Shrinky Dinks were invented in the early ‘70s, but it wasn’t until the ‘80s that their popularity exploded. That’s when the color-and-bake sheets of polystyrene plastic caught the attention of major toy companies, leading to dedicated Shrinky Dinks sets for He-Man, Rainbow Brite and every neon weirdo in between.
The sets are still in production today, but the themes are usually of the generic sort. (Think ballerinas and mermaids.) Sadly, Shrinky Dinks have become so obscure that only a small fraction of you were probably even aware of their continued existence.
If you grew up during their heyday, you know that they deserve better!
Take this Real Ghostbusters Shrinky Dinks kit, for example. Like Taylor Dayne’s Tell it to My Heart, it’s from 1988.
If you’ve forgotten how Shrinky Dinks work, don’t worry. I totally ruined my vintage set for your benefit. Remember this when I’m older and grayer and need major surgery. Here’s to 2017. Read More…
I’ll say one thing about this year’s crop of Halloween junk food: It sure is big.
Sooo many brands are only now taking their first swings at Halloween or autumnal releases, and good luck trying to sample it all by October 31st. The 2016 season hasn’t had many shout-from-the-rooftop standouts, but if going by sheer volume, it’s been aces.
Here are five more junk foods that you need to eat — or at least take a picture of — before Halloween:
Entenmann’s Halloween Donuts!
Um, YES. There are a whole bunch of Halloween treats out from Entenmann’s, but for my money, nothing pops quite like this “simple” box of donuts.
Joining the mainstay chocolate and white powdered varieties is an ORANGE powdered version. The orange donuts don’t taste any different from the white ones, but flavor isn’t the point. The draw is that they look like Halloween in its purest form. Linus would serve these to the Great Pumpkin.
This feels like a throwback to the Halloween promotions of the ‘80s and ‘90s, when the focus wasn’t on potential internet buzz. There’s nothing flashy or provocative about orange donuts, and that’s why I love them. They’re the cheap plastic hockey masks of Halloween snacks, where perfection is achieved while you’re still in first gear.
GRADE: A+. Read More…
If you like to spend the Halloween season making frivolous purchases, this should be up your alley:
($20 SHIPPED VIA PRIORITY MAIL! UNITED STATES ONLY!)
Yes, it’s the return of Dino Drac’s Envelope of Evil! The third edition is stuffed with strange reading material and goofy goodies, and you can take it all home for twenty bucks shipped! (Via Priority Mail, to boot!)
I should warn the pickier among you that Dino Drac’s October Funpack is debuting in just a few days, so if you can only afford to buy one stupid thing from me, I won’t hold it against you if you’d prefer to wait. That said, quantities are super limited, and once these are gone, they ain’t coming back! Read More…
Welcome back to Vicious Videocassette Boxes, an ongoing series of tributes to… vicious videocassette boxes.
There are many who collect old tapes out of sincere affinity for the format, but I’ll come out and admit that I treat videocassettes more as decorations. They’re like little three-dimensional posters, and I like to clap them like fragile chalkboard erasers.
Still, while most of these movies have been been re-released in more modern formats, there’s something to be said for watching them this way. Improved picture and sound do not always make for improved viewing experiences. All that fuzz and hissing often complement the intended ambiance!
Blockbuster Presents: Halloween! (1995)
I shouldn’t need to tell you that this wasn’t Halloween’s first VHS release. More incredible is that fact that it wasn’t even its last!
I already had the original release, but how could I turn down a version that preyed on my Michael Myers fanship and my nostalgia for Blockbuster Video?
The box design was exclusive to Blockbuster’s version, though I suppose it was no improvement over the original’s “stabbing pumpkin” logo. On the other hand, the original design never made me think of paper-thin carpets and Nestle Goobers. Read More…
Ah, finally! It’s Mood Table time!
I invented the Halloween Mood Table back in 2007. That year, I was all out of sorts over various personal issues, and completely lost my Halloween spirit. The Mood Table was how I got it back.
I’ve made one every year since, and along the way, hundreds of people have joined the fun. I’m weirdly proud to say that there are now people building Halloween Mood Tables and calling them Halloween Mood Tables despite having no idea who I am.
Getting strangers to put orange candles and rubber spiders on top of their nightstands? I could think of worse legacies.
Think of the Mood Table as Halloween’s Christmas tree. It can be huge and gaudy, or it can be small and spartan. All that matters is that it matters to you. The only “rule” is to create a space where Halloween remains visually alive, 24 hours a day. It exists to feed your Halloween spirit. The more I type, the more I sound like Evil Yoda.
Thar she blows. My 2016 Halloween Mood Table.
It’s a big departure from my norm. It’s also just big. After my 2014 and 2015 Mood Tables pushed the boundaries of what could reasonably be accomplished with two 1970s coffee tables purchased at the world’s worst flea market, I decided I needed an upgrade.
This year, the Halloween Mood Table uses an electric fireplace as its base, which I’m of course counting as part of the Mood Table. I’m going for a sort of Freddy Krueger boiler room vibe. As usual, the Mood Table is topped with (and surrounded by) more monsters and creatures than I could begin to catalog. It’s like all of my ugliest toys came alive and decided to throw a luau. Read More…
It’s October! I know you’re all waiting for my Halloween Mood Table (Coming tomorrow!), but I wanted to celebrate the arrival of MONTH #10 with a special bonus weekend update.
So here’s me, dressed like a vampire, reviewing 50 bucks’ worth of Halloween garbage.
I went on a Halloween shopping spree at CVS, you see. I kind of dropped that habit years ago, since CVS’s spooky stuff runs on the pricier side, and often pales in comparison to what other chains carry. Still, I think I did okay. I mean, I’m now the proud owner of a 18” light-up skull. Hard to call that a loss. Read More…