Dinosaur Dracula!
  • The 1994 Toys “R” Us Big Toy Book!

    The arrival of a new holiday season means more ancient toy catalog reviews on Dino Drac. Yay! Shown above is the 1994 edition of Toys “R” Us’s Big Toy Book. By then, the Big Toy Book was far and away the most important holiday catalog out there, taking the top spot from the Sears Wis

  • 12 Awesome Holiday Tunes!

    At the start of the holiday season, I always have grand plans dancing in my head. I imagine a December filled with yuletide adventures, where half of my waking moments will be spent among blinking lights, brisk winds and spiked punches. Eventually, the reality sets in: December may look pr

  • More Highlights from the ’89 Wish Book!

    Let’s dig up more highlights from the 1989 Sears Wish Book. I’ve already plucked a dozen of the catalog’s best items for an older Dino Drac article, but it seemed silly to waste the rest of it. After all, Sears Wish Books have more pages than most novels, and beyond the 8-12 items th

  • Christmas Eve, 1986.

    Christmas Eve, 1986. That was the big one. My family’s biggest Christmas party ever, with a houseful of rarely seen aunts and uncles, kids under every table, well-wishing passersby, one dog and two ferrets. It was insane. One of my cousins filmed the highlights on our clunky Panasonic vi

  • Dino Drac’s Stuffed Artichokes Recipe!

    Let’s talk about artichokes. Many of you do not fully comprehend artichokes, and that’s understandable. They’re vegetables with fifteen asterisks, and they look like tiny sleeping Audrey IIs. Hell, even I don’t fully comprehend them. Nevertheless, in my family, no Thanksgiving or C

  • Dino Drac’s Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe!

    Well, here’s my recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing — a perfect fit for this ‘80s/’90s nostalgia blog. Stuffing is my only must-have Thanksgiving dish. The turkey is okay and I love a good artichoke, but all I really need is the stuffing. Piles of it. Enough to build a decoy Matt

  • Toys from the 1993 JCPenney Catalog!

    Sit. Make a cup of coffee. Wrap yourself one of those $10 throw blankets, because I know they’re your vice. This one’s gonna take a while. Below are nine finds from the 1993 JCPenney Christmas catalog, a 600+ page behemoth filled with toys and video games and lime green lingerie. I wou

  • 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! Okay, maybe it’s a little early, but I’ll tell you this: As a kid, it was always at

  • Toys from the 1994 JCPenney Catalog!

    I wanted to sneak in one last catalog review before Santa makes his magic, so here I am, blithely ignoring the dozen Very Important Things that I must get done in the next 36 hours, all for you. This time, I’m pulling pages from the 1994 JCPenney Christmas catalog. I believe I would’ve

  • The Purple Stuff Podcast’s Christmas Show!

    It’s a Christmas miracle! The Purple Stuff Podcast has returned! For those who don’t follow me on Twitter, yeah, we decided to take it easy with the schedule this month, because December is riotously busy and something had to give. We didn’t want to miss our chance to do

  • Kay-Bee Toys’ 1991 Holiday Clearance Sale!

    I love all of the toy store circulars that come with newspapers during the holiday season, even if the present definition limits that to Toys “R” Us and individual pity pages from Target and Walmart. You know what we’re missing? Kay-Bee Toys! I’ve written about Kay-Bee (later KB) m

  • Eight ’80s Xmas Specials You Might’ve Forgotten.

    When we think about “animated Christmas TV specials,” our minds drift to the likes of Charlie Brown, Frosty, Rudolph and yeah, even Garfield, because we’re never gonna let it go with that one. Of course, the wealth of Christmas cartoons runs so much deeper than that. In the early ‘

  • The 1983 Montgomery Ward Xmas Catalog!

    Hello! Tonight I’ll be tearing apart another old toy catalog for your enjoyment. This time, Montgomery Ward’s 1983 Christmas catalog is on the slab. We didn’t have Montgomery Ward stores around here, so my firsthand knowledge is limited to stray references in long-ended sitcoms. I wa

  • The 1987 Broadcast of A Charlie Brown Xmas.

    Oh, man. My buddy Bill donated another of his treasured childhood videocassettes, and this one was killer. Among other things, it included the full broadcasts of A Charlie Brown Christmas and How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which aired back to back on December 11th, 1987. Nostalgia’s bee

  • Another Batch of Ancient Holiday Appetizers!

    Ah, it’s that time of year again! Time to make funky appetizers from the 1960s! As longtime readers know, I’m obsessed with old cookbooks. Specifically, cookbooks from that weird stretch of years when every other recipe called for unflavored gelatin. This obsession hits a fever pitch d

  • He-Man at the 1985 Macy’s Parade!

    Did you know that He-Man and She-Ra appeared at the 1985 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? It’s true! And I’ll be showing you the proof! Just you wait! Masters of the Universe was on top of the world in 1985, so it made sense that it’d snag an appearance at the annual Macy’s Thank

  • ’80s Xmas Ads from Woman’s Day.

    As confessed last year, I grew up loving the Christmas editions of Woman’s Day, which were collected by my mother and left to die in the same little-used cabinet that otherwise housed obsolete phone books and broken AC adapters. I’ll admit that this wasn’t something I bragged about a

  • Toys from the 1990 JCPenney Catalog!

    Hello! Let’s discover treasure together! The 1990 JCPenney Christmas catalog didn’t pack quite the same punch as some of the other catalogs I’ve reviewed, but it’s still hundreds of pages of toys, peanut dispensers and cheap lingerie, and that’s more than enough for a review. For

  • Commercials from ESB’s 1987 TV Premiere!

    The Empire Strikes Back made its network television debut on November 22nd, 1987. Here are ten TV commercials that aired during that broadcast, covering everything from King Kuts to the USPS!

  • Toys from the 1983 Consumers Catalog!

    Get a load of the wonderful toys found in the 1983 Consumers Distributing catalog -- everything from Star Wars to Masters of the Universe to G.I. Joe!

  • The 1982 Sears Wish Book!

    It’s almost Christmas Eve, and I have so much left to do. None of the presents are wrapped. Half of them haven’t even been purchased. There are mushrooms to stuff, clothes to wash, cookies to bake and hair to cut. So, like a big dumb idiot, I made one more Wish Book review the first

  • The 1985 JCPenney Christmas Catalog.

    Oof. Christmas caught me by surprise this year, and I didn’t write nearly as often as I would’ve liked to. Can’t do anything about that now, so I’ll just try to make this an extra good one! Today we’re gonna look at some highlights from the 1985 JCPenney catalog, which was basica

  • Holiday Food Ads from 1983.

    I scanned several pages from the December 1983 issue of Woman’s Day, and now I’m gonna write about them. I bet you didn’t see that one coming. Eh, you probably did. When I was tiny, my mother had many magazines just like this, filled with holiday recipes and gift guides and craft ide

  • 7UP’s Countdown to Christmas Posters!

    Just when you thought Dino Drac couldn’t get more obscure, here I am with a tribute to those old 7UP posters that let us glue cotton balls over Santa Claus’s face. During various holiday seasons of the ‘80s and ‘90s, people who bought enough 7UP soda scored free “Countdown to Ch

  • Cranberry & Sage Triscuit Crackers!

    Judging by what I’ve seen so far, the 2014 holiday season is going to be a great one for junk food lovers. Here’s some early proof! I rarely buy Triscuits anymore, but it’s only because I can’t be trusted around them. Like Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, they were one of my childhood com