This week’s blog post theme from the Pop Culture League is asking ‘If_____ was an Olympic sport, I’d have a gold medal round my neck.’

Having obviously just watched the Olympics, if I had to choose a sport that I was most aligned to in terms of the retro/pop culture part of my life it would be the Decathlon, as I think of myself as more of a jack of all trades and master of none. I’ve got a wide range of interest across everything including retro gaming, 80s cartoons, TV shows, movies, comics, toys, packaging art, ephemera etc. But I’m no expert in any of it. I know many people that would be more knowledgeable than me in each of those individual areas. But I’m happy being a generalist as it means I get to enjoy a wide range of things and I never get bored.

But I think Brian, from Cool and Collected, who runs the Pop Culture League is more talking about what skills we have that we would love to be an Olympic sport. In this case I would say that I would probably get a gold medal in staying up very late browsing eBay. I just find that so addictive. Some people meditate to help them get to sleep, some read, others drink alcohol. Me? I browse eBay for toy catalogues, retro computers and rare Street Hawk merchandise (amongst other things). But actually it keeps me awake. I can fall asleep watching movies but if I’m searching for a K.I.T.T. Rough Rider then I can be up until 4am no problem.

I know buying things from eBay does get poo-pooed by some people. Many people reminisce about only a few years ago when you could still easily find retro gold in flea markets and car boot sales, and they say that when you buy stuff from eBay you miss out on the thrill of the chase. That’s certainly true from one perspective but it depends what you’re looking for. Some of my holy grail items are so obscure or so rare that there is no chance I will stumble across them in real life. And in fact it is extremely rare for these items to even appear on eBay, so I do still get that adrenalin from hunting for things on eBay and finding something I’ve been looking for for ages. Sure you can set notifications but there’s nothing like searching in real time for something and finding exactly what you need. And one of the real tricks is to search for things with slight misspellings in the hope that you’ll find an auction that no-one else has found. So satisfying.

And then there is the adrenalin of the last few minutes of an auction, seeing the price rise and hoping you win it. Often it gets too clogged up with people updating their bids in the last few seconds and you have to wait a minute before you get that notification of whether you won it or not. Nerve-wracking moments, and so exciting when you win. I do, however, also empathise with Jamie Benning from when he tweeted recently “That feeling of relief when an email arrives titled ‘You were outbid’. Phew”. I know exactly what he means. On occasion I might have an itchy trigger finger and bid for something I probably shouldn’t. I try my hardest to normally be sensible and restrained though.

I’m pretty good at knowing what auctions are for items that are really rare and that I need to bid on and what are ones that will come around again quickly and that I don’t have to buy right now. What I also sometimes do is just buy something so that I can take a photo of it for the Retromash website and then I can resell it again, but I just have to be careful I don’t get into a bidding war and pay over the odds for it.

So my gold medal would be the ability to stay up really late into the wee hours of the morning hunting for retro gold on eBay and also having just enough restraint to not actually spend money every single night.

Check out what other sports people would win gold medals at by reading some other entries in the Pop Culture League…