|Halloween 2006: September Finds
As far as halloween products go, September is the "big" month. Very few stores wait all the way
until October to put out their ghostly goods, and the major chains generally have everything out by
labor day. This is the month for Target, Wal-Mart, grocery chains and convenience stores to get
into the Halloween spirit, and chances are good you'll be hearing a lot about those first two in the
|-Wobbling metal Pumpkin-soldier-
This three-foot phantom mercenary sports a shortsword, a cape, skull buttons and a pumpkin-head
he carries several inches above his neckhole. Mortifying, to be sure, but not as scary as his pricetag. I
caught him on a labor-day sale for 40% off, costing me nearly $50. Do the math.
Joann, you are a greedy corporate whore. Why oh why must you have such irresistable seasonal
|September 5 - Joann Fabrics
|Whatever, I'm just glad I got one before they were gone. Look at those buttons!!!
|-"Creepy Classics" thumb puppets with baseball bats-
The only thing monsters enjoy more than Halloween is an all-American game of baseball - even the
"King of Lizards!" These are actually extremely painful on the tips of adult-size fingers, but I'm always
willing to suffer for your entertainment.
|September 6 - Dollar Tree at White Marsh Mall
| Poor Collapsey just doesn't look as cool as his packaging implies, but I can't fault a $5 hanging
ghost from Wal-Mart. Normally I wouldn't even add such common staples as this to my halloween
galleries, but I'm trying to include all of my purchases this year.
|-Talking surprise Doorbell-
| Also roughly $5, which is pretty cool for a slobbering electronic pumpkin with FREE adhesive
mounting squares. Pressing the button produces a typical doorbell sound as a black, plastic spider
darts out of the mouth to gently stab your finger. There are two possible voice clips that play
afterwards, and both of them sound like James, the Team Rocket villain from Pokemon.
|-Spider-mania (click to enlarge)-
These are the same tiny, plastic spiders that have been sold for generations under various guises, but
there's something inexplicably special about "spider-mania" and its weird postmodern card art. I'd
wager that this nonchalant, barefoot young lady wearing only a gigantic blue t-shirt has one hell of a
story leading up to this point, but three humongous spiders are determined to make sure we never
|September 8 - Card Connection
|-Galerie Gummies (Click to Enlarge)-
Last year, galerie distributed six varieties of "Gruesome Chew-somes"; morbid gummy treats with
names like "Diabolical Demon Heads" and "Attack of the fly-eating kid" with styleish, elaborately
illustrated packages that even included a giant-size sticker.
This year, there's just a cheap four-pack of extremely watered-down versions with a single
quarter-sized sticker in each. The purple bat is artwork recycled directly from the chew-somes, and
you can see how much nicer they looked. I do like that "Nasty Nibbles" illustration, but all in all, it
seems that someone else has stepped in to bring Target its gory candy grail...
|-Chef Ghoulicious gummies (Click to Zoom)-
Picking up Galerie's fizzling torch this year is the "Chef Ghoulicious" selection, which also includes
giant, foamy gummy brains and a couple of other treats. The packaging art is all the same, but that's a
positive thing with Mr. Ghoulicious here, clearly inspired by the artwork of Daddy Roth. I especially
like the flies.
While target's pop-up tombstone has returned this year in a darker color, the swinging-door style
has been replaced by the above, which shows itself and shrieks a good six times longer than its
bretheren. I suppose the idea now is a sort of "his & hers" shrieking tombstone set, since this one is
quite obviously male and the pop-up ghoul is somewhat vaguely female.
Any other time of year, Spencer's is little more than America's
lead supplier of penis-shaped novelties and fleurescent signs. From
mid-September through the first week of November, however, it
becomes the goriest shopping-mall chain in the nation, focusing on
only the most extravagant and graphic props for the
mature-audiences Halloween party.
Case in point: these giant, $25 monster heads that hang
dramatically from store ceilings in awesome, banana-like bushels
that I sorely wish I could afford to re-create at home.
Several varieties are offered, including an angry severed demon
head (the perfect prop for your bad-ass metal archangel getup), a
vampire bride and a bald guy with his eyes sewn shut, but nothing
can compare to the classic appeal of this one-eyed hangman,
complete with real rope!
Not only is it the raddest, but it's also the squishiest. Every
other head is stuffed firm with styrofoam, but someone at the
severed-head factory decided that burlap zombies needed to be
as ooey-gooey cuddly as possible, and for that they have my
Swinging right back into adorable terrority, these little guys emit sound clips when squeezed
(mummy clip, ghost clip) and have their own e-card on hallmark.com. The witch and Vampire from
the card are also available, but I didn't see a stuffed toy for the werewolf.
|September 14 - Everything Halloween
Punctuating my thursday spree was the discovery of "Everything Halloween" at White Marsh Mall, a
seasonal store replacing last year's Halloween Adventure. There weren't too many little trinkets for me
to browse - mainly just the standard array of costumes and masks - but I did feel the need to take this
lady home and hang her from a nail that has been here since I moved in and never stopped bugging
|-One Dozen Bendy Skeletons-
...And how could I pass up an incredible twelve small, bendy skeletons for only $3.99? You might
think at first that there's no sensible reason to own that many at once, but there's a thousand and one
uses for stuff like this when you really put your mind to it. Drop your car-keys down a gutter? Just
build a hook and chain out of twelve bendy skeletons! Need to build a tiny fence around that freshly
planted sapling? Twelve bendy skeletons will hold together through the toughest weather! Need to
plug your neighbor's exhaust pipe so they suffocate and die? Bendy skeletons, man! Bendy skeletons.
I guess there wasn't really anything to say about these.