was already framed. So I took the plunge, buying my first Mondo poster. The rain had stopped and according to the radar, it looked like there was a small break before the next onslaught. And the weather people are always accurate, right?. So I quickly made my way to the parking lot, trying to find my car in the massive sea of cars, all the while praying for the rain to hold off. I thought I knew where I had parked, but the more you turn around in circles looking, the more confusing it got. I finally found it, got the poster safely in the backseat and got in the car. As I was pulling out of the lot a few minutes later, the clouds unleashed the floods and it poured! Somebody was watching out for me!
Now that I’m home safe and sound, and dry, I can’t wait to get this poster hung up. Now….finding an open spot for it….