Dinosaur Dracula!

Christmas Crunch with Jingle Bell Rocks?!

I should be more excited about Christmas Crunch’s glorious return, but…

1

Ho ho hum. They didn’t redesign the box. It’s exactly the same as last year’s. And last year’s was exactly the same as 2011’s.

I’d buy Christmas Crunch even if they released it in plain paper bags, but there’s so much to be said for an annual redressing.

Quaker used to change the boxes almost every year. Even when they failed to top the previous design, you still had to appreciate the effort that went into making the same three bullet points seem new and exciting.

Hey, Quaker? It’s time to freshen things up. Look to your own history. You used to rock this shit!

2

For example, here’s Christmas Crunch as it appeared in 1998.

It’s simpler, but way more charming. The current box looks like a Target ad, but this one looks like some great old cartoon. (And I’d really, REALLY love to see a cartoon about Santa Claus spiking cereal with red boulders. My God… the things I would trade for a cartoon about Santa Claus spiking cereal with red boulders!)

And those boulders? That’s the other thing. Christmas Crunch used to come with all sorts of freebies and weird to-dos. Remember those cardboard tree ornaments from the ‘80s? Or how about the 1995 version, which came with packets of alien space frosting?

All Quaker has given us lately are coupons for DVDs we already own. I don’t need $3 off A Charlie Brown Christmas; I already have three copies.

In truth, I’m only blasting 2013’s Christmas Crunch for setup purposes. I guess I’m okay with the stupid repeated box. I mainly just wanted to gush about those weird red boulders from 1998! Read More…

Holiday Goodwill Goodies!

top

Remember when I went to Goodwill to find Halloween goodies?

I thought it would be interesting to do the same for Christmas, so on Sunday, I went to that very same Goodwill store – the one with the stupid address that always makes my GPS explode.

The results were… mixed.

1

They did have lots of Christmas stuff, but the prices were nuts. Three dollars for untested strands of lights! Four dollars for a dusty, half-melted candle that once bore the shape of a gingerbread house! SEVEN dollars for an armless nutcracker!

I was a yard sale/thrift store junkie back in the day, and Christmas decorations were always super cheap. People would do anything to get rid of them. Most of Goodwill’s holiday fare was the same kind of stuff. Things I would’ve expected to trade loose change for.

It’s worth noting that only the Christmas items were affected. I could’ve bought a desk, a chair and three lamps for fifteen bucks, but it would’ve cost just as much for a couple of junky poinsettia centerpieces. (You know the kind. They’re made for comically small tables.)

But whatever. I didn’t drive to Jersey to go home empty-handed. I was willing to suffer for this post! Here’s four dollars worth of crap that I somehow spent twenty dollars on! Read More…

Classic Christmas Commercials, Volume 1!

tip2

It’s already December? How did that happen?

Thanks to an unusually late Thanksgiving, it completely caught me by surprise. Now I’m panicking. It’s the month that flies by in a week! I’m two power naps away from January! Screw that.

Renewing Dino Drac’s celebration of all things red and green is my latest ongoing feature, Classic Christmas Commercials. It’s a horse I’ve been kicking the shit out of since the early 2000s, but thanks to another assist from Larry P., I’m now armed with enough old holiday ads to… I don’t know. Fill a really stupid cannon.

Ancient TV commercials are some of the best windows into Christmases past, and I’m confident that at least one of these will shoot you back to an era of bad haircuts and smaller shoe sizes. Enjoy!

M&M’s Holidays Candy!
(1992)

Not everyone knows this, but “holiday-colored” M&M’s isn’t a recent invention. I remember them being around in the ‘80s, and the only way I’m wrong is if my best friend’s mother used to pick the red and green ones out of normal bags in the spirit of Christmas. There is no way she did that.

Even by 1992, the special M&M’s were still being sold in quaint, old-fashioned packages. If you’ll take my meaning, that made them feel less like “candy” and more like “dessert.” These were the fork-and-knifers of the M&M’s set, and eating them made us feel so fancy.

Pay close attention at the nine second mark. Notice how the kid breaks from decorating his Christmas tree to perform a touchdown dance, seemingly in response to the voice-over’s announcement that each bag now included 14% more candy? Even if I was willing to suspend my disbelief and allow the idea that he somehow heard that, I’d still think the touchdown dance was too much. Read More…