Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Town Archives Updated!

Quick Update: If you are still in the mood for some last minute Christmas cheer be sure to give a look at the recently updated Christmas Town archives, located at the top of the page. There you can find all the holiday articles I wrote in November and December as well as links to the Christmas in July countdown posts from earlier in the year.

Stay tuned for some new material coming in early January!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas & Candy Cane Oreos!

Merry Christmas Everyone! I know its late in the day and by the time most of you will get around to reading this the holiday will be over. That's alright. Most of us are ready to move on from the madness that is Christmas.

I hope you all received whatever was jotted down on your Amazon Wish List with a few surprises mixed in. The surprises are what Christmas is all about.

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Here is my 'haul' for the year. My family has never been one to go completely overboard with gifts. At least not for a long time now, anyway. Working from left to right you can see a the two disc version of Tim Burton's Batman film, already watched that one this afternoon... if not for nostalgia it would be tough to recommend it to a younger audience who only knows Christopher Nolan's films.

Next is Max Payne 3 for the Xbox 360, a kick ass Walking Dead sweatshirt, black embroidered Vikings football, Vikings watch, Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson cards (with cases and stands), one huge Minnesota Vikings sign, that I plan on getting filled with player autographs, and in the very back is a shirt and hat combo filled with lots of skulls and whatnot.

Of course the real reason why we are here today is not to discuss what Santa brought me for Christmas. Nope, we have far more important things to talk about then that. Folks... I've saved the best item for last: Candy Cane Oreos are an honest to god thing that exists!

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Astute readers may remember back during October when I wrote about Candy Corn Oreos I made a half hearted joke about candy cane flavored ones showing up in December. Turns out I was correct.

These babies arrived in early December, possibly as an exclusive to Target (I'm not spending the 30 seconds it would take to Google that) and if you are quick enough... could probably still score a package or two before retailers pack up and put Christmas into hibernation.

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Trust me, they are well worth tracking down. I'll save you guys the normal long winded review of the packaging, the sights, and the smells that come along with Candy Cane Oreos and keep it simple (after-all it is Christmas). These cookies are great.

They look like Christmas, smell like Christmas... feel like Christmas. Candy Cane Oreos are the perfect item to bridge the gap between taking down all the sights and sounds of the holidays while still holding onto a little piece of the season that you can call your own.

And when you've finally ate the last of these Oreos... saying goodbye to the holiday season will be all the easier.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years! I'll be back in 2013 with all new kinds of content.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Candy Cane Peeps!

Peeps. Once exclusive to the month of March  they have slowly worked there way into just about every major holiday. If you can celebrate it, chances are there is a themed Peep to accompany it.

Fate has brought us new Candy Cane Flavored Marshmallow Peeps for 2012. And while they will not set the world ablaze like Candy Corn Oreos did earlier in the year, I think its pretty obvious that Candy Cane Peeps will be the defining item of the 2012 Christmas Season.

Christmas Peeps
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And this candy couldn't have come at a better time. Christmas is twelve days away and once again its been another unusually warm December with almost no snow. Its Christmas but only sometimes technically feels like it. We need reminders that in a couple weeks all of this jazz will be slowly but surely phased out. Replaced with the horrors of Valentines Day and other boring festivities.

Candy Cane Peeps stand as that great reminder. Telling us all to celebrate our festivities now before the holiday gods take it all away and Santa goes back into hibernation for the next eleven months.

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Taken completely out of context, Candy Cane Peeps look remarkably like something out of an Evil Dead film. Anyone who tells me otherwise is full of it. Those red sprinkles look enough like blood splatters to have me completely convinced this is the case.

As somebody who is not that big of a fan of the traditional marshmallow Peep, I am here to tell you that these alternative candy cane flavors are good. Really, really good. Eat a whole package in one sitting good and not feel the least bit ashamed about it.

The key here is the bottom half of the peep has been dipped in a hard chocolate coating, while the top portion has been made to taste minty. The end result is basically a York Peppermint Patty shaped like a blood splattered bird. And it works on so many levels.

We have reached a point in which time is of the essence as it pertains to the holiday season. I've so many different things left that I need to do and chances are so do all of you. So while you are out finishing up that last minute holiday shopping, pick up a package of Candy Cane Peeps and try to enjoy these last few weeks we have with Santa Claus.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Warrior X-Mas is F*cking Crazy!

Slowly but surely I've been reviewing the old Warrior comic books from the mid 1990's. A series of graphic novels based around former WWF professional wrestler The Ultimate Warrior.

For those inclined you can check out my recap of the first book right here as well as the somehow even stranger second issue here. Warrior, both the comic book and the person (Jim Hellwig, the man who portrays the Warrior character had his name legally changed to Warrior) are certifiably insane. So when I first learned that for some reason the short lived series included a limited edition Christmas themed book, I didn't even bother wondering why... I just knew I had to have it.

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And it turns out this book is stranger than you could possibly imagine. My biggest complaint with the other Warrior books was how incredibly incoherent the dialog/monologue sections are. Most of the time you just have to use your own interpretation as to what the hell is going on.

This Christmas book... features no dialog. None. It doesn't even have a story. Just a collection of bizarre drawings featuring the Ultimate Warrior frightening small children and sodomizing Santa Claus (more on that later) To be quite frank, I'm not even really positive that what we are about to look at even qualifies as a comic book. But good god is it single-handedly the strangest piece of Christmas related fiction you'll ever see.

The book is laid out as follows: No story. No dialog. Just a series of two page "fold outs" that involve Warrior and Santa Claus interacting with one another. Typically in an increasingly stranger and stranger fashion. Each drawing was done by a different artist and a couple of them are in entirely different art styles.

I'm going to show you guys every page, because most of them are things that once you see... you can never unsee. You'll see what I mean. If this sentence makes it past the final edit, just assume I'm drunk.

Friday, November 30, 2012

M.A.R.S. Heroes!

I've been unsuccessfully trying to write an article about various Christmas Candies for the past few days now. The items are all great and well worth covering but for whatever reason I just don't feel like writing about novelty food. This is Christmas. I want to write about random toy lines nobody has ever heard of instead.

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Enter M.A.R.S. Heroes, a line of kick-ass robots with interchangeable parts. For only five bucks you gain access to a package of three robots. My set includes Tanker, the green guy in the bottom left. Coma, the blue one adjacent to him and Martian who resides at the very top of the box.

The rest of the set is rounded off by a pure white robot named Frosty, who would have been the most obvious bot to cover for this article but alas I've never been able to locate him.

Blaster, a dark purple robot who sort of reminds me of War Machine and an all black figure, Darkbeat who appears to have dual rockets mounted on his shoulders. For those interested you can see what those guys look like in this photo right here. Clearly Frosty and Darkbeat are the figures to own in this set and the ones that kids will salivate over the most.

Folks, I am confident that if I was given a pad and pen with the explicit instructions to create whatever toy line I wanted... I would come up with M.A.R.S. Heroes. This set is everything I love all wrapped up in one.

Robots from outer space? Check! Awesome character names? Check! The ability to take things apart, mix and match pieces. Hell Yea! Separately sold death vehicles? It has those too! The ability to connect the robot pieces with said death vehicles. Holy shit, you can totally do that! I've seen name brand toy lines that have less going for them and retail for three times the price of what M.A.R.S. Heroes will cost you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pac-Man & Operation Adhesive Bandages!

Happy Thanksgiving! I sure hope that everyone has a blessed holiday filled with plenty of stuffed turkey, parades, and football. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that means many different things to many different people. For most, it serves as a lead into Christmas. For me, it is an opportunity to write about 1980's themed adhesive bandages.

Pac-Man and Operation adhesive bandages to be exact. Sterile ones too. If you are wondering what possible correlation I could make between bandages and Thanksgiving I'm here to tell you... it's absolutely nothing.

These are just a couple items that I found at the Target Dollar Spot that I simply could not live without. They are not really Christmas, not really Thanksgiving, but hot damn are they ever worth talking about.

I'm proof positive that Target has been selling these themed bandages every Christmas season since roughly the new millennium. So I won't even attempt to trick anybody into thinking they are something new for 2012.

Doesn't matter. I don't care when they came out or how many times you've seen them in the store and waltzed right on by. If you've only got eight quarters to your name and have to spend them all at once you'd best be choosing these boxes of band-aids.

As a collector of junk, these are right up my ally. I don't even care about the bandages inside. It's the boxes that sell me on these. Reminding me vaguely of cigarette packages, I cannot think of some strange alternative universe in which Pac-Man has officially licensed tobacco products being produced on his behalf.

That's not a universe I would like to live in but I sure as shit would like to visit it on occasion. Imagine how great the souvenirs from that place would be.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Force is Strong with Holiday Yoda!

With only a few days until Thanksgiving it is easy to lore oneself into a false sense of holiday security. Christmas is a full month away. I'll listen to Burl Ives tomorrow, watch Rudolph later, catch up with the Griswold's in a few weeks.

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Before long it's December 24th and you'll realize you've done none of that and have to make up for it by cramming every holiday activity imaginable into one massive event.
If you take nothing else away from reading this blog, it should be this: Slow down. Enjoy the season day by day. Little pieces at a time. You'll find that Christmas is a lot less chaotic and a whole bunch more enjoyable when you look at all the individual gears and cogs that make it turn.

Today's cog is Yoda. Holiday Yoda. Dressed up as Santa Claus. He's not new (this toy line debuted in 2010) but anytime you get a chance to write about bobble head Star Wars figure dressed up in holiday clothing, you jump on said opportunity.

Strangely enough, this is not the first time I've wrote about Yoda dressed as Santa before. Back in July I did a countdown of the 2011 Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar, the final gift for that set was a little Lego Yoda decked out in all sorts of holiday cheer. It was hands down the best part of that Advent Calendar and well worth the price of admission.

This Yoda is roughly five trillion times better than his Lego counterpart. And it all starts with the back of the package. Usually when I rant and rave about packages and boxes I figure at best most will skim over top those paragraphs. This is not one of those times you should skim.

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What we have here can best be described as artwork. Artwork that has been clearly inspired by the old school puppet Yoda from the original Star Wars trilogy and not the newfangled CGI Yoda from Episodes 1-3. Folks, this is a big deal.

Everyone agrees that original puppet Yoda was superior in every imaginable way to his newer counterpart and here we get to witness him dressed as Santa Claus. And he looks pissed off about it.

You can tell by the expression on his face that he'd rather be doing anything other than lugging around an over-sized sack of toys to a bunch of dipshit, ungrateful children. Hence the trail of junk falling out behind him. Yoda does not care. He just wants this holiday to be over.

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Bobblehead Yoda, the one lurking around on the inside of the package, seems to be in a much cheerier mood than his cardboard counterpart. The plastic is a little on the cheap side and the paint job is a tad bit messier than I would have expected from an officially licensed Star Wars item but you know what, none of that matters. None.

Right now. At this specific moment in time. It is easily my favorite Christmas decoration that I own. Like I mentioned at the start of this article, it is so very easy to get caught up in all the holiday madness that a person can forget this time of year is supposed to be fun and enjoyable.

With Bobblehead Yoda sitting out on my computer desk, its almost impossible to look at him and not want to bust out a Nat King Cole record and throw on Charlie Brown's Christmas special quietly in the background. Thus making it the perfect holiday item.

When you are out partaking in all the Black Friday sales that will soon be going on, remember to take a minute and focus on some of the smaller things for sale this holiday season. You'll find much more joy in a cheap $5.00 Yoda figure than arguing with strangers over who gets the last over-sized television set.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Coca-Cola's 2012 Christmas Mistake

We must have been naughty this year. Coca-Cola has release its holiday can design for 2012 and they are basically the exact same thing as last year. Hmph. I'm pissed and ready to put my Halloween decorations back up in protest of Coke's most recent holiday disaster.

Coke Holiday Can
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A bit of back story is in place. Every year Coke release a different holiday themed can, most of the time they feature Santa Claus but on occasion the Coca-Cola polar bear will make an appearance.

For 2011 Coke went crazy and released a pure white can to go along with a new 'Save the Polar Bear' marketing campaign. Needless to say people flipped the fuck out over Coke in a white can. Some got confused, thinking that it was Diet Coke only to realize that it was regular Coca-Cola ... presumably minutes before going into a diabetic frenzy. Others went so far as to claim that the new white cans altered the taste of Coca-Cola. Because hey, if you are going to have a crazy Coca-Cola related conspiracy you might as well go all out with it.

After about a month of this nonsense, the white cans got pulled and an alternative red and silver color scheme was introduced and all was right in the universe.

I assumed that for 2012 Coke would want to distance itself as far from the white 2011 cans as possible. That they would return with a classic red can with Santa Claus on the side and 'Holiday 2012' in big bold yellow text on the other.

Nope. They just re-released the alternative red polar bear cans from 2011. It's official. The Coca Cola corporation has ruined Christmas. If they wanted to continue on with saving polar bears, I would happily accept that. But at least give us soda collectors a new Santa Claus can to ogle at.

I am at a complete loss for why they would simply re-release a variation of a soda can that basically nobody liked. It's not even that good of a design. The white can was interesting because holy shit, its traditional Coke in an all white can. The red design was simply invented because people are stupid. It was a stop-gap solution that fixed last seasons slight misstep. Not something worthy a re-issue.

Coke Holiday Can
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The main problem that I have is largely the same as last year. It just doesn't feel like a true holiday can. No Santa. No mention of the holidays. Just stupid looking polar bears with dumb expressions.

It was one of those things that I could sort of look past in 2011 with the all white cans but a year later, with the exact same design save for a color swap... it just strikes me as lazy. I can think of no valid reason why they should re-visit last years design and have my fingers crossed that hopefully we will see a return to the classic Coca Cola Christmas cans in 2013.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

China Makes Crappy Army Men

The inherent beauty of the Christmas season is the pure volume of junk that gets released every year. And I'm not even talking about the obvious shit, the lights and decorations or the limited edition candies and other seasonal items with Santa shoved on the label.

Someplace beyond all that hullabaloo you'll find all the really interesting items. The ones tucked slightly out of sight, perhaps near the end of the Christmas isle and shoved haphazardly together on a dusty old shelf. I'm talking of course about those dirt cheap items we refer to as Stocking Stuffers!

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Do you know what the best thing about Stocking Stuffers are? Zero Expectations. It doesn't matter what is inside of them, so long as it is something. When I was a kid half of my stocking were filled with peanuts and it didn't even matter. I looked forward to those peanuts every single year.

Throughout November and December we are going to take a look at how brilliantly bad most of these mass released Stocking Stuffers are. You'd scoff at them any other time of the year but somehow, someway... they'll get a pass thanks to Christmas's watchful eye.

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Up first is a three piece set of generic looking Army Men that I picked up for the low price of $1.00. I wanted to start with these guys first because despite being absolutely the worst action figures I've seen in years, I for some reason cannot get enough of them.

What precisely is wrong with them? Well outside of the paint flaking off, the general inability to stand, the miss proportioned limbs, poor construction, and the fact that I sort of feel like I have lead poisoning after spending fifteen minutes photographing them, then I would say not much else is wrong...

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... other than the random holes in the back of each figures head and the fact that they didn't even attempt to cover up the screws that hold the body segments together. I am pretty sure that I've seen birthday cake decorations that are of a higher build quality than these generic Army Men.

And you know what, that is why I simply cannot get enough of these horrible toys. You can be so much more creative with a set of three random ass Army Men then you ever could be with licensed toys. Optimus Prime will always be just that, Optimus Prime... leader of the Autobots.

These guys can be absolutely anything you want them to be, and the poor construction quality gives each figure an added extra dimension that, while not intended, gives them all a hilariously bad back-story. Behold:

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I've named this figure Private Skin Cancer because look at his arm and come up with some other rational explanation for just what the hell is wrong with it. And those marks on his face? Exactly how it came out of the package. It looks like a three year old with parkinson's disease tried to paint on the eyes and kept missing the target.

But with a little creativity those suckers could be cybernetic implants designed to give Private Skin Cancer awesome heat seeking Predator vision. Perhaps those cybernetics are the reason why he developed skin cancer in the first place, as sort of an unforeseen side effect.

The plot just thickened, my friends!

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Lieutenant Goggles is kind of like a poor mans Robocop. But even a poor mans Robocop is still a pretty badass dude. If the guy with skin cancer has cybernetic eye enhancements then clearly the guy with the huge Robocop visor must have something even more badass behind it.

Or hes simply a huge LaDainian Tomlinson fan.

But for the sake of argument, I will imagine that he has some sort of Robocop / Iron Man HUD display going on behind all of that. You see that weird gray thing on the front of his chest? Clearly that is some sort of futuristic ray gun and the visor is the targeting system.

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Finally we have White Dwayne Johnson, he's just like the professional wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson .. only incredibly white. Doesn't matter though, because White Dwayne Johnson has the ability to raise the People's Eyebrow and potentially lay the smack down on some alien candy ass!

Clearly, this is our comic relief of the trio but I wouldn't bet on him making it out of many battles alive. Being a white version of The Rock will only get you out of so many situations before reality catches up to you in the form of a bullet in the ass.

Do these toys suck? Absolutely. I almost broke one of them while writing this article. But in the end, you've got to have something to strap fireworks to come July 4th. And cheaply made Chinese Army Men are perfect for doing just that!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

2012 Christmas Activity List!

Towards the beginning of the Halloween Countdown I wrote an article encouraging everyone to create their very own Halloween Mood Table. A single spot in your house filled to the brim with as many Halloween related items and activities as you can cram into it.

The whole point of the mood table is to have a spot that reminds you to celebrate Halloween during those down times when you might otherwise forget. This year I wanted to take the concept of the Halloween Mood Table and give it a bit of a Christmas twist.

However having an actual physical table overflowed with Christmas decorations didn't seem like the correct way to tackle this issue. Unlike Halloween, nobody really needs a spot in your house dedicated to reminding you that its Christmas. That's sort of the point of decorating a tree.

Besides you probably put up enough Christmas decorations without having to find a spot for even more of them. Having to much Christmas could quickly result in holiday burnout and that is the exact opposite effect of what we are trying to accomplish here today

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The solution that I came up with was the 2012 Christmas Activity List! It's basically the Halloween Mood Table without the physical table. I've created a list of 30 different Christmas (and a few Thanksgiving) related activities that I want to get accomplished before the end of December.

I really tried to create a mix of many different activities. Some of them are as simple as "Watching Elf on DVD" ... others are sort of gimme spaces like "First Snow Fall" and a few are oddball things that I've always wanted to try but never have. Variety is the key ingredient but above all else they should be things that you want to do this holiday season.

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Each time an activity is finished, I'll be taking one of these stickers and placing it over top the square. Sort of like a bingo board, only I guess there is no real "prize" at the end... other than the joy of having completed another holiday activity.

It may seem like a silly idea to some, but in my book... this Christmas Activity List is exactly the sort of thing that I need to keep myself on track this holiday season. The older we all get the easier it becomes to put off things until the very last minute and suddenly, its two days before Christmas and at that point everything seems like a chore instead of relaxing and fun.

Besides for me personally... this season, I really want to accomplish everything holiday related before December 25th ... instead of sitting around in March wishing the clock could be rolled back to where we are at right now.

I really hope that at least some of you will consider creating a Christmas Activity List of your own. I've had mine up for a couple days now and just recently checked off one of the boxes (Purchase Christmas Tree Cakes) and it is beyond satisfying glancing up at my list and seeing one square filled in.

If anyone does make a list of your own, let me know in the comments section down below. I am really quite interested in seeing what everyone else comes up with.

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 Christmas Tree Cakes!

Welcome everybody to the 2012 Christmas Countdown! I would like to take a brief minute to thank each and every one of you for being apart of this seasons Halloween festivities. If you enjoyed the style of articles that I wrote during September and October I'm positive that you'll enjoy what I have in store for the months of November and December.

I wanted to start off the 2012 season with Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes for a variety of reasons. Chief among them, consistency. It is important that I maintain my own little Christmas traditions, no matter how big or how small they are. And this is one of my important small holiday traditions.

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Its no secret that the holiday season is my favorite time of year and that I look forward to it arriving each and every November. Like clockwork, Christmas Tree Cakes are there right along with it.

I've wrote about these things a handful of times in the past and really honestly don't have anything new to say about them. You know why I like them. I know why you like them. But at this point its sort of my civic duty to inform everybody that Christmas Tree Cakes have arrived and with them... the official start of the 2012 Holiday Season!

Christmas Tree Cakes are just the tip of the ice berg for what I've got in store for the rest of the holiday countdown. Without giving away anything, you can expect everything from toys to holiday specials, some Thanksgiving articles, and whatever else pops up from now until December 25th.

I have things to cook, things to grow, items that need to be colored, and even one item that involves living organisms.

So stay tuned and get ready to have a holly jolly fucking Christmas!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Christmas Theme!

I'm working on converting the website over to the Christmas theme, so if anything looks off... just assume that I know about it and will get it corrected here shortly!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012!

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Happy Halloween Everyone! I hope you all have a frightfully fun day planned. One filled to the brim with pumpkin carving, horror movies, and plenty of candy along the way. Be sure to check out 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' airing tonight on CBS at 7pm and just generally try to soak up as many of the sights and sounds of the season as possible.

I've had a lot of fun running the 2012 Halloween Countdown even if I did suffer a bit of 'Halloween-fatigue' towards the very end. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read or comment on any of my articles this season and encourage everybody to stick around for the coming Christmas season.

Have a Happy Halloween, stay safe... and remember that even though the season will soon be over, you can always check out the Halloween Town archives up at the top of the page for a full list of every Halloween article that I've wrote!

Stay Spooky,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Jello!

I'm not sure if the words 'Halloween' and 'Jello' are really meant to go together. At least not in the way that they have been interpreted here, in the form of Pumpkin Spice Jello.

If you really want to incorporate Jello into your Beggars Night festivities there are a number of fun recipes available online that will point you in the right direction. Ones that will do a much better job than what Jello officially has to offer.

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I was tempted to hold off writing about Pumpkin Spice Jello until closer towards Thanksgiving time for the simple fact that nothing about this item really strikes me as Halloween.

This is clearly one of those seasonal releases geared towards the 'fall crowd' and not us 'Halloween folk'. The package, despite featuring a pumpkin, just screams Thanksgiving to me.

Probably should have went with my gut feeling on that one, as Pumpkin Spice Jello could not look more out of place standing next to my Frankenstein Color Blank creation than what it does in the photograph above.

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Imagine taking a can of pre-made pumpkin pie filling, opening the can, grabbing the nearest spoon and taking a gigantic bite directly out of it. Folks... that is exactly what eating Pumpkin Spice Jello is like. Pie filling out of a can... only cold.

Which isn't to say that this stuff is necessarily bad, its not. You just have to plan on spending more than five minutes with the stuff. Pumpkin Spice Jello should come with a warning label, one that says 'INGREDIENT ONLY' in big bold letters.

As an ingredient used in conjunction with graham crackers and whipped cream you could make yourself a pretty tasty faux pumpkin pie. And you could do it in considerably less time and effort than baking a traditional pie.

It is when you take this stuff at face value that Pumpkin Spice Jello starts to fall apart. It's impossible to enjoy it in the way that I normally associate with Jello. The quick way. The dig in with a spoon way. The way that generally ends up with me eating an entire batch of it in one sitting on accident.

Nobody is going to be eating an entire batch of Pumpkin Spice Jello at once. I even sort of question how much of that faux pumpkin pie would be ate before ultimately getting shoved into the back of the refrigerator and unanimously voted by each member of the household as 'allowed to be forgotten about until its expired'

I like the effort that the Jello Corporation is trying to put forth. Halloween probably should have an official Jello package dedicated to it. I just think that if they do this again for 2013 they should strongly consider simply releasing the standard 'chocolate' flavor in a big ass black package with orange text on it. Nothing more. Nothing less. And it'll be better off because of it.

If the black box Halloween Jello happens... I'm taking full credit for it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monster Science Bloody Hand... Part 2

A couple weeks ago I started the slowest moving 'magical growing' item in the history of novelty toys, the Monster Science Bloody Hand. In case you missed that article, now would be the opportune time give it a read and get caught up with the festivities.

For the rest of us, we have blood pills to play around with.

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Here is the finished product. No place near the size of an actual hand but still impressive considering how tiny it originally was. I still don't understand why it took so long reach this size, though. A little over two week is an eternity for a product that is destined to get thrown into the trash five minutes after you take it out of the bucket of water you grew it in.

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Upon closer inspection I've decided that the included blood pill looks shockingly similar to those tablets that you use to dye eggs with on Easter. I wouldn't be surprised if it actually is one of those tablets.

This article keeps getting less and less interesting the more I type about it.

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For some stupid reason the blood pill was taking forever plus five to do anything. I got tried of waiting for it and snapped this photo on what I estimate to be half way through the overall process.

It's a little hard to make out all the details but trust me, you are not missing a goddamn thing. The blood pill is undoubtedly the same thing used to color Easter Eggs and all that it really seemed to do was slowly turn the water pink.

I had high hopes for the Monster Science Bloody Hand and it preformed about as well as one can expect from a throw away novelty item, but considering how long it took to get from Point A to Point B ... I got to say that this is probably one of the more disappointing things that I've covered.

Is it Christmas yet?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Color Blanks!

Rose Art Color Blanks turned out to be the 'shot in the arm' that I needed to re-energize my Halloween spirit. I've been sitting on these for weeks and purposely saved them for close to the end of the 2012 Halloween Countdown for that very reason.

It looks like my plan worked perfectly, because after spending a couple hours coloring these guys I really do feel extra motivated to celebrate Halloween 2012 to its fullest potential.

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My first introduction to Rose Art Color Blanks was last Christmas, when I created an average looking snowman and a horrible looking reindeer. I didn't really follow the directions or spend as much time with that set as I should have.

I always thought that if the opportunity ever came about that I would put forth some actual effort and create something truly special. When I found this set of Halloween themed Color Blanks, I knew that my opportunity had finally arrived.

Here are my creations:

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I thought it would be interesting to make the ghost look like Boo Berry. I gave it the ol' college try and I think if you squint your eyes and look at this photo sideways you can totally tell that this is Boo Berry.

I messed up with the eyebrows and tried to fix them by making them larger, but that didn't really help. And I couldn't think of any way to create a hat for him. If he had that yellow hat on, even with my poor artistic talent, I think most would get that its supposed to be Boo Berry.

Instead, I think he looks more like a distant relative of Boo Berry. Maybe a cousin from his mothers side. One that sells vacuum cleaners door to door. In retrospect perhaps I should have just went with one of my own creations instead of attempting to re-create Boo Berry, but you cannot fault me for at least trying.

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I spent the most time creating my version of Frankenstein's Monster, though. I've mentioned a number of times that Frankenstein is my favorite of the classic Universal Studios horror monsters. So when given the chance to create one of my own, you can damn well bet that I was going to spend the proper time with him.

I didn't want to stray too far away from the classic Frankenstein look, I knew that he had to have green skin and the classic flat top haircut. I also wanted to make mine look as pissed off as possible.

The eyes that I choose were actually an extra set that came with the ghost figure, but I thought they went to much better usage here. As a matter of fact the bowtie that I used for my attempted Boo Berry actually came with the Frankenstein figure. It seems the best way to get what you really want is to mix and match the stickers from one set to another.

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Overall I had a lot of fun making these guys, even though I was still plagued with a lot of the same issues I had the first time around. The markers, which by the way I purchased a set of twelve colored Sharpie's to get all the colors I wanted, simply refuse to dry.

And this is not me just being impatient, I painted Frankenstein's head and body and waited about eight hours to start on his arms... and still ended up smudging areas on his backside and turning the tips of my fingers brown and purple.

Boo Berry, almost a full 48 hours later... is still sort of tacky if you press hard enough. Its annoying that a set that relies so heavily on coloring specific areas takes this long to dry.

And they still have a couple areas that are impossible to color. Between the fingers of each figure will forever remain white, as well as the space between Frankenstein's feet. No matter how hard you try... you cannot fit the tip of the marker into all the little nooks and crannies.

With that said, I think it is safe to say that this is my favorite project that I've done so far for the 2012 Halloween Countdown. If you are like me and needed a quick boost of Halloween energy, head out to Target and pick up some of these Halloween Color Blanks and start creating!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Subway's FrankenWeenie Bags!

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I was on lunch break a couple days ago and decided to head over to Subway to check out the newly advertised tuscan chicken sandwich, which for the record tastes kind of like processed shit.

It was at the checkout counter that I spied them, a huge stack of FrankenWeenie 'Trick or Treat' sacks. I knew I had to have one.

Attempting to play it casually, I made small talk while my order was processed. Hows the weather. Been busy today. That sort of polite junk that you say to strangers working customer service so they don't spit in your tuscan chicken. All the while waiting for the ever illusive question "will that be everything for you tonight?"

"Actually, I would like one of those FrankenWeenie sacks if you don't mind." was my response, which seems to me like a reasonable enough request. It was at this point that I was shot 'the look' by the kid working the cash drawer.

What is 'the look' you say? You'll know 'the look' when you see it. It's the same one your dog gives an answering machine when he hears someones voice coming out of it. Surprise quickly overran by astonishment and a hint of anger.

'... those come with the kids meals." Son-of-a-bitching kid, this was exactly the type of conflict I wanted to avoid. All I wanted from life at that specific moment in time was a shitty tuscan chicken sandwich, a large drink of whatever that blue stuff is my Subway sells, and a FrankenWeenie sack. This is not a complex matter.

"Well, is there any chance I can buy one?" I say, attempting to avoid eye contact with the line of customers that I know are directly behind me. All of them wondering why some dipshit is holding up the line poking and prodding for a kids Trick or Treat bag.

"I'm actually not sure. Would you like me to call up my boss?" Sigh. Conflict. No, actually I really wouldn't like you to call up your boss over a stupid FrankenWeenie sack. I'd be perfectly fine with you charging me full price for the kids meal, plus my sandwich and mysterious blue drink, and then tossing in the FrankenWeenie sack as a bonus.

"Yea, sure... if you would." Because at this point stopping the attempted purchase of the FrankenWeenie sack would seem stranger than finishing the purchase attempt.

"What seems to be the problem?" Was how she greeted me, Mrs. Subway Manager Lady, as she made her way out of the back room. Flinging off a pair of disposable rubber gloves in the process.

"I would really like to know if I can purchase one of those FrankenWeenie sacks... without the kids meal." Did I really say 'really' within the context of a sentence involving the words "FrankenWeenie" and "kids meal" in correlation to my desire to own one? Crap, now I sound like a lunatic.

"Yes? Yes... we can do that. I just have... to... remember how." Success! Now, I just have to find a way to casually explain to them that not only do I want a FrankenWeenie sack... but this entire time I've had my eye on one specific sack in particular.

"Is there any chance I can get the one... with him and his dog on it together." Well I guess if the folk who work at Subway are going to think I'm loony, I might as well go the extra mile and get exactly what I want out of the deal.

It took seventeen more steps than it should have but as you can see by the photo above I did indeed leave Subway with a FrankenWeenie Trick or Treat bag. And not just any bag but the one that I specifically requested.

I even sat around and took multiple photos of it with my camera phone after I finished eating. It seemed like the only logical thing to do at that point.

I have absolutely zero plans to ever watch the movie 'FrankenWeenie'.

But I do one one of the Subway bags.

Maybe tomorrow I'll return and see if they have any of the others.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sock Monsters!

I am always on the lookout for items that are different than what people generally perceive a holiday to be about. When you think of Halloween your mind will no doubt dance with images of candy corn and horror flicks.

But plush toys based on classic horror movie monsters? Generally not what springs to mind first. Especially ones made up to look like socks. Or out of socks. I'm not quite 100% sure which it is. Either way its Sock Monsters!

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Available at Target, because at this point everything interesting comes from that store. The set, if you wish to call it that, includes Frankensteins Monster, Dracula, and a Skeleton... all transformed into cute little sock creatures. All begging for your hard earned money and a special place on your Halloween Mood Table.

You did set up a Halloween Mood Table, right?

Sock Monsters
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I've probably spent more time debating how to properly spell "Franken-Sock" than I have everything else in this article combined. Franken Sock? Frankensock? FrankenSock? Ultimately the hyphen seemed to look the most natural. More words need to utilize the hyphen.

Franken-Sock is my own personal choice for being 'the best of the bunch' but then again pretty much anything themed around Frankenstein's Monster tends to get labeled 'the best'. If you tell me otherwise, I'll jab you in the eye with a ballpoint pen.

Sock Monsters
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Up next is the Sock Skeleton, which despite being the more generic of the three, I actually am really quite fond of. I would like to believe that in some awesome alternative reality, one in which it is Halloween 365 days a year, traditional Teddy Bear's do not exist and instead every kid grows up with a Sock Skeleton instead.

The more I look at this one the more I am reminded of a Tim Burton film, in a good way. None of this Dark Shadows or Alice in Wonderland crap. Sock Skeleton looks like something straight out of 'A Nightmare Before Christmas'.

Sock Monsters
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Finally, we have Count Sockula. Which despite having by far the coolest sounding name of the trio, is my least favorite of the Sock Monsters. I find him to be just a little to purple and even though he has a vampire cape (trust me it is there, just impossible to see in this photograph) ... he just doesn't strike me as very Bela Lugosi-ish

That, I think, will pretty much do it for Sock Monsters. Can you guys believe that Halloween is exactly two weeks away? I am excited but at the same time cannot get over that feeling that we actually celebrated Halloween two weeks ago and are for some reason still here.