Dinosaur Dracula!

Pee-wee Herman’s Gremlins Collection.

proofBack when Pee-wee was just starting to catch on, he was a frequent guest on Late Night with David Letterman, taking part in bizarre bits that only further cemented his rise to superstardom.

Since my own obsession began with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, I missed the earliest of those appearances, featuring a version of Pee-wee that was somehow even weirder than the one I grew up loving.

As it turns out, sleeping through those Letterman spots was a huge mistake. You see, on Halloween night in 1984, Pee-Wee showed Dave his COLLECTION OF GREMLINS MEMORABILIA. WHAT!

Many thanks to my buddy Bayou Babylon, who found this video and very accurately predicted that it would change my life. The whole thing is wonderful, but if you just want to see the Gremlins stuff, skip to the six minute mark.

After a devil-costumed Pee-wee delights Dave with everything from a pumpkin mug to a Barbie magazine, he rummages through his prop box, and begins parading an absolute smorgasbord of vintage Gremlins goodies. OH. MY. GOD.

I felt a tremendous personal responsibility to catalog everything in Pee-wee’s Gremlins collection: Read More…

More Extremely Old Bubble Gum!

I had so much fun showing you old bubble gum a few weeks ago, I thought I’d do it one more time. (A few weeks from today, I’ll say the same thing. And onward goes this thing of ours.)

This time, I’m breaking out some of my heaviest hitters. If it could be argued that bubble gum collections really can have trophy pieces, there are definitely a few in this set…



Made by Amurol in 1993, Game Boy Bubble Gum is weep-worthy perfect. Where a lesser confectioner might’ve settled on Game Boy ripoff packaging, Amurol actually secured the rights, and thus were able to make a bubble gum container that looked almost exactly like the real thing. (Albeit around half the size, and with a sticker representing buttons rather than actual buttons.)

I can’t remember what kind of gum was inside, and I’m not unsealing this pristine antique to find out. Even so, it’s obvious that the container was the real star. I don’t care if the gum was tiny and cement flavored. GAME. BOY. CONTAINER.

To make the most of their partnership, Amurol also tossed a few Nintendo trading cards into every box, effectively guaranteeing that everyone within bubble gum’s target demo was going to want these things. Read More…

Dino Drac’s Crummy Motel!

You are on your way to a wedding. Some distant cousin you haven’t seen in fifteen years. On the list of things you’d rather do, “drown” only narrowly outranks “get eaten by bears.”

The reception is three states away. That would normally merit flying, but you’re not gonna blow 400 bucks on plane tickets just to blow another 150 bucks on people you’ll never see again.

So, you drive. Your only company is Delilah from 106.7 Lite fm. She’s not as much fun when it isn’t Christmastime.


Many hours later, you approach unconsciousness. The party isn’t until late tomorrow, so it’s safe to call it a night.

Poorly prepared as ever, you simply stop at the first hotel that doesn’t look like a place you’ll die in. This one seems okay. Read More…

The Coffee Cup Exhibition: Part 1!


Back in July, I asked everyone to send in photos of their weirdest coffee mugs for an upcoming Dino Drac feature. A whole lotta you did. In fact, I was so daunted by the number of submissions that I shelved the idea for months. During that time, I expertly handled any emailed inquires by pretending I didn’t get them.

Tonight, I’m finally gonna make good on the promise. Partially, at least. There are way too many entries for me to tackle all at once, so consider this Part 1 of Dino Drac’s Coffee Cup Exhibition, featuring 25 of YOUR very strange mugs.

Of course, some of you may be wondering why I’m doing this at all


Our story starts with the nWo Wolfpac mug seen above. I drink from it constantly, but I have no idea where it came from. While neither a treasured possession nor something I’d even notice were it to go missing, that dumb cup has quietly become such a comfortable part of my life.

There are many others like it. We have our “standard” coffee cups, sure, but I always find myself reaching for the ones that are loud and obnoxious. The ones that remind me of gift shops from old vacation spots. The ones that were given to me by business owners who no longer own businesses. The ones with Papa Smurf on them.

I suspected that your relationships with coffee cups were similar, and looking over the submissions only proves it. Holy hell, you guys have some AMAZING mugs! Weird mugs, happy mugs, depressing mugs! Mugs rife with nostalgia, mugs plastered with failed product logos! I love them all, and I think the rest of you will, too.

Below are the first 25 coffee cups, complete with notes from the readers who submitted ’em. Get ready for everything from Star Trek to seahorses! Read More…

Vintage Vending #22: Stretch Armstrong?!

It’s been forever since the last edition of Vintage Vending, the series in which I blather on endlessly about old vending machine toys. If you’re newish to Dino Drac, you can read the past twenty-one entries over here!


Today we’re focusing on “The Stretcher” set, made in 1995, and absolutely indicative of 1995. Ignoring the smaller trinkets for now, the obvious chasers were those two larger stretchable figures.

If their genesis is on the tip of your tongue, I’ll help you out: “The Stretcher” was an obvious ripoff of Stretch Armstrong. Originally sold in the late ‘70s, the toy line enjoyed a brief revival in the early ‘90s, complete with this over-the-top television commercial: Read More…

Cereal Coupons from the ’80s and ’90s.

Today I’m gonna investigate seven ancient cereals… using old supermarket coupons as my guide. If you say you saw this coming, you are such a liar.


Considering how many people still talk about Ice Cream Cones Cereal, it’s hard to believe that it was so short-lived. According to Wikipedia, which for argument’s sake we’ll consider a reliable source for cereal info, Ice Cream Cones came out in 1987 and died in 1987, returning only briefly in 2003.

If that’s true, it stands to reason that many who remember the cereal so fondly never actually ate it. I fear I’m in that group, because I’d swear on a stack of Sears Wish Books that I had and loved Ice Cream Cones. How could I forgot those bowlfuls of chocolate Bugles and double-sized Cocoa Puffs?

It’s more likely that some of us just remember the commercials, which starred the incomparable Ice Cream Jones — a man who somehow converted half of his bicycle into a giant, self-serving box of cereal. (Now him I know I remember.) Read More…