After writing about the famed McDonald’s McNugget Buddies last month, I thought it’d be fitting to pay tribute to the only Halloween Happy Meal that was even better:
Yes, McDonald’s Halloween Pails. It’s not at all hyperbolic to name them as some of the best Happy Meal “prizes” ever, nor is it an exaggeration to say that — at least for those of a certain age — these pails absolute embody Halloween.
The first national release came in 1986, with the trio shown above. The promotion’s wild success guaranteed repeats, and sure enough, this is one of the few Happy Meal sets that McDonald’s repeated in subsequent years, dotted across the rest of the ‘80s and into the ‘90s.
Future sets included additional colors and “characters,” but I’ve always been fondest of the original all-orange versions. These were Halloween toys in the purest imaginable form. Today, they evoke more a sense of innocence than visions of ghouls and goblins. (more…)
Hello! Since I want a raise but don’t have a boss to ask, it looks like I’ll have to grab the bull by the horns, or take the reigns, or whatever the saying is. I don’t know. Hey, look, I have Envelopes of Evil for sale!
Note: This is a one time sale that is not connected to my monthly Funpacks. The Funpacks are still going strong, and they’ve been a blessed thing in helping me to continue the site, but since there’s an obvious financial ceiling with those, I’ve decided to occasionally do one-off sales to pick up the slack.
The Envelopes of Evil are priced at an even $20, and that include shipping. They’re only available in the United States. What’s inside? Well, look below! (more…)
Remember when watching shows and movies mostly amounted to taking what we were given? We’ve come a long way from needing a TV Guide!
…and yet, I strangely find myself missing that era, back before we had instant access to anything we wanted to see… not to mention an internet that’s gone out of its way to archive every conceivable thing that was ever broadcasted. Television just seemed more like an adventure back then — or maybe a slot machine.
The point? I came to be in possession of an old TV Guide issue, covering the last few days of October, 1990. They didn’t outright call it a Halloween edition, but considering the cover story about 1990’s sudden surge in horror-themed shows, I don’t think it’s a stretch for me to. (more…)
It’s time for the next batch of Classic Creepy Commercials!
(If you read that in the voice of a game show announcer and hum happy music afterward, it becomes a stronger open.)
Collected below are another five spooky TV commercials from the ‘80s and ‘90s, covering everything from toys to movies to a TV show I’ve never watched. Some of these are from my collection; the rest, as usual, were donated by Larry P.
Enjoy the show! (Or the commercial break. Whatever.)
Slime Time Watches Commercial! (1986)
One of the less remembered “gross-focused ‘80s toy lines,” Slime Time was a series of digital watches released by Hasbro, each nestled somewhere under (or in) a “creepy” rubber animal. (Frogs and snakes were included, as was the line’s high point: An adorable black bat.)
Wearing the whole mess on your wrist, the toys were part functional, part decorative, and part flabbergastingly insane. I loved them, but I imagine that I was in the minority of kids who might look at a garter snake and think, “Someday, I hope I get one of you, but as a timepiece.”
My inner conspiracy theorist says that Hasbro was going to lose the rights to the killer “Slime Time” name if they didn’t do something with it, and after an all-hands-on-deck last minute brainstorm, we got a frog with a clock down its gullet. Thank God! (more…)
(Available in the United States only!)
Uh oh! Dino Drac’s September 2015 Funpack HAS ARRIVED, and in celebration of the Halloween Countdown, it’s stuffed with TERROR AND NIGHTMARES.
If you’re new to the site, here’s the scoop: Every month, I mail a new Funpack out to all subscribers. The cost is $25 per month (including shipping), and you can cancel at anytime. Automatic payments are handled via Paypal. For as long as you stay subscribed, you’ll keep getting Funpacks! This endeavor helps to keep Dino Drac afloat, so thank you!
Skip to the bottom for more subscription info, or read on to see what’s inside this month’s box!
There are over ten items in every Funpack, and nearly all of them are n tune with the Halloween season. From weird ass Real Ghostbusters figures to Dino Drac’s Bag of Death, it’s one of the best Funpacks I’ve ever put together. I swear!
EVERY subscriber will receive ALL of the following: (more…)
I adore the Halloween Countdown for a thousand reasons, but here’s one of the big ones: I get to bring back my Classic Creepy Commercials feature. Yay!
If you’re new to the site, know this: I love old TV commercials, but I especially love old HALLOWEEN commercials. Growing up in a time when our preferred forms of entertainment weren’t always at our fingertips, spooky commercials were absolutely essential parts of the Halloween season.
After all, without that ad where Ronald McDonald and the sentient Chicken McNuggets goofed off in Dracula’s castle, late September afternoons may have only felt like late September afternoons. See, we needed these commercials. They turned one night into a whole season.
Each volume of Classic Creepy Commercials collects (at least) five scary commercials from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Some will be directly Halloweeny, while others may only have the barest possible link. Either way, all are excellent mood-setters.
Some of these are from my collection; the rest come from our pal Larry P., who scraped the barrel one last time to give us this year’s ammunition.
Coca-Cola “Thirst Buster” Commercial! (1985)
This isn’t a Halloween commercial, per se, but since it features a Cokeized version of the Ghostbusters theme, I think you’ll give it a pass.
In 1985, Coca-Cola introduced its three-liter bottle. Since Ghostbusters was still majorly hot, they gave it the nickname of “Thirst Buster.” Afraid that customers wouldn’t make the mental leaps necessary to connect that to Slimer, they hired Ray Parker, Jr. to sing a special version of his magnum opus.
“When you come in first… with a real big thirst… who ya gonna call? THIRST BUSTER!”
If you ignore the fact that Bill Cosby pops up for a last-second cameo, it’s pretty much the perfect television commercial, filled with neon colors, erratic dancing, and the vague notion that three-liter bottles of Coke were in fact quantum tunneling spirits. (more…)