Dinosaur Dracula!

Five Random ’80s Action Figures, Part 2!

Okay, so there’s this huge indoor/outdoor flea market in Englishtown that I’ve been going to for like, twenty years now. It’d been a long time since my previous visit, so yesterday afternoon, we drove out to see what treasures awaited.

Turned out, not many treasures awaited. It’s the off season, and we arrived too close to closing time. Most of the outside vendors had already packed up and gone home. The remaning wares were limited. All I remember seeing were screen protectors for iPads in nonexistent sizes, and bootleg Power Ranger figures with nonfunctioning buttons on their groins.

The inside vendors were pretty hit or miss, too. It’s hard to explain, but picture a bunch of horse stables, filled with tiny shops instead of horses. They’re kind of like mini-malls, and the flea market has a bunch of them. We appreciated the heat, but most of the shops were already closed.

Then, just when hope seemed lost, we found this:

The Toy Room. I wasn’t terribly excited at first, because these sorts of shops typically take eBay’s dregs and present them as high value antiques. But, HOLY SHIT, this SO wasn’t that kind of place. It was the most amazing “old toy store” I’ve ever seen, with wares that pushed every single nostalgia button I have. Even the Captain Power button!

You name it, they had it. Star Wars, Transformers and Ninja Turtles were only the tip of the iceberg. It’d be a stretch to say that they had every old toy that ever meant anything to me, but goddamn, they came close.

Here, see for yourselves: Read More…

Vintage Vending #8: Small Parts A’Plenty!

This is a special video edition of Vintage Vending, because I am just so tired of writing.

…though I guess I should write a little, for the sake of Google hits from people searching for “fuzzy bear brooches” and “birds with tools for heads.”

This time, the prize assortment is completely random, and for the most part, yucky. There are some chasers in play, but it’s mostly as if someone raided a kitchen junk drawer and filled a vending machine with its contents. I can’t be the only guy with sea shells and two inch plastic dogs in his junk drawer.

See it all, in video form:


(Subscribe to Dino Drac on YouTube!)

Below are a few close-ups of the better prizes, because I couldn’t justify standing in the freezing cold for just one photo. Read More…

Crazy Good Multi Movie Horror DVD.

Omigawd. This is the best DVD set ever, or close to it. You’ve seen those “multi movie” horror packs before, and while this is thematically no different, the included movies are JUST SO INCREDIBLY GREAT. This is total instant party material – a cavalcade of cult classics with a heavy lean on cheesy/gory ‘80s slasher fests.

The movies:

1) Waxwork
2) 976-Evil 2
3) Ghoulies III (!!!!!!)
4) The Unholy
5) C.H.U.D. II
6) Chopping Mall
7) Slaughter High
8) Class of 1999

There are a few duds, but there’s also serious, crazy treasure. I only paid eight bucks for this, and there are at least four movies that I would’ve bought alone for that price. Waxwork? Chopping Mall? Slaughter High? If you’ve never seen these movies, put them on your must-watch list. They are somehow just as perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons as late Friday nights. That’s about as high a compliment as you can pay a horror movie. Read More…

5 Grisly Things About Living in a Medieval Castle.

I’m obsessed with medieval castles, but they were scary. Aside from the lack of every conceivable convenience that we now take for granted, life was just so much more brutal during the Middle Ages. Yeah, duh, but I don’t just mean that in an “enemy invaders with big swords” sort of way. Daily life was brutal.

Maybe the people who lived during those times didn’t consider it that way, but they didn’t know any better. Let’s put it this way: I’m interested in many times-and-places in history, and I sometimes dream about using a time machine to spend just one single day experiencing them in person. Not so with medieval castles. I know I wouldn’t last an hour.

To illustrate why, I’ve assembled five grisly facts about living in a medieval castle, pulled from various books. Maybe none of these things would be dealbreakers for you, but they only hint at the fright-filled lives of castle dwellers.

As an added bonus, I saw fit to draw and color each of these atrocities, so while I cannot claim to be the finder of these facts, I can at least claim to be the guy who drew a giant louse with a crown on its ass. Read More…

Play-Doh Valentines Bag!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and with it, tons of new candies and novelties in shades that fall somewhere between bubble gum pink and horse blood red. I normally don’t pay too close attention to these things, but the 2013 haul is pretty interesting. I’ll cover a few of my finds between now and whenever Valentine’s Day is. Let’s start with Play-Doh.

Play-Doh’s “Valentines Bag” puts a spin on the traditional goofy cards that kids trade in school. This Valentine’s Day, they can instead give each other tiny Play-Doh canisters with impossibly tight lids that I absolutely needed to use my teeth to pry off! I suffered more than a $5 CVS bill for this, believe me. Read More…

Vintage Vending #7: Gemstones!

Vintage Vending continues, with ROCKS. This is not going to be my most popular review.

I ain’t gonna front. I love this. I love, love, love this. Polished stones always thrill me, even when they’re presented as tacky jewelry. I would’ve been all over these prizes as a kid, and probably still now.

I’m immediately struck by how high-end they are, at least in comparison to most other vending machine prizes. I could see any of these things in a museum gift shop, and I’d expect to pay more than five bucks for some of them. That would be too much, but I don’t have a say in their prices.

With the known prizes being so good, there must’ve been a hundred unseen duds hiding in the machine. Of course, this does raise the question of what could be lower on the gemstone totem pole than a half-inch flawed quartz wrapped in a five-cent bead cap. I don’t have answers.

Viewed from just the right angle, the teaser card looks like a raceway, filled with speeding rocks that leave trails of metal and string in their collective wake. But good luck finding that angle. Read More…