Halloween 2005: Toys & Candy
 Part one of this year's collection. As always, this isn't
everything I collected in 2005, but it's definitely the best.
Spooky Lollipop Cyclists
 Found at Mars supermarkets, you get two different pumpkin guys and a
skeleton delivering giant lollipop sticks on their bicycles JUST FOR YOU.
Spooky Candy Cars
 Filled with Smarties, or something, which I imagine fuels their vehicles. I
mostly just like the adorable skeleton dude, but they only come in these
two varieties so I decided to complete the set. Now they can race. For
Dollar Store Bendies
 These are great because they come with mini versions of themselves, so
you can pretend they're in some father/son picnic of the dead. There was
another one of Frankenstein's monster, but I mainly just liked these two.
No, I don't really know what I have against the Monster. I guess I just
find him kinda boring in toy form.
Palmer gravedigger "chocolates"
 These are the same "chocolates" (waxy, unpleasant imitation chocolate)
found in bags of "Dr. Mad's Monster Lab". From the shape they're in, I
get the feeling they were rejects sorted into their own packaging to be
sold off cheap...but what packaging! The candy is only vaguely edible,
but the boxes are more than worth the $4 I paid.
Galerie "I Scream for Eye Scream" Gum
 Part of a whole huge "creature features" candy line available at Target.
All of the candies were packed in creatively-shaped boxes with a "movie
theatre" motif, but "I Scream" is the only one I felt like photographing
because it was the only one with a monster on the box; much less a
happy, mutant eyeball eating ice cream.
Mini Halloween Duckies
 Also available in witch and pumpkin, these are only about two or three
inches tall but would make awesome bath toys for newborn goths.
Multi-faced Keychains
 Sold with tubes of generic gumballs, these are of a classic yet
seldom-seen genus of toys who's faces spin around at the push of a
button, stopping randomly on one of 5 or 6 possible expressions.
Crazy Straws with Bendy Guys
 Here we have two totally different lines of bendy toy glued to standard
"crazy" straws and all sold under the same style packaging (an
orange-carded bag). There were several more varieties, but most of them
sucked so I just went for the pumpkins and skeletons.
Super amazing magic straw of horror
 This is clever. It looks like the straw has been broken by this foppish
fiend, but you can drink through it anyway! How do they do that!?! IT'S

  There was a "frankenstein's monster" looking one, but I decided to
continue my tradition of snubbing him for no reason.
7-11 Straws
 How did I end up with so many straws this year? I don't know, but I do
know which set kicks the most ass. I almost never go into 7-11, but I hit
one up the last week of October for some pickle-flavored potato chips
and ran across these by the Slurpee machine. For only 99 cents each,
they're extremely high quality, made from incredibly durable materials and
amazingly detailed. With two "gruesome" and two "cute" styles to choose
from, these are truly the epitome of halloween crazy straws, which I bet
you never knew could have an epitome.
Eyeball-Hand Windups
 An instant favorite that I almost missed, these came from a CVS pharmacy much
farther away but much larger than the ones I had already checked out, which had
yielded nothing of interest as far as Halloween goes. I definitely wasn't expecting
anything different from this particular store, much less an awesome model of windup I
had NEVER seen before! There weren't many left in the box, but I bought one of
every color they had.

  What I like to wonder, though, is wether these are supposed to represent just a
disembodied hand clutching an eyeball or a disembodied hand clutching an eyeball
with feet, because windup feet aren't always a canonical aspect of the character
they're attached to if you know what I mean. If you do know what I mean, you're
probably insane.
*NEW* Spooky Finger-puppets!
 Aw yeah, I am totally all over these. Whereas most finger puppets are
just recycled from the same molds year after year by entirely different
companies, these guys bear entirely new (to me, at least) and very styleish
designs. I especially appreciate the oddly relaxed mummy, and the fact
that the token ghost is
drooling sends him rocketing instantly to the top of
the finger-puppet-ghost heirarchy.

  Sometimes I wonder if it's really wise for me to publicize my way of
2005 Stretch Monsters
 Made like the stretchy "horror monsters" of 2004, but in a totally
different style, I only discovered these
after halloween at Wal-Mart...I
shudder to think how close I came to missing them. It's only half the size
of the other line and the werewolf isn't nearly as cool, but its the little
details that make all the difference. The vampire (or is he Mr. Hyde?) has
great fashion sense, the witch holds a presumably poisonous apple in her
hand, and the skeleton is filled with
PINK beads instead of the usual
white; simulating entrails inside its translucent body, which even has
sculpted intestines (look closely) and glows in the dark! There was also a
glow-in-the-dark bat, but like last year's stretchy animal friends, it was the
same bat you can find anywhere else.
Target "Jack" and "Itsy" gummi eyeballs
 More of target's ultra-cute halloween mascots, I haven't the heart to eat
their eyes and have never really had a tasty for gummi candy anyway.

  Let me take this oppurtunity to say that I would KILL for some of the
larger cardboard decorations they had up. Every year they fill the store
with giant cut-outs of snazzy little monsters, and every year they throw
them all away. If anyone, anywhere, has rescued even one of them,
and I'll make you an offer. DON'T LET ME DOWN, WORLD.
Echoey microphone things.
 What do you call these, again? Make some sort of noise into their
heads, and it'll echo. Well, it'll k
ind of echo. Not really. It will sound a
little bit like you're talking into the back of a fan, I guess.

  ....What matters is, they're neat-looking.
Candy flashlight
 A fairly powerful flashlight atop of a candy dispenser filled with sour
bones. I just got the pumpkin/ghost kid here, but there was also a cat and
- you guessed it - frankenstein's monster.