Dinosaur Dracula!
Dinosaur Dracula

Five Retro TV Commercials, Part 33!

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…

Stranger Things invades Baskin-Robbins!

I’m so glad that I finally hopped on the Stranger Things bandwagon. Not only is it a great show, but it would’ve killed me to skip all of this wackadoo promo shit for its third season. First was that New Coke hoopla, and now the series has completely taken over Baskin-Robbins!

It’s natural, too. Stranger Things 3 will feature a “Scoops Ahoy” ice cream parlor as a not-insignificant location, so it’s no big leap for the series to team up with a real world ice cream joint.

This ain’t my first rodeo with movie-themed Baskin-Robbins promotions, and I can pretty confidently say that the chain has never been so all-in. There are more ST-inspired treats available than even a party of four could reasonably tackle in one visit.

…at least, that was my experience yesterday, when four of us marched into Baskin-Robbins on a mission to order EVERYTHING. Only after getting home did I realize that we missed a few desserts, despite needing two tables and eighteen stomachs to handle what we did buy.

Below are just three of the many things currently featured on Baskin-Robbins’ Stranger Things menu. I should note that the employees were only just starting to familiarize themselves with these new offerings, so while they were super awesome and way accommodating, they didn’t always nail the details:

The star attraction is this Demogorgon Sundae, so named because the waffle cups are shaped not unlike a Demogorgon’s head. Sadly, our waffle cup was missing the promised sprinkles and nonpareils, so if you wanna see a Demogorgon Sundae that looks more like the promo shot, my buddy John tried one that came a little closer.

But hey, I didn’t care. Even without the small touches, this was still a strawberry sundae vaguely shaped like a Demogorgon. That’s fuckin’ unreal, guys. People my age still flip out over the time Hardee’s sold Slimer Sundaes, but this thing is twenty times as theatrical. I might say that it’s my all-time favorite promotional ice cream, and you’re reading a guy who remembers when Tony Soprano had his own brand of ice cream sandwiches.

If your local B-R has the right ingredients, you’ll get a sprinkled waffle cup filled with berry ice cream and topped with a wickedly evil strawberry sauce. Even my half-correct version was gorgeous and delicious. Will definitely try another before they close up shop. Read More…

Godzilla Burgers at Johnny Rockets!

I’m leaving to catch Godzilla: King of the Monsters in about, oh, two hours. I have no idea if I can finish this review before showtime, but I’m gonna try, because these half-baked paragraphs about weird cheeseburgers are surprisingly time-sensitive.

Yes, Godzilla has invaded Johnny Rockets restaurants with a variety of avocado-enhanced menu items. (I guess avocado got the nod because it’s green and so is Godzilla? I should note that avocados are also referred to as alligator pears, which is what Godzilla’s sweethearts call him in Valentine’s Day cards.)

Looks like Johnny Rockets has the exclusive rights to make MonsterVerse food, as this was the same place I found those screwball Kong milkshakes more than two years ago. I love the idea that King Kong milkshakes were SO successful that Johnny Rocket himself demanded another partnership the second he saw Millie Bobby Brown screaming in that trailer.

I dined with Jay, who as a matter of a full disclosure was the one who first noticed this promo. He got Godzilla’s Avocado Chicken Salad, which at Johnny Rockets is like eating carrot sticks. I got everything else: Read More…

The Purple Stuff Podcast discovers NEW COKE!

If you didn’t hear the big news, Coca-Cola is dusting off NEW COKE as part of a special partnership with Stranger Things. (The show’s third season is set in 1985, smack in the middle of New Coke’s shaky debut.)

This past Thursday, thousands of us struggled to place orders on New Coke’s retro-themed website. It turns out that Coke wasn’t totally prepared to have tens of thousands of people hammering its servers at the same time.

Right around the point of peak frustration, I heard an interesting tidbit. Instead of waiting for that godforsaken site to load, I could drive into Manhattan and swipe cans of *free* New Coke from a special event at a downtown bar. WHAT?!

Jay from The Sexy Armpit was game to join in, and this is our story. The story of two schmoes who were obsessed enough with new/old soda to zip into the Manhattan in the middle of rush hour.

Staged from Barcade (a bar/arcade, duh), Coke had recreated THE UPSIDE DOWN and challenged brave souls to walk beyond the moss and strobe lights. There they’d find a special New Coke vending machine, and maybe some other surprises.

I’d say more, but we recorded a whole Purple Stuff minisode about the experience. Listen to it below!

Click here to listen!

It turned out to be a great night. Getting to *literally* walk into the Upside Down to fetch icy cans of New Coke? C’mon, you know I live for shit like that.

Below are assorted and mostly blurry photos from the event. I also posted a video on Instagram, where you may also find pictures of the books I’ve been reading and the lunches I’ve been eating. Read More…