The PRFM takes place inside the nationally registered historic Roebling Machine Shop, which was built in 1890 and is dusty, sort of decrepit, and chock full of charm. There’s no better place for this type of event, unless there’s another available historic machine shop in New Jersey that’s twice the size and offers air conditioning. Doubt it. It was quite steamy in this place, and the incredible turnout of people only made it feel warmer. I felt like Janosz Poha in Ghosbusters 2, only I was drippingz with sweat, not goo, but judging by the photo below, you can see why we toughed it out.
Attracting a ton of people into Trenton who may not normally venture into the city, the PRFM has become a hotbed for people to buy and sell STUFF. I had a blast just gazing around at aisles upon aisles of it all… the stuff that is. As enticing as it was, and with Monster Mania coming up in matter of weeks, I promised myself I would keep my purchases to a minimum. Thankfully, I stuck to my guns.
Out of all the old records, posters, jewelry, comics, and toys, the only thing my eyes locked onto was a small Dracula figure. I was mesmerized by it for a few seconds, but instead of being overzealous, I waited on it because I had no idea what I’d find at the rest of the tables. What if I blew my minimal amount of cash on this small Dracula figure and then had nothing left if I ran into the Holy Grail item to end all Punk Rock Flea Markets?
It was right around this moment that I actually stopped in my tracks as I noticed one table full of glow in the dark canvases of horror art. What really got me was the homemade Halloween 3 TV setup behind their table! Talk about eye candy! My eyes were salivating over all these amazing pieces that were based on everything I like including Joker, Orko, Skeletor, Frankenstein, Fright Night, Dark Helmet, Jack Torrance, The Misfits, and Cobra. Every character and movie I’ve ever liked was here at this table and it was INSANE. Who is this mysterious incandescent artist you ask? His name is Bob Burke and he’s without question one of the coolest artists I’ve ever met.
I couldn’t leave without this beautiful Halloween 3 piece. It will be perfect hanging in my place just in time for Halloween and beyond! Check out Bob Burke’s Facebook page and give him a LIKE! and Follow him on Instagram http://instagram.com/bobburkeart
Without forgetting my little vampire figurine from earlier, I kept him in the back of my mind as we made our way to the rest of the vendor tables. Miss Sexy Armpit picked up an NJ tank top from True Jersey, and she also got me the Jersey Batman T-shirt that I’ve had my eye on for a long time. Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit for adding to my massive t-shirt collection! I’ll get a lot of wear out of it that’s for sure. True Jersey is a shop that I usually just hand my bank account number over to every time I see them at an event like this. When I pass their setup at Monster Mania I’ll have to put my head down and move along or else I’ll go bankrupt!
At this point we were getting a little antsy from the heat and we needed some food. Headed toward the front, I navigated over to the vendor that had the little old vampire guy. He was still there waiting for me. I inspected him further and noticed he was dusty, and far from mint condition. I also saw that he had a button and a battery compartment in the bottom, but he wasn’t working. “How much for this?” I asked the young girl behind the table. “I’m asking $10.” Seemed a bit steep of a price for a small figure with dead batteries that was in shabby condition, yet I had exactly $10 dollars left. Typically, I would’ve asked to go a little bit lower, and the girl even offered to go lower, but with two fives in my hand, I just felt it was meant to be. I exchanged the cash for the Drac and we swiftly made our way toward the exit.
Just before leaving, I ran into Robert Bruce who you may know from AMC’s Comic Book Men. I busted his chops because he still has my heli-pad from my Kenner Hall of Justice that I got from him a while back. While bullshitting, he gave me the inside scoop that, the week before, Comic Book Men had been filming a show guest starring KISS when they were in the area playing a show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. Shh…exclusive info for the 4th season!
There were about 5 or 6 different food trucks and the lines for each one were pretty intense. We got tired of waiting, and it was hot and humid out, so Miss Sexy Armpit suggested we try this little restaurant adjacent to the machine shop. Our impatient asses walked a few steps over to Mario’s Bar & Grill. Despite missing out on the food truck cuisine, we went home happy and with full stomachs.
There were some Mexican entrees featured in the menu, and although I didn’t see them listed I asked the waitress if they had empanadas. She said they aren’t on the menu, but they could certainly make them for me. So the secret super special unlisted empanadas were a GO! They were delicious and the entire bill for the both of us cost less than $20 dollars.
Immediately after getting back home I had to consult with eBay and a Google image search to find out more about this unusually creepy looking Dracula figure. Most likely, there are many toy crazed maniacs out there who recognized this guy in .2 milliseconds, but I hadn’t the slightest clue what line he was from. The girl who sold it to me mentioned it was a Monster in My Pocket, but I thought that was odd because all I remembered about that line was that the figures were all M.U.S.C.L.E sized and each one was painted a different bright color. This guy was more detailed and had a different look than the Monster in My Pockets that I recall, and those crazy sinister eyes!
My reservations about her accuracy were debunked as soon as the Google Image search results returned (Approximately 0.41 seconds, in case you’re keeping track). He wasn’t Dracula technically, he was simply “Vampire,” and was indeed part of a 1992 offshoot series of Monster in My Pocket called Super Scary Howlers. This series of 4 figures featured Vampire, Wolfman, Swamp Beast, and Monster, each with eerie light up eyes and scary monstrous sounds!
Of course, I wish I had the packaging, but even if I did buy it Mint on Card, I probably would’ve taken it out, no matter how sacrilegious that sounds.
No idea how I missed this one when it was out, but according to at least a couple of sites that I perused, this line has become pretty rare, and a working set is even harder to come by. Presently, there’s a Mint on Card Vampire going for $44 dollars on eBay, which is obviously much more than what I spent on this loose version. Even better, a loose complete set of 4 is selling for $175 U.S dollars on eBay. That said, I’m already looking into financing my Master’s Degree in Ufology based solely off of what I make from selling this guy. Shit, I’m totally not serious about selling him. Way serious about the Ufology though.
This was an unexpectedly cool pickup! If you were wondering, I placed an order for LR batteries on Amazon so I can check to see if this baby works. If it does, he will be my official buddy for the 2014 Halloween season. Keep you posted on Twitter: @sexyarmpit.
Let’s break it down in case there’s a pop quiz. I brought home a glowing piece of Halloween 3 art from my favorite shot in the film, a Batman style Jersey t-shirt, got the inside scoop on an upcoming Comic Book Men episode, and have added a 22-year old light up Vampire figure to my collection. As you can see, the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market was an overwhelming success, and if you can get there, I totally recommend going to the next one!