In this video I show off The Sexy Armpit & Cryptocurium’s exclusive limited edition Sammi Curr sculpture. We are so pumped to bring this to you. There will be 31 of them up for pre-order tomorrow 8/18 at Noon Eastern time, so don’t miss out!

The Columbus Chronicle: Part Two

Where were we? Oh yes, we were driving up the New Jersey Turnpike after the Monster Mania convention and decided to make a little detour…

With the record breaking cold temperatures here in New Jersey, reminiscing on one of our warm weather adventures is comforting. We saved the best for last and did our exterior inspection first. The outdoor portion of the Columbus Flea Market is an endless sea of vendor tables. I may be off by one or two, but there must have been 75,000 vendor tables selling everything from knockoff colognes featuring scents like Sweaty Taint and Phys-ed Funk to multicolored belts, statues, and cheap sunglasses. Naturally, we made it our f’n mission to literally walk through every single aisle as if the tables were the hedge maze and we were The Torrances.

Let’s see how much more I can elaborate on the junk at the outdoor tables. We’re talking cheap motorized toys, belts, gaudy sweaters, faux jewelry, generic brands of laundry detergent, and lots of other weird, totally random shit. And then the handbags. Jeezus, ladies and their handbags. If guys were girls they would have one handbag, but girls are girls and they have like 12 and they’re always looking for two more, one for that wedding they have to go to and the other because the ones they have just can’t fit everything. I think I just had a heat stroke. Man it was hot out there.

My body does not handle the sun and heat very well, so we made our way inside to see what treasures awaited us. As we passed through the entrance, Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” lightly trickled out of the ancient P.A system like a refreshing mist of cool rain.

“…Nothing ever lasts forever…”

The white tile floors, no longer shiny, coated with a decade of dust, forced my eyes to the storefronts that housed all kinds of bizarre bullshit. To the left, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the neglected vending machines, red, encasing charms that now easily exceed their quarter price due to their age. A dollar at least, by today’s eBay standards. Soda machines had the cooler, early ’90s logos. We were in a blissful wonderland, one of the biggest and oldest flea markets in the state and we were having a blast.

You always know the types of stuff that will set off your nerd alerts, but there are also things there that you’d never expect would excite you. For example, I never thought I’d pop so big for Rebecca’s Soft Pretzels, mostly because I barely ever eat pretzels, unless they’re from WaWa and filled with sweet cream, but their menu signage was so damn gigantic, hanging from the drop ceiling like a cumulonimbus cloud made of toasted almond sprinkles, it was hard not to be enticed. I didn’t wind up getting a pretzel, but for some reason Rebecca’s Pretzel’s stuck out in my head. Probably because it was nestled in an offshoot wing of the flea that might have been some sort of Amish haven, if I recall correctly. But, I might be pulling a Brian Williams here, so don’t hold me to that. #WhoopiePies

The reason I go anywhere is if there’s a possibility of seeing or buying old toys, records, or collectibles, because what else is there in life? We immediately zeroed in on one store in particular. I’m sorry Wicker emporium, tablecloth store, Bologna Kitchen, and bedazzled ladies leisure wear shop, you can all go screw.

That Dracula blow mold!! I vant it.

As we continued exploring the shops, there was one store window that had plush toys and giant stuffed animals that looked as if they were manufactured sometime in 1993. If you’ve seen one knock off Lots-a-Lots-a-Leggggggs you’ve seen them all, but, coincidentally, it was another storefront where Jason Voorhees himself brought our Nikes to a screeching halt. “15% off marked toys,” read a homemade cardboard sign laying underneath Grover and Scooby. Yuuup! It was a collectible shop and we were heading inside in full force.

What did we do next? Dove right into this ginormous mess of CRAP, some call it treasure. In this case, it was like a collector’s neglected musty basement where stuff was thrown in every corner. There was absolutely zero organization and no logic to where items were tossed. Put it this way, if you were a contestant on Finders Keepers and had to find a baseball buried in this store, you’d be completely fucked.

It was impossible to process the magnitude of stuff that was stacked, scattered, hanging, and buried around this shop. Paint the picture in your mind of the following items in complete disarray: old magazines, records, statues, loose toys, playsets, sports memorabilia, autographs, mint in box and carded Star Wars and Wrestling toys, masks, ride-on toys, Cabbage Patch Kids, the list goes on and on. Really, none of it was in the best condition, but if there was one specific item that you were looking for, and they happened to have it, you’d be one happy camper.

This lack of organization was like anarchy. It can cause an unfathomable amount of anxiety to a collector. Seeing so many collectibles in such shambles agitated me a bit, but I also found some charm in all of it at the same time, since it created a stark contrast to one of those cold, museum-like stores with no personality. Here, it seemed more likely that there was something really amazing buried beneath the debris. Would we find it?

I kept gravitating toward a full wall-sized shelf that was packed with tons of random retro relics (how ya like me now?). The shelves were like the walls of the 53rd precinct and were literally bleeding junk out of each compartment. I needed a closer look.

OWNER: “You can’t go back there”

ME: “I’d like to look at something I want to buy.”

OWNER: “Nobody goes back there, you’ll knock everything over.”

This was a 12-15 foot span of wall shelving set behind another span of lower shelving chock full of stuff that the owner would not allow anyone to inspect. After his warning, a middle aged woman complained to me that she had the same issue with him and she didn’t understand why. Things couldn’t really get more messed up in there anyway. My eyes kept locking in on old Munsters and Gremlins stuff. Much of the stuff was still in its original, worn boxes.

Eventually, I pitched gaining access to the store owner again because there was one thing I wanted to look at further, I can’t remember what it was, but at the time it was screaming for my attention.

ME: “Can I please just go back there for a minute? I promise I won’t touch anything or knock anything over.”

Somehow, I must’ve assured him enough that I wouldn’t mess anything up and persuaded him to let me get in there. It was during all this that Matt was having a moment not too dissimilar to the time when Janosz locked eyes with Vigo, except picture Dino Drac and a 1979 12″ Kenner Alien figure. It was broken, of course. Even though the figure was loose, far from mint, and its leg was removed, the owner explained how Matt could fix it. The ludicrous price tag for such a fixer upper was so not worth it. It was so expensive that Matt wasn’t heartbroken when he had to part with it when we left. Now, if the Alien figure came with a homemade crutch and the broken leg had a cast on it with a fake Sigourney Weaver signature on it, I think Matt may have paid the guy double for it. Further down to the rear of the store you can see the $4,000 dollar Watto, he was out of both of our price ranges too.

Being in this store was both amazing and completely underwhelming at the same time. Then the mood became borderline sad. “The whole store is on sale for $50,000,” the store owner told me.

Smirking, I looked at Matt and we tried desperately to decipher if we both really just heard that. The price was a bit preposterous. He didn’t mean 50k for the actual deed to his space in the flea market, nope, just the garbage inside of it.

I decided to ask him the prices on a few things just to see if he was trying to scam customers. A vintage Cher doll was a “Hundred bucks.” She was loose, had messy hair, and didn’t have the original clothes. The high prices seemed to be a recurring theme in there. We didn’t buy anything.

I’m sorry to do this to you. Talk about an Empire Strikes Back ending.

A few months later, the poor old guy who ran the store died of a sudden heart attack at the flea market one day. I couldn’t help but think the guy may have been trying to raise money for his own medical bills, or pay some kind of debt, but who knows? Either way, without knowing the specifics and personal situation of the owner, the message I glean from this whole story is that you can literally become buried in your own stuff, and it can weigh you down and cause anxiety. So, why not open a shop and sell all your shit immediately for 50 grand?

Fast forward to November 2014. News broke that a large portion of the indoor part of the Columbus flea market burned to the ground, well at least the majority of the building did. I was shocked. What’s crazier is that I hadn’t heard about any of this until last week when a friend at work mentioned it. Most people I talk to knew about the fire, but not the owner of the store.

It’s been a few months since the fire, and we’re mere weeks away from the next Monster Mania, so there doesn’t seem to be a more appropriate time to reminisce. Looking back, not jumping right away to post a blog and pictures from this trip was probably for the best. It’s given me the chance now to look back on this place and the quirky memories of the day we spent there.

If you’re a collector or just like to go to weird junk places, they sort of all bleed together in your mind after being to so many of them, but this one definitely stands out, not for the bizarre toy den, but more for the PIZZA. Ahh, see, for a second you thought this post was booked to be the most grim in Sexy Armpit history, but, nope, I have other plans.

You’ve heard the old quote about how all pizza is good pizza, and even bad pizza is good because it’s still pizza, right? Unless we’re talking certain kinds of frozen pizza, that statement always rings true.

Inside the Columbus flea market we sat ourselves down at the stools of a large rectangular bar that served pizza. We were lured into Pete’s Pizza because it smelled amazing and the sign was glorious. Their mascot was like a cross between Little Caesar and Frenchy Martin. It was one of the best pizza places ever. Why? Well, a lot of it had to do with the lady behind the counter being so attentive to us, and of course, the pizza was delicious, but what cemented this honor was their choice of dinnerware. Our pizza was served on Happy 5th Birthday paper plates! This is the only thing that can help you forget about the death, disorder, and fiery madness that you’ve had to endure in this post. Happy 5th Birthday!

The Devil Inside…The Hard Rock Cafe in Atlantic City, NJ

That Stoned Pimp, The Jersey Devil shilling for The Hard Rock Cafe, Atlantic City in this collectors pin. Here we see JD all duked out in sunglasses, jewelry, and tacky beachwear circa 2003, drinking Martinis on the Jersey Shore with two bikini-clad hotties 

Screw the long lines, head straight to the guitar shaped bar. I find it easy to relax there. The bartender, Cherish, is the type who is very much in control. She knows what she wants and what you want before you even decide. Even if you tell her what you think you want, she’ll correct you and tell you what you actually want. I mean, tell you what you want, what you really, really want. So, yeah, Cherish. I wasn’t sure if her parents were just hippies or if this was one of the best gimmicks ever where all the employees were named after songs. Unfortunately, none of the waitresses were named “Wannabe.” Zigazigah.

CHERISH: “You’ll have a Purple Haze”
JAY: “OK, I’ll have a Purple Haze…and these”

As I said that, I squinted as if I needed reading glasses while scanning the menu with my finger to pinpoint the generic chicken appetizer that I kept going back to. “These” referred to what I get pretty much every time, the The Tupelo Chicken Tenders. Better the devil you know.

At the Hard Rock, always keep it simple. The Tupelo tenders are quick, easy, and do the trick. Plus, for some unexplained reason, at that very moment, you’ll be compelled to spend the majority of the money you have to your name on alcohol anyway, so you won’t have enough resources to splurge on a steak the size of an actual Led Zeppelin. What kind of insidious urge overcomes you at The Hard Rock, Atlantic City? Why, it must be the Devil himself, but the one from New Jersaaay!

The Hard Rock specialty drink, The Purple Haze, IS damn good, but more importantly, where the hell else are you gonna see Buddy Holly’s 6th grade yearbook or a white leather jacket custom made for Richie Sambora straight from the New Jersey era of Bon Jovi? Not even The Smithsonian has relics so vital to our culture. The Louvre is irrelevant to me.

This Hard Rock Cafe pin is pretty badass. The Jersey Devil, circa 2007, looking fierce 
while playing a sick groove on his axe bass.

You might find yourself mishearing what your friends and your waitress are saying because it’s crowded and loud. What’s worse, is that sometimes I’ve waited upwards of 45 minutes to get the food I ordered, but it’s all part of the ambiance. You know what they say “If it’s too loud and your chicken tenders take too long to come out, you’re too old!”

Moreover, music fans go to The Hard Rock to see some of that awesome rock and roll memorabilia. That’s right, you can get tanked, inhale a cheeseburger, and then drool over KISS costumes and Instagram pics of guitars that belonged to Bruce Springsteen and Pete Townshend.

Keep in mind though, if you’re trying to hold on to some semblance of street cred, an establishment known for their overpriced t-shirts/tourist uniforms shouldn’t be your regular hangout.

Although I’ve often fancied myself as some counter culture rocker who cannot play any instruments whatsoever, there aren’t many cooler, more inviting places for me to be in when I’m seeking refuge from the sweltering summer heat on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

For the past couple of years, there’s been talk of an actual Hard Rock boutique hotel and casino coming to AC to inhabit one of the casinos that has closed their doors. Boutique really just translates to EXPENSIVE ROOMS. Hopefully it does open one day, because I’ve always wanted to bare witness to the only existing pair of Meatloaf’s high school gym coach’s sweatpants.

And now, I leave you with a few more pics of some other kind of Jersey Devils!

Halloween Mood Table 2014!

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For several years during my childhood, my mom would keep a medium sized artificial Christmas tree up year round. No, she didn’t leave the Christmas decorations on it the whole time, she would decorate it with whatever coincided with the season. Summertime usually had things like American flags and beach décor, and Halloween, of course, had pumpkins, ghosts, and witches, etc. As offbeat as this seemed to people who came over at the time, it was truly a conversation piece. Personally, I thought it was a lot of work because I would help her put the ornaments up. Although it didn’t last more than a few years, it was certainly a memorable way to celebrate holidays and the changing of seasons. Since we’re deep into the Halloween season, if you don’t really want an artificial Christmas tree taking up space in your living room just yet, you can create a Halloween Mood Table.

The pioneer of the Halloween Mood Table, Matt from Dinosaur Dracula, has been doing these for eons and so many of his readers follow suit each year to usher in their own personal Halloween celebrations (this year even Jorge Garcia, star of LOST, got in on the fun!) Surprisingly, up until now I only admired Matt’s Mood Table as well as photos of the tables that were sent in to him. I finally decided to get into the game with my own assemblage of spooky crap to create my own Halloween Mood Table!

There’s a few reasons why I never took part in the festivities.

Perhaps the most prominent reason why I never created a Halloween Mood table of my own was because I’ve always kept so much of my Halloween and Horror stuff displayed all year that I never had the motivation to dust it all off and relocate it to another spot. If you are drowning in knick-knacks like I am, you know what a pain this is! This year, it dawned on me that if all this stuff sits in the same spot all the time and collects dust, it’s making things stagnant! I figured, why not take a stab at finally making a Mood Table to infuse my surroundings with a shot of Halloween spirit?

First, my September and October months have always been packed with events and trips well before I ever had my first website, so this left little time and motivation to work on the mood table. Then when I started doing the Halloween Specials, that ate up much of my time in September and October as well. It dawned on me recently that if I have time to put up a Christmas tree, then why the hell can’t I make some time for a mood table? Since this year’s Halloween Special is now available for all to see, I finally had time to dedicate to making this monstrosity!

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The minute I started conjuring up this mood table, I was immediately overcome by the exact feeling that Matt described that one should get after admiring what they designed. It’s true too, because the table wasn’t even complete and I felt a surge of Halloween spirit, instead of butterflies in my stomach, I’m pretty sure they were cheap rubber bats. The fact that I haven’t done this in the past is ludicrous.

Let’s take a closer look at what I slapped together fairly haphazardly.

The table itself is a black wrought iron accent table that has to date back to the late ’60s. It was a gift to my parents after they got married and it had plant on it. It’s simple, and I’ve always loved it. It was probably because it was always there in my house, whether it had a spider plant sitting on it or a few coffee mugs, an ash tray, and some random uncles bifocals. It’s heavy, black table and it’s pretty timeless. When we moved into a smaller place, I lobbied hard to keep the table, I even said I’d keep it in my small bedroom. So, with us it came. Then when I moved out into my own place, I brought it with me. There was no doubt that it was screaming to be the official Mood Table from now on. It was fate. It travelled all these years and through all the different homes and has finally found it’s place in this world holding random Halloween related junk. I hired a table whisperer and he said the table is so happy now, it may want to keep that crap on it all year long, but mostly because it knows I probably won’t move it off until late November.

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I threw together a lot of stuff that I’ve procured recently myself or as gifts and have mentioned here on the blog along with some other items that I’ve had for a long time.

There’s an illuminated pumpkin, a few Reaction figures, the vampire Monster in My Pocket that I picked up at the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market, Halloween edition Toxic Waste candy, Halloween 3 Glow art from Bob Burke, atrocious Halloween art that I made with @DinosaurDracula and @FreddyInSpace, a mummy pooper, the Librarian Ghost from Ghostbusters, the Krispy Kreme GhostBusters pail, a couple of styrofoam headstones, Halloween Gak (thanks to Ipoisonthenachos) Frankenstein LED color changing candle, Jason goblet, a packet of Ghoul Aid, a skull, pumpkin candle, a wind up zombie, a Rockin’ Solar Buddy, Blair Witch Sticks and Stones VHS tape, Clarence, Prime Evil who was my costume inspiration last year, the Dino Drac 2014 Halloween countdown print, a Miller Lite Scary Pumpkin Coaster, Ghosts of Central New Jersey book, and one of the horns used to make Mike’s Jersey Devil getup in this year’s Halloween Special.

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Wrapped up sloppily and helping to create the ambience underneath the table are orange and purple rope lights that I was about to take back because I didn’t think I needed them this season, but it dawned on me that this is the perfect way to put them to good use. After nearly impaling myself on their sharp plastic packaging, I wrapped them around the legs of the table and plugged them into a step-on light switch for easy access. Not sure if that’s the technical UL certified name for it, but step-on light switch works just fine for me.

To take this a step further, I wanted to connect my iPod speaker dock underneath the table as well, but there were no more outlets. It was best to avoid a Darren McGavin fuse moment in A Christmas Story. I’ll save that project for the weekend!

Food Truckin’, Comic Shoppin’, and Antiquin’

After I heard about Just Jersey Fest, a gathering of food trucks coming to Randolph, NJ a couple of weeks back, I figured it might be a fun Sexy Armpit excursion. Food trucks have been enjoying a wave of popularity, especially in cities. I’ve really had no experience with food trucks, unless you want to count the ice cream man who I bought WWF Ice Cream bars from nearly 5 days a week for the span of 4 years in my early teens. Other than that, I’ve never eaten food that I purchased from a truck. I never really felt like I was missing out on anything either, but to have the option of sampling from ALL of them in one place seemed appealing to me since I don’t live in an area with many food truck appearances.

I wasn’t going into this one alone. I coerced friend, author, and co-star of the Sexy Armpit Show, Michael Gary Wirth aka @IdiotAtPlay, and his wife into going. We hopped in the car and headed up Route 287 on a super hot and sunny Saturday.

What started as your typical trip to eat at food trucks snowballed into an extensive trek up and down the Garden State searching for comic stores and ending with a brilliant finale: an unexpected drop-in to the most enormous and well stocked antique store of all time.

First, simply put, Just Jersey Fest was a big wide open lot that had a crazy amount of locally based food trucks parked around the perimeter. No false advertising here: there was a bunch food trucks, a DJ playing an odd array of oldies mixed with tunes you might here at The Colorado Cafe, and tons of people milling around, indecisive about what they should eat. What a perplexing situation. What altered my decision was how long the lines were at each truck. As a personal rule, I prefer not to stand in hideously long lines in the blazing hot sun. I melt very easily.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but judging by the unique and often one of a kind cuisine that many food trucks are offering nowadays, my bar was set pretty high. Judging by some of these Food Network shows, it’s apparent that every food truck has to have their own special gimmick or they won’t last. Since I adore gimmicks, the idea of food trucks appealed to me, and I was pretty geared up to think that we were in for some real treats. Sometimes, my positivity is my weakness, and my friends faith in me is theirs. Sounded clunky, but those shrewd enough might extrapolate the Emperor Palpatine reference buried in there. Regardless, I’ve been bandying around the word extrapolate like I’m 6 years old and I just started working “shit” into my diatribes about how Drake’s Devil Dogs would get stuck to my teeth and the roof of my mouth.

My first mission was to tour around the lot to make sure I knew each and every option I had to choose from. After my stroll, I was convinced there was nothing enticing me. I really wanted to be lured onto a line by a delicious odor or seduced by a superbly crafted stock photo of a shellacked empanada. As always, Mike and his wife were enthusiastic about the whole ordeal and they found a couple of trucks that had selections they wanted to try.

Mike went with a Cajun truck, one that I had mentioned sounded halfway decent moments earlier, but for some reason I opted for the Colombian food truck. I regretted not going with my first instinct. Always go with your first instinct no matter how impulsive – even if your first instinct is to order the 400-piece wing platter next time you’re at Hooters. Not sure if that exists, but you can ask Mandy, your waitress. Make sure she brings you extra napkins.

Lauren got sticky rice from a Thai truck, which, unbeknownst to me, is a freaking dessert! Rice for dessert? I had no clue. I’ve heard of rice pudding, but this thing looked like fancy dessert sushi. Sing this to the tune of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”: “I’m not fancy, I didn’t even kno-ow, that stick-y rice was an actual thing you can order for a Thai food truck.” See, it actually works, but you might have to jam those last 15 words together pretty fast to get it to sound right. Where there’s a will, there’s a way people!

You can check out more on our food truck cuisine sampling in the video above, but I will tell you a little bit about the fries. Affectionately referred to as Disco Fries, (at least here in New Jersey) they are known to the rest of the country (apparently) as New Jersey Poutine. I don’t know what the F poutine is, but I think Paxton Holley likes it. Disco Fries aren’t fries soaked in the sweat that has dripped onto the dance floor, nor are they possessed by the spirit of Barry F’n Gibb, but they are staples of a New Jersey diner menu. Freaking French Fries doused with gravy and melted mozzarella cheese.

We placed an order for Disco Fries at Romano’s Fries Truck, a truck who has an exclusive deal with C&C Cola. Depending on where you’re from you may have never heard of this soda, but it was always a reasonable alternative to the mainstream soft drinks in the grocery store. That didn’t swerve my opinion on this truck though. We waited patiently for what felt like 14 years for these stupid fries. Minus the exaggeration and I think we waited nearly 30 minutes, no joke. These were fries we were waiting for mind you, not a sizzling Kobe strip steak cooked to perfection. Finally, we received the equivalent of the fries you might get at the snack bar at your nephews Little League game, but drizzled with a little bit of gravy and some cheese. Meh. Nothing beats an NJ diner for these.

The ice pops were by far my favorite selection and the only thing I gravitated to immediately. Peace. Love. POPS are all natural, handcrafted ice pops made in New Jersey. The creative flavors are so dead on balls accurate and refreshing that I am 100% recommending that you try them if you are ever in the North Jersey area. Their cart is often seen around the streets of Hoboken. The pops are little pricey, but it’s worth it. Considering the care that is taken in their preparation and the fact that a good chunk of the money you pay for one goes to charity, these ice pops are well worth the purchase. Eventually the company wants to get these into a few local supermarkets and I hope they succeed! Check out their official Facebook page at this link.

A list of flavor options were detailed on their chalk board. The decision was easy for me. Without hesitation I chose Honeydew Ginger Mint because I love honeydew and mint, but F the ginger. Mike and Lauren got the Pineapple Mojito and Strawberry Lemonade. All of these were awesome. You can watch us inhale them in the video. They hit the spot on a hot, swamp-assy Saturday.

We just about had our fill with the food truck fest and we decided we still had some motivation left in the tank. “Why don’t we see if there’s any comic book stores around here?” Lauren said, and we concurred that it was a great idea. Sitting in the back of the Mikemobile, I started searching on my phone for the zip codes of each town we passed through to cross check them on the comic locator site. God, that might be the geekiest sentence I’ve written in 10 years of this blog.

In total, we stopped at 3 comic book shops, all of which I’d never been to before. Now we are entering critical territory because this damn post should really be two parts, but I wouldn’t do that to you…the waiting is the hardest part so said Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. F*ck it, let the Comic Book Store Tour commence!

I am always supportive of local stores and independent business, but I’ve been wrapped up in Comixology since day one because I wanted in on digital comics in a bad way, mostly because of the lack of storage space in my condo. Don’t get me wrong, I still own all the comics I’ve had since I was a kid, but I have no need for physical comics anymore. Plus, I am crazy about the guided reading style of the digital format. If you’ve never experienced it, try it out, I think you’ll dig it.

Our first stop was literally across the street from the food truck fest. All in One Collectibles in Randolph was filled with tables with some hardcore gaming going down. The large shop was stocked with 9 million Heroclix, comics, a few toys, and a ton of sports and non-sports trading cards. I was getting antsy. Onto the next one.

Next stop: Madison, NJ, a quaint, movie-set type town where we arrived at Dewey’s Comic City. The interior was nice and it was like the Barnes and Noble of comic shops, only smaller. It was neatly filled to the brim with every type of comic and graphic novel you can think of. The concentration was on new releases rather than old, but they still had a sizable collection of back issues as well as some random collectibles and t-shirts.

I think Mike saved the best for last. He hinted earlier that we should go to COMIC FORTRESS in Somerville, NJ and I was game. I always say YES to going anywhere that has Fortress in it’s name (i.e Fortress of Fangs, Fortress of Steele.) This place was seriously as incredible as Mike mentioned, (read Stop #6 on his Free Comic Book Day Tour log.) Not only do they have quite a huge selection of comics stocked on the shelves, but they also have the largest inventory of DC and Marvel statues, busts, and action figure collector sets that I’ve ever seen in a comic/collectible shop. If it was the early ’90s I’d probably be begging my Dad to bring me to this vast emporium every week after we made our stop at Steve’s Comic Relief.

I’m proud of myself. As much as I was tempted, I bought nothing all day except 2 giant sized Red Bulls.

As if all the previous excitement on this day wasn’t enough, I didn’t think it could get any more fantastical, but, IT DID! We inadvertently extended our little adventure even more. While walking back to the car we stumbled upon the Somerville Antique store. This place pulled me in like I was in a tractor beam. With zero expectations of the enchanted land of tchotchkes, we entered. Before us was the most insanely huge antique store I’ve ever set foot in. Two expansive floors with nooks and crannies of non-stop antique absurdity.

If I described all of what I saw at the antique store we’d be here for another 37 paragraphs and I don’t want to do that to you. It would be a violation of common decency. To see the contents of this wondrous, albeit pricey place, go watch the video!

Flea Market Fiasco!


Recently I mentioned to Dinosaur Dracula that I had never been to the Englishtown Flea Market. For some reason, I’ve been to every other damn flea market in existence, but not Englishtown. Lived in Jersey my entire life, never been. To others from around here, that’s not an outrage or an insult or anything, but it’s more like “you’ve breathed in air before, right?” I felt that 2014 was the time to finally make this trip happen.

The flea market is not far away and I always heard friends mention that they tend to find cool stuff there, so I really had no justification for never going there. Who better to join me on my first visit to this place than Dino Drac? Partners in crime is really an appropriate moniker for all the calamity and misadventures we’ve inadvertently entangled ourselves in. Matt’s been there several times and he kept mentioning a pretty awesome vintage toy shop that he found in one of the buildings. That was literally all I needed to hear to get me to want to go.

Also encouraging me was the forecast, Saturday was going to be partly sunny and reach the low 50s. Since most of us in the Tri-State area have been cooped up at home for the last month or so battling all these ridiculous snow storms, it was about time that we had a nice sunny day that we could go outside and enjoy rather than breaking our backs shoveling snow and freezing our asses off. Parts of this flea market are indoors while many of the vendors are outdoors, so either way it was a win.

Loose TMNT figures on a peg board at the Flea Market

Matt, Ms.X, and myself took a laid back drive down Route 9 as I sipped a Monster and we bullshitted. None of us knew what we could encounter on this day. The possibilities were endless. How many useless things would I come home with? I was feeling really confident that going to Englishtown was the right decision. It was the perfect thing to do on the first sunny and mild Saturday we had in forever. Spending it with good friends and having a few laughs was the right move. It’s almost like therapy after the mind numbing grind of a long work week. It all made sense…for a little while.

Finding parking is one aspect of my life that I don’t like to spend too much time on. I’m not sure it’s an actual pet peeve, but for instance, I have absolutely no time in my life to waste on searching for the perfect parking spot at a mall during the holidays. I’d just as soon park 2 miles away and walk. I was pleased to find that the parking scene at the Englishtown Flea Market wasn’t even bad at all. Considering there were two huge lots to park in, I didn’t have to stress about it.

The first lot was literally made of mud. The entire ground was all mud. I started into some My Cousin Vinny lines while we all made the conscious decision NOT to park in the lot that was all mud because my car might sink into the mud and we’d be stranded there. I pulled right out of there and drove into the adjacent lot which, oddly enough, only had about 7 cars in it. Fortunately, this lot wasn’t all mud, it was ALL ice and slush. Much of the ice and snow started melting in the past few days but we figured it would be wiser to park on ice and melted snow than…mud. I walked away with the positivity that we made a very clear headed decision that would benefit us in the long run.

Hopping over puddles and snow, into the flea market we went. At first, it reminded me of any other outdoor flea market. Lots of vendors, lots of similar crap. Discounted drinks in bulk. Women’s bags. Cheap fragrances. Insanely huge Rey Mysterio blankets. You know, all that kind of stuff. Flea Market stuff.

Airbrushed Terminator T-Shirt and my personal fav: DOUG.
What’s a New Jersey Flea Market without an airbrush shop?

I knew not to really expect much from a flea market because they’re usually inundated with aisle after aisle of the same crap. As you walk through the rows of vendors you’ll notice every 3 of them offer bootleg action figures. You know them – the multi-pack where Batman looks like he’s a repainted Frankenstein and Superman has blue hair and a very scared look on his face. Then always right beside those are bootleg Marvel and Power Rangers figures.

Down each aisle we ventured to see the real garage sale type fare. These people offered the kind of items you might see at a local yard sale or out on the curb in your neighborhood. Piles of used clothes, old cassette tapes, old stereo equipment, random packs of gum, and that was all the high end shit. Down one of these aisles of doom is where I made my first of two purchases of the day.

If you’ve had no luck trying to track down a high quality King Tut sweatshirt, 
Englishtown Auction is YOUR one stop shop! *Thank you to Sam for correcting me in the comments- I mistakenly referred to this as the Sphinx.

A couple of sellers had random piles of old records. If you know me, I need more records like I need a hole in my head, but for those who aren’t aware, I don’t need more music options at home. I’m inundated as it is. But to me, when it comes to vinyl, I completely grasp the sound differences, but it’s more about discovering a record I would enjoy in a big pile of them and then appreciating the front and back cover art, that’s what really grabs me. Out of piles from two different sellers, I found Blondie’s Parallel Lines and the Flashdance Soundtrack. Although I’ve never even seen Flashdance, it’s got a pretty legendary soundtrack and a great cover, so I went with it. A buck each!

The sun was beaming down and we were enjoying the day as we continued scanning each table. “Let’s check in one of these buildings to see if we can find that toy shop,” Matt said in a very Jay is probably going to write about this so I will make this sentence sound very generic sort of way. The interior definitely reminded me of the types of flea markets that I’ve been to in the past, so I was in familiar territory now. The giant drums of pickles, airbrushed t-shirts, the faint scent of leather, it was all present.

We couldn’t find the toy shop in the first building we went into, but the day was young. Matt and Mrs.X bought some fresh spicy nuts imported from TOMS RIVER, NJ, which I guess is the spicy nut capital of New Jersey. You’d think I would’ve known this tidbit, but I had no clue!

We stopped into a few decent shops, but couldn’t find the one Matt was describing to me.


There was an action figure shop that had tons of wrestling figures, G.I Joe’s, and TMNT figures, so we were guided by the scent of old plastic and dust. This is where my second purchase comes in. Total impulse buy. At one time I owned every WWF Hasbro figure ever and eventually I sold them on eBay like a chump for no good reason. For a while now I had the original Macho Man Randy Savage back on my radar. This was not the Macho King or the later Macho Man release with the white jacket and hat – this was the original with the star trunks. $10. So worth it, wouldn’t you agree?

We did manage to find one shop that housed everything for your army/navy surplus needs all the way to a Ben Cooper style Jake Lloyd costume from Phantom Menace. There’s four dealers in the world who specialize in young Anakin collectibles and this guy must be one of them. This store looked like someone’s basement. 50 years worth of dusty junk packed into this tiny little store. Hanging from the ceiling and stuffed into shelves were a couple of TV trays that caught my eye. One was Batman Returns and the other was E.T. I can’t remember the exact price the guy quoted me for the used Batman Returns tray, but I believe he said he couldn’t accept less than $20 – $30 dollars because “these TV trays are really hot right now.”

At this point, I was almost happy that we didn’t find the toy shop yet because knowing me I would’ve found something that I desperately wanted for some exorbitant amount of money. The same moment that thought crossed my mind is the exact same moment Matt found the toy shop. He wasn’t joking, this place is the crown jewel of the Englishtown Auction. Matt and Ms.X had me close my eyes as I walked in. Opened them up and was immediately in awe.

I spy a Jack Napier WANTED Poster hanging on the wall!

From a vintage Strawberry Shortcake bake shop to about 200 original Kenner Star Wars figures in varying degrees of condition, this place was definitely worth the trip. You’re not going to get yard sale prices here though, prices here basically mirror what’s on eBay. Nothing stood out for me specifically, but I think this is where Matt came into contact with his latest toy “adoptions” as it were. More on that in a bit.

Next, I needed to find a bathroom to pee out all the energy drink from earlier. We found one and I cautiously entered. I saw a bathroom greeter, the type of greeter you might see at a swank restaurant. Sometimes they hold the towel for you as you wash your hands. Well, this guy was the absolute greatest men’s room greeter OF ALL TIME. This was his schpeel word for word or as accurate as I can remember it: “WELCOME TO THE BATHROOM MY GOOD MAN, I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY, THIS BATHROOM IS VERY CLEAN AND SMELLS OF FINE, FRESH CITRUS FRUITS, IF YOU SO CHOOSE PLEASE LEAVE A SMALL TOKEN OF YOUR APPRECIATION AND YOU WILL BE GRANTED ONE WISH – THE CHOICE OF ANY CANDY OUT OF THE 8 RANDOM PIECES ON THIS MAGICAL PLATE THAT I FOUND OUTSIDE. PLEASE COME BACK AGAIN VERY SOON.”

On that note, we ended our stay at the Englishtown Flea Market. 
We headed back to the car. Happy with all our purchases we hopped in and I started up the car and the music. Only problem was, the wheels were spinning, but we weren’t moving. We were kicking up lots of mud and eventually it sunk into our heads that WE were also sunk…IN THE MUD. Underneath all the snow and slush was mud, just like that other lot. Who knew that we probably would’ve been better off parking in that other lot after all? 
Matt suggested that we use our records to wedge under the wheels to give the car some traction. It was a valiant effort. Him and I then used our incredible super powers to try to push the car out, but that didn’t work either. Ms.X wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty and she hacked away at large pieces of ice near the wheels. Luckily I had a shovel in the back of my car and I was trying to shovel us out, to no avail. There was no winning this battle. The wheels were sunken into the mud about halfway! Making matters worse, the front bumper of the car was hanging over one of those concrete stoppers that kept you from driving out onto the road. This cause the front of the car to basically snap off.
My only defense was calling road service. As I did that, a nice guy with a giant 4-wheel drive ORV with bullet holes the size of matzoh balls who looked like Lebron James offered to tie a rope to the back of my car and attempt to pull me out. This guy also helped several other cars that got stuck in the mud and slush as well. Thank you to that guy. I would say “if he’s reading this,” but there’s less than zero chance that he read The Sexy Armpit. This guy saved us from sacrificing those records!


We needed to get on the road so this day didn’t start to deteriorate even more rapidly. With some parts of the undercarriage dangling onto the road we hightailed it out of there. After a few miles, Ms.X and I saw a Mexican place on route 9 that reminded us of Jose Tejas. Formerly Damon’s Grill, this place took on a Mexican gimmick back in October. I’d been interested in going there, but haven’t had the chance. As we came upon it, I abruptly made an executive decision and turned into the parking lot. We needed some Mexican beer, Patron, Mexican food, and of course, guacamole power – in that order. It saved the day…for a little while. Name of the place is Rosalita’s Roadside Cantina in Manalapan, NJ if you’re ever in the area or want to replicate this debacle of a trip.

Thanks to Matt and Ms.X for all their help and their patience. We were all soaked and full of mud, but they persevered! Once we got home, I brought down the mood once again by losing an eBay auction on an item that I wanted more than you can imagine for the better part of my life. What a day! Thank God Miss Sexy Armpit brought snacks.

*I urge you to read about Matt’s finds from this experience. Being the benevolent guy he is, he found “5 Misfit Toys” that needed a home, and he paid the adoption fees and signed all the paper work so he could give them a good home. READ ALL ABOUT IT AT THIS LINK OVER AT DINOSAUR DRACULA!!

Gnarly November Giveaway!

October’s Giveaway was a big hit so let’s do another one, what do you say? We upped the ante with this haul for sure. This month’s giveaway is going to be a real CORNUCOPIA OF CRAP (Necessary Thanksgiving tie-in). Everything in the picture is what the winner will receive.

1. New Mantenna Masters of the Universe Classics Figure
2. Shredder figure from the TMNT line.
3. Incredible Hulk Poster from Target
4. G.I Joe Combat Heroes Destro and Cover Girl
5. The amazing 1987 Dinosaurs! VHS Tape starring Fred Savage
6. Fantastic Four Book and Record Set
7. Star Trek Communicator Badge from Kellog’s
8. Captain Kirk Collectible Glass from Burger King
9. 2 Marvel mini comics
10. Sample pack of Star Wars cards

Plus, just like last time, it’s very simple to enter.


1. LIKE us on Facebook. If you already like our page on Facebook – THANKS, YOU F’N RULE!

2. Send us a message stating that you wish to enter the November giveaway either privately or in the comments of this post at the page.

3. A name will be chosen randomly out of all entries and the winner will be contacted on November 22nd for shipping information.

GREAT GEEK GORGE #6: Christmas 2012 Edition


A few friends have asked me what kind of cool stuff I got for Christmas. I told them that in due time they’ll be able to read all about it at The Sexy Armpit. See, that’s the beauty of having a blog. I avoid having to rattle off the same list of things at different times to handfuls of people. I decided to incorporate a run-down of some of the awesome 2012 Christmas gifts I got into one of my favorite columns here, the Great Geek Gorge.

I can’t say that I actually had anything specific that I wanted for Christmas this year, but I did indeed drop a few hints at some items that were bouncing around in my brain.

Christmas 2012

It’s hard for my family and Miss Sexy Armpit’s family to buy me any kind of media. Buying me a DVD or a CD will usually be futile since I have thousands of them and it will most likely be a duplicate. I’m maturing a bit though. Or should I say I’ve been practicing restraint? I waited on buying The Dark Knight Rises and the WWE’s C.M Punk documentary on Bluray because I knew Christmas was coming up, so I threw that idea out there to Miss Sexy Armpit and her mom got them for me! It was like magic.

Miss Sexy Armpit did a great job picking up cool gifts for me as always. She got me a Batman plush “pillow” and throw blanket. I don’t see how the plush doll is a pillow but maybe since it’s geared toward boys they didn’t want to explicitly describe it as a doll or plush toy. Either way, it’s pretty awesome and I had a similar Superman doll like that but from the Knickerbocker company when I was a kid.

Before I get to the big crowd-pleasers there were a few things that I didn’t ask for, but I was still very happy to receive. First I got an awesome black cross with a diamond in it on a chain as well as a pair of work out pants. There was also an awesome K’nex KISS set, a USB salt rock lamp for my desk, and a knit hat with ear buds built in. Then, there aren’t many other ways to describe it but here it goes – a Coach “man purse,” It’s more like a mini backpack, but really there’s no other way around it. At the end of the day it’s still going to be referred to as a man purse. It’s pretty swank though. It’s a step up from my old TV Guide duffel bag that they sent me for free. I can understand not wanting to be seen in public with a guy carrying that around, especially while on vacation.

For those who know me or follow me on Twitter (@sexyarmpit) I’ve been obsessed with A&E’s Storage Wars for the last few months. I’m not into the other variations on the show, just the original incarnation. My favorite is Barry Weiss – that guy cracks me up. He always puts on these black skeleton gloves before he picks stuff out of lockers and I wanted a pair of my own.

The gloves and the next item you’ll read about were the only items I actually threw out as ideas for Christmas. I was a little sad that I didn’t get the gloves after my girlfriend and I exchanged gifts, but then, soon after, I was ecstatic when Miss Sexy Armpit’s mom got them for me!

Jay and 24-inch Gene SimmonsOne KISS collectible that I always wanted but never got my hands on was a limited edition 24-inch Gene Simmons statue by a budding (at the time) New York toy company called Art Asylum. The statue was part of the full band collection and created in the comic book style of the Destroyer album cover art. When pushed in, the statue’s base plays “God of Thunder.” The 24 inch line was sold at Spencer Gifts in 1999 and they each retailed for about $150.00. Back then it was too pricey for me. Nowadays a full set mint in box would probably go for close to $1,000. although I’m no Toy Hunter. Jordan Hembrough would probably ask $1300!

Around the time their big comeback record Psycho Circus, the KISS craze was on again worldwide. Toys, t-shirts, and comics filled stores like Spencer’s and KISS fans were going nuts buying everything in sight. The 24 inchers were the highest quality figures at the time, but with KISS fans you have to pick and choose what to spend money on, especially back then. There were concert tickets to be purchased, and plenty of other items that I lusted after, so I tried to ignore the most ultimate Gene Simmons figure I’d ever seen. Then, years later, at KISS cons and on eBay, the prices increased a bit.

Aside from my KISS fountain that spews blood out of Gene’s mouth, dubbed “The Gene Simmons Vomitizer” by Sebastian Bach on an episode of MTV Cribs (which coincidentally Miss Sexy Armpit ALSO got for me for Christmas one year), this giant limited edition figure is the Holy Grail of Gene Simmons collectibles in my opinion. It was hot on my mind and I figured I’d tell Santa, Miss Sexy Armpit, or anyone who would listen that I wanted this giant Gene for Christmas. So what if I was 14 years late on the mark?

Miss Sexy Armpit came through and continued to feed my KISS habit! She also came up with the idea to customize a pair of Sexy Armpit sunglasses for me. These are very cool pilot style sunglasses made by a company called Vaunt – check them out! The Sexy Armpit logo and name are etched into the lenses! The company can put anything you want on the lenses so it’s a cool gift idea!

Thank you to everyone who made this Christmas kick ass for The Sexy Armpit!

NJ KISS EXPO 2012 Recap


Cobo Hall in Detroit, MI may be one of the arenas where KISS recorded their monumental ALIVE album in 1975, but the NJ Expo Center in Edison, NJ is where the 2012 KISS EXPO took place on Saturday September 8th, 2012. The Sexy Armpit was there merely to take in the scene and report back to you, because I promised myself I wouldn’t get out of control with spending. Like many of you reading this, I’m a long time member of the KISS ARMY – hell, I’m probably a Lieutenant General by now. I feel good that I didn’t spend a lot and we still had a good time. Continue on for the recap!

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. This expo is referred to as the NJ/NY KISS EXPO, which makes me happy that it refers to NJ first, but it’s also lame because NOTHING that happens in New York EVER acknowledges Jersey. It’s NOT the NY/NJ Comic Con, is it? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved New York since I was a little kid, but why the hell can’t we have our own damn KISS expo?

Miss Sexy Armpit rocking some Paul Stanley style sunglasses 
and making Paul’s signature KISS face

God Gave Rock and Roll to me, well not to me personally, but you know what I mean, so who am I to refuse a freaking KISS expo merely a few miles away? Just show me where to sign! Well, I didn’t sign anything, but the tickets for the show started at $20 bucks each. Typical of most events like this, there were extra charges to meet Peter Criss and Bruce Kulick, but they were charged by the band member, not the expo itself. Since I was watching my spending I steered clear of all that anyway.

Usually I go to these things with an agenda or looking for a few items I’d like to own, but this time I just wanted to go and shoot the breeze with my woman and meet up with my friend Jim. That lucky guy is going on the upcoming KISS KRUISE II! Jim brought along his custom mint-in-box Peter Criss PEZ that he made himself to get signed. At this point, I’m pretty sure he’s had all the band members sign his custom made KISS PEZ set! Gene even told him not to sell them, what an A-HOLE! HAHA. I don’t care, I love that big old Demon anyway.

Gene Simmons can’t be mentioned in the same sentence without the thought of $$ MONEY $$, so let me tell you what I bought. First and foremost, I have enough KISS stuff to last me a life time, so the days of pining over KISS stuff are beyond me, that is…until something awesome crosses my path. Miss Sexy Armpit and I were digging through piles of t-shirts, (tees are some of my favorite things in life), and I didn’t see any I really liked for myself, but found an awesome Rock and Roll Over tee that I bought for Miss Armpit. As you can see, it was hard to pass up! It will do nicely for the KISS/CRUE show at the PNC Bank Arts Center on 9/21! Plus, it will match the patch on the back of “Irvin,” a.k.a my old denim KISS vest.

One of the only disappointments about the expo was the scale of the show. It wasn’t as vast as I imagined it would be. I missed last years expo so I can’t compare it, but this one had 2 fairly large rooms with plenty of vendors, but I guess I’m spoiled. Considering I’ve been going to Chiller and Monster Mania for years now, an expo like this feels small. It really wasn’t small at all though. 
As for entertainment, there was Dylan, a 9-year old Peter Criss impersonator playing drums along with KISS tracks, which was pretty cool. He kicked ass on the drums too. One thing I’d like to see the expo add next year is a few sets from a KISS tribute band. I understand they come with a pretty hefty price tag, but that would be worth the admission for me. I love watching KISS tribute bands, obviously not as much as I do the original band, but it’s still fun and an added attraction. Or Dylan can just get some of his friends and they can start up their own tribute band called KIDD. Do it Dylan!

Toy Hunter Hunts In Jersey!

Toy Hunter

There always seems to be so much going on in the world of pop culture, comics, and toy collecting that I can’t keep up with it all. That’s why I feel Twitter is beneficial in trying to stay abreast of all the developments. If something passes me by, my tweeps are there to let me know about it and vice versa. (@sexyarmpit) One recent example was when Cool and Collected let me know that the premiere of the awesome new show Toy Hunter was filmed in New Jersey.

Toy Hunter takes the same basic concept of many other reality shows of the moment that deal with finding and buying vintage stuff. Instead of raiding storage lockers and junkyards, this toy obsessed guy, Jordan Hembrough, raids collectors attics, sheds, and basements to find items from their collection that he wants to buy in order to resell for profit.

Jordan is very enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable about his hobby, which reminds me of myself and most of my blogging friends – you know who you are! As revealed in the first episode, Jordan is Jersey guy and the owner of Hollywood Heroes in Ridgewood, NJ. It was cool to see him mention Toms River, NJ and see other the locations that he dropped in on as well.

It was a real kick to see the Super Powers Batmobile and the Gobot cap guns on my TV screen. I never thought I’d see someone talking about this kind of stuff with the same reverence I have for these collectibles. At first, I did find it weird that the host went into a little description of what Colorforms were. Chances are, whoever is watching the Travel Channels presentation of the first episode of Toy Hunter about vintage collectible toys, they’ll know the concept behind Colorforms. His description did turn out to be beneficial for me though because he explained the history of Colorforms and the company’s early headquarters in New Jersey.

My only complaint is that the ending felt too contrived. The speeder bike pedal car that Jordan bought had a buyer by the end of the episode. Ultimately I think he sold it to a father for $1,000 for his young son to have it. There’s no father that I know personally who has that kind of scratch to drop on a toy that will probably collect dust!

Read a full recap with screen grabs at Cool and Collected: