Written by Jonathan Wojcik
World Market 2015!
There's almost always something cool to find at World Market,
sometimes even when it isn't Halloween at all
. The place specializes in both original and imported items, ranging from toys and novelties to high-priced furniture, artwork, and craploads
of junk food. When it comes to Halloween, their items tend to be on the costly side, but many are completely unlike anything else you can find at more conventional retailers, and they've rolled out some real gems for 2015.
Real Feather Vultures
Vultures are the least common of the three recognized Halloween birds, trailing a little behind corvids and way
behind owls, which is a shame, because few birds are spookier than birds with so many unique adaptations just for digging around in the fetid guts of roadkill. World Market, however, has had carrion bird items every
Halloween that I've shopped there, and these little guys, probably made out of chicken feathers, couldn't be more adorable. Better yet, they're not even the only or the best
carrion birds World Market is stocking this year, as we'll be seeing later.
While I just got done ranting about how vultures are innately Halloweenier than owls, I do love me some Halloween owls, and especially monster
Halloween owls. How could I have possibly resisted these bandaged, undead hooters? I especially love the eyes they've been given, round and innocent yet hellishly colored. I can really believe this is what an owl looks like once it's been desiccated, wrapped in gauze and risen from the dead by some sort of curse.
Halloween cats don't catch my eye all that often, but don't you love the sheer awfulness
of these little beasts? The two oppossing sets of snake-like fangs - and no other teeth - in their blood red mouths are just so hideously menacing, coupled with those dead, soulless yellow doll eyes. Is this just what cats always
look like to those weirdos who don't find them adorable and hilarious?
World Market has devoted a whole display this year just to Frankenstein's Monster and Frankenstein's Monstress, including dishes tote bags, serving trays, journals, mugs, stationary and more. They're all just movie stills plastered on generic products, but if you wanted a bunch of everyday stuff around your house to have the Frankensteins on it and you've got a World Market in town, 2015 is your year! I fuzzily recall that they've actually done this before with Bela Lugosi's dracula, now if we can just get a big dinnerware set of The Fly
or maybe the Metaluna Mutant they'll really have my number.
I've bought gummy bugs at World Market once before, but I have no idea where they went. I definitely didn't eat
them. I have positively no appetite for fruit-flavored candy, and if I did, it still wouldn't be worth sacrificing these beautiful treasures, which just look
so awesome I had to have them and will probably hang them on my wall for years to come. I've already kept some other gummy stuff around as "decor," and I'm happy to report that it can stay looking great for ten years and counting.
I hang bug-shaped food on my wall for decades at a time. What of it?
Demonic Spider Dish
At only $1.99, I had to pick up this tiny, plastic dish for its surreal, flower-eyed arachnid, with an abdominal skull mark I can't help reading as its "head," with a giant, fanged monster face in its "belly." Apparently
it's supposed to have something to do with Dia de los Muertos,
though it's such a loose interpretation of its design motifs that it really is just a very fancy, spooky spider.
Skeleton Carnival Candles
I like how World Market will have a couple different "themes" going on at the same time for its seasonal merchandise, and one little corner this year is devoted to a carnival theme - you can see a larger skeletal clown in the background here. These candles, like so many others, are way too interesting to just melt.
Subtly Creepy Carnival Toss
what they've done here, and I really wish they had a selection of other items in the same spirit. Most deliberate attempts at "spooky" clowns and circus imagery go too overboard, but the faces on these bean bags are just "off" enough that I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see them at a real carnival with no horror intent at all. This product expertly
captures what actually makes this stuff eerie, and I'd love to see more of that.
Okay, this is basically the same generic bendy Halloween spider you see everywhere else with a little gauze on it, and you can't even tell it's meant to be a mummy without getting up close, but I definitely appreciate the spirit of the thing. Mummy spiders aren't something I've seen very often, as obvious as they ought to be, and is it just me, or has this year already shown us a lot
of experimental hybrids like this? Certainly more than I can recall during previous years. People are really starting to branch out and look for new ways to spook things up.
I was just saying skeletal bats seemed like a given, and while these aren't a "Crazy Bones" product, not posable in any way and even aseem a tad fragile, they're beautifully made and reasonable accurate to the real thing. They're also quite large!
Tha tags, however, are under the impression that these aren't skeletal bats at all, but skeletal "dinosaurs," which is adorable, because there's just so many
levels of error here. A human being had to choose these words at some point, right? So who was given the job of naming this product without being told at any point what they were actually looking at? Who approved the tags without even bothering to think twice about it? Obviously, those responsible must have confused a bat skeleton with a pterosaur skeleton, but that also isn't a "dinosaur."
These poor, poor bats. Dead, magically turned into plastic, and mistaken for a wrong animal mistaken for another wrong animal.
Moon and Owl Shakers
A wonderfully novel and tastefully vintage-looking set of salt and pepper shakers, we've got a black owl apparently hundreds of miles in height perching on one of those human-faced crescent moons I've found unreasonably disturbing ever since I was a child. The more human the face slapped on the moon, the more nightmarish, and this one is easily even beyond "Mac Tonight" levels of creepy moonitude. Can a crescent moon-man just qualify as a "monster" already? They're everywhere, but nobody seems to appreciate them as a form of Halloween "creature." At least this giant owl does.
You got me, World Market. These have actually been sold at the place year-round for as long as I've known of the chain, but I always passed them up because of all the sticky items I wish were more resistant to the elements, realistic rubber banana slugs are as frustrating as they come.
Now that they've put there sticky slugs directly on their Halloween
merchandise racks, I feel like I have no such excuse to keep clinging to. How can I pass up a chance to call rubber banana slugs
expense?! I can't, and I'm glad, because I also bought a second set of them to actually open up and play with, only to find that they're not
those completely gooey, gelatinous sticky toys that accumulate dust faster than a gamer's love life, but just very lightly
sticky, more like those "gel clings" you can stick on windows, which is exactly what these are for according to that "stick anywhere" blurb.
All these years, I could have owned some of these without the fear of them rapidly degenerating into unrecognizable lint clumps. Thanks, Halloween!
GIANT HANGING VULTURE!
This might be the best thing I have ever
found at World Market, and definitely my new favorite vulture item. It's just like all those other hanging Halloween characters with a long, trailing "cloak," except the cloak in this case represents the dangling feathers of this giant, hunch-backed corpse-picker, and its huge, hooked beak almost calls to mind a very different carrion bird - the Greater Adjutant or the related Marabou Stork! The only downside to this beauty is that it's made of painted styrofoam, which is pretty easy to damage if you're not careful with it.
There were only two of these available when our World Market put out its Halloween stock, and the other one sold only a couple days after I bought mine. Weeks later, they still haven't put any new ones out, so this seems like a pretty limited item. All you vulture lovers better snatch them up while you can!
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