Dinosaur Dracula!

Comic Book Ads, Volume 11!

After picking up so many cheap books from that comic show, I’m now flush with vintage print ads. That’s all I’m really after when I buy comics, anyway. Don’t care what Thor is up to. Just want to see hero shots of SweeTarts.

Below are five of the coolest ads I’ve found so far, covering everything from Striped Chips Ahoy to Super Mario Shampoo.

Super Mario Shampoo!
Avengers West Coast #66, January 1991

Super Mario sure was a golden goose back then, huh? We went wild for anything that bore his likeness, up to and including shampoo!

The print ad is colorful, but I’m not sure that “Mario and the Princess bathe children” would’ve been my first pitch. Still, the artist obviously had fun with this, subtly implying that the shampoo was thick enough to make your head look like a giant sundae.

I love that the shampoo and bubble bath were made by Revlon, which presumably guaranteed some degree of quality. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, cartoony toiletries were more commonly produced by fly-by-night companies that’d sooner relabel motor oil as “conditioner” than spend the extra five bucks to do it right. Read More…

Vintage Mountain Berry Punch Kool-Aid!

I’m gonna drink really old Kool-Aid, but first I gotta preamble your ass.

I enjoyed Kool-Aid all through childhood, of course, but I’ve been collecting Kool-Aid all through adulthood. The “collecting” part was spurred by the Kool-Aid FAQ, a late ‘90s web doc that opened my eyes to how personally enriching a life spent hunting old Kool-Aid packets could be.

Well, maybe that’s overstating the case, but it did make me gaga for old Kool-Aid.

I’ve been hunting vintage Kool-Aid since the early 2000s. It’s a surprisingly workable hobby, too. As with any good collectible, there are commons, rares and ultra rares. Like any addictive game, you can play it slow-and-steady on the cheap, or pay too much money to get ahead quickly.

There are enough Kool-Aid flavors to keep even the most dedicated collectors busy for years, yet not so many that someone with a completist attitude would wonder what the point is.

I’ve gotten some blowback about my Kool-Aid obsession, as if it’s outside even the rubber band borders of geekdom. Then I watch people collect those Funko things or whatever, and I’m like, shit, Kool-Aid makes way more sense.

…and that brings me to Mountain Berry Punch, my most recent acquisition. The flavor was introduced in 1985, though this particular packet is probably from ‘89 or ‘90.

Several Kool-Aid flavors are only vaguely defined, but calling one of them “Mountain Berry Punch” was almost cruelly perplexing. (Only through an educated guess may we surmise that it was intended to be a strawberry/raspberry hybrid.) Read More…

The Friday the 13th eBay Dig!

It’s Friday the 13th. Jason’s special day. Naturally, I will spend tonight watching movies that I’ve already seen a billion times. You should, too!

To celebrate, I plugged “Friday the 13th” into eBay and spent way too many hours searching for the weirdest and most obscure Jason Voorhees collectibles. Below are my favorite finds.

Game Player’s Nintendo Strategy Guide #3!
Sold by: joseywales242
Asking Price: $6.00

The Friday the 13th Nintendo game is notoriously difficult and not well-regarded, but I think the mere fact that there even WAS a Friday the 13th Nintendo game kind of auto-validated its existence.

Besides, without that game, we wouldn’t have gotten so many Jason Voorhees action figures in purple jumpsuits. C’monnn.

This 1989 issue of Game Player’s Nintendo Strategy Guide included a preview of that game, and a super awesome drawing of Jason right on the front cover. The art wasn’t remotely official, but that’s the charm. He looks more like an old, down-on-his-luck version of Vega.

Please buy this magazine so I don’t have to. Read More…

Dino Drac’s January 2017 Funpack!

If you’ve got the post-holiday blues, I have the cure: A BOX OF AWESOME JUNK.


($25 / MONTH SUBSCRIPTION BOX. UNITED STATES ONLY.)

Dino Drac’s January 2017 Funpack is here, and I’ll be straight with you… it’s an important one. This site is funded almost exclusively through Funpack subscriptions, and when I say that there’d be no site without them, it’s not even a tiny exaggeration. Huge, huge thanks to anyone who is (or who has been) a subscriber, because you are literally the thing that lets me do this!

Putting so much time into a site like this means rolling the dice on the future. I consider it a gamble worth making, but I also gotta stay above water in the present. The number of subscriptions coming out of this month will have a direct impact on how much Dino Drac there will be in 2017! Read More…

10 Old Comic Books & What They Mean To Me.

Over the weekend, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit visited a little comic book show in Clifton, New Jersey. (We went to the same show last year, if you wanna see what little New Jersey comic shows actually look like.)

We were both hunting the same thing: Cheap, unloved comic books. Several of the dealers had longboxes filled with wildly inexpensive comics. My best finds were from the “50 for $20” boxes, but I even saw one dealer selling 100 comics for that much. Score!

For those dealers, it’s less about profit margins and more about getting anything out of old books that they’d otherwise throw away to make space. Fortunately for me, those are exactly the kinds of comics that I love best. (Hell, I end up dissecting most of them for the retro ads, anyway.)

I went home with 100+ issues and the sore arms to prove it. Below are ten of my favorite finds, featuring everyone from Slimer to Serpentor. When you’re done here, go check out Jay’s list to see his best grabs!

Madballs #6, October 1987

Madballs #6 introduced the lovely Madbelle, created by Dr. Frankenbeans with the hopes of driving hot-blooded Madballs into fits of jealous rage. His plan backfired, but at least we got this insanely great cover out of it. Read More…

Junk Food Ads from the 1990s!

Let’s head back to the ‘90s to go grocery shopping. Assume we have a time machine and low aspirations. And that I’m the tallest.

Below: Eight great junk foods from the 1990s, immortalized in old newspaper advertisements.

Wise Crazy Calypso Chips!
(1993)

Augh, finally! I’ve been trying to dig up evidence of these DELICIOUS THINGS for close to a decade! Wise’s Crazy Calypso chips might sound only a little offbeat by today’s standards, but back in the early ‘90s, this was a big stretch.

Wise’s prior flavors included regular, barbecue and sour cream & onion, and then WHAM, they smacked you in the face with SWEET & SPICY CARIBBEAN STYLE CRAZY CALYPSO CHIPS. Minds could not process! We’ve since had like 250 additional varieties of Wise chips, and by all rights, they still shouldn’t be up to Crazy Calypso.

Perhaps that’s why the flavor was short-lived. The public just wasn’t ready for THAT LEVEL of chip. It’s a shame, because these were honestly some of the best potato chips that I’ve ever eaten. They tasted like they’d been dusted with dehydrated french dressing. So good.

Hostess Ninja Turtles Pies!
(1991)

Colloquially known as Turtle Pies, these were generous squirts of vanilla pudding trapped inside calzone-like shells that were then frosted with green icing. A figurative and literal mouthful. They looked like Ninja Turtle kidneys, and biting into one was like popping the world’s largest zit.

I’m not a fan of pudding pies in general, but there was something uniquely spirited about Turtle Pies. They were like the perfect blend of Toys “R” Us and the trashy corner store. Now that Ecto Cooler made its return, I’d call Hostess Turtle Pies the next big thing that has to come back. Read More…