Ecto Cooler is back!

Man, it’s about time. After years of fan demand, Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler is finally back with a vengeance.

Originally released in 1987 to tie in with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series, Ecto Cooler’s origins actually go all the way back to 1965. It was originally called Citrus Cooler, and yes, even back then it was green… however, all it took was slapping Slimer on the package to make us give a shit. Ecto Cooler was a hit, long outlasting the cartoon series that spawned it. It retained the ‘Ecto Cooler’ branding until the late 90’s, then continued to be sold under various other names before quietly being discontinued in 2007.

Since then, fans have been clamoring for a comeback, perhaps moreso than any other “retro” food item. This isn’t just due to the Ghostbusters branding, either; the stuff was just plain delicious. Fans created recipes to approximate the flavor, Ecto Cooler-scented candles, petitions… the thirst was real. Alas, there was no sign of a return for our beloved beverage.

Until now.

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The upcoming Ghostbusters reboot has been a… controversial topic, to say the least. And whether your opinion of it is positive or negative, there’s one undeniable silver lining to it all: ECTO COOLER. Yes, with the new movie on the way, it was high time for Hi-C to get back on the saddle. And as you can tell from the official site, they know their audience… not kids of today, but kids of the 90’s. Ecto Cooler’s not just here… it’s BACK.

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Ecto Cooler is available both in oldschool juice boxes and color-changing cans. The cans are clearly the standout choice, but regardless of your preference, both are nigh-impossible to get your hands on. You’d assume they’d just be sold everywhere, but nope… the juice boxes are only available in smaller grocery stores such as Shop N Save, and the cans are only available online (and at Cinemark movie theaters). The cans sell out pretty much as soon as they’re available, so your best bet is just to keep checking. (As you can see, I lucked out).

But let’s talk about the drink itself. Is Ecto Cooler worth all the effort it takes to find it?

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Yes.

The taste is exactly as I remember it. It’s hard to describe if you’ve never had it before… an orange/tangerine blend. It’s a bit like orange juice, but less tart and more sweet. It’s delicious. And for many people, nostalgic. It tastes like childhood.

The color is brilliant as well. One of the problems with the fan-made recipes was that no matter how close the flavor, they always had an unpleasant murky green color. Ecto Cooler, however, looks downright radioactive. Radioactive in an appealing way, I mean. Again, it looks exactly like it used to.

If there’s one thing to criticize, it’s the branding. Namely, the lack of Slimer. Apparently this is due to Coca-Cola’s marketing policy not allowing the use of celebrities or characters that are appealing to children. As to why you wouldn’t want to use characters appealing to children to promote a beverage ostensibly intended for children, I have no idea. Still, this is all a minor wrinkle.

So if you’ve been trying to get your hand on some of that sweet, sweet Ecto Cooler, all I can say is keep looking. I got mine on Amazon after checking back repeatedly. Of course, you can find them on ebay for a hugely inflated price, so if that’s reasonable for you then knock yourselves out.

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Halloween Horror Nights 25 Review

In my last article I said that the HHN review would be up soon.

That was in October.

It is now February.

…Oops. Well, as they say, better late then never.

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Continue reading

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Not dead yet!

Sorry, folks. Time got away from me for a bit. I’ll be back soon, I promise!

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Nightmare Feddy

Few weekends ago I attended PalmCon, a comic book convention in West Palm Beach. Had a lot of fun, and of course I bought a lot of dumb shit.

There was one booth in particular that gave me some solid deals. If I remember correctly it was Wicked Toys & Collectibles, so hey, big shout out to you guys. What sort of deals, you ask? Well, I got a mint-in-box Monster Force Creature of the Black Lagoon figure and a copy of Super Mario All-Stars for $15 each (usually, these go for about $20-30).

So those are some pretty good scores. However, they can’t hold a candle to this:

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Yes. Soak it in.

Nightmare Feddy. Nightmare. Feddy. It’s beautiful.

Bootleg figures have long been a source of much hilarity on the internet, with failures like Sader and RobertCop becoming downright memetic over the years. Unfortunately, these more notable bootlegs are often hard to find, sometimes even rarer than the licensed toys they emulate.

Nightmare Feddy, while perhaps not as hilarious as some other bootlegs, is one I had seen floating about the web from time to time. So when I saw him, I knew I had to have him. On the rare occasions they do pop up, they tend to go for about $40-80. I got him for $30, so again, props to Wicked Toys & Collectibles.

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The box art is great. Though it definitely leaves no mystery as to who it’s ripping off, the art actually looks less like Freddy than the toy does. Actually, judging from that shirt, I can only assume that Calvin & Hobbes ended on a really weird note.

I had to debate whether or not to take him out of the box. But y’know, fuck it, you only live once right?

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Oh man. He looks great. For a bootleg toy, Feddy is surprisingly well-made. He doesn’t seem to be based on any Freddy toy in particular. which seems to indicate that he was an original sculpt. Whether or not that’s the case, it’s clear that some work went into this thing.

His forearms are actually sculpted all the way up to the elbow, which is surprising; even licensed toys of this type often just stick with generic parts for the body. Granted, Feddy’s still got some killer abs, but hey, don’t look a gift horse in the shirt. Also, though the claw’s a bit nubby, it’s actually a fairly good match for the one on the box art.

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Face sculpt is damn good, too. He undeniably looks like Robert Englund, arguably more than a lot of licensed toys do. Perhaps not having to buy likeness rights had something to do with that. If there’s one downside it’s that his hat is made of thin, brittle plastic… you know the kind. The kind that cracks if you so much as breathe on it too hard.

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Nonetheless, I love my Nightmare Feddy. He’s just do downright charming and well worth every cent I paid for him.

Happy Halloween, guys. Gonna have this year’s Halloween Horror Nights review done in a week or so.

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The Violinist of Hameln (Super Famicom)

A lot of games never make it to the US. There can be a variety of reasons for this, be it licensing issues, lack of interest, or simply poor quality of the game in question. But it’s a damn shame when a genuinely good game remains Japan-exclusive. The Violinist of Hameln is one such game.

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The Violinist of Hameln is a Super Famicom (SNES for the unenlightened) game based on the manga of the same name. The series is fairly obscure as-is, having never made its way outside Japan in any form, and even in its home country it has little more than a cult following.

So, being an obscure game based on an obscure manga that was never released outside Japan, chances are you’ve never heard of it. And that’s unfortunate, because this game kicks ass.

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At its core, Hameln is a fairly standard side-scrolling platformer. You play as the semi-titular Hamel, who happens to be a violinist.

Funny, that.

Being a violinist, Hamel’s primary method of attack is firing musical notes. You’re also assisted by a girl named Flute, who mainly serves as a means of solving puzzles and traversing the environment.

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You see, keeping in line with the manga, Hamel’s a bit of a douchenozzle. He has no qualms with abusing poor Flute however he sees fit, in this case using her as a platform to reach higher areas, using her as a projectile to destroy enemies and obstacles, or otherwise flinging her about for his amusement.

To her credit, she puts up with it pretty well, and really only gets annoyed if she’s actively hurt by an enemy or hazard. Making her mad doesn’t have much of an effect beyond reducing your score at the end of the level, though you lose gold every time she gets hurt.

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Flute serves an even greater purpose, however. Throughout the game you find costumes that give her various abilities necessary to make it through the stages, as well as further humiliate the poor girl. This ranges from an ostrich costume that can walk across spikes to a robot costume that can punch through blockades. Most are needed to progress, though there are a few optional ones hidden throughout the game.

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There are also towns along the way where you can purchase useful items and even costumes to help you in your quest, actually making use of those coins you pick up throughout the stages.

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The Violinist of Hameln has a lot to offer, and is one hell of a hidden SNES gem. Why didn’t it come out over here? Fuck if I know. Perhaps it was a licensing issue with the manga, maybe they simply didn’t think it would be marketable. Whatever the case, it’s unfortunate we never got this one. Thankfully, there’s a translated ROM out there that you can go play right now, and even a reproduction cart if you want to add the game to your collection.

So go play it. If you’re a SNES buff, I highly recommend it.

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Papa Cherry’s Pie in a Jar

Over the weekend, I made a discovery.

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I found this little beauty at a 4th of July event in the baffling labyrinth known as Deerfield Beach. This, if you can’t tell, is an apple pie. More to the point, it is an apple pie in a mason jar. Further to the point, I knew that I needed to have it.

You may be asking yourselves: what deranged alchemists could have birthed such a thing? Well, it’s all thanks to a small company called Papa Cherry. They specialize in pies. In jars.

Pie in a jar, if you will.

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Admittedly, it doesn’t look all that appetizing from the outside. But any concerns you may have are quelled once you open it up and take a gander at that crust. Yep, that’s a pie all right.

Any lingering doubts you may have are smashed once you have a taste. I’ve got to say, if that’s not the best apple pie I’ve ever had, it’s at least in the top three. I can undoubtedly say that it’s the best pie I’ve eaten out of a mason jar, if nothing else.

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The jar is split about 50/50 between crust and filling. Now, some of you may be disappointed that there isn’t more filling, but trust me when I say that ain’t a problem. The crust was damn good, perfectly soft and sweet with a distinct vanilla taste. Honestly, I’d probably eat a jar of that alone.

Possibly several.

And the filling was nothing to sneeze at either. Put ’em together and you’ve got a grade-A apple pie. In a jar.

So I’mma stop here before this becomes a food blog, but suffice to say you should head on over to the Papa Cherry web site and get yourself a few pies.

And then eat them.

Eat them all. 

Just shove them in your mouth. Don’t you even think about sharing. Dump them all on the ground and eat them off the ground like the animal you are. Have no shame. Toss your dignity to the wind. Just eat pie off the floor.

k bye

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The Cowfish Part 2

 

Sorry for the downtime, folks! Things have been a bit busy.

Last time, I talked about the Cowfish, a rad burger/sushi fusion restaurant at the Universal Studios Orlando CityWalk. Last month I went back for round 2, so let’s have a look!

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First of all, I got meself one of their bento boxes. We’ve got edamame, thai cucumber, a small slider, sweet potato fries, and a california roll (minus the avocado, because fuck avocado). Though I wish it were a bit more inventive, everything was delicious. The thai cucumber in particular was great; sweet, lemony and slightly spicy. And, despite its small size, the slider was quite good as well.

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Since the bento box wasn’t nearly as unhealthy as the Bar-B-Q-Shi I had last time, I decided to get a milkshake as well. In particular, I got the Crispy Marshmallow shake, and holy shit. Basically a vanilla shake with marshmallow cream and rice crispies in the shake itself, this thing kicked ass.

So the Cowfish continues to be great. If there’s one negative thing to say about it, it’s that the service is weirdly slow. But the food makes up for it, I’d say.

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