Almost exactly thirty years ago, my parents took me to see Batman. When I call it a life-changing experience, it’s without a drip of hyperbole. The film permeated pop culture to the point where even a person who’d never seen the movie still felt like they were drowning in it.
I was an impressionable ten-year-old at the time — the perfect age to basically reshape my entire existence around Batman. At least until that point, it was the single coolest thing I’d ever been into. It was so safe to geek out about that movie, since literally everyone else was, too.
Naturally, I was way into the merchandise. So long as something featured Batman’s logo, I’d buy it. (Or mercilessly pester someone else until they bought it for me, as was typically the case.)
I was totally indiscriminate, but several pieces of Batman merch stood taller than the rest. Collected below are my five favorite items, hastily photographed during a short break between two thunderstorms.
Of all the many posters I owned as a kid, this was easily my favorite. I was obsessed with the Joker, and short of actual criminal activity, I sought to emulate him in every way possible. In effect, this was my version of other kids hanging up posters featuring their greatest sports heroes. I didn’t just enjoy the view; I aspired to be something more.
To be clear, I wasn’t drawn to the Joker because of the terrible things he did. It was the attitude, and the complete indifference toward conventionality. The ability to just be weird without concern. Admittedly, it was also the purple suits.
If I remember it right, I found this poster — commonly called the “seagull poster” — at Spencer Gifts. Spencer’s was Batman central in 1989, and given the chain’s reputation with kids at the time, that only boosted the film’s cool factor. Read More…
Now almost five years into doing these Funpacks, I can pretty accurately predict which ones are gonna sell out quick. I think this one will. That’s code for “act fast.”
IN SHORT SUPPLY! UNITED STATES ONLY!
Dino Drac’s June 2019 Funpack is here, and brother, it’s solid. There are over 10 old-and-new collectibles in every box, including a few that are — at least IMO — grand slams.
You know the drill. Subscriptions are $25 a month, and that price includes shipping, which in 2019 is not at all insubstantial. For as long as you remain subscribed, you’ll keep getting sweet boxes of retro nonsense each and every month.
Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn about *everything* you’ll receive in the June Funpack! Read More…
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal debuted in 1989 and lasted through late ‘92, which was pretty impressive for the kind of tie-in cereal that was usually only on shelves for a few months.
The Turtles’ own longevity partly explains it, what with their live action films and their ten thousand cartoons. Still, most of the credit should go to Ralston, which continually added enough weird shit to guarantee repeat customers.
Like, remember when Ralston gave away those plastic cereal bowls shaped like vivisected Ninja Turtles? Or when the company introduced pizza-shaped marshmallows and acted like they were more valuable than Mexican fire opals?
Or when they threw packets of HONEY OOZE into each box?
No, I’m serious. Look at the box. The Honey Ooze thing was totally real, and I’m going to spend the next 500 words gushing over it. Read More…
I’m going to teach you how to make Halloween Chex Mix. Yep, in the middle of June.
Above is a print ad from an October 1988 issue of some random magazine. Homemade Chex Mix is traditionally more of a winter thing, but thanks to this recipe for a “Hot ‘n Devilish” version, you’re now free to enjoy it during the spooky season.
…or, you know, in the middle of June.
That green ghoul with his vat of evil Chex Mix spoke to me in a way few things do. The fact that Hot ‘n Devilish Chex Mix turned out to be delicious was immaterial. I would’ve done whatever that ghost told me to do, just for the excuse to spend an extra hour staring at him.
Wanna make your own batch? Here’s what you’ll need:
– Boxes of Rice, Corn and Wheat Chex
– Chili Cheese Fritos
– Cheese Popcorn
– Worcestershire Sauce
– Hot Sauce
– Onion Salt
I know you’ll be tempted to buy just one variety of Chex, and I guess you could, but it’s way better if you get all three. I mean, it costs more, and you’ll have to be the weirdo who walks around Target with a handbasket full of various Chexes, but you’ll be rewarded with something that looks better and tastes more complex. Like Gwen Stefani almost said, don’t scrimp. Read More…
I’ve been doing some spring cleaning, because that’s technically still possible in June. I badly need to free up space, so as much as I’ll miss that Jenga game with half of the bricks missing, it’s all for the greater good.
In the process, I dug up more piles of homebrew VHS tapes, all loaded with old TV commercials. One was a real goldmine, filled with shows recorded from the USA Network back in 1990. Everything in this edition of Five Retro TV Commercials comes from that one tape:
Batmania on Dance Party USA! (1990)
This is easily among my greatest finds. The thumbnail is dull, but trust me, you DON’T want to miss this video.
As a lifelong chorophobic, I can’t say that I was a regular viewer of Dance Party USA. From what I gather, the show featured everyday kids dancing to pop songs in a converted Lazer Tag arena?
Apparently, Dance Party USA had an all-Batman episode, or at least an all-Batman segment within an episode. That episode likely aired in 1989 during the height of Batmania, so I’d assume this promo was for a repeat broadcast.
It’s an insane mash of kids twirling along to Prince’s Batdance, all while wearing Batman shirts. As much as I want to locate the full episode, I doubt that it could ever live up to the hype created by this fifteen-second promo. This is just AMAZING. I’ve watched it at least a hundred times.
Pay special attention to the blonde in the tie-dye Batman shirt. Girl was so good at commanding attention that the editor gave her THREE hero shots. (Her rockin’ dance at the five-second mark is my new favorite thing. I must believe that she continues to work in entertainment, because if one cannot parlay that dance into a lasting Hollywood career, it really is just about who you know.)
Godzilla loves Honey Nut Cheerios! (1990)
I’m hardly the first person to toss this on YouTube, but I’m amazed that more people aren’t still talking about it. This is a top tier Honey Nut Cheerios commercial — not quite to the level of Mumbling Scrooge, but certainly just a step below.
Here we have the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee literally hurling cereal down Godzilla’s throat, thanks to old repurposed movie footage. We even get helpful translations of Godzilla’s roars, with “reeeeaaahhhyyyrrrr” being Godzilla-speak for “honey and nuts.”
I couldn’t love this more. General Mills should’ve made a whole movie-length bit out of it, and offered the VHS for five proofs-of-purchase. If there’s anything worth waiting 6-8 weeks for, it’s a cartoon bee saving Tokyo by throwing food at Godzilla. Read More…