I haven’t posted anything for a week, and in that time, the retail world has all but completely moved away from Halloween and onto Christmas. Not unexpected, but still infuriating. I like Christmastime a thousand times more than Halloween, but I don’t want to see it in October.
In many stores, the Halloween sections have already been shrunk down to half an aisle, surrounded by a growing assortment of red and green baubles — like a lone farmer trying to keep the universe’s most festive locust swarm at bay. I know that I shouldn’t correlate Halloween’s vitality with its shelf space in department stores, but I do. No holiday season should have to die before the holiday actually happens.
But hope is not lost, as the spooky products in today’s post — all found earlier this afternoon — prove.
A series of impending niece-and-nephew birthdays required a Best Buy run, because all any of the kids in my family want are $60 video games and DVD box sets. While there, I stumbled upon an awesome display of lesser-celebrated horror movies, each arriving in its own body bag for 9 bucks a pop!
Pretty clever, actually. The movie are collectively presented as FEARnet’s “most feared,” and we’re to assume that these “body bag editions” were selected by way of an impressive FEARnet poll on the world’s scariest movies. Given the gamut of DVD titles on display, I’m gonna call bullshit on that. What they’re really doing is gathering a bunch of older/independent/unpopular movies, and throwing them in awesome body bags purely for purchase persuasion. And…it absolutely works!
The DVDs come in their normal cases, but they’re all shoved into an extra case, body bag-themed. Incredibly, this is all it takes to get me to buy DVDs that I would never normally buy. I mean, the body bags have working zippers and everything! I’m not entirely convinced that I wouldn’t have bought one even if there was no DVD inside.
I think they missed an obvious opportunity, though. Most body bags are black. At least, they’re black when they’re intended to create an ambiance of dread and terror. These DVD body bars are see-through. It would’ve been much cooler to get “surprise” DVDs in all-black bags. I’m sure that some of you are mentally arguing with that statement — you just can’t picture anyone buying a DVD without knowing what DVD they were buying. I disagree. I think people are much more likely to buy surprise DVDs than repackaged copies of Slaughter High and Stir of Echoes 2. I have confidence in this idea. I will patent it.
And now, a little sumptin’ sumptin’ for the ladies:
Found at Target, it’s another run of those holiday edition “cylinders” filled with tiny-sized dolls in seasonal clothing. I’ve written about other “cylinder edition” exclusives at least a hundred times in the past, but truth be known, I’m aiming for 200.
Among the brands represented, we have My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop. The packaging is suitably Halloweenified, but not in any dangerous kind of way. The dolls inside are much more dramatically themed, all wearing removable costumes.
Previous special editions such as this have desensitized me to the otherwise otherworldly thought of horses and dogs dressing up as pirates and witches, but the Littlest Pet Shop pack provided one nice surprise: A spider! I had no idea that Littlest Pet Shop delved so deep! Arthropods! Arthropods with removable ghost sack costumes! Suddenly, the idea that I stood on line and charged toys meant for five-year-old girls on my American Express card feels less sour. A Littlest Pet Shop spider? That was made for me.
Finally, CVS has a new line of Peanuts Halloween figures, in costumes that totally disregard the comics and TV specials. I consider this a good thing. The world did need an action figure of Charlie Brown in his classic multi-holed ghost bedsheet costume, but it didn’t need 80 of them.
Charlie Brown may not have dressed like a vampire in any of the comic strips or cartoons, but that kind of accuracy just doesn’t seem important when you’re purchasing Peanuts action figures from your local pharmacy.
I picked up Chuck and Schroeder, but according to the cardbacks, Snoopy and Lucy are also available. I never held anything but total apathy towards Schroeder, but he’s clearly the chaser figure in the collection, arriving in an awesome Phantom of the Opera costume with a piano accessory. All Charlie Brown got was a cape. Cape is the new rock.