Dinosaur Dracula!

Five MORE Spooky Action Figures!

Okay, it’s Saturday night and none of you are here, but I’m already panicking about how close we are Halloween. A scant 48000 hours away! I don’t want to miss the chance to get even one more horrifying thing posted before the big day, so here I am. I’m so lonely.

Here’s another batch of spooky action figures, covering everything from The Real Ghostbusters to Masters of the Universe to other long titles that look shitty in italics. Enjoy!

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The Wolfman Monster
The Real Ghostbusters, 1989

Part of The Real Ghostbusters “Monsters” series, this Wolfman was in some respects the plainest villain in the entire line. That’s not so much an indictment of Wolfman as a tribute to the sheer creativity Kenner put into their RGB figures. If a werewolf in tattered casual wear with a snapping jaw was the plainest guy in the line, you can just imagine how endearingly odd the rest of them were.

The “Monsters” series is sometimes criticized by fans. The thrill of RGB’s villains was in their collective lunacy, so a bunch of “regular” monsters naturally paled in comparison. It’s not quite a fair judgment, since there isn’t much in this world that could compare to three-eyed blobs of purple flesh, or alien skeletons that trapped people in their ribcages. If this set seemed boring, it was only because the bar was set so high.

Actually, they’re some of my favorite representations of classic movie monsters. (There were five others in the series, including Dracula and Frankenstein.) Whenever old school monsters were made into action figures, it was usually done in a “stoic” way. The figures generally looked calm and well-mannered. By contrast, RGB’s looked excitable and active, and very much like cartoon characters… even if they never did appear on the show. Read More…

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cookies!

For their next seasonal offering, Nabisco is going there.

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Hey, everything else has a “pumpkin spice” edition, so why not Oreo cookies?

In tonight’s video, I review and eat several Pumpkin Spice Oreos. It’s exactly as exciting as it sounds.

I wasn’t kidding in the vid — this really might be my favorite of the Oreo spinoffs. The flavor is pretty mellow for the most part, but with just enough of a spicy aftertaste to make good on its name.

They’re even better than the Caramel Apple Oreos I reviewed back in August!

Some folks think that Nabisco went too far with these, but sorry, I don’t count them among the “intentionally weird” Oreo flavors. Besides, “pumpkin spice” is just code for “generally indecipherable candy flavor,” anyway. Trust me, they’re good. Read More…

Doritos’ 1991 “Monster Match” Sweepstakes!

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Back in 1991, Doritos and Pepsi teamed to give away cash prizes in a special Halloween promotion. It was called Monster Match For Monster Money, and for a short time, it was the best thing on the planet.

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On specially marked packages of Doritos and Pepsi, we got game pieces that could’ve (potentially) been combined into winning sets. Prizes ranged from five bucks to a cool million, but I’ll get to the money particulars later. For now, can we all just bask in the glory of that Doritos photo? GOOD GOD.

Yes, that’s a vintage bag of Jumpin’ Jack Doritos. Well, sort of. I had the bag but not the old chips, so I filled it with Cool Ranch Doritos, and resealed the package with an iron and aluminum foil. The things I do in the name of presentation! (Alternatively: I need help.)

Jumpin’ Jack Doritos briefly returned a while back, but I only remember them from their original run. If you never had ‘em, JEEZ do I feel bad for you. Jumpin’ Jack Doritos were arguably the best chips ever made!

Blending a monterey jack cheese flavor with all sorts of colorful spices, they were twenty times better than Cool Ranch Doritos. Since Cool Ranch Doritos are already twenty times better than regular Doritos, you can just imagine how amazing those chips were. In the early ‘90s, my muse was edible. Read More…

Hostess Cakes for Halloween!

fpackBefore I get to today’s delicious news, I’m happy to announce that Dino Drac’s Halloween Funpacks have finally been unveiled! October’s Funpack has a whole lotta Freddy Krueger, a new Ugly Mini Poster, a new specimen, an adorable Mordle, and more! Thanks to all subscribers, new and old! (Remaining quantities are limited! If you were considering subscribing, now is the time!)

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Oh, sweet God in heaven or however it’s phrased, YES! They’re back! Hostess Halloween snack cakes! Shout this from rooftops!

When Hostess returned from the grave, I didn’t have high hopes for the seasonal stuff. I figured that they’d stick with the basics and avoid anything resembling a risk. Actually, Hostess has done just the opposite, releasing more “limited edition” snacks than ever before! (Hell, they even resurrected Chocodiles!)

So while it’s no huge surprise that they’d throw their name back into the Halloween hat, I’m still incredibly happy that they did. Hostess’s spooky treats have quietly been part of the Halloween Countdown’s lifeblood. In fact, they were one of the subjects of the very first Halloween Countdown, back in 2003!

I have mad respect for any Halloween food with that kind of tenure. I remember running around for Countdown materials back in 2003, and while there was plenty, there wasn’t nearly as much as there is in 2014. In a sense, Hostess’s treats are the ghoulish grandfathers of everything we see today. Read More…

Candy Corn Blow Pops!

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New from Charms, get a load of these Candy Corn Blow Pops!

Please don’t continue reading until you’ve gotten a sufficient load of these Candy Corn Blow Pops.

I’m no big fan of candy corn, but time has dulled burning hatred into a more casual apathy. “Oh, it’s candy corn. Not gonna eat it, but it looks pretty enough in a bowl.” The timing is fortuitous, because just a few years ago, the mere mention of candy corn lollipops would’ve made me take my demon form, which very closely resembles Transmetal 2 Megatron.

Actually, all told, I think these are great. It’s always a treat when an ancient big brand puts on a costume, and getting candy corn Blow Pops means so much more than just getting candy corn lollipops. Ya dig? You do if you’re Tom Witzky.

The wrappers are impressive, but not like, regular impressive. I mean “impressive” like the Mortal Kombat guy says it. Drawn out, and with an admitting awe. I don’t know how Charms captured the very essence of Halloween in three inches of cheap cellophane so well, but kudos to them. It sounds hard to do. Read More…

Monster Balls from the ’80s!

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You should steal that image and put it on a t-shirt. Then, when you’re out in public, pretend that walking really hurts.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for us to talk about MONSTER BALLS. I’d wanted to write about these for over ten years, but the eBay prices were always too dissuasive. A few months ago, I finally found one that I could afford.

I finally got a MONSTER BALL.

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The package doesn’t list a year, but it’s safe to assume that they’re from the late ‘80s. MONSTER BALLS were pretty obviously meant to steal some glow from AmToy’s Madballs.

It takes a certain familiarity with goofy ‘80s toys to understand why MONSTER BALLS are incredible, so for those without that certain familiarity, I’ll do my best to explain.

Madballs, those lovably gross rubber monster balls, took certain demographics by storm when they debuted in 1987. Almost immediately, other toy companies stole the concept, whether to make straight-up bootlegs, or — as was the case with MONSTER BALLS — new creations were still direct pitches to existing Madballs fans.

So what appears to just be some obscure rubber Dracula head is actually a whole lot more. My MONSTER BALL is a relic from one of the weirdest and most wonderful fads of the ‘80s!

There were four different MONSTER BALLS available. Each came in the same package — the one with the helpful suggestions on what a person could do with their MONSTER BALL. (“Throw,” “catch,” “bounce” and “hit.” I’d add “squeeze,” and maybe “tuck under your shirt to give the illusion of a misplaced breast.”) Read More…

Classic Creepy Commercials – Volume 5!

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It’s time for our fifth batch of Classic Creepy Commercials, provided once again by my friend Larry.

(Not that Larry. The other one.)

If you’ve found your Halloween spirit weakening under the weight of the real world, these grainy old commercials will fix everything. And if they don’t? Well, you’ll still get to see Vincent Price in a turban, talking about sandwiches.

March of Dimes “Haunted Manor” Promo! (1983)

OMG I LOVE THIS TO DEATH.

This was a low (looowww) budget promo for a Milwaukee-based “Haunted Manor” — a charity event benefiting the March of Dimes. It’s just like that old episode of Roseanne!

The safe assumption is that volunteers redressed some loaned building as a “haunted walkthrough,” filled with cheap-but-sincere decorations and a host of folks dressed like monsters. Visitors would donate a dollar or two, see the sights, and maybe get a free lollipop on the way out.

The promo stars Dracula (a very tired and cranky Dracula) and Igor. This Igor is unlike any other! He has a severely injured eye, a top hat, and what I’ve decided is a wrestling t-shirt. In a twist on the norm, Igor plays the straight man.

Pay close attention to the background sound effects. I’m 100% sure that they just ran a Hallmark Halloween cassette on an offscreen tape player. If there’s an idealized “flavor” of Halloweens past, this ad absolutely captures it. Just perfect. Read More…