2020's PETSMART Treasure

Can you believe it's halfway through August and this is my first post about Halloween items I've actually seen in person? For globally famous reasons, it's the driest Halloween season I've ever experienced, even in those stores I've had to continue physically shopping at to keep me and various other organisms fed.

Petsmart has a few pretty rad things for 2020, though. Promise.

Spider Cat Bed

This is so adorable, it's a crime that it's not large enough for people to use, or possibly live in long-term. A cat bed shaped like a cartoon spider isn't even especially new, but the attached housefly cat toy makes this so much more. In fact, while the novelty of the fly dangling inside the giant spider's jaws is clearly the best part, the simple fly itself is so good I wish they sold it on its own by the bagful. I guess it wouldn't be that hard to make, though.


This skeleton is available as multiple dog toys including a squeaker, a "groaner" and a rope toy, but that's not as important as the look on its freak face as its living bones are gnashed apart by an enormous canine, APPARENTLY the one thing for which this particular skeleton has waited its entire life and subsequent un-life. Weirdo.

"BITE" ME" 2020

A personified piece of candy with "eat me" or "bite me" is officially a staple of Halloween pet toys, with some variation appearing every year at Petsmart, Petco and beyond for now several Halloweens in a row. This one, however, is special because it has a face almost exactly like a Dragon Quest slime.


I like this because all they refer to it as is a "Halloween Snake," which apparently means a short-bodied worm creature with a single large eye and thick, orange fur. I like the idea of "snake" being that loose in Halloween terms.


We're now getting into the really good stuff, the fish tank decorations, because those are always a little weirder and designed to be enjoyed more long-term than the cat and dog chews. This one doesn't have a "creature design" to review, but I like it because of the weird ass world it implies in which the Nevada Desert's Area 51 is not only within walking distance of an officially Haunted graveyard but it was important to warn us about fish above all else. I want to know...so much more.


This would actually be the second time I've been able to include an anglerfish ornament that wasn't technically part of their Halloween line, and this one's just plain RADICAL. The colors are gorgeous! The huge, forward facing eyes also look great on just about any monstrous fish, even if no actual deep-sea angler has eyes like this at all. The only thing kind of a letdown about this is that the stem of the illicium is the part that glows in the dark, rather than the actual lure on the end. That's silly! No big deal, though.

The best part is, the lower jaw perfectly accomodates this Japanese gashapon figure of a flapjack octopus sushi roll. The sushi roll aspect of the figure is really cute and funny, but I even like how much subtler it is when hidden a little by the fish's teeth!


Of course this ghost has to wave "BOO!" around on a sign. Have you ever tried to BOO somebody from underwater?!


AWESOME! I already own a glow-in-the-dark skeleton fish ornament that's more realistic and sold year-round for a while now, but it's just not as striking as this chunky, uniquely stylized affair, more like the kind of fish bone monsters you might see in a Mario game! I feel the gaping roundness of the eye hole is what really makes it.

Of course I snapped up one of these the moment I saw one, and despite having multiple aquariums occupied by things that might enjoy crawling or slithering around on this, it just looks too good out in the open!

And it's still not as amazing as our last item:


For those just joining us or in need of the yearly refresher, Petsmart's 2017 collection introduced a trio of Toxic Mutants I really flipped for and still cherish dearly. 2018 added a similarly colorful Octopus Witch, and last year included an even cooler rotten zombie fish and fanged clam.

While none of these really feel like they're meant to form a single, cohesive set, they sort of just naturally do on their own, and while 2019's more "realistic" looking vampire crab was cute, it didn't fit in with these other mutant weirdos quite like ZOMBIE CRAB, so intensely colorful it doesn't even come out correctly on my own camera:

ZOMBIE CRAB'S simple toony details, veiny eyeballs, yellow slime and utterly rabid personality are such a unique combination of things in even my own excessive collection of bizarre toys and statues that my only criticism is the fact that there isn't any more of it, which is to say I would collect just about anything with this crab on it, and I'd have also paid a fair price for the same exact crab in a significantly larger size. Why leave this as just a tiny statue to put in a fish tank, when it would look SO tasteful as a plastic blow-mold lawn ornament a couple of feet tall? Whoever designed this crab...I just want you to know that your talent is deeply appreciated, but your vision is obviously not yet fully realized.