Saturday, December 21, 2019

My Favorite Creepy Cool Finds From Florida's Largest Antique Fair!

Here in Florida the biggest attractions are, and in this order: theme parks, beaches, "Florida Man" headlines, cute retirement village golf carts, and of course, antiquing.

Ok, so antiquing probably isn't on the list, but it is for me! Not far from Orlando we have Renninger's Antique Extravaganza, a twice yearly blow-out where about 800 vendors from all over the country converge to fill dozens of acres of land with the weirdest, most wonderful junk.

The aisles are arranged under this enormous moss-covered trees:

... and assuming the weather co-operates, it's the best place in the world to wander for a weekend.

This is held every November and February, so they really do try to give us cooler wandering weather. (Hang on, looks like they've added a third date in January. Sweet!)  This last round John and I could only stay a few hours, but of course I had my phone ready to capture my favorite oddities.

The best thing about the November show is all the vintage Christmas decorations! I can't decide if this trio is more creepy or chic... or what's happening with that guitar. o.0

This adorable Snoopy diorama ornament is about as old as I am:

I love the porthole effect! Reminds me of the Disney windows with little scenes inside.

Ahh, but I also promised creepy finds, didn't I?

Don't worry, they can't hurt you. They've been disarmed.

(I know what you're thinking, and yes, I AM a hoot to shop with.)

Now for something gorgeous: 

How drool-worthy is this light fixture?? Curse my 8 foot ceilings. Curse them.

I also gazed wistfully at this old sign for a few moments:


This makes me want to number the 3 doors in a our tiny hallway, which includes the guest bath. Then we can turn it into a mini game show for our guests: "Which door will you choose?"

PLOT TWIST: This is behind Door #3:


I didn't investigate further - those eyes are a little distracting - but it looks like this guy blows air through the cigar? Fascinating.

Probably boring by comparison, but I do love old shop display cases:

And I thought this was pretty, though it may be a reproduction:

This one's from a little before my time, anyone have this as a kid?

I was hoping his head popped up when you turn it, but it didn't have batteries for me to check.

You know the lengths I'll go to for a good pun, so when I tell you I thought about turning this into a mail table, I know you'll understand:


Sadly one of his eye stalks was broken, though of course that could be fixed.

Here's blast from the past that manages to be both nostalgic and creepy at the same time:

Geoffrey the Toys R Us giraffe, just casually leaning against a tree. I don't think many cosplayers visit Renninger's, but I hope one snapped him up for their next con.

Here comes one of two things I came perilously close to buying:


Somehow the seller even knew to display it on a teal shelf.  Spooky.

In retrospect it's best I didn't buy it, because these things aren't all that rare, and are selling on eBay for half what the seller wanted (roughly $60). So now I just have to resist the siren call of late-night-retail-therapy, ha. Because seriously, it's so dang cute. And the clear "propeller" spins with the dial! 

(I'm literally looking around my office right now for a spot to display this. If I could hook this up I might actually enjoy talking on the phone. Maybe. Probably not. But maybe.)

I know a lot of folks collect vintage lunch boxes, and it's easy to see why with ones like these:

Look at this art!! Something about this style makes me so gosh darn happy.

Here's the side:

And then I found:


But also this:

What. What. I mean... WHAT?

I had to google it; apparently it's a show from 1973, and I found the show's theme song(?) on YouTube, and wow. WOW.

I recommend starting at 1:30; it's a second opening song that's much catchier.

See how educational antiquing can be?

Another example:

This one teaches us to never hear "I'm a little Teapot" the same way again.

I've seen this particular rocket ship bank a couple of times now at Renninger's, and I still want one, but alas, I'm also still too cheap to shell out $40 for it:

This was a give-away coin bank from the Republic National Bank: you put a coin into the slot over the spring, draw it back, and then it rockets (EH?) the coin into the bank through a slot at the top. SO COOL. Plus I love the Art Deco space age look. If I ever find a mega cheap one, it's going in the steampunk room.

I think this is also a coin bank:

Due to Michelin Man's obvious kinship with Stay Puft, I automatically think he's cute. My family disagrees.

Another Renninger's exclusive assemblage art piece:

::singing:: "She's got leeeeeeegs! She knows how to lose them."

I'm pretty sure sellers set stuff like this up just to get our attention... and it works.

The timing was wrong for Halloween, but I had to snap a picture of this display anyway for the pure nightmare fuel potential:

How funny/sad is it that the Santas fit right in? o.0 YEESH.

(I do love the old art on the noisemakers, though!)

There are a few sellers sprinkled throughout the Extravaganza offering their own handmade items, and I think y'all might like this shop's wares:


Plus look at these pretties:

Most sellers with "new" items make them using antique finds, like this lamp vendor:

::swooning intensifies::

We've seen Geoffrey the giraffe, now here comes Gerald the giraffe cat:

The bowtie says, "I'm a dapper cutie-pie!" but the face says, "Really? That's what you wear outside the house?"

This is always a pretty booth, especially near dusk:

If you're wondering what John likes at antique fairs, here's his favorite find of the day:

He fell in love until he saw the price tag. :D
(They're by some famous name/maker, so cost over a hundred dollars.)

And finally, I'm going to end with the Things That Got Away. The seller said she had even more of them under the table somewhere, and I've been kicking myself ever since for not buying the lot:

They were only $8 each, too. I really have no excuse, other than I'm so good at resisting impulse buys now that I sometimes miss out. Poo.

I don't know what to call them for an eBay search, either, since "Vintage Fruit Dolls" is getting me nowhere. So... help? I know they're creepy, but I LOVE THEM. They remind me of the Kitchen Kabaret at Disney, and the bright colors and vintage vibe are singing my song. So, anyone know what they're called, or have any other info?

Which reminds me; the last time I posted antique finds here a whole bunch of you recommended joining the Facebook group "Weird Second-Hand Finds That Just Need To Be Shared", and let me tell you: y'all did NOT lead me wrong. It's a mix of hilarious random thrift finds and true antiques and I friggin' love it. Their mods do an amazing job at policing any trollish remarks, too, so it's a little ray of drama-free sunshine in my FB feed. I even made John join, ha. So thank you to everyone who sent me that link, and I hope the rest of you check it out and enjoy!


Besides reading this post and (hopefully) having a laugh, what are you doing for yourself today? 

Remember to breathe and stretch and be gentle with yourself and others; this is a hard week for everyone. (And if it's NOT a hard week for you, then please double-down and share all the happy, wonderful, silly things you can in your feeds, to help give the rest of us a lift!)

Here's a silly happy thing I did for me today: behold my new $7 sunglasses

I know we're all tired of spending money after this month, but I've been looking at these on my wish list for too dang long, dang it. :p  If they turn out as cute as I think they will I'll be buying at least 3 more colors. BONUS: The hilariously bad photo-shopping in the listing photos gave me a giggle.

Wishing you all the smiles & sweetness & contented sighs your heart can handle.



  1. My Google-fu is strong today - I found them!

    Those dolls are Frutti Village Fruit Babies. A Google image search for "Frutti Village Fruit Baby" will turn up a number of pictures... I didn't have as much luck with finding ones for sale, but here's a few random listings:


    1. Alternatively, they may be "Small Small World Veggie Baby" dolls - although the similarities are so close they must be related. Maybe one line is fruits and the other is vegetables? Anyway, here's a few listings that come up under that name:

      One of them actually gives a name for that little purple cutie - Edgar Eggplant.

    2. Ahhh, thank you thank you! Now I have some search terms to save, plus it's really cool seeing the original box!

    3. - Here's a lot of 2 for 19.99. They're so cute!

  2. Ha! I remember Sigmund! (My oldest son was little at the time) They actually did a remake of it a couple years ago, too. X-D

  3. I have to add this place to my must visit list. I love all the weird and sometimes creepy vibes. Thrifting is my favorite thing and i would love to do it on a huge scale....must come see someday

  4. I live in PA where our Renningers holds an extravaganza 2 times a year also. Always lots of fun to look!

    Thanks for Sigmund memories. I was 5 when it started. I totally remember those song so. The closing song was my favorite.

  5. We went to Reningers last February, and didn't find any of the weird and wonderful things that you do. Maybe we were in the wrong section? We did the to big fields to the right, if you're looking in from the highway. Saw lots of furniture, kitchenware, and jewelry. Still had a great weekend, just wondering if we were in the wrong place!

    1. Sounds like the right place, yes! I'm assuming you were there during the actual Extravaganza weekend, when they charge admission? (Though actually the smaller Flea Market section on the left that's free also has some great stuff.) It just takes a lot of hunting through boring stuff to find the gems, though of course sometimes there's less there to find! I do like to think my Weird Stuff radar is pretty strong, too. :D

    2. Yes, we did Extravaganza. We'll just have to come do it again! Maybe our favorite internet celebrities might show us around. 😊

  6. I HAD THAT PIGS IN SPACE LUNCHBOX! Sorry for shouting, but I loved that thing and have always been sad I didn't save it.

  7. I'm so glad you are in Weird Secondhand as well. It's so much fun. I adore these posts of yours as I'm a total thrift junkie. ^_^ That phone and snoopy ornament would have gone home with me instantly.

  8. I had one of those dolls!! Cannot for the life of me remember what it was called, but it was red. Not only that, but the baby's head was scented!! It smelled like strawberries.

  9. My parents have that snoopy ornament! I'm amused.

  10. My brother started school with that Sigmund and the Sea Monsters lunch box! (I think the thermos may still be and my Mom's house somewhere...)
    It was one of the Sid and Marty Krofft shows - one of the LESS psychedelic ones, believe it or not! (See also Land of the Lost, H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville...)

    1. Witchipoo from H.R. Pufnstuf used to scare the hell out of me!! I hated that show. I was always afraid to watch Sigmund because I thought Witchipoo might be on that show too. Great. Now the song is going through my head, and that's without even following the You-Tube link Jen provided! :)

  11. Those shows were loads of fun, and part of the trick was figuring out which cast members played which characters in the different shows, since there was a lot of overlap, especially Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos, Lidsville... Lots of great costume possibilities!

  12. I have family in Alameda, CA. EVERY MONTH they have a huge antiques flea market on the site of the closed Navy airstrip. It is enormous with 800+ vendors, and filled with all kinds of "finds" and amazing food trucks! I had my first visit to this market last month. It was amazing. I did buy a 1970s Super Friends lunchbox. Google Alameda Pointe Antiques Faire for info. Happy Treasure Hunting!

  13. I grew up in the era of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, and H R Pufnstuf - they were both nightmare fuel and also wildly cool. Sid and Marty Kroft were ahead of their time, or just escaped the bonds of time forever.

  14. Ah, this post made me squeal, way too much. Especially the Pigs-in-space- lunchbox!
    I'm making the meatballs for tomorrow. (In Sweden we celebrate Christmas on the 24th.) They are a must at the julbord (Christmas table). So is Jansson's Frestelse (temptation). An ovenbaked dish with finley cut potatoe-sticks, onions, anchovies and cream in it and breadcrumbs on top. Fortunately My mother makes it (the best in the world!) so I don't have to. Making the meatballs is enough. I call it the great meatballrolling. It takes hours (I refuse to stress) and to survive this ordeal (witch I in fact enjoy) I have to listen to an old album: "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Nat King Cole and others. And of course I drink an entire bottle (1,4 liters) of julmust (it looks like Coca-Cola but isn't). When I'm done I'm really proud of myself and I make a smiley-face of meatballs, two fried eggs and ketchup and send a picture of it to my mother so she'll know I'm ready for Christmas!
    And with that glimpse into a Swede's Christmas I wish you all a very merry and stress-free Christmas!

    Karin Beronius

  15. I'd love to go shopping with you guys. Sounds like fun!

    I watched "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters", "H. R. Pufnstuf" (far weirder), "The Bugaloos". All the Krofft stuff was odd. Here's the opening for "The Bugaloos":

    Oh, I looked at the wikipedia page for the Krofft brothers -- I also watched "Land of the Lost", "Far Out Space Nuts", "The Lost Saucer", "Donny & Marie", "The Krofft Supershow" ("Kaptain Kool and the Kongs", "Dr. Shrinker", "Electra Woman and Dyna Girl", "Wonderbug", "Magic Mongo", & "Bigfoot and Wildboy"), and "Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters" ��

  16. I couldn't wait for Sigmund and the Sea Monsters to be on every Saturday because of my crush on Johnny.

  17. We have that Snoopy ornament! it's the first ornament that my parents bought together, the year they got engaged <3

  18. It's unlikely you could actually use that rotary phone. Most telephone exchanges can't handle rotary phones anymore.


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