Oct 31, 2013

October 2013 Loot Crate: Survive!

Happy Halloween, folks!

Sometime last night we passed 100k page views and people like to celebrate round numbers, so to thank all you weirdos that come by, there's a contest below!

Before I dig into this month's Loot Crate, I have to show you what the Great Pumpkin dropped off last night...

Thank you, Great Pumpkin!!

October's Loot Crate theme is "Survive!" Can you make it?

Loot Crate Oct 13 box

Disclaimer 1: This Loot Crate was provided to me in exchange for a review
Disclaimer 2: Potato Head monster is not part of the Crate, he just wanted to help out.

Loot Crate Oct 13

First up we've got a chewy eyeball. Mmmmm, grape, my favorite eye flavor! Next to that is an adorable zombie card. He looks like he just needs a hug. Won't you hug him? The inside of the card says he also likes you for your brains.

Loot Crate Oct 13

Here we've got the Loot Crate mini-mag that details all the goodies in your Crate and shows off the Looter community. It's also got a little interview with Max Brooks, author of World War Z and the Zombie Survival Guide. Below that are temp tattoos that let you declare your allegiance: infected or safe. Then there's a trio of vintage video game inspired zombie buttons: a crossbow, health kit and a hand breaking from the ground. On the right is your official Loot Crate Zombie Hunter license! There's spots on the back to fill in all your info.

Loot Crate Oct 13 Zombie Survival Guide

Your very own copy of the Zombie Survival Guide! This book is essential for zombie fans, hardcore or casual.I already have a copy of this in my monster hunting library so if you need this, I will send it to you if you pay shipping.

Loot Crate Oct 13 shirt

Lastly is this awesome Star Wars and Walking Dead mash-up shirt. I love it and I think I'll be wearing it today. At least until the sun goes down.

If you're still reading you either like the site or you're just here for the promise of a contest. Either way, I won't judge you! The fine folks at Loot Crate want to give you a one month subscription to their awesome box o stuff. Honestly, I don't know why they didn't call it
Box O Stuff to start! Haha.

All you gotta do is leave a comment below answering my Inside the Actor's Studio-ish questions.

What do you hope to get while Trick or Treating?
What would you get that would cause you to egg a house?
(this is purely hypothetical, so even if you're not the kind of person that would egg a house, it's ok to answer it)

Be safe out there tonight, and most importantly, have fun!!

2012 Halloween Salem Creep Lit

Oct 30, 2013

Monster 500

You've probably already heard about the Monster 500 toy line that debuted exclusively at Toys R Us a couple weeks ago, but if not, you're in for a treat. Not only is it a toy line, but it's also a free to play game on iOS and Google. Here's some of the cars I've picked up.

Monster 500 3-pack

They're sold in 3 packs and as single carded racers. The multi-packs work out to be a little cheaper but some of the cars are only available as singles. Their also seem to be chase versions. On an endcap fully stocked with cars, I only saw one so naturally I had to snag it.

Turbo Chainsaw Maverick variant

I tweeted the folks at @Monster500Buzz to see if they could give me more info about it.
So I'm not sure if this was intentional or...

Pardon the misuse of their/there, I blame AutoCorrect!
Currently there are two waves of 5 cars each, a couple of Hot Wheels style playsets and four larger scale electronic cars. Their website shows there are two more waves coming in 2014. Each toy comes with a trading card that has a code on the back that will unlock a car in the app. You can see what the cards look like under the Meet the Monsters section of the site.

Here's Werewolf Blitzer...

Werewolf Blitzer closeup

Drac Attack...

Drac Attack dark

and Captain Heinous from Uranus!

Captain Heinous from Uranus front

I really like the character design in these. They're a lot of fun! They manage to combine the style of Rat Fink and the cartoon craziness of Wacky Racers. They each have their own specific vehicle that fits their background.

Monster 500 splash

So, how's the game?
It's not bad. I haven't played it for maybe more than an hour total but it seems decent. I think the main thing that sets it apart from other cart racers is the cartoony monster theme. There's Monsterized standard power ups to hamper your opponents and boost pads to speed you down the track. One of the things that can be fun, or annoying if you're the victim, are the environmental hazards that you can activate.

Monster 500 Upgrade screen

The bones you win from racing can be used to unlock new racers and upgrade your current ones in 5 categories. As with every free to play game, you have the option of spending real money to buy a premium currency: skulls. All the cars can be unlocked with bones (with enough grinding) or skulls but the available paint schemes can only be gotten with skulls.

The codes on the trading cards seem to unlock a random racer and not necessarily the one pictured on the card. Or it may be that because I had already unlocked one of them, it gave me one I didn't have yet.

And if you're on Game Center, go ahead and add me as Dex1138 and maybe we can get a multiplayer race going sometime! There's a couple more pics over on Flickr, too.

Head over to Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween for more Halloween fun!

Oct 29, 2013

Looney Labs' Monster Fluxx

Just in time for Halloween, Looney Labs unleashes the latest flavor of their
popular card game Fluxx. It's called Monster Fluxx!

Monster Fluxx Box

The game starts out relatively simple. Everyone gets three cards and follows the basic rule on their turn: draw a card, play a card. Sounds easy, right? That changes pretty quick in Fluxx! There are rules cards in the deck that alter how the game is played like changing your hand size or how many cards you draw per turn. On top of that, the condition for winning the game (called a Goal) can also change, sometimes more than once a turn!

So how do you win? You play cards called Keepers (above) to the table. You win by having Keepers in play that match the current Goal. But there's also cards that let you remove or steal other people's Keepers. Due to the randomness, some games can end very quick while others can take a bit longer.

Monster Fluxx Goals

Although they don't use any famous licensed movie or TV characters, you can see from the Goals above what they're going for. All of the Fluxx games are basically the same under the hood but they do a great job when they publish a new themed version. 

A few of the others that might interest you are Star Fluxx (sci-fi themed), Pirate Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx and even Monty Python Fluxx!

Be sure to visit Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween!

Oct 28, 2013

Halloween Pez Score

Stopped in the local Salvation Army store today to see if there was any decent Halloween to be had on the cheap. There wasn't much, most of the decorations were of the not-so-gently used and poorly taken care of variety.

But then I happened to take a look in one of the locked display cases and found some new best fiends that had to come home with me! They were marked at .99 and when I went to checkout, they told me they were included in the Halloween 50% off sale. $2? Yes please!

Halloween Pez Dispensers

I don't know anything about them like how old they might be and I'm not all that concerned. I just had to add these guys to my Halloween Pez collection. I don't collect every one that comes out, just the ones I like.

The face of the witch on the right glows in the dark. And it's hard to see with the background, but the skull guy has a high black collar around him. I have a version of him that's done with a clear plastic that looks like crystal. I have no clue where it is, but it's pretty cool!

Go knock on the doors of Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween!

Oct 27, 2013

Salem's Bizarre Bazaar

During the weekends in October, Salem's East India Mall is home to the Bizarre Bazaar. It's an open air cobblestone street open only to pedestrian traffic. There are several permanent shops that line the street but during the Bazaar, there's additional vendor stalls
 and tents setup along the walkway.

We started off the day at Brother's Deli in downtown Salem, a local favorite. As you can see, even the local businesses get into the swing of Halloween. It might be a law or something.

Brothers Deli

Oct 26, 2013

Thriller Voice Over Session

A quick post today, but it's a favorite.


It's a little behind the scenes audio from a Thriller voice over session featuring 
Vincent Price and Michael Jackson.

See you all tomorrow!

As always, be sure to visit Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween!

Oct 25, 2013

League Post: Local Haunts


Well, well, well. I've been absent from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers during all my Halloween posting but this week's assignment happens to dovetail nicely with something I had been planning on posting, so I've got that going for me.

Photo assignment: Grab your camera and snap a few pictures of how you, or your home town, is celebrating the greatest holiday of the year: Halloween!

Granted, a whole lot of the stuff I've been posting this month has fit this bill to some degree, (especially the ones from Disney) but today's are all within a 20 minutes from my house.

First up...the alien house!

Alien house 1

This house is located in Salem and the folks have been doing this for a few years now. I've always wanted to take some pics here but never have before today. I'm going to try and get back after dark to see if I can get any good ones.

Alien house posing

Whatcha Thinkin' About?
I dunno, Alien stuff I guess.

If you've seen Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem, this next one might look familiar...

Lords of Salem house

It's the exterior of Heidi's house. Don't know where they shot the interiors but there is NO way it fit inside this house!

Decorated house 1

This house does a great job decorating. Most of the portraits on the wall are those lenticular ones that change appearance when you move by them.

Decorated house zombabies

The zombie babies in the bushes are awesome!

This last one is right around the corner from me. I always thought it looks kinda spooky. Maybe it's because of the Bates house style of roof on it, maybe it's the wrought iron gates.
It also happens to be number 13!

Spooky 13

There's additional pics over on my Flickr.

Here's other League haunts
Whatever I Think Of has a few shots from her neighborhood
See the Mr Monster Men at DI Treasures
Nerd Out With Me has some pretty cool decorations

Oct 24, 2013

Doctor Gasp Show & CD Giveaway

The day after getting back from vacation I found out that local musician Doctor Gasp (aka Dan Blakeslee) was playing in Salem. I make it a point to never miss one of his shows because he's a cool guy and his music really embodies the New England Halloween vibe.

It also happened to be the release of his second Doctor Gasp album: Vampire Fish for Two.

Doctor Gasp poster

He always brings a pumpkin patch of retro Halloween lights to decorate the front of the stage. And dig that tentacled guitar!

Doctor Gasp

Gasp and the Eeks actually played two short sets. Between the sets, another band took the stage. Their name? Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion! I'm glad I stuck around to watch them because they were really good! Go check out that link and show em some love.

Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion b&w

Here's one of two videos I took of Doctor Gasp. The quality is better on the other one because I was closer, but I think you'll recognize this tune!

Like I said, there's another video and there's also a few more photos if you'd like to see them, head over to Flickr. After the show I went over to say hi and pick up the new CD. I also picked up a second copy to give away to one of you! The CD is the handmade limited version on this page. It's also signed and hand numbered 25/1000.

Doctor Gasp & friend

To enter, just leave a comment below on what you listen to to get in the October mood..
As Halloween is just a week away, the entry period will end at 8am EST 10/26 so I can get it out in time for you to listen to it. I'll also toss in whatever other spooky swag I can cram in a small flat rate priority box.

Hey! What's that?!
It's Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween!

Oct 23, 2013

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2013

And now, the post you've been waiting for!Before we get started, you may want to grab a drink and snacks, this is probably going to be a loooong post!

On the days that Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place, there are huge inflatable pumpkins at the entry gate to Walt Disney World.


Oct 22, 2013

Disney Halloween Room Makeover

The second night of our Disney vacation, my family surprised me with a Halloween-themed room makeover. Getting back to the room that night, this greeted me at the door...

Disney Mickey Mouse Trick or Treat Halloween banner

I thought for a moment we were at the wrong room because several other rooms doors and windows were decorated for Halloween but ours wasn't.
Little did I know what waited behind the door!

Spooky Candelabra

Here's a closer view of the message that was left. The skeleton buckets had all kinds of treats including popcorn, pretzels, chocolate dipped Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie treat pops, lollipops with plastic skeleton arms and legs instead of a stick and foil wrapped chocolate eyeballs. There were also Mickey head-shaped black and orange confetti and glow in the dark eye tattoos. You can kinda see a ghost peeking in the back of the left bucket. There were three "hitchhiking ghosts" to find in the room. And on the beds...

Minnie & Mickey

A Minnie and Mickey each with their own light-up ghost necklaces and festive head wear. On Mickey's pumpkin ears, you can pull up the velcro top to reveal an image of Chip and Dale hiding inside! The Haunted Mansion pillow is one of my favorite things among everything I got. It says Tomb Sweet Tomb, there's room for one more. The back of it has the Mansion wallpaper design on it. There's also a pair of Mickey as a ghost pillow cases.

Mysterious Message

At the foot of the bed was another ghost next to an open autograph book and several foam pumpkin shapes. One of the items left on the table that I didn't mention yet was a blacklight.

Mysterious Message revealed
It's signed by Mickey Mouse!
The pumpkins also held a hidden message!

Welcome Foolish Mortals

There's another set of pumpkins that warn you to "Beware of hitchhiking ghosts!"
The third ghost was on the other bed guarding the final surprise. You can kind of see the spiderwebs in the background that were all around the room and furniture. There were also several of those eye cards placed around the room with Disney villain trivia on the back.

Halloween balloon & mystery box

Here's a closeup of the box and its message.

Mystery box closeup

Inside was a great Halloween nightlight!

Halloween nightlight

Not only is it a light up pumpkin, but it also projects an image on the ceiling!

Halloween nightlight projection

Tomorrow, we'll get to the park and the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
In the meantime, don't forget to stop by Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween!

Oct 21, 2013

Disney Halloween Treats

Well, I've finally gotten around to sorting through my vacation pics! I've got plenty to share from our Disney trip for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. But I'm going to lead up to the "good stuff" to give you an idea just what it's like visiting the Happiest Place 
on Earth when it's in Halloween mode.

Today's post is all about the goodies!
Almost everywhere you can get snacks, there's some kind of seasonal treat.

Disney Cookie Bucket

This bucket of cookies was in the Pop Century Resort's gift shop. I brought a couple home but haven't tried them yet. Mickey is cinnamon sugar and Jack is honey vanilla.

Disney Cookie Assortment

While these aren't all Halloween themed, it does show the variety of treats they have in Main Street's candy shop. Anyone know what the yellow one is? It kinda looks like a construction helmet but I couldn't make an association with any Disney characters...unless it's for Fix-It Felix from Wreck-It Ralph? But that's not likely as I barely found a speck of Ralph merch.

z Disney Candy Apples

One thing there is no shortage of throughout the Magic Kingdom is candy apples. I didn't get any of these so I can't tell you what's in each of them. You can watch these getting made at just about every place that sells them.

Disney Cake Pops

They also have some fun cake pops, like Monsters U's Mike Wazowski or Jack Skellington.

Disney Cupcakes 

And just in case you haven't gotten hungry yet, here's a few cupcakes. I like the ghost ones with the chocolate Mickey ears. I didn't try any of these because we were celebrating my birthday while we were there. Most restaurants know this and give you a birthday cupcake at the end of your meal. I was pretty cupcaked out during the trip. None of them were as good as the one I got at Be Our Guest which was amazing.

That's all for today, don't forget to stop by Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween!

Oct 20, 2013

Milton Bradley's Boogey Man Card Game

Around the start of Fall, I set up an eBay saved search for Halloween games to try and find something fun. The Halloween game scene has started getting better in recent years even if tthe big box store offerings are just Halloween rethemes of classics like Twister or Bingo.

Occasionally, I manage to find games that might not be specifically Halloween themed but would be a great fit for the season. And so I preset Milton Bradley's Boogey Man!

Boogey Man box

While the box says "Just for Kids" the art can get nightmare inducing under the right lighting, as you'll see. Clicking on an image will take you to its Flickr page where you can download your choice of size to use as a desktop image, if you're weird like me.

Boogey Man wallpaper
He doesn't look so scary, right?
 It was released in 1987. I don't know if it's because I'm getting old but that's about 5-10 years later than I would have pegged it at based on the box art.

Boogey Man components
Pillow tokens, flashlight chips and cards
All 60 cards are dealt out and they consist of the Boogey Man and four other images that have similar colors and/or shapes. Players also get 5 flashlight chips. Lastly, a number of pillow tokens are placed on the table, using one less than the number of players.

Everyone flips the top card of their pile at the same time and looks to see if anyone revealed a Boogey Man. The first person to see one shouts "BOOGEY MAN!" and grabs a pillow token. Everyone else then has to scream and grab a pillow token. The person that doesn't get one, loses a flashlight. Aka the Musical Chairs Dilemma.

Boogey Man creepy components
How does a HATRACK look EVIL?!?!
You also lose a flashlight if you: don't scream before taking a pillow, call Boogey Man where there isn't one, or you're not the first to shout Boogey Man and don't scream before taking a pillow. The game ends when one person runs out of flashlights and the winner is the person with the most flashlights remaining.

Here's my reimagining of the game "story"...
A group of kids are having a sleepover. They turn off all the lights and arm themselves with flashlights to search the house for the Boogey Man. Each time they find him, the slowest kid's flashlight loses some battery power. Eventually, one kid's flashlight is totally drained, leaving them alone in the dark for the Boogey Man. The rest of the kids all celebrate.

Sounds fun, doesn't it? If you're going to play this game with kids, I would recommend not doing so under blacklight unless you want them to have nightmares...

Boogey Man creepy cards

Boogey Man cards

Below is my favorite image, sleep tight.
Forget bedbugs, don't let the Boogey Man get you!

Boogey Man card wallpaper

Be sure to get more Halloween goodness at Countdown to Halloween and Blog-O-Ween!