Dinosaur Dracula!

Junk Food of the Gods, Part 1.

I’m not sure if junk food has ever been as interesting as it is at this very moment. Everywhere I turn, I’m deluged by multicolored artificial things that work in sickly sweet pseudo-sugars the way Sirens work in song. It’s great!

Below are five new or newish junk foods that struck me as being just interesting enough to buy, eat, photograph and write about on a 450 degree Tuesday afternoon. Enjoy, however vicariously.

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Cotton Candy Oreo Cookies!

I think we’re past the point of thinking that every wacky new Oreo flavor is a major event.

Okay, I’m lying. Of course Cotton Candy Oreos are a major event. Jesus, this is huge!

What I love most is how Nabisco perfectly encapsulated “summer” without ever using the word. I look at these, and all I can think about are swimming pools and ice cream trucks and Roman candles. The sun shines brighter, or maybe that’s just the blazing yellow cookie bag.

The two-tone icing looks like the background in half of my grade school photos, too. Another plus.

I don’t know how Nabisco pulled it off, but the cookies really do share a smell and flavor with cotton candy. It’s a dead-on match. Even has that lingering cotton candy aftertaste. (You know, the kind that’s still in your mouth five hours later, when you’re eating chicken and potatoes? That uh… that might not be a plus.)

Recommended? Yes. Cotton candy is already kinda space food, but if it wasn’t, this would be cotton candy space food. Read More…

Flea Market Finds, Volume Something.

I’d expected to lean more heavily on yard sales this season, but after my success at the Englishtown flea market a few weeks ago, I wanted to know if lightning could strike twice.

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It did!

For me, it’s just been about developing my eye. My intuition. If you spend enough time at flea markets, you’ll gain a sort of sixth sense. By sight alone, you’ll know which vendors are going to have reasonable prices. You’ll know which dingy boxes will be worth making your hands dirty. You’ll know when to haggle, simply based on how much desperation hides behind a particular seller’s eyes.

It’s fun. It’s sociology through buying garbage.

We went there yesterday morning, with Jay of The Sexy Armpit. Everyone went home with piles of stuff. In fact, I was only there for fifteen minutes before accumulating too much junk to reasonably carry, necessitating a mile-long walk back to the car.

Jay and I shared a mantra: If we were going to spend two hours digging through dirty things, we at least needed to make it post-worthy. When you’re done reading about my finds, go check out his — they should be posted in a day or two.

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Transformers & So Forth!
Price: $2 for the whole pile!

SCORE. On a table otherwise topped with wicker baskets and nothing but wicker baskets, I spotted a small pile of Transformers, Gobots and other robot figures of a similar vein. I might’ve walked right past them, if not for the two vintage Insecticons.

I couldn’t believe the prices. “50 cents for the big ones, 25 cents for the small ones.” It’s a pretty historic occasion when you can buy an unbroken G1 Decepticon Kickback for 50 cents… in 2015.

I had a hard time comprehending what the seller construed as “big ones” and “small ones,” so I just offered two bucks for the whole pile. What a freakin’ deal.

Kickback (the grasshopper guy in the center) was the star of the lot, but the other Insecticon was still worth buying even in his shoddier condition. Also included were a couple of Gobots, and things that were close to Gobots, and then something that didn’t belong in that pile at all: Chrome Dome, a vintage TMNT figure.

Special shoutout to that generic slot machine robot. If you’re around my age, you definitely owned him… or at least one of his 50,000 similarly-styled cousins. Read More…

Fictional Food That Looks Friggin’ Good.

Tonight we’re gonna look at eight fictitious foods from movies and television that I really, really want to eat.

If I’m ever condemned, my last meal request will include three fish biscuits and a tall glass of whatever that shit was that they drank in Death Becomes Her.

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#1: Luke’s Rations!
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Not long after crash-landing on Dagobah, Luke Skywalker picks through some weird tackle box filled with alien space food. These ration kits were probably standard-issue for all Rebel troops, and one look at that delicious little smorgasbord goes a long way in explaining their loyalty to the cause.

We don’t get a great view of what’s inside, because a tight inspection might’ve betrayed the food’s earthly origins. From what I can see, it looks like pretzel rods, some high-end Pepperidge Farm snacks, Tic Tacs, sugar cubes, and those things you feed to donkeys at the zoo. I would gladly die for Rebel Alliance if it meant getting a compartmentalized boxful of vending machine crap. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 17!

It’s time for the latest edition of Five Random Action Figures, which takes the total number of figures featured over the course of this series to a cool 85. We’re almost up to a hundred! I’ll try to plan something special for that edition, and by “special” I hope I don’t mean “grab the first five figures from the nearest plastic tub.”

In any event, this edition is special in its own way, too. All of the figures spotlighted below were purchased last Saturday at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con!

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G.I. Joe / Street Fighter II, 1993

It’s been over twenty years, and I’m still rocked by the oddity of placing Street Fighter II characters under the G.I. Joe umbrella. Rocked, but thankful. Hasbro definitely knew how to work those characters in this scale, and doing so provided the added bonus of letting us envision Dhalsim making Tomax yelp by kicking Xamot in the face.

Blanka, resplendent in his jade greenness, might be the collection’s shining star. Hasbro ditched the idea of Blanka being a crouching, ape-like beast, instead presenting him as a sort of Average Joe (Average G.I. Joe) who just happened to have punky skin and hair.

I dig the transition. I couldn’t see Video Game Blanka saying much more than BLEEEAAARRRRUUGH, but in a pinch, I could totally see Action Figure Blanka narrating historical biographies while sipping boysenberry tea. This Blanka is the Grey Hulk to regular Blanka’s Green Hulk, which makes the figure’s emerald hide all the more confusing. Read More…

Highlights from the AC Boardwalk Con!

On Saturday, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit visited the first-ever Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, a sort of generalized pop culture celebration that to me felt like a delightfully miniaturized version of SDCC.

Held at the still-sparkly Atlantic City Convention Center, “ACBC” was my best con experience in a long time. Big enough to feel like a major event but still intimate enough to not overwhelm anyone, I was impressed with everything from the layout to the variety of attractions to the damn parking garage.

The convention’s main draw was a number of big (and several not-so-big) stars doing autograph sessions, which I gleefully ignored in favor of simply exploring the floor and maybe buying some old toys. I did hear that the autograph portions of the show came with a few headaches, but for someone like me — someone who just wanted to roam free for a couple of hours while adding comics and action figures to an increasingly heavy bag — it was close to perfect.

Below are my eleven favorite things about ACBC. Here’s to hoping it returns next year!

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#1: The Atmosphere.

We went on Saturday morning, and while there were a lot of people there, the convention could’ve comfortably fit twice as many visitors. I suppose that could mean that the show didn’t perform quite as well as its backers were hoping, but I prefer to think that they just invested in the right venue.

The Atlantic City Convention Center is huuuuuge. The ceiling was out of reach for anyone smaller than the Cloverfield monster. There were tons of vendors, but they weren’t sardine-packed.

This made for a great atmosphere. You didn’t need push or shove to get from Point A to Point B. You could mindlessly stop to adore some cool thing without being immediately trampled by the ten people who were secretly one foot behind you. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, and I think the extra space had a lot to do with it. Read More…