Dinosaur Dracula!

New feature and a Thanksgiving survey!

The little-updated Features section has now been… uh, updated.

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So go read about Twelve Treasures from the 1989 Sears Wish Book! See everything from old Ghostbusters toys to a giant gaudy stereo system! Make a cup of coffee before you do, because this one is LONG.

I was going to disallow comments on this entry since it’s really more of a non-entry, but what the hell, let’s have fun and turn it into a survey.

Thanksgiving plans? Thanksgiving to-dos? Let’s hear them. Spill it. Maybe even complain.

Over here, we’re on stuffed mushroom duty as usual. The hardest part will be actually finding mushrooms a day before Thanksgiving. Oops. Thursday morning will be spent handling those and watching the parade. Then we’re off to relative’s house more than an hour away, or in Thanksgiving traffic terms, five hours away. Can’t wait for that! Read More…

Classic Christmas Commercials, Volume 4!

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I’m back with another edition of Classic Christmas Commercials, once again donated by our friend Larry. This is a particularly great batch, featuring everything from Ghostbusters toys to wacky Chicken McNuggets, and if you’re lucky, extra cheap cologne.

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Hills “Christmas Toys Layaway” Commercial!
(1989)

Hills was a Massachusetts-based chain of department stores, and I’m quite certain that I’ve never lived within driving distance of one. I’m sad about that, as according to this commercial, the chain’s mascot was a crossbreed of Santa Claus and one of his elves. Shockingly, a helium-voiced Mini-Santa isn’t even the best part of the ad!

Smaller chains didn’t have to play like the big boys. Ever notice how rare it is for Toys “R” Us to show panning shots of store shelves in their commercials? There are many reasons for that, not the least of which being very complex relationships with the companies they get their products from. In the rare cases when such shots were used, it’s a safe bet that the featured toys were carefully selected. (Meaning, the shots of those shelves were mockups.)

With a place like Hills, none of that shit mattered. You’ll see toys from every maker in this ad, and man, there are some beauties. My favorite has to be the stack of Real Ghostbusters Proton Packs, which today would be worth triple the amount Hills spent to produce this commercial.

If you want to drive yourself crazy, try to identify all of the toys in the “showroom shot” near the end. There are around 500 things surrounding Mini-Santa, and 490 of them would be tough to recognize even if the video didn’t have so much dub-damage. You’ll still see enough to be incredibly jealous of Mini-Santa. Read More…

Dino Drac’s December Funpack!

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(NOTE: Available in the United States only!)

Okay folks, I’m ready to plug the hell out of Dino Drac’s Funpacks again! For those who don’t know, for 25 bucks each month, you’ll get a new box of random junk sent straight to your door, every month! (And yes, you can cancel at any time!) Subscriptions keep this site alive, and in return, you’ll get a package full of insanity each month.

Check it out… the December 2014 Funpack HAS LANDED!

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It’s a hot hot ho ho holiday extravaganza! Read More…

Old Junk Food, Revisited!

As you’ve probably surmised, I collect old food. Old food packaging, and actual old food. I don’t know how this became my thing, but that’s the hand I was dealt, and tonight, I’m gonna play it.

So behold! Old junk food from my personal collection! You’ve seen a few of these things in previous articles both here and on X-E, but, well, what can I say? When you have an empty box of Oatmeal Swirlers, ya gotta brag.

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From 1990, here’s one of the crown jewels of my collection. Even people who never ate Oatmeal Swirlers remember it fondly, thanks to its awesome TV commercials, which alternated between the use of a catchy jingle and the use of a goddamned anthropomorphic strawberry stickman.

If you’re too young to remember this stuff, I call bullshit, because there’s no way you could stomach me without the constant notions of “I did/saw/ate that too!” But, for the sake of argument, I’ll explain.

Oatmeal Swirlers was oatmeal with a gimmick. In addition to the everyday packets of everyday oatmeal, kids were provided with smaller packets of… uh… what can I call them? LIQUID FRUIT ROLL-UPS. Yes, liquid Fruit Roll-Ups! With those, you could literally draw on your bowls of oatmeal with a variety of fruit-flavored slimes.

If there was anything that could make oatmeal even more exciting than little dinosaur eggs that hatched into little candy dinosaurs, Oatmeal Swirlers was it. The packets of fruity goo didn’t allow for quite the same level of artistic finesse as promised by the commercials, but so long as you stuck with simple shapes, you’d finish breakfast feeling like da Vinci.

(And hey, even if your pictures came out messy, you could at least feel like Wassily Kandinsky.) Read More…

7UP’s Countdown to Christmas Posters!

Just when you thought Dino Drac couldn’t get more obscure, here I am with a tribute to those old 7UP posters that let us glue cotton balls over Santa Claus’s face.

During various holiday seasons of the ‘80s and ‘90s, people who bought enough 7UP soda scored free “Countdown to Christmas” posters, right from whatever supermarket they were shopping at.

Now, these weren’t normal posters. There were several variations over the years (you can see another here), but the main bullet points were always the same. The posters always featured Santa Claus’s enormous head, and the posters always came with a truncated December calendar, stamped right over his beard.

But wait! It gets better! Read More…

Weird TMNT toys from the late ’90s!

While scouring ancient and loosely archived versions of Playmates Toys’ website, I found a goldmine of late ‘90s Ninja Turtles crud. What an interesting time for those guys!

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Many of us stopped collecting TMNT toys years before the line died (if it ever truly did), so if you’re like me, you missed some incredible stuff on the tail-end. If you think about it, lots of lines hit their creative peak too late for it to really matter. Arguably, Kenner’s best Star Wars figures were the ones nobody had. Arguably, Mattel’s best Masters of the Universe toys came out long after He-Man lost his cool.

It was the same with Playmates’ Ninja Turtles collection. No longer guaranteed strong sales on brand name alone, the toys grew weirder and more intricate, with the kinds of goofy special features that aren’t seen in toy lines until they hit their seventh string. If you never gave up on TMNT, you were rewarded in a big way.

Below: Tons of Ninja Turtles figures that some of you never knew existed!

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TURTLE-IN-A-TURTLE FIGURES!

Holy hell, I WANT THESE. I was aware of the “micro” line of Ninja Turtles toys, but I had no idea that there were corresponding playsets shaped like Ninja Turtles!

Here, our four heroes start off as “complete” action figures, each with exclusive weapons and accessories. They would’ve been interesting enough even if they didn’t fold out to reveal two miniature Ninja Turtles living inside!

The “base” figures doubled as playsets, with a flavor akin to Mighty Max toys. Every part of them popped up, down or sideways, creating whole little worlds for your mini-figures. As expensive as they’ve become ($60 and up from what I see), can any true TMNT fan resist something called a Turtle In A Turtle? Read More…