|Halloween 2008: September
|September 9 - Halloween at Target presented by...DOMO KUN?!
|-"Bunjie Battler" Eye Man-
| This simplistic but awesome-looking stuffed toy has stretchy rubber bands inside its arms and a
device that makes it "scream" (actually a ghostly twitter, common to Halloween toys) when jostled
hard enough. It's nice that every time you win the game, you're already the world champion. ..but that
30 point rule is just asking for trouble. Leave kids to determine what "cool" thing it did to give them
bonus points and all you'll get are whiny arguments and ripped toys.
There are four other monsters in this line, but the zombie is the only other one I might consider.
This is just too weird. We hardcore nerds know all about Domo-kun (or simply Domo) but to the
uninitiated, this grouchy box-shaped monster began his existence as a stop-motion mascot for a japanese
broadcasting company, and would never have earned recognition in the english-speaking world if not for this
doctored photograph, which promptly adopted this non sequitor caption and became the running gag of a
thousand online forums. Without this bit of morbid, mildly blasphemous masturbation humor, Domo would
have never caught on stateside at all, and now the little bastard has broken out of cyberspace to hock a
distinctly American tradition for Wal-Mart's arch rival. It's just plain surreal. Target's website even features
an exclusive, brand new Domo animation where he gets into the Halloween spirit! So what fine products
does God's angel of kitten-death bring to us on this most lovely season? My Target hadn't finished stocking
its shelves, but I managed to find a couple things of interest...
|-"Fizz 'n Find" Trick-or-Treat Surprise-
It's some of the oldest trickery in the toy marketing book...manufacture something that belongs in a
25 cent machine and package it so extravagantly that you can push it for a couple bucks or more - in
this case a preposterous 5.99 - and while you're at it, keep the figure secret so the kids ask for more
until they get the one they REALLY want.
None of the four characters are really all that interesting (if they offered a mummy, I might be in
trouble) but Boo is my favorite, and Treat is fairly acceptable. So who did I get in my six-dollar tablet
Standing only an inch and a half tall, the pricetag might have been fair for about ten of them. Course,
for its size, it's a VERY well-made figure, articulated in four places, sturdy and glows brightly in the
dark. This might be one of the only Frankenstein's monsters I've wound up with in a very long time (I
usually find them too bland) and as far as they go, it's a pretty neat-looking design. It's no Boo, but at
least it's not as crappy as Wartsy would have been.
This came with a plastic stake for this tiny thing to decorate your front lawn, and apparently changes
color when lit. I just got it because it's a mildly interesting little ghost figure, I like the stitched lips.
|September 9 - Family Dollar
These were labeled "Halloween Figure with Pipe Cleaner," and that's what you get. I don't know
why these have a sparkly pipe cleaner glued into their heads, but they also come in Vampire and
Frankenstein's Monster form. Maybe it's supposed to be their hair?
|-Light-up Bug-eyed Head Figurines-
These monsters' heads are so big, they apparently couldn't stay on their
feet! Each has a color-changing light on the inside, and their eyes protrude
on short springs. Fairly neat for just a dollar.
A third trip to the Party Outlet reveals only one last new product; these
hard, golf-ball sized brains and hearts, only 79 cents each. They're cool
little objects, and not much else, as they're not even bouncing toys; the
rubber is too hard.
|September 9 - Party Outlet
These little guys pump their arms as they march along, with looks of what
appear to be ecstatically eager optimism. What I want to know is, what's
the vampire doing with that giant screw?!
|September 13 - Carlton Cards
These are a classic Halloween staple, but I gave all mine away last year. I
picked up this one because it was half off, and the black feet are cool;
theyre usually bright pink.
We shall never know what dispute these two are trying to
settle, but it clearly isn't friendly.
You might think that SPIRIT would sell a lot of things for me to write about,
but the store is 90% costumes and 9% large, expensive props that I usually
wouldn't want to spend money on. That leaves just the small rack of party favors
near their front counter, which is more or less the same selection every year.
These finger puppets are the only thing at Spirit this year that I've never seen
before, and came in a bag of about twenty for a slightly steep five dollars. Some
of these faces are extremely familiar, especially the guy in the lower left, but I
can't pin down precisely how. Are these old horror actors? I think my favorite is
the guy with the disgusting head-lesion in the lower right.
|September 15 - Spirit Halloween
Only ONE dollar to turn a filthy garage door into a filthy gateway to the
netherworld? Awesome! These are the last new item Dollar Tree put out this
year, and also come in a skull shape. The eyeball would look a lot better without
the odd half-blue center, but all of them were like that.
|September 18 - Dollar Tree
|-"Totally GHOUL" Inflatable Ghost 3-pack-
| These were only 1.99 for a pack of three, unlike the last
inflatable ghost I picked up, they look exactly like they do on the
Last year, I found these great little eye-guys at Petco with a rope
strung through their heads, and thought how much better they would be
without the giant rope-holes. As it turns out, they also come in six-packs
of slightly smaller, squeak-toy models! I maintain my prior assertion that
the purple one is coolest on the grounds that it actually appears to have
three eyes, with the giant "central" eye protruding from what is actually the
I appreciate these a LOT more in this format. They're colorful, happy,
bubble-shaped eyeball ghosts; the perfect low-level monster to populate
your spooky dungeons.
|September 20 - Strictly Pet Supplies (website)
|-Frankenstein's Monster Mug-
This is the one seasonal mascot I most rarely add to my collection (I
think I have about five things with Frankenstein's monster on it) but I
really liked the way this mug functions without breaking up the character
design. You could almost pass one of these off as a large figurine rather
than a drinking utencil, though I'm not sure what sort of contrived,
ridiculous situation could possibly call for such a ruse. You're probably
better off telling the truth.
|-Mummy Plush with Treat Bag-
I found only one of these well-hidden on a shelf of miscellaneous stuffed
toys, and haven't seen them at any other local CVS. I love the wavy
mouth and mis-matched eyes on this guy. The "f" on the bag is a little
worn off, but it's no big concern.
|September 23 - CVS Pharmacy
For the first year ever in my Halloween hobby, I've pretty much run out of places
within driving distance to find anything new. Many of my most reliable sources -
most notably Wal-Mart - have an absolutely dismal selection this year. Thus, I've
turned to ebay and internet stores to keep the journal going hopefully through the
rest of the season.
Anyhow, I got these two ghouls from an Ebay seller with a fairly wide selection of
wind-up toys, and they're instantly two of my favorites. I love the squat,
super-deformed style, the freaky eyes of the skeleton and the one-armed handicap
of the mummy. They're much smaller than most wind-up characters at only around
two inches tall, made from hard plastic with no dates or markings.
|-Wind-Up Skeleton Warrior-
From the same seller but clearly a different series, this is a more standard wind-up
toy with a soft rubber body over its motor. While skeletons are quite common for
Halloween, this little guy looks like he stepped right out of a roleplaying game with
his cute little sword and shield. You gotta love the fact that he's winking, too. I
wonder what he's telling us?