Oct 19, 2014

Halloween Web - Holidaze

Another great artist joins us today to chat about Halloween. You may know him from his work on the Hi-C Horror drink boxes he did last year.

Cliff/Holidaze Halloween

Thanks for joining us! Please introduce yourself to the readers.

My name is Cliff Knueppel and while I may not be a household name, you may have seen my work here and there.  I'm a graphic designer who's been featured by ESPN, Bleacher Report, WWE, Hot 97, FearNET, and the Brooklyn Nets team and players.  In addition, I run "The Holidaze," a site dedicated to pop-culture, food, candy, toys, products and events that put us in a nostalgic "daze" throughout the changing holidays and seasons.  It's a passion of mine and has let to amazing interaction with outstanding, like-minded individuals who share a love for what some may call "nerdy."  I say, embrace what you love and appreciate what makes you, you! 

The coolest thing I've done on The Holidaze is introduce the Hi-C Horror boxes - a collection of designs that pay homage to Ecto-Cooler through the use of classic horror characters and witty flavors.  This year, I'm designing the Holidaze Pop! line inspired by Funko Pop! vinyl figures.  I simply attempt to make the most out of Halloween (and all holidays) by enhancing the season as much as possible.


What do you remember most about Halloween from childhood?

I grew up in Jersey City, NJ but never actually celebrated there.  On Halloween, my family usually met up in either Keansburg or Bayonne, NJ at my Aunt and Uncle's houses.  I have a lot of cousins and we all Trick - or - Treated together.  As I got older, we started visiting Salem, MA but, no matter where I was, the one aspect that always stands out on Halloween is family.  My Parents are huge influence behind my love of Halloween.  They always did their best to make the most of the season by taking us on Haunted Hayrides, to Haunted Houses, decorating the house, and taking us out to Pizza Hut after a night of Trick - or - Treating.  For as great as Halloween for so many reasons, Family is the one take-away and constant from my childhood.

Any favorite costumes from Halloweens past?

There are a few!  As mentioned above, "The Spirit" costumes was great.  Another year I wore a "Creature Reacher" Grim Reaper costume that people loved.  A Pumpkin Head "Creature Reacher" followed.  My girlfriend and I once went as Superman and Superwoman which was fitting for our first year together.  Two years ago, I made my own Macho Man Randy Savage costume which was a huge hit in Hoboken, NJ on Halloween night.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard "Ohhhh yeaaaahh."  In 2013, my GF and I went as zombies and actually won a Halloween contest.  I have so many memories of dressing up through the years and I'll never understand why some people think they're too old for it.  What?? Come on!

Cliff/Holidaze Halloween

Do you have a particularly memorable Halloween story?

When I was a kid, my Parents took me and my Cousin to Salem, MA every year for Halloween.  For the first few years, we dressed up in silly costumes.  One year we were goth zombies, another we were The Rock & Sock Connection.  But, in Salem, you go big or go home.  So, in 2002 when we were about 15 years old, my Parents bought us oversized costumes that looked awesome.  We went as "The Old Man & His Spirit" and, together, we roamed the streets of Salem.  After an hour or so, we needed a break so we sat down on a nearby bench. Somebody asked if they could take a photo with us which we thought was great.  Then another, then another.. before we knew it, there was a line of people waiting 3 hours to take their photo with us!  We couldn't believe it!  Little did they know there were two teenagers in those costumes in absolute awe.  We felt like rock stars, to the point that we needed to be escorted back to my parent's car.  Later that night, we donned the masks again and pretended to stay still as people passed us by.  Then, just when they were convinced we were fake.. BOOM!  We scared the hell out of them.  Great times in Salem and that will always be one of sooo many fond memories.

What do you do to celebrate Halloween today?

In recent years, thanks in part to Matt from X-Entertainment and Dinosaur Dracula, I began celebrating Halloween as early as August through various activities and products.  He made it cool to enjoy everything about Halloween and inspired me to share my love for the season through The Holidaze.  Now, Halloween has become a full 2-months of fun.  Whether it's Halloween candy, horror movies, haunted houses or little art projects, I do whatever I can to get the most out of the season.  But on Halloween night, it's an annual tradition that my girlfriend and I go out, in full costume, to Hoboken, NJ with friends and family.  If I can't be in Salem, then Hoboken is the next best thing.  Last year we won $50, but this year I have no costume ideas, yet.  Hopefully something hits me soon!

Cliff/Holidaze Halloween 

Do you have any specific yearly rituals?

I guess you can call them rituals.  Halloween cereal is a must.  Throughout September and October, Frankenberry, Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Halloween Crunch are the real Breakfasts of Champions.  I try to watch as many horror movies as possible, always play the same Halloween music, especially in the car, and get to as many haunted houses as I can.  With The Holidaze in mind, I also try to indulge in Halloween products and junk food, too.  Most of what I cover is never actually eaten in full and is usually just for review, but it's an important part of the season.  My "rituals" tend to change from season to season, but the theme always stays the same.  The concept is to milk Halloween for all it's worth and create memories that will last a lifetime.  That's the true tradition.
 
What do you think it is about Halloween that keeps it in our hearts as we get older?

Halloween is not meant to be taken seriously and that's why it's so special.  When you compare it to Christmas or Easter, they're polar opposites.  Two are about giving, prayer, and reflection while the other focuses on monsters, demons, horror, and candy.  There's no true purpose behind Halloween in today's society and it allows us to be selfish.  We go out, we buy candy, food, and costumes.  We indulge.  We watch movies in which we cheer for the murderer to kill his victim in the most gruesome way.  It's not serious and that's why it's fun.  But, at it's very core, Halloween allows us to remember the old days, remember the nostalgia attached to family and friends, and create new memories with loved ones today.  It's a break from the stresses of everyday life and invites us to be a kid again.

Cliff/Holidaze Halloween

Inside the Spooksters' Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating were pennies!
My favorite thing to get was Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins

Where can people find you online?

For those interested in reading The Holidaze, they can do so at www.the-holidaze.blogspot.com. They can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter @HolidazeBlog.  If you want to get personal and interact outside of The Holidaze, I can be reached @CKCash30.

Before I conclude, I'd like to thank you for finding me worthy of an interview.  Believe me, I'm just a nobody who happens to love Halloween as much as all of you, but it's always nice to be person of interest.  Dex, if you ever Trick-or-Treat at my house, I'll be sure to hook it up with some Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins - the Orange ones!!

And if you ever make it back up Salem-way, any time of the year, let me know!

Cliff/Holidaze Halloween

Before you head off to your next house, swing by Halloween Mixes.
They're posting a themed mix album every day of the month!

And of course, check out all the other folks participating in the Countdown to Halloween!

Oct 18, 2014

Halloween Web - Vlad

We've got a special treat for you with today's interview straight from his castle in Wallachia!

Castle Vlad Logo

It was with great pleasure that Vlad received your list of questions. (Carrier vultures are so unreliable these days!) Vlad took a moment to reflect (which is rare since Vlad has no reflection anywhere else) and put some thoughts to parchment in the hope that you might find it somehow useful. And if not useful then feel free to use the sharp edges of this parchment to give your enemies the Death of a Thousand Paper Cuts! (Anything Vlad can do to help….)

For the peasants that are not aware of you, tell us a little about yourself.

I am Vlad Dracula, Prince of Wallachia, better known as Vlad the Impaler! Some might know me from a little thing called “world history!” (Really! Look it up or as people say today “Google” it!) Others might know me from Vlad’s old Internet show “Ask Vlad” and the more recent “Castle Vlad,” formerly found embedded at the Weird Hollow blog but now at Castle Vlad Facebook page and Weird Hollow Twitter page and, of course, on YouTube! “Castle Vlad” – your one stop on the Internet for monsters, mayhem and wacky hijinks via your viewing device thingies!

Besides new episodes and segments of  “Castle Vlad,” Vlad will also be found appearing in Vlad’s second live show in conjunction with a local newspaper’s “Choose Your Own Doom” story writing contest for children and a local library! Last years “Castle Vlad Live And Undead!” was so successful, Vlad was asked to return with his creatures for a new show entitled, “Castle Vlad’s Mad Monster Party!” (And by “asked” Vlad, of course, means “sentenced to community service!”) The live show will be a one-hour story written, directed and starring yours truly with a cast of monsters, with music and madness for the whole family. (As long as that family happens to be named “Addams” or “Munster!”)

Vlad is also in talks to have a television program on local TV. Vlad also has plans for a fan(g) club kit and other merchandise with which you can fill your (not so goodie) goodie bags! (Oh, and Vlad continues to punish infidels and make plans to take over the world.)

Vlads Live Show

What was Halloween like in your neighborhood as a kid?

Vlad was born in a small Transylvanian town called Sighisoara. One did not trick or treat there unless one wanted the treat of a sword, lance, axe, dagger or hammer on the skull! But Vlad digresses. Back to more recent times…one of Vlad’s favorite neighborhoods to visit on Halloween was a very, very long street in a neighborhood that ended in a circle drive. Hundreds and hundreds of children would trick or treat there, walking from house to house. Back in the day almost every house would decorate for the season and hand out candy. Best of all, right behind some of the houses was a very large cemetery, which only added to the ambiance!

This was in rural Missouri so one never knew what costume to pick as the weather was as unpredictable as Vlad’s temper! Vlad remembers trick or treating in heat, cold, rain and even sleet and snow! Today’s children with their “trunk or treat” do not know the joy of walking in darkness from house to house, through the leaves and among the shadows wearing an ill-fitting costume and asking for candy from strangers!

What do you remember most about Halloween from childhood?

When Vlad’s father Vlad Dracul was captured by the Turks, Vlad was just a young boy. To gain his freedom, Vlad’s father left Vlad to the Sultan Murad II. Amidst the strict regime of learning and tortures, there was not much time for a celebration like Halloween! But for the last hundred years or so, Vlad has remedied this by celebrating the season. Vlad has special fondness for the era of the late sixties and seventies! Disguising oneself, walking from house to house, scaring others and getting candy. Who does not love that?

Any favorite costumes from Halloweens past?

Vlad will confess that there was a time in the seventies when he too would trick and treat. Vlad remembers well the wet, clammy feeling of the plastic mask with the sharp mouth and eye holes pressing into flesh as Vlad made his way around the neighborhoods of Weird Hollow and Neato Coolville. Vlad also remembers making and wearing latex gorilla prosthetics from a do-it-yourself kit back in the day and being virtually unrecognizable. Ahh, those were the days! (Vlad loves the classic Planet of the Apes!)

What do you think it is about Halloween that sticks with us as we get older?

What is there not to love about Halloween as a child? Those things of our nightmares became real and instead of running away, we embraced, celebrated and even became them! It was not about the candy (although to children, Vlad knows that was a huge plus!) It was about bringing those things that scared us in the darkness into the light of day and wearing their cloaks/fur/bandages/gills/skin! Halloween was the one season where the things we were told were foolish or “just our imaginations” became real - but in a safe way. How can any lover of monsters and spooky stories and things that go bump in the night as children NOT love Halloween, especially as they get older? There is a special dark and twisted place in the heart of the inner child in all of us that remembers and loves the feeling of Halloween, if we will only allow it to creep and slither out.

Castle Vlad Trick or Treating
Vlad and Frankentina

 What's it like around Castle Vlad on Halloween night?

At Castle Vlad, EVERY night is Halloween! (Which happened to be the “moral” – if I may use the word loosely, of last year’s “Castle Vlad Live and Undead!” stage show.) But yes, Frankentina, Tonga the gorilla, Rasputin, Lazlo, Doctor Schlock, Handsful and Grabel as well as many of the other creatures help decorate the castle for a more festive and frightening feel. On Halloween night all of the residents of Castle Vlad usually gather on the top of the parapet of the Castle and help Vlad pour hot boiling oil on the infidels who are foolish enough to gather below with fire and pitchforks. And then we all dance macabre to their cries and lamentations as they scream out in pain. We then sing Halloween carols, listen to one of Vlad’s Halloween mix CDs, feast and howl at the moon. Then Vlad sometimes bathes in stag’s blood and runs with the wolves. (Full disclosure: Vlad OFTEN bathes in stag’s blood and runs with the wolves.) We then retire to the theatre room and watch old horror films (usually classic Universal or Hammer horror films) until the sun begins to rise.

Inside the Spooksters' Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was a stake to the heart! Ha! Ha! Vlad kids! (But no, that would NOT be good!) The worse thing to get trick or treating was an apple, a penny, a homemade popcorn ball or that horrible and hard peanut butter taffy in that orange or black wax wrapping. That stuff is so horrible, Vlad will not even use it when torturing his WORST enemies! (The Geneva Convention should reconvene and add it to the list of things banned!) Plus it is murder on the fangs!

My favorite thing to get (back in the day) was a full sized candy bar. Not those tiny little one bite candy bars but a full sized candy bar. When you felt one of those fall into your Halloween bag, you knew you had something! It was worth your time! The residents feared and respected you! (Or it was very early in the evening before their candy supplies were diminished to nothing but the dregs and well before they realized the hordes of trick or treaters who would be knocking at their door!)

Vlad

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us.

Dex, Vlad thanks you for the questions, your fangtastic blog and for helping keep Halloween alive (and undead) for the children of today and for the adults who are still those trick or treating children at heart! Vlad wishes you as well as all of your readers and followers a truly spectacular, monstrous and frightening All Hallow’s Eve!!! 

Farewell…..

Yours unruly,
VLAD


Before you head off to your next house, swing by Halloween Mixes.
They're posting a themed mix album every day of the month!

And of course, check out all the other folks participating in the Countdown to Halloween!

Oct 17, 2014

Fivehands Curiosity Shoppe, Salem

You may want to grab a snack if you're staying for the whole post!

Fivehands board

A couple of weeks ago I finally got to visit Fivehands Curiosity Shoppe in downtown Salem. Although it's been open for at least a year and a half, for one reason or another I've just never gone inside. I took lots of photos and decided to hold on to them for October because I thought it would make a great Countdown to Halloween post. It wasn't particularly busy the day we went, so I had plenty of time to ask owner Christopher Cinquemani about some of the curious things.

I'll preface the post by saying that there are some vintage adult photos in the shop and while I didn't go out of my way to get closeups of them, they can be seen in some of my shots.


As soon as you walk in the door, you're greeted...

Fivehands skeleton

Like the sign in the upper left says, it's real! Everything in the shop is. No props, no replicas, all history! It felt like walking into a Stephen King story or the antique shop from Friday the 13th the TV series. The store is very nice but I couldn't help but get the feeling there were some sinister stories around me. But that's probably just an overactive imagination, right?

Standing at Skelly there and turning left, you can look down the length of the store.

Fivehands long shot

We'll explore that in a bit. First we're going to take in the smaller area to the right of Skelly.

Fivehands corner

There is so much to look at, you really don't know where to start! But with me as your guide, you don't have the problem of deciding where to start because we're pushing in on that table.

Fivehands table closeup

Even with a smaller area to focus on, there is still quite the assortment of objects! The card on that instrument in the middle reads "c.1900 Eimer & Amend laboratory/chemistry apparatus with case." I have no idea what it was used for but here's a closer view if you like.

Turning to the right of the table...

Fivehands banner

Isn't that banner gorgeous? It's actually a local relic. Le Grand David Magic Company holds the Guinness Record for being the longest consecutive running magic show in the world and it ran in the neighboring town of Beverly from 1977 to 2012.

Below the banner is a glass display case with all kinds of everything.

Fivehands display case

Here's the left side of the top shelf.

Fivehands top shelf

There are little bits of vintage pulp/men's magazine throughout the store here and there like this magazine. The piece in the yellow box is Pre-Columbian, which literally means it dates back prior to Columbus' 1492 voyage!

Moving down a shelf...

Fivehands dental kit

(Don't mind the photos!)
While you may not like the dentist, I think we have a lot to be grateful for as far as modern medicine goes. The card on this reads "An extremely scarce gold covered dental kit and articulator. 1920, France." While "dental articulator" might sound intimidating, it's really just a place to attach teeth molds. You can get a better look at it here.

To the right of the dental case is this wicked looking thing.

Fivehands embalming instrument

The shop owner told me the gun like object is used in embalming. It has a long needle that attaches to it which is then inserted under the chin to assist in sewing the mouth shut. Fun! But what's that behind it?

Fivehands humidor

The emblem in the center shows the date 19 Jun, 1887. I thought for sure it was a funerary urn. The owner opened the case and lifted the lid on it to show me it was a humidor! Under the lid is a metal plate with small circular holes so you can insert cigars in it vertically.

Moving to the bottom shelf...

Fivehands cannonballs 

Civil war rounds. How's that for some history?

Beside those is probably the item that grabbed my brain the hardest...

Fivehands occult box

 But oddly I didn't ask the owner about this one. From what I could tell, it appears to be sealed with wax all around the middle. What's inside? I'll never know.

Quickly moving back to the "long" side of the store! Here's another item from the Cabot Theater in Beverly. I'm not sure what it was used for but it is huuuge!

Fivehands dragon head

Further behind it, is an actual coffin and a few headstones. If you squint really hard and look in the upper right, you'll see a red velvety rope. It's a circus trapeze from the 1940s.

To the right of the dragon head are lots of shelves holding all sorts of things.

Fivehands shelves

Perhaps the weirdest thing was this trophy that someone made. At least I'm presuming someone custom made this. It's not something I'd expect to buy off the shelf.

Fivehands trophy

I can't even imagine the history behind why someone made this. World's Greatest (Worst?) Kraken Hunter? The trophy itself (the gold post) is at least two feet tall.

I thought this shelf was particuarly Halloween-ish.

Fivehands bugs & bottles

There's still a lot more photos, including close ups of some things glimpsed in pictures here. Please swing by Flickr and check everything out if you have time. I promise it's worth it! Believe it or not, there's still even more stuff than I took photos of. The shop isn't large but it is packed with so much stuff!

If you want to check out some really good photos, head over to the Fivehands Tumblr.

Before you head off to your next house, swing by Halloween Mixes.
They're posting a themed mix album every day of the month!

And of course, check out all the other folks participating in the Countdown to Halloween!

Oct 16, 2014

Halloween Web - Strange Kid

Usually I'm the one playing in the Strange Kids Clubhouse, but today I've lured the Strange Kid himself to my corner of the interweb by laying down an intricate path of candy corn.

rondal-profile

For those unfortunate enough not to know you...who are you?

Hello internets! My name is Rondal and I am the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club, an online and print magazine dedicated to dumpster-diving through 80s and 90s pop culture obscurity. Our mission? ...well, we don't really have one, but we do have a lot of fun. *laughs* Anyway, aside from that I am also Co-Founder of Circle Jerks Stickers alongside my bud Michael Anderson, a co-host on the Monsters & Metal podcast, the creator behind Closet Monsters digital trading cards, a standing member of the Countdown to Halloween.

Why do you think Halloween sticks with us as we get older?

I can't speak for every boil and ghoul, but I know for me Halloween is about shedding my inhibitions and embracing the chaos and darkness that life throws my way. It's taking what we fear most and turning into that fear into a celebration, essentially taking it's power away.

Of course, there's loads of commercialized products and confectionary sweets that come along with it---that stuff doesn't hurt either---but it's mostly about releasing (or at least loosening) our inhibition.

rondal-halloween-2010

What was Halloween like in your neighborhood as a kid?

It's hard to say. I moved around a lot as a kid since my father was in the Marines (Ed.: OOO-RAH!), but for the most part I remember Halloween up around North Carolina the most. I'll admit, I was a greedy kid, maybe greedier than most, so Halloween always meant more candy to me growing up. Well, it meant two things (often enjoyed together): staying up late watching monster movies and eating candy until I wanted to throw up.

Despite moving around we generally lived in the 'burbs with a large community so there were plenty of houses to hit around Halloween. That also meant some people went all out with decorations. There was always at least one house who would transform their garage, sometimes even their entire home, into a haunted house. Those were always cool to check out.

rondal-zombie-smurf

Any favorite costumes from previous Halloweens?

As much as I love Halloween I tend to be the worst procrastinator when it comes to costumes. I have these grand ideas at the beginning of October which are eventually whittled down to last minute MacGuyver-like displays of creativity. I think my Zombie Smurf costume from 2012 would definitely be a top contender as a favorite, it even won me Best Costume at my then-day job's Halloween office party.

Do you have a particularly fond/funny/scary Halloween memory?

I don't think I've ever had a truly "scary" Halloween experience. After all, as I mentioned above, the holiday is about celebrating what scares us... which in turn makes it less scary. I do, however, remember one Halloween that I'll never forget. It wasn't remarkable in the sense that something life-changing occurred, but for whatever reason it just stuck with me.

I was at a friends house for his birthday party, I can't even remember his name now, and it was a sleepover. We ate way to much pizza and ice cream before settling down in front of the TV to watch Ernest Scared Stupid. It was the first time I had ever seen the movie, or any Ernest movie really, but it remains one of my favorite Halloween flicks of all time. Each of us had a Battle Troll (basically these rad, muscular Troll dolls for boys) and we acted out our own version of the film as it played.

After that we took turns played Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (another first for me) and while I wasn't particularly good I did outlast everyone else. Long after my friends had gone to bed in their sleeping bags I was still side-scrolling my way through ghosts, goblins and demons. I think I passed out around 2 or 3 in the morning - it was awesome.

rondal-ernest-scared-stupid

What do you do to celebrate these days?

I'm a lucky guy in that my girlfriend and daughter both get as excited about Halloween as I do. We start decorating in mid-late September which puts us in the right mindset for October. October itself is sort of tough because I've got a lot going on with Strange Kids Club, but I try to at least take off the last week in October to do nothing but watch monster movies and old Halloween TV specials on tape (well, DVD now).

On Halloween night, we'll all pick our favorite movies (mine, of course, is Ernest Scared Stupid) and we'll just veg out on the such with some candy or cookies and watch movies until we fall asleep. Naturally, I a bit of a night owl, so once the girls go to bed I break out the more hardcore horror stuff like Nightmare on Elm Street, The Fly and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'll stay up watching those until I either pass out or my eyes start bleeding... whichever comes first. *laughs*

rondal-daughter-2011

Do you have any yearly rituals?

Rituals? Like sacrificing chickens or eating the heads off of bats? No, nothing like that. *laughs* Really just what I mentioned earlier with the movies. I do have a tradition where I'll carve pumpkins with my daughter, that's always a lot of fun for both of us. We'll usually rock out to some old school Rob Zombie, or sometimes the Misfits, as we clean out the pumpkin guts.

For just me, I usually have a playlist full of Halloween/horror tunes that I'll listen to ad nausea while I'm at work. There aren't really any specific songs or albums that come to mind, though I'm a sucker for Dokken's "Dream Warriors" and The Dudes Of Wrath's "Shocker." Anything by Dangerous Toys usually puts me in the Halloween spirit too.

Inside the Spooksters' Studio

The worst thing I ever got while trick or treating was a half-eaten candy bar. Seriously, there was still saliva on it and everything - it was disgusting.

My favorite thing to get was candy corn. I know, I know... there's some haters out there, but a man likes what a man likes. There's a reason stores keep selling it, you guys!

rondal-halloween-2014

Thanks for taking the time to celebrate the holiday with us!

Thanks for including me on this, Dex! For those interested in joining the Strange Kids Club, we're all over the social internets including Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Before you head off to your next house, swing by Halloween Mixes.
They're posting a themed mix album every day of the month!

And of course, check out all the other folks participating in the Countdown to Halloween!

Oct 15, 2014

Dino Drac Funpack - October 2014

I'm just going to presume anyone reading this knows who Matt/Dinosaur Dracula is and not fanboy all over him. I decided to pull the trigger on his October Fun Pack because Halloween!

In case you're an unfortunate soul that didn't snag one, here's what you missed.
I apologize in advance for the busy background. I thought this table cloth would add some good holiday vibes to the photos but I think sometimes, it takes away from the focus.

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014

I haven't even unpacked the box yet and I already feel like I got my money's worth upon taking in that gorgeous Nightmare on Elm Street sticker book. I definitely had one of those as a kid. OK, kid may be stretching it a bit as I was in my late teens when it came out.

Let's dive right in!

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014 Letter

Matt includes a list of what's in the box as well as an October checklist of eerie things to do to get you in the holiday spirit. The Budweiser sticker is pretty neat, incorporating the sideways hourglass logo into the bat design. Glow sticks are a staple of Halloween and this one even says Halloween on it! What I really like about it are the package graphics. The glowy eyed ghoul emerging from its coffin with red-tipped claws is awesome.

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014 Goodie Bag

Tucked in the upper right of the box is a pumpkin shaped goodie bag with a ghostly doodle attached. In the bag were some candy skeleton parts which did not last long. Hopefully they were from a more recent date than everything else! There's a vintage Stripe sticker card from Gremlins. On top of that is a teeny tiny Pepsi can necklace, which I remember getting a few of as vending machine prizes. And last is a pocket book about "Real" Monsters. None of those fictional creatures in here! I loved books like this as a kid. I was big into spy stuff so anything like this that was of a smaller size was instantly interesting. Add in monsters, and it's home run, out of the park cool.

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014

Next is a McDonald's promotional ad for Halloween gift certificates featuring Roger Rabbit (now on VHS!). As with a lot of things in here, I am amazed that he not only has these relics but that he has enough of them to pack one for everyone that got this Fun Pack!

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014 Misc

Here's mini-poster celebrating the Dino Drac 2014 Halloween Countdown, a Mordle creature, and an official Dino Drac specimen. I'm actually pretty stoked about the specimen. I have an affinity for capsule toys and vintage vending things. Let's take a closer look.

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014

The Monster Pop-A-Bead is hard to photograph because it's so small but you can see some of the detail here. I would have loved to have a few handfuls of these as a kid to make into horrific bracelets or necklaces.

Pop some Hypnocil, kids! We're going to Dreamland...

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014 Nightmare Sticker Book

In addition to the Nightmare sticker book and a pack of stickers (where does he get this stuff?!?), he also included a pair of 3D glasses from Freddy's Dead. I still have my original pair and used them the last time I watched the DVD. The sticker book covers the first three movies. I guess maybe there was too much gore for each movie to have its own book.

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014 Nightmare Sticker Book Cover

Here's the full cover art in all its disturbing glory. As I held this childhood (again, go with me on the child part) relic in my hands and flipped through it, I started thinking about just how messed up the 80s were with marketing R rated properties to a young audience: Aliens, Predator, Robocop, Nightmare. Most of them had action figure lines. Some had trading cards or sticker books. All things generally targeted at kids! Weird.

Dino Drac Funpack Oct. 2014 Nightmare Sticker Book Inside
Kristen hanging out with her friends
And that concludes your tour through the Dino Drac October 2014 Fun Pack. He still offers monthly Fun Packs as a monthly subscription service if you want to get in on the goodness.

Before you head off to your next house, swing by Halloween Mixes.
They're posting a themed mix album every day of the month!

And of course, check out all the other folks participating in the Countdown to Halloween!

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