You are bored. There’s no one around and nothing to do.
Desperate for any sort of action — even one as silly as buying a Snapple — you hop on your bike and ride to Dino Drac’s Corner Store.
Well, its proper name is Dino Drac’s Convenience Store, but everyone just calls it “the corner store.” It’s a few blocks away, and as far as you know, it’s been a few blocks away for the past fifty years.
You’ve been to Dino Drac’s Corner Store a million times. It’s a warm blanket and a surrogate friend. Sometimes you go there when you want a pack of gum, but most of the time it’s because going there just makes you feel good. (more…)
Back in junior high, I spent a lot of my free time alone. I don’t mean that to sound maudlin; I had friends, and we’d hang out often enough. Thing was, we had few common interests, and whenever they ran off to do whatever normal boys did, I hid at home.
This was during the early ‘90s, and I can’t sugarcoat it: Those were pretty lonely times. My experiences certainly weren’t unique, as I’m sure a lot of you were also victims of demographics, living in neighborhoods where, God dammit, not one other person was anything like you.
I made plenty of friends in high school — many of whom drove — and suddenly those years spent bored and bewildered were just a part of my past. I didn’t miss them then, but the weird thing is how much I miss them now.
A quiet freedom (literal and figurative) comes with solitude, and I can’t help but idealize those long ago weekends, when I threw myself into hobbies and discovered everything that made me tick. I’ve spent my whole life dabbling in obsessions, but most of my truest passions were defined in that era. (And I know that they’re the truest, because I had no audience.)
The bulk of those weekends were spent in my bedroom, which was less a “bedroom” and more my own personalized ecosphere. It wasn’t just a place to sleep — it was a place to live. In there was access to everything that kept me sane, from toys to videos to Nintendos to back issues of Starlog. The walls were covered with pleasant sights, the shelves topped with plastic joy. There you’d find me filling out order slips for vintage Star Wars collectibles, reading books about sharks, and drawing bad ripoffs of The Infinity Gauntlet. I didn’t know it, but I was happy.
I watched a lot of TV on those weekends, on a half-fritzed hand-me-down with perpetual fuzz and three of the buttons missing. Nothing makes me remember that time of my life quite like those old shows.
In a sense, those weekend programs were my friends, dropping by to provide me with much-needed distractions. I counted on them, big time. I’m not talking about Saturday morning cartoons, either — I was already a little old for those, and besides, it’s okay if Saturday mornings are boring. It wasn’t until late afternoon that joining the Little League started to seem like a good idea.
In the early ‘90s, weekend programming on network television was… interesting. There you’d find made-for-syndication sitcoms that never played on weekdays, stuck in horrible Saturday timeslots that guaranteed audiences no larger than two dozen. By late afternoon, the more popular syndicated shows would get their first-runs. Finally, in the dark of night, there was my beloved parade of eerier entries that made going to sleep with the lights off tough.
Below are six examples. At the time, none of these shows were anything approaching my “favorites.” I started watching them simply because they were the best case scenarios. Every single one of them reminds of those lost ‘90s weekends, when I was stuck in my bedroom to stew-or-swim. Seeing a mere snippet of any of them makes me feel simultaneously depressed and inspired, as impossible as that sounds. (more…)
(AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES ONLY!)
I’m officially ready to shill the hell out of Dinosaur Dracula’s first Funpack of the new year. It’s the January 2015 edition, stuffed with 10+ items!
As this is now the sixth Funpack in the monthly series, it’s safe to assume that most of you already know the score. But just in case you don’t, I’ll explain!
I’m offering subscriptions for monthly Funpacks filled with assorted retro junk — along with choice newer items and even a couple of Dino Drac exclusives. These Funpack subscriptions are absolutely the driving force that allows me to continue running Dino Drac, so aside from getting a cool box of stuff every month, you’re also helping to keep the site going!
I’ll give you more details below, but here are the basics: Funpack subscriptions are $25 a month, and that includes shipping anywhere in the United States. You can cancel at anytime. For as long as you stay subscribed, you’ll automatically be billed $25 a month, and I’ll keep sending you new Funpacks!
Now, let’s see what’s in the January 2015 edition!
I think it’s a very strong contender for the best one yet. Over ten items in each box, including… (more…)
I’ve been keeping an eye on a few eBay auctions despite having no plans to actually bid, out of sheer amazement that people have such rare stuff to sell. Like, how the hell do you end up with 59 Fireball Island board games?
Most of these treasures will ultimately make quiet exits, remembered only be the few who were lucky enough to stumble upon their auction listings. So you can consider this post my way of making sure that certain items of the “holy shit” variety have a forever home on the internet.
The auction listing is presently inactive, but I’ve been tracking it for months, and I’m sure the seller will give it another go sooner or later. What a find! A complete store display of Masters of the Universe Slime!
Next to Modulok, those cans of Slime were probably my favorite items from the vintage MOTU line. Most of us associate them with the legendary Slime Pit playset, but Mattel was just as interested in selling them separately. (I have such fond memories of this exact display being right beside the register in our mall’s long gone Kay Bee.)
The cans were also used a promotional device, given away free to anyone who bought two He-Man figures over a certain time period. Of the 28 cans in this display, 9 of them have stickers for that very promotion.
According to the seller, less than a third of the cans have dried out. At around 45 bucks a can, this actually isn’t too bad of a deal! (While sealed Slime cans have been sold for cheaper, it’s pretty tough to find them with still-gooey contents.) (more…)