An early Christmas at the Lumberton Toy and Comic Show – The Robesonian

Copeland Jacobs Staff writer
Dan DeLuca of Everstar with an example from his menagerie of dice, including 100 and 120-sided dice, metal dice, and dice with a hedgehog in the place of a one.
Makeup artist Jeff Goodwin at the left behind the table, who has worked on Last of the Mohicans, Blue Velvet, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the live-action Super Mario Brothers film.
The entrance to the former disused JC Penny store in Biggs Park Mall early Saturday during the first day of the Lumberton Toy and Comic Show.
Terrariums made by Monica Coronado for Pokemon and other figures.
Shoppers on Saturday at the Lumberton Toy and Comic show.
Vinay Mehta in the process of making another artwork.
Billy Evans of Just 4 Fun Collectibles reaching into a box of merchandise.
Bobby Long speaks with some customers. The main the blue hat claimed to have met Ted Turner.
Holding the original and replica versions of a 1967 Barbie doll is former Lafayette Doll Club president Caroline Allen.
Two people at the Lumberton Toy and Comic Show engrossed in a game of Magic: The Gathering.
A selection of artworks by Natalie G. Pendley, also known as One Sketchy Chick.
Notebooks fashioned from VHS tape boxes for the well-organized nostalgic.
LUMBERTON — “The 120, as far as I know serves no purpose in the game,” Dan DeLuca of Everstar said about a 120-sided die. The hundred-sided die is used for percentage rolls, but a 120-sided die?
The Lumberton Toy and Comic Show was the ideal place for the kind of Christmas shopping impossible at Walmart or Hobby Lobby. Mark Hamill’s autograph? Available. A Patty Play Pal doll? Also up for purchase. A terrarium for a plastic Pikachu? How much? And a 120-sided die?
Useless for Dungeons and Dragons, as DeLuca said, but a fine conversation starter and a most unorthodox paperweight. A particular Swamp Thing, Action Comics, Spider-Man, or Samurai Penguin comic? And for the fan of Miami Vice, anthropomorphic animals, both, or neither, issues of Hamster Vice and Miami Mice.
Also that Saturday morning, a 3-D printed dragon sprawled across a tabletop with its tail wrapped around a candy hoard. The tiny beast’s makers, present at the Lumberton Comic and Toy Show as Lothal Exports, said the dragon was fully articulated with hand-painted eyes and took three days to print, though their best-selling item was a smaller real lizard, the axolotl. The duo of Lothal Exports explained they’d sold out a Wilmington toy show.
Billy Evans of Just 4 Fun Collectibles was selling sports cards, which were the hottest item on his tables, which he speculated was because only two vendors had brought them to the show. Evans said football cards sold the best, having displaced his former bestseller, baseball cards. He also said no particular team stood out as more popular than the others with collectors.
“The thing about North Carolina is that people collect from all,” Evans said, “It’s not a regional thing the way it used to be.”
Makeup artist Jeff Goodwin, a four-decade Hollywood veteran of acclaimed films as disparate as Last of the Mohicans and Mr. Mercedes, had parked his booth near the gates of the disused JC Penny the Biggs Park Mall, and was handing out rotten severed ears. Well, miniature metal pins bearing the image of the infamous rotten severed ear from the film Blue Velvet, by Goodwin’s favorite director David Lynch. The original ear from Blue Velvet was also there for the looking.
Blue Velvet was set in a Lumberton, albeit a fictional Lumberton and filmed in nearby Wilmington. The surrealist auteur needed to ask permission from Lumberton, North Carolina so that Lumberton, from the mind of David Lynch, might be brought to the silver screen in 1985.
Despite the horrific imagery and profane language in Blue Velvet according to Goodwin the director never uttered a single offensive word during filming. When giving direction to the actors he’d simply point at the word printed on the screenplay.
“You wrote it David, say the word,” Goodwin recalled an actor saying to the director.
Goodwin worked on less honored films with troubled productions like the infamous live-action Super Mario Brothers movie. There was a connection between the unlikeliest of Goodwin’s projects, Blue Velvet and Super Mario Brothers. While filming Super Mario Brothers, Goodwin was in a trailer with Dennis Hopper and Bob Hoskins, and said he had both Frank Booths there, because Hoskins had originally been cast as the Blue Velvet antagonist Booth, before Hopper asked Lynch for the role, and Hoskins was paid to leave the film.
“Maybe we shouldn’t work together,” Goodwin said Hoskins had told him in reference to their history of working on films fraught with production issues.
Vendor Bobby Long from Wilmington got his first TV job in high school, his inaugural assignment covering a golf tournament, and was prevented from taking another at NBC Sports by his parents. Long met his wife at the TV station where they worked. Long later worked at ESPN and later at NBC Sports.
We’re kind of a media family,” Long’s wife explained, though she currently helps manage clinical drug trials for pharmaceuticals.
On Saturday the couple tended tables and a bookshelf. Long said books based on television from the 60s and 70s, from The Avengers to Welcome Back Kotter, were among his best sellers. Classic horror stories, like Frankenstein and Dracula, and the works of science fiction pioneer H.G. Wells were also popular.
“For some reason I do really well with Alister McLean books,” said Long.
Long said the older books and items tended to sell better, with the exception of books related to the comparatively more recent series Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Robesonian asked Long if he planned to return on Sunday.
“I’ll be here, hopefully with a lot less stuff,” Long said.
Vinay Mehta sat behind a table sketching caricatures with an array of professional wrestling figures rendered in vivid hues gracing the display rack behind him.
“I’ve been drawing since I was a kid,” Mehta said.
He cited the Nickelodeon cartoons he’d watched in his youth, namely Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Hey Arnold as influences.
He explained he does a lot of art for professional wrestlers for their social media pages, including digital art and event posters. Mehta said he’d initially drawn their attention to his wares by setting up booths at live events, catching the wrestlers’ eyes.
Mehta said artwork of wrestlers from the 90s era was his most popular output, and he did a good deal of art for the wrestling brand NWA. He said business was picking up again though sales of his prints did spike during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the opposite side of the former JC Penny artist Natalie G. Pendley, called One Sketchy Chick for her hobby and appreciation for chickens, was also working. Several of her artworks were displayed on the wall, including a dragon in a Santa hat, multiple anime characters, and Mario.
Tom Steele was selling copies of his comic Buck Tombstone, which he said he’d been working on for around a year. He said he’d been drawing comics since before he read one.
“I do the writing and the art for it, so it’s all done by me,” said Steele.
“It’s a western-horror story, so its got the classic western tropes, but I threw in some demonic horror stuff,” said Steele.
“One thing is when you read comics is that you think about who would play them in the movie,” said Steele.
Steele said it was a cliché in western comics to model the protagonist after John Wayne or Clint Eastwood which he called distracting, as he’d rather focus on the story, though he did concede Eastwood would make a good Buck Tombstone. He stated classic westerns from the 40s and 50s were another significant influence on the comic, which Steele called over-the-top, unbelievable, and embellished.
Monica Coronado’s tables featured Pokémon in terrariums. She said her family were all collectors.
“We like to display the things we collect,” Coronado said.
Another vendor said she’d spotted Coronado’s handiwork from her own table and came over to investigate, initially observing the Pokémon were cute, later stating the terrariums were even cuter than she’d first surmised.
The Lafayette Doll and Toy Club of Fayetteville had four vendors at the show, explained the organization’s current president Celine Shoup. In addition to the Mothers’ Day Lumberton Toy and Comic Show, the group is also participating in next June’s World Doll Day.
“Barbies and Madame Alexanders are dolls that sell really well,” said Shoup.
“If they’re marked cheap,” interjected former Doll and Toy Club president Caroline Allen, naming a Barbie with side-parted hair as among the most expensive dolls on sale.
Shoup singled out Patty Play Pall, explaining the doll began production in the 60s, to which Allen added the specific year was 1965.
“I would have sold it to you, but I’m hanging on to it for the signature,” vendor Jerry Clayton said about a particular Star Wars comic from a box, this particular issue dating back to the film’s initial wave of popularity in the 70s.
Clayton had many valuable comics inside the white cardboard boxes standard for holding large quantities of comics. Some of Clayton’s comics were in tightly sealed packages with quality grades. The comics, once appraised, are closed off from the damaging environment, and theoretically maintain that grade feasibly forever.
Copeland Jacobs can be reached via phone at 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected]
2175 N. Roberts Ave,
Lumberton, NC 28358


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