Written by Jonathan Wojcik
13 Spooky Things at Oriental Trading!
When I review Halloween items in December, it's usually a round-up of bygone items you may never have the opportunity to purchase again...but not this time! Everything we're about to review will still be in stock for quite a while on orientaltrading.com, assuming you're paying enough attention to notice that this is a "Halloween 2019" review article, so please don't show up in 2025 to yell at me about product availability. Yes this type of thing has actually happened, as well as regular complaints that people "can't find the shopping cart" in my "store." Is it really so rare now to review products on your own webdomain that everybody thinks it's a shop front?!
Guess I got sidetracked there, but CHECK OUT THIS STUFF, OH MY GOD!
Our first and only candy example, I love that these are just little bags of edible slime and they still decided that constituted a "zombie ghost," which the official description says they have "captured" for us. The actual design of the zombie ghost on the bag is really cool, too, with its simple Duskull-esque cranium on a green, transparent ghost body. I'd like to think this is what you actually get when you "kill the brain" of a zombie, and then you're just more screwed.
I actually can't find these now, so maybe they were popular enough to actually sell out? What's funny is that they're referred to as mythical, yet one of the three is a narwhal. I guess I missed the memo that narwhals stopped being real at some point.
I like that wherever the design calls for a horn, it's a piece of candy corn, and of course skeleton mermaids are ALWAYS welcome!
These are a bit pricey; you don't get many of them for 20 some bucks. They're nice looking little critters, though, each one housing a jar of slime and presumably capable of oozing slime from their mouth-holes....I think. It kind of looks like those weren't really sculpted as holes all the way through, but you could easily poke your own. The scaly red ghoul might be the most striking of the three, but my favorite is of course the more alien-like green one. I like anything with a tube for a mouth!
A set of little tiny bean-bag plushes in what they refer to as a "graffiti" style. I guess what they mean is that they've got "urban" fashions going on, like a skateboard or a hat. They're really cute though; they feel straight out of a Homestar Runner cartoon, right? I could see the skull in the hat as just what Coach Z looks like when he dies, even if that skull wouldn't actually fit within the confines of his small, spherical head. Just another one of his many surprises.
HALLOWEEN "GRAFFITI" PLUSHES
I just think these are funny because there is no reason for a tombstone to be this kind of toy. "I swear, grandpa's headstone was RIGHT here a second ago!" Maybe ghosts just get bored enough to take their grave markers out for a joyride now and then.
PULL-BACK RACING TOMBSTONES
Sloths sure took off like a rocket, didn't they? I think they've become one of the most beloved of all mammals, and it's difficult to even picture the world I grew up in anymore, where most people simply never heard of them or quickly forgot them every time they were told. Now you can get them in little, plastic vampire and witch form! I like the vampire the most, because it somehow feels a little more like a sloth. The witch somehow feels like it could just as easily be a lemur or a raccoon or something, I guess because you don't know if there's any ears under that hat or not.
There was a time when a children's toy of a zombie was actually controversial. Heck, at one time, just a children's toy of a goofy space alien with a visible brain was controversial. Now you can buy inflatable pieces of a rotten human corpse for fun, so I think it's safe to say that, yes, society DOES progress ever forward. Baby steps.
INFLATABLE ZOMBIE PARTS
So how wonderful is it that the same company sells two different kinds of undead skeletal narwhal and they're ALMOST the same design but still subtly different in detail and sculpt? These have a much spookier, more gothic feel than the one with the candy corn horn, and I think I prefer it, since they kind of look like Jack Skellington Narwhals. They're also squirt toys!
SKELETON SQUIRT NARWHALS
Bonus fact though, the word narwhal already means "corpse whale" due to their pale, splotchy coloration!
Arch nemeses or best friends to skeleton narwhals? I'm going to say best friends, because there's nothing on a skeleton narwhal that a zombie shark wants to eat anyway. How lovable are these, though? I can't even pick a favorite of their color schemes, and I'm glad they've got an exposed rib detail on one side, as well as presumably mis-matched eyeballs. The fact that they're stitched together also implies that they are artificial creations of some mad laboratory or evil government project, rather than just wild sharks tainted by a zombie virus. An Umbrella Corp experiment has never been so cuddly.
PLUSH MINI ZOMBIE SHARKS
Are you ever NOT in for a good time when you hear those words together? These definitely do have the necessary orifices to exude slime, and I love every design they come in but I especially love the fat one with the purple slime, because its darkened skin is not that of natural dark flesh tone, but how a body looks when it's been rotting long enough to bloat and old blood has pooled under its skin. Lovely! The flaring funnel mouths are just there so the toy can function correctly at "sucking up" the slime, but I like to think this particular zombie virus just mutates their mouths into horrible, toothless goo cannons, presumably to feed more like a fly and digest their meals externally.
Obviously I do not advocate for the squashing of any arthropod, but the art style of these is really gorgeous, isn't it? It's got such a wonderfully scuzzy, fuzzy, 90's Nickelodeon sort of look to it and amazing detail, though admittedly I feel like the honeybee is particularly sadistic, and the earthworm doesn't even make sense; WHO squishes earthworms? How does an earthworm even end up inside a book??
SQUASHED BUG BOOKMARKS
Yes, they've got a whole other skeleton mermaid toy for sale, and this one I actually purchased myself. You get a whole bag of them, and I've got enough to give away in etsy grab bags for a while now! I've posed this one seductively on one of the pumpkins I've carved, so you can get a nice good look at her bones. It's hitting me now that even though most mermaids have explicitly fish-like tails, they are oriented like a dolphin's tail. Huh.
BENDABLE SKELETON MERMAID
Well, this is only the greatest goddamn thing I've ever seen, let alone owned around 50 or 60 of now, since they're only about five bucks a dozen. The beautiful simplicity of a rubber duck with an eyeball for a head needs no rationalization, but what makes these even more fantastic are the wings. I know you can't quite tell here because they're pure white, but the wings of these things are not the same feathered ones sculpted on every other rubber duck by this brand. No, the wings are segmented, like they've got exoskeletons. THey actually bothered to give these an entire new body sculpt so they could make the wings more "alien," and not in any common, obvious way like modeling them into tentacles. These are something shaped like a bird, but not a bird. Not at all a bird.
It's exactly what I'd have done if this was my job, so, if you're out there, I hope you know that at least one person understands and appreciates your vision.
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