Dinosaur Dracula!

Old Batman Tortilla Chips!

Back in 1992, the weirdly named “Street Kids” company sought to capitalize on Batman’s box office successes with TORTILLA CHIPS SHAPED LIKE HIS LOGO.

Street Kids already had major product tie-in successes with the first Batman flick, but the chips coincided with Batman Returns – easily my favorite Batman movie, and actually one of my favorite movies, period. I know there was (and continues to be) a mixed reaction to that film, but I gush about it with no asterisks. I loved everything about it in 1992, and I appreciate it even more in 2013. From an opening credits sequence that still gives me goosebumps, to a distracted Penguin fantasizing about his “French flipper trick,” Batman Returns succeeded on every front.

I would’ve been more than happy to eat tortilla chips in its honor. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to recall Batman Tortilla Chips being locally available at the time.

…which is odd, because from everything I’ve read, the chips were IMMENSELY popular. I’ve even found an old newspaper article that heralded them as a great game-changer for the junk food industry — a veritable evolutionary jump that would surely pave way for other chip brands to come up with cooler shapes.

Chances are, more than a few of you ate these chips. You lucky bastards.

Before we continue, one note! Due to the packaging’s “first movie” color scheme, many fans remember it as something that came out in 1989. But from everything I’ve found, the chips definitely debuted in ’92. If you’re ready to swear that you ate these in 1989, prove it. Read More…

Dino Drac’s Luxury Apartments!

You’ve been looking for a new place, and that ad in the paper hit all the right notes…







Welcome to Dino Drac’s Luxury Apartments!

They’re safe, they’re spacious and they’re affordable!

The building is still under construction, but it looks like a few tenants have already moved in! See them in the windows? Why don’t you click their little heads and pay them each a visit?

Does this seem like a place where you might want to live? Or at least a place where some fictitious character that you’ve created might want to live?

If so, I’ve got good news for you! Dino Drac has plenty of apartments left! In fact, since his building is made of magic, he can add additional floors at will!

Curiosity piqued? Head into the lobby for more details!

Arachnophobia!

I wouldn’t call Arachnophobia one of my favorite movies, but I do love it. What’s not to love? Jeff Daniels and John Goodman square off against displaced killer spiders, which quickly turn a small California town into a human graveyard!

The film has a memorable flavor, and not just because it’s about spiders that kill people. It’s a horror movie, of course, but it’s a weirdly friendly one. Arachnophobia wasn’t targeted at the same audiences who might see a Friday the 13th movie. Its producers wanted everyone. From cast to script to music, Arachnophobia is surprisingly smart and thoughtful. At least, it’s smarter and more thoughtful than a film about murderous spiders has any right to be.

Even with my own arachnophobic tendencies, I’ve always been a spider nut, and I totally saw this on the big screen back in 1990. I sat through most of the movie with my knees against my chest, and believe me, I wasn’t only one. (Leaving your feet on the ground was as good as taping a “LADDER FOR SPIDERS” sign on your leg.)

Below are my five favorite “spider moments” from Arachnophobia. Admittedly, this post works better if you’ve already seen the movie. If you haven’t, give it a shot. Even if you’re not particularly interested in maniacal spiders, it’s worth it for the random music that accompanies John Goodman whenever he walks onscreen. Over twenty years later, and I still get a kick out of John Goodman’s stupid entrance theme. Read More…

Patriotic Pull ‘n Peel Twizzlers!

I found some new Twizzlers today. Most of you wouldn’t think that a new Twizzlers flavor is just cause for a complete and total shift in one’s religious beliefs and personal trajectory, but before you put a stamp on that stance, check out the photos in this review. Because Holy Jesus.

To correctly identify these takes a lot of words, so I’m only going to do it once. Officially, they’re Raspberry Wild Berry Lemonade Pull ‘n Peel Twizzlers. These are the Twizzlers that sit on Santa’s lap and ask for everything.

I’m calling them Patriotic Pull ‘n Peel Twizzlers. It’s shorter. More alliterative.

Of course, I’m not entirely sure that they’re meant to celebrate our great nation. The colors are right, and the package is adorned with several fireworks, but the Hershey Company refused to take things any further. I guess that lets them sell these in other countries without making people explode. Read More…

Vintage Vending #12: Dinosaur Museum!

In this issue of Vintage Vending: More dinosaurs!

I would’ve been all over this Dinosaur Museum set as a kid. (And given that I would’ve been of the appropriate age in 1985, I’m sad that I missed the chance.)

The stars were a series of skeletal figures, meant to represent museum-assembled dead dinosaurs.

Of course, if you didn’t want to play that way, you didn’t have to. Most kids probably skipped the “museum replicas” idea and headed straight for “living monster skeletons” territory, treating their tiny dinos as supernatural demons, sent to terrorize whatever other one-inch figures happened to be in their collections.

The teaser card’s bright reds and blues make me unnaturally happy, to the point where I felt compelled to research “color psychology.” Believe it or not, that’s a legit thing. Blue is supposed to relax you, while red is an “action color” that can actually raise your blood pressure. Looking at this card is like mixing uppers and downers. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 3!

I’ve been away for a while, slaying dragons, righting wrongs, and drawing crude character concepts for a gaming universe populated exclusively by warrior snails. I can’t say that I’ve been very successful with these endeavors, but they’ve given me many stories to tell.

To ease myself back into the role of Person Who Writes About Stupid Things For The Internet, I’m going to dust off an easy concept. Here’s another batch of random action figures! (Part 1 and Part 2 limited the choices to the ‘80s. For Part 3, NO DECADE IS SAFE.)

Rat King
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1989

In all his many adaptations, Rat King is one of the best characters of TMNT lore. This figure represents Rat King from the original Ninja Turtles cartoon. I hate to go all caps so soon after “NO DECADE IS SAFE,” but there’s no other option. In the first cartoon, Rat King was INCREDIBLE.

Without bothering to confirm the validity of my memories by cross-referencing with online episode guides, Rat King was a psychotic hermit who lived in the sewers. (Or maybe some other, sewer-like structure?) He looked like a crack addict in a cheap mummy costume, and much like any crack addict in a cheap mummy costume, he only seemed dangerous part of the time.

Don’t get me wrong. Rat King could pull some seriously nasty shit. He just seemed really passive about it all.

Through supernatural communication with rats, Rat King really was their king. He could order them to swarm into what looked like hideous ocean waves, made of rats instead of water. I loved it when he did that.

He looked great on the cartoon, but the figure is even more demented. The unnatural bald patches and unholy red eyes really set the stage, and there is literally no body part that isn’t covered in something awesome. Look close and you’ll even spot a giant centipede embedded into Rat King’s chest, thereby clarifying the character’s brief flirtation with the alternative alias of Centipede King.

Also, is it just me, or does Rat King look slightly like Biff Tannen? I wish “Rat to the Future” read as good as it sounds. Read More…