Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Petco 2019!

Sorry this has been an even slower August than last year! I usually have twice as many articles out by now, don't I? But I've been working all day, every day on moving into a new home for weeks! Now that's all over, and I get right back to what really matters, like pretend mummies and sad candy bars!

Both Petco and Petsmart brought their A game this year, but we're getting Petco done first because Petsmart got me REALLYgood. Still, Petco far exceeds Petsmart in the plush dog toy department. As you can see, they have a kind of "rag doll" theme going on this year, with all manner of cute, stitchy, button-eyed ghosties! We'll be zeroing in on just a couple:

"Bark Magic" Giant Plush

The "Bark Magic" toys seem like they're supposed to represent "voodoo dolls," hence the name. Voodoo dolls are one of those wildly misunderstood cross-cultural concepts that we should probably try a bit harder to get right and maybe not cheapen so often, but a cute, spooky rag doll is universally lovable whatever the context attached to it, hence why it's still so surprising that the movie "9" is so dimly remembered. Maybe it's because the script wasn't really as strong as the visuals?

I'm getting off track. This is the very largest representation of this character and would look great as decor even in a dog-free home. I think it has multiple squeakers, too, at least in its appendages.

"Creepy Crawler"

This is another pretty massive size plush, and if you're into plushes for use as either emotional support or throw pillows, I can say it's remarkably soft and silky. Besides the inherent charm of a spider with a button for an eye, it has a red heart on its back to give it a friendlier black widow vibe!

"Creepin' It Real"

There are a few items of this mummy, but this miniature one is the cutest. Really think about what this specific mummy would look like waddling around, probably repeatedly falling on its face and awkwardly pushing itself back up in that unsteady toddler kind of way. Doesn't that just break your heart?!

"I'll BOO Whatever I want!"

Wow, okay. This might also just sound cute at first, but what we're talking about here is a tiny ghost who is vocally proud to feel no concern for the long term consequences of its actions, and frankly, that leaves the rest of us fucked. If this tiny ghost truly can't be reasoned with or talked down from anything, all we can do is pray that its desires are relatively harmless to the living.

"Feed the Beast" dog toy.

The last one we're looking at isn't rag doll themed, but one of several fuzzy devils and nondescript monsters holding different kinds of candy. This one stands out primarily because its candy is another sentient character, and it is crying to have been bitten. You leave that poor sugar fiend alone!!!