Dinosaur Dracula!
Dinosaur Dracula

Classic Christmas Commercials, Volume 16!

How about a new edition of Classic Christmas Commercials? Okay good, you approve!

If you’re new to the site, this is where I gush about ancient TV spots that have some tie to Santa Claus, no matter how minor. The commercials below were rescued from old VHS tapes with incorrect labels. “Hey here’s WrestleMania III siiiiike it’s Rudolph.”

Enjoy them, perhaps now more than ever:

Carvel’s Thanksgiving Cakes! (1980s)

This isn’t a Christmas commercial, but since I’ve always considered Thanksgiving “Little Christmas,” I think it still fits.

Tom the Turkey was (and probably still is) Carvel’s official Thanksgiving mascot. He was named after company founder Tom Carvel, who also did the voice-over for this spot. (Yes, even for that crude cartoon turkey at top.)

If you’re thinking that Tom’s ice cream cake looks suspiciously like Cookie Puss, you’re right. Carvel reused the Cookie Puss mold for all sorts of cakes, whether the shape was appropriate or not. (It’s like how they turn Fudgie the Whale into Santa Claus every December.)

This was an extremely low-budget TV spot, and if it seems almost intentionally rough, well, maybe it was! It’s weird to say, but part of the chain’s success stemmed from its ability to seem smaller than it was. There were Carvels dotted all across the northeast, but every store still felt like the ol’ neighborhood ice cream parlor.

Spot Saves Christmas! (1988)

Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get to this one, as it’s truly among the most beloved Christmas commercials of the ‘80s. (I think it was still in rotation through half of the ‘90s, too?)

More than any other piece of 7UP-related media, THIS is the thing that made me a Spot fanatic. Were you to literally set me on fire, you would not warm me any faster than the sight of cartoon Spots posing as Christmas tree ornaments.

I loved all holiday commercials as a kid, but there was a certain “top shelf” reserved for the ones that felt like TV specials in of themselves. For me, this one crossed that threshold. It may have lacked the emotional punch of Ronald McDonald teaching a shy boy to ice skate, but it was an instant spirit boost no matter how many hundreds of times I saw it. Read More…

Dino Drac’s November Funpack is here!

Okay guys, I’m ready to show ya Dino Drac’s November Funpack, which IMO is one of the best ever — and certainly one that’ll help you get into the holiday spirit! Space is limited, so don’t wait long if you want in!


It’s a huge dose of nostalgia with an emphasis on the holiday season! Y’all know the scoop by now: Subscriptions are $25 a month (including shipping), and for as long as you remain subscribed, you’ll keep getting new boxes of old awesomeness each and every month. (And you can cancel anytime without penalty, of course!)

Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn about everything in this month’s Funpack! Read More…

2020’s Hottest Holiday Junk Food, Part 1!

I’ve collected several of this year’s hottest holiday junk foods, and by “collected” I mean “ate ravenously.”

One good thing about the constant barrage of bad news is that you totally get a pass for eating garbage. Cut to a shot of me holding up the latest terrible newspaper with one hand, and shoving Ferrero Rochers down my throat with the other.

Elf Cereal!
(Found at Target)

I am SO into this, and I’ve never even seen the movie! I would’ve given the cereal high marks for its bright box art alone, but it’s really the flavor that pops loudest.

Think of it as maple-flavored Kix. The syrup flavor is rich, deep and not at all what you’d expect from a “cartoony” cereal. It’s more like something Trader Joe’s might sell, if that makes sense. It’s honestly a shock to taste something so complex when the cereal looks like that.

I’ll warn you that I seem to be in the minority re: Elf Cereal. Not everyone is a fan. I could see the heavy maple flavor getting old in a big giant bowl of the stuff, but if you’re like me, and you mostly just grab small handfuls over the course of several weeks like a thieving squirrel, I think you’ll dig it.


Christmas Blonde Roast 2020!
(Available at Starbucks)

A thing about me: I don’t do the big fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks. Even the beloved seasonal offerings like PSLs and Gingerbread Lattes. If I’m gonna frivolously plow through 700 calories, I’d rather it be on potato chips.

Thus, I am all about Starbucks doing holiday versions of their regular coffees. I’m particularly fond of their Christmas Blonde Roast 2020, which is advertised as being “sweet and figgy,” but to me barely tastes any different from the Blonde roast I drank back in March.

And that’s not a complaint! I can appreciate a good flavored coffee, but when I want coffee, I almost always just want regular goddamn coffee. So the fact that this has such mild modifications is perfect for me. It’s the Christmas coffee version of the “This Is My Halloween Costume” t-shirt.

GRADE: A. I’m also digging that holiday cup, which looks like a stage from an Xmas edition of Frogger. Read More…

Brach’s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn!

You’ve heard of Brach’s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn, right? A whole Thanksgiving dinner in candy corn form? It’s as gross as it sounds!

Me and Jay got our hands on a few bags for a Purple Stuff Podcast taste-test. (We haven’t released a minisode in years, and what better excuse than green bean candy corn?)

I won’t spoil our reactions, but yeah, this was pretty extreme. Brach’s Turkey Dinner was for some reason classified as a *Halloween* candy, so if you reallllly want a bag, you may have to fish around eBay at this point.

The flavors include roasted turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie and ginger glazed carrot. (Obviously, it’s the first three that you’ve gotta worry about.)

Click here to listen to the minisode!

Thanks! There’s more Purple Stuff to come this month, both here and on our Patreon page. Stay tuned, and rinse regularly.