Dinosaur Dracula!

2016’s Hottest Holiday Junk Food, Part 1!

The Christmas/holiday season never beats Halloween on the candy front, but you still get plenty of reasons to jump for junk food joy and gain forty pounds.

Judging by what I’ve seen so far, the 2016 season brings an unusually robust assortment, with all manner of chips and chocolates competing for my debit swipes. If you’re into this sort of thing, below are five foods to keep an eye out for!

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Christmas Crunch Cereal!

Ahh, they finally updated the box! This is huge!

Christmas Crunch fans openly pleaded with Quaker to ditch the previous box design, not because it was bad, but because they’d used it for four straight years. Christmas Crunch is one of the season’s tastiest traditions, yes, but it was hard to act like buying the exact same cereal in the exact same box was just as exciting after the fourth consecutive year.

It’s why General Mills makes such a big deal about their annually-changing Monster Cereal box designs. Even if they do occasionally misfire (and I concede that this year’s “election” theme was in retrospect a big wah-wahh), those cereals would never maintain their online buzz without the yearly art swaps.

So thanks for takin’ care of business, Quaker. The new-for-2016 design has some detractors, but I friggin’ LOVE it. With Cap’n Crunch subtly evoking Clark Griswold, it’s a merry mess of snow and string lights. I like how it blends in-your-face Christmas imagery with that “nondenominationally icy” stuff. Mixing the two is a way cool look.

GRADE: A. Read More…

Dino Drac’s November Funpack!

If you could use a pick-me-up this holiday season, gimme your money!

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(UNITED STATES ONLY. LIMITED QUANTITIES AVAILABLE!)

Dino Drac’s November 2016 Funpack is available now!

For the few newbies: I sell monthly Funpacks. Without them, there would be no Dino Drac! In return for your patronage, you’ll receive boxes of retro-and-new goodies for as long as you stay subscribed. Subscriptions are $25 per month (including shipping), and you can cancel at any time without penalty.

Scroll to the bottom for more info. First, let’s see what’s inside the November 2016 Funpack!

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This month’s Funpack mixes vintage collectibles with some other stuff that’s just perfect for Thanksgiving. Like cans of blue slime. There are over ten items in every box! Read More…

“Animation Wars,” from December of 1990.

In December of 1990, I borrowed my brother-in-law’s camcorder to film Animation Wars and Animation Wars: Part II. Now there’s an opener you didn’t expect.

Watch ‘em both, down below:

I was already dabbling with stop-motion shorts before then, but after learning that my brother-in-law’s camera had a feature that automatically shot one second of video every thirty seconds, I knew that I was on the cusp of my opus. (Or opuses, as the case was.)

Animation Wars and its sequel starred my collection of vintage Star Wars figures. Even by 1990, Kenner’s Star Wars collection was long discontinued, and not more than two of those figures were leftovers from my childhood. The rest were procured through classifieds from the back of Starlog, and at the occasional flea market. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 34!

Since we’re in the thick of Dino Drac’s 2016 holiday celebration, I’m adding a special theme to this edition of Five Random Action Figures.

In this batch, every figure has something to do with ice or snow. This despite the fact that it still won’t be winter even a month from now. Really, I just wanted to mess with tiny styrofoam snowballs. (Give me this! I have so little.)

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a5Sub-Zero
G.I. Joe (1990)

According to his file card, Sub-Zero was the Joes’ “Winter Operations Specialist,” which sounds like one of those bullshit designations you give to ambitious worker bees.

“Oh yes, Mr. Habershaw! We see big things from you as our new… uhhh… Master of Cold! Now put on this wackadoo uniform and then go stand in the snow forever.”

I’m apathetic towards Sub-Zero, who arrived long after I’d stopped paying serious attention to the G.I. Joe universe. What immediately strikes me is that this 1990 figure looks so much like one Hasbro would’ve put out five years prior, with the sort of antiquely stoic facial sculpt that more befit 1985 than the rad-to-the-bone 1990s.

With removable snow shoes and a giant machine gun being only two of Sub-Zero’s awesome accessories, I’m still more drawn to that weird ass hood of his. Now I know what’d come out if both Dorothy and Sophia entered one of the telepods from The Fly. Read More…

Toys from the 1991 JCPenney Catalog!

Ahhh, can you feel it? That crisp morning chill! Those extra thick retail catalogs! This divisive election that threatens to split the world in half like a coconut! Yes indeed, CHRISTMAS is in the air!

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Okay, maybe it’s a little early, but I’ll tell you this: As a kid, it was always at this point in November that I started to work on my Christmas wish lists.

That was the era of the Sears Wish Book and similarly giant catalogs. Hundreds of pages filled with toys and video games and unsightly sweatpants, all ripe for the wanting. Some of my fondest holiday memories involve me sprawled out on the living room floor, mapping out my wish list on a legal pad.

I had nice Christmases, but in practice, my wish lists were largely ignored. If I had to assign the problem a crux, it was the fact that I always gave Mom my list no later than November 10th. She was more the type to shop on December 20th, and definitely not the type to hold onto a list of toys for over a month.

Still, I doubt that receiving my exact wants would’ve been nearly as fun as simply picking them out. Paging through those catalogs and dreaming about plastic garbage was the kid version of imagining the aftermath of a lottery win. You don’t really believe it’s gonna happen, but the sweet dreams are worth whatever investment.

Below: Seven toys plucked from the 1991 JCPenney Christmas catalog, which for all intents was the fraternal twin of the Sears Wish Book. (Same shit, different composition.)

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TMNT Technodrome Playset!
($49.99)

Every time I look at the Technodrome, I bleed. Despite being a major TMNT nut at the time, I never got my hands on this playset. How could I let such an obviously great time slip through my fingers?

Judging by the “open” view in that photo, I see that it isn’t nearly as spacious or intricate as the me-of-the-’90s imagined. On the other hand, I knew the trick with these action figure playsets. If you filled them with figures from different, smaller lines, they all turned into plastic paradises. I don’t know exactly how many TMNT figures fit inside the Technodrome, but I bet that bitch coulda held at least fifty G.I. Joes.

(I was a playset junkie, by the way. Without playsets, I wouldn’t have had any idea what to do with my action figures. I wasn’t so imaginative with “wars on the battlefield” or other such dramas, but I sure knew how to make four inch monsters fight over “who got the house.”) Read More…