Dinosaur Dracula!

Before Ecto Cooler, there was Hi-C Citrus Cooler.

As most of you know, Ecto Cooler has retired again, with the remaining stock from its summer run now being liquidated at dollar stores and discount shops. Stock up while it lasts!

But here’s something that most of you don’t know: Ecto Cooler’s termination marks the end of a Hi-C flavor that can be traced back as far as the 1960s!

Yes, long before Ecto Cooler, there was Hi-C Citrus Cooler Drink. It even had the same ghoulish green hue!

Now, was it exactly the same as Ecto Cooler? Until I find a label from a late ‘80s version of Citrus Cooler, that’s impossible to know. But there’s room for doubt.

I can confirm that Citrus Cooler was an orange/lemon blend for at least a good long while, forgoing the tangerine additive that made Ecto Cooler so distinct. Hi-C also once had a totally separate tangerine flavor, so it’s possible that our dear Ecto was a weird amalgam of those two beverages.

Still, there’s an undeniable lineage here, and it’s impossible to look at Citrus Cooler as anything but the Goldeen to Ecto Cooler’s Seaking. Read More…

Purple Stuff Podcast: Snow Days!

Coming to you live from Dino Drac HQ, it’s Matt with a fever. And a cup of coffee. Which for some reason makes the fever feel ten times worse. Why am I drinking this?

Before I retire to the couch, lemme slide you the latest Purple Stuff Podcast. Been a while, hasn’t it?

This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit tackle twelve of our SNOWIEST and MOST WINTERY memories, covering everything from the Wampa to Freezy Freakies. It’s an eclectic but altogether ICY mix!

Give us a listen by clicking the giant, ugly play button down below!

You can also download this week’s episode by right-clicking here.

As a kid, snow days meant endless adventure and maybe even a sense of danger. In 2017, it’s just an excuse to hole up in my apartment and binge on bad television. To be honest, I think I like the adult version better. Blankets, soup and Roseanne reruns. I have simple needs. And a fever. Read More…

5 Spooky Unsolved Mysteries Segments!

If you missed the news, Unsolved Mysteries is FINALLY available in its ORIGINAL form. The first season is now streaming on Amazon Prime, and it’s totally free if you’re a Prime member.

As a huge fan of the series, I can’t overstate how big this is. Until now, seeing Unsolved Mysteries as it was originally broadcast was damn near impossible, with even the official DVD releases using modernized music and graphics.

While what’s available on Amazon is being presented as “the first season,” it’d be more accurate to call it a season’s worth of curated episodes. (The segments are neither in their proper order nor all present, but considering that we were blessed with 24 hours of vintage Unsolved Mysteries, it’s hard to complain!)

This show was and remains my #1 jam, and it’s such a thrill to see it in its original state. The old intro music! The funky ‘80s graphics! ROBERT STACK IN FRONT OF BOOKCASES!

It hasn’t lost a step. I’ve had to sleep with the lights on all week. As fascinating as the show was, Unsolved Mysteries was uniquely creepy, and I honestly can’t think of anything else that’s given me so much pause for so long a time.

If you enjoy being freaked out, go on and watch it. (Even if you don’t have Amazon Prime, the episodes only cost a buck a piece.)

Below are summaries of five of the spookiest segments currently available on Amazon. If you’re new to the series and want to experience it at maximum panic, these segments will get the job done.

A warning, though: These aren’t “fun” stories. They’re about absolutely ghastly crimes. Stop reading now if you only come to Dino Drac for fluffy stuff, because you ain’t gonna leave this article laughing. Read More…

Comic Book Ads, Volume 11!

After picking up so many cheap books from that comic show, I’m now flush with vintage print ads. That’s all I’m really after when I buy comics, anyway. Don’t care what Thor is up to. Just want to see hero shots of SweeTarts.

Below are five of the coolest ads I’ve found so far, covering everything from Striped Chips Ahoy to Super Mario Shampoo.

Super Mario Shampoo!
Avengers West Coast #66, January 1991

Super Mario sure was a golden goose back then, huh? We went wild for anything that bore his likeness, up to and including shampoo!

The print ad is colorful, but I’m not sure that “Mario and the Princess bathe children” would’ve been my first pitch. Still, the artist obviously had fun with this, subtly implying that the shampoo was thick enough to make your head look like a giant sundae.

I love that the shampoo and bubble bath were made by Revlon, which presumably guaranteed some degree of quality. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, cartoony toiletries were more commonly produced by fly-by-night companies that’d sooner relabel motor oil as “conditioner” than spend the extra five bucks to do it right. Read More…

Vintage Mountain Berry Punch Kool-Aid!

I’m gonna drink really old Kool-Aid, but first I gotta preamble your ass.

I enjoyed Kool-Aid all through childhood, of course, but I’ve been collecting Kool-Aid all through adulthood. The “collecting” part was spurred by the Kool-Aid FAQ, a late ‘90s web doc that opened my eyes to how personally enriching a life spent hunting old Kool-Aid packets could be.

Well, maybe that’s overstating the case, but it did make me gaga for old Kool-Aid.

I’ve been hunting vintage Kool-Aid since the early 2000s. It’s a surprisingly workable hobby, too. As with any good collectible, there are commons, rares and ultra rares. Like any addictive game, you can play it slow-and-steady on the cheap, or pay too much money to get ahead quickly.

There are enough Kool-Aid flavors to keep even the most dedicated collectors busy for years, yet not so many that someone with a completist attitude would wonder what the point is.

I’ve gotten some blowback about my Kool-Aid obsession, as if it’s outside even the rubber band borders of geekdom. Then I watch people collect those Funko things or whatever, and I’m like, shit, Kool-Aid makes way more sense.

…and that brings me to Mountain Berry Punch, my most recent acquisition. The flavor was introduced in 1985, though this particular packet is probably from ‘89 or ‘90.

Several Kool-Aid flavors are only vaguely defined, but calling one of them “Mountain Berry Punch” was almost cruelly perplexing. (Only through an educated guess may we surmise that it was intended to be a strawberry/raspberry hybrid.) Read More…