Haunted Snack Mansion! Color-Changing Cars! AND MORE!

Today I will regale you with tales of Doritos and color-changing cars. It’s exactly how you wanted to spend the weekend.

I’m not sure if it’s possible for me to love this any more than I do right now. Maybe if it blew me. Frito-Lay always spends October marketing its mini-sized snack bag as trick-or-treat fodder, but for 2009, the push is extraordinary. Doing away with the more basic stylings of yesteryear’s multi-packs, Frito-Lay has crafted these unbelievable “Haunted Snack Mansions,” made of shiny cardboard and stuffed with 18 bags of Doritos and Cheetos.

The Doritos and Cheetos are nothing special, or I should say, they’re no more special than normal. The real star is the “mansion” itself. Big, spooky and with working doors, it has all the makings of the perfect action figure playset, and had Frito-Lay been making these back when I was age-appropriate, there’s no way Hordak and Cobra Commander wouldn’t have warred to claim it.

Beyond that, the box would work wonderfully as a “starter piece” for a Halloween crafts project. Paint over all of the product emblems and turn it into a true spookhouse! I think I just gave my Saturday a purpose. By the stroke of midnight, I’ll have transformed Frito-Lay’s Haunted Snack Mansion into a real Castle Dracula. Or maybe I’ll just go to bed early.

I can’t remember exactly how much Target charged for this, but “9.99” sounds like a good guess. Ten bucks for 18 mini-bags of chips is reasonable in a borderline sort of way, but the fact that it comes in a cardboard Bates Motel puts it over the top. Recommended!

Another score! From Hot Wheels, it’s a two-pack of “Trickin’ Treats” Color Changers, which are infinitely more awesome than the five-pack of boring regular Hot Wheels cars I reviewed last month.

The packaging includes a mad scientist with a fiery tie, who defies mad scientist society’s stereotypical fixation on esoteric ingredients by proclaiming his secret formula to be nothing more than “icy water.” No bat wings, no rat blood, no owl pellets — just plain old cold water. That’s not very “mad” of him. I suppose he’s more of a regular scientist than a mad one. Don’t judge a book by its cover, or fiery tie.

I always approach color-changing toys with some apprehension, as historically, the gimmick never seems to work well. This time, it did. The second I poured cold water over the cars, they changed colors. And not in that cheap, stripey way either — we’re talking about completely new paint jobs, with the yellow car turning green and the orange van turning…a deeper shade of orange. It’s all so magical and wish-fulfilling.

Also nice is how you can use your fingertips to “swab” them back to their original colors. They’re like the toy car versions of those old Hypercolor t-shirts.

HEY. Did you know that I’ve been doing these Halloween Countdowns since 2003, and writing about Halloween nonsense on the site for even longer than that? X-E’s Halloween celebrations have been around for longer than some of your children, and in celebration, here’s a random sampling of my older spooky articles. Pick your poison!

Enjoy! You can also view all of last year’s Halloween Countdown starting with this blog entry. Just keep clicking the “next” links at the top of each entry to wade through nearly 40 days’ worth of year-old creepy content.

Now, how about we take a look at a few more of your Spooky Die-O-Ramas? See five more entries, after the jump! I seriously wish I could’ve given prizes to everyone who entered, but I’d never be able to afford things like Cheetos castles and Hypercolor Hot Wheels if I did.

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Haunted McNugget Mansion”
Created By: Jason Lillard

Even though it didn’t win, I’m not sure if any of the other entries were quite as joyous as Jason’s. This Die-O-Rama is definitely a happy place, filled with all the things that make happy places happy, like Chicken McNuggets, lollipops and Food Fighters. I especially like the random Heineken bottle coaster. Jason’s entry is the Halloween Mood Table of Spooky Shoebox Die-O-Ramas.

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Linus Summons The Great Pumpkin”
Created By: Lynn

Interestingly, the Peanuts gang appears to be in their more common Christmas wardrobe. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not. Perhaps Lynn was going for some point of symbolism that got lost on my simple brain?

Either way, I appreciate the Godzilla-scaled realization of the Great Pumpkin, and take the lack of Sally to mean that the Great Pumpkin ate her. I have no problem with this; she was such a bitch to Linus in that patch.

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Size 9 From Outer Space”
Created By: Ricky Henry

The more I look at this one, the more I think it deserved to be in the winners’ circle. You got gypped, Ricky. Aside from being one of the few entries that really delved into classic horror, Ricky even came up with an awesome name for it. Plan 9 becomes Size 9! (Get it? Size 9? Shoebox? Yes.)

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Whoopi Goldberg and Conky Prepare to Explode Peggy Hill Out of the Asylum for Her Annual Halloween Rampage”
Created By: Cliff

Cliff came up with the title for this one, and fortunately for tired old me, it doubles as the description! I love how Conky appears to be egging Whoopi into this, but doesn’t want to get his own hands dirty. He’s like a robot Iago.

(Click here to see a larger photo!)

“Dracula Makes his Move at the Monster Keg Party”
Created By: Eric M.

What first seems to be just an everyday mashing of monsters actually has a story far deeper than that, and I’ll let Eric tell it: “Basically, a blood-drunk Count is making a pass at Frankenstein’s old lady, not knowing that the man himself is right behind him.”

I dig the notion of infidelity-related melodrama surrounding the Universal Monsters crowd. I also dig the cute little table full of bright pink pastries. Look close and you’ll notice that the monster figures are all wearing monster masks!

Thanks again for your entries, everyone! There are still plenty more to come!

Happy SNT.

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107 Responses to Haunted Snack Mansion! Color-Changing Cars! AND MORE!

  1. TB Tabby says:

    Ah, my mistake. That meter actually counts down to revealing a secret stencil.

  2. Eric M says:

    Aw, cool– my die-o-rama made it up on the page! That’s all I wanted– to contribute in some way to my favorite website. In addition to the expressive monster masks, you may also notice that the Bride of Frankenstein is actually the Mummy figure in drag.

  3. ULTRAMAN says:

    I saw Zombieland over the weekend. It was AWESOME!!!!!!!
    HIGHLY recommended for zombie fans. If you prefer slow zombies to fast, go see it anyway. You WON’T regret it!

  4. Sure, the zombies in Zombieland are of the “Infected” type, but the movie surprisingly gives justification for it, not to mention genre-savvyness.

    “You Know Who’s” cameo was one of the best parts of the whole movie. Also awesome: Woody Harrelson on the rollercoaster, shooting zombies. AWESOME.

  5. dddd says:

    i watch zombie land onland online and i have to say i thought it suck but then agian i never been into zombie comdies

  6. Goob says:


    Oh where should I start… in this comments section we respect others and not spoil movies for each other. And take the dagger out of my heart I was one of the ones that has not seen that movie yet and I was looking forward to it. Eh, it could be the twist ending to the sixth sense or something. But please treat others how you would like to be treated if you want to have a pleasant time here. Thank you. The best thing for a newbie is to follow other people’s leads until you learn the rules.

    Onto other topics… I looked up if the Toy Story 3D double feature was playing near where I lived I had low expectations but there is a mall playing it in the nearest big city from here! I asked Harry if he could afford to take me before the 22nd he said so this is the 3rd one? I said you know the 2 movies I have seen a million times on tape, they are in the movie theater! You wear glasses and see the movies in 3D! He almost bought it ha. He will see where our budget is and I will be so disappointed now if I don’t go. Like for the rest of my life disappointed.

    My gf Jennifer hasn’t seen the movies even once so I would love to take her but I can’t because well you know I am one of those weird losery people that are dating the computer *coughs* so I will hopefully be able to go by myself. Every time I mention kids movies and movies like Toy Story she says “I thought the movie Cars was cute” I don’t like it when girls call movies cute. That gets under my skin for some reason lol.

    I hope everybody is having a great Halloween/Fall season I am making the best of it. I am more laid back then I was last year and I am kind of liking it that way. More like living the lifestyle of Halloween and not forcing myself to be obsessed with it, you know?

    Oh yeah if you don’t have a walgreens and want to try the IV liquid candy and have a walmart near you they have a variety of the same candy. It’s in the same kind of bag, and is red. It says bloody mary mix on it and there is a bright green one that says monster slime mix I believe on it. It’s the same price, 2 bucks but I thought I would let everybody know. I kinda wanna get one just to chug it and see if I can eat it in one sitting.

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