“Came, saw, bought a few things, made a fool of myself, went home.”
That would be the summary of my experiences at the 28th Monster-Mania horror convention, which took place in Cherry Hill last weekend.
I fear I’m not in any position to give you a full report, since we spent so much of the evening away from the convention areas. The closest I came to celebrity hobnobbing was sharing an elevator with Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Actually, I wasn’t planning to write anything about Monster-Mania. We were mostly there to reconnect with friends, and so I could pay too much for “zombie red” contact lenses. (Both missions were accomplished.)
…but when I got home, several readers asked for a review, having come to rely on Dino Drac for some small glimpse into this long-running and now practically legendary horror convention.
So FINE. I’ll play your game.
While I can’t give you many specifics about the guests or the events or even the gory cosplayers, I at least took enough photos to provide highlights of the best part of any Monster-Mania: The dealer rooms.
I’ve trained myself to treat those rooms like a museums. Convention swag rarely comes cheap, and too often, I’ve come home with a pile of unneeded stuff that I could’ve bought online for less. After all, the thrill isn’t in the prices, but in the hands-on exposure. It’s one thing to see a bunch of old toys and new memorabilia when you’re browsing websites, but it can be downright intoxicating when you’re surrounded by it in person.
I picked up a few choice items for future posts, but here are the best things I didn’t buy at Monster-Mania 28: Read More…
Dino Drac Funpack subscriptions are back on sale! $25 a month, for a new box of weird junk, every month!
Subscribe now and you’ll start with the SEPTEMBER 2014 FUNPACK — which, since the site will be firmly entrenched in the Halloween Countdown by then, has a nice dose of scares!
If you’re already subscribed and would like to stay that way — do nothing! You’re all set.
If you’re NOT subscribed and you’re pretty sure you want to be, I would advise you not to wait too long. Subscriptions starting with the September Funpack are available through 9/7, but there is a pretty fair chance that they will sell out before then. (Once I’m out of supplies, I’m out of supplies, and you’ll have to wait another month!)
Let’s see what September has in store!
(An almost complete sample of a September Funpack!)
While the Funpack shown here is for example purposes (some contents may vary), ALL existing and new subscribers WILL receive the following:
* The first of two Halloween-themed Ugly Mini Posters! (Not shown in the photo.)
* An all-new DINO DRAC SPECIMEN, which I’ll tell you about in a minute!
* An incredible Aliens digital watch from 1993, still in package! Your new Halloween mascot!
* Packs of old trading cards! (Yes, some packs have a spooky theme!)
* And other things that you’ll have to wait to see, but the photo above will give you some example of what you may find.
I think these will kick off your Halloween season in excellent fashion.
Oh, and about that specimen… Read More…
It all started with this thing:
From 1989, it’s a promotional standee for Bonkers candy, celebrating their historic teaming with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I grew up loving everything on that standee, so when I had the chance to buy it, I jumped.
If you don’t remember Bonkers, the fruit chews were similar to Starburst, yet somehow a hundred times better than Starburst. Each two-toned “brick” of candy was pure fruity sex on the tongue, and I’ll never understand why they were discontinued. Didn’t every kid eat Bonkers? Hell, whenever one of my friends asked for a piece, I was like Elaine with her sponges.
Specifically, this standee promoted special packs of Bonkers that came with free Ninja Turtles stickers. (An awareness-drive for their first big screen movie, set to debut in early 1990.)
If not for recent developments, our story would end there.
Under the auspices of Luck and Fortune, I was able to obtain that exact pack of Bonkers. Like the standee, it’s from 1989. That makes it 25 years old, which I imagine is older than 30% of this site’s audience. I am handling food that’s been on this planet for longer than some of you. Senses of accomplishment take many forms: I am so PROUD of my old candy.
Preserving this in an airtight chamber would be the smart thing to do, but for the sake of a better article, I’m gonna do the stupid thing. I’m gonna open this baby up. Read More…
Since we’re up to the seventh installment of this series, I guess I can skip the preamble. Here are random action figures. Five of them!
Star Wars, 1983
Behold, one of my favorite figures from Kenner’s immense Star Wars collection. Something about the Biker Scout’s boxy head appealed to me in a way normal Stormtroopers didn’t, and excluding the Emperor’s Royal Guard, this was the Star Wars figure I bought most often. (Sometimes I needed to replace a lost figure; other times I just wanted more Biker Scouts.)
Critics be damned: When I hear “Star Wars,” my mind jumps to Return of the Jedi. It’s fitting that my most beloved “Imperial” characters were exclusive to that movie.
The biggest reason to own a Biker Scout was to have an appropriate figure to place on Kenner’s “Speeder Bike” vehicle. (The one that blew apart with the push of a button… which was an awesome feature until you realized how easy it was to hit said button by accident.)
Speeder bikes featured prominently in ROTJ, of course, and I grew up wanting to ride one more than any other fictitious vehicle. Every time I was in my parents’ car, stuck in Jersey shore traffic, I’d imagine myself on a speeder bike, casually zipping to Wildwood just above the many hoods. In those dreams, I’d be dressed in the Biker Scout’s uniform. Read More…