Dinosaur Dracula!

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 2!

It’s time for the second edition of Five Retro TV Commercials, the series that I actually spent negative seconds coming up with a name for.

All five commercials in this round are from the mid ‘80s, when I was just the right age to see them 20000 times. Every frame you’re about to see is now permanently IN me. I still can’t go a week without quoting Jimmy from the Polly-O String Cheese ad.

Colossal Fossil Ice Pops! (1980s)

Finally! I knew I had this commercial buried somewhere, but it’s taken me over a decade to find it. My impression is that not very many people remember Good Humor’s Colossal Fossil pops, but holy shit did I love these things.

Each lemonade popsicle hid a gummy dinosaur, so eating one was like embarking on an archaeological dig, but better, because instead of bones you were excavating candy. I lifted the bulk of this paragraph from my 1st grade diary, pretty much verbatim. Can you tell?

Colossal Fossil ice pops taught me that gummy candies are way better frozen. No matter how weird that sounds, I swear, it’s true. Throw a bunch of inch-tall bears in the freezer sometime. Once you try them, you’ll wanna straight up pay me for the tip. Read More…

Remembering Cloverfield’s hype train.

If you missed the shocking news, 10 Cloverfield Lane — which will apparently have something to do with the original Cloverfield — debuts this March. Oh. My. God.

The first film — in particular the marketing of it — captured me in a way that few things do, to the point where I regularly spent hours a day reading theories, devising theories, and scouring the internet for whatever scraps of info I could find. (And no doubt, there were a lot of us doing that.)

The only people who know 10 Cloverfield Lane’s true ties to Cloverfield obviously aren’t talking, but fans are already all over it, combing the trailer frame by frame for clues. It’s just like the old days!

If you’ve seen Cloverfield but never bothered with the pre-release mysteries, here’s a crash course about what went down:

The first trailer was attached to Transformers and hit theaters in July of 2007. At that point, the movie hadn’t even been officially titled, with “1-18-08” — the film’s release date — becoming its nickname.

This trailer was intentionally mysterious, and the initial theories were subsequently wild. (A line spoken in the trailer was frequently misheard to reference “a lion,” leading some to believe that this was going to be a live action Voltron movie, of all things.)

Still, considering the Godzilla-esque roar heard just prior to an enormous explosion, most people understood this to be some kind of “giant monster movie.” But that was literally all we knew. Read More…

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 1!

Welcome to Dino Drac’s latest series, Five Retro TV Commercials!

I thought it was silly to limit my “commercial posts” to the holidays, especially since so many of my favorite TV commercials have zero to do with Halloween or Christmas. So here we are. I expected more fanfare.

Each entry in this series will examine five commercials from the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s. They’ve all been pulled from my personal tape collection, which has now grown so large that it was either do this series or say “fuck it” and build a tape igloo. Enjoy.

(Or don’t, so I have an excuse to build the tape igloo.)

Pogo Bal! (1980s)

Ah yes, the Pogo Bal, so named because “Saturn-Shaped Trampoline Thing That Always Injures You” just didn’t have a nice ring to it.

I so badly wanted to be a pro Pogo Baller, but I could only ever get the thing to act as a catapult, which me of course as the unwitting grapeshot. Given the Pogo Bal’s popularity, I assume others had better luck.

I shouldn’t be surprised. We could be in the kitchen and you can ask me to grab a spoon, and I’d still manage to free the entire San Diego Zoo in the process. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 24!

It’s time for the 24th (!!!) edition of Five Random Action Figures, the series in which I write too many words about chunks of old plastic.

This time, I’m covering a red monkey, a red dragon, a grey robot, a man who is also a horse, and the guy from A Clockwork Orange. Read that like you’re listing off the performers from an awards show. It’s fun, right?


Primal Rage (1994)

You couldn’t possibly understand this until you’ve experienced it, but owning a flaming red yeti dramatically improves one’s entire life.

Chaos is one of the bad guys (well, bad monsters) from Playmates’ Primal Rage collection. I never paid much attention to the video game that inspired the toys, but the action figures were impossibly fetching. (They were also kept on the shelves at KB Toys practically until the place closed, so even kids who never bought a single figure probably knew all of them.)

Acting as the Negaduck to Blizzard’s Darkwing Duck, Chaos mixes mad science with black magic in his quest to rule the world. As if an action figure of a Christmas-colored sasquatch wasn’t enough of a draw, Chaos’s hollow belly lets him store-and-squirt water through a pinhole in his mouth. (It’s officially known as a “Churl Attack,” but if I make a little neon monkey squirt water on someone, I’m calling it “spit.”)

Primal Rage figures typically command high prices nowadays, but if you can find them cheap enough, they’re always worth picking up. Still, I can’t honestly say that the remaining figures are nearly as cool as Chaos. I mean, look at him. Total opus. Read More…

Purple Stuff Podcast: Pop Culture Mascots!

I’m a sucker for brand and product mascots, no matter if they’re promoting toys, vacation destinations or goddamned fabric softener. So long as they’re cute and so long as they seem like good company for a lazy Sunday spent watching bad movies on the couch, I’m so in.


…and that’s the subject of this week’s Purple Stuff Podcast. Me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit are tackling ten of our favorite pop culture mascots, ranging from Geoffrey the Giraffe to the Cadbury Bunny.

(For the record, we kind of just picked a random ten, not the very best ten. Otherwise I’d have to punch myself to excluding the Noid.)

We also share our thoughts on the revived Crystal Pepsi, which we’ve both tasted!

Give us a listen by clicking the enormous play button below:


You can also download the show directly right here.

The Purple Stuff Podcast is also on iTunes, Stitcher and Podbean.

Without the holidays to guide us through this awful stretch of the year, we’re currently aiming to do at least two shows per month.

What are some of your favorite mascots? Talk about ‘em in the comments! I didn’t realize until prepping for this show just how nuts I used to be for so many of them. Some I wanted as pets, others as friends, and still others just seemed like great icons for ironic t-shirts. I’m a total cradle-to-grave slave to capitalism. Come play Scrabble with me, Cheesasaurus Rex! Read More…