Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Thirteen More Halloween Goodies

   I've sure flip-flopped a lot on how I like to do these posts. Some years I adopt an "anything goes, no matter how small" attitude to Halloween content. This year, I'm completely in a "bigger is better" mood, and that's why I keep saving up my new Halloween collectibles to go over in giant chunks. We previously looked at thirteen in a row, and here's another thirteen!

Swan Planter - Spirit

   I believe I mentioned how Spirit brought back their "zombie lawn animal" series and expanded upon it, though I'm a little sad the zombie toad didn't make a return, nor did they expand into any invertebrates. At least they made this skeletal swan corpse you could plant flowers in, and with shallow pits where its eyes belong, it's even pretty damn creepy.

Creepy Treat Bucket - Food Lion

   A simple candy bucket with a 3-d skeleton on it isn't all that remarkable, but the fact that a skeleton on a children's candy pail is crying blood feels considerably special. It's just one single, little tear, but it's enough. If it were more blood, I'm not even sure if it would feel quite as cool. This is more subtle. Way more goth. Whatever happened to goth, anyway? How did it just up and disappear like that? Did it really get replaced with steampunk? It's just not the same!

Eyeball Eggs - CVS Pharmacy

   I missed these in my earlier CVS run. I really like the idea of Halloween assimilating practices from more saccharine holidays, like this repackaged "Easter Egg Hunt" product. Not even just plastic eyeballs, which would be cool enough, but eyeball EGGS. What the hell hatches out of eyeball eggs? Brain chickens? I think I would have flipped for a horror-flavored egg hunt as a child, and there's so, so much you can do with that. Eggs hidden in disgusting places, fake monsters waiting to jump out of whatever bushes the kids are digging around in, and naturally, a few eggs just completely filled with lice. You know, to spice things up. Lice are spooky, right?

Mummy Head - Haunted Experience

   We found this place called "Haunted Experience" as we drove from Maryland to Philadelphia earlier in the month, and it was easily one of the best Halloween stores I've ever been in. It had an entire basement full of costumes, and every kind of prop imaginable. It only had a couple things I had never seen before, but I could have just lied down in the middle of their floor and soaked in the Halloweenness all day if they'd let me. They at least had these darling little legless, bodiless mummy skulls with arms, though.

Candy Eye Monster

   I can't remember the name of the place I bought this from. It was somewhere in Virginia on our trip back home. I got a couple different styles of this same thing last year, with a huge jawbreaker inside, but this one's heart-shaped pupil sets it apart. It's not just a horned monster eye with shoes, but a horned monster eye with shoes that's totally in love with you.

Spooky Gliders - Party Depot

   Sold in paper envelopes for only a quarter, buying these was like stepping back to my early childhood. These crudely printed styrofoam planes used to be pretty popular when I was three or four, but even then I never had any Halloween varieties. The concept of a Frankenstein's Monster flying around with its arms outstretched is hilarious, especially with that judgmental look on its face, though none of the planes could possibly be as cool as the pumpkin one. I believe a witch and a skeleton were also available, but this plane represents an entire flock of bat pumpkins! How adorable is that!

Mummy Jar Light - Old Time Pottery

   It didn't occur to me that a couple of cheap eyeballs and a foot of gauze would be enough to make me spend $7 on a jar, but here we are. In retrospect, I could have made a cooler one all by myself, but how could I resist this face? The cross-eyed stare alone is worth the price. As you know, I like to take all Halloween monster items at face value, so of course I see this as an actual sentient glass jar that is also a mummy. What kind of weird necromancy does it takes to pull this one off? Or is this just what happens when you royally screw up summoning a mummy from the netherworld?

Grisly Gummies - CVS Pharmacy

   I sure missed some good CVS stuff the first time around. Transparent animals with visible guts are always a delight, and I never would have associated such an ordinary fish with Halloween, but I guess anything can be Halloween when you can see its brain. If you look closely, you'll also see that there's a huge maggot or two sculpted directly onto the fish! I wish so badly these were rubber toys and not gummy candy. I mean, I'll be keeping them forever anyway, but if they were rubber, I could actually open them. Instead, I just have to add them to my collection of cool-looking, long-expired Halloween gummies.

Evil Nurse Cut-out - Party City

   The same year I've debuted a horror Hospital adventure, Party City decided to whip out an evil hospital theme of its own...though basically all of the associated decorations are this same exact patient and nurse. They've got them on lenticular signs, window clings, you name it. Not as interesting as it could have been, but there's always something cool about creepy nurses. We found another one earlier this year at Big Lots, and some really awesome ones back in 2013.

Table-sitting Cyclops

   I can't remember what this store was called either, but it had several varieties of "shelf sitter," all conventional and forgettable monsters but one. The bolts and stitches on this guy say "Frankenstein's Monster," but he's also a cyclops with bizarre, asymmetrical horns and a purple muppet nose, which is pretty unique. The littlest twists can turn a hum-drum monster into something so much more fun.

Fat Skeleton Wobbler - CVS

   MORE CVS!? This skeleton is clearly a snowman repainted into a rotund ghoul with only six giant ribs, and somehow, a pet spider that floats like a balloon. I know spiders balloon when they're tiny enough, but this one is at least the size of someone's face. Someone whose head isn't a perfectly spherical skull, I mean.

Monster Poppers - Halloween City

   Now this is what I like to see; small, cheap toys of completely original monsters, each of which has a clearly different personality. The blue guy looks like the biggest conniving asshole, the green goblin seems like the type who just cheerfully goes along with whatever nefarious scheme his friends cook up, the horned demon with the huge brain (my favorite) looks like the gloomy spoilsport who told them this wasn't going to work, and the mummy is just bonkers. I've seldom seen a mummy with a mouthful of knife-like fangs, and he even has a bit of exposed brain, too! Psychomummy is also the tallest, so if it had a body, I feel like it'd be long and lanky. Sadly, these poor guys are doomed to just be heads on springy cones with cheap, generic foam rubber arms. I'd love to meet the screwed up witch or wizard who inflicted that as a curse.

Giant Fly - Haunted Experience

   It's difficult to take a photograph that captures how nice this fly really looks, but you can at least see it's lovely proportions and convincing mouth region. Its eyes also have tiny, green lights in them, and its appendages are all poseable! The only downside is that the body is made completely of painted styrofoam, and all the limbs are just jammed into it with wire. These sorts of props need to be handled pretty gently and kept someplace out of the way, or they'll deteriorate pretty badly. In fact, the only other big, good looking fly props I have are made of equally fragile materials. When is somebody going to make an accurate-looking, baby-sized fake fly that can really last?

This is it for now, but I even have enough stuff (or have sighted enough, anyway) for a third round like this, and I'm just sorry it took me until almost the end of October to really get around to sharing these things.

Halloween 2014 Archive: