Dinosaur Dracula!

Ten things I wanted to buy at Monster-Mania.

We dropped by the Monster-Mania horror convention in Cherry Hill last night, pretty much on a whim. Wasn’t planning to stay over, and with the last remaining rooms being $179 a night, I’m glad we didn’t.

I haven’t been to the New Jersey version of the con in years. This visit was confirmation that I like their Maryland-based conventions better. It’s a longer drive, but the Maryland hotel is much weirder/cooler/more fitting, not to mention roomier.  Perhaps I should’ve opened this paragraph with the phrase, “dear diary.”

Monster-Mania has grown wildly popular. Even on Friday night, when the convention was just getting started, the crowds were enormous.  Especially impressive when you consider that the original autographing headliner, Clive Barker, had to cancel. I refuse to believe that so many people came out for Carl Weathers. At this stage, Monster-Mania seems to be making its way on name alone. Good for them!

I’m not a convention guy by any stretch, but these just have such a friendly atmosphere, and despite the crowds, you never really feel as though you’re among the cattle. While you’d be silly to go to one if you’re not at all into horror movies, that theme is widely defined. So long as you can stand the sight of Freddy Krueger, there’s something for everyone.

I won’t bother with a full con report, because I wasn’t there for the whole con. Nor did I give the autograph rooms more than a passing glance, because after paying the guy from Gremlins to draw me a jack o’ lantern last year, there was nowhere to go but down.

Not fronting. The only reason I went there was for the dealer rooms. Yes, $50 in admission costs for me and the missus, just so I could buy things.

I had Dino Drac’s first Halloween season on the brain. The mission was to find a few things worth covering whenever those festivities end up starting. I think I made out okay, but what I left behind will haunt me for weeks. I didn’t want to be an idiot with my money, but man, there were some great things there. I thought about them the whole ride home. Even took pictures, because those are the mementos I don’t have to feel guilty about.

With that, here are ten things I kinda sorta wanted to buy at Monster-Mania, but didn’t. Read More…

Marshmallows From Outer Space!

I wanted to create something out of marshmallows, so I asked the folks on Dino Drac’s Facebook page for suggestions.  There were plenty of good ideas, but this one stood out:

“A fluffy spaceship, obviously. With super interesting aliens who have a unique, snack-based culture.”

Thank you, Damon. You saved me from having to think for myself. This sounded like a wonderful way to kill a half hour, and it was.

Armed with marshmallows and markers, I made the best damn marshmallow spaceship that thirty minutes would allow. Or maybe I didn’t. Maybe I made some really ugly thing that would only resemble a spaceship if I begged you to say it did. You’re the judge and jury here, fuckers.

It’s the 7X-FGG212, a new model boasting top speeds with virtually no turbulence.  The perfect vessel for smooth interplanetary travel.

It may look like the 7X-FGG212 has the odd distinction of being a spaceship with an open top, but of course it doesn’t. In fact, the ship employs an invisible canopy, allowing its passengers to feel like they’re in plain space even when they’re completely and totally protected from it.

This journey was no mere pleasure cruise, mind you.  The crew of the 7X-FGG212 has a story to tell, and it is a goddamned marshmallow doozy. A tale of intrigue, sure, but also one of frightful oppression. If we’re lucky, it could become one of hope, too. Read More…

Come home to me, brainy.

Okay, technically, I found “Kraang,” not “Krang.” But still.

I got some e-mails asking if I was gonna cover the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, spun from the fast approaching Nickelodeon show. Well, of course. But it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t start with Krang.

Sorry. Kraaang.

Kraang was a bitch to find. Actually, my local Toys “R” Us has barely had any of the new TMNT stuff in for weeks now. A couple of Splinters (eternally doomed to be the last one kids go for, no matter the generation), and if I was lucky, a Raph or two. It wasn’t until my pal Jason gave me the tip to “check Target” this afternoon that I finally found one.

And Krang/Kraang was worth the wait.

I spew hyperbole like the worst writer in the world, but if there’s one thing I could never exaggerate, it’s my love of Krang. That was the character that got me hooked on all things Ninja Turtles. To this day, pound for pound and all things considered, I honestly couldn’t name another character, from any walk of entertainment, that I appreciate more. From aesthetics to persona, Krang inspires and delights me like a beautiful disembodied muse.

Of course, this figure isn’t based on that same Krang. It represents just one member of the “Kraang” species — aliens allied with Shredder in the new cartoon, who travel around in “Kraang-droid exo skeletons.”  In schematics, they’re more like the Utroms than the scourge of Dimension X, but at least these guys look like the real Krang. Same bulbous, pink, tentacled brain. Weird eyes. We can pretend. Read More…

Vlog: My New Robot!

At one of those random discount stores, there he was. Buried deep in a pile a Nissin Cup Noodles in flavors that haven’t existed since 1998, there he was. I’ve named him Kid Galaxy. He is a wonderful wadio-controlled wobot.

Presented as an easy-to-operate doodad for only the youngest of tykes, I can’t see how such a terrific robot could have any sort of age restriction. He was twenty bucks, and even if a generic robot hidden in a discount outlet should’ve cost less, I won’t complain. He’s cute, he makes robot noises, and he lights up like a cop car.

Get the full scoop in exactly eight minutes:

Alternate link for YouTube people: Click here!

This is my favorite frivolous purchase in a good long while. Even the cats have accepted him. Kid Galaxy rules.

New Features on Dino Drac!

Hi!  It’s been a while!

This post is to alert the RSS-only crowd that there are two new features up. Really long ones, too. When I’m rusty, I’m wordy.

First, Jimmy Hart gets gunked in the legendary Masters of the Universe Slime Pit, the only playset on record that transformed your favorite action heroes into slimy slaves.

Then, go read my rankings of all ten Friday the 13th movies, based on VHS box art alone. (And chime in with your own rankings. If current feedback is to be trusted, I was waaay off.)

I’m screwing my head back on and prepping for a more serious run at Dino Drac. “Serious” might not be the right word, but I’ve really missed doing this, and the longer I’m away from it, the less I feel like myself. I can’t get it past the tip of my tongue, but I know there was some comic book character who saw his vitality diminished the longer he strayed from his supernatural energy source. For me, this is something like that.  When my website stagnates, my vitality nosedives.

Think I’ll go find some stupid thing to write about. Have a good Saturday!

Actually, make your Saturday better by trying out my friend Brian’s new and totally free game, Scruffy3D, available for iPhones and iPads. I have neither, so I’ll have to trust the reviews and screenshots that the game worth your time. I’m nearly certain it is, since the screenshot I’m looking at features an evil frog in an astronaut suit.

Brian has been a longtime supporter of my endeavors, so please give his weirdo opus a whirl!