Jun 5, 2023

Be Sure And Tell 'Em Large Marge Sent Ya

Pee Wee's Big Adventure
Mahoning Drive-In Theater - Lehighton, PA
The lot was in nostalgia overload on Sunday with hundreds of vintage toys on sale for what I hope will be the first annual Retro Toy Market at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater, along with a screening of Tim Burton's feature film directorial debut, the 1985 classic: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (tickets designed by Andrew Kern).

The poster for Sunday was designed by artist Derek Draws.  You can find his work on derekdraws.com where he sells prints of his artwork for very reasonable prices.  Derek had a merch table set up in the concession building that I unfortunately found a bit too late in the day because I spent a little too much at the Retro Toy Market tables outside, but I did have enough to pick up an awesome Hulk Hogan McNugget Buddy sticker.
Whatcha gonna do when the McHulkster dunks wild in barbecue!

There were enough toys on the lot to open a well-stocked vintage toy museum.  I didn't take too many pictures so as not to get in the way of the other folks who were shopping for goodies, but there were two things in particular that were a bit out of my price range, but still way too cool not to share.

At some point in the 80's, Milton Bradley released a board game adaptation of the 1983 laserdisc arcade classic Dragon's Lair.  It was sold only in Canada, so I never even knew it existed until I saw it yesterday at one of the vendor stands at the Mahoning.  It's so rare that there isn't even one available for sale on eBay as I'm writing this.

The Dragon's Lair board game may have been new to me, but I am very familiar with Snake MountainSkeletor's lair was one of my favorite toys when I was a kid.  I haven't seen one in its original box like this since I unwrapped it on Christmas morning when I was six years old.  They've become a sought after collectible these days, but even if I had two hundred dollars to spend on a toy, this is much larger than I have room for.

Even though I stuck to a pretty modest budget, I found a few treasures from my childhood that now have a new home.

The first thing I found was an Emperor's Royal Guard collectible eraser in its original package.  These were originally sold in stores in the mid 80's when Return Of The Jedi was still in theaters.  I've had an Admiral Ackbar one for a long time, so now I've got one member of the Rebel Alliance and one member of the Galactic Empire.

The Big Kid Store sponsored the show, and they had one of the coolest merch tables on the lot.  Not only were they super nice, but they had an adorable dog named Melvin and so many vintage goodies that it would take me all night to list them.  One of the things at their stand was a box of Garbage Pail Kids from the original series released from the mid to late 80's.  I absolutely loved these things when I was a kid, and they gave me a great deal on a big pile of 'em.

As much as I love Star Wars and Garbage Pail Kids, there's probably nothing that I enjoyed more when I was growing up than playing video games at the arcade.  This Donkey Kong bank was sold in stores in 1981 when the arcade game was brand new.  This was a time when Nintendo was just another name that you'd see on an arcade cabinet, years before anybody ever heard of a little plumber named Mario.

I'm in the process of converting my basement into a game room, and DK is going to make an excellent addition to it.  I got an incredible deal on this guy, so he's off of the vendor tables and back in the arcade where he belongs.

Last, but certainly not least, Tyler Peterson brought his screen-accurate replica of Pee Wee's bike all the way across the country to the Mahoning Drive-In Theater.  Just as in the movie, the bike was not available to purchase for any price, but fans spent the entire afternoon and evening lining up to take photos with it.

The sun went down just after 9:00, and after an incredible trailer reel (including one for Ghostbusters 2), we got to kick back, relax, and take in a true 80's classic projected from 35mm on the beautiful Mahoning screen.

Pee Wee's Big Adventure is a movie that I was relatively late in seeing.  It premiered in theaters on August 9th, 1985 when I was five years old.  Even though I loved the Saturday morning tv show, I didn't get to see the movie until I was about 11 or 12 years old, but I instantly fell in love with it and have watched it many times in the years since.  I never thought I'd get to see it on the big screen though.  Check another one off the bucket list thanks to the Mahoning Drive-In Theater.