Hours of digging through bargain bins produce a unique state of mind. Call it thrift store enlightenment.
You’ll know you’ve reached it when you find yourself squinting at some incredibly niche object and can’t remember how long you’ve been standing there, marveling at the fact that a human being put in real effort and in some cases received payment to produce the thing in your hand.
It recently happened for us while we were admiring some Cape Cod lighthouse wall appliqués at Thrift World in Oak Cliff, our last stop on a two-day quest to find the 10 most unusual things currently in Dallas-area thrift stores.
And while delightfully kitschy, those decorative lighthouse stickers weren’t even close to making the cut for this list. Here are our favorite things that can be yours for a song if you just pay a visit to local thrift shops.
1516 S. Westmoreland Road, Dallas
Purdy Nuggets Basketball Trophy, 99 cents (above)
Trophies are a dime a dozen at thrift stores. (This one sat next to no less than 20 identical bowling trophies.) But a trophy made out to Kyle Rushton of the “Purdy Nuggets” is one to cherish.
No More Baths! VHS, 69 cents
We were going to make fun of this movie, but the plot about a man who’s being driven from his home by developers and the kid neighbors who go on a bath strike in protest is too real and too pure. Educate us, 1998.
Popper Magic game, $2.99
We love a good knock-off, and the makers of this off-brand Trouble really knocked it out of the park. It’s age appropriate for any child not yet able to Google.
Goodwill Thrift Store
1606 Greenville Ave., Dallas
Wine bottle glass, $2.99
This made-for-TV product bears the phrase “Finally! A wine glass that fits my needs!” And we suppose that’s true if your needs include a shirt doused in fermented grape juice.
JC Penney Photo Backdrop, $9.99
Never go to Walgreen’s for a passport photo again. Take crappy photos in the comfort of your own home with this authentic JC Penney photo backdrop.
Garland Road Thrift Store
10030 Garland Road, Dallas
Light Therapy Mask, $3.93
This mask uses red and blue light to treat acne. Of course, its highest and best use is to scare the bejeezus out your family. But it retails for $30 and gets pretty high marks, so when you’re bored, maybe consider having a spa day.
Doctor Who Tardis Mini Fridge, $14.14
Do you like Doctor Who? Do you have a very small quantity of beverages that you’d like to keep cold? Do you wish your household appliances were more discreet? We have the perfect mini fridge for you. This looks like a Tardis, makes goofy sounds opening and holds six cans.
Elder Care Services, Inc. Oktoberfest Steins.
We were so charmed by the thought of a nursing home Oktoberfest celebration that we forgot to check the price on these beer steins, which traveled all the way to Garland from Tallahassee, Florida. If you pick them up, toast someone’s Aunt Rosemary for us.
Hope’s Door Resale Store
2129 Parker Road, #300, Plano
Dow Jones cocktail glasses, $1.99 each
Kamala Harris may have been right when she said most Americans don’t own stock, but you can at least quell your feelings of financial insecurity by drinking from these cocktail glasses decorated with the 15-Year Dow Jones Industrial Average.
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Casa View Thrift
2302 Gus Thomasson Road, Dallas
Homemade spoon rest, $8
Send this spoon rest to a Texan far from home, and they’ll be reminded of the things they miss most: the state’s iconic shape, the giant men always running across it, animals that look vaguely like prairie dogs and cars with blobs hovering over them. A steal for $8.