Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Lippman co. 2016!
I was excited enough to talk about my first Portland stop when I reviewed Fred Meyer, but we've got a much bigger one
"Party Supply" stores can sometimes
present the motherlode of seasonal goodies, but when a place called "Lippman co." popped up in a search, I wasn't sure what to expect. Not until my GPS took me straight back to a building I'd ran a boring, non-Halloween errand at literally the day before, and I saw this
only right around the corner:
Little did I know that this almost breathtaking work of art was a product of Portland's demigod of window painting, Scot Campbell, or as he was sometimes known in the past, Extremo the Clown.
Yeah, I think we definitely belonged in this town.
Could the contents of Lippman co. possibly measure up to the fact that they had a local legend paint skeleton ghosts and zombie pirates the size of small buses on the side of their building?
How about this giant monster kitty cat promising us skulls?
If that's supposed to be an undead human
skull it's juggling in one paw, then this kitten is almost painted life-size, isn't it? This is an eight-foot-tall Halloween kitten playing with somebody's head.
These are some bold promises Lippman is making, so let's find out if their innards deliver the goods...
Lippman is off to a strong start from the minute you step inside, with a gleaming, illuminated silver skeleton ecstatically presenting the trophy it won for, presumably, best skeleton. As you can see, there are also giant, hanging vampires and ghosts all over
One of the very first items you'll notice are probably these little zombie dolls, which are actually sold online in bulk as a prize for carnival games or claw machines. Here, you can skip the scam and just buy
one, like it's nothing.
Thank you, Lippman. I didn't buy one, but I strongly appreciate the fact that I could have without putting all my faith into a flimsy robotic arm. I always enjoy a zombie with a dangling eyeball.
Little "steampunk" plush monster heads were also available, which I know are actually another Morbid Enterprises
This large, bendable latex octopus was one-of-a-kind at Lippman, but I think this may have been created years ago by good old Frightprops,
who came up with the Giant Zombie Snail
I treat like my own flesh and blood.
part of any party store of course are the smaller, cheaper doo-dads sold out of bags and bins, like these monster-faced rubber balls I haven't personally seen anywhere in something like eleven years.
Another bin item: these soft, gelatinous-looking eyeball rings. A similar warty mold has been used for bouncing eyes, but they never had rotating inner eyeballs before.
There had to be somewhere in the ballpark of forty or fifty varieties of hanging ghoul at Lippman's, and just when I thought I'd seen almost every flavor that's ever existed, they surprised me with these bandage-faced, saw-wielding surgical ghouls.
Among the usual selection of skeletons and skulls, Lippman offered these skeletal fish similar to last year's
, except for their skulls
, completely different and more monstrously life-like, almost "prehistoric" in appearance.
Another spooky item offered in big metal bins are these googly-eyed reptilian monsters, strikingly similar in design to the old-style classic "finger puppet" monsters. I actually tried to stand these upp for a better photo, but they kept falling over, and honestly, this image does such a better job at capturing their personalities. I've actually had just one of these for almost twenty years that I won from a carnival game, and I've wanted to grab more of them ever since!
I've seen sparkly, bendy-legged flies before, but usually never this hairy.
This is an A+ sparklefly.
Sparkliness is a pretty handy adaptation to confuse the off-kilter eyes of adorable, wonky spiders.
This HUGE, beautifully colored inflatable eyeball is a model I've only seen online, and definitely one of the best eyeball items out there. It looks great suspended from a ceiling, parked atop a vase, floating in a pool or even integrated with a costume, if you can find room for this beachball-sized thing on your person.
One item I simply had to take home with me, for whatever reason, was this limbless torso skeleton in a bloody bottle. I'm not sure what about this called out to me, but it did, and I don't regret the decision for one minute. Especially not when you see the thing light up:
That's why there's fuzz in its rib cage! It helps diffuse the light into a nice, ghostly glow throughout its chest cavity!
Perhaps entering classier territory were these large, framed posters of vintage fish-skeleton artwork, designed to also look old, worn and water-damaged for your "sunken biology vessel" decorating aesthetic.
Speaking of classy, Lippman sold a lot
of "vintage style" Halloween stickers and cut-outs, but the very coolest had to be this giant sticker - over a foot across! - of a giant pumpkin moon all a-frolic with shadowy spooks. The moon itself has an incredibly
creepy visage, but I most of all love the little pumpkin ghouls who consist of almost 50% pumpkin head.
I could probably showcase Lippman's inventory all day, but my favorite thing in the store wasn't even for sale. The costume dressing rooms were decked out in absolutely precious
inspirational printouts drawn and/or colored by the store staff, and I didn't get to photograph all of them, but you can enjoy my hand-picked selection of around a quarter of them.
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