On the (Transformers) Warpath

Warpath here is a toy that perfectly sums up why I love the Flea Market. You see a huge pile of toys, sorted into rows and maybe sorted into type (vehicles, action figures, plastic animals etc). You start to dig, all you're seeing is old McDonald's toys, scratched up Hotwheels, naked Barbies, random, cheap, and useless toys of the modern era and suddenly, shockingly and inexplicably you find a minty fresh G1 Transformer from 1984 just waiting in the fodder for you to offer the seller .25 cents for it!

My mind boggles as to the history of this guy, a toy that has survived for 30 plus years in fresh-off-the-blister-card condition only to end up in a pile of randomness at the Flea Market. Randomness that's treated by the seller like a pile of leaves, poured out of a huge barrel and strewn across the tarmac only to be shoveled back into a barrel, thrown in the back of a van and dragged out again next weekend. Not to mention how the buyers and kids at the flea market have treated the pile, stepping on it and in it, dragging toys across the sand-paper-like ground, breaking things and then just throwing them back into the pile. SAVAGES!

Sometimes I feel more like a rescue worker than a collector.

I know how many of these vendors operate: Goodwill and other operations like them will get donations of things like toys, clothes etc and bunch them up in bins and barrels and sell them at bulk prices before they even hit the Goodwill stores proper. They sell these bulk wads to people who then drag those items out to swap meets and flea markets throughout the area.

That's basically how a G1 Transformer from 1984 can end up in a pile with last week's Hello Kitty offering from McDonald's, although how and why anyone would donate away their G1 Warpath is still a mystery. I'm sure that situation stems from the proverbial (I had a ton of *cool old thing here* once and my mom gave them all away!)

USUALLY the vendors have no idea (nor do they care) what they have, and price everything the same (read: cheap). But even those vendors may charge more on a Star Wars action figure because everyone knows Star Wars is a hot property now. They might recognize the Stormtrooper you are holding, but those same casual-awareness vendors might not recognize a character like IG-88 or Snaggletooth, or be able to tell the difference between a POTF Luke and a OG Kenner Luke. So ironically they will ask more for a cheap new common figure than an actual collectible or rare figure.

Other times a vendor is a 'specialist' in toys, and will charge more for what they have as they know there's a collector angle, or they see on the back that it's dated 1984 and therefore must be valuable regardless of condition or completeness.  I can't tell you how many times I've been 'schooled' by a vendor on why he wants $10 for for a toy that are literally worth a dime a dozen.

There are also the 'Storage Wars' vendors. The folks who bid on old abandoned storage sheds, lug the stuff out, and sell sell sell. These guys are hit and miss because you (and they) never know what might be in the bottom of a box. But when they end up with a toy collector's storage shed they can be the best finds of the Flea Market.

Anyways, enough about the ins-and-outs of the Flea Market. Although the reason this post went off the rails is because I have nothing to add to the story of Warpath. I never had him as a kid (but my cousin did) so he's cool and I am glad to have him, but I can't really wax nostalgic about him or anything.

So yeah; Warpath. HE'S NEAT!


  1. Here I am watching this guy on ebay,thinking 10 bucks Is a good price for him and you find one for 25 cents!Great find,man!

  2. That's a solid find! Really is surprising how good condition he's in.

  3. Always one of my favorites along with Power Glide, Cliffjumper and Beachcomber.