Dinosaur Dracula!

Dino Drac’s 2023 Daily Halloween Thing!

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.

Friday, September 22nd:

I only have a minute to spare tonight, so I’ll just leave you with this photo, which I assume was snapped on October 31st, 1986. It’s good enough to get me off the hook for a few paragraphs.

Shoutout to the kid in the G.I. Joe costume, but I’m reserving most of my candy for that young Autobot in the foreground. I’d almost forgotten that The Transformers had their own line of Collegeville mask-and-smock costumes.

Interestingly, it seems to be a mash of two different Autobot costumes. The smock clearly pictures Superion, but I know Metroplex’s face when I see it. So either that kid picked his favorite parts from separate costumes, or Collegeville’s employees were drunk at the factory.

Did you have any of these mask-and-smock deals as a kid? I feel like they were a rite of passage!

Thursday, September 21st:

This Spooky Sounds tape from 1989 takes me back. There were many similar cassettes, but Hallmark gave this specific one a massive push. You could find sfx tapes from that era with much cooler art, but I don’t think any of them matched this one’s reach. Everybody had it.

I mentioned this recently, but for a while, Hallmark truly was THE Halloween store. They started the trends. Everything from teeth-chattering skull pins to Great Pumpkin sticker sheets to these creaky shrieky audiocassettes were invented (or at least popularized) by Hallmark. If you listed ten Halloween retail totems from the ‘80s, I guarantee that several of them would be rooted at that chain.

Anyway, God bless YouTube, because some uploaded the entire tape. It’s no fun to blast at any serious volume, but if you keep it low, it creates a nice ambiance for when you’re reading books or eating candy or writing quick blogs about Halloween sound effects tapes from the late ‘80s. Enjoy! Read More…

Purple Stuff Podcast: Spooky Songs Vol. X!

The wait is over! For the TENTH time, the Purple Stuff Podcast is comin’ at ya with a new batch of SPOOKY SONGS!

Yep, it’s Spooky Songs, Volume X! Another ten terrifying tracks that y’all NEED to add to your Halloween playlist. You’d think me and Jay from Sludge Central would be picking through the dregs by this point, but nah, this is one of our best assortments yet!

Broad as it is, “horror” is my favorite musical genre. I listen to this stuff all year, but of course, it hits hardest during the Halloween season. Possibly excluding pumpkin-scented candles, macabre music is the easiest way to bring a little Halloween into your daily doings. So crank it up, y’all.

Click here to listen to this month’s show!

…which you can also find on Spotify, Apple, and wherever else you listen to podcasts.

As a reminder, The Purple Stuff Podcast is also on Patreon, where you can get an exclusive bonus show every month. Join now and you’ll also get access to all prior bonus shows, and boy, there are a LOT of them. Sixty by my count, and September’s is still yet to drop! Read More…

The Spooky Foods Graveyard!

Welcome to the Spooky Foods Graveyard! Check back every day throughout September as I dig up dozens of yesteryear’s freakiest snacks!

#26: Halloween Lunchables!
(Introduced in 2013)

Halloween Lunchables technically debuted in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2013 that they really brought their A-game.

This deluxe Lunchables set featured non-spooky nachos and cheese, but everything else was as Halloweeny as could be. The dessert was a chocolate-covered crispy rice witch, which was either made by Russell Stover or just did a good job of looking like it was.

And then, the grand finale: A full Ghoul-Aid Jammers pouch! Back when the liquid was still blackberry-flavored and purple-colored, to boot! Ghoul-Aid Jammers debuted that same year, so this was a huge get for Lunchables.

Hard to believe this was ten years ago! I hold out hope that we’ll see another Halloween Lunchables kit someday, but sadly, it doesn’t look like 2023 will be the year.

#25: Farley’s Scary Fruit Snacks!
(Introduced in 1991)

What a tremendous design this was! Course, Farley’s was no stranger to loud, strange fruit snack boxes… you might remember them as the company who made the Ninja Turtles look like they were drawn by a team of especially talented chimpanzees.

While I never personally tried these fruit snacks, the photo on the corner indicates that they came in those milky, solid colors. (Like the Great Whites from Shark Bites.) I don’t always love those, but here, they definitely made the Halloween shapes pop.

But can we get back to that box for a second? Am I the only one who is now inspired to break out some crayons and color a bunch of intentionally off-model monsters? These motherfuckers made the bat white, and I have nothing but respect for that.

PS: Research tells me that Farley’s Scary Fruit Snacks came back every Halloween season from 1991 through 1997. Pretty impressive!

#24: Halloween Astro Pops!
(Introduced in 1998)

This spooky spin on the classic Astro Pop was only available in 1998, and you can’t say that they didn’t give it their all. Instead of just swapping a few colors, these Halloween Astro Pops featured three distinct all-new flavors.

Layered from top to bottom were Orange Ghoul, Vanilla Ghost and Chocolate Goblin, creating an orange-white-brown color scheme that fit perfectly with the season.

I bought a pile of these a while back. They’re expired, obviously, but they’re also misshapen from years of storage in a room that was apparently too warm. As they’re likely the last remaining examples of this candy, I consider it my personal responsibility to ensure that they take no additional damage.

I think Step 1 in that process involves shoving them into a corner of my office and forgetting they’re there until 2025. Similar strategies worked well enough for everything else I own! Read More…

The McDonald’s Halloween Super Show!

Well, since this episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is being delivered so late, we knew we needed to make it a big one. And I think we did! Get set for an hour-long tribute to ALL THINGS SPOOKY from McDonald’s!

Yes, it’s our McDonald’s Halloween & Horror Super Show! Similar to our McD’s Christmas Show from last December, this is a frightful mix of things from McDonald’s that all have some tie to the Halloween season… no matter how loose!

Me and Jay didn’t want to tackle the same things you’ve already heard about endlessly, so this episode is less about stuff like the Halloween Pails and more focused on the deep cuts. Don’t worry, though – there’s still plenty of relatable nostalgia, plus some scary surprises that’ll probably send you down some new Wikipedia rabbit holes once we’re through.

Click here to listen to the new episode!

…which is also available on Spotify, Apple, and wherever else you listen to podcasts.

This show also kicks off The Purple Stuff Podcast’s 2023 Halloween season! From now through 10/31, we’re all about those ghosts and goblins. As a reminder, we’re also on Patreon, where you can grab an exclusive bonus show each and every month. (Join now to gain immediate access to our library of 50+ bonus shows, featuring everything from VHS reviews to eBay dives!) Read More…