Dinosaur Dracula!
Dinosaur Dracula

2020’s Best Halloween Junk Food, Part 3!

It’s been a great year for Halloween foodies, but in a quiet sort of way. While we haven’t gotten anything on the level of Fruity Yummy Mummy or the Halloween Whopper, there’s been an awful lot of not-awful stuff!

As this edition of 2020’s Best Halloween Junk Food will demonstrate, the trick is to avoid relying on big department store chains exclusively. Yeah, you’re gonna find stuff at Target and Walmart, but if you stop there, it’s kind of a middling season. Take a few extra drives, and you’ll be ten pounds happier in no time.

Hocus Pocus Shake!
(Available at Carvel)

My sympathies to those who don’t live near a Carvel ice cream parlor, because this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen all season. Partnering with Freeform, Carvel has unleashed a special HOCUS POCUS SHAKE that arrives in its own collectible cup!

(If you didn’t know, Hocus Pocus has become the “mascot movie” of Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween. This year, they’re running the film no less than fourteen times!)

The color of the shake is misleading — it’s actually vanilla flavored, with a generous helping of crushed Oreos. If you’ve never had Carvel’s vanilla ice cream, trust me, nothing compares. Picture soft serve vanilla, but bless it with something marshmallowy. It’s like the ice cream from an ice cream cake, and it tastes like all of my childhood birthday parties.

GRADE: A+. The Hocus Pocus Shake is essentially a revamp of Carvel’s Slime Shake, which was another Freeform promotion. I miss the specific shoutout to slime, but objectively, this one is better.

Halloween II Slasher Sours Candy!
(Found at Spirit Halloween)

The impulse section at Spirit Halloween is loaded with overpriced novelty candy. You can safely ignore much of it, but there are a few things you absolutely need to buy. Like this.

A teensy Michael Myers tin wouldn’t normally stir me up, but my God, check out that candy. Adorable little knives! And they’re to scale with four-inch action figures, so after you get sick of eating weapon-shaped Smarties, you can turn your vintage Admiral Ackbar into a stone cold killer.

Yes, these are marketed specifically as a Halloween II thing. It’s not for any creative reason. Movie licensing rights are wild, and sometimes it’s only possible (or just phenomenally cheaper) to use logos and likenesses from random sequels.

We’re seeing a lot of that this year, and I don’t mind it at all. It’s forcing merchandisers to embrace chapters of film franchises that wouldn’t normally get much attention. (Kinda neat to walk through a costume shop and see Freddy Krueger masks with Dream Master branding. They’re the same masks, but it’s still neat!)

GRADE: A. Honestly, the candy assortment is where Spirit Halloween shines brightest this year. Read More…

Classic Creepy Commercials, Volume 28!

Whether you’re into Freddy Krueger, Universal Studios or KILLER ROBOT CABBAGE PATCH KIDS, this edition of Classic Creepy Commercials will satisfy your weird craving. Enjoy:

Freddy’s Holiday Party Contest! (1988)

Stay with me here, because it gets convoluted!

If you lived in Portland in 1988, you had the chance to win Freddy’s fabulous HOLIDAY PARTY KIT, which included everything from a Dream Master videotape to, wow, Freddy Krueger party hats.

To enter, “all” you had to watch Freddy’s Nightmares (Sundays at 6PM), write the name of the particular episode on a postcard, and then drop that postcard off at a participating video store.

Sounds like a major fuss, but how else were you gonna get your hands on official Freddy Krueger party invitations? I just hope KPDX 49 ran this spot frequently, because it took me five tries to understand the rules. Read More…

Spooky VCR Games, Ripped 4 Your Pleasure.

Hi, I’m Matt, and I collect tapes from old VCR board games.

Just the tapes, I mean. I can’t honestly claim that they’re super fun to watch without the game components, but as a kid, I did it all the time.

It started with the Clue VCR Mystery Game. My parents received it as a Christmas gift in 1985, or maybe it was 1986? Whatever the case, they never played it. The box sat in a drawer for years, collecting dust next to a bunch of mysterious wires that everyone was too afraid to toss.

I eventually adopted it, but it was tough to play VCR board games by yourself. Instead, I just watched the included tape like it was an actual movie. In a way, it was, and in many ways it wasn’t. In time, that tape became something I threw on whenever I wanted sights and sounds without needing to pay much attention to them.

That’s my pitch for this article, actually. Out of context, the tapes that came with VCR board games don’t make a whole lot of sense, but as background noise, they’re phenomenal!

Below are complete rips of the videos that came with three classic VCR board games. Since it’s the Halloween season, all of them have something to do with horror. (Those were the best ones, anyway.)

I’m not suggesting that you plop down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn for any of these, but they’re perfect for those occasions when you’re, say, reorganizing the junk on your shelves, or doodling monsters with crayons, or redoing your eBay watch list as a tacit admission that you’ve never really gonna buy a MOC Stinkor from 1985, even if it’s the best way to guarantee fresh patchouli. Read More…

Dino Drac’s Envelopes of Evil are back!

Surprise — it’s back! Dino Drac’s fifth ENVELOPE OF EVIL is available now, assuming you live in the U.S. and have $31 to spare.

You’ll receive a Priority Mail envelope stuffed with all sorts of spooky goodies, and maybe one that isn’t spooky at all. It’s a macabre mix of reading material, collectibles and activities, and exactly the sort of treasures that Dino Drac readers would be into. (I hope!)

Supplies are limited, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn about everything you’ll receive!

(Please note that this is NOT a Dino Drac Funpack — that’s still yet to come. This is just a side thing!) Read More…