Dinosaur Dracula!

The Complete History of WCW’s Yeti.

Let’s talk about the Yeti. Even if you’ve never watched wrestling, you might’ve heard of him. (Maybe from me, come to think of it!)

The Yeti is widely considered to be one of pro-wrestling’s worst-ever characters, and through an objective lens, I can’t disagree. He was a seven foot dude covered in so much gauze that he could barely walk. His one wrestling maneuver was best described as a dry hump. He was also very obviously a MUMMY.

He was easy to make fun of and everyone did, but I loved the Yeti, and in fact once ordered a high-priced PPV event specifically to see him. The monsters of wrestling always fascinated me, and I can’t throw too much shade at one that pushed the envelope this far.

Below: The history of wrestling’s infamous abominable snowman, in WrestleCrap GIF style. (Hi, RD!)

Before we get to the Yeti’s stunning debut, I need to set the stage.

In 1994, Hulk Hogan joined World Championship Wrestling. That probably wouldn’t have happened had Vince McMahon not believed that Hulk’s best days were behind him, but even if they were, Hogan was a huge score for a wrestling company that had long been #2.

A year or so later, a new stable of monster-themed wrestlers was introduced. Led by “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan, the Dungeon of Doom’s entire reason for being was to destroy Hulkamania. In storyline terms, at least.

Behind the scenes, the Dungeon of Doom was conceived to ease Hogan’s transition and make him less paranoid about his new wrestling home. It was no coincidence that the stable was filled with wrestlers that Hogan was already familiar with from his WWF days. Some he considered outright friends. These were safe guys to wrestle and none of them posed any threat to him.

I won’t pretend that the Dungeon of Doom wasn’t hokey. The stablemates included a headhunting cannibal and a human shark, after all. It wasn’t a critical success, but I’d have to call it a commercial one: WCW got a lot of mileage out of some pretty cheap tools.

Now let’s get to that damn Yeti: Read More…

TMNT Crunchabungas!

I am now the proud owner of a sealed bag of TMNT Crunchabungas. I’m not lying!

Though the packages are dated 1990, research suggests that TMNT Pizza Crunchabungas didn’t hit stores until early ‘91. The snacks debuted at the very height of Turtlemania, when our green heroes were basically the sickly reptilian version of the Beatles.

While Hostess’s TMNT Pudding Pies and Ralston’s TMNT Cereal were undoubtedly more famous, I’d call Crunchabungas the Turtles’ tastiest menu option. Most character-branded snacks merely redress something that already exists in one form or another, but Crunchabungas were 100% custom. There had never been anything exactly like them before, and there hasn’t been anything like them since.

The crunchy morsels looked like pieces of Honeycomb, but had rougher textures. Naturally, they were pizza-flavored, and with the possible exception of Keebler Pizzarias, Crunchabungas were the best pizza-flavored ANYTHING EVER. Read More…

My 1987 Birthday Party.

Today is my birthday. I’m super old. 900, basically. But it wasn’t always this way.

On February 6th, 1987, I had a birthday party. A bunch of boys from my second grade class came over to do what boys do. One of them gave me Optimus Prime socks.

That’s me, at the party.

Back then, kiddy birthday parties were usually small productions, amounting to little more than “visits with cake.”

(That’s my way to skirt guilt over having apparently spent the bulk of the party holed up in my bedroom, playing Spy Hunter on the Atari 2600. What a host I was!) Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 37!

I normally only cover vintage toys on Five Random Action Figures, but this time, let’s try something different. Below are five figures that are still in stores, proving that new stuff can be just as awesome as old stuff, and less grimy to boot.

Macho Michelangelo!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Superstars (2016)

Yes, this is a real thing. Michelangelo dressed as Randy “Macho Man” Savage. WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS TEN, MACHO MIKEY?

Mikey is part of a growing series of TMNT/WWE mashups, and for my money, he’s the best of them. Oh, and speaking of money, be prepared to drop $30 or more if you want one of these. I’d say that they cost too much, but you can’t expect Ninja Turtles dressed like WWE superstars if you’re not willing to foot a portion of the licensing fees.

Some fans think that Raphael would’ve been a better fit for Savage, but since Macho Man’s most prolific bandana was pretty orange, I think Mikey was the natural choice.

Macho Mikey is heavy, well-detailed and has enough points of articulation to pull off each and every of Dean Malenko’s 1000 moves. A splurge for sure, but how could anyone resist such an action figure miracle? Read More…

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 12!

Let’s forget our troubles with grainy videos of cheesy ‘80s commercials. Here’s the latest edition of Five Retro TV Commercials, featuring everything from robots to Skeletor to space aliens. (Times were good!)

He-Man & Quik Sweepstakes! (1980s)

Back in ’84, Nestle teamed up with Mattel for a Masters of the Universe sweepstakes, where a lucky few kids would win the entire set of He-Man toys. Contests like this were TORTURE!

This wasn’t the only time that a complete set of He-Man toys was used as promotional bait. Every time it happened, I’d lose a week to daydreams about a roomful of playsets and action figures. I’d imagine a parade of mailmen carting the presumed 50+ shipping boxes into our house and up the stairs. It was glorious.

Kids are optimistic to the point of detriment, and I never entered a contest without being 100% sure that I was gonna win. Naturally, I never did. The fantasies would then turn to nightmares, and the plastic Eternians that had so recently been my muses became mocking gods.

Bright side: If I played my cards right, I could parlay that visible misery into a trip to Toys “R” Us. Sometimes, it was easier for Mom to spend five bucks than deal with me. God, I wish I could still get rewards for crying. Read More…