Every Christmas, various department stores dedicate whole aisles to those super cheap “generic” toys. You know the kind. They always come in the same-style boxes, whether they’re sets of dominoes or princess baby dolls.
Shown above is one example. The “Dinosaurs Play Set,” a 21-piece assortment of Not Quite Jurassic Park toys. I found it in Walmart, sandwiched between a similar set that replaced the dinosaurs with tigers, and a stack of “Rad O Control” cars that appeared to come with purposeless mock remotes.
The Dinosaur Play Set leaves us with much to discuss! Read More…
Guys, we need to talk about this Mother’s Day card.
I made it for my mother in 1986. 1987 at the absolute latest. Considering the card’s enormous size and use of strange paper, I can only assume it was an art project from grade school.
The cover looks innocent enough, or at least as innocent as a cover featuring a shark swimming through blood could look. It’s what inside that troubles me. It’s very curious that both my teacher and mother saw this card and never thought, “hmmm the boy needs help.”
Who knows, maybe they did. Read More…
One of the coolest-ever Nightmare on Elm Street toys technically had nothing to do with it:
In 1988, Tonka launched a small line of Wrecking Crew toys. These were various construction vehicles that could plow through break-apart playsets. (Not a terribly misguided gimmick, given kids’ collective passion for smashing shit.)
Between the line’s simplistic theme and the toys’ nearly generic appearance, very few people remember Wrecking Crew. And that’s unfortunate, because hiding deep within the collection was an awesome and unmistakable nod to none other than Freddy Krueger!
Shown above is the Abandoned School House Playset. It might not seem so remarkable now, but once I show you the finer details, you’re gonna flip. Read More…
Welcome to what could be this year’s last batch of Classic Christmas Commercials, donated by our pal Larry. Tonight, you’ll see everything from a super capitalistic Santa to a giant apple pitching cheap underwear. Are you excited?
Call Santa’s Hotline!
I’ve seen at least a dozen “Santa hotline” commercials, where various entrepreneurs preyed on every kid’s desire to form a special bond with the big man.
This one is particularly low-key, but I do enjoy the notion that Santa lives in front of a giant purple backdrop. While the voice-over lady clarified that you’d only hear a prerecorded message, you’ll notice that the action implies a live conversation with Santa Claus. (That never happened. At best, Santa would ask for Christmas lists, and then fall silent for a paid minute while clueless kids shouted about dolls and video games.)
In this case, you’d call to hear a special Christmas story from Santa. In the commercial, our hero hangs up after only 25 seconds, as if that was legitimately how long the stories took tell. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose, yadda yadda yadda, he went down in history.” Read More…
I know everyone’s giddy over the return of French Toast Crunch, but don’t forget about this one!
Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch is the second of General Mills’s two new holiday-themed cereals. I covered Holiday Sprinkles Cookie Crisp a few weeks ago, and as great as it was, I think this stuff is even better.
Christmas decorations are my warm blanket, and this box hits so many of the best bullets. The icy background and oddly horizontal stocking are great, but I’m especially loving those old school “big bulbs.” The ones that you weren’t supposed to use inside, but did, because Christmas trees wearing those kinds of bulbs matched your living room’s illumination to that of a smoky cocktail bar. Read More…
I’ve never been happier, and it’s all because of Santa Robot.
I don’t know who was responsible for Santa Robot, nor do I have any hard evidence of when he’s from. (Though given the similarities to Tomy’s old battery-operated robots, it’s a safe bet that Santa Robot is from the mid ‘80s.)
You’ll notice the crude “$2” scribbled on the box. For the record, I didn’t pay that. I paid far more than that, actually. I paid a price so hefty that if the end result was anything BUT Santa Robot, I’d feel so ashamed. Read More…