Dinosaur Dracula!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

Toys from the 1990 JCPenney Catalog!

Hello! Let’s discover treasure together!

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The 1990 JCPenney Christmas catalog didn’t pack quite the same punch as some of the other catalogs I’ve reviewed, but it’s still hundreds of pages of toys, peanut dispensers and cheap lingerie, and that’s more than enough for a review.

For those keeping score, I was eleven years old when this catalog debuted. Still very much into toys, but rapidly approaching that age when I wouldn’t receive them without making direct requests. (I hated that “in-between” age. Everyone just gives you bad clothes, bad books and the funkiest desk lamps $15 can buy. It’s like you have to spend 2-3 years as some nonspecific SBTB background character.)

Below: Seven highlights from the 1990 JCPenney Christmas catalog!

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Marvel Super Heroes 4-Pack!
Price: $16.99

I have an enormous soft spot for the original run of Marvel Super Heroes figures, which — if you’ll take my meaning — were essentially ‘80s toys living in the ‘90s. Detailed and colorful without ever seeming over-embellished, their simplicity was a nice respite during a time when most action figures were purposely gaudy.

Of the four shown here, Punisher was my fave. I knew zilch about the character when I originally had that figure, but that was fine. He had a skull on his chest and came with a big gun. It was easy enough to fill in the blanks. Read More…

The Purple Stuff Podcast: Episode 14!

Thanks to the tremendous response from our listeners, The Purple Stuff Podcast — originally conceived as a Halloween-only show — now continues on a weekly basis with no end in sight!

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This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit cover a bunch of discontinued junk foods that we’d really, really like to eat again. It’s a topic that Dino Drac readers have already seen me beat to death! Join us for an hourlong tribute to SNACKS WE WANT BACK!

Click the giant play button below to listen in. You can also download the MP3 directly by clicking here.

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(Click that giant button to listen!)

As a reminder, The Purple Stuff Podcast is also on iTunes, Stitcher and Podbean. If you dig the show, maybe you wanna write us a review on iTunes? I think you do.

Huge, huge thanks to everyone who spoke up and motivated us to continue the show! Hope you enjoy! Read More…

Dino Drac’s November Funpack is available now!

Hey! It’s time to unleash Dino Drac’s latest Funpack! Get excited!

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Dino Drac’s November 2015 Funpack is available now! Each box has a little hint of the holidays and a whole load of nostalgia.

New to the site? The Funpacks are what fund it. Every month, I mail out boxes of retro fun to everyone who subscribes. Without the Funpacks, I wouldn’t be able to do the site, so thank you times x1000, whether you’re a longtime subscriber or a new one!

Subscriptions are available in the United States only, and the cost is $25 per month. (That INCLUDES shipping!) Subscriptions are handled via Paypal, and you can cancel via Paypal anytime without penalty. For as long as you stay subscribed, you’ll keep getting more Funpacks!

Skip to the bottom for complete ordering info, or keep reading to see what’s in the November 2015 Funpack!

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Behold! There are over ten items in every Funpack, from old cards and action figures to brand new snacks, and even some reading material! I know you can’t tell much by that photo, but don’t worry, I’m about to walk you through the complete list of contents!

EVERY subscriber will receive ALL of the following: Read More…