Welcome to Dino Drac’s 31 Days of Christmas! Check back every day between now and December 25th for bite-sized blogs about ridiculous holiday things. I won’t be plugging this feature on social media often, so it’ll be on you to remember!
Friday, December 1st:
Here’s one of my favorite tree ornaments – Sogmaster, who was once the “big bad” of the Cap’n Crunch universe. As a kid, I was pretty obsessed with this guy, and privately lamented the fact that the only Sogmaster action figure was that teensy PVC figure that came inside specially marked cereal boxes.
Speaking of which, that’s how I got this ornament. It was hidden inside boxes of Christmas Crunch back in 1988. (Christmas Crunch is still around, but it meant so much more back then. Actually, at that time, I think it was the only holiday-themed cereal on the market!)
PS: I just Googled, and apparently I’d forgotten that this dude’s formal name was Squish. “Squish, the Sogmaster.” I understand wanting to punctuate the villains’ desire to make cereal mushy, but screw that. “Sogmaster” sounds cooler on its own.
Thursday, November 30th:
Your new favorite photo just hit Dino Drac! Bask in the holy glow of this early ‘80s McDonald’s restaurant, all decked out for the holidays. Goddamn, this is gorgeous. Looks like a shot from a Bob Clark movie. (A Christmas Story or Black Christmas – take your pick.)
While you’re unlikely to find a fast food restaurant quite so heartwarming this December, plenty of them still do get into the spirit. It’s less about the franchise and more about the particular franchisees. Whether it’s McD’s, BK or Wendy’s, I’ve seen quite a few do some festive setups even in recent years. Like, festive enough to almost make you forget that they’ve all been remodeled to resemble banks.
Still, what a glorious image. Seemed like the perfect thing to throw at you on the eve of December. (Which is actually just a few hours away as I type this. How is that even possible? I swear, 2023 was six seconds long.)
Wednesday, November 29th:
Here’s my collection of Rodney & Friends dolls, which were sold at Burger King back in 1987. (BK priced ‘em at $2.29 each, which was a lot for a “fast food toy,” but very little for a “fuckin’ awesome reindeer.”)
These were smaller versions of the plush reindeer Hallmark had already been selling for years. Aside from Rodney, there was Ramona, Randy and Rhonda, all wearing their holiday best. (I’m not entirely clear on the relationship between them, but I think Rodney and Ramona had something going on.)
The reindeer were fad items even before 1987, but this Burger King promotion pushed ‘em over the top. Rodney & Friends dolls were as ubiquitous as Christmas trees in the ‘80s, and I’d imagine that most of you grew up with at least one of them in the house!
Tuesday, November 28th:
Hey, how about a nice Hawaiian Punch print ad?
This one is from 1970, and I’m the perfect audience for it. I’ve been obsessed with holiday punches for as long as I can remember… probably because of my steady diet of Christmas-themed sitcom episodes, which usually featured big bowls full of the mysterious red stuff.
Funnily enough, while holiday punches in the real world are usually much more involved (not to mention boozy), the ones from those old sitcoms probably were just Hawaiian Punch!
Monday, November 27th:
I thought you’d enjoy seeing this page of Real Ghostbusters goodies from the 1989 Sears Wish Book – specifically the Canadian version, which occasionally used photos never seen in the U.S. edition.
This might be the single most epic RGB advertisement I’ve ever seen. So many classics in one shot! The big pushes in ‘89 were for the Fright Features and Monsters subsets, but they saved plenty of room for old faithfuls like the Firehouse Headquarters and the kid-scale Proton Pack. Swoon.
Since almost all of my Real Ghostbusters stuff came from Santa, I’ve always associated the toys with Christmastime. It all started back in ‘86, when I got Peter Venkman, Slimer, Bug-Eye Ghost and Bad-To-The-Bone, all stuffed into a repurposed box from Macy’s. (I still have that Bug-Eye Ghost, too!)
Sunday, November 26th:
The “Holiday Film Fest” is one of my all-time favorite McDonald’s promotions, if only for the sheer implausibility of ordering a sealed VHS tape with your burger and fries.
The promotion ran for a few years in the ‘90s, with different batches of bargain-priced videos each time. This sign is from the 1993 edition, which was my favorite. Wayne’s World and The Addams Family… at McDonald’s?! Insane in the best way.
(Also gotta give ‘em kudos for including Ghost in the mix. That film is mostly remembered as a tearjerker, but like, it still ends with the bad guys being dragged to Hell by demons. Quite a thing to stack next to McDonaldland Cookies!)
Since so many tapes were made as part of the various Holiday Film Fests, they’re extremely cheap on eBay, with even sealed copies only barely rising above their original retail prices. Happy hunting!
Saturday, November 25th:
You’re looking at a sealed 2-liter bottle of Pepsi Holiday Spice, from 2004.
I’ve been holding this beaut since PHS’s original run, 19 freakin’ years ago. It’s gotten redder with age, and the plastic seems determined to eventually implode, but for now, it’s stable enough to double as one of my weirdest Christmas decorations.
I can’t say that I was especially fond of Pepsi Holiday Spice back in 2004. Then again, when I reviewed it, I was in my rebellious twenties, when no sentence was complete without a needle and a typo.
Course, even back then, I praised PHS’s potential as a mixer, which was probably what Pepsi had in mind all along. They couldn’t outright say that, but the stuff was practically begging for rum or bourbon.
Whatever the case, there is a *lot* of nostalgia surrounding this drink, and I bet Pepsi would do big business with a retro re-release. It’s obviously too late for 2023, but 2024 makes more sense, anyway. That will be the 20th anniversary!
The time has come! The most anticipated Purple Stuff episode of the year just dropped, and oh yes, it’s time for us to dive into another old Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! And boy, we picked a GOOD one…
Join me and Jay from Sludge Central for an hour-long celebration of the 1986 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is definitely in the running for the best ever.
The three-hour broadcast is nonstop insanity from start to finish, and features everything from He-Man to Barbie to rogue clowns, and even Phyllis Diller driving a goose-shaped car.
This is a big one. Might be my favorite of all the parade episodes we’ve done!
If you’ve never experienced this particular parade, you’re not gonna believe your ears. Even the “bad” stuff is amazing. Hell, even the commercial breaks are incredible – and yes, we’re covering a few of those, too!
Actually, on that note: In addition to the new episode, we also just dropped a surprise bonus show over on Patreon, where we’re covering another two commercials from the parade broadcast. Sign up now to hear that, and to get instant access to our enormous back catalog of bonus episodes!
I also put together this montage of clips from the parade featuring all of the performances (and commercials) that we’ll be discussing. This was made using BMan78’s complete upload of the parade, which you can view here and here. (Montage made with permission – thank you, BMan!)
We hope y’all enjoy the show. We always have a blast recording the parade eps, and this was no exception. If it puts you in the mood for more Macy’s action, feel free to dive back into our older parade reviews:
Thanks so much for listening, and for sharing the show around! The holiday season is here, and we hope this helps you kick it off with a laugh or three.
Dino Drac’s November Funpack is here, and I’m so excited about this one. The November pack is always one of my favorites to do, even if it’s probably the most labor-intensive box every year. A lot of work goes into these babies!
It’s an extremely festive holiday-charged box, and if you’re a current subscriber, good news: You’re locked in!
Subscriptions are currently closed, but I do have a small number of spares that I can sell on an individual basis. The price is $25, shipped anywhere in the United States. Skip to the bottom for ordering info (and please read the fine print), or keep reading to learn about everything in this month’s box! Read More…
Welcome to Dino Drac’s Daily Halloween Thing! The 2023 edition! Check back every day from now through 10/31 for a haunted hodgepodge of spooky reviews, memories and more.
Tuesday, October 31st:
Happy Halloween, everyone! Yeah, on a Tuesday! I know that isn’t optimal, but I hope you’re still managing to squeeze some last spooky drops out of the season.
I realized earlier that Halloween the Cat hasn’t appeared on the site all season, so it’s only fitting that he gets to close out this year’s tiny-sized Halloween Countdown.
(His new thing is begging for me to bring him outside to sit for a few minutes. He has no interest in wandering around, and with his condition, I wouldn’t be able to let him, anyway. He just wants to observe the world, and swipe a few treats on the way back.)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s Countdown, however small it was. It was an interesting experience, as I barely even mentioned these updates on social media. It was really just for you old schoolers, and in many ways it was nice to remove the usual pressure to make everything “link-worthy.”
Gotta thank everyone who’s been commenting along the way, too, whether on this page, or in the Spooky Foods Graveyard, or on After Dark. I can’t even remember the last time I checked my traffic, so comments are really the only “metric” I have to know that people are reading at all!
I do plan to run a similar diary feature for the holiday season, though I haven’t decided exactly how that will look, or what the frequency will be. But yes, expect something! In the meantime, you probably know my socials, but if not, look for me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, and Bluesky.
I’m going to throw on Halloween III and try to resist these leftover packages of Sour Patch Kids. Happy Halloween to us all, and may the Harry & David catalogs land in our mailboxes tomorrow afternoon. Love ya. Read More…