Guys, it’s time! Dino Drac’s November Funpack is here, and it’s fueled with ho ho hot holiday power!
U.S. ONLY! LIMITED SUPPLY!
I’ll show you the goodies in a sec, but first, here’s the scoop!
Subscriptions are currently maxed out, so if you’re already subscribed, congrats, you’re definitely getting one!
To everyone else, I have a limited number of spares to sell on an individual, non-subscription basis. The cost is $25, shipped anywhere in the United States. Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn about everything in this month’s Funpack! Read More…
I’ve been searching through VHS tapes for old Christmas commercials, and in the process noticed that I’d amassed a nice little collection of Thanksgiving commercials. So, for the first time ever, here’s a Dino Drac article exclusively about old TG spots!
I’m already laughing at myself over this. An article that begins with a four-paragraph missive about Stove Top Stuffing has zero chance of going viral. But give it a chance, okay?
Stove Top Stuffing! (1996)
Here’s a pair of commercials pitching Stove Top Stuffing as the best way to make Thanksgiving leftovers seem… uh, less like leftovers.
I’ve always loved food advertisements with that premise. The idea that you wouldn’t just reheat your Thanksgiving leftovers, but somehow reconstruct them. I’m more likely to eat that stuff straight out of the fridge, but the idea of playing a home version of Chopped is just so endearing.
Course, you’d never find Stove Top in my kitchen on Thanksgiving. I’m a stickler for homemade stuffing, especially because Thanksgiving often ends up being the ONLY day of the year that I get to make and eat it.
(And that’s not a knock against Stove Top. I love Stove Top! It’s right up there with ramen and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish on the list of foods I’d be happy to eat exclusively for the rest of my life.) Read More…
Tucked into the December ‘85 issue of Family Circle was a pleasant surprise:
Behold, Toys “R” Us’s 1985 Christmas Dream Book!
Back in the ‘80s, TRU didn’t produce giant catalogs, instead relying on limited-page circulars that either came with your Sunday newspaper or got stapled into certain magazines.
This one was 12 pages and mostly aimed at parents, as I doubt that very many kids were ardent readers of Family Circle. Beyond showcasing that year’s hottest toys, the Dream Book also pushed TRU’s special holiday hours. “Open ‘til midnight!” The idea of being able to buy action figures at 11:30 just blew my mind as a kid.
Below are five highlights from TRU’s 1985 Christmas Dream Book. May they spark as many memories for you as they did for me.
Thruster from Gobots! ($23.87)
The more I reflect on Tonka’s Gobots collection, the more I appreciate it. One advantage Gobots had over Transformers was that since the scale of its core figures hovered in that four-inch zone, you could seamlessly work them into multiversal adventures with your G.I. Joe and Star Wars toys.
Tl;dr: If Luke Skywalker and Destro wanted to have coffee with a transforming robot, they’d probably invite Leader-1, not Optimus.
Plus, that line had some great playsets. I’ve already written about the GoBots Command Center, which was like an AT-AT mixed with a four-star hotel. That was my favorite, but Thruster was a close second.
Transforming from a giant spaceship into a giant robot, Thruster had ample space for regular Gobots figures, plus a fetching neon head that looked as if someone took a Sharpie highlighter to Boba Fett’s helmet. So great! Read More…
I love everything about November. The weather, the colors, the food, and especially that abstract low-fi vibe that just begs us to laze. It’s hard to get November wrong. You can celebrate constantly and it’s perfect, or you can do absolutely nothing and it’s still perfect.
November is also a time for beloved traditions. Everyone has their own, and if you’ve followed me long enough, you sure know one of mine:
Almost every year, I recreate the famous feast from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Popcorn, pretzel sticks and jelly beans. I’ll never understand why Peppermint Patty got on Chuck’s case about it. This is pretty much the perfect meal.
I started doing online recreations of this dinner way back in 2003, but I thought it was finally time to take the show to YouTube. So, here’s how to recreate Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving dinner, now in video form:
Okay, so maybe throwing toast and candy on a platter didn’t exactly call for a seven-minute tutorial, but I gotta be me. If you’ve seen my photos over the years but never tried preparing this yourself, do it! The feast is fun to make, fun to eat and oddly beautiful in its own weird way.
Enjoy the vid, and welcome to the start of Dino Drac’s 2021 holiday season! There’s much more to come! (Oh, and the Christmas Jukebox has been reactivated for anyone who’s ready to listen to that damn Paul McCartney song this early in November.)