Written by Jonathan Wojcik

September 2: Big Lots!

   I still can't believe that this makes ten Halloweens I've had a website for. Granted, most years I did nothing but crummy little collection posts that I'd barely consider a single article by my current standards, but it's fun to look back and see how far I've come from babbling on about plastic bats and rubber zombies from the Dollar Tree

Now, before I tell you all about the plastic bats and rubber zombies at Big Lots this year, I'd like to direct your attention elsewhere for a moment:

   My fellow internet cool guy Matt also just so happens to be kicking off Halloween content for his tenth year in a row, though only for the first time on his brand new e-home. Formerly known for X-Entertainment, one of the original inspirations for Bogleech, he now resides at the beautifully named Dinosaur Dracula, and if you've ever liked my Halloween blogs, toy reviews, opinions about mummies or just about anything else we find cool around here, I guarantee you'll have fun on Dinodrac too.

So, go bookmark Sauropodian Nosferatu, and then let's talk about...

This Year's Big Lots Crap!

   Finding really cool, fun Halloween stuff has grown increasingly difficult over the past few years, but Big Lots really surprised me this time, as one of the first to put out their seasonal stock with a lot of must-have treasures. Strapped for cash at the moment, I might not take any of these horrors home for another couple weeks, but consider this whole page a shopping list. How could I possibly let the year slip by without this charred, black metal skeleton? It would hardly be worth it without the crazy eyeballs, but put crazy eyeballs in any regular skeleton and I'll have a tough time resisting.

   What's more, they've got the same skeleton on a wooden decoration, so you can haunt your lawn with a whole family of charred corpses, possibly the cursed souls of chronic smokers. I should probably only buy one of the two, but it's hard to decide which one has the nicer skull shape; they're very slightly different, and it matters, damn it. It's also interesting how this one's hands are still white, implying he or she was only burnt alive from the neck up.

   Equally divisive are these insane, springy skeletons, whose paint jobs are extremely pleasing in both "slightly mold-flecked" and "atomic waste dump" color schemes. I guess I lean more towards the latter. The white cracks and facial features really look like he's getting fried by some kind of martian death ray, and loving every second of it. Skeletons are some crazy sons of bitches.

   These solar powered, glowy-eye animals are a returning item from last year, and I'm definitely tempted to grab one, though I kind of wish they came in a few more varieties. Yes, cats and owls are adorable Halloween mainstays and renowned for their creepy, reflective eyes, but if there were only a monster option here, they'd have me right where they want me.

   I suppose these solar bats will just have to do, even if glowing everywhere is arguably a step down from just gigantic, glowing eyeballs. It's not as if these little bastards even need to light up; I was entranced the very instant my gaze met these screaming, purple, shiny plastic bloodsuckers (Halloween bats can absolutely always be assumed vampiric, don't you know)...they're just so incredibly enticing, looking almost exactly like gigantic Halloween lollipops, only I could keep them forever without them attracting ants and filthy, filthy children. They've got a really "retro" feel to them, like their molds might date back to the 50's, but they're powered by the rays of the sun itself, like some kind of space-age wizardry!

  It's just too bad I live in Florida, where actually leaving these in the sun would bleach the hell out of their gorgeous candy sheen.

   Of course, the most exciting things at Big Lots are also among the smallest and most affordable. Every year, we see new waves of "pocket screamers," rubber toys almost exactly the size of a shirt pocket that shriek, moan or cackle when squeezed. You damn well which one of these I already bought, that adorable wide-eyed mummy with its perfectly disturbing little teeth. There's plenty to be said for the zombie, of course, and the clown's unpainted eyes are way creepier than they have any right to be.

  Pacing these aisles for far too long, snapping pictures and purchasing nothing, someone on the Big Lots intercom called for a "security sweep" just as I was leaving, and a cashier asked me if "everything was alright." I guess they thought I was stuffing my pockets with their stupid plastic clowns, but I'll show them. I'll actually spend money on this bullshit, and they'll all be sorry when they see that I was just a creepy manchild saving pictures of toys for to share with the internet!