Most photos by Acidshadow!

In 2020, Halloween's ongoing botany fixation reached the U.K. based TKMaxx with a modest but superb collection of resin statues. As we've discussed, Audreys and their extended family consistently proved to be pretty hot sellers, and so in 2021, TKMaxx has only redoubled its contribution to ghastly greenhouses everywhere! Remember to thank Acidshadow, without whom I'd be left completely unaware of almost all of these and wouldn't have been able to receive a few of my own, either!

The first thing our friend showed me this year were these two models, but we're going to focus on the left one first: a typical Audrey with all the usual trappings and the expected sharp, fang-like teeth, but I really like the large and spiny leaves flared out behind the head pod, because it kind of gives me the impression of a reptilian frill. This one is also interesting because it's one of the few that isn't sculpted as a potted Audrey, seemingly sprouting directly from the ground or perhaps even walking on three leaves!

So as for the second plant, it's a much more whimsical and unusual specimen whose head is a bulbous, orange pumpkin! You would be surprised how rarely I see this combination of chomping, stalked plant and Halloween gourd, despite what a natural fit that is. It also has cute, vertebrate-like eyeballs that give it more of a froggy facial expression, if you ask me, and it not only bears an expression of pure delight, but it's leaning its head on one arm-like tentacle vine, like it's leaning on a little table and laughing. You are possibly dating this carnivorous pumpkin and it thinks you're way too dreamy to tell you how bad your jokes are.

A couple more plants this year are your conventional, potted Audreys, but one seems to be a slight repainting of the one sold through AC Moore in 2019, the thorny one on the left here. The other has a fatter, smoother stalk and its big, bulbous maw is a lovely pale pink and white, a more flower-like coloration. This one also has a mouse sculpted against its pot; soon to be prey or just a friend??

One more rather typical specimen appeared just briefly on the website, a slick looking cultivar whose green pod, white lips and pink oral cavity have more of a watermelon vibe. I really like that they make multiple, slightly different species of even the basic template, but from here on out they get a lot more distinctive!

See, this long-fanged, thorny variety wouldn't otherwise stick out much from the crowd, except that it's growing directly from the mouth of a human skull! Is that a happy coincidence or something that this particular plant naturally does?!

Next, we have what must be the product of a different manufacturer, because this one is sculpted and painted in a more cartoon-like style. Its little pot says "BOO!" on it and it would almost be a normal Audrey, except that atop its spherical feeding pod is a petal-ringed eyeball, and it's almost just as large! A very unusual design choice. My brain almost wants to read the eyeball as a "head" and the mouth as part of its "body" this way.

Speaking of eyebals, the most interesting item on offer is actually a set of three small models that come as a remarkably inexpensive set - less than ten pounds originally, which is sort of like five U.S. dollars per plant. Unfortunately, these also sold out fast as lightning! Acidshadow was able to pick up a set for me that hasn't reached me yet, but also already got me individual closeups of all three:

First, let's look at this beautifully veiny, three-petaled blue flower, bulging eyeball peering right out of the center. I also like the big, broad and prominently ribbed leaves of this one.

Next I'd like to talk about this much more tropical looking blossom. It sprouts up from between two thick, pointed leaves and has the same sort of eyeball, but with a corona of pointed, strikingly yellow and purple petals. Are these based on a real flower? The way the petals roll up towards their tips, showing off their purple backs, feels awfully specific.

Finally, and most exciting, is a statue of three mushrooms with an eerie eye on every cap! They're also sprouting up from what looks like a larger, overturned mushroom cap, or maybe the entire thing is how this fungus normally grows, knd of like one of those "bird's nest" fungi? I'm also not sure if it's a 2020 or 2021 release, but in a Facebook group, I've also spotted an entirely different TKMaxx eyeball fungus, this one with two fruiting bodies and more of a "lid" surrounding each eye:

If these were a 2020 item, then it's just a very remarkable coincidence, but if these are all new for there any remote possibility that I caused this? I just ask because one of my first 2020 Halloween posts was a list of creatures I'd like to start seeing as Halloween products and some freaky mushrooms were the very first example. I even said they should be resin figurines, not that it isn't admittedly the format of most fake mushrooms in our civilization.

I feel like my other entries on that list were maybe a little more obtuse and could be a harder sell, except the bit about eyeball creatures. Everyone definitely likes eyeball imagery. These fun guys are halfway there already!!