Barkshop's Sadistic 2017 Halloween Massacre
So I actually noticed these at Target this year, but they were just odd enough that they warranted a post of their own. Barkshop is a company specializing in imaginative, gimmicky dog toys and treats to intellectually challenge and enrich the life of your slobber weasel, so these aren't just a bunch of cheap stuffed animals designed to be ruined, but a bunch of fancy stuffed animals designed to be ruined in special, thematic ways.
KING GRUNT THE MUMMYSo the first one is a mummy named king gru-OH MY GOD, SOMEBODY HELP HIM. LOOK AT HIS FACE. HE'S NOT ENJOYING THIS AT ALL.
Most dog toys at least have the decency to smile like buffoons as their faces are gnawed off. This is terrible. Not only does King Grunt have a look of perpetual terror on his undead face, but he has "squeakers galore" instead of the single squeaker most toys would contain. The gimmick of King Grunt is that he screams no matter where or how hard a giant dog clamps down on his carcass.
How can they treat him this way!? He's a king.
BERTRUND THE BOGEYMANNext, we have...Jesus...can you imagine getting dragged through an iron fence by not only a dog, but one of the absolute scariest kinds of dog, the weiner dog??? Or is that some other dog that just looks a lot like the weiner kind? Either way. Spooky.
At least they recognize what kind of monster this is. Bertrund's special gimmick is an "extra deep" squeaker, apparently their deepest yet...but shouldn't that have been King Grunt's thing? It's in his name! Why is King Grunt the one who screeches like a bag of hamsters?!
WAGNOLIA THE WITCHHOLY SHIT, WAGNOLIA, RUN. RUN AWAY. IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU. DON'T JUST STAND THERE LIKE AN IDIOT. WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU.
...Maybe she's just eager for the sweet embrace of death, because Wagnolia contains a "giggle stick." That's the toy that makes a ridiculous, warbling laughter when you shake it around. Getting mangled by big animals is just her "thing," I guess.
ZOE THE ZOMBIE SQUIRRELAlright, at least this one is a zombie already, and depending on the continuity, that means Zoe probably doesn't feel anything, physically or emotionally. She's got a much more interesting design than our other monsters, with a goofy zombie stare and even an exposed bone, though we only know she's a "zombie" because we've been informed of such. The design on its own could be basically any squirrel cruelly mauled by a gargantuan hellbeast.
Zoe's gimmick is kind of clever, though. She's "double stitched" to be extra tough, but she also has several times the normal amount of stuffing packed tightly inside, so your dog can enjoy making a far larger mess than normal once it finally gnaws through all that stitching.
COUNT DROOLCULAAt last, we have a monster who doesn't even seem to be in any immediate danger. In fact, that dog is clearly one of Droolcula's own undead minions. They seem to have run out of ideas here anyway, since he's just another monster with "extra squeakers." At least that makes more sense for a bat-related monster than a mummy.
COUNT DROOLCULA'S SPARE PARTSI like how they're shaking things up here, with a two-pack of toys related to one of their monsters. Maybe this is why Droolcula seems so relaxed; even if a dog tears him apart, he's always got extra pieces lying around, including a glow-in-the-dark eyeball on a rope and a set of lips with a spiky, rubber backing.
This kinda reminds me of that one Castlevania game where you have to collect all the pieces left of Dracula, like his eyeball and his pinky finger, then assemble them back into Dracula so you can kill him again.
JACK'S LANTERN AND MOULDERIN' SKULLYTen million, billion, zillion, trillion points for that skull's name, and for a different, clearly far better dog. Sorry, that other dog.
Jack's Lantern is apparently stuffed with many long ropes of fuzzy, orange "pumpkin guts," while Moulderin' Skully contains a spiky rubber ball your dog will find only if it completely destroys the rest of the toy, which is inevitable.
I still can't believe there's no hardcore collecting hobby for toys that almost all get ripped to shreds by animals as part of their function. Does nobody care? Nobody wants to pay me to look at a finely curated collection of pristine Halloween pet toys with a "100% UNTOUCHED BY DOG MOUTHS" guarantee?? No???
KLAUS THE ZOMBIE CATYou know what, this article probably wasn't all that interesting or even all that funny, was it? I just showed you a bunch of dog toys and informed you of the noises they make. Now I have to show you one that looks like a battered, wounded cat, and it's even designed so its long ropy limbs can be "pulled through" its body for a tug-of-war. Swell.
Why isn't there a zombie dog? Is a dog mauling a cat, zombie or otherwise, really all that funny of an image? Why does everybody worship the ground dogs walk on when almost every other kind of animal is just as nice or even nicer sometimes except for I guess dolphins and monkeys?
I love dogs, sure, I love everything alive, but they're animals deliberately bred to be so mercilessly sadistic that we carefully design toys for the sole purpose of venting that sadism into something other than our shoes, and then that doesn't usually even work. If anything, dogs are lovable BECAUSE they were the real monsters all along, just like us humans. That's our real connection, humans and dogs. The Real Monsters All Along together. It's late and I'm real sleepy.