Dinosaur Dracula!

12 Groceries from the ’80s and ’90s.

Hello! Below are twelve things that we used to buy from supermarkets. May they make you pine for things you can no longer eat, wear, style with, and/or swallow when you have a headache.

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(ad from 1986)

Wise Cottage Fries were big, thick, ridged potato chips. These were a major favorite of my late father’s, to the point where I had to be really careful about eating them when he wasn’t around. Forgetful as he sometimes was, my father had absolute total recall over All Things Cottage Fries. If a bag was emptied by any hand but his, there would be hell to pay.

(I wasn’t always so successful in resisting. The chips were wonderful, after all, and somehow the word “cottage” made them taste twice as good. Also of note: I believe these are still available in some foreign markets!) Read More…

Crystal Pepsi is BACK, baby!

I have a bottle of Crystal Pepsi! And it only cost as much as dinner for two!

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I can’t imagine that many of you missed the news, but yes, Pepsi — inspired by an online campaign spearheaded by competitive eater L.A. Beast — has dusted off perhaps its most famously infamous soft drink.

Several weeks ago, they ran an online contest which supplied thousands of lucky fans with brand new Crystal Pepsi six-packs. By my math, 80% of them ended up on eBay. While Crystal Pepsi is rumored to make its official return next summer, I just couldn’t wait that long. Enjoy your 35 bucks, dude from eBay. Read More…

The Christmas Fallout, 2015 Edition!

Christmas turned into a 96 hour party, and I am exhausted! The only proper penance is a month spent in a gym that doubles as a detox center. Instead I’ll just lie on the couch and subsist on those growing-oilier-by-the-day antipasto leftovers.

Welcome to Dino Drac’s Christmas Fallout… aka my annual chance to act like a shameless seven-year-old who can’t wait to show off his Christmas presents.

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The bright side of needing to buy so many Christmas presents is that I end up with quite a few myself. My family and friends have long since given up on using gifts to try to normalize me, and now seize the opportunity to just get me the weirdest stuff they can find. I’m all for it. I like being the only person on the planet who received a severed clown head for Christmas.

Below are many of the highlights. Feel free to discuss your own holiday hauls, in the comments!

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SO MANY BOOKS!

All I really wanted for Christmas was books, lots and lots of books. The week between Xmas and New Year’s was made for silly books, and the Christmas comedown is so much more bearable when I can spend it reading about Darth Vader and Thanos.

On the Thanos front, I’ll read any Marvel book that has even the most tangential tie to The Infinity Gauntlet. I haven’t touched the three shown above quite yet, so if this post reads like a rush job, it’s because I can’t wait to devour more stories about a conflicted purple demigod who can’t figure out if he’s shitty or awesome.

The Star Wars books were equally welcomed. I live for Star Wars “guide” books, where all of the fictional worlds and aliens are presented like really-real places and things. As much as I love the movies, books like the ones shown here are just as responsible for my continued Jedi passions. I’m never as good at tuning out the world as I am when armed with weird ass Star Wars encyclopedias. Read More…

Dino Drac’s Magical Christmas Robot!

As I write this, Christmas Eve is mere hours away. I still have sooo many things left to do. Gotta wrap the presents. Gotta make a billion stuffed mushrooms. Gotta figure out if I have even one single outfit that doesn’t make me look like a gothic mechanic. Gotta finish that bottle of Fireball, so I can open the next one without guilt.

Thank you x1000 for being a part of Dinosaur Dracula’s 2015 holiday celebration, which started way back in late August. I hate to see it end, but it wouldn’t be so special if it didn’t. The good news is, I’m not going anywhere. Regularly scheduled Dino Drac programming will resume right after Christmas!

Consider this next part my official thank-you for keeping the site — and by extension, me — going. Your endless support deserves so many trophies. You’re the best audience a person can hope for, and I’ll never take the fact that you’re all into the same weird shit as me for granted.

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I’m very lucky to have places to go this Christmas, where I’ll be surrounded by friends and family. There won’t be a dull moment.

But not everyone is so lucky. Some of you will be working. Others won’t have big plans, and some will have no plans. Whether a person celebrates Christmas or not, I hate the idea of anyone spending this part of the year feeling lonely or bored.

So I challenged Dino Drac — meaning the site’s mascot, not the site — to try to help. If your Christmas isn’t shaping up to be too stellar, I hope this will make it at least 5% better.

It took Dino Drac weeks to complete him, but he’s finally ready to take the stage. Presenting, THE SANTATRON 5000: Read More…

Toys from the 1994 JCPenney Catalog!

I wanted to sneak in one last catalog review before Santa makes his magic, so here I am, blithely ignoring the dozen Very Important Things that I must get done in the next 36 hours, all for you.

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This time, I’m pulling pages from the 1994 JCPenney Christmas catalog. I believe I would’ve been a high school freshman or possibly even a sophomore by that point, so my own experiences with these items were more of the cursory or “admire from afar” variety. It’s fun to see what I missed during that literal one year gap between when I was “allowed” to play with toys and when I discovered the “yo I’m a collector” loophole.

Below are a thousand words about eight things from the 1994 JCPenney Christmas catalog. Enjoy them.

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Top-Loading Nintendo!
($46.99)

I’d already moved onto the Super Nintendo when this came out, but even if I hadn’t, my original NES still worked fine. To this day, I don’t think I’ve seen a top-loading NES in person.

Also known as the NES-101 or NES 2, the system retailed for a modest fifty bucks — mainly by necessity, since it was “competing” with 16-bit systems. The system’s design lacked bulk and arguably seemed “cheaper” than the original Nintendo, but the truth was that the changes were largely improvements: The top-loading design made the system both easier to clean and not as apt to break.

From what I see, these top-loaders now fetch more money than the original systems, I think owing as much to their comparative rarity as the technical improvements. (There are gamer collectors much the same as there are toy collectors, and one needn’t necessarily “need” a top-loader to “want” it!) Read More…