Dinosaur Dracula!

Vlog: The Cloneheads Alien Costume Kit!

Imagine a costume that gave you two extra heads, gold skin and a bib with the planet Saturn on it, for one low price. It sounds impossible, but in 1983, it happened.

Distributed by Spearhead Industries, the Cloneheads collection was a series of inflatable Halloween costumes that, among other things, gave you two more heads. Spearhead wasn’t the first to do this gimmick, and they were far from the last, but their Cloneheads series mixed a great vintage feel with such a generic charm that, at least for today, it’s my favorite thing in the whole wide world.

Tomorrow, it’ll probably be those Candy Corn Oreos. Yeah, I heard.

A demonstration:

My “Alien” set is pretty rocking, what with its extraterrestrial robot heads and Saturn smock. Still, when I look back at the other Cloneheads sets, I can’t say that it would’ve been my top pick. Read More…

The ORIGINAL Halloween Countdown, from 2003.

Dinosaur Dracula’s 1st Halloween Countdown is more of a reset, of course, since I’ve been doing this thing for ten goddamned years.

The first Halloween Countdown, back on X-Entertainment, started on September 18th, 2003. The 40 or so articles within it were often rushed, often crude and often designed with really irritating backgrounds, but I still love it. Doing that year’s Countdown is what transformed me from a guy who liked Halloween to a guy who can’t imagine a year without it.

It was a much different Internet in 2003, and certainly, my place in it was worlds apart from wherever my place is now. X-E was still a big site, and making websites was still all I did. I was a year away from starting at Nickelodeon, living the dream of eternal goofs everywhere by being paid to be an eternal goof. I wasn’t making boatloads of money, but at the time, I didn’t need boatloads.

The site’s early success allowed me to stay an idiot kid for a few years longer than people should stay idiot kids, and even if I’m immensely thankful to have grown up in my own weird ways, I can’t say that I’m not a little bit jealous of me-in-2003. Read More…

Spookylicious Pop-Tarts Are Back!

I was glad to see Spookylicious Pop-Tarts make their triumphant return. Even if Kellogg’s has only been at it for a few years, Halloween Pop-Tarts have already become one of my absolute needs for a great season.

The saga began in 2010, when Choc-o-Lantern Pop-Tarts were introduced. Then, in 2011, Kellogg’s brought ’em back with very minor adjustments and the new “Spookylicious” moniker. I guess focus groups showed that “Spookylicious” was a palatable title, because this year, they went with it again.

Save for the faintest upgrade to the box design, they’re exactly the same as last year’s version. This is no flaw, since last year’s version could only have been more perfect if $50 bills were taped to each Pop-Tart.

Reviewing the same exact Pop-Tarts three years in a row may seem like a stretch, but I ain’t here for that. You already know that they’re delicious and covered in Halloween sprinkles. Still, even if the formula and box design is mostly the same, there is one thing that makes this year’s offering worth another go on the blog fodder front.

Kellogg’s added an all-new recipe to the back of the box! Read More…

Vintage Vending #4: Wacky Goulies!

If you thought the Vintage Vending series was taking a break during the Countdown, you have no future as a psychic. Some of those old prizes absolutely scream “Halloween,” and if you think I’m reaching, just take a look at this one: A macabre mix of Madballs and Ghoulies!

Meet the Wacky Goulies, a collection of “gross, ghoulish weirdos” with enough charm to magically transform all who view them into giant scented happy face erasers.

While the title and logo steal a page from the Ghoulies playbook, the toys are obviously inspired by Madballs. Consisting of rubber, semi-flat monster heads with suction cups on the backs, each Wacky Goulie can stick to glass for nearly seven whole seconds.

Look up “perfect” in the dictionary, and you’ll see a picture of a Delfa Roll. But if Delfa Rolls never existed, you’d see Wacky Goulies.

Every last one is a Madballs ripoff, and blatantly so. See the one-eyed gargoyle?  The one that comes in purple AND green? That’s Hornhead.

And that weirdly small Wacky Goulie on the upper left, who looks like a melting man? Skull Face!

The teaser card dates them as a 1986 release. Suffice to say, had I found them at that time, my shit would’ve spent the last 25 years in a perennial state of flip.

240 words never won anyone a Pulitzer. Let’s see if we can get this to 500. Read More…

Matchbox Con-Nec-Tors from 1990!

If you were reading X-E last November, you might remember my tribute to Matchbox’s Con-Nect-Ables, a line of plastic cars which broke into pieces that could be mixed-and-matched to create bizarre vehicles that were part truck, part helicopter. If I had to guess, nobody came here expecting that opening line.

Well, this is a similar idea, but way cooler, because we’re replacing the cars with monsters and aliens.

Made in 1990, Con-Nec-Tors is a strong candidate for the coolest action figure collection you’ve never heard of. With strange characters running the gamut from vampires to mummies to alien bugs and even a husky football player, each figure had removable body parts that were completely interchangeable.

Like, see the dinosaur up there? In two seconds flat, he could have the head of that generic punk rocker. Read More…