As I’ve probably mentioned before on here, I loved E.T. when I was a kid. Actually, it was more of a love/hate relationship, because, while I collected everything E.T., I was also terrified that he might be hiding in my closet. We had a complicated relationship…
Growing up, we didn’t go to Pizza Hut often. Our family preferred a local chain called Monical’s Pizza, plus, there wasn’t a Hut close by our tiny hometown. Really, the only time we ever went to The Hut was when I had a Book IT! coupon to turn in for a personal pan pizza (and even then, they often went unused).
However, during the E.T. glass giveaway in 1982, I remember begging my parents to go to Pizza Hut to get the glasses.
According to the commercial above, I must have gotten two, but the only one I have today is E.T. touching Elliot’s head and saying, “I’ll be right here…”
Recently, I’ve been moving away from seeking out vintage toys. For one thing, I feel like most vintage toys are simply out of my price range. But secondly, there’s not much to talk about with guests when you show them your vintage toys. Everyone knows why the AT-AT toy is cool. Everyone thinks Castle Grayskull is awesome. The most you’ll get is, “Oh, man, I always wanted that one.”
But perhaps most importantly, those things are everywhere. The price on most vintage toys doesn’t accurately reflect the scarcity of vintage toys – prices on most things should be a lot lower than they are. At least that’s true when you’re talking about loose figures or vehicles. I can understand paying top dollar for a boxed toy because you have that extra something to make it special. But $50 for a loose Boba Fett figure is ridiculous when there are literally thousands of them available.
Now, don’t get me wrong – if I found a vintage AT-AT or Grayskull for $25 at a thrift store, I’m buying it immediately. I’m not an idiot. But I’m not actively seeking out any vintage, mass market toys right now. Maybe that pendulum will swing the other way again someday, but for now, it’s not my top priority.
Instead, I’ve been focusing on memorabilia and ephemera from my childhood. For one, these things are a little more rare, especially in good condition. Collectible glasses like these E.T. glasses are often chipped and the paint has flecked off from too many trips through the dishwasher. That’s assuming they didn’t just break into a million pieces from being knocked off the kitchen table. After the excitement of the promotion wore off, people either used these glasses to death or threw them away years later, wondering why they still had them in the first place.
Furthermore, these glasses weren’t made by the millions to be sold for years and years like a Boba Fett figure. These were made in brief runs to be sold during a small window of time and were never made again. The scarcity was built-in and therefore, to me anyway, that makes them more valuable. Maybe they don’t resell for as much as a vintage Fett fig, but not everyone is going to have these, while everyone has a Fett.
Anyway, I recently decided that I wanted to try to finish the E.T. set. Obviously, the first place I checked was eBay, but I wasn’t finding a price I was willing to pay. Most of these glasses go for upwards of $15 – $20 each, plus about the same amount for shipping. I can’t justify $30 – $40 for a single glass when I have three more to get. Thankfully, I’m patient when it comes to collecting. After months of checking eBay, I finally found the complete set on Facebook Marketplace for $20 from a local seller.