Wednesday, February 2, 2011
2010 Halloween Season Wrap-Up: These are a Few of My Favorite Things...
A new year.
The 2010 Halloween season has come and gone but what better way to celebrate it than a brief retrospective of what we got.
On November 1st I took that photo to the left of a lone Tootsie Roll candy wrapper I found discarded on the ground. That magic feeling of Halloween night had dissipated and the holiday merch had fully muscled its way into the aisles of the box stores like Germany taking Poland. -sigh-
All things considered, though, 2010 was a pretty good year. Even though all indicators were pointing to people spending less that year, I saw a lot of Halloween spirit out there in the world for which I would have awarded merit badges had I taken the time to embroider merit badges. (They would've looked awesome. Seriously). So here we go, a recap of the best and worst of 2010 by the authority that is HalloweenAddict.com...
First--- a quick commentary.
Although many seemed disappointed thinking that the box stores' output this year was shoddy-at-best (like my blog-buddy Shawn over at Brandedinthe80s.com), I believe it was just... different.
It's my opinion that, like fashion trends, the Halloween stores pick their color scheme early and stick with it. This year seemed to bring two specific choices: vintage-inspired and multi-colored.
In my perfect world, the neo-classic orange, white and black would be the norm, but it looks like there was a "brighter" "happier" color scheme of purples, pinks and greens this year.
Meh... not my thing, but I understand that they have to mix it up.
Also big this year: GLITTER.
Lots of glittery things.
Like these Glitter Rats.
Or these glitter skulls.
Cost Plus World Market had vintage-style giant ceramic glittery cat heads.
Target had multicolored glittery skulls.
Well all that glitters is not gold. I picked up that cat head (see the pic, left) at Cost Plus. It was heavy and sturdy feeling. I liked that it was Beistle like in it's happy/scary gaze. But when I set it down I realized my hands were covered in--- can you guess? GLITTER.
Annnnd that's how the sale was lost. Me no likey the glitter. Sure it looks nice... sometimes... but in 3 years that glitter is gone and you're left with a balding, surprised cat head.
But enough of me being picky. Here's the stuff I LIKED this year.
I first saw these over on the Zombie Pumpkins Forum which is where I snagged the picture from. There were two styles, a "Pumpkin" and a "Frank" and they're basically blank vinyl sculptures that you can customize however you want either with the enclosed stickers and markers or by painting them yourself.
I LOVE these things!
Since I was a kid, I've always been a sucker for toys that you can customize or use to make new things. Tinkertoys, Erector Sets, Colorforms, Crayolas, blocks, Legos, Xevoz, Stickfas, what have you. I think they're a great way to be creative and build on an existing shape or theme.
If I have any "con" to these things it's this: I COULDN'T FIND THEM.
I tried Michael's online--- nothing. Page is dead.
I tried eBay. Nothing.
I tried the Rose Art WEBSITE... nothing.
I e-mailed Rose Art directly! Nothing.
I tried Googling around for ANYPLACE else that would have these wonderful toy sculptures--- NOTHING.
Each search led me to either more dead pages or pictures of peoples' already customized works of art.
Hell, I had to borrow the photo from ZombiePumpkins.com forum just to give a visual reference to what I'm talking about! That's how elusive they are!
I'm so distraught.
And now Halloween is over and they've put them in large wooden crates to be stored in a warehouse next to the Lost Ark of the Covenant. If anybody knows where I can order some, or want to send me an early Halloween/early Christmas gift, let me know.
I'm not one to usually even go into a Pottery Barn Kids, but I happened to walk past one this past month and the window display caught my eye and I ventured inside... and boy am I glad I did. Though Target and Cost Plus didn't thrill me with their Halloween offerings, PBK knocked it out of the park.
Take a look at their site HERE while it lasts. There was something about the black, white and orange color scheme, the vintage-like graphics and the jack o' lantern, skull, and cat-centric characters that really got me.
Seriously, I would have purchased one of everything if I could have.
Don't trust that skull.
He might be dangerous.
And though the option was there to get it customized with an embroidered name, I would just have kept it plain.
I'd probably even take it to a tailor to get longer straps made so I could wear it to work.
The tumblers, the place mats, everything EVERYTHING I loved at this place. I can't put enough pluses behind this "A... +++++++."
COST PLUS WORLD MARKET'S GLOW IN THE DARK SKULL PAIL:
I've already mentioned my affinity for this item in my September post HERE, but it's worth mentioning again. I think the real coup of the Cost Plus skull wasn't that it glowed... or that it was full of candy... it's that it triggered a sense memory and helped me remember my blow mold skull pail from when I was a kid. Gives me something to quest for. I enjoy a good quest. Like Mountain Dew Pitch Black... but alas, that's a tale for another time.
Maybe this is an old item, but this is the first year I've seen it... and IN ACTION on the front lawn of a house I drove by on Halloweekend.
Combining retro arcade game Pac-Man and Halloween is so simple it's made me hit myself in the head with an arcade machine and exclaim "Why didn't I think of that?!"
It makes perfect sense: Pac-Man evades GHOSTS 'til he eats a power pellet and then he CHASES ghosts. They're CALLED ghosts in the game. Some brilliant person said "Hey lets turn Pac-Man into a jack o' lantern and assume he's eaten a power pellet and BLAMMO--- a mash-up of two of my favorite things happens and pop culture will never be the same. Buy it on Amazon HERE.
Normally I would have done a whole write-up on the "digital decorating" that various websites had done to celebrate Halloween on October 31, 2010 like I did for 2009 HERE.
Buuuuuut as I didn't, I'll just celebrate the king of the heap: 2010's Halloween Google Doodle. Did anyone else come close to being this awesome? DOUBT IT.
Google really outdid themselves this time.
Not only did they have a 5 panel, full color story that can be told with no words, but the story involves Scooby-Doo and the gang complete with Mystery Machine doing what they do best complete with a "I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids" ending. Oops, spoiler alert. AND WITH NO WORDS! Brilliant. See the whole story in hi-rez in the Google Doodle Archives HERE.
Having gleefully gone to the past few years of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, I decided to skip it this year.
Well though I was quite excited when they had the super-triumvirate of slashers Jason, Freddy and Leatherface... it seemed to me like it was just a rehash of past themes. With the "new" Jason and the "new" Freddy and a 3-D-ifying of the old House of 1000 Corpses maze from the year 2000 (3 years before the film came out in theaters due to Universal dumping the film)--- I just didn't think they could mix it up enough to get my hard-earned dollar. Though I DID appreciate that they came up with a new character based on a folk legend "La Llorona" instead of relying just on licensed franchise characters.
THE RETURN OF MCDONALD'S MCBOO PAILS:
Though I've never been fond of Mr. Potato Head, the skull/pumpkin buckets at Mickey D's was a sight for sore eyes. You can read my full write-up HERE but it was great to see McDonald's bring back a fast-food Halloween premium classic.
As for HalloweenAddict.com taking part in the Halloween Countdown, I came close to delivering on my promise of a post-a-day, being only 6 shy from a total of 31 in October.
The problem with being a Halloween Addict is that, well, you want to DO all things Halloween so writing about them sometimes takes a back seat to your own experiences. BUT the good thing about Halloween Addict is that the countdown continues all year long, so you can get your fix whenever the mood strikes you be it the middle of July, December 25th, or whenever. Like Tom Bodett, we'll leave the light on for you.
So there you have it. Not a bad year. Some fun things.
The counter on the site has been re-set. Only 269 more days until Halloween as of this writing.
But as a true Halloween Addict I, like Mr. Alice Cooper says, keep my jack o' lantern light on for everyone tonight.
Carved by AllHallowSteve at 9:00 AM