Dinosaur Dracula!

Classic Christmas Commercials, Volume 3!


Hooray, I can finally dust off one of my favorite topics: Classic Christmas Commercials!

If you missed Volume 1 and Volume 2, this series of posts includes ancient holiday-themed TV ads. Christmas commercials were such a big part of the festivities back then, and if you’ve ever felt that more recent holiday seasons have been missing something, it’s probably ads like this.

Hell, when you think about it, so many of our idealized notions of perfect Christmases came as much from TV commercials as they did movies, shows and well-photographed store catalogs.

These ads were donated by Larry P., and this is just the first of several batches you’ll be seeing this year. Get excited!

“Spot: The Video Game” Holiday Promo!

7UP’s best Christmas commercials had something in common: Spot, the super adorable anthropomorphic “dot” mascot. With his spindly limbs and oversized sunglasses, Spot singlehandedly transformed 7UP from a soda we would drink to a soda we had to drink, out of some misguided loyalty to the jumpy cartoon character who made commercial breaks tolerable.

This is one of the rarest of those ads, where Spot (or more accurately, an army of Spots) illustrated our chance to save five bucks on Spot: The Video Game for the Nintendo Game Boy. The image of two red dots struggling to carry a Game Boy into frame will stay with you forever, and you won’t mind it one bit.

Despite this essentially being a video game commercial, it’s still incredibly Christmassy, featuring both soothing sax music and a shot of a two-liter 7UP bottle morphing into a Christmas tree. Play this on an unending loop and you’ll never need Ativan. Read More…

Cranberry & Sage Triscuit Crackers!

Judging by what I’ve seen so far, the 2014 holiday season is going to be a great one for junk food lovers. Here’s some early proof!


I rarely buy Triscuits anymore, but it’s only because I can’t be trusted around them. Like Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, they were one of my childhood comfort foods, and like Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, I cannot have access to a package without devouring it within five minutes.

If I was ever going to make an exception, now was the time, because OH MY GOD, THESE ARE CRANBERRY. Cranberry & Sage, to be precise. Even if this limited edition flavor doesn’t immediately appeal to you, at least admit that they come in a freakin’ fantastic box. It looks like one of the ten dollar throw blankets I buy every December. Read More…

1989 Toys “R” Us Treat Box!

During the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Toys “R” Us ran several promotions where kids received free treat boxes with every purchase. These were essentially paper lunch boxes, filled with product samples, coupons, and if we were lucky, a little toy.

They sound like simple freebies, and I guess they were, but words can’t express how much those boxes meant to me. The few times that I received them, I sure as hell liked them more than whatever I’d conned Mom into buying me.

For regular readers, this is old news, as I’ve written about these treat boxes twice before. In 1992, TRU issued one with a Batman Returns theme, filled with everything from Fruit Stripe gum to Sesame Street Band-Aids. Later that year, they unveiled a Jurassic Park treat box, appropriately covered with dinosaur games and puzzles.

Other times, TRU unveiled treat boxes even when they weren’t in partnership with any big movie studios:



This “R” Treat Box, from 1989, may have actually been the first in the series. Brother, it was PHENOMENAL. Covered with pictures of Geoffrey’s family, the many beach references suggest that it was a summer release.

Now, a free cardboard Geoffrey box was reason enough to demand a trip to the toy store, but it’s what was inside that made these so legendary. Read More…

Identifying Garfield’s Christmas Presents.


Yeah, I’m really doing this. It’s too late to stop me.

A Garfield Christmas is one of my favorite holiday specials. During its run on CBS, I watched it every year. To me, it was every bit as important as Charlie Brown’s thing, and for a time, I liked it even more.

The bulk of the special is set on the old Arbuckle farm, where Jon reconnects with his little-seen family. (Most notably Grandma Arbuckle, in a breakthrough performance!) It’s 22 minutes of pure holiday happiness, and it kills me that nobody airs it anymore. A Garfield Christmas just isn’t the same on DVD. I need commercial breaks with special messages from McDonald’s and Radio Shack.

Of course, pitching you the special isn’t why I’m here. Frankly, only those who are already fans have any shot of making it through this post. I mean it. This one is NOT going viral.

Now let’s get down to business. Remember Garfield’s dream sequence from the start of the special? The one with the ROBOT SANTA GIFT-GIVING MACHINE? Read More…