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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Transformers And Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, Sponsored By Wacky Packages

To celebrate the opening of the Transformers attraction at Universal Studios in Florida, the Universal Orlando Resort has an unbelievable corporate sponsorship with Topps Wacky Packages.

The new partnership will allow Universal's Halloween Horror Nights to be celebrated in bold new ways.  Building on the success of Butterbeer and the exclusive merchandise found at Universal's Islands of Adventure, a new world of products will be available at Universal Orlando.  And since it's written on the Internet, it has to be true.

You've never seen Nickelodeon characters like this before.

Do you remember "The Funtastic World of Hanna Barbera" attraction at Universal Studios in Florida?

The Flintstones have been excavated for Halloween fun.

Jaws went belly up to make room for the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion at Universal Studios in Florida.

Jaws is back because he doesn't know the meaning of the word "Fin."  (The world "Fin" is often used at the end of a high-brow or foreign film).

King Kong went ape when the Mummy unraveled the gorilla's attraction at Universal Studios.

Folks are going bananas when they hear that King Kong will be swinging back to Universal for Halloween.

Rumors about new attractions for Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure just won't go extinct.

Jurassic Park 3D debuted in theaters in 2013.  A fourth new movie is in the works, but has been delayed.

Can we expect to see a restaurant with Brontosaurus Burgers on the horizon?

No, because the term "Brontosaurus" is not used anymore.  (The creature is now called an "Apatosaurus").

Men In Black: Alien Attack will get a tasty new sponsor.

Mallomartians are out of this world.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will have some new food items.

Look for tasty cookie treats at new snack stands located under select bridges at the Universal Orlando Resort.

Of course, when you visit the Simpsons in Springfield, you'll have to get some donuts.  Mmmmm.

It's time to make the D'oh Nuts.

New candy will be offered at Marvel Superhero Island.

We never see Spider-Man eating flies, do we?

Universal Studios has been celebrating Halloween in a big way for years.

You never know what famous face you'll run into who'll want to take your face off.

Universal's slogan early on was "Ride the Movies!"

So grab your popcorn and pour some cola on the bottom of your shoes, because it's time to get moving.

You'll be spending the whole day at the parks, so you'll want to get some good meals here.

You'll be happier than the Pillsbury Doughboy on his way to a baking convention.

Maybe you'd enjoy a quiet dinner.

It could be so romantic, you'll find yourself coming apart.

You'll find all sorts of low-fat dining options.

So you can stay fit on vacation.  You'll just be skin and bones.  Or just bones.

Even the condiments get into the Halloween spirit.

Only fresh Killer Tomatoes are used in the ketchup.

There's nothing like a hearty bowl of soup on a cool October night.

How about a shrunken heady bowl of soup?

Enjoy some crackers with your soup.

It's OK to eat these crackers in bed, because they can get rid of your bedbugs.

Now it's time for dessert!

You won't find these cookie monsters on Sesame Street.

Sink your fangs into some bloody good treats.

Forget about counting calories.  It's Halloween!

How about some cookies?  I'll toss you some.

Dessert was great, but now it's time to go trick or treating for candy!

What will you find in your trick or teat bag?  Dental floss?  Pennies?

No way!  Frankenstein knows what folks want.

One of the most coveted items is a ring!

Look at it, my precious!

Even pets can celebrate Halloween at Universal.

Dogs staying at the Universal Orlando Resort Kennel will enjoy their own Halloween treats.

And yes, cats are fed special food at the Kennel, too.

I'm not sure how many people bring their cat with them in a car on a trip to the Universal Orlando Resort, but I guess it happens more than you'd think.

Humans staying at Universal resort hotels get special Halloween perks, too.

Enjoy a wonderful breakfast in the morning.

Sip on a refreshing beverage.

Don't spill it!  It will leave a nasty stain.

Enjoy the special Halloween shampoo at Universal's hotels.

Frankly, the shampoo is shocking and electrifying.

You'll find the scent in the hotel rooms to be bewitching.

The luxurious rooms at Universal's hotels will cast a spell on you.

The partnership between Universal and Wacky Packages will probably make other Orlando attractions a bit green.  With envy!

Wacky Packages did reach out to many other Florida attractions with partnership offers, but most got cold fins.

One particular item is another story.  It is a toy.

For this, you've got to get in line early.  Otherwise, midway through the day, you'll have to wait in line over two hours for it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

When Mechanical Dinosaurs Roamed The Land Before Time

Did you see that episode of Matt Groening's TV show "Futurama" called "A Clockwork Origin" and think the robot dinosaurs in that show would make cool toys?  I did.  Then I remembered that there were toys similar to them in the 1980s.

They were teeny, tiny Tomy toy Dinosaur robots from Japan.  They could be found in the United States in 1985.

Robo Strux were "Robot Monsters" that looked like a Triceratops (Brutox), a Stegosaurus (Gordox), a Pterodactyl (Radox) and a T-Rex (Terox).

Your children will love trying to take over the world with robotic dinosaurs.

Best slogan ever for Robo Strux, spoken by the kid in this ad: "Once I finish building Terox, the world will never be safe from robot fury again!"

Radox and Terox get into a fight and threaten to destroy your living room.

Terox looks like the offspring of Godzilla and one of the Transformers.

Tonka knew that kids loved robots and dinosaurs.  That's why the dinosaur-like ZOD joined the GoBots in 1984.

Look for Shia LaBeouf to star in Michael Bay's GoBots movie in 2020.

Tyco launched its armor-suited Dino-Riders toy line in 1988.  That was a big year for dinosaurs.

Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and animation director Don Bluth joined forces for Universal's 1988 animated feature "The Land Before Time."  This USA Today article mentions popular tie-ins at Pizza Hut and J.C. Penney.

The Land Before Time proved to be a massive hit, spawning what seems like dozens of sequels, essentially creating the Direct-To-Video market.

By 1997, The Land Before Time hit Burger King in the form of wind-up toy dinosaurs.

Universal's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" was the big summer movie in 1997.  Rather than use that film for its Kid's Meal, Burger King chose to use the latest Land Before Time project.

In 2013, Burger King did release a Kids Meal tied to "Jurassic Park 3D."

Littlefoot is a wind up toy that walks and moves his tail and head.  Back in 1988, I think he would be called a brontosaurus, but I guess the term "brontosaurus" no longer exists, so now he'd be called an "apatosaurus."

Check out the offer from CompUSA.  Better act fast before the chain goes extinct!

The Land Before Time has been described as "Bambi with scales."

Littlefoot does have the same coloring as Bambi.  And the same eyelashes.  And both characters lost their moms onscreen, traumatizing many young children.

Wind-up Ducky does acrobatic tricks.

Ducky did not appear in the movie "Pretty in Pink."  That was Jon Cryer (from "Two and a Half Men") and the character he played was named "Duckie."

Ducky reminds me of Thumper from "Bambi."

I think this tiny character stole the movie.

Technically, the Petrie toy is not mechanical.  It is a squirt toy.

The instructions say "Use water only."  What else would a kid use?  Don't answer that.

Petrie also flaps his wings.

Petrie is famous for having very different and inconsistent color schemes in various forms of media.  For this toy, they decided to make him orange and tan.

Spike chows down on some leaves.

It would have been darkly funny, but inappropriate, to have a Sharptooth (the T-Rex from the first film) toy chowing down on another dinosaur.

Spike was a dinosaur of few words.  He just ate stuff.

As the Land Before Time franchise moved forward, many new dinosaur characters were added.

Like Sharptooth, Chomper is a T-Rex.  That is where the similarities end.

Chomper rolls forward and has some terrifying chomping action.

The Chomper character became a series regular in the Land Before Time animated TV show.

A plush Land Before Time dinosaur toy appears in Universal's 1999 movie "Mystery Men" starring Ben Stiller.

Tomy had another line of robots called "Starriors" in 1985.

This makes me think of "Truckasaurus" from "The Simpsons," another animated Matt Groening TV series.

For more dinosaur fun with Denver the Last Dinosaur, Dinersaurs cereal, cowboys, Snoopy and more, visit Knott's Berry Farm: Kingdom of the Dinosaurs.

Also, be sure to check out Jurassic Park: Carnotaurus And Chaos Effect.