Halloween 2009: October!
-Skin of Toad-
This light-up figurine is part of a set including a "Lizard's Legs" pumpkin and "Tongue of
Bat" cat you can see
here...so are these supposed to be odd-looking bottles, or does
this nameless witch store her spell components in living creature heads? The bat certainly
looks alive, since he's eyeballing that lizard...but why isn't he the "tongueof bat" container?
The cat has a toad on its head, so that should have been the "skin of toad" one, and
doesn't it go "eye of newt,
wart of toad?" Skin of toad is just nasty.

Maybe the witch is senile.
I'm glad.
October 01 - Publix
The Halloween Collecting Blog Fan Art Gallery is now public!
-Light-up Mummy Figurine-
There were several other figures in this series, but of course I always go for the mummy
right away. He's a particular heartwarming specimen, with a bitty little tombstone tucked
behind him! The interior lights constantly change color and look a bit nicer in the dark. I
like how you can only see his armpits and crotch lighting up in the day.
-Light-up Mummy Pendant-
TWO luminescent pharaoh corpses from the same store? Insanity! This children's safety
light was only a dollar, so I thought I'd get it just to pad my ever-growing mummy collection.
The same generic, fanged face is used for a vampire and pumpkin in the same line, and
the face actually lights up bright orange.
-Wind-Up Ghoul-
Other wind-up ghouls made their debut last year, with a Vampire inexplicably carrying a
gigantic screw. Frankenstein's monster makes a little more sense to be carrying a
normal-sized wrench, but I wonder what all these damn monsters might be building. You
know it won't be pretty.
October 01 - Big Lots
-Monster Candy Dispensers-
Oh yeah, these chuckleheads sure "dispense" candy alright...and unless the Fly came
knocking, this is definitely more trick than treat.

What I'm trying to say is that these monsters are
shitting. There, I said it and I even
showed you. The candy-pooping figure has become a baffling staple of holiday treats in
recent years, but thus far, I'd only seen it in Halloween cats and Christmas reindeer.
These are the first defecating
monsters I've run across, and you gotta love their crazed
expressions; look how gleefully they hunker down, simply thrilled to be doing this right in
front of you. They can't wait to see you eat it. There must be no words for their festering,
undying hatred of you and everything you stand for.

The best part, of course, is that they make noise. The Skeleton makes the classic
Halloween ghost noise and the Pumpkin laughs joyously at what he's about to do. The
sound is activated at the slightest movement or impact, and by slightest, I mean just the
smooth drive home was setting them off
continuously. Better still, it's all contained in their
heads, so their immediate response to decapitation is to let you know that it can neither
silence nor destroy them.

...That was
three paragraphs on pooping plastic monsters. You're welcome.
October 05 - Spirit Halloween
Spirit Halloween often carries the same expensive products every year, but there's
always some small trinket that grabs my attention. This year, they bring us a set of
ll-clown Scary Screechers, and by now you should have noticed that I get a kick out of
horrifying clowns. Unfortunately, this was the only one left in the box. I'll definitely be
returning to see if they re-stock; it's rare that I collect an entire line of Screechers, but I
might make an exception for these guys. This ugly mofo doesn't actually screech of
course, but emits a deep, menacing chuckle.
October 05 - Crane Machine
-Scary Screecher Clown-
-"Spooky Specter" Octopus Devil!-
The night of October 4th, I spotted a couple of these sly little tentacle-demons in a crane
machine at Wal-Mart. A quarter a play seemed reasonable, but the metal claws were too
feeble to even budge them. Some friends and I must have spent at least $5 before finally
giving up, but the next night I returned to find there was just one remaining in the machine,
propped up right against the chute. Determined not to lose this round, I spent
another $5
employing the bulk of the crane as an awkward rake, dragging it over the little bastard
again and again until he finally tipped into my clutches.

Was it really worth ten bucks and forty tries? In all honesty, yes, yes it was and I'm terribly
disappointed that this wasn't already obvious to you.
But wait...what's this? "Collect all 12?" Are you kidding me?! If what we've seen so far is
an octopoid imp crawling with spiders, what marvels could the rest of the set have in store
for us? There's no telling if I'll ever see any of these things again, and they're
manufactured exclusively for terribly rigged prize machines.

A larger claw machine also offered a somewhat disturbing
vampire bear with spiders
in its eyes, but the machine was even more hopelessly rigged.
-The Other Mummy Man!-
Back in 2007, I discovered one of my instant favorite rubber monsters, the Votoy
"Mummyman," pictured here on the left. I wondered if it came in any other varieties, and I
was right! While his brother doesn't have the same gross, mutant alien coolness, he
definitely has a quirky charm with his nasty little mouth,
South Park style eyeballs and
flat-topped cranium. I think I actually love these guys almost equally, in completely different

Now, I
actually discovered the alternate style on the internet a few weeks before, with the
mummymen offered by various pet-supply websites. Unfortunately, none of them could
guarantee me a particular style, so I would have had to order several and just cross my
fingers. The cheapest I could find would have totaled $20 with shipping for just four of
them, so I was all set to buy a bunch of rubber mummies instead of, you know, feeding
myself that week.

The very day I intended to place the order, I had to stop by Petsmart for something
completely unrelated. I thought I had already seen all the pet toys they were offering this
year, and had certainly never seen either form of mummyman at any major retailer before,
but I swung by the seasonal stuff
actively thinking how whimsical it would be if...HOLY

And that was three paragraphs on a rubber mummy that dogs are supposed to chew on.
October 06 - PetSmart
October 11 - Party City
So I've seen this particular "screecher" for a few years now, but he never seemed much
more interesting than just some generic, muscley zombie in torn overalls..until today,
when I finally gave one a squeeze, and well, just
listen to him here at the 31 second
mark! Holy crap, what's the
matter with this guy? He looks like a hulking brute, but sounds
like a hopped-up
mogwai. Just like that, he rockets from the status of generic, muscley
zombie to demented mutant freak; the kind you might find at a politically incorrect
sideshow, the sewers of an irradiated city or all locked up in the attic of some otherwise
normal, even eerily perfect suburban family.

Hopefully not the kind of secret mutant family that locks him up out of shame, resentfully
feed him buckets of rat heads or beat him with a cattle prod. He deserves the kind of
secret mutant family that locks him up for his own good in a world that wouldn't understand
him, lovingly feeds him buckets of rat heads and digs strategic potholes to catch him a
October 14 - Kohl's
-Overpriced Nightlight-
7.99 seems like an awful lot to pay for a normal-sized night light, even if it does look like
an insane, melting candle monster, which it does. This, however, was the
sale price; they
were normall
17.99, yeah; eighteen freaking dollars for one of these. Why? Is there
something I don't know about designer night lights? All I know is that I'm a pretty big fan of
gooey candle-pumpkin creatures, since I was willing to pay the still-extravagant sale price
for one. I do wish it actually lit from the inside, but instead only the bulb lights up.
October 14 - Target
-Zombie Groundbreaker-
A "groundbreaker," for those not in the know, is a light-up Halloween decoration intended
to look as though it's rising from your lawn. Groundbreakers come in all sorts of zombie
and skeleton designs, but this one, with its dangling heart, seemed a little extra special.
One wonders why, exactly, he would be holding a heart in this manner; is it his? Is he
asking whose it is? It sorta looks like he just found it and isn't sure what to do with it.
In any case, the zombie looks quite eerie plugged in, and the heart is even filled with
blinking lights to simulate a pulse! It would seem that the same blinking heart is in a
number of these decorations; there's a skeleton version and even a skeleton
version, but I thought the zombie was the most grotesque.
October 17 - Wal-Mart
Featuring all the basics, it was really the baby gill-man in swimwear that caught my
attention, though the mummy and grimy grim reaper are also pretty cool.

This is, remarkably enough, my only Wal-Mart purchase this year. Despite being an
awesome Halloween resource every other year, Wal Mart's 2009 selection was more
generic than the Dollar Tree. They offered an aisle or two of standard costumes and a
rack of basic party favors and decorations. We're talking
really basic, here; spider rings,
fake webbing, fake plug-in Jack O' Lanterns...the same stuff every store is obligated to
carry for the season. Back in 2004, the same local Wal-Marts had up to eight aisles of
Halloween horror, with dangling ghosts, giant inflatables, light-up lawn zombies,
everything you could ever want. What the hell happened?!
-Overjoyed Monster Stickers (CLICK TO ENLARGE!)-
October 18 - ???
Found by my friends at a thrift store, this hollow plastic Gargoyle - with an important safety
message! - has a speaker and batter pack underneath, but doesn't seem to work
anymore. There's no telling what sort of sounds it used to make, but it doesn't really need
to do anything to be
lovable. He's no monster, he just wants to make sure you're aware
that gargoyles may, in fact, be crossing the road in the general vicinity, for your sake and
-Gargoyle Crossing-
October 21 - Hallmark
This was part of a set including a devil, a witch and a vampire, but those could all easily
come across as normal, mortal woman in costume. Not so for the ghost girl, whose
vaporous tail assures us that she's an actual ghost, or at least something or other with a
vaporous tail. You never know, there could be plenty of things other than ghosts with
vaporous tails.

I also like the chain and the green skin, although from her facial expression it doesn't
really look like this particular Ghoul is having fun at all. I guess that's why she has to
express her desire for fun in the first place.

I kinda wish this were a mummy, really. I don't have a single explicitly female mummy in
my whole collection, and what fun is that?!
-Sexy Ghost Ornament-
October 22 - The Internet
TWO hanging, hydrocephalic mummies in one year?! Am I daft?! While my beloved
big-head monsters can no longer be found in stores, a line of ghastly toddlers (are they
ever not ghastly?) called "Zombabies" can be found online through numerous retailers,
and I just had to get me the mummy here. I love its single glaring eye, maniacal jaws and
yellowed nails; it
really looks like there's a leathery, shriveled-up baby under those
Surprisingly, Zombabies are quite a bit larger than the already-largeish big-heads, though
usually priced about the same! I thought my big-head mummy was officially the largest
mummy in my collection, but he was trumped in less than a month! He's probably still my
favorite of the two, though; that blue face is hard not to love.
The only other Zombaby that I really felt like splurging on, the headless horseman is
already delightful by the very token of being an infant with a bleeding stump where its
head used to be. Throw in the added novelty of a pumpkinhead that can attach to the
neck-stump or hand by velcro, and you've got a real deal! Well, sort of....
-ZOMBABIES Headless Horseman-
The Headless Horseman Zombaby is intended to hang around like it does in my first
photo, but on closer inspection you'll notice I had to add a bit of wire to the pumpkin stem.
Even if you cut it open and pull out all the stuffing, he head is just too heavy and wobbly to
stay on like it should, and ends up pulling the whole monster into what are either kickass
battle poses or slapstick routines.
October 23 - Walgreens half-off sale!
I'd seen these guys at various stores over the years, but never got around to buying one
until I caught them at 50% off. Just like smaller hanging ghosts, they consist solely of a
rubber head, bendy arms and dangling cloth...but in this case, the arms stretch out a
whopping seven feet across and the cloak can dangle up to
twelve feet. That is not a
small dresser. This thing's head is nearly grazing the ceiling here, and three times the
size of any normal human face!
-GIGANTIC Hanging Ghost-
Other websites have already reviewed this classy lady over the years, but it was high time
I get one of my own, and it was only four bucks! Donna is clearly patterned after the
disturbing beings from Japanese horror films like the Ring or the Grudge, though her
name is a cheesy play on "Dawn of the Dead." She comes with a suction cup doohickey
that allows her to hang in a window, staring outside. Turn her on, and she lights up at
intervals to startle the hell out of people in the dark! Cats, on the other hand, are only
moderately impressed. They mostly just want to play with her hair.
Wouldn't you?
-"Donna the Dead" Window Leecher-
Now, most houses don't have a twelve foot ceiling, so unless you're putting this guy way
up a tree, a lot of cloth is going to drag on the ground. Fortunately, it's easy to fold up and
over his head into a creepy cloak!
October 22 - Family Dollar
I say "super cheap" in reference to quality. The $2.50 price tag is easily $1.50 too much,
but there was something about this pitiful piece of junk that I just had to have for my own.
It's not his fault that he's so horribly frayed (several times worse than you can see in the
photo) or that his head is such a hokey-looking lump of hollow plastic. In the end, I think
he's pretty damn neat-looking, and the cheapness only adds to his charm.

A stark contrast to our next item...
-Super Cheap Hanging Ghost-
Inflatable ghosts have become one of my less exciting yearly traditions; they're never
exceptionally awful, but they're never really special, either. This one skirts the line between
completely uninteresting and mildly curious, as the manufacturer decided the face should
be printed on the same side as the nozzle, giving him an unfortunate little doo-dad in what
I can only assume is a ghost's crotch area.

does have a pretty nice view of the Hallmark ghost.
-Inflatable Ghost-
October 27 - Internet Trade!
-Wonderfully Disgusting Rubber Corpses-
Sent to me by site visitor Hugo Hernandez in exchange for a couple of pocket
screechers, these guys were found second-hand and have no date printed anywhere on
them, so their origins are a
mystery.  The bodies are a generic hanging skeleton model
that I've seen in different colors and materials, while the heads look like they were cast
from some other vintage toy mold, creating a jarring and disturbing contrast between
bleached bones and rotten, bug-infested faces! Maybe they were dipped in acid?
...If all that wasn't creepy and delightful enough, the removable rubber entrails squeak
when the toys are squeezed. That's right; these are
squeaky acid-bath zombies.

I also feel that the one with green worms looks a lot like Jack Black.
October 29 - Present!
Also from Hugo is this disembodied skull head, identical to a glow-in-the-dark hanging
skeleton I've had for years, though mine has neither a removable worm nor a bulging
-Candy-Corn eating Cyclops Bat!-
Sent by my friend Susan (whom I usually only get to see for Otakon), this large plush bat
was made by sugarloaf as a crane machine prize! A delighted cyclops bat is cute, but a
delighted cyclops bat who stares at us maniacally while chewing candy corn with his
mouth open is h
October 30 - Cracker Barrel
-MAD Monsters-
When activated, these hairy bug-eyed monsters shake frantically and scream "I can't
believe it! I'm MAD!" and "I'm crazy!" interspersed with deranged laughter. I like the
orange one the best, as I'm always always a fan of stalk-eyes.
The other monster certainly has his equivalent merits, of course; a tusked cyclops with a
ridiculous pom-pom that shakes quite a bit when you turn him on!
-Mummy Spider Candle Holder-
I never use candles, but a mummy spider was definitely something missing from my life.
These were also available with bright green wrappings, but I felt the white was more
obviously mummyesque. The eyes are held out on a little spring, though it isn't springy
enough for them to jiggle.
November 2 - Walgreens
-Rat Attack-
A couple of rubber rats gnawing on a rubber heart wasn't quite desirable for $9.99, but
marked down to $2.50 it seemed impossible to pass by. When switched on, the rats
shake back and forth and squeak while the heart emits a pumping and gurgling noise.

Oddly, the packaging says "WARNING: A CRAZED RAT IS ON THE LOOSE." So
apparently only one of these two rats are dangerous enough to warrant warning, while the
other is just gnawing a human heart the sane and rational way.
November 3 - Petsmart
-Limbless Abominations-
Another item only worth getting on sale, these were marked down from five dollars to 97
cents. The bodies are generic "crinkle" dog toys, but these editions have halloween
character heads attached, giving an impression of hairy, legless sausage-monsters. The
cat seems somehow weirder to me, but the Frankenstein's monster is quite a bit funnier.
He has that "why did you make me this way?" face that mad scientists learn to tune out.
November 3 - Back to the Claw Machines
So I took one last shot at the Wal-Mart claw machines, and actually nabbed a second
devil octopus with my
very first quarter this time. Feeling lucky, I tackled the larger
fifty-cent crane, and three dollars latter, I had earned myself....this:
I....what IS this?
It says "Boo!" on it, but there's absolutely no indication that this is any sort of Halloween
creature known to modern Halloweenology. Where the hell is its mouth? Did they give up
halfway through designing a witch? It would clearly be a witch with the addition of no more
than a pointy hat, but that would only ruin the intrigue here. What we have here can only be
described as
goblinoid, and a remarkably eerie goblinoid, at that.

There's actually a subtle, but distinct similarity here to
POB, an unintentionally creepy little
bastard from British children's television. Thus, I have determined that this monster's
name is GOB. Thank you, Gob, for giving this year's blog the perfect final jolt of
weirdness. I love you.

Just don't stare at me like that. Ew.