Dinosaur Dracula!

Yet More Old Comic Book Ads!

Since this will obviously just be another of my “random old comic book ad” reviews, there isn’t much point in slaving over a meaningful introduction. Instead, I’ll use this space to tell you about last night’s dream.

I went into a sporting goods store, which I guess was the first clue that this was going to become a nightmare. Indeed, as soon as I stepped inside, I realized that the entire store had been taken over by the goblins of Nilbog, from Troll 2. They’d transformed the place into a mossy Swamp of Death, with puddles of skin-melting slime all over the tile floors.

In that weird way that dreams change without any rhyme or reason, the swamp suddenly vanished, as did Nilbog’s goblins. In their place was a horde of Gremlins. Specifically, the Gremlins from the original movie, not the sequel. The more uniformed and bloodthirsty kind.

If the Troll 2 portion of this nightmare was only a creepy mindfuck, the Gremlins portion was an all-out action movie. These things were AFTER ME. They chased me around the aisles, always grabbing at my feet, until I finally lost them by zipping into a wing of the store that hadn’t been there a moment prior.

It was there that I found an official Craftsman Curved Shaft WeedWacker. Or maybe a generic version of one. Thank God this sporting goods store moonlighted in lawn care!

With my new weapon, I turned the tables. Suddenly, the Gremlins were running from me. Whenever I managed to hit one of them, the WeedWacker’s business end cut through ‘em like butter. I must have killed twenty of the things before I woke up, startled.

I don’t know why I was startled. I was winning!

That was last night’s dream. Lest anyone believe that I made this up and included site-appropriate movie characters for bonus points, fuck you. If I was gonna fabricate, I’d come up with something much more interesting than killing Gremlins with a WeedWacker.

And now, old comic book ads!

7UP Soda-Licious Fruit Snacks!
Silver Surfer #76, January 1993

Soda-Licious fruit snacks were soda-flavored and bottle-shaped, gooey on the insides but with rough sugar coatings. Since soda-flavored candy was never my strong suit, I remember the commercials much more than the snacks, which starred two-dimensional children who literally fattened up by eating packs of Soda-Licious. An interesting conceit for a junk food commercial, if you think about it.

Somewhere along the way, magic happened. Soda-Licious teamed with 7UP for co-branded bits of deliciousness that gave all corresponding promo materials the excuse to be covered in Cool Spot. (The red guy. I guess there was more than one. Cool Spots?)

Arriving in both original and cherry 7UP flavors – complete with distinct bottle colors – the snacks turned skeptics into fanatics, and if you believe the stories, caused Jesus himself to travel to Rob’s Bagel Palace in Birch Tree, Missouri, all for the one thing that kept Heaven from living up to its name.

Look close at the ad. Did they really include Spot-shaped fruit snacks, too? That sounds impossibly cool, but they were pretty clearly hinting at that, no? I need answers. Somebody give them to me. Read More…

Deadsites #6: Ghost Ship Movie Site!

In this edition of Deadsites, we’re taking a look at the official movie site for 2002’s Ghost Ship.

Starring Gabriel Byrne and Julianna Margulies, it’s about an abandoned luxury liner stuffed with treasure and torment. Here’s the trailer:

I saw Ghost Ship exactly once, on a night when I was too wired to fall asleep, but not lucid enough to fully absorb the weird shit on television. Regardless, I remember liking the film. After a freakin’ killer opening (where we see the ship’s original passengers die in comically gory fashion), Ghost Ship settles into something best summarized as The Shining mixed with Event Horizon… on a boat. Read More…

The Popsicle Parade – Part 4!

This will probably be the last edition of The Popsicle Parade for 2013, so please, a moment of silence from those who have enjoyed looking at old ice cream stickers.

Thank you. That was special.

#21: Firecracker Root Beer Float!

I’m loving the discovery that this “Firecracker” popsicle was actually a family of popsicles, identical in shape but with wildly varying colors and flavors.

Remember the bizarre version from my last review, which mixed red hot cinnamon with cotton candy? Well, here’s one with a slightly less iffy theme. Firecracker’s “Root Beer Floats” blended root beer and vanilla ice to create something that’d make the freaks at Jack in the Box proud.

More importantly, it looks like that super special Jell-O Pudding Pop – the one that married chocolate and vanilla into one swirlrageous piece of magic that every self-respecting junk food junkie had to eat first. Read More…

Vintage Vending #16: Super Mega Edition.

I’ve been visibly absent these past few days, but it was for a good cause. Been getting ahead on a few things for this year’s Halloween Countdown. This may be the first time in forever that I’m actually over-prepared, at least in terms of having enough topics to cover 40+ spooky posts. I’ll refrain from saying more, because you go down a letter grade without the element of surprise. That’s why I’ll end this paragraph with a caps-locked TOOTHPASTE.

Anyway, today isn’t about Halloween. Today is about vending machine prizes. It’s been over a month since the last edition of Vintage Vending, and I can totally smell your separation anxiety. Well, good news for you: This is actually five editions of Vintage Vending in one!

See, the old teaser cards in my collection generally still have the prizes intact, but I also have a bunch that are “card only.” Since the lack of prizes makes them “too small” to devote single reviews to, I’ve batched up five of my favorites for this great big something-something fucking Friday bonanza party. I hope this paragraph feels more fluid when I read it later. (UPDATE: It didn’t.)

Super Food Robots!

Some of you must remember these, because no matter where your interests lied, NOBODY could resist Transformers-inspired robot figures with “real food” stickers over their chests. There was absolutely no reason for the Super Food Robots to exist, so I can only assume that some company took their dead stock of robot figures and their dead stock of canned food stickers, and figured out how to make lemonade. Thank God for bizarre solutions.

Choosing a favorite really comes down to which food you like best. It’s not like you’ll notice the sculpts or colors of the Super Food Robots when you look at them. All you’ll see is corn, cereal or soda. As a child, I think I would’ve gone with the Frosted Flakes guy, but as an adult with a better appreciation for things that should not be, how could I pick anyone but Pickled Beetbot? Read More…

Trading Card Madness.

Since shipping those Cruel Summer Funpacks involved digging deep into my immense collection of trading cards, I’ve spent the past week drowning in paperboard nostalgia. With even the really old sets still being easy to find, I guess I’d overlooked just how much they used to mean to me.

I needed to maintain a good supply for the orders, but I eventually broke down and opened a few packs. Really, there’s only so many times you can handle sealed packs of Gremlins 2 cards and not open them. Unfortunately, “a few” became “many,” and soon enough, my stock was effectively halved.

Well, here’s my chance to justify those impulses: A look back at twelve ancient trading card sets, as told by the best cards from various packs! Read More…

My Pet Monster.

It all started at a random junk store. Somewhere between the electric flyswatters, the bootleg Snuggies, and the breakfast cereals based on movies that haven’t been in theaters since 2010, I found this:

An adorable tank, complete with a plastic palm tree. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but plastic palm trees of the pet shop variety are my ultimate weakness. Remembering my many long dead pets, I’m pretty certain that at least half of them were purchased merely for the excuse to get another plastic palm tree.

Combine that with the tank’s utterly fascinating price, and how could I leave that mildew market without it?

Problem was, I couldn’t use the tank for its intended purpose. I don’t know if it’s meant for hermit crabs, lizards or what, but I’ve become sensitive to the plight of “pet shop animals,” and that tank is way too small for… anything, really.

Eventually, I found a solution. And since I assume that a great many of you own small plastic tanks with built-in palm trees, I want you to pay close attention.

You can make your own animal to put in there. It won’t be alive, of course, but that’s sort of the point.

You can also make your animal more of a monster, which increases the allure of this activity by, oh, 40000%. Read More…