Dinosaur Dracula!

Free Stuff For Kids, from 1992!

Remember those book club flyers that we used to get in elementary school? I lived for those. Dinosaur books with ten words and fifty pictures! Sticker sheets starring ballerina bears that shouted various encouragements via word balloons! The errant Garfield bookmark!

Most of the time, the things I bought from those flyers only provided fleeting moments of joy. A smile, a quick browse, and I was ready to move on with my life.

In rarer cases, I’d find something awesome enough to completely change my life. Like the book I’m about to babble on about for seventeen disjointed paragraphs.


That’s the one. FREE STUFF FOR KIDS!

My sympathies to those for which this is news. Free Stuff For Kids was an annually-released collection of… well, free stuff for kids. Samples. Pamphlets. Doodads. Tiny things that cost absolutely nothing, and by “nothing,” I mean “up to a dollar.” The fine print is always a fucker.

I owned similar “free sample” books in my youth, but this was the only one that catered so directly to me. No longer was I forced to justify sending away for trial-sized packets of laundry detergent. With this book, the free stuff I went after was free stuff I actually wanted. Read More…

Vintage Vending #19: TMNT Balloons!

It’s been over four months since the last edition of Vintage Vending. Let’s fix that. HERE ARE BALLOONS.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles balloons, even!

This is from 1989, when literally everything branded with a Ninja Turtles logo was a must-buy. Though the teaser card lacks a sample, we can assume that these were green balloons featuring that same piece of art.

The people behind this knew where their bread was buttered, evidenced by how little thought they put into the remaining prizes. If you ignore the balloons, this is easily the worst assortment yet seen on Vintage Vending. Read More…

5 Misfit Toys, from the Flea Market.


Saturday was spent at the Englishtown flea market with Ms. X and Jay. We three marveled at old records, cajun peanuts, and what I swear was a lipstick-wearing John Cena, immortalized on an unlicensed throw blanket that was large enough to double as a circus tent.

The highlight — if you don’t count the part where poor Jay’s car got stuck in the snowy mud — was another stop at Englishtown’s famous Toy Room.

You might remember last year’s article about that vendor, who sells an ungodly amount of vintage toys, from Transformers to Masters of the Universe and beyond. His indoor booth is as much “museum” as “store,” and it’s impossible to spend any length of time there without drooling like a sick dog.


Since I’ve already covered Toy Room’s good stuff, I thought I’d spend this post writing about their not-so-good stuff. Just outside Toy Room’s booth are many shelves filled with lower-end thingies. Thingies that are too unpopular or in too poor condition to bother displaying in a meaningful way.

It was there that I stumbled upon the bin shown above. In it were more than a hundred beat-up action figures. I mean, EXTREMELY beat-up action figures. Missing limbs. Chewed heads. Mud caked in every crevice. Ink stains, paint stains, and stains I’m not sure I care to identify.

That bin was pure action figure hell, but for some reason, I loved it. It seemed artsy. It seemed like it had something to say. Most importantly, everything in it was super mega cheap. The dealer could hardly hide his surprise when I inquired about the prices, I guess because there isn’t a huge market for Dick Tracy “Flattop” figures with no arms or legs.

The toys were between a quarter and a buck each. I went home with a substantial bag filled with absolute trash. These are my five favorites finds: Read More…

Six Popsicles from the Year 2000.

I’ve been absent for a while, busy with work, and even busier navigating the mountains of snow on the way to work. 2014 wasted no time in turning me into someone who thinks winter should be illegal. I picture a snowman on the witness stand, melting under the stress of hard questions.

Unrelated to my travel woes is this post, collecting six different Popsicle-brand treats from the year 2000. I found these hiding in archived pages of their official site, so you can consider this a cross between a Deadsite and an off-season edition of The Popsicle Parade. Henceforth, Popsicle Site Parade Dead.


Nickelodeon’s Green Slime Ice Pops!

Everyday ice pops were given a disgusting/delicious twist with the addition of “green slime” centers. Though green apple flavored, there still remained the notion that you were eating blobs of ethereal snot. (Pro? Con? It’s too subjective for me to say.)

The depiction of the slimy innards indicated something liquid, but I remember these, and the slime was anything but. It wasn’t quite as frozen as the ice pops, but that stuff wouldn’t drip without fifteen minutes’ worth of room temperature coaxing. Read More…