Tuesday, 29 March 2016

My Best Ever Pica Pica Vintage Hauls Part 3 - The 1980s Disney Collector

This was my most recent eye popping find. Last year I happened upon a house clearance sale disposing of a whole lifetime of collecting. The other dealers were most interested in the huge piles of Christmas collectibles and handbags, but for me it was the Disney. The family had obviously been huge fans and were regular visitors of all the American theme parks during the 1980s and early 1990s but what was most exciting for me was the condition. Everything was in it's original carrier bags and there were multiples of everything - not just one keyring but 20 all in a carrier bag...not just one coin purse, but 12 in a carrier bag. Like I said, EYE POPPING. Some of the best items were from this great print range by Australian artist Ken Done.

I bought these spoons because I loved them - I have a pot full. I can't find anything out about them. are they simply teaspoons from the cafes and the collector saved them? I'd love to know

After again making a huge pile of awesomeness came the most exciting news - there was more! I'd been pleasant with the sellers and struck up a conversation. It turned out it had been a huge house - they had another two lorry loads at least from the same collection. Over the next two weeks I proceeded to get two more car loads of stock from them. I love it with my job that I never really know what I'm going to find next. I'm going to put that original 1985 carrier bag in a frame to remember just how great a find this collection was.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Care Bears Sighting - The Supermarket and the Cinema...for £1!

After an especially stressful wrangle around the supermarket with a grumpy 3 year old and a 1 year old (busy day out + supermarket trip = GRUMPY) I totally pushed my luck. I was really happy to find this little bargain in the Tomy Gasha Capsule Toy Vending machines on our way out.

They're about 1.5" tall, flocked and scented. If flocking and perfume scented toys aren't a nod to the 1980s, then I don't know what is?! We got Friend Bear who's Pienapple scented (!) There are 8 different ones to collect. I've since seen them in the cinema too, so hopefully you'll find them round where you live too. I'm saving my £ coins for my next supermarket visit, but maybe I'll leave the grumpy over tired children with Daddy next time :-)

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Lucky Dip Club Review - February Unboxing Galentines Surpise Box

When I hear that thud every month of my Lucky Dip Club box coming through my letter box, I go and grab it straight away. I put it up safe away from the sticky fingers of Emmett and Rudie and I save it for a quiet moment with a cup of coffee so I can have a nice long look at everything in peace and quiet.

I was excited for this month's box. Galentines is something I think I heard for the first time last year - it's a basically cute term for sending your girl buddies something at Valentines. Cute, huh? And who doesn't want to let their girl pals know that you love them? In celebration of this, this month's box contains a little set of Girl Gang greetings cards, a GIRLS lettering banner, BFF 2 part keyring, Unicorn and rainbow enamel pin and a note book. The quality of the notepad paper is ace - nice skinny lines (my favourite)

I'm so lucky with my own Girl Gang. I work from home so I have no work colleagues. It can be lonely at times. My pals are totally essential and I'm lucky that we all have the same dorky sense of humour. I feel incredibly grateful to have such good people in my life

If you missed sending your girl pals something on Valentines day, it's never too late. Everyone likes a special surprise in the post :-)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

My Best Ever Pica Pica Vintage Hauls Part 2 - The G1 My Little Pony Motherlode

Here we are for part 2 of my best ever hauls of stock for Pica Pica Vintage. This time I was at a carboot sale outside my local area. I'm terrible - I can't drive past a jumble sale, car boot sale or charity shop without stopping for a little peep. I was visiting my Mum in Sussex in 2011. I was already quite satisfied with my finds so far at the sale until I caught a glimpse of all those pony tails all jumbled up in a box together. I abandoned my route up and down the rows and ran over worried that someone else might have spotted what I'd seen. Without digging in the box too deeply, I asked the price for the whole lot. I could have cried. They were all mine. I'd just bought nearly 200 vintage My Little Ponies.

They were all in good condition, and luckily only in need of a little TLC to get them ready for my customers. I really wish I'd taken pictures of them all lined up drying in the garden in the sunshine. It was of my most lucarative collections I've ever bought as there were some real gems including rare accessories and Europe and UK exclusive ponies. All of my collectors were really pleased. By the time I'd finished sorting everything out I even found some ponies were complete with all their original accesories. I still sometimes dream about that find.

Do you have something missing from your collection? Just send us an email vic(at)picapicavintage.com and we'll do our best to help!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Collectors Guide - Know Your My Little Ponies 1980s to the Present

If you're looking to start a collection or replace your old lost toys, We love My Little Pony. Here's a rough guide to the toy line so far:

Generation 1 (G1) 1982 - 1995
This is by far the most popular line with collectors. For pure nostalgia and style they are great. There is literally something for everyone with the original Earth Pony line, the Big Brother clydesdale ponies to the clear glitter ponies. Prices start at around £6 for one in good condition, but you can expect to pay over £100 for international exclusives and variations.

Generation 2 (G2) 1997 - 2003
How can a toy line get it so wrong? This version was a disaster with hardly any commercial success in the USA and discontinued there in less than a year after launch. Their strange skinny bodies and hippo like faces had none of the charm or cuteness of the original line. You can pick up G2 mint in pack ponies for less than £10. However due to their unpopularity some of the later play sets and ponies are still quite valuable due to their rarity!

Generation 3 (G3) 2003 - 2009
After a pony hiatus, they were back. They'd learnt their lesson and came back with a chunkier pony with lots more in common with G1. This generation was targeted to a younger age group, so everything was more solid and less fiddly with no small pieces and less accessories.

This was the first line that the artists really got into - there are some great customised ponies in this generation. The value in this generation is in the charity exclusive and convention exclusive ponies.

For new or younger collectors this is a really great place to start. They can be picked up extremely cheaply with prices starting at as low as 50p a pony online if you buy job lots.

Generation 4 Friendship Is Magic (G4 FiM) 2010 - Present
Lauren Faust took the reigns for the cartoon series for this generation. With a pedigree in Powerpuff Girls, it's easy to see the parallels. This series has pulled My Little Ponies back in front of a brand new audience and for the first time has really encouraged the new wave of male collectors, even coining the Bronie title for the once neglected male fans. The toys are super cute and already a big hit with collectors. Keen eyes will already see play sets and ponies in store exclusive deals in Argos and ToysRUs. The mold for these guys is smaller than it's been before with a more Japanese / Kawaii cutesy style. With values already creeping up I can see this as a good bet for a future collectible.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

My Best Ever Pica Pica Vintage Hauls Part 1 - MEGO Dolls & Mint In Box Fisher Price Toys

I've got a great nose for a bargain and I've really tried to fine tune my eye to spot the best vintage toys for my customers. I've been running Pica Pica Vintage for 6 years now (with two bouts of maternity leave thrown in for good measure) but I've actually been thrifting ever since I can remember (sheesh - over 25 years?!) I was THAT contrary child who didn't like 1980s neon pink Barbie dolls. I spent my childhood searching out 1960s and 1970s Sindy dolls as i preferred their more realistic clothes and furniture. They had brunette hair that was more like my own. Maybe this was where my love affair with vintage began?

Anyway, here is part 1 of some of my all time favourite finds of the past 6 years. Isn't it a bummer we only think to take more pictures now? I really wish I'd have had the thought to take pictures at the time.

Ones early morning I was feeling down heartened to have only found some 1980s McDonalds toys - still good for my inventory, but nothing to get too over excited about. Suddenly I spotted the corner of a box. Straight away it was the bright blue and red of vintage Fisher Price. Soon I amassed a huge pile including the Fisher Price record player mint in box along with several other sets including the airport which I was really pleased with. I had a word with the stall holder and asked if it was ok to start a pile. I always find this polite and also showing that kind of courtesy will show you're a serious buyer and could even mean you get first dibs on things that haven't been unpacked yet. This haul made me take a trip to the cash point for more money and three trips back to the car with a trolley of toys. This collection turned out to all date from the 1970s / 1980s and had been looked after perfectly with most things never having been removed from their boxes.

The final cherry on the cake was finding a carrier bags full of 1970s poseable MEGO figures. I carefully took them all home to research. Unexpectadly, in my bag of familiar Marvel characters was the ultra rare Zorro figure. No listings on eBay existed with him in his full outfit including his cape. I was delighted to sell him to a London collector for over £100. If only he'd had his sword. The thing is, everything owned by this collector was so well looked after it probably was there and I missed it. One of the things I love most about my job is that I'm always learning. I'll know what his sword looks like for next time

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

My Collections - Vintage Fisher Price Little People

I used to collect (read: hoard!) a lot of vintage toys. The saddest thing about this though was that there were too many to even display properly, so they were all sat in boxes. This was part of the reason I founded Pica Pica Vintage as a way to thin out my collection.

My biggest collection was vintage Fisher Price - the mid century style paper decals really speak to me and I have such a fondness for those Little People that fit just so perfectly into little hands in a way that they've never managed with subsequent attempts at replicating that original toy line.

This year I've been more about really drilling down and thinking properly about how I want my home to look. I will say that the Marie Kondo book has definitely been an inspiration, but my friend really made me laugh in saying that by buying the book we'd just be cluttering up the house even more! Haha. All that being said, it has made me think and as a result I completely down sized my collection - only keeping one of each of the figures and listing everything else in the shop.

I find this little group of guys much more pleasing to look at now and I honestly prefer the money in the bank rather than sat sadly in boxes in the loft.

If you're looking to add to your Fisher Price collection, some of mine can still be found here in the shop

Friday, 4 March 2016

Hello There - 20 Facts All About Me

My name is Vic. I'm 34. I'm married to my best friend and we have two little boys, Emmett and Rudie. This is my blog and business Pica Pica Vintage. Here's 20 facts about me. However it is you've found my little corner of the internet, thanks for stopping by!

1) I learnt to crochet 4 years ago when I was pregnant with Emmett and it's one of my favourite ways to relax in the evening

2) I am totally unashamed to say that I love Eastenders. I think Danny Dyer is the best thing to happen in the history of the show #sorrynotsorry

3) I didn't learn to drive until I was 29. I wish I'd learnt earlier. My first car was a vintage Mini. It was stolen and I've never seen it again.

4) The best place I've ever been to was Tokyo. In 2018 me and Alex will have been together longer than we've been apart. We hope to go again to celebrate.

5) I love Dr Pepper and Cherry Coke. I'd happily drink it everyday if it wasn't so bad for me.

6)  In my previous career I owned Pink Kat and then Robot Shop mainly based in Camden. I studied fashion at LCF until I dropped out and started my business.

7) I still love Reeves and Mortimer. We're going to see them live again this month and I can't wait.

8) I collect midcentury furniture and ceramics

9) I've been a Lauren Laverne super fangirl since she was in Kenickie. Her BBC6 Radio show feels like she's playing from my own brain jukebox. I love her.

10) I'm still sad that Mad Men is over

11) I love doing laundry and I'm deadly serious about how the dishwasher should be loaded.

12) I'm at my happiest hosting ridiculously themed dinner parties or cooking for friends

13) I think Tiger and Hema are the two best things to happen to the British high street in ages

14) I hate going to the hairdressers. I wear my hair in a bun everyday.

15) If I was on Mastermind, my specialist subject would be Katharine Hepburn

16) My favourite director is Wes Anderson. My favourite film is The Royal Tenenbaums

17) I'm not competitive, but really like playing board games. I never win

18) I really love stationary. A stationary shop in Tokyo made me cry

19) My favourite band are Beach House

20) I really love lists

Thursday, 3 March 2016

#MarchMeetTheMaker Instagram Daily Challenge with Joanne Hawker

One of the things that's made me take a bit of a personal hiatus from Facebook is just how amazing and supportive the Indie Business community is over on Instagram. I'm at home all day with my children when I'm not working and when I am working I have no colleagues. Being able to chat to like minded folk in the same boat is not only encouraging, but frankly, essential!

I was so happy when I found this list of daily photo prompts posted on a stream on Instagram - not only are the prompts very inspiring, but it's been a great way to meet new people and open up about the workings of my business and hopefully get me into a better routine of focusing my social media presence and growing my business.

It's not too late to join in - you could easily catch up as today only marks Day 4. In case you're not using Instagram, here's my first 4 days:

Day 1 - Brand
Pica Pica is the Latin word for magpie. I love magpies - and it's my job to hunt out vintage toy treasure for my customers

Day 2 - You
A rare selfie from me (I'm not much of a selfie taker) If you place an order through my eBay store, I'm the one that found the vintage toy, cleaned it, listed it, packed it and posted it. When I'm not looking after the children I'm working on my own sewing or crochet. Current guilty pleasure is Sons Of Anarchy

Day 3 - Workspace
This is one small corner of the box room at the front of our house. I have another room that stores most of my inventory. This is my space for listing and packing. I thought I could have tidied it and made it look neater, but I'm actually in the middle of a really busy period for me and this is what it actually looks like

Day 4 - Tools
Essential items for me are a mini screwdriver set. everything battery operated must be tested first. I love Bic Biros for taking notes. Cute tape measure. If you're using something everyday, may as well be cute, right?

I really hope this might have sparked your interest to play along. Find me on Instagram @pica_pica_

Take a look through other makers taking part #marchmeetthemaker

Find Joanne Hawker, the creator of this great prompt series:
@joannehawker on Instragram