My Trip To the Frank and Son’s Collectible Show
By: Chris Darkes - June 18, 2015
Category : Toys/Nostalgia
Because I’m such an action figure nerd, I had to find a way to get back to Frank and Son’s Collectible Show. So this past Saturday, that’s exactly what I did. The place is the combination of a swap meet and a collectibles store all wrapped up into one massive toy box. Since parking is sparse, it’s best to get there early. Although we arrived an hour after the place opened, I lucked out and found parking not terribly far away.
From the outside, it’s a giant warehouse (located in an industrial complex) with a ton of people funneling through. The place was already buzzing with energy and people hungry to open their wallets.
The smartest thing you can do is pick a corner and snake you’re way across, otherwise you’ll lose you’re bearings and won’t remember where you started. Because we entered through the trading card section, we thought it would be best to head towards the opposite end, where in my opinion the real good stuff is located.
As we made our way over to the other end, we noticed they had a few beverage vendors who were also selling ice cream sandwiches, snow cones, and everything else you loved as a kid (maybe those orange sherbet push pops)? We didn’t stop for anything because 1) our hearts were set on Portillos afterwards and 2) the thought of an ice cream sandwich at 9 A.M. didn’t really appeal to me. So we made out way into the crowd.
Now I’m a little biased in the fact that I do have a favorite booth. But I knew that it’s somewhere in the middle and would have to bide my time before I found it. Before I got to it however, I did see a bunch of things I thought were worth noting. I’ve never been to Comic Con, but I’ve seen photos — this honestly feels like a mini Comic Con, albeit a scaled down version. They have a lot of exclusives and little niche pieces that are hard to find…
A convention exclusive signed Stan Lee POP figure, rare comic books, Star Wars playsets, and in the most obscure and disturbing scene from Pulp Fiction, “The Gimp.” If you’re not familiar with this scene, skip right over to the next paragraph.
We passed by another section selling Topps wax packs that reminded me of my eleven-year-old self biking over to this collectibles shop where I used to spend hours looking at rows of cards behind glass cases similar to these. Each came with the most stale piece of bubble gum inside. I’d love to know the history behind that.
The next stop was almost as good as my favorite booth, except for the fact that at this booth, you can’t purchase the items in the display cases. Most of them are one-of-a-kind custom figures. But I managed to take some photos to show how realistic everything looks.
The attention to detail in the clothing and facial features really show someone took their time to create this piece. Next, one of my personal favorites, the Batman ’89 1/6th scale which can still be purchased at Sideshow.
I know a lot of people are still having debate over which Batman is better. It’s kind of a chicken or the egg type debate —I won’t go into that, but I will tell you both of these pieces do their respective movies complete justice. Also, Keaton for life.
After staring at these for awhile, we moved across towards a booth that sold medieval knight weaponry. Being an avid lover of the movie Braveheart, I have a certain place for that era. That being said, I don’t know why someone would want to put a knight’s sword in their house. But maybe it’s just as arbitrary as having a bunch of figures from the 80’s displayed. The booth also had a 300 helmet, Wolverine’s claws, and daggers from Thor. All available for purchase.
To give you an idea of how many things people cram into their booths, I snapped a photo of a vendor who crammed 10 lbs. of items in a 5 lb. bag. It’s crazy to think these vendors know exactly what they have for sale and where to find it.
Finally, we made it to one of the coolest booths I’ve seen. What I like about this one in particular is every piece is hand crafted and custom made. A lot of the movies don’t get anywhere near the recognition in the mainstream figure department for whatever reason, but I appreciate great stuff when I see it. When you first walk past the booth you’re greeted by the eerie fluorescent lighting.
Across from that is a huge display of custom figures.
Some of my personal favorites…
The price for the Pennywise figure goes for around $2,500. A little out of the range for a normal purchase, but if you’re so inclined it’s available. Above the display cases, were even more figures stacked skyhigh.
Last time I went there I asked about the prices, some are not as high as the Pennywise. Most are found to be in the $450–$600 range. This time I just stood there admiring the craftsmanship of whoever took their time with these. Really great works.
Since lunch had been around this time, and my breakfast consisted of a Quest bar, we decided to head not too far from one of my hometown favorite fast food places, Portillo’s. Since there are only two locations in Southern California, it’s the equivalent of a diamond in the rough. It’s the mecca for anyone from the midwest who craves a taste of home cooking. We ended the day treating ourselves to some beef sandwiches, before heading back.