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sporkboyofjustice

Member Since 24 Sep 2003
Offline Last Active Aug 26 2007 10:34 PM

Topics I've Started

Sunday Foxtrot

16 August 2004 - 09:48 AM

I know this topic comes up a lot so this strip was extra funny.

Foxtrot

Looking For Premade Semi Auto Valves

13 May 2004 - 02:24 PM

Does anyone know of a company that makes heavy duty regulated semi auto valves? It's for a non Nerf application. Thanks.

Hunting For Nerf Guns

25 February 2004 - 03:21 PM

Anyone can go to Toys R Us (TRU) and pick up the latest guns but you will have a little harder time trying to find guns that are no longer on store shelves. Finding discontinued guns is not easy but itís not that hard either. This article shares techniques that I have used to acquire my ever-growing arsenal of nerf weaponry on the cheap. These techniques really work; the most Iíve paid for a gun at a thrift store was $4 (a powerclip with ammo) and the best deal Iíve gotten was a Firestorm for $2. For those that say that Iím lucky, well there is no such thing as luck. What appears to be luck is really preparation for as it has been said, luck favors the prepared mind.

All of the time in the world at thrift stores will not help you if you donít know what you are looking at. Spend some time at http://www.nerfcenter.com/reviews-of/ getting to know most of the guns that you are likely to run into. Youíll see a little bit of everything over time so you should know as much information as possible. Iíve seen everything from Blast-a-Balls to Airtech 3000s so youíve really got to know your stuff. I would focus on guns that you hear the most talk about on the boards and on mod sites. These would include the crossbow (xbow), big bad bow (bbb), Lock N Load (LNL), Arrow Storm, Expand-a-Blast (EAB), SuperMaxx (SM) 1500 and 750. Even if you donít plan on modding these right away they will all make excellent trading stock or nice items to place on eBay.

You probably wonít see any of these guns right away but you never know, on my first trip out I saw a SM 750 but I passed it up because I didnít know what it was. I had it in my hands but I put it down simply because I didnít know any better. In short you shouldnít expect to find a particular gun on a given day but you should be prepared to fine anything that might be there. So now you know what you are looking for, now what should you pay?

I have been lucky so far and I havenít found any single gun at a thrift store that was so expensive that I wouldnít buy it. Most stores will price guns under $3 ($1 for pistols, $2 for larger pistols and rifles and $3 for something really special looking is a common price structure in my area) so this usually isnít a big deal.


What to pay:
I have been lucky so far and I havenít found any single gun at a thrift store that was so expensive that I wouldnít buy it. Most stores will price guns under $3 ($1 for pistols, $2 for larger pistols and rifles and $3 for something really special looking is a common price structure in my area) so this usually isnít a big deal.

I suggest having a price list of the most you are willing to pay for all guns that you are likely to run into. These prices would assume the gun was clean, in good working order, unmodified and no ammo. You might pay a little more if itís new with ammo and 1/3 or less of the price if it was broken but fixable. What you are willing to pay should depend on what the gun goes for on the boards or eBay, exact numbers are up to you, think about it. Foam Fortress http://www31.brinkst...m/foamfortress/ has a price list that may be consulted for a starting point.


Garage Sales:
Iíll leave this topic for someone who has been to a yard sale lately. While I have been to many yard sales in my life, I havenít had the desire to wake up at 4 in the morning to do things right lately so Iíll stick to what I knowÖ

Thrift Stores:
This is my favorite source of a lot of different things such as board games, pottery and Nerf guns.

As a general note any given thrift store can have any item at any time, stock changes daily and nothing stays there for very long. This means that you have to hit the same stores over and over again to happen to be there the day a LNL hits the floor. I visit about 6 thrift stores each week; sometimes I find stuff, sometimes I donít, thatís just the way it is. Donít give up though because consistency is the key with thrift stores. Sometimes youíll see someone leaving a store with something that you would love, donít worry because youíll be that ďluckyĒ guy soon.

For those of you who turn your nose down at thrift stores please remember that many of them are non-profit businesses that are raising money for a good cause. Additionally they are providing a service by keeping usable items out of the landfills. The result is that you get guns that you canít find in stores for a fraction of their eBay price tags. Sure things arenít new or clean but I certainly think itís worth the effort.

To find thrift stores open up the phone book and look under ďthrift storesĒ. You should find all the thrift stores in your area using this method. Also discount stores like Big Lots and Toy Liquidators may have discount Nerf guns so they are worth a stop every now and then.

Some thrift stores have better toy departments toy departments than others, visit some and find these stores. It is also noteworthy that some thrift stores wonít carry toy guns based on non-violent beliefs, just something that you should be aware of. If you can only visit one thrift store a week then you should make sure you have a decent chance to pick up something you want. Ideally you have a car or a mom that loves thrift stores, failing that you are left with your bike. Biking is good for you so hop on it each Saturday morning instead of watching cartoons; youíll feel good about yourself for not being a lazy ass, obese American doughboy. Youíll definitely want to wear a backpack to carry your haul along with a piece of fruit and some water for the trip there.



Now thrift stores arenít like normal stores that have multiples of a given item, usually they have one of a particular item at a time. Keeping this in mind Nerf guns have a nasty habit of moving about the store as little kids pick them up, take them to where their mother is and get shot down when they ask if they can have it. These guns usually end up in departments other than the toy department. Heck I even carry guns around and drop them off in the house wares department if I decide I donít need it. The point is that you should focus on the toy department but you should also take a walk around the rest of the store. A quick glance behind the cash register may reveal guns that were abandoned at the last second; it never hurts to ask about those.

You can on occasion haggle with the checkers at a thrift store. You can point out flaws in a gun like no darts and missing sites but pointing out that itís dirty is a waste of time, itís a thrift store, not Tiffanyís. While consistency is important it is also worth mentioning that being unpredictable also has its perks. If you consistently go to a certain store on Saturdays at noon then there may also be someone who is consistently there at 10 am each Saturday picking up the guns that you want. If possible itís a good idea to stop by randomly in addition to a weekly visit. I recently found two guns in one night at a store that I had never found any guns at previously and attribute this to the fact that I went on a Wednesday as opposed to my normal Friday or Saturday visit.

When at a thrift store it is also important to be a nice person, get to know the people that work there and be helpful. Iím sure that I have a better chance of getting discounts because Iím a pleasant person and help people out. This would be opposed to the guy that trips old ladies in order to get to something first. There is no reason to be a jerk so be nice, the thrift stores just might treat you better for it.

Buying from people:
Networking is a great way to find Nerf guns; some people find this easier than others. Kids at school have been discussed on the boards but Iíll go beyond this. Ideally youíll want people looking for guns for you, it will take some work but if all works well you can have more guns than you can use but I digress. Get some custom business cards that have your name, e-mail address and some info like: cash paid for Nerf guns, Working or Broken, No ammo-No problem. Be creative and be able to have cash to buy guns. You can get 250 cards for $5.50 at www.vistaprint.com.

That may be beyond some of you but weíll see if I canít solve that problem. Carry these cards with you wherever you go, pass them out to people that might be interested. This includes people that you meet at the thrift stores. If you see someone a couple times going through the toy section introduce yourself, tell them about what you do and give them a card. Once you get a couple ďpickersĒ working for you, you wonít have to do as much work. You may make a printout (with pictures) of guns that you will not buy and give that to your regular pickers.
Be prepared to teach people a little about seeing if a gun is in working order but donít give them too much information like that a cross bow is worth mad money on eBay.

You might find out what other people are interested in as you pass out your cards and see if you can't do some mutual trading. If you are going to thrift stores anyway you might as well swing by another section and see if you can't help out a fellow thrifty shopper. Something may have little value to you but to a collector could be worth serious money (does that sound familiar?) to someone else. If you can trade a little ceramic figurine for a BBB it will all be worth it. Ideally youíll find someone interested in Super Soakers and since youíll see them anyway looking for Nerf Guns you can easily pick them up. Additionally Super Soakers have their names on them so all you have to do is match the numbers and see that they work.

Extra guns:
So now you have a pile of guns and more coming in but no cash; unless you have a job youíll have to turn some of your guns into cash. eBay is the obvious choice but if you have local wars going on you may be able to sell modded and unmodded guns to participants, Iíd sell guns at a profit but less than eBay prices. This is to promote the sport locally and to save yourself the trouble of eBay. This should give you enough income to keep your addiction going, and of course you should always keep the best guns for yourself. You should also consider selling guns on the boards as they will go directly to nerfers who will use them.

Speaking of getting money if you can get a part time or volunteer position at a thrift store you may be able to get first dibs on all Nerf guns that come through the door and might make a little cash. Unfortunately most of us either go to school or have jobs already. If you can talk your way into volunteering a couple hours every weekend that would be perfect and it looks good on college applications.

©2004 Sporkboyofjustice

Lanard Tube Rocket

31 January 2004 - 11:56 PM

just got back from Walmart and saw on the very top shelf a new toy. It's two tubes that slide into and out of each other to make the air compression/delivery system with a rocket that slips on top. It's all hand powered, no springs/triggers so I'm sure it has poor accuracy but it claims 35 feet and it's only $4.42. Has anyone seen these.

It was all the way on the top most shelf and I had to jump to reach it so they aren't really on the floor yet.

Sporkboyofjustice Vs. The Little Kid

15 January 2004 - 09:45 PM

If you do not like mean stories about little kids then please do not read this post:)

SporkboyofJustice vs. The Little Kid

It was twilight and impending rain loomed over central Oregon totally oblivious to the events that were about to occur…

Approaching a favorite thrift store I opened the door as a courteous gesture to an elderly woman and some snot nosed little brat snuck in without making eye contact with me or thanking me for keeping the door open for him. I’m a reasonable guy but that was just plain rude. Some how sensing that he was going for the toy section I chose an alternate path from him to the same location. Due to the fact that I have longer legs I arrived seconds before he and found my first prize, a Vortex Firestorm.

The child looked on as I browsed quickly for other guns, I found a mad hornet and stick it under my arm (I later abandon this because it was non functional) and keep going. The boy picks up a large gun that I had never seen (turns out to be a laser tag gun) and takes off to the next aisle. I look to the top shelves to find no board games of interest and the snot nosed brat returns. I ask him if he’s also looking for Nerf guns and he says he is. Looking at the other side of my aisle I see a SM3000, test it and I hang on to that as well.

Upon arriving at the aisle on that the kid was at he proclaims that there are a couple of Nerf guns here as well. First he shows me a secret shot 1 and explains how it’s broken and won’t work because it’s missing its barrel. He hands it over of his own free will a fully functional SS1 I explain that I think that it can be fixed so I hang on to it (that was for not thanking me earlier).

Next he hands me a gun that I have never seen that has two barrels with a green sliding barrel selector on the bottom of the gun. It works OK and he says he doesn’t want it so I keep that one too. He later asks me if I’m going to keep the big orange one and of course I say yes. It turns out he doesn’t mod guns and he only wanted a mean looking rifle.

Anyway the moral of the story is that you should thank people when they hold the door open for you. I never flat out lied to him and would have been felt stupid to correct him as he was the self-proclaimed expert of all guns because he had a bb gun at home. In the end my most powerful weapon was my opponents staggering intellect.

Can anyone help me identify the mystery gun, I’d look it up on NC but that’s down. I think it’s a switch fire or something like that, any help?