Dinosaur Dracula!

Halloween Color Blanks, Super-Sized!

During last year’s Countdown, I tossed up a ditty about RoseArt’s Halloween Color Blanks – the “naked” vinyl figures that come with really inky markers to help you to bring them to life.

I didn’t expect to be writing about them again, but the upgrade for 2013 is too major to skip. Not only is this year’s figure double the typical size, but there’s a GREEN LIGHT hiding in its chest. No matter how bad you are at drawing facial features on awkwardly shaped action figures, it’s still going to be okay in the end. This thing LIGHTS UP. Read More…

The Jones Soda 2013 Halloween Flavors!

They’re BACK.

The key points:

1. Jones Soda’s Halloween flavors have RETURNED.

2. This year, the collection includes Red Licorice, Candy Corn, Blood Orange and Caramel Apple.

3. I made a big long video about them!

Enjoy. I’m gonna go spend an hour doing nothing productive.

Spooky Old Cereal Prizes!

Longtime readers should remember my obsession with old cereal prizes. If you’re not a longtime reader: I’m obsessed with old cereal prizes.

You’ll still find free toys in certain boxes, but it isn’t like it used to be. Growing up, the competition between breakfast cereals seemed as much about the premiums as the flavors and mascots. If a kid loved Frosted Flakes and Trix equally, the freebie was always the deciding factor. We were even willing to give terrible cereals a try, so long as they had some quirky chunk of plastic hidden inside.

These were the quiet blips of instant pleasure that made getting up in the morning just a tiny bit easier.

Looking over my collection, I noticed that I had a fair amount of spooky-themed cereal prizes. Just enough to eke out a groggy Monday review.

Below are six ancient freebies totally suited to the Halloween season. I wrote about a couple of these years ago, but I’ve never taken photos of them over a cheap orange tablecloth made from the same material as lobster bibs. There’s more than one way to stay fresh. Read More…

Lucky Charms Halloween Treats!

Today was the day that all Targets were supposed to officially switch from “back to school” from “Halloween,” or so the said the rumor mill.

Turns out, the news was only partially true. I had to hit three different Targets to finally escape the spread of schoolbags and notebooks, but in the end, I hit the jackpot.

And boy, did I go overboard. A combination of hysteria and a massive hangover made me toss all reservations aside. I filled that red cart to the point where I could barely push it. If an item had even the remotest tie to Halloween, I had to have it.

Keep in mind, what you can kinda-sorta see in the above photo isn’t even the half of it. That was just “Round 1.” By the time I circled the aisles for Round 27, I’d convinced myself that the slivers of carrots in their bagged salads made them tried-and-true Halloween items. Basically, I’m a sick bastard, and the only ones benefitting are Target and American Express.

…which brings me to Lucky Charms Treats. One of today’s many scores. They’re not at the top of anyone’s Halloween shopping list, and yeah, they do sort of blend in with the less-exciting gamut of “special edition Halloween stuff that isn’t really special or Halloweeny.” But that’s only if you don’t look at them closely enough.

I did, and I was rewarded with one of the true dark horses of the season. These treats aren’t going to win the big race against Frute Brute or Ghoul-Aid, but they’re still going to TRY.

It’s a tall box of 25 mini-sized cereal bars, featuring Lucky in a sheet ghost costume. Love how he cut that extra hole for his four-leaf clover. Lucky knew that even the lightest sheet would crush that shit. Read More…

Friday the 13th: Vintage TV Spots!

You know what today is, right?

FRIDAY THE 13th. One that’s occurring smack dab in the middle of the HALLOWEEN SEASON.

Don’t squander it, guys. Calendar blessings like this won’t happen often. I’m mandating that all of you watch at least one of the Friday the 13th movies today. I’d be happier if you watched more than one, but since Dino Drac partially appeals to people very far removed from horror circles, I’m managing my expectations.

As Friday the 13th is my favorite of all scary franchises, I wanted to do something special today. For some reason, I kept coming back to this idea of stealing total strangers’ YouTube videos.

So yeah, today, FRIDAY THE 13th, we’re gonna take a look at the original television spots for each of the first ten movies. (Which is the whole “original” franchise. Freddy vs. Jason technically belonged to Freddy, while the 2009 remake started a whole new chain.)

I didn’t crawl out of the womb loving Friday the 13th. As a kid, the series was only something that I was aware of. Cautiously aware, because I was young, easily frightened, and wouldn’t have been allowed to see those movies even if I wanted to. I dressed as Jason Voorhees for several Halloweens and loved the time he went on Arsenio, but for so many years, my only real exposure to his movies was through television commercials.

I’m roughly the same age as this franchise. When it was a baby, so was I. As I grew a little older and gained a better understanding of that “TV” contraption, nearly every year brought a new batch of Friday the 13th commercials along with it. Hardcore fans would recognize some of these ads as cutdown trailers with added voiceover, but since I didn’t see any of the F13 trailers in theaters, the comparatively shoddy TV spots mean so much more to me.

Only in retrospect can I consider these memories “fond,” but I distinctly recall the feelings I had whenever a F13 promo came on the TV in my old bedroom. It was mix of complete dread and total intrigue. Every boy my age knew Jason and claimed to love Jason, but so few of us had actually seen his work. What we imagined wasn’t far off from the truth, but looking back at these promos, it’s safe to say that I envisioned films that were way, waaaay gorier. Hey, when you let kids fill in the blanks, the results are always going to be extreme.

You’ll enjoy these promos even if you didn’t grow up with them, but I think they work best if you imagine them through the eyes of a child. Read More…