Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Target's 2011 Halloween Mascots

  Every year, you can count on Target department stores to roll out a brand new set of cute, creepy characters for their Halloween merchandise, and this year's may be my favorites so far...if only the products themselves were worthy of them. For previous years, Target's original monsters were featured on stickers, candies, cards, toys and all manner of decorations, with dozens of items per season to choose from. This year, the characters are largely limited to artwork on a few product packages, with their most prominent role being puffs tissue boxes. Sigh. Here's some photographs of those:

   My god, look at these little guys, especially the eyeball. You know how much I love eyeballs as creatures, and as simplistic as this one is, something about it is easily the most adorable thing I have ever seen. Look at him dancing!

   The weird Frankensteinian critter is fairly cute as well. I want to say she's a spider, but she has nine appendages. Five legs, four tentacles. She's more of a tentacled head than any kind of spookified animal.

   I consider this purple, serpentine witch a close second to the eyeball. Another simple but very creative design, you don't see nearly enough vermiform (your word of the day) sorceresses slithering around. I like the particularly witchy hair and pointy nose.

   NO! Don't hurt him! His entire body is delicate sclera! The rowdy, rambunctious little candy corns have several appearances throughout these boxes and are never up to any good.

   See? Whether it's using sapient organs as basketballs or just scaring them in spooky old houses, the candy corns are total bullies. Adorable bullies, but bullies all the same! There are plenty more puffs tissue scenes, but I'd feel like an even bigger loser if I went through and reviewed every single one.

   This "monster punch" drink mix more prominently displays the lovable wormwitch. His/her/its trick-or-treat bag tells me the whole "witch" thing might just be a costume, but I much prefer to think of this mutant candy cane as having magical powers. Terrible, terrible powers.

   Moderately cooler and less ephemeral than tissue boxes are these metal cookie tins with raised designs. Each one actually holds only a single large and mediocre cookie, but the tins themselves are easily worth their one dollar price tag.

   What truly and utterly blows chunks is the fact that they DID have the decency to produce these plush pet toys, which ought to be right up my alley, but of the three characters they chose to represent none of them are the god damned eyeball. These three are adorable too, yes, but they may as well be featureless grey wads in comparison to how cool the eyeball would have been in plush form. He's so simple, so perfect. I just wanted one three dimensional representation of him. One.

   There's even another three pet toy designs, admittedly cool little monster "candy" plushes, and they still couldn't be bothered to represent the eyeball. Three eyes are not better than one. Not when the one is something's entire head and body! They completely squandered every opportunity for little eyeball man to be fully realized, and by next year, he'll have been swapped out for something that can't possibly be as good. I alone will remember him and all he could have been...I'd have accepted just about anything. Even an eyeball guy window cling would have been a little more tangible than tissue boxes and cookie labels.

Great, this entry only made me sad. THANKS A LOT, TARGET.

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