Dinosaur Dracula!

Five Random Action Figures, Part 5!

I was supposed to see Pacific Rim tonight. Then our plans changed. Then I went on Wikipedia and read every single thing that happens. On the idiocy scale of 1 to 10, I like spaghetti.

I’m seeing it tomorrow, but I’m still pissed enough to let those feelings seep into this fucking article about stupid old toys that ten people care about. If I seem irritated, it’s because of our friends who bailed… not Fugitoid.

Onward with the fifth edition of Five Random Action Figures!

Granite
Inhumanoids, 1986

Another Inhumanoids figure was featured in Part 3, so I’ll skip the thirty-paragraph dissertation about the series. As for this guy, he represents the “Granites,” a race of heroic rock creatures who helped us humans survive our battles with giant, rampaging monsters. Which takes my brain straight back to Pacific Rim. Fuck the world.

The aforementioned monsters were the best toys in the line, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Granite. Part of it is pure nostalgia, since I got him for Christmas literally seconds before opening my beloved ALF plush doll. Granite’s proximity to that grand event made him seem so much more… I don’t know… shiny.

But even when I put on my Objective Helmet, he’s still a fantastic action figure. Granite has two or three inches on He-Man, plus the added bonus of gemstone eyes that glow under sunlight.

There’s a neat “generic” quality to him, too. Like, imagine having the artistic talent of a five-year-old, and then imagine drawing a kid who’s holding an action figure. I bet it’d look something like Granite. Large, simply colored, and with eyes that are just two green dots. Read More…

The Popsicle Parade – Part 3!

It’s been a while since the last edition of The Popsicle Parade, and summer isn’t getting any younger. Here are five more treats from yesteryear’s ice cream trucks, represented by big yellow stickers that photograph horribly!

 #16: Firecracker!

If you think this one’s boring, it’s only because you haven’t looked closely. First, let me point out the uncommon upgrade to “SUPERCICLE” in the upper-left corner. That means the Firecracker was large enough to give us those faint but heinous sores on the corners of our lips. The bright side is that a big cold popsicle would’ve immediately soothed them.

I’m also fascinated by the trio of flavors. Sour green apple is normal enough, but mixing that with cotton candy and red hot cinnamon made the Firecracker as unique as it was enormous.

I believe these arrived long after ice cream trucks became a thing of my past, but had Firecrackers existed when I was hailing them down, there’s no way I would’ve passed on mega rare RED HOT CINNAMON. In the world of popsicles, finding that flavor was like spotting Ho-Oh. Read More…

Realm of the Underworld Figures!

You’ve surely noticed the slew of “independent” toy lines that have materialized in recent years. You know, the kind you see funded by Kickstarter campaigns, which often take inspiration from retro lines?

I won’t pretend that there’s never a dud, but so many of these “microbrew” lines are fantastic. They’re usually created by people around our age, who grew up loving the same toys we did. I’ve seen independent lines inspired by everything from M.U.S.C.L.E. to Battle Beasts, but always with a twist to make them unique.

This isn’t something I write about often, because no matter how many toys I cover, “regular reviews” aren’t really my thing. It’s close to what I do, but not exact. I only mention this because it’d take something seriously great for me to be “straight and shilly.” And yeah, I think today’s subject is seriously great.

Made by Zoloworld, it’s the Realm of the Underworld collection! A series of Masters of the Universe-esque figures that blend monsters, mythology and a whole lot of nostalgia.

The story, if I have it right, involves a team of evil Archfiends (skeleton warriors) from the Underworld, attempting to wreck shit in the Overworld. Only a couple of heroes stand in their way, but since those heroes are godlike and covered in bumpy muscles, the fight is fairer than it sounds. Read More…

Deadsites #4: Edy’s Godzilla Ice Cream!

I’m no fan of Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla, but man, I wanted to be. I saw it way late, and hoped that its parade of awful reviews were only written by people who’d either “missed the point” or were inherently joyless.

Nah. It really was terrible.

But that doesn’t damper my memories of its incredible marketing campaign. No matter what you thought of the film, the lead up to it was a blast. It all started with this teaser:

Yeah, the sight of Zilla’s foot crushing a tyrannosaur skeleton loses something once you’ve seen the movie, but at the time, this was super effective stuff. I was going to say “like Krazy Glue,” but A) that’s lame and B) I wrote “effective,” not “adhesive.”

And so this edition of Deadsites is off to a rocky start.

It wasn’t just trailers and TV spots, either. Godzilla was everywhere. Remember the Taco Bell promotions? The fruit snacks? The “HIS HEAD IS AS BIG AS THIS SIGN” billboards? Weirdly enough, the best things about that movie had nothing to do with it.

Which brings me to today’s Deadsite!

Back in ’98, the ice cream giants at Edy’s teamed with those who represented Godzilla to create something strange, beautiful and rhyming.

It was called…

GODZILLA VANILLA! Read More…

Deadsites #3: The Craft Movie Site!

Today on Deadsites: The official site for The Craft, a film about disenfranchised high school teens who change their fortunes with witchcraft.

In more direct terms: Fairuza Balk, hamming it up as a black magician. So of course I loved it.

The Craft came out in 1996, as did its website. It had the trappings of a Tripod fanpage, with a simple design, crude graphics and an absolutely needless amount of scrollbars. That was the charm!

Modern movie sites seem like team efforts from dozens of geniuses who wear super expensive glasses. In contrast, The Craft’s felt like the work of one sixteen-year-old who holed up in her basement with a malfunctioning laptop.

On a stormy night too, I bet. Read More…