To Insanity and Back
How I Wasted $300 on Worthless DKU Memoribilia

This summer I was expecting, like most Rare fans with one seventh of a brain, to buy and play the hell out of Banjo-Tooie. Well, Old Man Delay showed up and that fell through. What was I going to spend all my saved up moo-lah on, if not Banjo-Tooie? Lo and behold, Lucasgames is coming out with a N64 port of Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine this summer! Well, for me at least, summer has come and gone with no Indy. Damned Nintendo release lists. So I had great masses of cash saved up for game spending and nothing to spend it on. Where could I turn? Who would possibly accept my money?

eBay: It Starts

Yes, Pinnacle of con artists out to make a buck. Or as it was for me, just over three-hundred. There were at least two items I never recieved but am too lazy to report. Oh, well. Here's the worthless DKU memoribilia I bought in the beginning.

I started out small. Oh, look! A lovely Diddy Kong PEZ dispenser. I lost his one package of PEZ and some punk preschooler ate the other pack, so Diddy is empty, accompanied by a single PEZ package. Wheee. It's a nice (but very common) novelty item. I guess I needed something a little more rare.

Check this out! A set of five DKC-series cars! I actually bought Diddy, Funky, Candy, and Dixie individually until I figured out that people were selling all five as a set. So I cut my losses and bought the whole set. I gave the Dixie car to Slush, who was swindled out of one by a dirty eBayer, and I'm left with copies of Funky, Diddy, and Candy. I'm so stupid. But wait.... I only get stupider.

Whoa, neat! A Super Smash Bros. six-inch diecast car! With a raisable hood! This is getting into the rarities. You could only get these if you bought a Jungle Green N64 DK64 Bundle from Toys 'R' Us and sent in your registration card (my card from 1997 is STILL on the box. heh heh heh.)

Same seller, twice the shipping charges. Here's the pinnacle of diecast cars, the Donkey Kong 64 one! YES! It's got sweet renders of Donkey all over, with bananas and completely irrelevant rainbowish colors. But yet, this wasn't rare enough. The green-eyed monster that is eBay had me by the balls and was beginning to squeeze. My apologies to those of you who easily get mental images.

Okay, here we are. This is the bloody worst thing I have ever bought online. The game itself wouldn't be that bad, but the box had $1.50 marked on it as if it were sold in a garage sale (yet, I paid just under $10.00 for it). Not to mention the main pieces were broken in half and there were NO instructions. I was lucky that I even got it set up properly. As those of you who were raised by American early-mid nineties media will remember, POGS were little "milk caps" that you slam on one another in hopes of flipping them upside-down. A quite retarded game when I look back on it, but I loved it along with everybody else. This game is called a "POGS" game, and comes with 36 DKC POGS, but I have no bloody idea what you're supposed to do with them. AT ALL. Do you throw the POGS through the holes in the board and try to see who gets the most through? That seems to be the only logical thing to me, yet it's incredibly stupid in itself, and soils on the whole concept of the POGS craze. Onward to the next item! Onward, I say!

Oh, yes. The Japanese DKC minecart toy. This thing is so trasured by me that I don't dare remove it from the packaging. I love this toy so much. There's even a few broken English phrases on the back, such as "Maximum enjoyment is here for players!" and "Truly the top game makes a top think toy!" In any case, getting this must have made me a bit cocky, because I have no idea why I did what I did next.... but I have no regrets.

Aussie Ben: The Trades

That's right, famed contributor to the site, Aussie Ben Kosmina and I made a bargain. He would get me some rare Australian DKU merchandise, and I would get him some SNES games and N64 soundtracks, which are unavailable Down Under.

I love this lunchbox. I never use it, of course. You can even still see the tag on it. Nevertheless, I adore the thing, and have granted it the position of sitting atop my printer. It's possibly the only bit of DKU memoribilia that has Zingers on it. Tons of Zingers, all staring at me. You like this Aussie-specific lunchbag? Me too. But nothing can possibly prepare you for what else he sent...

I have no idea how Ben acquired this massive promotional item, nor why he didn't demand I reimburse him the $50-plus postage. Oh, well. You can't really tell the size of this object from the photo, which is why I had my good friends, the cast of ALF, stand next to it for a size reference. Pretty big, eh? Thanks, Ben.

eBay: The Concluding Chapter

I don't know what happened after I had this huge, Australian promotional item. I just went crazy. I decided to buy as much needless junk from eBay as possible. Summer had about three months left. Let's take a look at what I bought near the end of my wallet's lifespan, shall we?

I don't know how those Nintendo marketing people do it. To wear this, you're basically compromising your pride for the right to be a walking billboard. I love it, though. It's comfortable, and doesn't have any of those still embroidered parts. Too bad the same can't be said for the next thing I bought.

Don't get me wrong, this DKC shirt is very cool. It's got DKC over the pocket. You're not a billboard, but it gets the message across that you value your DKU games. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, though, but it's more wide than it is tall. And it's made of a cordoroy-ish material, and has that embroidered stiffness to it. Sure, you'll look might snazzy, but AT WHAT COSTS?

Diddy Kong Racing and Mario Kart 64 soundtracks. I can't believe I hadn't bought these two babies earlier. If you listen to Spaceport Alpha at 3:00 AM on a continuous loop you'll start hallucinating the craziest of things. Or maybe that's because the inside of my house was being painted. Anyway, if you don't have these fairly common products, do yourself a favor and buy them. Or steal them from someone else.

This is it. My summer of money blowing lead me to this shining compact disc. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest had the greatest videogame music ever, and for five years I've been searching for this CD. I remember it in the Nintendo catalog, but I didn't have a CD player at the time, so just got the cassette. Well, cassettes don't rewind themselves, have nasty white noise in the background, and you can't immediately get to Brambles whenever you want. I finally found this product, and the curse that was eBay had been lifted.

Well, not entirely. I'm still expecting in the mail a Diddy Kong Racing pin, a set of six DKC2 figurines (including Rambi and Squawks!), and a $64 flourescent-lighted Donkey Kong Country promotional poster. When our bandwidth exceeded its normal amount and we found ourselves dishing out a few hundred to keep the site, I found myself broke. THAT is when the eBay curse was lifted. So heed my advice: Never bid on eBay. Only trade with Australians.

by Chad McCanna