Dinosaur Dracula!

The 2014 Halloween Mood Table!

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October is here, and you know what that means. MOOD TABLE TIME.

This is a yearly tradition that many of you are aware of, but for the few that aren’t, I’ll explain.

I’ve been running the Halloween Countdown since 2003. The only Countdown that I fouled up was in 2007, owing to real life issues that made blogging about Halloween candy the lowest possible priority. In effect, my Halloween spirit was shot.

…but then I discovered a way to get it back.

THE HALLOWEEN MOOD TABLE!

What’s a Halloween Mood Table, you ask? It can be a small end table, or a larger coffee table, or a desk, or hell, even a chair. The idea is that you’ll saturate “some surface” with Halloween junk, and put it somewhere that you’re guaranteed to see it often. You could call it a “shrine to Halloween.”

What you put on it is totally up to you. You could mix pumpkins with random horror toys and a bowl of candy. Or you could add a dozen candles and hope you don’t burn the whole city down. Whatever!

There is no wrong way to do a Halloween Mood Table. My first one looked like this, and my last one looked like this. Yours might only have a few things on it, or it could have a hundred things on it. It’s a fun little art project, sure, but the point is that you’ll have an “area of focus” to keep your Halloween spirit in check.

You’ll be surprised at how effective it is! Last year’s Mood Table article went semi-viral, and dozens of folks posted photos of their own versions. Many confirmed what I’ve been saying all along: It’s fun to make and it’s cool to look at, but the Halloween Mood Table really does make Halloween feel like Halloween… even when everything else in your life doesn’t.

I specifically save this exercise for October 1st, and with good reason. If you’re like me, you’ve already spent a month “Halloweening.” You’ve been to all of the stores, you’ve seen all of the movies, you’ve eaten all of the candy. The problem is that you haven’t saved much for October. Sure, things will pick up in the final week, but what about NOW?

THIS is the solution.

So, without further ado, I proudly present Dino Drac’s 2014 Halloween Mood Table!

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I started with one of those barely-standing, tile-topped tables that I’ve been using for almost ten years now. This is my canvas.

I knew I’d never top the insanity of last year’s Mood Table, and I wasn’t about to try. And besides, since our whole apartment is currently overflowing with Halloween stuff, I didn’t see much point in localizing everything to one corner of the living room.

Instead, I tried something different — and something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. This year, my Halloween Mood Table would have all of its usual bells and whistles, but it would also serve a very specific purpose. Read More…

The Krispy Kreme Ghostbusters Donuts Review!

I woke up at 4AM. By 5, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit were on the road. Exhausted and delirious, we drove in darkness, finally reaching our destination around 90 minutes later. This was a big day! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

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Yes, THE GHOSTBUSTERS DONUTS HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED AT KRISPY KREME.

Sweet Jesus. Two brand new limited edition Ghostbusters donuts, PLUS an amazing plastic Ghostbusters pail! See all of the incredible goodies in today’s video, which I shot and edited on ABSOLUTELY NO SLEEP!

Here are the major bullets for people who can’t spare four minutes: Read More…

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…