Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Return to Gordman's!

I told you I'd be keeping a further eye on Gordman's, the store that knocked my socks off in 2015 and was already shaping up for a rematch earlier this year, and it continues to impress. A lot of its 2015 items have actually made a return, which means that I don't get as many new things to review, but it also means I get a second chance on some of them, and those items that are totally new to me do not disappoint.

Kooky Corn Carriers

These shelf sitters are cute, sure, but you should never trust anybody holding corn on the cob with that look on its face.

Skeleton Dog Sign

I include this primarily because in our last Gordman's review, there were three completely different varieties of dead cat. It's nice to see a skeletal canine for a change.

Wooden Skeleton Wreathe

This is a piece of wood in the shape of an entire skeleton that has been twisted and mangled to form a wreathe. That's certainly a lot of layers. Granted, an actual model skeleton warped into a big donut of bones would be a lot more impressive, but it would probably cost a couple hundred bucks. This is an affordable, easily stored and tasteful alternative, with kind of a "vintage medical illustration" feel to the artwork itself.

Character Boxes

Three different decorative boxes for storing whatever it is people store in small, decorative boxes. Jewelry, I guess, or maybe dead frogs. I never really remember to put anything in fancy, decorative containers because I know I'll immediately forget anything is in there at all, but these are some pretty fun designs, and the illustrations on them are especially gorgeous:

As the signatures indicate, these drawings are by Johanna Parker, who apparently specializes in this sort of beautiful, vintage style holiday art. The figure boxes are cute, yes, but I'd buy these images alone as posters, flags, wall scrolls, just about anything.

Horrible Eyeball Dolls

Maybe "doll" isn't the correct term for these, since they're indoor decorations that stand on rigid, wooden legs, but they're cute and they're covered in plush fabric, so I'm calling them dolls. Dolls with severed heads and grotesquely prolapsed, horridly bloodshot eyeballs. They'd be so ordinary, so wholesome otherwise, but their designers made sure to make those peepers look as grisly and realistic as string and cotton possibly could. Mummies, witches and skeletons seem to exist in this line, but only this pumpkin offered an easy photo opportunity.

I always liked pumpkin characters with eyeballs. It implies that either a pumpkin grew eyeballs, or a pumpkin obtained eyeballs, and both possibilities are pleasantly disquieting.

Turn Back Now

A cheap, simple, gauzey sign of a big skeleton arm holding a bone with "TURN BACK NOW" written on it. Ominous. I don't know if it's more ominous if that's somebody else's bone or the skeleton's own bone.


One of my favorite categories of Halloween character: a thing with spider legs that is not at all a spider. I've even got an OWL with spider legs, of all things, which I've cherished for four years now. Pumpkin spiders are a tad more common, but not common enough to get boring anytime soon.

Likewise, I've seen and owned skull spiders before, but they're always a welcome sight. I can think of no conceivable situation in which a person could ever possibly not be happy to see some spider-legged skulls, ever. Anywhere.

TERRIFYING Spiderpumpkin

Oh MAN. I like that cuter, nicely painted specimen, sure, but this crude, metal spumpkin takes the cake with its disturbing, human eyes, fangly grin and spider-themed top hat. It's BIG, too, more than a foot, maybe a foot and a half of pure metal, and I'd have taken it home in a heartbeat if it wasn't thirty five dollars. That's PRACTICALLY forty dollars, and "practically forty" is one of my personal cut-off points for most items of this size and simplicity. I might end up regretting it eventually, but I can't just go throwing practically forty dollars at every grim, grinning Mr. Hyde arachnogourd that comes my way. Who do they think I am?

"Owl" Figurine

You know owls, right? They're those roughly man-shaped things with entire ghosts for bodies and huge, Cheshire Cat smiles full of serrated teeth. Sometimes, they carry a bat around, just in case.

Sexy-Legged Witch Hat

I have seen a lot of witch hats with legs lately. I'm pretty sure they've almost always been around, but over the last few Halloweens, they've exploded in frequency to where there's simply no dismissing them as merely stylized, symbolic knick-knacks anymore.

No, pointy hats with legs have definitely become an actual subspecies of witch, maybe even a whole Halloween monster of their own, and whoever designed this one apparently also had kind of a "thing" for them. How else do you explain those curvy legs in snazzy spider web stockings, that shy stance seen in so many pin-up posters, the adorable shoes and the pink, lacy frill?

I wasn't personally sold, however, until seeing the back of this legwitch. The human skull heels, something you would never even see if you display this on a shelf, instantly pushed the figure into territory just cool enough that I had to make this one of my few other Halloween purchases of the year. I'm glad I caved, because it's grown on me considerably as a "character design" and I haven't seen even one more of these anywhere. Not at Gordman's, not even on the internet. Where did she come from? Were there others in the line? We may never know.

But, as I was just saying recently on my blog, I've taken to thinking of witch-hat monsters as "Hocuses" and the similar witch-cauldron monsters as "Pocuses." You can't stop me.