There are actual, metal, good-looking Freddy gloves you can buy in stores; The Exorcist officially licensed products; fake pumpkins that never rot but look real; affordable fog machines; a giant inflatable Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man; super-bright LED lights that last forever; no flame tea lights and giant gummi brains.
Yep we live in pretty great times, indeed.
But there are a few things that are still missing from our wondrous holiday.
Things that should exist but don't.
Here are Ten:
1. Halloween Mini Cereal Packs
This one seems like a no-brainer and it's the idea that caused this post to be written in the first place. The major cereal makers already put out Halloween-ized versions of their big sellers in October, why not mini boxes, bundled together, of the Halloween varieties?
Let's do a tally:
General Mills has: Frankenberry, Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Spooky Marshmallow Lucky Charms. Plenty for a 4 pack!
Kellogg's has: Jack o' Lantern Apple Jacks, Spooky Marshmallow Fruit Loops, Candy Corn Pops and Creepy Cocoa Krispies. Enough for a 4 pack again!
Not only are the mini-boxes just enough cereal per box so you don't go into a mini-marshmallow sugar coma, but they could be given out as treats on Halloween!
Who's brilliant? Answer: Me.
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: 40%
Year after year, Halloween seems to swing more toward giving out treats other than candy in what I like to call "Stocking Stuffer Syndrome."
A visit to any store's Halloween section will produce shelves full of toys like: Halloween-themed LEGO packs, Halloween Hot Wheels, Skelanimals, Simpsons Halloween Qees, My Little Pony Halloween Figures and more. That's fine.
But then where are the Halloween Action figures?
How about Star Wars figures with snap-on Halloween costumes? R2-D2 as a Pac-Man ghost... A Stormtrooper wearing a Ben Cooper Darth Vader costume.
Transformers in Halloween colors!
I'd buy an Optimus Prime in an orange and black color scheme!
Stikfas in little Trick or Treat coffins?
There are various pirate skeletons, a Phantom or Stikfas could come up with a new threesome of a Pumpkin King, Spectre (translucent skeleton), and Zombie.
Hasbro has been releasing 3 3/4" (that's Star Wars figure size BTW) versions of characters from the Marvel Comics Universe. How about a Green Goblin in a pumpkin bomb container? Or Venom in a black bubble with the white spider symbol on it?
Hey toy companies. Boys like toys. If you're going to push toys on Halloween make it action figures! Not only will kids like 'em but the collectors market will snatch 'em up too.
Just my two cents. Spend 'em where you wish.
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: 45%
If you read this site, you've heard me rave about Mike Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat film.
A love letter to Halloween, the anthology thriller captures so many things that a Halloween Addict can love. Dumped direct to video, it's developed quite a cult following and audiences continue to discover it and add it to their Halloween movie line-up every year putting it alongside John Carpenter's Halloween and It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown as must-see seasonal watching.
So why not put out a sequel every year?
It's an anthology, so you just need between 3 and 5 Halloween-themed short stories to tell per film.
Keep costs down by not hiring stars and funneling the money into good writing and high-production value.
Release it in theaters every October, or hey--- direct to VOD with a DVD to come out a few weeks after.
C'mon if Saw can crank out a new sequel every year for 7 years (Remember their hook? "If it's Halloween it must be SAW.") then surely a Halloween-themed anthology series could take.
Hey The Simpsons has been making Treehouse of Horrors every year for over 20 years now!
That's the same concept but animated!
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: 1% (And that "1" is just my own personal "hope.")
UPDATED: As the original #4 disappeared with some Blogger gremlins, here is a new #4 to fill the void and it's a pretty good one if I do say so myself.
4. Strict No Christmas Display Rules!
This idea came to me while visiting Target the beginning of the week (the last week of October) to pick up some last-minute Halloween stuff only to find it in a state of shambles and shoved into a crappy corner marked "Clearance" and the Christmas/Holiday juggernaut had steamrolled into the aisles.
I was crestfallen.
So this idea is going to take some give on both sides but here's what I propose:
We Halloween Addicts will wait patiently until the last week of September until Halloween merchandise is put up for sale in stores, BUT---- store owners CANNOT, under any circumstances, advertise and/or put on shelves for sale ANY Christmas merchandise until November 2nd.
C'mon that's fair.
The issue is that the merchandise calendar has been shifting year after year. Sure we get Halloween merchandise up on shelves earlier and earlier (like as early as AUGUST!) but the Christmas shelves appear and muscle out the Halloween merch by mid-October.
COME ON NOW!
That's still the thick of the season!
At this rate we'll have Halloween merch in January and Christmas merch year-'round. It's ridiculous.
Should these rules be broken by any store, the offender will be heavily fined and must delay their Christmas displays an additional week. (Which no one will want to do you see, because then the other stores will have a jump on displaying holiday merchandise. It's brilliant!)
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: -3,000,000 %
5. UPDATED: Tauntaun with Rider Costume
I got this idea not too long ago, when I posted about THIS Homemade Tauntaun costume.
With all these "Walking Illusion" inflatable costumes, how come there isn't an officially licensed, Lucasfilm-endorsed Tauntaun costume?
It makes perfect sense: you buy the Tauntaun costume... then you have to buy the DELUXE Luke in Hoth Gear or Han in Hoth Gear costume to wear on top of it. Double the money for the company, double your fun at the party.
I put high-faith in a company like ThinkGeek.com. If they can get the Tauntaun sleeping bag idea pushed through the Lucasfilm approval machine, they can get this made too.
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: 60%
UPDATED!: Turns out there are many smart people out there with a few different versions of this.
They're all labeled "Star Wars Inflatable Tauntaun" but all look different so I'm not sure which one is the "official" one, if any.
6. John Carpenter's Halloween: The Definitive Edition
Thanks to Anchor Bay and my love of John Carpenter's Halloween film, I have purchased this movie on a home video format no less than 8 times (3 VHSs, 1 Laserdisc, 4 DVDs).
Hear that sound?
That's Anchor Bay laughing to tears.
They will dry those tears with my twenty-dollar-bills.
I'm not bitter about the purchasing of each version as each one brought something new to the table: a new doc, a cleaned-up transfer, etc. When one thing came in, another thing went away.
So the discs had to be saved to keep all the supplemental materials and versions.
But enough is enough.
I want ONE Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Copy box that contains the original version, the Restored version (with over-color-correction), the 25th Anniversary version, the TV version, the version that'll fix the problems with past versions that had problems, all commentaries, all still galleries, all poster galleries, and every single documentary that's ever been on any set including the recent Biography Channel's Halloween: The Inside Story, AMC's Halloween Backstory and MOST IMPORTANTLY anything worthy and/or we've never seen before from Synapse's found Halloween negatives (that, to my knowledge, nothing has been done with yet).
I want this to be the set that Criterion says "Whoah" to.
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: 80% (but we'll have to wait until the last dying breath of the format so it can be released on Super Liquid Goo Cube.
You haven't heard of Super Liquid Goo Cube?
Oh, man it blows Blu-Ray out of the water. Sell your discs now.
It's going to be all Goo Cube from now on.)
I'm a simple man. I like Halloween.
And I like to eat tiny candies that assemble into skeletons that come in a plastic coffin.
There I said it.
And the pinnacle of said candy was Fleer's Mr. Bones.
I loved this candy.
And then, one day, it was gone (see the pic of my last remaining empty coffins).
Sure there are some modern-day substitutes like THIS but nothing compares to Mr. Bones. Tiny multi-colored coffins. Chalky SweetTart-like candy. And the bones link together to build a skeleton.
So please, dear Fleer, bring back Mr. Bones.
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: 20%
Here's another million-dollar idea (behind my mini-cereal boxes and Tauntaun costume).
Make ADULT-SIZED boxed costumes in the vein of the vintage Ben Cooper or Collegeville ones.
They'd have to have a plastic mask with an elastic band and be vinyl with the name of the character emblazoned across the chest like "DARTH VADER!" or "SLEESTAK!"
(The exclamation point is crucial to it not being taken seriously.)
I think the aging '70s/'80s kids of today (and myself) would see these on store shelves, smile with recognition and buy 'em up.
Sure they were uncomfortable (who wants to wear un-breathable vinyl?), and sure they weren't screen accurate (Darth Vader never had a yellow picture of himself on his chest with the words "DARTH VADER"... though I haven't seen the Star Wars Blu-Rays yet...), but their awfulness was what made them great. Everybody wore 'em at least once in their lives.
These were the "bad fashion statements" we made as children.
If you want to take the idea one step further, make the costumes more tongue-in-cheek. Maybe there's a Patton Oswalt one (the word "PATTON!" screaming across the chest) or Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Who wouldn't pay for a Christopher Walken costume that says "More Cowbell" on the chest?
I realize, just using the word "record" in this entry is dating myself.
As a child I discovered LPs like "Scary Spooky Stories" that terrified me.
Sure, I listened to them over and over.
And sure I did what the man on the record told me to do -- "I DARE you to listen to this at midnight..." Mmmmok.
But I lived through it (minus some sleepless nights) and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.
Aside from the many ghost stories and haunted tales that were put out in the '60s, '70s and '80s... it doesn't seem like anybody is making them anymore.
Maybe they were a product of their time. Listening to a "scary story" on an iPod in a darkened room isn't the same experience as putting a needle on a record and hearing the hisses, pops and skips of a physical media.
Or maybe they're just not made and they're not made scary. (No one is going to get chills listening to "Spongebob's Wacky Haunted Adventure.")
If anybody knows of modern day, well produced, simple scary stories that I can get on iTunes, please let me know.
I'd hate to think this lost art is, well... lost.
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: 35%
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You know when you go to a theme park and you ride Jurassic Park The Ride, or Splash Mountain and at the biggest drop or sharpest turn the park takes a digital picture of you that you see at the end of the ride?
And then you and your friends gather around the monitors to see the goofy face you made as your stomach rose into your mouth and your eyes bugged out of your head?
And then you pay some ridiculous amount of money to get the silly picture so you can take it home and show your friends how ridiculous and terrified you look?
Why don't they do that at Scare Parks?
Most mazes have some crazy character chase you out the door with a chainsaw at the end of the maze so you don't lollygag around the exit.
Well how about the maze organizers snapping a digital pic of you and your friends crying and peeing yourselves?
Even if I don't want to buy it because I'm crying like a little girl, my buddy who's doing the same thing right behind me, might.
Seems like something that can be set up and implemented and pay for itself in a few nights.
Because if it's one thing people LOVE it's ridiculous pictures of themselves in times of abject terror.
CHANCES IT WILL HAPPEN: 90% (After enterprising people read this.)
UPDATE: Seems someone already is doing it. Thanks to a tip from BadassDigest.com it seems Nightmares Fear Factory is way ahead of me. Now THIS is what I'm talking about! Yay!