Dinosaur Dracula!

The “Almost” Hobbes Doll!

Like many of you, I grew up reading, loving and damn near worshipping Calvin and Hobbes. Bill Watterson’s famously perfect comic strip spoke to us in so many ways. We all saw a little (or a lot) of ourselves in Calvin, even if we only wished that we could muster enough imagination to turn our dolls into walking, breathing, talking best friends.

I still read the old strips all the time. Even if some of the references have become dated, their humor, cleverness and wonder haven’t lost a step. Without a hint of hyperbole, Calvin and Hobbes was as good as or better than literally anything else that I’ve ever been into, regardless of whether the particular thing’s brow was held high or low. There’s a reason people who love Calvin and Hobbes are so proud about it.

Watterson had a noble stance about licensing his characters. Basically, he never did it. Not in the “normal” ways, at least. No Calvin and Hobbes dolls. No Calvin and Hobbes spiral notebooks. No stickers, no Happy Meals, no Saturday morning cartoons. For him, it was as much about preserving the spirit of his work as retaining complete control. While the strip assuredly left him financially set, Watterson tossed away the chance to multiply his wealth by a factor of a hundred, all so his stories and characters would stay his stories and characters.

Raise your hand if you think you could resist the same temptation. I know I couldn’t.

As such, Calvin and Hobbes merchandise is more or less nonexistent, save for bootleg items. While most fans have always appreciated Watterson’s “stubbornness” on this issue, it’s just as true that we’d KILL for a Hobbes doll. (Need proof? Do an Etsy search for “Hobbes.”)

With that preamble out of the way, I can finally get to the point.

Reader Terry Wilson sent me a hot tip earlier. “Go to Target,” he said. “Bring ten dollars,” he said.

So I did, and that’s what I found. The Circo “Tiger” doll, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Hobbes. It’s not an exact match, but it is CLOSE. Maybe too close to be a coincidence?

The dolls have apparently been around for a while, and there are other animals in the series with the same overall body shape, so it’s probably just a lucky break for Hobbes fans who like their consciences clear.

He was ten bucks, or maybe a few dollars more. I don’t know, I paid no attention to the price. Absolutely positively none. Money was no object. So long as my credit card wasn’t rejected, I was going to go home with Almost Hobbes. Read More…

Vintage Vending #11: Dinosaur Park!

Vintage Vending continues with the Dinosaur Park Collection, an assortment of cheap dinosaur stuff that probably isn’t at old as it looks. The title has to be a nod to Jurassic Park, right? If so, this collection would’ve been from around 1993.

Jurassic Park spiked interest in dinosaurs across the globe, but even as a kid, I remember mentally scoffing at those Johnny-Come-Latelies. I didn’t need Spielberg to fall for dinosaurs. I was already there, man.

Even by vending machine standards, these prizes were on the rough side. Quarters didn’t grow on trees, and you had to really like dinosaurs to spend one on this collection. Personally, I wouldn’t have stopped until that strange wrinkly tyrannosaur was all mine. Read More…

John Cena’s Fruity Pebbles.

This is a wrestling post. If you’re not interested in wrestling, it’s also a cereal post. If you’re not interested in wrestling or cereal, well, I’m pretty zooted, and this could end up becoming a play-by-play of Roald Amundsen’s 1903 search for the Northwest Passage. Or maybe a tribute to my favorite shape, the enneadecagon. Stick around!

Current WWE champion John Cena has been immortalized on boxes on Fruity Pebbles cereal, forming an unholy alliance with Bamm-Bamm Rubble. Rising through the tag team ranks, their formula is simple but effective. John brings the strength, and Bamm-Bamm brings a hypnotic spoon that lulls their opponents into a waking sleep.

It’s no big deal to us, but trust me, when today’s youth waxes nostalgic on the Dinosaur Draculas of tomorrow, they will be posting about John Cena’s Fruity Pebbles. They will never forget this box, or the strange events that led to its creation.  Read More…

Virtual Saturday Morning.

It’s Saturday morning! Your favorite part of the week!

You wake up bright and early. Earlier than everyone else in the house, that’s for sure.

The skies are cloudy and there isn’t a peep in the whole neighborhood. You wish it would stay like this forever. Just picture it! An endless Saturday morning, where the only thing to do is nothing at all.

PS: Do you seriously still sleep with a Glo Worm? Your secret is safe with me.

Since everyone else is still snoring, you make yourself breakfast. You’re not a good cook, but you don’t know that.

Countless movies have made you cherish the “bacon and eggs face.” Yours seems pretty upset about something. Maybe he thinks it’s Sunday. Read More…

I made you lunch.

Guys, I made you lunch. You better eat it. It’s a sin to waste food.

See that? It’s a Kraft “Singlestamp” cheese cutter, with a Cheesasaurus Rex theme. If you’ll recall, Cheesasaurus Rex was Kraft’s beloved Macaroni & Cheese mascot back in the ‘90s. He was big, he was orange and he was very possibly made of cheese.

I hope you loved him. Your reaction to what I’ve prepared for you completely depends on it. Read More…