PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Gift Guide: Ghostbusters Slot Car Racing Set

gb01Riding a wave of nostalgia after last year’s 30th Anniversary, Ghostbusters are hotter than ever.  We even have a local branch here in West Virginia.  Now you can re-create the thrill of the movie with the Ghostbusters Slot Car Race Set.

It’s easy to know who you’ll call when the highway becomes an ectoplasm obstacle course. The Ghostbusters Haunted Highway Slot car set is packed with spirited fun! The set includes: 14 feet of HO Scale Track; Ecto-1 and NYPD police cruiser slot cars; 2 sections of ectoplasm track; a cardboard backdrop of Stay Puff; Breakthrough Ghost Gates; 2 variable speed controllers
and everything else that you’ll need to have a high-speed ghost-busting adventure.

gb02This is a traditional Thunderjet or AFX style set, and it’s loads of fun. The cars are Recommeded for kids old enough to play with electric toys and adults who remember these cool racing sets from their childhood.

You can order this set directly from AutoWorld, and if Ghostbusters aren’t your style, you can choose from a variety of other sets featuring Batman, Back The The Future, Knight Rider, Smokey and the Bandit, Richard Petty and an assortment of drag racers and funny cars. The Ghostbusters set is $120, but right now they’re offering an extra ten bucks off of orders over $100.



8121SFTC30L._SL1500_This is the perfect gift for the avid videogamer who hasn’t picked up a joystick since 1983.

Celebrating the legacy of Pac-Man. Bandai’s Pac-Man Connect and Play brings back your favorite classic video games right to your television! The battery-operated old school joystick connects right to your TV. Featuring 12 Classic games like: Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Bosconian, Galaxian, Mappy, Super Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, New Rally X, Pac & Pal and Xevious.

A huge added bonus is Pac-Man 256, which offers fans the chance to play the coveted level once made unavailable due to a bug in the program of the supposedly never-ending game. The 256 Challenge lets you begin where the original game left off. The unique Pac-Man shaped controller is designed to reflect the nostalgia of 80’s arcade style gaming.

71HxIYqPf+L._SL1500_The Store and Play feature allows real Pac-Man fanatics to store the cord in the controller for the best display of Pac-Man. Requires 4 AA batteries (not included). Recommended for ages four and up, and available all over the place, Toys R Us, Family Dollar, Amazon. It’s usually less than twenty dollars.

For those of us who get helplessly lost trying to navigate a modern videogame system, with all the buttons and first-person shooter stuff, this is a great way to sit in front of the TV wasting time playing a videogame without feeling like a moron, or dropping hundreds of dollars on games.

Gift Guide: Ideal’s Booby Trap Game

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This gift suggestion is a blast from my past, one of my favorite childhood games.  Booby Trap is a classic game that’s been a family favorite and played by millions of people since the 1960s. Now this smash-hit is back the way it was originally, with a wooden, spring-loaded game board and classic gameplay.

The game board creates tension while players attempt to pull pieces off of the board to accumulate points. The larger the piece, the higher the points…and the risk! A steady hand and good decisions are required to win. One false move and the tension bar snaps, causing pieces to pop and your score to drop!

Ideal’s Booby Trap is designed for 2-4-players, measures 11.5-inches by 1.5-inches by 7-inches and includes a spring-loaded wooden game board, (21) large (yellow) pieces, (21) medium (red) pieces, (21) small (green) pieces and instructions.  Ideal’s Booby Trap Classic Wood Spring-Loaded Tabletop Game is recommended for children at least 8-years of age.  This is a very affordable game, made with real wooden pieces and it’s both a nostalgic treat and a lot of fun for today’s kids.

Available where ever Ideal games are sold (Gabriel Brothers, that calendar store in the mall) and as usual, cheaper at Amazon. It’s a great game and has the added bonus of having the word, “booby,” in its name, so you get a little extra fun out of that.

kiss blood

2015_FTC_KISS_12InchBloodSpitDemonFigures Toy Company has, for the last several years, been releasing twelve inch KISS action figures made in the style of the classic 1970’s twelve inch Mego KISS figures.  The latest entry is the twelve inch KISS Demon (Gene Simmons) with real blood spitting action.

Seriously, you put a blood capsule in, push a button in the back, and the blood comes pouring out of his mouth.

Some parents may find this horrifying.  That makes this the perfect gift for their children.  It’s also perfect for any die-hard KISS fan.

The genuine Blood-Spitting KISS Demon figure is $69.99, plus shipping, from Figures Toy Company. Note that this is a pre-order. This figure is scheduled to arrive in early December, but that is subject to change.


91ThLMIXyRL._SL1500_Ignoring the fact that this really good movie length Regular Show adventure will air on Cartoon Network the day before Thanksgiving, die-hard fans of the show may really appreciate having a hard copy, uninterrupted by commercials, that they can watch over and over again.

This is a time travel adventure that sees Mordecai and Rigby flung into the future and the past in a plot that seems like the bastard child of Back To The Future and The Terminator.  This adventure is epic, even by the standards of a show that regularly features giant immortal flying babies, a David Bowie-esque cosmic herald who drives a flying 1970’s muscle car, the occasional plot to lift giant tracts of land from America and fly them into Russia, and regular appearances from Death himself.

So if you have a Regular Show fan on your gift list, this is a good, inexpensive stocking stuffer.  Appropriate for all ages, but some people might not want younger kids imitating this behavior. Available wehre ever DVDs are sold.


81SqITHY+qL._SL1347_Frozen is the single hottest property out there when it comes to little girls.  They love Anna and Elsa.  They adore Olaf.  And they won’t ever stop listening to that damn song.

Now for the girl who has all the toys and all the merchandise and multiple copies of that CD because you keep hiding them, there’s something new: a canvas scene from the movie embedded with LED lights that you can hang on your wall.

The artwork depicts Elsa and Anna and Olaf. It measures 11.5″ by 15.75″ and takes three AA batteries (not included) to power the sparky LED snowflakes. We found it at Amazon for under ten dollars.

Gift Guide: The Avengers Defend Earth Fleece Throw


913gIRQ4eRL._SL1500_Everybody loves Marvel’s cinematic universe and with winter approaching, everybody wants a good fleece throw to protect them from the cold.

Well, maybe not.  But if you have a Marvel fan on your gift list, this fleece throw is a great idea.  It depicts all of The Avengers on a nice fleece throw that can also keep you warm. The art style is sort of a comic-bookized version of the Marvel cinematice Avengers.

The Avengers will defend your body from the cold.  Now before you think they should change their name to The Defenders, you have to remember that The Defenders is an entirely different team of Marvel superheroes.  Even though The Hulk was in both teams, you shouldn’t get the two mixed up because in a couple of years, The Defenders will have their own Netflix series and you don’t want to get them confused.  Actually, the Netflix version of The Defenders will be a completely different team than the comic book version of The Defenders, so in that case, you really, really don’t want to get them confused, because The Hulk isn’t going to be in the Netflix Defenders.  But, I digress…

The point is, for under ten bucks, you can get a fleece throw with The Avengers on it for the Marvel Comics fan in your life.  You can find this at Amazon.

Gift Guide: Ultimate Sinatra

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7189QMbHwFL._SL1500_December 12 marks the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth.  To mark the occasion a new box set, for the first time ever, combines Sinatra’s top hits from his entire career and three record labels–Columbia, Capitol, and Reprise–in one four CD collection.

This set works both as a great introduction to the entire Sinatra oevure and also as a fairly comprehensive “greatest hits” package.  Perfect for the new fan, or the die-hard completist.

The songs have been remastered and are presented in the highest possible fidelity and an informative book detailing Sinatra’s career is included.  You only get one previously-unreleased tune, but you will get every song you expect, from “All Of Me” to “That’s Life” to “New York, New York.”

The defining voice of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra enjoyed a legendary recording career that spanned six decades, beginning with his earliest session in 1939 and culminating with his last in 1993, for his acclaimed Duets and Duets II albums.

Ultimate Sinatra’s 4 CD edition boasts 100 tracks celebrating 100 years (plus a never before released bonus track), including many more luminous recordings that reinforce Sinatra’s well-deserved moniker, The Voice. The chronological collection dives deeper into Sinatra’s musical world of iconic recordings, before closing with a previously unreleased rehearsal version of ‘The Surrey With The Fringe On Top’ recorded in 1979.

The deluxe edition also features an 80-page booklet with a new essay by Sinatra historian and author Charles Pignone, as well as rare photos and quotes from Frank Sinatra and his children, Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr., as well as Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Quincy Jones, and others.

Ultimate Sinatra is available wherever CD’s are sold and at Amazon.



trump 02Chicago-based artist Mitch O’ Connell, whose work I have praised here in the past, has given us an amazing, nay genius, work of art that combines Republican Presidential front runner Donald Trump with the evil mind controlling aliens from John Carpenter’s classic movie They Live.

This art is available in the form of a t-shirt…actually, two different t-shirts that you can purchase directly from Mitch at his wonderful website.  This is a great gift for folks on your list who find nothing more horrifying than the thought of The Donald sitting in the Oval Office. It’s also a great gift for Trump supporters, particularly if you were looking for an excuse never to talk to them again anyway.

trump shirt 01I have one of the black, They Live/Trump shirts and I will be wearing it on the next full length episode of Radio Free Charleston.  Mine is the design on a black t-shirt, but for those of you who live life with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek, there is a more colorful Trump campaign poster design, as seen at the top of this post.

This is what might be lurking under our next presidents tanned face, if we only had the alien reveling
“They Live” glasses to know for sure! The classic black t’s are ring spun 100% cotton, and come in these exciting Men’s sizes, S, M, L, XL, XXXL, XXXL and XXXXL!

71A+mTCZuHL._SL1421_This very important program in the history of television animation is now available on DVD for under ten bucks.  You can get both seasons of Ralph Bakshi’s late 1980’s revival of Mighty Mouse for that very low price.

This was the cartoon that revolutionized television animation by doing something that TV animation had not done for a long time: the shows were really, really funny and animated really, really well.

Now if you read that to mean that prior to Mighty Mouse television was a vast wasteland of barely animated drawings that weren’t remotely entertaining or funny and for the most part, had been that way for the better part of two decades, then you pretty much got what I was saying.

This was the cartoon that made a superstar animator out of John Kricfalusi, who was the supervising director on the first season before leaving to form Spümcø, the studio that gave us Ren and Stimpy.  What’s important to note is that when Ralph Bakshi took over as supervising director for the second season (after serving as producer for the first), the show did not lose a step.  It was uniformly excellent, highly irreverent, and filled with animation in-jokes.

On these discs, you will see Mighty Mouse encounter Bat-Bat, The Cow, and watch cartoons that are vicious parodies of Alvin & The Chipmunks and Saturday morning cartoons in general.

Mighty Mouse The New Adventures is available real cheap right now from Amazon.

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