It Figures.

Back in the early-90s when it was worth your while to go to Buffalo and go cross-border shopping, my buddy Bob and I would hit the malls and a few specialty shops on a day trip or camping over a weekend.

A few of these excursions were memorable: high score on Arkanoid over Buffalo wings and beer; a trip to Xanadu and our first Zima, watching Stanley Cup finals in a tiny hick town one year, doing the same 2 years later and the having the proprietor remember us; and the infamous "Hooters tour" when we hit several Hooters while camping in New York (now I have to go to Hooters in Tokyo the next time in Shibuya)... what surprised me is how these establishments showed up in a mall and were promoted as family restaurants!

We would go to all the fast food joints (McD, BK, KFC, Pizza Hut...helpful hints: bring your own vinegar for the fries and try and convince them that you have an invalid kid at home for those unwilling to sell Kids' Meals to adults...I'm talking to you Pizza Hut!) to see if they had different Happy Meals/Kids Meals, etc.; grocery stores to stock up on different cereals, chips, sodas, etc. to see what premiums were inserted ; comic stores when we could find them, Borders Books to pick up whatever was unique or much cheaper than Canada's huge markup; and I would insist on going to whatever toy stores around, Kay-Bee, Toys Am Us, maybe a Walmart (before they came to Canada) and enlist Bob in locating anything I might find cool. I managed to compile an entire set of TICK toys at a huge discount one time by going to several different Kay-Bees; acquiring sets of Pizza Hut X-Men comics, or grabbing the last few PeeWee Herman toys before they were yanked off the shelves during the scandal.

My favourite coup had to be my acquisition of an entire set of Bandai Godzilla figures with a sound chip inserted proclaiming each Kaiju's famous roar. I tested these out and only 3 of them still work, I'll have to track down new batteries. I have NO idea what happened to Ghidorrah & Mecha-Ghidorrah's tails...they seem to have vanished!

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