Dinosaur Dracula!

Goosebumps Voice-Changing Haunted Mask!

October is just around the corner, which, of course, is our universal signal to kick our spooky celebrations into second gear. I have much to prepare, so pardon me if I rush through this!

Everyone knows about the Goosebumps books and TV series, but have you ever seen the amazing merchandise that came with them? There were weird toys, screwy decorations and even a sprawling line of school supplies.

Goosebumps also brought its fair share of Halloween costumes – and not just the standard rubber masks, either. Check this baby out: The voice-changing, glow-in-the-dark HAUNTED MASK, based on the same-named book and TV episode. Assuming your head is the size of a cantaloupe, it’s everything you could ever want from a facial disguise.

Get the whole story, in roughly five minutes:


Caramel Apple Toaster Strudel!

I’ve been scouting Toaster Strudel for years now, waiting for Pillsbury to come out with the inevitable  “Halloween edition.”  Well, they finally did it!

Course, it’s not as much a Halloween edition as an autumn edition, and even then, it’s not very explicit. Whatever. I don’t think it’s a stretch to call CARAMEL APPLE Toaster Strudel a “Halloween thing.” So what if they weren’t blunt about it? There’s a freakin’ dead leaf drawn in icing over the featured pastry. THIS IS LEGIT! Read More…

Campbell’s Super Mario Soup!

I’m taking a day off from Halloweening, because this just can’t wait.

Three words, everyone.


New from Campbell’s, Mario and friends have finally been immortalized as broth-soaked pieces of pasta. I heard the news on Tumblr a week or so ago, but it was quickly forgotten under the weight of so many Space Jam GIFs.

As such, spotting Mario in the supermarket was an absolute shock. Not only did I buy a more-than-reasonable number of cans, but I threw each of those cans into my cart with such frantic hysteria that I’m sure – absolutely sure – that someone taped me on their phone, and is now enjoying back-pats within some distant microcosm of social media. Fuck all of them. Read More…

Deadsites: House on Haunted Hill!

I saw House on Haunted Hill on its opening night – October 29th, 1999. A stone’s throw from the last Halloween of the ‘90s. I wonder if that’s why I have such fond memories of it?

I really do. I think it’s amazing. Too many people focus on its admittedly dopey ending, and forget that the ride leading up to it was so much fun. The remake of William Castle’s 1959 film was one of the few times that “tongue-in-cheek horror” worked perfectly for me. The film never took itself seriously… except when it needed to. The result was a horror movie that let you in on the joke, but never lost sight of what it was there for. From the way it looked to the way it sounded, everything (well, almost everything) just clicked.

Need a refresher? Here’s one of the early scares:

In the film, a group of seemingly unrelated guests try to win a million bucks by surviving a night in an abandoned asylum. What’s supposed to only have the trappings of an everyday dark ride (animatronic fake-outs and the like) becomes much more sinister: The asylum has a terrible history, and the spirits of those who suffered there have apparently never left.

That conceit gave House on Haunted Hill the chance to be a little bit of everything. It was a “bad ghosts” movie. A “monster” movie. A “mad doctor” movie. A “Hellraiser” movie. A “survive the apocalypse” movie. It had so much going for it, including the greatest possible setting: An asylum that was more like a castle, filled with psychotic medical equipment. Perfect! Read More…

Imperial’s Classic Movie Monsters!

If Imperial’s “Classic Movie Monsters” seem vaguely familiar… GOOD.

That’s the best way to describe them. “Vaguely familiar.” The small collection of laaaarge Universal Monsters figures arrived in 1986, and in one way or another, I’m convinced that everyone on the planet has owned at least one of them.

It’s partly because of their durability. Their paint may fade, but the figures are as hardy as bricks, and the only way they can be destroyed is if someone deliberately trashes them. This makes them pretty constant finds at yard sales, thrift stores, and Christmas fairs that have that one table of random bullshit hiding in the southwest corner.

But the main reason is that Imperial was one of those companies with tendrils that extended everywhere. You might have found these guys at a legit toy store, but you were just as likely to spot them in a pharmacy or bric-a-brac shop.

Plus, they were sold in so many different ways. The ones you’ll be seeing in this article came carded, but they were also sold “loose,” with nothing but little tags attached. For toys that very few kids actively sought, there were a billion ways to end up with them.

The thing is, their “commonness” only indicates… well, commonness. Imperial’s monster figures were gorgeous even in their crudeness, and to this day, they’re some of my favorite takes on those classic characters. Let’s take a closer look! Read More…