Halloween 2009: July & August
This year, money is going to be extra tight - but that just
means I'll be saving it for the most unusual stuff I can scrounge
Alright, so I usually only consider something an "official" Halloween find if I found it
stocked especially for the season after July 25 (the earliest some stores begin to put stuff
out)...but this monster comes straight from a
supplier of all-original Halloween props
and was impossible to wait for. I bought it with the money I got for my cracked article, and
haven't been happier with a purchase since the marvelous maggot or life-size Fiend
Without a Face from years past. I love gastropods. You know I love gastropods. This may
be the
largest, most lifelike, and most monstrous Gastropod-related item ever made
available. As far as I'm concerned, this is my baby.

How is it that I always find the year's most amazing purchase right off the bat? As usual,
we'll just have to see if anything can possibly ever top a flesh-eating rubber snail the size
of a toddler.
Empty spots, your days are numbered.
August 16 - Big Lots
Only one dollar, these would make sense if something else were available - inflatable
hands, perhaps, or a variety of other inflatable monster feet - but no. These extremely
large inflatable skeleton feet are a self-contained wonder, not part of any apparent series
or set. "One size fits all" is a complete lie (I can't even get them halfway on) and even if
you're small enough to wear them...what then? You can't go anywhere with them, or really
do much of anything except sort of admire them for a little while. You have to be careful
not to puncture them and they're extremely slippery on many types of flooring.

All in all, an absolutely useless and unexplainable item - our favorite kind here.
August 19 - Marshall's
What do you even call these when they aren't remotely snow? Wind this up, and metallic
teardrops float around to the tune of "The Wicked Witch is Dead." At seven inches tall it's
pretty hefty, and much more vividly green in person. Brains were also available, but when
given the choice, I have to go with eyeballs. Brains
with eyeballs would trump both and
be an instant favorite find, but these brains were sadly lacking.
August 19 - Micheal's
Beautifully painted and adorably sculpted, these little skeletons form the classic "hear no
evil, speak no evil, see no evil" figure set, which is especially cute coming from the
restless remains of the dead.
Though the full set is cool, I immediately wanted the "see no evil" Skeleton and don't really
feel pressured to get the other two. I might, I might not. This one is just so damn freaky on
- perhaps even freakier - all by itself, especially with that eerily non-skeletal mouth. A
moaning ghoul searching for its eyeballs is great for
any occasion!
August 16 - Party Outlet
My first "official" Halloween purchase is a somewhat mundane one; these vinyl ghosts
light up and change color when switched on, and have a sort of cute "I give up" gesture
going on. They were $3 each, which is pretty pricey considering this was also Big Lot's
price for the complete
Mission Hill or Wacky Races on DVD. That's a lot of good
cartoons for your dollar! I didn't buy cartoons! I bought one rubber ghost and he
gives up!
Another one off the dollar rack, this is supposed to make some sort of sound when the
knocker, in theory, presses a tiny button hidden behind it. Unfortunately, the button is
almost perfectly flush with the surrounding plastic and the knocker itself is screwed in to
tightly to actually "knock;" it's more like the poseable limbs of an action figure. Besides all
this, I couldn't find the right kind of batteries and am too lazy to really find out what this

I guess I was really just taken in by his googly eyes and
whimsical bow tie.
August 19 - Walgreen's
I've always found gummi candy more "collectible" than edible; I never really had a taste for
fruit-flavored candy, and even as a kid, I just wished this type of stuff was available in
long-lasting rubber to play with. Luckily, gummis have an incredibly long shelf life,
eventually drying up and hardening in most cases. I'll be enjoying these as bedroom wall
decor for years!
August 23 - Dollar General
Every year in recent memory, dollar general has carried some sort of small, Halloween
inflatable in three-packs. It was ghosts last year, pumpkins the year before that. This year
we get these delightful little eyeballs, which are a great year-round decoration!
August 26 - Thrift Shopping
That's what the tag says - "HUG & LUV distributed by Far East Brokers & Consultants
Inc."  The company name is especially mysterious...this was given out by brokers? What?

This broker mummy was given to my by one of my most best friends ever, who also got
me some great little mummy treat bags and a bendable mutant ant you can see in my
rubber bugs.

I really like the corpse-like brown flesh of this mummy, the jaggedy mouth and the eyes
partly covered by his bandages.
August 27 - Frightprops.com
From the creators of the giant zombie snail (which is SOLD OUT at the time of this
writing), I find the giant green grub a bit less mind-blowing but still a must-have, and
actually raised enough money for it by selling live insects to a Kansas invertebrate zoo.
Skinnier but just a little longer than the snail, this beast is a bit too overstuffed to be posed
on his wire frame, but I kinda like him that way. He can easily stand straight up out of a
small box or flower pot, which I'm sure you know is exactly what I'm doing with him as we
August 27 - Walgreens
I've already mentioned how I like to collect and admire gummy candy, and HOLY CRAP,
these are the gummy discoveries of my
life. The molds, the colors, the packaging and
even the fonts are positively beautiful, and at nearly a foot in length (fourteen inches
counting the card backs) these guys really stand out in a room.

Notice that these are specifically "
Revenge of the giant Earthworm," "Return of the giant
Tentacle" and "
Attack of the giant Centipede." Apparently both earthworm and tentacle
are a little more experienced at the monster biz than centipede, though his wicked venom
and ability to
see could stand to rob them of their spotlight. Sorry guys! There's a new
giant mutant gummy on the block!
August 22 - Joann etc.
If this were just a regular stuffed toy, it probably would have been cheap enough for my
frugal taste, but it's actually a
thirty dollar singing and dancing decoration, so until there's
a half-off sale, I left it at the store.

And what, you might ask, does this bandaged, panicked-looking cat actually sing?

Well...that's...that's special.

The implications here are pretty depressing. The cat itself doesn't even look mummified,
bandaged, and here he is demanding to know who released a pack of canines into
his poor little world, as he thrashes in terror at the mere
recollection of the incident.
August 30 - Family Dollar
I really like the sculpts on these guys, especially where their "skin" is stretching. It's also
interesting how they have
actual teeth in addition to carved teeth.
-Pumpkin Figurines-
August 31 - Petsmart
This guy is a little plain really, but the fact that his arms were held out in a shambling
mummy pose is what really sold me. The other monkeys in the series (a pirate and a
vampire) had their arms at their sides and less vacant-looking eyes.
-Monkey Mummy-