If you’ve got the post-holiday blues, I’m have the cure: A BOX OF AWESOME JUNK.
($25 / MONTH SUBSCRIPTION BOX. UNITED STATES ONLY.)
Dino Drac’s January 2017 Funpack is here, and I’ll be straight with you… it’s an important one. This site is funded almost exclusively through Funpack subscriptions, and when I say that there’d be no site without them, it’s not even a tiny exaggeration. Huge, huge thanks to anyone who is (or who has been) a subscriber, because you are literally the thing that lets me do this!
Putting so much time into a site like this means rolling the dice on the future. I consider it a gamble worth making, but I also gotta stay above water in the present. The number of subscriptions coming out of this month will have a direct impact on how much Dino Drac there will be in 2017!
…but maybe that’s just lucky timing, because this month’s Funpack is seriously bitchin’, and I’m super proud of how it turned out!
As a reminder, subscriptions are $25 a month (including shipping) and you can cancel at any time without penalty. For as long as you stay subscribed, you’ll get a new box of retro-and-new nonsense, each and every month!
Scroll to the bottom for additional ordering info, or keep reading to see EVERYTHING that’s included in the January 2017 Funpack. Around a dozen items in every box! Read More…
Over the weekend, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit visited a little comic book show in Clifton, New Jersey. (We went to the same show last year, if you wanna see what little New Jersey comic shows actually look like.)
We were both hunting the same thing: Cheap, unloved comic books. Several of the dealers had longboxes filled with wildly inexpensive comics. My best finds were from the “50 for $20” boxes, but I even saw one dealer selling 100 comics for that much. Score!
For those dealers, it’s less about profit margins and more about getting anything out of old books that they’d otherwise throw away to make space. Fortunately for me, those are exactly the kinds of comics that I love best. (Hell, I end up dissecting most of them for the retro ads, anyway.)
I went home with 100+ issues and the sore arms to prove it. Below are ten of my favorite finds, featuring everyone from Slimer to Serpentor. When you’re done here, go check out Jay’s list to see his best grabs!
Madballs #6, October 1987
Madballs #6 introduced the lovely Madbelle, created by Dr. Frankenbeans with the hopes of driving hot-blooded Madballs into fits of jealous rage. His plan backfired, but at least we got this insanely great cover out of it. Read More…
Let’s head back to the ‘90s to go grocery shopping. Assume we have a time machine and low aspirations. And that I’m the tallest.
Below: Eight great junk foods from the 1990s, immortalized in old newspaper advertisements.
Wise Crazy Calypso Chips!
Augh, finally! I’ve been trying to dig up evidence of these DELICIOUS THINGS for close to a decade! Wise’s Crazy Calypso chips might sound only a little offbeat by today’s standards, but back in the early ‘90s, this was a big stretch.
Wise’s prior flavors included regular, barbecue and sour cream & onion, and then WHAM, they smacked you in the face with SWEET & SPICY CARIBBEAN STYLE CRAZY CALYPSO CHIPS. Minds could not process! We’ve since had like 250 additional varieties of Wise chips, and by all rights, they still shouldn’t be up to Crazy Calypso.
Perhaps that’s why the flavor was short-lived. The public just wasn’t ready for THAT LEVEL of chip. It’s a shame, because these were honestly some of the best potato chips that I’ve ever eaten. They tasted like they’d been dusted with dehydrated french dressing. So good.
Hostess Ninja Turtles Pies!
Colloquially known as Turtle Pies, these were generous squirts of vanilla pudding trapped inside calzone-like shells that were then frosted with green icing. A figurative and literal mouthful. They looked like Ninja Turtle kidneys, and biting into one was like popping the world’s largest zit.
I’m not a fan of pudding pies in general, but there was something uniquely spirited about Turtle Pies. They were like the perfect blend of Toys “R” Us and the trashy corner store. Now that Ecto Cooler made its return, I’d call Hostess Turtle Pies the next big thing that has to come back. Read More…
Welcome to the 36th edition of Five Random Action Figures, featuring alien brains and bounty hunters and Henry Silva. We’re gonna have a time.
Star Wars (1979)
Arguably the coolest figure in the entire Star Wars collection, Boba Fett looks like a stormtrooper mixed with a carnival. The figure’s suit is lined with nondescript tools and mysterious pockets, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who spent hours wondering what purposes they served.
Tl; dr: Even Fett’s left leg was more interesting than most action figures.
Like the character, Boba Fett’s toy has a winding history. Before The Empire Strikes Back premiered, Kenner used Fett to drum up interest in their soon-to-expand toy line. The figure was initially advertised with a “rocket firing” mechanism, one that proved too dangerous to actually execute. Though a few prototypes of that figure exist, a mutant strain of the Mandela Effect led scores of Star Wars fans to distinctly remember owning a rocket firing Fett. (None did.)
There aren’t many Star Wars figures that take nearly this much textual geekery to explain. Thank you, Boba Fett, for helping me lose the audience early. Read More…
I have a special sort of nostalgia for old horror movie newspaper ads.
While I’m now a fan of scary movies, they terrified me as a kid, in that “do not touch” sort of way. Catching movie promos on television was a daily risk, but there was something even spookier about the newspaper ads, which were usually just a page away from Garfield and Snoopy.
I couldn’t put my finger on why, but I think the reason is in that paragraph. I was unlikely to see a trailer for Pumpkinhead on television, because Pumpkinhead wasn’t advertised during cartoons. In the newspaper, all bets were off. There could be a Pumpkinhead ad right under the crossword puzzle, next to a pitch for Oliver & Company.
The genre freaked me out, but it also intrigued me. I’d stare at those ads and imagine dank theaters full of hoodlums and hedonists. I believed horror movies to be “dangerous” in a pretty literal way, which of course made them seem twenty times more interesting.
Below: Another batch of horror movie newspaper ads from the ‘80s and ‘90s, acting as the sequel to this older Dino Drac article.
Wow, check out this drive-in’s doubleheader: Ghoulies AND A Nightmare on Elm Street! I couldn’t dream up a more perfect evening. Just me, Freddy, a 1978 Chevrolet Malibu, and maybe some nachos from the snack shack.
Given its iconic status as a home video rental, it’s hard for me to register that Ghoulies even had a theatrical release. This ad proves that its famous pitch was there from the start: “This movie has monsters in toilets, and you as a rational person should not ignore that.”
The Ultimate Double Creature! (1986)
In what appears to have been a nationwide promotion, moviegoers could see both Aliens and The Fly for the price of a single ticket. Not bad!
I suspect that many who took ‘em up on that offer needed a day to recover. After all, neither Aliens nor The Fly are “light” horror movies by any stretch. To this day, I still treat Aliens like a “big event” movie, and approach it with trepidation. The Fly is a bit less intense, but it compensates with that shot of Jeff Goldblum upchucking buggy stomach acid. Read More…