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.


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!



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.



Before The Force Awakens, my Star Wars “fanship” had become more of the delightfully dull-but-persistent variety, always there but never overwhelming. Now that the new movie has come out — a movie that I loved to death — all bets are off!

So yeah, I am all about this ridiculously cheesy and super huge Force Awakens pillow. It’s big enough to spoon, and I say this from experience. The fact that Captain Phasma is the pillow’s most prominently featured character is a nice bonus, too. (Some people are all “hey what’s so great about Phasma she had three lines and did nothing cool.” Those people must be new to Star Wars!)



Oh, yes! If you’ve been following my freelance exploits this season, you may remember Gizmo-in-a-Box from my ‘80s gift guide, over at DealNews. It’s pure coincidence that I ended up with my own, because sometimes life is beautiful.

If I’m being honest, this thing isn’t really worth its 35 dollar retail price, because it’s just the smallest possible Gizmo doll stuffed in the same cardboard carrier you might take a new rabbit home inside. On the other hand, I didn’t have to pay for it, and it’s fucking adorable. The carrier is stamped with Gizmo’s face and even comes with shredded paper to serve as the bedding. It’s the kind of thing I would’ve felt enormously guilty about buying for myself, so it was the perfect Christmas present.



This arrived in a plain cardboard box with a simple “Zombie Gnome” sticker on it, and that alone was enough to light me up. It turned out to be even cooler than I expected, mainly thanks to those unholy red eyes. (Between them and the green shirt, this undead gnome was surprisingly on-point for Christmas!)

And yet, a bloodied gnome with drooping eyeballs wasn’t even this year’s spookiest gift:



Okay. This.

Looking like a cross between Pennywise and Sting at his most anti-nWo, this is actually a “peeper” decoration, meant to be hung from a window to give the impression of a voyeuristic clown. With hands as large as feet and eyes as soulless as Satan’s blood, the fact that this arrived wrapped in cutesy Peanuts paper made getting it all the sweeter. (I especially liked getting to open this in front of so many children. If any of them grow up to be horrible, I’ll know the precise moment when things started to go south.)



…with bonus “Shark Attack” coffee cup!

Admittedly, I bought these items. They were added to the pile for my family’s annual Secret Santa/white elephant gift exchange, where we all draw numbers, pick presents, and then steal, trade and beg our way into gifts that we can potentially stomach going home with.

There were lots of goodies in that pile, but nothing topped an official Jaws action figure. (By the way, that figure is way down from its original retail price. At just thirteen bucks, it’s gotta be the most can’t-miss Re-Action figure currently on the market.)



I usually roll the dice and just accept what I’m given, but I did make a small Amazon wishlist this year, determined to avoid any unfortunate run-ins with quesadilla makers or vertical-striped baby blue sweaters. You can only hit me with a hammer so many times before I learn to move.

It took a little of the “surprise” out of Christmas, but I think that was a fair trade for a DELUXE BONECRUSHER Congo figure. Only with a direct plea could such an esoteric treasure come into my life, and though I’m sure the person who bought it did so with trepidation, this was exactly what I wanted for Christmas.

(Yes, Congo really did have a toy line, and Deluxe Bonecrusher was probably its top item… thanks in large part to its bonus “Zinj Attack Monkey,” who is perennially posed to look like he’s upset about some sports score.)



Every Christmas, I get a new pair of sneakers. This is out of necessity. I treat my sneakers like garbage, and after a year, they look like pieces of literal trash that were glued into the rough shapes of shoes. “Cars,” “sneakers” and “hair” are the three areas where all stigmatic social pressures to be fashionable fly over my head, so no matter how ratty my feet look, I’ll never feel any shame about it.

As such, my girlfriend always gets me a new pair for Christmas, I think more for her sake than mine. There are two things I like about these sneakers, in particular. One, the Halloweeny shoelaces. Two, they make me look like I actually won’t need to do a doubled-over breath-catch after a four yard dash.



This thing is just awesome. The person who gave it to me found it at a Jersey antique shop, well-used and missing parts, but still totally functional. Neither of us knew its name or where it originally came from, but that mattered little since it was so obviously A BABY TYRANNOSAUR THAT ACTS LIKE A FURBY.

Only after much research did I learn that this “D-Rex” was part of the Prehistoric Pets toy line, where dinosaurs were transformed into battery-operated robot pets that move, chirp and demand unconditional love. That same bit of research also told me that mine was missing his remote control, but since he’s still fully capable of biting my chin and staring into my eyes, I don’t think I really need it.

It’s like having a dog that never shits and is actually a dinosaur. I bet it said exactly that on the box.


(That’s not one of my gifts. I just wanted to show you what Castle Grayskull looks like when covered in Christmas lights. I doubt you’re sorry that I did.)

All in all, I made out like a bandit, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of the week on the couch under a pile of books, dolls and severed clown heads. Nothing curbs the effects of a four day bender like giant Star Wars pillows and Infinity Gem melodramas.

PS: A bunch of my blogging-type friends are joining in on the Fallout fun this year, so check out these sites if spying on strangers’ Christmas hauls is your specific fetish:


And feel free to talk about YOUR gifts, in the comments! After all, this is our last chance to act like idiot babies before the harsh realities of January kill us with icy fire.

Regularly scheduled programming resumes after this post, so thank y’all again for being a part of Dino Drac’s holiday season!