Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 30: All Finished but the Screamin'

So I'll post some stuff tonight, and then I'll try to get pictures of our Halloween night on here before midnight tomorrow, and that's it! 31 (32 if you count October Eve, which I do) consecutive posts for m countdown! Somehow I seem to stick it out better for October than December, but then I'm also less busy in October. So here's some final stuff:

Meant to share these guys LAST year during my Countdown and I don't think I ever got around to it (can't find them on the blog at any rate) so here they are: a couple of Imperial Godzilla-esque toys! One of these, the purple-y blue one, is genuine vintage and belonged to my brother-in-law when he was a kid, although he has no date markings. The other I have no idea when it was manufactured, but it FEELS a lot newer, even though the date on it says 1986, I know they often don't change these dates when they reuse the molds. In fact, I don't know that these are even really genuinely meant to be Godzilla. I feel like they're more knock-off type "Fraud-zillas" that used to get sold cheaply on the bottom shelves of stores like Kay-Bee toys back when they were still around. I bought the green guy for .99 cents.

Found this interesting deck of "Gypsy Witch" fortune telling cards, which couldn't be less magical if they tried. They have almost nothing to do with anything resembling a Tarot card or any other system, but they're fun in and of themselves... sort of. Paid .99 cents for them. I'm always interested in seemingly random forms of fortune-telling. I don't believe in them exactly, I just find it interesting how people build systems of significance around random systems of numbers and patterns. 

Some new additions to the Halloween Cemetary/Village shelf this year. All .99 cents apiece. 

Doctor Freddy here is going to need a finger-blade transplant STAT! I plan on using a dremel to hollow out his fingers and then glue in some needles or something to make him the most dangerous toy I own. He was in a .99 cent grab-bag with a BUNCH of other figures, but most notably this lady: 

A Queen Alien "wrist-watch" whose tail wraps around your wrist for what I can only imagine is the most AWKWARD watch-wearing experience ever. (The digital display is in her chest, and not visible at this angle). She's gone off to a good home, this little Lady here. 

And finally, a set of cardboard coasters I picked up for a Dollar at Target. Not sure what I'll be using these for in years to come, but it sure as heck won't be as coasters. For now, they just sort of decorate the background of one of our Halloween shelves. Love the dapper skull in the top hat the most. I paid 1.00 for the set you see here. 

Awww... Fraud-zillas hugging! What a great way to put the last nail in the coffin-lid of October! I know there's one more post to come, but let's face it, I'm practically dying of some sort of super-flu and I will barely be coherent after a night of chasing my kids around Trick-or-treating... so this may be the last legible sentiment on the blog for some time. I will definitely be taking a little blog break come November, but not for long, because PEOPLE... the packages from friends have been coming in, and I have stuff it would be downright RUDE not to blog about! Stuff from folks like Eric Stettmeier of Toyriffic, Miss M of Diary of a Dorkette, and CRPechonick of Geek Show Ink! So you do have that to look forward to! 

Something's Coming By: Virginia Kroll

Smell of smoke from wood-burning stoves, 
ripe red apples, crushed black cloves, 
crunchy leaves of brown and gold,
pumpkins bigger than I can hold,
spookiest masks I've ever seen--
something's coming--

That's it for me tonight kids! I'll be back soon with more Gangrenous Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 29: I've Been Waiting...

I've literally been waiting ALL season to post this one:

Here are the TWO not ONE but TWO strings of Halloween Orange Decorative lights we picked up at Goodwill for .99 cents!!! They are still sitting in this exact state (tangled as ANYTHING) and will most likely not be used until next season. But they work perfectly! 

I have been waiting ALL season to post this one picture! Seriously! I think it's hilarious. And the closer I've gotten to Halloween without touching these lights... the funnier it feels to me. Anyway...

I'll be back soon with more Garishly-Orange Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 28: Jack O' Lanterns!

This was actually supposed to be my post for last week's League of Extraordinary Bloggers photo challenge, but then I got horribly sick and we put off carving pumpkins until this week and boo-hoo I missed the deadline. But here we go anyway. I will say it's pretty unusual for my family to carve Jack O' Lanterns so close to Halloween. We usually have them up a week in advance at the very latest. 

First up here is a handful of shots of my boys cleaning out their pumpkins. My older son (on the left) kept announcing how he has "gotten used to pumpkin guts" and was very excited he could do this task without dry-heaving this year. 

My wife and daughter are both tired and sick with what I've got, so I didn't really get to man pictures of them worthy of the internet. Luckily these two kids were cute enough for the five of us. 

What's he looking at in there? 

My wife's obsession is with Sugar Skulls this year, and so she designed her Jack O' Lantern accordingly. She also made these for some friends: 

Some sugar skull cupcakes. She's so darn-tootin' crafty!!!

So from left to right: My pumpkin, just sort of a generic Jack of all Jack O' Lanterns. Then m youngest son's, which is meant to look a little like Jack Skellington, but mostly just a "pooky garry keleton" (spooky scary skeleton) which he did not carve himself, but gave very specific instructions in broken toddler English. Then there's my wife's sugar skull pumpkin again. Really love how hers came out.  

Next up we have my daughter's cat pumpkin and my middle son's "Trash Pack" Jack O' Lantern. (He's ALL about the Trash Pack this year, as you'll see when I post pictures of costumes). That is meant to be a trash can with ooze dripping from the lid, and the words "Trash Pack" etched in the front (that part's hard to see). 

In one of my favorite pictures of '13, here he is admiring his Jack O' Lantern (Mom helped him with the carving, but they discussed the design ahead of time). 

Here is youngest enjoying the 'pooky' Jack O' Lanterns.

And finally, the whole effect with good ol' Skully up in the window, overlooking the Jack O' Lanterns and the crunchy Fall leaves. Perfect. 

That's it for me tonight kids! I'll be back soon with some Groaning Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 27: Last of the Spooky Books!

This will most likely be my last Halloween book related post for the season so I'm tossing a bunch of stuff in here I just didn't have the time or inclination to include in earlier posts. 

First up The Dancing Skeleton which tells the tale of an ornery old man who nobody likes when he's alive and everyone likes even LESS when he's dead. Because he stubbornly refuses to stay in his coffin! His poor widow (who didn't like him that much either) has to deal with her dead husband sitting in a rocking chair, refusing to get back in his grave. Luckily a gentleman suitor who happens to play the violin helps her find a solution... and this story is just great. It made it into our regular rotation just this year and makes for a great Halloween tale. It's not really scary at all except for the inclusion of the skeleton, and my kids laughed when the story was resolved at the end. I paid .99 cents for this one. 

I made it through the first story in this book before setting it aside. It was kind of disturbing. I've read one anthology of stories written by Ramsey Campbell in the past, and his stories are pretty scary. These stories are supposedly ones that he collected into an anthology because they scared him. I kind of think that statement may be true. .99 cents. 

This is one of those dry-looking books that looks like it came out in the 60's or 70's (I didn't bother to look at the publishing date before writing this, so be my guest...) but I've suddenly found myself in the mood to check out more and more books like that in recent times. So finding this for 1.99 was pretty fun! I mean, look at that cover alone! Facing off against that skeletal apparition with crucifix in hand... classic horror! 

I did not know that there was a series of licensed Universal Monsters novels. Did you? I didn't find any more of the series kicking around when I found this, The Devil's Night was a must-have. Looking it up on Amazon later, I discovered mixed reviews, especially for the sequel to this book, Devil's Brood. Should be interesting to see if it is any kind of satisfying read. Maybe I'll set it aside for next year's Halloween read pile. 

Couple of younger books here that I plan on sharing with my boys. The Time Spies: Rider in the Night book is a chapter book, but my older son is almost ready to start having those read to him. And it features the Headless Horseman!!! I couldn't resist that if I WANTED to. The Ghost with the Halloween Hiccups is a perfect read-aloud book for them right now, and they loved it! 

Finally, here's a great Halloween pop-up book I just recently found: A Visit to the Haunted House. It's cute and was in pretty decent shape! 

The menace of the haunted house was slightly down-played by the kitten book-plate on the first page... but the kitten's eyes appear to follow you around the room so the effect is still quite haunting. 

There's a lot more to this book, but the three pages I feature here are the most impressive of the pop-up pages. Most of the others are of the "pull the tab" or "slide this thing up and down" variety and so don't demonstrate well in photographs anyway. 

Well that's it for tonight kids!!! Halloween night is only a few more days away! In some ways I'll be happy to have the countdown done with... but in even more ways I'll be sad that the Halloween season is over. It's my favorite time of the year, and a time of year when I really try to kick everything into high-gear reading, viewing, listening, and collecting-wise when it comes to spookiness, horror, and Halloween.

I'll be back soon with more Grody Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 26: Target and Halloween Pt. 2

I am horribly ill today, and not sure what I've got, but I seem to be feeling better than I was this morning at least. Either way, I will be making this brief. Luckily I've seen the retro-styled General Mills Monster Cereals ALL OVER the internet. Target is the only place you can get these old-style boxes. 

There's no such thing as a Monster cereal I don't enjoy. And while my favorite is still Count Chocula, I have lots of room in my heart for the Berry flavors as well. 

Fruity Yummy Mummy is probably my favorite of the newly re-released cereals. I dig that Orange cream! The cherry's not bad, but it's not my favorite.

Here's a look at the monster trivia on the side of all five boxes.

The comic panel from the back of the box. I really like the modern incarnations of the characters too!

I also picked up a mixed four-pack of the Jones Halloween flavored sodas. Red licorice was tasty... candy corn was not. 

Caramel Apple had a weird after-taste but was still pretty good. I have to say hands down that Blood Orange was my absolute favorite flavor out of the four. Love the can art on these too. Artwork-wise I can't really pick a favorite... but that dangling eye had me at hello. 

Anyway... I've seen a ton of stuff about these items online, but I still wanted to share them on here, and not feeling well... I don't feel too obligated to write much more. I highly recommend these food items to any fan of Halloween. 

That's it for tonight Mademoiselle's and Monsieurs! I will be back soon with more Gastrointestinal Goodwill Goodies (groooooossss...) So until then, Happy Haunting!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 25: Target and Halloween Pt. 1

It really feels like Target is really the place to find some of the coolest stuff for Halloween this year. That's why I'n going to use multiple posts to feature some of the stuff I bought there this year. This first post... I'm focusing on ONE amazing find. This:

A Star Wars Grab and Go Halloween Play Pack! The first thing about this that caught my eye and MADE me buy it was that skeletal image of Darth Vader on the front. They had other versions of the cover art, but THIS one said "Even if I am filled with nothing but horrible crap... I am worth 1.00 because of this amazing image!"

So this is what I got for my 1.00. The amazing cover art, a coloring book, a sheet of stickers, and 4 crayons. The crayons are a throw-away, honestly. But the stickers are great, populated with all of the same great art you'll find inside the coloring book. 

First off, let's take a moment to admire the cover art to the coloring book. There's a bony Boba Fett skeleton. He is amazing. I like the other odd little detials to be seen over his shoulder, like the skeletal Storm Trooper, and a Boba witch on a broom flying in front of the moon. 

HEre we have a Trick or Treating band of... what? Kids dressed in Star Wars Costumes? Or Star Wars Characters going Trick or Treat together? Or some strange amalgamation of both? Either way they stomp across the grass under the light of a full that's-no-moon. And on the right there, am I the only one who thinks Vader is doing a total Pimp walk? I also love how the Storm Trooper's and Vader's helmets sort of ARE skulls in this picture, instead of them just being skeletons wearing helmets. 

Boba Fett-as-witch makes his debut, along with some clone-trooper skeletons a la Spooky Scary Skeletons... And there's Vader from the front of the package... Look! his light-saber is made of vertebrae! 

A Storm trooper skeleton crew.

Cutesy versions of Luke and Leia in Halloween activities/attire. 

A couple of my favorite pictures here. A Trick or Treating Ewok dressed up as Darth Vader with a Death Star treat pail, and a Day of the Dead decorated Storm Trooper helmet. Simple but effective.

There are more images throughout the coloring book but these are all the ones that I actually like. A few stock images of characters with random "spooky" tree branches slapped on them were in there too, but this Treat-nabbing Yoda and these cutesy Halloween themed droids (R2-Punkin'-D2???) are where I'll be finishing up. I love the simplicity of the idea here, and how effective it was to use Star Wars and Halloween blended together in a weird meta-concept that really couldn't have a life of its own beyond merchandising. I would MUCH rather have seen these kinds of pictures on the McDonald's McBoo pails this year instead of just Angry Birds Star Wars. C'est la vie. 

That's it for me tonight children! I'll be back with more Gulp-Inducing Goodwill Goodies sooner rather than later! Until then, Happy Haunting!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 24: Spooky Books from Scottie's Books!

Today's post is a purchase I made TODAY! I stopped in at a used book store that I don't go to as often as I really should (or as often as I WANT but probably shouldn't...) called "Scottie's Books". It's a cave of a place, with the whole front room literally a chaotic mess of stacked books you have to squeeze past to get to the good stuff that's organized in the back. The guy who runs the place doesn't have letter-head with "Scottie's" on it, but he punches his receipts with this:

Awwwww.... isn't that just the cutest ever? Anyway, I picked up 12 books total at Scottie's and paid a buck for each and every one. I found some REALLY fun stuff there that isn't Halloween themed too... but I'm saving it all for when the countdown is over. Here we go!

First, I found this "Which Way Book" Vampires, Spies, and Alien Beings which is a poor man's "Choose Your Own Adventure" gaming book... and I am just EXACTLY the "poor man" to bring it home! 

Next up is this pretty awesome novelization of a bunch of "Tales from the Crypt" comics for YA readers. The stories themselves are not exactly mild... but they're fun, and snippets of the comic panels are included in each chapter to help illustrate the tales. This is easily one of my favorite finds of the day!

I picked this one up out of sheer nostalgia. It is a Nintendo, Worlds of Power, Castlevania II, Simon's Quest novelization. It's filled with game hints and once upon at time it included a Worlds of Power Trading Card that has long since been torn out. Doesn't get much more Halloween than Castlevania, does it?

Next up is this bizarre illustrated Scooby-Doo novel from 1980. It includes Scrappy-Doo as a character if that gives you any hint as to its quality... When I was a kid I liked Scrappy-Doo quite a lot, but as an adult I find him grating to the point of just not being able to watch the episodes he appears in. This book is bizarre in that the illustrations are all very obviously taken from stock images that look like they came from a coloring book. They all look very stiff and unnatural. 

Next we have the Twilight Zone: The Movie adaptation by Robert Bloch. It's one of those that has a collection of photos from the movie in the middle of the book. This adaptation being written by Robert Bloch is actually pretty hilarious. For instance, Robert Bloch is writing an adaptation of a screen-play by Richard Mattheson... based on a story by Jerome Bixby. The whole book is sort of like that. Each of these stories is filtered through a filter through a filter. But I love the 80's Twilight Zone film, and I love cheesy adaptations of films... so this was sure to come home. 

And last but certainly NOT least are these two collections of essays about Stephen King by various other giants in the industry. I like the idea of a bunch of people writing essays to worship Steve King. All of them brown-nosing their way into getting their thoughts on "The King" published. I find it hilarious actually. And I genuinely hope there are some interesting insights to be read it here as well. 

Well that's it for tonight kids! I hope you're all getting as excited for Halloween as I am! I'll be back soon with some Goosebumpy Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting! 

Be sure to check out all of the great blogs participating in this year's Halloween Countdown! You can do so by clicking this link, or clicking on the Cryptkeeper 2013 banner on the sidebar to the right! Also, check out the "Blog-O-Ween" Halloween Blog collective, again by following this link, or through the badge on the sidebar! Thanks!
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