I mentioned that '21 is the driest year yet for new Halloween items, but while it took almost two full months, we've seen at least enough to do one of the traditional roundups of scattered miscellany!
2021 HALLOWEEN TREASURES I
This has appeared in a couple of different stores, in some cases alongside cowboy skeleton decorations and other spooky "desert" themed products, which is pretty fun! I love to see new themes that I haven't before, and this is exactly why: what other context would we ever see an armadillo as a "creepy" creature? That is, outside the original Dracula film.
This is a Lowe's item this year, but hard to find and already sold out almost everywhere; some stores received only one, and some none at all! It's a blow mold piece, meaning it's cast in that lovely sort of hollow, semi-flexible plastic prized among holiday decorators for its durability and long life. Blow mold decorations are usually bright, cheerful and cartoonish, but this one is sculpted as a decaying, ghoulish head and a bony hand stretching from a mass of beautifully bright, green slime. This goes along with a few "biohazard" and "nuclear fallout" items Lowe's has introduced since last Halloween, including fake fabric waste barrels and the usual prop caution tape.
I'd like to think this creature is always like this, crawling around like a slime.
This is one of the few items of note from Michael's this year, which has only a fraction of its usual selection. What they do have, however, includes a number of insect-based items, like this metal beetle in a little bird cage! Beetles in particular have become far more common as Halloween symbols over the past couple of years, alongside the increase of Halloween plant life...though they're usually more common, famous beetles, especially scarabs and stag beetles. Still no telling if burying beetles will ever catch on like I've always hoped!
We've all seen severed hands, crawling on their fingers, but this is possibly the largest I've ever encountered in person! It's another blow mold item from Lowe's, but it's so massive you could use it as the legs of a picnic table, or maybe flip it around and use it as a weird headboard to your bed. Who's gonna stop you? Your cat?
GIANT PLASTIC HAND
Always remember to use, freeze, or discard dakimakura before their expiration date.
A line of animated, sound-making bone critters has been slowly expanding for almost five years or more now, and I'm pretty sure the turtle is a brand new 2021 addition. Even if it's not accurate to a turtle's skeleton, it's pretty adorable! It's just kinda funny that they couldn't think of an animal sound for it to make, so it just sort of emits a bony clacking noise.
"PET" SKELETON TURTLE
This is sold through "At Home" stores, and Rotten Witch is its official name! It's a hauntingly beautiful and elegantly simple piece, a faceless, limbless, elongated robed figure with a decayed, wooden sort of texture. I'd love to think it's not just stylized, but literally what this particular witch looks like.
This small miniature from Michael's depicts purple crystals sprouting up from an old well, and includes a crawling snail that would have to be the size of a small child, not to mention the large mushrooms. This doesn't say "magic" well to me so much as "cosmic radiation," one of those Mutagenic Space Colors or something of that nature.
LIGHT-UP MAGIC WELL
This is the fourth or fifth standalone skeleton fish design I've seen in recent years, but this one features an array of long, spindly spines that remind me of some sort of scorpionfish or lionfish. Definitely something with venomous spines.
NEW 2021 FISH SKELETON
It's a shame, though, that I don't think this is a "Crazy Bonez" original. In fact, I'm not sure there have been any new Crazy Bonez products this year, and I'm not sure if that means the brand has had to take a break or if it's another casualty of the pandemic. I suppose we'll know by Halloween 2022...
This Big Lots offering is a jet black pumpkin decorated with a beautifully detailed death's head moth, a realistic human skull on its thorax rather than their natural skull-like marking. I can't help but notice that death's head moths are more and more common lately, too, and I've been saying for years that they ought to be major Halloween symbols. That places death's head moths, eyeball mushrooms and skeleton sea creatures among the various Halloween innovations we've "predicted" here on bogleech.com...or maybe the right people happen to read these posts?
This is a straggler from TKMaxx, and how delightful is this design?! It's not just a skeleton unicorn, but has a cutely simplified style with a long, thin body and a skull that looks like a toddler drew it, which is a compliment. The kind of skull a toddler might draw is the kind of skull any self-respecting vertebrate can only ever hope to possess.
SKELETON UNICORN FIGURINE
Another TKMaxx non-botanical, I just thought this mummy was really cute. I own enough mummies to be satisfied, but I wanted you to see this one.
World Market has three new, exclusive Halloween nutcrackers for 2021, and there's something unique about each of them! One is a black cat that's also a mummy, with little bats flying around its head. The pumpkin pail implies that it's only dressed as a mummy, but it's also standing beside a "Mummy Cat 2021" Tombstone, so, I guess it was a real mummy cat that just recently died, but it was a mummy anyway so it didn't notice.
WORLD MARKET NUTCRACKERS
Next we have a cute, dark-skinned witch, and that's surprisingly pretty rare. Witches are usually white or they're green. Maybe companies didn't think a black witch was a good look because witches are "supposed" to be evil or whatever, but witches have more often been heroic in our media for a long-ass time now. She also has a cat in a Day of the Dead skeleton motif!
The last is a more traditional nutcracker, like the same exact kind you see for the other holiday, dressed like a soldier with whispy hair and a little beard, except it's also painted as a skeleton! This suits the horrifying natural jaws of a nutcracker pretty well anyway. I also really like the bat-winged human skull on the hat.
You can find this for sale a number of places online, but it's fairly pricey at almost $50. It does however give you eight large, realistic looking arachnid legs, a pair of smaller palps and a couple of ocelli to turn any pumpkin (or other penetrable object) into a fairly massive spider creature! I think if I had this I'd put it on something that'll last year-round, but I'm not entirely sure what. Maybe I'd get one of those prop rubber corpse heads from another Halloween store and make a John Carpenter.
SPIDER PUMPKIN KIT
This was a big hit when I shared it on tumblr, and a lot of people wanted to know where to get it. I only saw it at Fred Meyer, but it's also turned up at the related Kroger and CVS Pharmacies. It looks like a ghoulish pumpkin at first, but when activated, lifts the top of its head to reveal a surprisingly small human skull with glowing eyes.
This is all lovely enough, but the real selling point is the audio it plays. Every moment is more magnificent than the one before it. I believe when I originally posted it, I said whoever designed this made nothing but exponentially better choices as they went along, and I stand by that.
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