HOMEGOODS 2023 PART II:NAUTICAL NONSENSE
Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Only one of our available Homegoods retail stores set up this shelf of ocean-themed, pastel colored spookery, even padding it out with an assortment of non-Halloween seashell decor. I said this display yielded one of my new favorite items in the whole history of these reviews, and maybe you think that's the skeleton octopus statue, but we've already seen a couple of skeleton octopus items. It's a great statue and we'll be reviewing it here in a little more detail, but today's star attraction has been CROPPED from this photograph to avoid RUINING YOUR DAY with SPOILERS. Yeah, you're WELCOME.
THE NAUTICAL SHELF.
There's just five objects I intend to highlight from this marvelous, short lived Homegoods shelf, but seriously, the last one is going to be SO neat! Super duper neat! Really!!!
Only one of these ever showed up at this particular homegoods; by far not the first Skeleton Mermaid we've seen, but definitely one of the cutest and most vividly painted! She has a fully fleshed, scaly blue tail that she sits on, while her upper body is a shorter, wider skeleton than we usually get to see, with a seashell bra stuck hilariously right to her rib cage, shiny golden hair and a stylistically oversized head painted up for Dia de los Muertos. So it's not a "Halloween" item, but I know a fair number of my regular commenters celebrate the Day of the Dead, and 100% of my commenters enjoy some kind of mermaid in some sort of context or another. If there's no context at all in which you like any sort of mermaid, how about you MOSEY ON OUTTA HERE, bucko!!!!
Admittedly, I wish this had been a more literal Crab Pumpkin, like, a pumpkin that is also a crab, but a pumpkin with a crab sculpted onto it is special too, I mean, it's really not often that we see crustaceans of any kind intersect with Halloween at all, let alone with Halloween vegetables. As you could see from my photos of the full display, there were multiple styles of pumpkins with crabs on them, and even a pumpkin with the shape of a sea turtle on it.
This statue consists of a blue painted human skull with a single white pearl resting in one of its empty, black sockets, a cute little black octopus crawling out of the other, a sea star on the side of its jaw and a whole collection of seashells on top of its head! I do think the skull itself would look nicer in a more naturalistic color, or maybe just a different shade of blue, but you still can't beat a skull with at least two different saltwater invertebrates living on it, and the pearl eye is an especially cool touch!
So, here's that cephalopod we saw earlier! The first skelepus ever discovered was released by Crazy Bonez in 2019, with a couple of related variants in the years since, but this one is an original, unrelated design cast in solid resin. This does make it more breakable than Crazy's sturdy plastic creation, but it offers a slightly different kind of design for the cephalopod coinnosseur.
It still has a rib cage for a head and spinal columns for tentacles, yes, but the eyes are circular pits on the sides, right where you'll find the eyeballs of an actual octopus. This makes for a more "accurate," cuter personality than the scowling, humanoid eye sockets of the Crazy Bonez version, which fits a more naturalistic and classy nautical motif. Both are wonderfully weird and cool as heck, but the Crazy Bonez skelepus is a skelepus suited for a zany, campy horror aesthetic, whereas this is a skelepus I could picture in an old lady's seashell-themed bathroom.
Now, we've got just one left. THE one. Don't die of excitement!! I hope you're sitting down for this!!!!
Bone tentacles?! What is this, another different cephalopod design!? NO! This is no mere skelepus, or even a skelesquid as novel as that would still be. Say hello to Halloween's first-ever record of...
My eyes landed on this thing not three steps into that Homegoods store, and it was in my hands so fast I think I may as well have teleported to it. Time and space was a blur between the moment I became aware of the Skellyfish and the moment I was clutching it like a newborn child. It was the only one, broken in a couple of places, but the only one, only a measly sixteen or seventeen dollars, I don't know, I don't remember, and not something I have been able to find any mention of anywhere else on the internet.
It's always been kind of just a given that "impossible" skeleton creatures are likely cobbled together from available bones by the forces of the supernatural, but this is our most explicit confirmation of such a phenomenon, as this necromantic cnidarian employs not just vertebrate spinal columns for tentacles, but the calcerous test of a deceased echinoderm; the "skeleton" of a sea urchin appropriated as the jelly's bell!
Some of you may have already recalled that our new friend is not actually the first instance of a dead urchin in such a context; it has been a curiously common practice for quite some time now to combine an echinozoan carcass with a live "air plant" (various species of Tillandsia) to represent a jellyfish, usually hanging by a string. Do most people even know that's what these are? That these are urchins with all the spines gone? Well, you do now I guess!
So the Skellyfish was clearly inspired both by these existing effigies and the established concept of bone tentacles...but by whom? Mine had a price sticker on it, but no branded tags, and to date, mine is also the only one I have seen or even heard of in existence. No one else has spotted one for sale at the time of this writing, and no internet search for any combination of Skeleton, Jellyfish, Halloween and Figurine yields anything quite like it. How rare is this item? Is it from 2023, or a leftover from a previous year?
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