Dinosaur Dracula!

Classic Christmas Commercials, Volume 6!

I think it’s safe to say that we’re in the holiday season now, right? Good. That means I can blather on about old Christmas commercials without those nagging doubts.

Yes, it’s time for the glorious return of Classic Christmas Commercials, the series in which I celebrate batches of old TV ads, all featuring some degree of yuletide cheer.

All of these were donated by my pal Larry P., who knows full well that the key to my undying loyalty is a commercial for Cool Whip starring an orgasmic Santa Claus. I’m easy to please, so long as you’re hyper-specific.

a-1Christmas Crunch Cereal! (1988)

Hard to believe that this is the first time I’ve mentioned this ad on Dino Drac. It was one of my major favorites as a kid, and if pushed, I’d probably still count it among my top ten Christmassy commercials of all time.

Christmas Crunch is still around, of course, but it hardly means as much now. Back in the ‘80s and early ‘90s? Good God. It was an integral to the season as virtually anything else I could name. Right between “Christmas tree” and “red & green M&M’s.”

The beautifully animated commercial looked like a teaser for a nonexistent Rankin/Bass special. Pay close attention to the last ten seconds, where we break from the cartoon for a look at Christmas Crunch’s best-ever cereal premium: Cardboard Christmas tree ornaments starring the Cap’n and the evil Soggies! Read More…

Opening a pack of P.B. Crisps from 1993!

Tonight I’m gonna open a pack of Planters P.B. Crisps from 1993.

That’s the short version of the story, at least. Now the longer one must be told.

Google around, and you’ll find a seemingly limitless number of pleas for Planters to bring them back. P.B. Crisps were an immediate success upon their debut, but for whatever reason, their reign only lasted a few years. By 1995, the snacks were discontinued, leaving us only with the bittersweet memories of their unique brand of deliciousness.

(Sorry, Nutter Butters. P.B. Crisps you ain’t.)


Poring over the many sites paying aggravated tributes to P.B. Crisps, I couldn’t find a single one that had a really-real photo of them. I’m here to fix that.

Shown above is an honest-to-goodness package of them, from 1993. As much as it pains me to break the seal on any of my irreplaceable lovelies, I feel that this is my pathetic destiny. In a past life, I was a literal sad trombone. Read More…

Another Toys “R” Us Treat Box from the ’90s!

Remember when Toys “R” Us gave out adorable cardboard boxes filled with free samples? You should, because this marks the fourth time I’ve written about them. If you’re new, this old newspaper ad should bring you up to speed:


That particular ad promoted what I believe was Toys “R” Us’s first “R” Treat box, from 1989. I’ve already reviewed that one, along with another from 1992, and still another. Seems I’ve spent a concerning amount of time writing about candy samples from 25 years ago.

Every time TRU dusted off the promotion, the basic tenets were the same: Little boxes stuffed with stuff, available for free to anyone who visited a Toys “R” Us store. (You were supposed to bring a coupon, but as I recall, they gave no shits if you didn’t have one.)

Since the contents typically amounted to sample-sized bags of chocolate and maybe a free toothbrush, it’s hard to explain why kids went so wild for these boxes. And hey, I dunno, maybe they didn’t. But I sure did.


And the point of rehashing things you’ve already read about on Dino Drac? Well, that. I’ve found another one! From 1994, this “R” Treat box helped promote The Flintstones movie, with images of John Goodman and Dino littering each of the pentagonal box’s sides. That alone wouldn’t be enough to merit a fourth tribute, but wait until you see what’s inside! Read More…

The Purple Stuff Podcast: Episode 15!

Hello! It’s Saturday night! Purple Stuff Podcast time!


In tonight’s episode, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit discuss ten of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) childhood board games, from Fireball Island to Electronic Talking Battleship. You’ll notice that very few of our picks are “traditional” board games, but what can I say? I liked them more when they looked like action figure playsets.

Give us a listen by clicking that ENORMOUS and UGLY play button down below. You commuter types can also download the MP3 directly over here.

(Click that big button to listen!)

The Purple Stuff Podcast is also on iTunes, Stitcher and Podbean! We don’t care how you listen, so long as you do!

Feel free to share some of your own board game memories in the comments, whether they’re about the games we discussed here or different ones entirely. Lord knows, I’m already regretting the fact that I didn’t bring up Twister. Dammit.

Thanks so much for listening to the show! Pass it around if you have friends that like listening to strangers talk for an hour. Read More…

2015’s Best Holiday Junk Food, Part 1!

The holiday season is here! If you don’t believe me, just stroll down the nearest junk food aisle. Everything either tastes like peppermint or is shaped like a bell. I love it.

Below are five of my favorite holiday junk foods for the 2015 season. Or maybe they’re just the first five that I found. I’ll be doing additional installments later in the season, so if you like essays about bread, stick with Dino Drac baby.


Hostess Peppermint Ho Hos!

I’ve never been big on Ho Hos, but if they were gonna Christmasize a Hostess snack, I think the one named after Santa’s catchphrase was the right choice.

Actually, this is just one of several Hostess snacks that were given the holiday treatment this year. I’ll cover the rest once the residual guilt from plowing through a whole box of Ho Hos in six minutes passes.

They taste suitably pepperminty, though the creamy filling is nowhere near as red as the box shows. I’m irrationally upset about that. I don’t like the taste of peppermint enough to choose it without some aesthetics in play. Would it be pushing things to send Hostess a shitty email just because their red Ho Hos aren’t red enough? I never know where lines are drawn. Read More…

’80s Xmas Ads from Woman’s Day.

As confessed last year, I grew up loving the Christmas editions of Woman’s Day, which were collected by my mother and left to die in the same little-used cabinet that otherwise housed obsolete phone books and broken AC adapters.


I’ll admit that this wasn’t something I bragged about at the schoolyard, but whatever. I just couldn’t get enough of those wacky recipes for super intricate holiday appetizers, which typically called for unflavored gelatin, fennel seeds and other weird shit that nobody used for anything ever.

Mostly, though, I was in it for the advertisements. Those companies may have been pitching to females four times my age, but I believe it’s ME who holds the distinction of being the only person who was ever truly interested in pairing Lindsay brand black olives with pepperoni and strawberries.

Below are a bunch of advertisements culled from various ‘80s editions of Woman’s Day, each with a holiday theme. May you find them more interesting than you think you will now.


Hidden Valley Ranch Recipes! (1988)

This was the last half of a two-page ad for Hidden Valley Ranch’s salad dressing mixes, which were little envelopes full of salty dust that could be combined with other things to create tangy dips and dressings.

I was obsessed with this page as a kid, mainly due to the two leftmost recipes. Oyster crackers have always been my jam, and the thought of turning them into spicy, oily holiday appetizers just floored me.

As for the spinach dip in the beautiful bread bowl, I will never believe that this exact ad — which was repeated in many magazines for several years — wasn’t chiefly responsible for that particular dish’s rise to prominence. It’s literally the only creamy “dressing” that I’ll make an exception for, partly because it tastes awesome, but mostly because the bread bowl made me feel like I was eating out of a goddamned volcano.

Seriously, look at that thing. A boulder filled with spinach dip. Give me that platter, and I wouldn’t notice the entire world burning down around me. Read More…