Dinosaur Dracula!

Five Random Action Figures, Part 39!

Welcome to the 39th edition of Five Random Action Figures.

Just one more to go before I’ll have reviewed 200 different figures in this series, which I’ll of course use as an excuse to buy fancy old toys that aren’t already collecting dust in the unsightly bins stacked exactly four feet behind me.

Casey Jones
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989)

During the original TMNT boom years, Casey Jones was the man. In the cartoon, he came off like Jason Voorhees mixed with the Toxic Avenger mixed with Wolverine. In the live action movies, he was more like Captain Lone Starr mixed with a friendlier CM Punk. Both medleys worked. Crazy worked.

Naturally, the action figure was based on Casey’s appearance in the cartoon. I don’t know how to describe his outfit, other than to say that it looks like something you can only wear if you live on boiled chicken and Bowflex Max Trainers. I only live near them.

The mask is decidedly more “Jason” than “random goalie,” while the sneakers look like some special edition pair that were only on sale for one day at select boutiques. We all have our vices. Read More…

Five Dead Stores.

Apologies in advance for what promises to be a screwball article with narrow appeal. Sometimes I do these just for me.

Over the last few months, several of my favorite local stores went out of business. Before their sad remains are forever lost, I thought I’d pay tribute to them with thick paragraphs and overexposed photos.

Toys “R” Us!

This wasn’t my main Toys “R” Us, but it was my main backup. It’d been around since the 1990s, originally taking the spot of a Lionel Kiddie City. Up until a few weeks ago, you could still buy neon bikes there.

No matter how uniform the stores are supposed to look, each has its own identity. At this one, old stock would remain on clearance racks for far longer than the TRU norm. It wasn’t out of the question to find ten-year-old toys hiding in the nooks and crannies.

Some TRU stores just feel trapped in the past. In everything from the haircuts on the employees to the too-soft lighting, walking into this one was like walking into another time. I’m gonna miss it. Read More…

2017 Flea Market Finds, Part 1!

It’s flea market season, baby. An excuse to spend every weekend with grimy hands and a pocketful of also-grimy singles.

We had gorgeous weather on Sunday, so it was off to Englishtown, home of one of New Jersey’s biggest and longest-running flea markets. (…which you may remember from various Dino Drac articles over the past few years.)

The place was as packed as I’d ever seen it. Between the crowds, the mud and the heat, only the promise of cheap action figures kept me from hiding under a table until dusk.

Below are my best finds. I’d say I’m off to a decent start!

Dokken’s Dream Warriors Single on Vinyl! ($1)

SCORE. There are thousands of used records at this flea market, but I almost never sort through them. (I’m interested in so few records that it’s just not worth the time. For every “maybe,” I’d have to thumb through 2000 “definitely nos.”)

Fortunately, this obvious must-buy was sitting right on top of an open box. It’s Dokken’s 1987 Dream Warriors single, and I have no idea what it was doing in Englishtown. Best of all, the seller only wanted a buck, which even for a used, sun-beaten copy was an enormous steal.

As the theme for the same-named movie, Dream Warriors is one of my favorite “horror songs” ever, and the art on that sleeve is an absolute beast. The fact that there’s a photo of Freddy Krueger chilling with Dokken on the back just iced the cake. Read More…

Dino Drac’s April 2017 Funpack!

Go on, treat yourself. You deserve it. You deserve old gum and Addams Family trading cards.

Dino Drac’s April Funpack is here!

Obligatory spiel: I create and sell monthly Funpacks, stuffed with old and new nonsense. Without the profits from these boxes, I wouldn’t be able to run Dino Drac. So on top of getting cool boxes filled with neat stuff, you’re also ensuring another month’s worth of Kool-Aid reviews and video store trip reports.

The Funpacks are $25 per month, and that includes shipping. Subscriptions are handled via Paypal. For as long as you choose to stay subscribed, you’ll be billed automatically every month and continue to receive Funpacks! Of course, you can cancel at any time without penalty.

To all subscribers, old and new: Thank you so much for keeping the site afloat!

Let’s see what’s in store for the April 2017 Funpack!

This month’s Funpack is totally nuts, like Payday but less literally. There are over ten items in each box, from serious collectibles to awesome snacks to hypnotic Power Rangers stickers. I dare say that this month’s Funpack is so good that I’m already worried about trying to match it in May!

Jump to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to see everything you’ll get! Read More…

Freddy Krueger’s Bubble Gum?!

By the late ‘80s, Freddy Krueger had become so popular and so accepted that it was hard to continue looking at him through a “horror” lens.

As I mentioned on the Elm Street edition of the Purple Stuff Podcast, Freddy started to seem like an edgier version of Pee-wee Herman — not because their acts were similar, but because both were so weird yet so completely embraced by virtually everyone.

It wasn’t surprising that Freddy was a hit with adults, nor was it really surprising that he was a hit with teens. The shock was that Freddy was even popular among children, leading to more kid-targeted merchandise based on an R-rated serial killer than was arguably tasteful.

…and here’s the best proof ever:

Freddy’s Bubble Gum, released by Topps in 1989, was a product of its time in 50 different ways.

You only could’ve gotten away with something like this during the late ‘80s. It wouldn’t have flown before then, and any company that tried to make it fly after then would’ve at least hedged its bets by pretending the gum was some adult-targeted novelty item.

Tl;dr: 1989 was the best year to make bubble gum out of Freddy Krueger. Read More…

Eight Great Nintendo Bosses!

Tonight on Dino Drac: Eight great enemy bosses from various NES games.

(Note that they aren’t all final bosses, because sometimes the coolest bad guys aren’t the last ones.)

Super Macho Man
(Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!)

As World Circuit champ and top boxer not named Mike Tyson, there was plenty to love about Super Macho Man. For me, it started with his name, which I of course took to mean that he had something to do with Randy Savage. (He didn’t.)

I loved his ludicrous height. I loved his Spin Punch, and the dumb face he made when you smacked him afterward. I even loved his weirdly suggestive bouncing pecs.

Above all else, I loved his hair. I loved how it was grey on the pre-fight screen and then jet black in the ring. As a kid, I theorized that Super Macho Man was secretly ancient and vainly dyed his hair to hide it. (I’m sure the truth was more incidental, but it’s still a good theory.) Read More…