Dinosaur Dracula!

Spookylicious Pop-Tarts Are Back!

I was glad to see Spookylicious Pop-Tarts make their triumphant return. Even if Kellogg’s has only been at it for a few years, Halloween Pop-Tarts have already become one of my absolute needs for a great season.

The saga began in 2010, when Choc-o-Lantern Pop-Tarts were introduced. Then, in 2011, Kellogg’s brought ’em back with very minor adjustments and the new “Spookylicious” moniker. I guess focus groups showed that “Spookylicious” was a palatable title, because this year, they went with it again.

Save for the faintest upgrade to the box design, they’re exactly the same as last year’s version. This is no flaw, since last year’s version could only have been more perfect if $50 bills were taped to each Pop-Tart.

Reviewing the same exact Pop-Tarts three years in a row may seem like a stretch, but I ain’t here for that. You already know that they’re delicious and covered in Halloween sprinkles. Still, even if the formula and box design is mostly the same, there is one thing that makes this year’s offering worth another go on the blog fodder front.

Kellogg’s added an all-new recipe to the back of the box! Read More…

Vintage Vending #4: Wacky Goulies!

If you thought the Vintage Vending series was taking a break during the Countdown, you have no future as a psychic. Some of those old prizes absolutely scream “Halloween,” and if you think I’m reaching, just take a look at this one: A macabre mix of Madballs and Ghoulies!

Meet the Wacky Goulies, a collection of “gross, ghoulish weirdos” with enough charm to magically transform all who view them into giant scented happy face erasers.

While the title and logo steal a page from the Ghoulies playbook, the toys are obviously inspired by Madballs. Consisting of rubber, semi-flat monster heads with suction cups on the backs, each Wacky Goulie can stick to glass for nearly seven whole seconds.

Look up “perfect” in the dictionary, and you’ll see a picture of a Delfa Roll. But if Delfa Rolls never existed, you’d see Wacky Goulies.

Every last one is a Madballs ripoff, and blatantly so. See the one-eyed gargoyle?  The one that comes in purple AND green? That’s Hornhead.

And that weirdly small Wacky Goulie on the upper left, who looks like a melting man? Skull Face!

The teaser card dates them as a 1986 release. Suffice to say, had I found them at that time, my shit would’ve spent the last 25 years in a perennial state of flip.

240 words never won anyone a Pulitzer. Let’s see if we can get this to 500. Read More…

Matchbox Con-Nec-Tors from 1990!

If you were reading X-E last November, you might remember my tribute to Matchbox’s Con-Nect-Ables, a line of plastic cars which broke into pieces that could be mixed-and-matched to create bizarre vehicles that were part truck, part helicopter. If I had to guess, nobody came here expecting that opening line.

Well, this is a similar idea, but way cooler, because we’re replacing the cars with monsters and aliens.

Made in 1990, Con-Nec-Tors is a strong candidate for the coolest action figure collection you’ve never heard of. With strange characters running the gamut from vampires to mummies to alien bugs and even a husky football player, each figure had removable body parts that were completely interchangeable.

Like, see the dinosaur up there? In two seconds flat, he could have the head of that generic punk rocker. Read More…

Cadbury Screme Eggs!

If my hunts so far have been any indication, we’re in for one hell of a season on the Halloween candy front.

So many new goodies for 2012! I’m actually frightened by how many I’ve located so far. I mean, it’s only September 4th. As much as I love giving Halloween two full months to be awesome, I want October to have its glories, too.

On the other hand, I was ecstatic to find Cadbury Eggs with creepy green filling on one of my first outings. As hard as it is to imagine, I just hope one of the later entrants somehow manages to top this.

Full disclosure: They’re not really new. They were widely available in the UK last year, and may have even had limited runs in the US, too. Today, we’re playing pretend.

Cadbury Screme Eggs! You can just imagine my delight upon spotting that cardboard display. Between the slimy filling, the witch-hatted rabbit and the logo that looks like a cracked spoiled egg, my eyes darted rapidly and independently of one another, as if I’d become a giant mutant anole.

This is hot stuff. A quick search of X-E shows that I’ve been lamenting the lack of Halloween Cadbury Eggs for years. It’s just such an obvious and obviously cool spin. Whether you consider them new, newish or not new at all, they’re new to me, and I couldn’t be happier to kick off the 2012 season with fondant that looks like demon snot. Read More…

Halloween Bread?

Pepperidge Farm may have peaked with their Goldfish crackers, but this comes close. Keep an eye out for a new pair of autumn “Swirl” breads, in the style of raisin bread, but with fruity bits that are far more appropriate for a season filled with death and monsters. Yes!

On the left, Caramel Apple. On the right, Pumpkin Spice. It’s amazing what simple words like “caramel” and “spice” can do. If these breads had plainer “Apple” and “Pumpkin” titles, I’d be less interested by a factor of forty zillion.

Maybe fifty zillion on the Pumpkin Spice bread, actually. I really need that “spice” in there. Pumpkin is something I’ve never been able to accept as food. The only way I can eat bread stuffed with chunks of pumpkin is with the knowledge that said chunks have been doused with enough edible incense to make my kitchen stink like a 1997 head shop. Read More…

Dino Drac’s 1st Ever Halloween Countdown!

A balloon.

A blurry picture of an orange balloon, with crude jack o’ lantern features drawn on.

This could only mean one thing.

And it probably explains why the site is all orange and purple.

It must be Dinosaur Dracula’s…

The Halloween Countdown began on X-E, back in 2003. As much as I’d love to call this the tenth annual, it’s not. It’s the first. It’s Dinosaur Dracula’s first Halloween Countdown!

It’s that time of year, my friends. I don’t care how hot it is. Halloween is too awesome for one month, and September never seems to mind being treated like October.

What’s that, you say? You’re nowhere near ready to carve pumpkins and chomp blood capsules? Of course you aren’t, and that’s okay. With over a decade’s worth of experience in publicly Halloweening, I’ve come to learn that there’s so much more to the season than the “on the nose” stuff.

Scary books and scary movies. Walks in the dark, under noisy trees. Candles that smell like things I’d like to eat. Paper and crayons. New keywords for my DVR. Countless Google searches for local events, not-so-local events, and tutorials on gourd crafts.

It doesn’t need to be October to enjoy things like that. You can do it right now. And since I’ve spent the last week honing my skills at hypnotizing through text, you WILL do it right now.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I enjoy Halloween even more than the Christmas season – an idea I might have considered sacrilegious in prior years. I’ll deny writing this later, but it’s true. September rolls around, and I feel like I wake up. Benign things start to bring so much joy, and by the time we’re firmly entrenched in the season, my only sadness comes from knowing that it will end.

We’ve all gotten older. Many of you have gotten older right along with me. On the surface, it gets harder and harder to “do Halloween” as the years pass. Our responsibilities grow; our ability to act like children without that tinge of guilt dwindles. I understand it. No matter how hard I fight it, that’s happened to me, too.

But Satan? He’s a benevolent god! He doesn’t care if you string cotton webs all over your house. He doesn’t even care if you get a costume. He just wants you to find some way to enjoy this super special time of year, and my one hope is that Dinosaur Dracula will help you do that.

This will be a fun Countdown, I swear it. We will see all sorts of wonderful things, you and I.

Now let’s get to the FAQ! Yeah, a FAQ!

How often will you be updating during the Countdown?

As often as I can, and more often as the season rolls on. I’m on a gig right now that lasts until midmonth. Once that’s over, I’m all yours through Halloween.  For the next week or so, we’ll be easing into it slowly.

Where can I view the old X-Entertainment Halloween Countdowns?

While still technically viewable now, there are some bugs to fix, leftover from when I switched servers. Turning that negative into a positive, I’ll be fixing them year by year and linking back to ‘em with totally pointless commentary. Stay tuned.

Okay, but what about the Halloween Jukebox?

There’s a rumor that Harley managed to dig up the old jukebox, so all you need to do is find Harley. And Harley’s pretty easy to find.

Who designed that WICKED Dino Drac Halloween logo?

Jason Week, of course. Every post on this site could be a thank-you to Jason for his continued efforts in helping me make something of Dinosaur Dracula, and it still wouldn’t be enough. Someday, Jason may need some vital organ, and I’ll feel like a real dick if I’m not first in line to pony up. Honestly, the Countdown peaked at that logo.

What can we expect from this year’s Countdown?

Surprises! Come on, I’ve been doing this for a decade. I know I flop on a lot of promises, but in the nine previous Halloween Countdowns, I only really flopped once. Believe me, I want big things for Dino Drac’s first at-bat. Big huge bloody things.

Are you doing this on the blog, or as features, or what?

The Halloween Countdown is primarily a blog event, but there will be several new features added that fit the theme. Some of this stuff is going to be too good to bury in the blog archive.

Anything else?

Yep. This:

Welcome to Dinosaur Dracula’s first-ever Halloween Countdown!