Written by Jonathan Wojcik

13 More Ghosts of Alibaba.com

In our first edition of Alibaba's spooky side, we saw a lot of weirdo specters, but I'm happy to say we've actually got enough to squeeze at least two more of these articles out of them. Aren't you glad?!


This beautiful thing is actually a sort of very simplistic marionette puppet, with only enough strings that you can make its arms wave around while its eyes blink. I bought one, and I'm happy to say it is HUGE. Easily three or four feet across. In recent years, I've really grown to appreciate that stretched-out ghost face, originally inspired by the famous "Scream" painting and later popularized by the slasher movie of the same name. When they're used to represent actual ghosts rather than just serial killers dressing up as ghosts, I am all over these creeps. It really is a strange and incredibly unsettling visage, like ghosts lose all the bone and teeth in their heads and just get kind of stretchy and rubbery, you know?


I don't know what use your pet is going to have for a bank, honestly. Only a superior biped can truly appreciate the sublime joy that comes from owning a stuffed coin-eating skeleton with dollar signs for eyes. You give this to a dog, and it's just going to slobber all over it and fill it with its stupid, inane dog money that isn't legally recognized by anything other than dog society, which is, quite frankly, a damn joke.


This is the laziest "ghost" I've ever seen. All they did was glue an eyeball and a pair of green, cartoonish arms to a light-up plastic wand, but you know what, that's exactly what I love about it. They didn't even need to add those arms, but in doing so, they made this pathetic looking hodgepodge into a viable entity, more than just a stick with an eye on it. This entire thing is some sort of ghostly creature, now, with a body like a dildo and little two-dimensional flapping hands, which probably bounces around like a pogo stick. You're very welcome for these visuals, they are free of charge.


There's nothing hilarious, confusing or disturbing about this one, I just wanted to show it to you because that ghost's little face is so. God. Damn. Cute. Look at it. Look at that pure, innocent joy, the joy of being a lantern. When this ghost was alive, it was probably a little girl who owned nothing other than a rickety old lantern her parents gave her before they got separated, and its dim glow (she was also given a supply of oil, wicks and matches, okay?) was such a comfort that she wished all her life that she could give that same security to somebody else.

And then she died. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!


In the last article, we saw a delightfully whimsical skull telephone straight out of some Hannah Barbera cartoon about a family of ghosts or something. Now, we meet its sinister, android rival from the future. A future where I guess cellular phones were phased back out again. There is no humor in this skelephone. This skelephone is a cold and calculating killer. Well, a cold and calculating phone, anyway, but it probably thinks about being a killer. The other skelephone's receiver is just a bone it holds in its mouth, but this one's face just peels right off to reveal a soulless, blind robot face, silently judging your entire conversation and probably pondering which of you it would assassinate first if it had a body.


Oh my god. As Obi Wan Kenobi famously said, that's no ghost...that's CRAZY FROG. Do you remember "Crazy Frog?" It was a bigger phenomenon in the United Kingdom, but it crept its way all across the globe, a computer-animated blue goblin who looked absolutely nothing at all like a frog and was probably never meant to be a frog by whatever poor schmuck designed and animated the character. Crazy Frog was one of those fad characters people pretty much only liked for a split second before the corporate world went apeshit trying to market it through every conceivable avenue before it truly died a slow, painful death.

No wonder Crazy Frog's ghost now haunts China, where most of his merchandise was made to begin with. What else has left behind ghosts like this? POGs? Those 90's slap bracelet things? Good god. We've been building a vengeful army of the dead all along.


Packaged in bags of two at a time, these little tiny light-up heads are full of personality and grotesque detail. There's a fanged, demonic skull with either nubby horns or ocelli on its head, a human skull gushing blood from every orifice, some kind of blue ogre with hilarious angry eyes, and then some kind of really unnerving pointy-eared goblin, which I really feel is the shining prize of the set.


The word "Hallowmas" actually comes up a lot on the alibaba website family. Is that a real term, or did they just decide to mash up Halloween with some other thing we won't talk about? In any case, this is another ghost I just wanted to show you because of its delightful face. This ghost looks hilariously scandalized, like there's something unbelievably offensive about where it just found that pumpkin and it cannot believe you did that.

And then a child died.


This is actually another bank, and it's a pretty bad-ass one, with a skeleton eternally working at some kind of mill, or something, I guess to grind the money up into something else. I love the catchphrase on the box, "money, money, money, I can do anything for you." Anything, grinding skeleton? Anything? ;)


Another fine use of the "scream" ghost, but really I'm just totally get behind this "Superior Christmas" idea.


A squat, naked goblin-baby-man with an incredibly huge, charred skull for a head is a pretty awesome visual all on its own, and I was actually all set to share it with you even before I abruptly realized where that body came from. It's Crazy Frog again. I know they just recycled his torso for a skull monster because they didn't know what else to do with all this leftover Crazy Frog garbage they were stuck with, but I'd prefer to think we're finally seeing what he really looked like, all along, or perhaps what his ghost looks like after absorbing enough hate to evolve into Black-Skull Madness Toad, a 75,000 HP monster. Don't you want Crazy Frog to come back now? How much better would he have always been if he had a monstrously enlarged skeleton face and was burned over 90% of his body? The world might have never gotten tired of him.


I...what? What is this? A dick or a ghost? Make up your mind, Francois. For that matter, what kind of "dick" are we talking about? Genitalia, or just an asshole? He doesn't really look the former from the front, just a Ghostbusters-like phantasm with a big mouth and creepy, interesting tube-fingers, but then we see him from the back...

...And yeah, that's definitely a lot more Freudian. It's also "NOT READY," but somebody still photographed it and put it up for sale. They simply could not wait to start hocking Francois the Dick (Ghost).

These Cheap Plastic Masks

These are those classic style, molded plastic masks that you wear with a rubber band, which are something of a lost art in the world of Halloween costumes. All anyone will settle for these days is a full-head vinyl mask, and that's too bad, because there's something really pleasant about the textures, smells and even sounds of handling one of these old-fashioned models, and this particular set is gorgeous, isn't it? The retro comic-strip art style, the tasteful, muted color schemes, if I could buy a set of these without buying another several hundred dollars worth I'd hang them on my walls with LED lights behind them, like sconces. They'd look freaking fantastic.

Of course, the single best thing about these is the foremost mask. Nothing about this cutie is really monstrous other than her green skin and poor dental hygiene, but then she has a scary tomato stuck in the middle of her forehead. I mean, it was obviously intended as a pumpkin, but it's been painted like a tomato. Why is it there? It's three-dimensional, so it's not just a really bizarre choice for a tattoo. It seems to be a physical part of her. The other characters here are obviously a witch, a skeleton and some sort of Frankensteinian zombie, so what the hell is tomato-girl? Is it some entirely new monster we've never even heard of before? Maybe. Maybe I just got a great new article idea, too. You're gonna love it.






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