Dinosaur Dracula!

Five Random Action Figures, Part 40!

By the end of this article, I’ll have reviewed 200 action figures on Dino Drac. That’s a big deal, guys. It’s why I’m typing this with one hand and eating a whole Carvel cake with the other.

Five Random Action Figures has been the site’s most dependable series, and for as long as there remains a Dinosaur Dracula, it’ll continue. This I swear to you. Amen.

To celebrate Part 40, I wanted to buy some of my holy grails. Then I remembered that my account balance reads like a pizza bill. I instead settled on five action figures that were great in a more affordable sort of way:

Blast Cape Batman
Batman Forever (1995)

I love how Kenner so brilliantly got us to buy Batman figure after Batman figure by continually tweaking his outfit. Every time we thought we were done, Batman changed his boots and we had to go back to Kay-Bee.

Some of his specialized suits made sense. I could understand why Batman would want an alternative suit that was flame retardant, and I at least partially accepted that Batman might desire a specific outfit for scaling walls.

Blast Cape Batman, on the other hand, defies defense. The figure’s main attribute is a button-operated firing cape (yes, a firing cape), which I guess was Batman’s version of the ”throwing S” from Superman II.

He also comes with a pair of intense assault blades. Between those and his eerie costume, this particular Batman feels like a blend of Venom and Freddy Krueger. Read More…

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 15!

Welcome to a special edition of Five Retro TV Commercials. Special to me, at least.

Every commercial in this batch aired during The Death of the Incredible Hulk, an NBC television movie that premiered on February 18th, 1990.

The Death of the Incredible Hulk got the plush Sunday Night at the Movies treatment, where so many big screen hits had their network television premieres. (Just watch the video. If you’re anywhere near my age, those opening graphics and that triumphant theme ruled your childhood.)

I can totally see myself on that cold Sunday evening, pretending to do homework while the Hulk snarled and leapt. I’d be in my bedroom with the volume kept low, flanked by my Trapper Keeper and a bag of Tato Skins. (Guess which one got more attention.)

Below are five commercials that aired during the movie, and my God do they ever take me back: Read More…

Making new action figures out of broken ones.

A few weeks ago, I bought this:

It’s a bag of assorted action figure accessories, plus a few broken figures.

I found it at a toy & collectible shop that had a little bit of everything, from vintage Masters of the Universe figures to cartoon-themed lunch boxes. In stores like that, I can generally only afford the Ziploc bags full of literal garbage. Read More…

1990s Ads from Fangoria Magazine!

Whenever I find an old issue of Fangoria, I jump straight to the ads. I can read the Tom Savini interview later. First I need to see if anyone made a mask based on the demon doctor from Jacob’s Ladder. My priorities make sense to me.

That isn’t to say that the content of the magazine wasn’t great. Of course it was! At Fangoria’s peak, every issue was a visual feast, and every article nurtured excitement without devolving into puff.

Starlog (Fangoria’s sister mag) was more my speed, but there was plenty of spillover between of two, anyway. Younger Matt was unlikely to buy a copy of Fangoria with Pinhead on the cover, but I was sure as hell down with an issue featuring the Phantom Gremlin.

With both magazines, I always started with the ads. Nothing sparked my interest in something quicker than the chance to buy an overpriced trinket based on it. (Honestly, my introduction to most fandoms has been, “Well, I bought this thing, so now I guess I better learn a bit about this thing.”)

Below: Six scary advertisements pulled from various issues of Fangoria. All are from the ‘90s. Read More…

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 14!

I wasn’t planning to go back to this well so soon, but I found a *really great* Gremlins 2 commercial, and that shit just can’t wait.

Every ad featured in this edition of Five Retro TV Commercials premiered in 1990. Most of ’em aired during the same blocks of weekday afternoon sitcom reruns. Enjoy!

Sunkist’s Gremlins 2 Promotion! (1990)

What begins only as a cheerful Sunkist commercial becomes the stuff of legend in its final moments, as no less than GIZMO HIMSELF makes an appearance.

Seems there was some Gremlins 2 sweepstakes connected to Sunkist, and I can’t believe I never knew that until this week. This ad must’ve had an extremely short flight, because I can’t even find a reference to it online, let alone another copy of the video.

Watching Gizmo go wide-eyed over a can of Diet Sunkist made my day in a way few things could. Read More…