|Halloween 2006: October finds
With retailers already ordering their Christmas crap and my own mad collecting rush sucking the
well fairly dry, it's going to be much harder filling this page with anything new and exciting...or is
it? You're on the edge of your seat, I just know.
|October 3 - SPIRIT Halloween Stores!
For me, this would seem to be the official year of motion-sensing decorations, and like all the rest,
this one can be set to "sensor" mode or "button" mode. I prefer the button mode, as it just gets rather
old to see these things go off for so much as a sneeze or the shriek of a dying child. Button-pushing
never gets old, and that's especially true for buttons in the middle of giant plastic skulls.
When the almighty button is pressed, the cute little rat bends his head out, lights up his red eyes and
makes one of three deliciously awful jokes about being inside a giant skull!
It should be noted that these same three clips are used for a Halloween "hat" prop
available at Wal-Mart, which consists of a more cartoonish rubber rat gnawing away
at your bloody, bandaged scalp.
I showed these on the weblog, but I later went back and actually bought one. From a distance, it
makes a fairly realistic accessory for all your medical-zombie-costume needs, but up close, the text
and imagery is much more surreal.
If it's "fun blood", why am I supposed to be careful?
|October 7 - Klein's Family Supermarket
|-Halloween paper cut-outs (click reaper to enlarge)-
What appears at first glance to be a delightful sheet of Halloween window-clings is tragically nothing
more than a sheet of thin cardboard with punch-out shapes. I guess you're supposed to make your
own decorations out of them, but I'm honestly very disappointed that I can't just stick the cheeky little
reaper in the back window of my car.
"Tee-hee, this is YOU!" he seems to say. If only he could be saying it to tailgaters and traffic cops...
|October 10 - Dollar General
If you've read the August page, two of these may appear strangely familiar. Except for some subtle,
tacked-on differences, these are basically the same Skeleton and Mummy featured in merchandise at
Dollar Tree, the actual one-dollar dollar store.
As far as Halloween goes, Dollar General is usually a rather boring place to shop. So-named
because it's cheap, but not actually a dollar store, it rarely sells anything seasonal that you can't find
at virtually every major grocery chain. Not so for 2006...
How this situation came about is anyone's guess....if these were really designed by the same artist,
why does bobblehead mummy have a nonsensical yellow nose? Why the skull-cane instead of an
eyeball cane? And why doesn't the cool-as-hell pumpkin guy have a giant paper counterpart for me as
Now these are pretty rad. I definately wasn't expecting anything this neat-looking at the Dollar
General, and for an honest-to-god dollar apeice I may have to get me a few more. Made of hollow,
flexible plastic with loosely jointed arms, they appear to be hand-painted in a wildly varying level of
accuracy. Some were blotched, striped or even nearly monocolor, and it took quite some time to find
the best looking pair. You're supposed to hang them up with the included suction-cups, but they're
only attached by the same sort of plastic strand used to attach price-tags. It's probably better to cut
them loose and just provide your own string.
The best part is the terrified expression you can so perfectly create with the mummy's arms:
I had actually seen this light-up lawn decoration a few weeks prior at the local Target, where it had
the same exact name but cost two more dollars, came in a different box, and included feet. Being
stingy with my squanderings, I decided to get the footless $10 carcass.
What I really like about Marcus is how easily his hollow parts can just be hung on nails to make a
kick-ass indoor decoration all year round:
Click the pics for a closer look at my CUSTOM Marcus wall-lamp job! I guess I should
eventually buy the one with feet and make it look like he's actually stepping right out of the
netherworld, but I'm not sure what to do about the painfully visible power cords.
Last but definately not least for the Dollar General menagerie:
|-Generic Jack Skellington-
While I'm well aware that the Nightmare Before Christmas has earned itself an out-of-control
popularity in recent years, I never thought I'd see it grow mainstream enough for this sort of crude
dollar-store imitation. With velcrow hands and a squeezable sound-device, bizarro jack is part of a
larger but otherwise completely boring set that includes a pumpkin, cat, witch, and Frankenstein's
monster. Each plays a different generic clip when squeezed (including the same manic laughter as
Septermber's mini flashlight-monsters) and for Jack they have chosen the
"woo-woo-woo-woo-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-woo-woo-woo-woo" sound chip so frequently
implanted in ghost decorations.
|October 10 - Mail-order from Fright Catalog
The package calls him "kooky", and kooky is exactly what he is. Digital photos can't possibly capture
how wicked this 32-inch prop looks in person; with bendable arms, light-up red eyes and a face like
the inner demons of Jim Henson, it's probably one of the gnarliest things I've bought all year...and I
almost never say "gnarliest". Check out frightcatalog.com to get one of your own or any number of
other kick-ass horror items!
|October 12 - Halloween, Christmas & More
|-Foreboding Skeleton Angel-
If not for the wings, this would be a very mundane lawn ornament. "Halloween, Christmas & More"
is a seasonal store selling some of the same items as "DJ Liquidators", many of which have a distinctly
spanish style to them, leading me to believe that this was originally a "Day of the Dead" decoration and
probably didn't always say "Enter if you Dare". In fact, chances are it was meant to be holding some
sort of string instrument.
Either way, it's one of the most kick-ass lawn decorations I have ever seen.
....And at the other end of the spectrum is probably the most inane, tasteless thing I have ever spent
three dollars on. This is the sort of thing that makes one weep for the mental health of America. The
sort of thing purchased only by gullible, consumerist tools who think they're being clever to put it on
some sort of website and say ironic things about it.
How I pity them.
|October 11 - A Brief Return to Dollar General
|-Generic Jack Skellington's Generic Girlfriend-
I thought I'd show you at least one of the other long-armed knockoff plush toys, if just to show how
much less exciting they really are compared to generic Jack. This witch was the coolest-looking one,
and we can only assume that she and generic Jack are a generic item because even in generic form,
Jack is a chick magnet. And you gotta admit, she's not that bad looking for a woman with six-foot,
boneless arms and a roughly pear-shaped torso.
I should get out more.
|October 17 - Back to CVS Pharmacy
| How mini is this mini foosball? Check it out next to a dirty sock on the dirty carpet. It's cute, but
it's also designed in such a way that the players can't actually reach every point of the feild, and it's so
easy for the ball to stop somewhere untouchable that it negates the entire endeavor. Still, it's a neat
little cheapass toy. Note that these are once again the same pumpkins featured in previous CVS toys,
though I haven't seen any other toys involving those skull-faced freakoids.
One look at the truly priceless packaging (click to
enlarge!...Notice the guy with an axe in the background window)
and I knew I had a winner...but like the hanging ghost from
Wal-Mart (see previous 2006 pages), what you see is not quite
what you get. Already giggle-enducing from the illustration, the
actual "fantome gonflable" turns out to be a truly tragic
monstrosity resembling nothing so much as an abortion that
survived and grew for forty years eating snails and lichen in a
storm drain before crawling to the surface and joining the Ku
What, you can't see it? Don't tell me you can't see it.