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The Greater York Toy Extravaganza 2011

The Greater York Toy Extravaganza 2011

A few years back, I discovered the Greater York Toy Extravaganza – a huge toy show which takes place Thanksgiving weekend in York, PA. Each year the show is packed with everything – 800 tables of modern stuff, vintage stuff and even historical stuff. Plastic crap or diecast metal crap. All types of toys for all types of people. Of course, I'm looking for the "weirdo" stuff.

Greater York Toy Extravaganza

I said it in my 2008 and 2009 York Toy Show articles and I'll say it again – the trip is soooo long and challenging for me. I'm in South Carolina where there are no real toy shows, and if there ever were, they would involve NASCAR most likely. This trek to York is definitely not worth it financially, and yet, I'm compelled to go. Is it the intrigue of the mystery toys yet to be discovered? The miraculous great deal I may find? Or more realistically – the annual invitation I get from my father-in-law to join him at the toy show (thanks Monty).

Memorial Hall

I think Monty and I have learned our lesson over the years not to drive up to Pennsylvania as early and waste so much or our precious holiday weekend. Being the two toy-obsessed family men we are, we devised a plan to minimize the pain of the long-ass drive and wasteful stay in Pennsylvania. The plan of attack this year was get up super-early Saturday morning, drive up to PA and arrive in time for the dealer's early buyer's admission that evening. The next morning, we'd do early buyers again and then hit the road just before the show opens to the public. (These "early buyers" admissions will cost ya $20, so only consider if you're serious... or if you write your own toy blog. Ha.)

(The plan worked perfectly. The only thing is, with such a rushed timeline, I was more interested in scoring some weirdo toys and less concerned about taking photos. You'll notice my actual documentation of the toy show floor is pretty sparse this year. Sorry about that.)

Greater York Toy Extravaganza

On Saturday night we got in at the same time as the dealers. This is good and bad. It's good, because we get first dibs on toys as dealers set up. It's bad because not everyone actually sets up Saturday night, and definitely not everyone wants us hanging around, pestering them, as they unload their boxes.

Here's a peak at what I picked up the first night.

Crow & Gator

Some funky-looking crow puppet and an alligator soap dish…

He-Man & Skeletor Soap

A recognizable-but-off-putting He-Man and Skeletor vintage soap holders…

Huckleberry Hound

…and a Huckleberry Hound hollow, plastic coin bank.

This small haul worried me a bit for the potential of the show. I knew some of the vendors hadn't set up, so I was hoping they'd surprise me on Sunday.

At one point in that evening, as I stumbled through the show Saturday night, I literally did a double-take when I saw this super-cool, black skeleton warrior-type guy standing at one of the dealer's tables.

Skeleton Warrior

I know I've seen him before. Was this some random bootleg?

Crossbones

Crossbones and Ribs

Oh yeah! He's a direct copy of the skeletons from the Pirates of the Galaxseas toyline.

Skeleton Warrior

At least this bootleg has some cool, new accessories.

As it turns out, this figure is an in-progress prototype of a toyline the guys at ZoloWorld are putting together. It's called Warlords and Warriors.

The line is more-or-less a throwback to the countless Masters of the Universe knockoffs of the 80s we all know and love. It's so much of a throwback in fact, I think this is a direct recasting of the original molds by "Emco-Ray" (using pig latin to hide a keyword here). I guess he is a bootleg – a bootleg of a knockoff?

The characters may look familiar but they'll be given a new storyline with all new accessories and paint variations and stuff. Looks like a lot of fun. If they don't cost $30 each, I may pick some up!

 

Alright. Back to the rest of the show….

Greater York Toy Extravaganza

The next morning, Monty and I got in a couple hours before the show opened to the public. I know it doesn't seem like much, but trust me, walking the floor with a bit more ease and ability go back and forth and just take it all in without the rush of the crowd makes the shopping so much easier.

Greater York Toy Extravaganza

Not only that, but you get first dibs. So many times I see dealers buying from one another. So as the general public, you will never see some of the toys or even have a shot at getting them for a fair price. I've seen dealers buy something cheap then double the price and sell it at their own table. It's just nice to have that "insider's" edge when doing your toy hunting.

I won't give you a play by play of Saturday. But here's a quick look at what I picked up that day. Sure it's nothing mind blowing, but i like it.

Robots

First up, we have these clunky, vintage wind-up robots. They don't really work, but I just got them to look at anyway. Heh.

Megos

Next we have the super-classic Mego figures. I know there are repro parts on ol' Bats here, but I don't care. I don't have any Megos, and just having a few of the classic figures is good enough for me.

MInifigures

Next we have these cool, little minifigures. Seems like a mixture of sci-fi and fantasy creatures. I haven't bothered to get the story on these guys yet.

Monsters

Here we have some of the always-awesome Real Ghostbusters' ghosts along with a Toxic Crusaders bad guy and a villain from Blackstarr.

Beetlejuice

Lastly we have a few carded Beetlejuice toys. I know no one gives a crap about Beetlejuice toys, but I liked these two "Neighborhood Nasties" figures. The street punk transforms into a rat and the hillbilly fat guy turns into a pig. I'd never seen them before, and I hear they are pretty uncommon. I also got the classic Beetlejuice figure with a spinning and shrunken head. So that's good :D

I know my pics from the show are lacking, so just to give you a sense of what the show feels like, here are the videos I created for the last York show I attended. Not much has changed. In fact, a lot of the dealers are selling some of the same toys as they were 3 years ago. Sad really.

West Hall

East Hall

So there ya have it. The annual contradiction of the Greater York Toy Extravaganza –  a show that excites me enough to drive 9.5 hours to see but also the show that forces me to take a 12-hour drive home in post-Thanksgiving traffic, staring at the unnecessary additions to my ever-growing, plastic, weirdo army giving me ample time to rethink the entire trip.

thanks

Would i do it again?

Of course.

Maybe next time I can meet up with some fellow bloggers who happened to visit the show this year as well. (Read about their adventures at CoolAndCollected.com and at TheSurfingPizza.com.)

Until next Thanksgiving… keep it weird.

 


23 Responses

  1. Reis O'Brien says:

    This little colorful rubbery monsters are erasers from a company called Diener, and are most likely from the early 80s. I had a ton of them as a kid.

    Toypedia did a nice little write up on them a couple of years ago: http://minifigures.blogspot.com/2008/02/space-creatures.html

  2. Tommy says:

    I think I need to check this out next year. Nothing cool ever happens in Indiana.

  3. In RI we have a small toy / collectible show roughly every month or two. It’s only a 40 min drive for me, and it’s usually not worth it. Once and a while I find some beat up gem but it’s never as great as your hauls from The York Extravaganza.
    Perhaps (greater distance) x (less frequent occurrence) = Awesomeness?

  4. Brian Adams says:

    That seals it, next year, I’m going early bird. I could barely move at the tables on Sunday due to the crowds!

    And I totally would have snatched up those soaky bottles if I saw them. Great finds!

  5. Ad says:

    Wow a 9.5 hour drive, thats hardcore.

  6. Stacey Rader says:

    Oh, my kingdom for that alligator soap dish! So glad you got a Mego Joker. He’s the best of the Mego guys. I’m on board with the Warlords and Warriors line if I can get more skeleton action figures in my collection.

  7. Vin says:

    I attended the show as well. Next year, I will have to join you with the early buyers pass due to the extreme amount of geriatric foot traffic gazing at the abundant die cast car tables that plagued the event. It would take me a good 5-6 minutes to get down each aisle, thats valuable time being lost to find the cool stuff. I am into alot of the same stuff that you like but found it scarce at the extravaganza this year. Hopefully 2012 will have more madballs, bootlegs, gpk, and the like. Nice finds though, that blue robot is killer!

    • Yeah, early bird is the way to go. It’s semi-costly at $20 for early bird admission, but it’s worth it to have the place to yourself do-to-speak. I also always hope to find cool bootlegs and stuff, but the show doesn’t have much of that.

  8. Monsterfink says:

    I have been looking for a set of those little rubber aliens, been chasing them along with Garbage Can Full of Monsters figures. Hopefully I’ll meet you at the next Extravaganza

  9. krakit says:

    It’s fun reading your reviews of toy events and
    checking out the photos of your haul.

    I love your question about Warlords and Warriors
    possibly being a bootleg of a knockoff. If the price
    is right, then I’m all for it. The guy in the video
    says they plan on keeping the price below $30
    for the retail price, but that doesn’t get me excited
    about them since that means the price could be
    $29.99 for each figure.

  10. Chuck Witt says:

    Just found your blog via Secret Spot. Great attention to detail in photos and writing. I’d like to photograph my toys and like the way yours look in the photos (bright, detailed, simple), what type of camera/settings do you use and what is the white backdrop that you use? Keep up the good work! Chuck (also from South Carolina who used to live near York Pa.)

  11. Buzz Chuck says:

    Hey, I’ve been checking out your site. It’s pretty cool. Are you from PA? I am always looking to find other PA Collectors. I’m in right on the edge of PA by Trenton NJ.

  12. Susan says:

    Wooo…the market surprises me…

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