Home Depot's 2021 "Rotten Patch!"

We're actually off to a pretty dry start this year. By this time in 2018, 2019 and 2020, all kinds of cool seasonal offerings from major retailers were available for preorder online, allowing me to review items as memorable as Target's Ghoulish Garden and Michael's gothic figurines, but here in 2021, most companies seem to be keeping their holiday stock under wraps. MUMMY WRAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry for terrifying you like that, but it is Halloween, you know, and mummies aren't real anyway. I mean, they're real, but they're just people who died and still haven't rotted for thousands of years, that's all!

One thing we can look at, however, are Home Depot's new ghoulies. They famously produced a giant, twelve foot skeleton last year that proved such a hit, they could barely keep it in stock, and I didn't even know that many people existed who had $300 to spend on one plastic cadaver, but I guess that's how some folks decided to burn through some of that stimulus money.

Fueled by that success, Homer not only brings back the big bones for 2021, but ups the ante by selling giant costumes you can use to dress it up as a witch, a scarecrow or even Sandy Claws, and that's not all! They're also testing the waters of the giant monster market by giving giant skeleton a new friend...

Assuming you've got about $350 lying around, Mister McDuck, twelve feet of giant pumpkin ghoul can now be yours! It's officially referred to as a Pumpkin Skeleton, which I can't argue with, because it's not merely a skeleton with a pumpkin for a head, but a skeleton made of plant matter with a pumpkin for a head, and its gnarly botanical rib cage even glows the same lovely candlelight color as its open jaws. I definitely commend whoever decided that that their second giant should be something even this unconventional; you would expect them to go for a zombie, vampire or some other tried and true hot seller, which might have been a safer bet but wouldn't have been nearly as interesting.

The best thing is, this new friend apparently brought friends of its own, which the official website categorizes as the "Rotten Patch" collection! The only thing I couldn't actually find on their website were those funky, stitched-up leathery pumpkins at the bottom of their promo photo. Maybe they'll "crop" up later! Ha ha! Get it??? "Crop???" Because pumpkins have an adaptation to their alimentary tract that allows them to store food prior to digestion!!

Promo Video!

The Pumpkin Twins make perfect minions for Giant Pumpkin Skeleton, a pair of trick-or-treating kids with the most delightfully wretched pumpkin heads of their own; I especially love the pumpkin sister's more dour expression. If you check out the official youtube commercial thing, you get to hear at least one of their voice clips! The narrator also points out that their hands are made of pumpkin roots, so they're officially the same kind of monster as the big fella, I reckon.

The most affordable thing on this page is still nearly sixty bucks, but it's a regular-size, more traditional bone skeleton with its own unique pumpkin cranium bearing a creepy, too-wide smile full of blocky little teeth; honestly the most disturbing of this bunch. The green, mossy film over the bones is also really well done, especially the membranous layer actually stretched across the rib cage! Is this how these pumpkin monsters start out? Is this a human corpse in the process of being "taken over" and converted???

Promo Video

This new scarecrow doesn't have pumpkin elements, but it still has a design style that fits in perfectly with the rest of this family. Its flaming effect and rumbling voice are pretty sweet in action! Obviously this is like the live-in nanny that helps raise all the pumpkin kids from dead people. Sometimes it's your found family that counts.

Promo Video

The last thing we've got from this collection is a pretty exciting addition to the Halloween landscape in general - the first full size animatronic in the recent trend of Halloween plant monsters! Should I even still be calling this a trend if it's been going for four or five years now??? I think Audrey II knockoffs are here to stay for sure, and this is a pretty badass one with its spiny fly trap head and glowing eyes! All I wonder how this would best fit in with the new pumpkin creeps. What's the lore we want to glean here? It's whatever you want, obviously, or stands completely alone as just a cool plant monster, sure, but I'd like to think it has a biological or magical connection to pumpkin headed ghoulies. Maybe the pumpkin vines grow plant monsters to help seed their field with more skeleton bodies!

Finally, this isn't billed as part of the Rotten Patch, but how great is it that you can also get a giant, furry light-up spider with stalked eyeballs? It's meant for your front lawn, but I feel like exposing that fuzz to the elements is an invitation for one funky colony of mold when you store it the rest of the year. Who would shut this out in the cold, anyway, when it could just illuminate and occupy an inconveniently large chunk of a living room? Or bedroom?