It’s time for another edition of Vintage Vending, celebrating more of the crummy/perfect nonsense that we used to trade our quarters for. GET EXCITED. TRY TO.
Since this one is going up during the Halloween Countdown, everything featured below is SPOOKY. I’ll also double down and feature two old vending machine prize sets this time around. Pay me.
First is the Gooey Grabber collection, likely from 1985 or 1986. Though I’ve featured similarly “slimy” toys on Vintage Vending before, the difference this time is in the presentation. It’s so evil!
The teaser card design reminds me of so many 1980s spook houses, but the real treat is that “mascot” hiding on the left. He’s clearly a Garbage Pail Kids ripoff! Read More…
As the Halloween season creeps closer to its conclusion, you may need a little pick-me-up to keep your spirit in check. Easiest solution: Eat a buncha junk food!
It’s been an incredible season on the spooky food front, as I’ve evidenced many times over the last few months. Here’s another batch of this year’s best Halloween junk food, waiting to be hunted and purchased and devoured and excreted.
Halloween Crunch Cereal!
Halloween Crunch has been around for almost ten years now, leaving me with the sad realization that I had no good reason to write more about it. What’s worse, the cereal spent the previous several years repeating the same box design, making longtime Halloween bloggers like me cry real tears over having nothing new to report.
Well, this year is different! While the cereal remains unchanged, they finally updated the box. Guys, they swung for the FENCES with this one. It’s by far the best-looking of this year’s Halloween cereal boxes, so dark and so foreboding that I almost can’t believe Quaker Oats signed off on it.
If you’re new to Halloween Crunch, it’s normal Cap’n Crunch with the added bonus of reddish ghost shapes, which each hide powdery pockets of green food dye. When milk is added, the dye turns it green, leaving you with a big bowl of weirdness that looks straight out of Nilbog. That’s so Halloweeny. Read More…
A fortuitous stop at a New Jersey toy store left me with just enough ammunition for another spooky-themed edition of Five Random Action Figures.
Electronic Talking Venom!
Marvel Super Heroes, ToyBiz 1991
I absolutely loved ToyBiz’s Marvel Super Heroes line, which went hand-in-hand with Marvel Universe trading cards to transform me from someone who was casually aware of comic books into someone who still remembers planet Salaria by name.
Among the set’s best figures was Venom, but specifically THIS Venom, which came with the accessory to end all accessories: A battery-operated backpack that let him spew audible threats! Each of the backpack’s three buttons signaled a different phrase, the best of which being — and this is an exact quote — “I WANT TO EAT YOUR BRAIN.”
The figure debuted back when anything having to do with Venom was immediately cool, but the fact that this one came with a Halliburton modified into a shit-talking backpack just put it over the top. Read More…
The latest episode of the habitually late Purple Stuff Podcast is now available!
By popular request, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit are doing a SPOOKY SONGS SEQUEL, covering another 13 creepy tunes that are perfect for anyone’s Halloween playlist. (If you missed the original episode, it’s over here!)
We’re mixing oddities with some on-the-nose choices, and if you listen to the whole thing, you might even hear another reference to Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. Check it out using the player below, or download the MP3 directly at this link.
For those who requested a longer show: This one is!
Had to make myself scarce this week to handle everyone’s Funpack orders, but I thought I’d take a break to write 800 words about old television commercials. Yes, that’s how I relax.
Welcome to the eleventh edition of Classic Creepy Commercials, featuring all sorts of spooky TV ads from the ‘80s and ‘90s! As usual, some of the commercials featured here are from me, and others were donated by my pal Larry.
In tonight’s batch: Mighty Max, Stu Charno, fruit snacks, and four stray frames from an unrelated Stay Trim “Diet Gum” commercial.
Hallmark Halloween Commercial – 1980s!
Of Hallmark’s many Halloween commercials, this one’s by far my favorite. I mentioned Hallmark’s importance to yesteryear’s Halloween seasons in a prior edition of Classic Creepy Commercials, but this particular advertisement represents the company at their absolute spooky peak.
Most of the items featured were unfathomably popular, from the “THIS IS MY COSTUME” shirt to that awesome skull pin with the chattering teeth, which many of you should remember from Roseanne’s biggest Halloween adventure. Pair those with the “Spooky Sounds” audio cassette mentioned at the end, and it’s pretty much the definitive list of 1980s Halloween novelties.
The best part? The guy wearing the aforementioned t-shirt is none other than Stu Charno, from Friday the 13th Part 2! Stu played Ted, one of the rare characters who made it out of Camp Crystal Lake without a single run-in with Jason Voorhees. Go Stu! Read More…
Some of horror’s best-ever action figures came from an unexpected source!
Part of a 1997 Burger King promotion, I hope some of you remember this quartet of positively kickass Universal Monsters figures. They deserve to be remembered!
Officially licensed (meaning, the figures weren’t simply meant to resemble the classic characters — they were them), I’m still not entirely sure how these figures came to be.
The late ‘90s did have that quiet Universal Monsters boom with the postage stamps and all, but considering the quality of these toys, and the fact that they seemingly weren’t made to promote anything, I guess it was just one of those blessed anomalies that boosted nationwide belief in holy spirits.
They’re great figures even by today’s standards, albeit not very important ones. It was much different in 1997! Funko’s ReAction line didn’t yet exist, and we hadn’t seen straight-up Universal Monsters figures in years. These toys seem like throwbacks when you look at them now, but they felt the same way back in ‘97!
Read on for a closer look at each of the four figures, and note how they were all retail-quality. I’m still so amazed that they lived and died as Burger King premiums! Read More…