Dinosaur Dracula!

Madd Matt reviews the Inflatable Skeleton Cooler.

One of my favorite finds of the season was an inflatable cooler, in the shape of a coffin, with a demonic skeleton bathing inside.

Fifteen bucks seemed a little steep, but if pressed, I could not name another coffin-shaped skeleton-boosted cooler that costs less.

It’s perfect for parties or as an all-year decoration. It is the subject of today’s video:

If the video is persuasive, you can purchase your own inflatable skeleton cooler at Party City. Just note that you’re gonna need a LOT of ice. Even with six bags, my cooler was only half-full. Eternally the pessimist, I should remind myself that it was also only half-empty.

And now there is ice all over my office. I will clean it later. Much, much later.

Tales from the Darkside Fansite Tribute!

This is a tribute to a Tales from the Darkside fansite that hasn’t been updated since 2005. No joke, it really is!

As of this writing, the Angelfire-hosted site is still online. It’s ancient and it looks ancient, but to me, it was – and to some degree, still is – a perfect representation of “true passion” on the Internet. This wasn’t some flashy thing built to be a huge attraction, nor was it created by someone bent on making himself a superstar. It was pure work from a pure fan, and I have to admit, it makes me a little bit jealous.

And of course, since I’m a big Tales from the Darkside nut, the site also holds a more direct attraction for me. Even if 2005 doesn’t seem that long ago, it was, and besides, the fansite was obviously built several years before then, anyway. Back then, you couldn’t find stuff like this so easily online, and the site’s information was an absolute goldmine.

Now I’m going to break down the site’s sections and include lots and lots of screenshots. Long-dormant Angelfire pages can’t last forever, and I’d like to preemptively gather some mementos of it. This is not the kind of article that will increase Dino Drac’s popularity one bit, but I think that’s the best tribute I can give this fansite. Read More…

The Halloween Corn Maze!

My city’s pumpkin patches aren’t really “pumpkin patches.” They’re the same places that sell Christmas trees in December and flowers in May. (I think that’s when they start selling flowers, anyway.) By July, expect nothing but flags.

These little outdoor “stores” serve strictly seasonal purposes, and very few of them are static. Most are converted from parking lots or currently-undeveloped plots of land, and their rustic feel is somewhat offset by the busy streets and strip malls only steps away.

But, you gotta work with what you have. During October, I always set aside time to drive around aimlessly, looking for the latest up-one-minute, down-the-next Halloween headquarters.

I found a great one today. Aside from pumpkins and a few inflatable attractions for the kiddies (it seems that no Staten Island pumpkin patch is complete without some form of inflatable Scooby-Doo slide), they even managed to work a corn maze into their relatively tiny amount of real estate.

I didn’t know what to expect, because on Staten Island, “corn maze” can mean anything. Remember the one I reviewed back in 2010? Even though I walked as slowly as my legs would allow, it only took a minute to see every last leaf in there. Other local mazes have been much bigger productions, where the proprietors rented out large chunks of the woods and filled them with everything from animatronic vampires to teenagers in werewolf costumes.

Turns out, this one was somewhere in the middle. It was small and bare compared to the “real deal” corn mazes, but for something found on a busy street next to three banks and a diner, I had to admire that it existed at all. Read More…

The Frito-Lay Frankenstein Chip Sack!

I know they’re just regular chips in a special package, but come on:

I couldn’t say no to this. A huge sack of snack-sized chip bags, made to look like an enormous Frankenstein head. Given that this monster is capable of fitting six sealed bags of chips in his mouth, I’d estimate his total height at, what, fourteen feet?

Frito-Lay always does something like this for Halloween, and actually, this year, there must be four different sacks available, plus other assortments sold inside spooky cardboard boxes. They’re all pretty nice, but nothing beats a 14’ Frankenstein with Droopy Dog eyes and one upper tooth that’s either gold or just rotted enough to look like it.

The details are phenomenal. From the chrome stitches to the oily hair, it’s inspired and inspiring. Even if snack-sized chip bags are an acceptable form of “Halloween candy,” it’s still rare to choose them over Snickers or individually wrapped Twix. Well, this freaky Frankie has made a believer out of me. When the costumed kids come knocking, I will bless them with Sun Chips and explain to them why.

Kid: SUN CHIPS? Passable, but strange!

Matt: See, they came in a big sack that looked like Frankenstein’s head.

Kid: I completely understand. Here’s ten bucks.

Now I just needed to make a monster out of Doritos and Fritos. You knew I was gonna. Read More…

Madd Matt reviews an 18″ Michael Myers doll.

It’s 8 AM. I haven’t been to bed yet.

Really reminded me of the old, old, OLD X-E days, when overnight “shifts” were the norm, and days could be slept into virtual nonexistence. I rarely have the chance to fall this far off the grid anymore, and it was fun to rekindle my love of silent nights and crow-cawing dawns.

The reason for this overnighter? I put on the ol’ face paint and reviewed some giant Michael Myers doll:

Had to re-render the thing like five times. I am so sick of watching this video.

I’ve owned this doll for many years, though “action figure” might be a more accurate term. It certainly sounds less shameful. Sort of.

Michael Myers is 18 inches tall, comes with a knife, and plays the Halloween theme when you wave your hand in front of him. Made by NECA, this guy can fetch a pretty penny. I’d considered hawking mine on eBay, but who needs $50 when you can have a YouTube video with 200 views, four likes and six dislikes?

Great toy, if you can find it. It looks like a statue but poses like a figure, or at least, some parts of it pose like a figure. The head moves. The arms sort of move. I don’t know. I haven’t slept since Monday. Or Tuesday. Not sure. Days confuse me right now.

Rice Krispies Treats Pumpkin Kit!

Thanks again to everyone who ordered a Dino Drac Halloween Print. I was pleasantly surprised with how well they sold, and from all I’ve heard, people seem to dig them. Still have some left, so if you want in, this is the week!

In other, more pressing news, I made pumpkin-shaped Rice Krispies Treats.

This past month has been a bit of a blur, but if I remember things correctly, I found this at Walmart. The Rice Krispies Treats Pumpkin Kit gives you everything you need to create fourteen edible creatures, right down to a tiny tube of radioactive dye.

The box features Snap, Crackle and Pop in their Halloween costumes. This year, I’m giving the ribbon to Crackle. He looks great as a mummy, and though I doubt he intended this, his hair looks like an amoeba.

Pop comes in last. He’s dressed like a waiter at Applebee’s, and I’ve never forgiven them for the French Onion Soup Incident of ’08.

Don’t ask. Read More…