It’s been almost a year since the last edition of Five Random Action Figures, and I’ve been flooded with feedback from at least two whole people demanding a new one. You win!
Since it’s the Halloween season, this is an all-spooky edition. These figures will haunt your nightmares, or at least enlarge your eBay watch list. Perhaps both, because like Pinhead says, there’s a fine line between pleasure and pain.
(Okay, I don’t know if Pinhead really said that. It sounds like something he’d say, tho.)
The Graveyard Gang (1984)
The Graveyard Gang was a collection of glow-in-the-dark bendy figures, released by POWCO in 1984. Meant to capitalize on the success of Michael Jackson’s Thriller without actually paying for the privilege, the line included six different ghouls. Obviously, Midnite Mike here was the one to get.
For a cheap figure that was more likely to be found at a mom-and-pop pharmacy than Toys “R” Us, it’s pretty great. Wearing the ten-cent version of his classic Thriller garb, Mike has lifelike hair, lifeless eyes and skin that positively beams in the dark.
The entire Graveyard Gang set is rare, with packaged figures running as high as $150 a pop. On that note, you’ll definitely want a packaged one, since the cards looked like graveyards and even came with paper coffins. Read More…
In this edition of Classic Creepy Commercials, you’ll see everything from an ophidian drug dealer to grainy Ghoulies. What fun we’ll have! These spots are older than you, and so am I.
The Evil Snake Drug Dealer! (1992)
It’s a bright, sunny afternoon, and you’re on the couch watching DuckTales. Midway through the episode, Scrooge loses his Number One Dime… again. They cut to a commercial break. After a spot for Kool-Aid Koolers and another for Captain Ron, you get hit with this shit.
It wasn’t uncommon for anti-drug PSAs to push the envelope — to “scare you straight,” I guess — but even by those standards, this was over the top. The drug dealer’s final snake form is one of the scariest things I can remember seeing on broadcast TV, and certainly *the* scariest thing I saw during afternoon cartoons.
Given the spot’s age, the effects are amazing. This snake could’ve easily carried his own horror movie. He looks bad-way awesome, and when you factor in that voice — picture Chris Latta, but goth — it’s almost a shame he was reserved for one PSA and not like a… I don’t know, five-episode arc on Power Rangers or something. Read More…
It might not be fair, but every Halloween season is judged by its junk food. I gotta wonder how things will play out this year, when the world is upside-down. Like, does Burger King just say “fuck it,” or should I be waiting for them to announce a Burger from the Black Lagoon?
Quantity matters, but quality does, too. I’m happy to report that even if this year’s crop ends up being smaller, it certainly isn’t lesser. The new snacks and candies have been tremendous, and more than enough to carry a season.
With that, here’s the first edition of 2020’s Best Halloween Junk Food — the continuation of an annual tradition that’s as old as Dino Drac. I will make you hungry, this I promise.
(Found at: Stop & Shop)
While I wouldn’t necessarily call Reese’s Franken-Cups the “best” of 2020’s Halloween candies, it’s certainly the leader, and the candy we’ll associate most with this season after it’s over.
The two-tone peanut butter cups either taste exactly like the regular ones or just slightly different, depending on who you talk to. I’m of the mind that they are different, but that the silkier green creme is almost totally buried under the chocolate and peanut butter. Well, that’s fine. Regular Reese’s Cups rock.
My one criticism is that if there was ever a time to ignore the style guide and go wild with the packaging, this was it. That wrapper needed a little more oomph — like maybe a wave of green on the left, or some sweet Frankenstein bolts flanking the logo.
GRADE: A-. They are Frankenstein-themed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so “A-” is literally the lowest I could go. Read More…
Make a cup of coffee, fire up the 56k modem and settle in for another edition of Halloween on the Ancient Internet. If you missed the first edition, I dove into the depths of the Internet Archive to rescue little slices of Halloween goodness from the late ‘90s and early 2000s.
This time, we’re visiting the ghosts of Robert Stack, Hollywood Video and Spyro the Dragon.
Al Gore: The Pumpkin Stencil?
The Pumpkin Masters company — makers of all manner of carving and decorating kits — is alive and well, and it’s neat how their current website feels like a natural evolution of this 2000 version.
That was an election year, of course, and Pumpkin Masters grabbed headlines by offering free stencils based on then-candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush. If you can figure out how to print them at proper sizes, here’s Al and here’s George. In pumpkin stencil form, they look like maps of fictional lands from Game of Thrones. Read More…