Dinosaur Dracula!

The Christmas Fallout, 2015 Edition!

Christmas turned into a 96 hour party, and I am exhausted! The only proper penance is a month spent in a gym that doubles as a detox center. Instead I’ll just lie on the couch and subsist on those growing-oilier-by-the-day antipasto leftovers.

Welcome to Dino Drac’s Christmas Fallout… aka my annual chance to act like a shameless seven-year-old who can’t wait to show off his Christmas presents.

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The bright side of needing to buy so many Christmas presents is that I end up with quite a few myself. My family and friends have long since given up on using gifts to try to normalize me, and now seize the opportunity to just get me the weirdest stuff they can find. I’m all for it. I like being the only person on the planet who received a severed clown head for Christmas.

Below are many of the highlights. Feel free to discuss your own holiday hauls, in the comments!

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SO MANY BOOKS!

All I really wanted for Christmas was books, lots and lots of books. The week between Xmas and New Year’s was made for silly books, and the Christmas comedown is so much more bearable when I can spend it reading about Darth Vader and Thanos.

On the Thanos front, I’ll read any Marvel book that has even the most tangential tie to The Infinity Gauntlet. I haven’t touched the three shown above quite yet, so if this post reads like a rush job, it’s because I can’t wait to devour more stories about a conflicted purple demigod who can’t figure out if he’s shitty or awesome.

The Star Wars books were equally welcomed. I live for Star Wars “guide” books, where all of the fictional worlds and aliens are presented like really-real places and things. As much as I love the movies, books like the ones shown here are just as responsible for my continued Jedi passions. I’m never as good at tuning out the world as I am when armed with weird ass Star Wars encyclopedias. Read More…

Dino Drac’s Magical Christmas Robot!

As I write this, Christmas Eve is mere hours away. I still have sooo many things left to do. Gotta wrap the presents. Gotta make a billion stuffed mushrooms. Gotta figure out if I have even one single outfit that doesn’t make me look like a gothic mechanic. Gotta finish that bottle of Fireball, so I can open the next one without guilt.

Thank you x1000 for being a part of Dinosaur Dracula’s 2015 holiday celebration, which started way back in late August. I hate to see it end, but it wouldn’t be so special if it didn’t. The good news is, I’m not going anywhere. Regularly scheduled Dino Drac programming will resume right after Christmas!

Consider this next part my official thank-you for keeping the site — and by extension, me — going. Your endless support deserves so many trophies. You’re the best audience a person can hope for, and I’ll never take the fact that you’re all into the same weird shit as me for granted.

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I’m very lucky to have places to go this Christmas, where I’ll be surrounded by friends and family. There won’t be a dull moment.

But not everyone is so lucky. Some of you will be working. Others won’t have big plans, and some will have no plans. Whether a person celebrates Christmas or not, I hate the idea of anyone spending this part of the year feeling lonely or bored.

So I challenged Dino Drac — meaning the site’s mascot, not the site — to try to help. If your Christmas isn’t shaping up to be too stellar, I hope this will make it at least 5% better.

It took Dino Drac weeks to complete him, but he’s finally ready to take the stage. Presenting, THE SANTATRON 5000: Read More…

Toys from the 1994 JCPenney Catalog!

I wanted to sneak in one last catalog review before Santa makes his magic, so here I am, blithely ignoring the dozen Very Important Things that I must get done in the next 36 hours, all for you.

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This time, I’m pulling pages from the 1994 JCPenney Christmas catalog. I believe I would’ve been a high school freshman or possibly even a sophomore by that point, so my own experiences with these items were more of the cursory or “admire from afar” variety. It’s fun to see what I missed during that literal one year gap between when I was “allowed” to play with toys and when I discovered the “yo I’m a collector” loophole.

Below are a thousand words about eight things from the 1994 JCPenney Christmas catalog. Enjoy them.

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Top-Loading Nintendo!
($46.99)

I’d already moved onto the Super Nintendo when this came out, but even if I hadn’t, my original NES still worked fine. To this day, I don’t think I’ve seen a top-loading NES in person.

Also known as the NES-101 or NES 2, the system retailed for a modest fifty bucks — mainly by necessity, since it was “competing” with 16-bit systems. The system’s design lacked bulk and arguably seemed “cheaper” than the original Nintendo, but the truth was that the changes were largely improvements: The top-loading design made the system both easier to clean and not as apt to break.

From what I see, these top-loaders now fetch more money than the original systems, I think owing as much to their comparative rarity as the technical improvements. (There are gamer collectors much the same as there are toy collectors, and one needn’t necessarily “need” a top-loader to “want” it!) Read More…

Energizer Bunny Ornaments from the ’90s!

I must’ve handled more than 200 Christmas tree ornaments over the course of my childhood, but I only distinctly remember a select few.

There was the candy cane that I made out of glitter and construction paper. Then the too-heavy Santa with the missing foot. And who would forget our old pinecone, covered by what was supposed to be fake snow but more closely resembled snot?

Above them all, though, was that cheap plastic Energizer Bunny.

Back in 1992, Energizer gave away four Christmas tree ornaments. While I initially believed that these were widely available across the country, further research indicates that they may have only been released regionally. If you’ve never heard of these, sucks for you, but I think you can see why applicable kids went wild for ’em!

The commercial embedded above — not my upload, by the way — goes a long way in explaining how silly plastic rabbits could’ve caused such a stir. You’ll notice that it aired during children’s programming, sandwiched between Charlie Brown and an advertisement for a LEGO set. It wasn’t hard for kids to put 2 and 2 together: These were the tree ornaments that we could own outright. Us, ourselves. Not our moms, not our dads and not our siblings. None of that “communal” bullshit, either. Read More…

The Purple Stuff Podcast’s Christmas Show!

It’s a Christmas miracle! The Purple Stuff Podcast has returned!

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For those who don’t follow me on Twitter, yeah, we decided to take it easy with the schedule this month, because December is riotously busy and something had to give. We didn’t want to miss our chance to do at least one holiday-themed episode, though, so here we are!

This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit tackle twelve awesome Christmas songs. For the record, I am a major Christmas music fanatic, and so is Jay. This ridiculous topic means the world to us. Lord knows if it’ll mean anything to you, but, whatever… listen to us anyway.

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You can hear the new episode by clicking on that obnoxiously large button, or download it directly by clicking here. The Purple Stuff Podcast is also on iTunes, Stitcher and Podbean!

Thanks so much for listening! We’ll figure out a regular schedule for the show once the holidays are through. Read More…