Dinosaur Dracula!

Humdrum Highlights from the Summer of ’92.

Wanna read my diary?

Shown above is my diary — sorry, JOURNAL — from the summer of 1992, when I was between the 7th and 8th grades. I was bored, weird and lonely, but also “purely me” in a way that seems almost alien now.

I didn’t have a lot going on, and boy, it shows in these pages. My narrative strategy wasn’t so much to make mountains out of molehills, but rather molehills out of minutiae. There are entire entries dedicated to nothing more than what I ate for dinner.

Below are six humdrum highlights from my 1992 summer diary.

(I’ll be cropping the pages to exclude anything too personal or revealing, because even after 25 years, so much of this shit is downright embarrassing.) Read More…

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 16!

I’ve been absent for a week, which is exactly how long it would take for someone to steal me and leave an android in my place. Food for thought.

Below: The latest edition of Five Retro TV Commercials. These ads aired during DuckTales back in ‘88, so imagine them bookending quips from Ma Beagle.

Willow Action Figures! (1988)

I’ve still never seen Willow, but I certainly remember its corresponding toy line, since Toys “R” Us left those figures hanging on clearance racks until practically last week.

Made by Tonka, the figures were… unusual. The PVC warriors had no points of articulation, and each came wedded to a metal stand. Pair those traits with their demure sizes, and they seemed more like RPG miniatures than true “toys.”

FWIW, this commercial made the movie seem a heck of a lot cooler than the TV trailers did.

Berry Blue Kool-Aid! (1988)

Berry Blue Kool-Aid debuted in 1988, and was at the time the most shockingly vibrant of all Kool-Aid flavors. It honestly looked toxic, which of course made it all the more appealing to kids.

When you hear “blue,” you’re probably thinking of a deep color along the lines of tinted grape juice. Nope! This stuff was more like creamy windshield wiper fluid.

The strange color guaranteed that every child would try it once, but it was Berry Blue’s flavor that turned us into repeat customers. I could best describe it as a sharp lemonade mildly cut by a sweeter “berry” flavor. Sour as hell, but in a good way.

(Berry Blue has been out of production for years, but Kool-Aid’s current Blue Raspberry Lemonade flavor is a reasonable facsimile.) Read More…

Dino Drac’s May 2017 Funpack is Here!

Well, it’s debuting a bit later than I would’ve preferred, but I’m finally ready to unveil Dino Drac’s May Funpack!


(AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES ONLY!)

The short story, for those who don’t know: Dino Drac is a one man show that requires a great deal of time, money and effort. It would be an impossible endeavor if not for the generous peeps who subscribe to my monthly Funpacks.

It’s $25 a month (including shipping), and for as long as you stay subscribed, you’ll continue to receive awesome boxes full of retro nonsense that I personally assemble. (And of course, you can unsubscribe at any time without penalty.)

I’ve been at this for almost three years and take tremendous pride in it. Even if I realize that some subscribers look at their contributions more as a donation than anything else, I work hard to make sure that every box is way cool and way worth it. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 40!

By the end of this article, I’ll have reviewed 200 action figures on Dino Drac. That’s a big deal, guys. It’s why I’m typing this with one hand and eating a whole Carvel cake with the other.

Five Random Action Figures has been the site’s most dependable series, and for as long as there remains a Dinosaur Dracula, it’ll continue. This I swear to you. Amen.

To celebrate Part 40, I wanted to buy some of my holy grails. Then I remembered that my account balance reads like a pizza bill. I instead settled on five action figures that were great in a more affordable sort of way:

Blast Cape Batman
Batman Forever (1995)

I love how Kenner so brilliantly got us to buy Batman figure after Batman figure by continually tweaking his outfit. Every time we thought we were done, Batman changed his boots and we had to go back to Kay-Bee.

Some of his specialized suits made sense. I could understand why Batman would want an alternative suit that was flame retardant, and I at least partially accepted that Batman might desire a specific outfit for scaling walls.

Blast Cape Batman, on the other hand, defies defense. The figure’s main attribute is a button-operated firing cape (yes, a firing cape), which I guess was Batman’s version of the ”throwing S” from Superman II.

He also comes with a pair of intense assault blades. Between those and his eerie costume, this particular Batman feels like a blend of Venom and Freddy Krueger. Read More…

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 15!

Welcome to a special edition of Five Retro TV Commercials. Special to me, at least.

Every commercial in this batch aired during The Death of the Incredible Hulk, an NBC television movie that premiered on February 18th, 1990.

The Death of the Incredible Hulk got the plush Sunday Night at the Movies treatment, where so many big screen hits had their network television premieres. (Just watch the video. If you’re anywhere near my age, those opening graphics and that triumphant theme ruled your childhood.)

I can totally see myself on that cold Sunday evening, pretending to do homework while the Hulk snarled and leapt. I’d be in my bedroom with the volume kept low, flanked by my Trapper Keeper and a bag of Tato Skins. (Guess which one got more attention.)

Below are five commercials that aired during the movie, and my God do they ever take me back: Read More…