Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Fred Meyer 2019!



Last year was actually pretty lacking for this West Coast grocery chain, but Freddy M's, as I'm pretending people call it out here, outdid themselves for 2019 with a host of unique goodies, more than half of which revolve around nonhuman skeletons...



RAINBOW SKELECRITTERS

For starters, Meyer's has an entire rack devoted just to wild color morphs of almost the full Crazy Bonez lineup, including metallic, multicolored, and "pearly" versions. I thought I'd just show off their take on the bonerfly, myself. Do you like that? Bonerfly? Do you like that I called it that?

It looks great this way, naturally, but I worry that it obscures the skeletal nature of the creature. You could all too easily dismiss this as a regular rainbow-hued plastic butterfly, right? It kind of needs the white bone so you know something weird's going on at a glance. Still, it's gorgeous, and many other more obvious skeletons are available with this paint job for no more than their usual prices.



SKELETON WITCH

If there were any other designs in a series with this witch, they were already gone, and why wouldn't they be? How often do we ever see skeleton witches? Seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? But no. Maybe the odd skeleton in a witch hat, I guess, but this is an unusually rare extreme, and I am loving everything from her outfit to her scraggly hair to the way she's clutching her kitty cat as if to say "I don't need you. I got everything I need right here." Yeah, sorry, but this is totally a breakup scene. Your breakup scene, not mine. Ain't my call!!! Don't shoot the messenger!!!!



BUGGY PUMPKINS

Pretty tasteful! These pumpkin sculptures don't have any faces, but each sports a single, shiny gold insect contrasted against their solid black, which looks pretty nice! One's got a beetle, but the other's got a very finely sculpted fly, always my favorite insect and always a welcome sight.



FAKE CARNIVOROUS PLANTS

WOW, another chain getting in on this! I think Audreys are going to be pretty much a universal Halloween item from here on out, aren't they? Fred's are pretty nice, too, designed for gothic floral arrangements in three different designs. I like the ones with the spiny purple petals the best, which come in two sizes, but the one with peripheral green tentacles is nice too, and you kind of need all three to really complete the effect. Despite one of the two purples being significantly bulkier, all of them are the same $3.99



YOGARGOYLES

These weren't called that as far as I know, but we all know that's what they're meant to be called. I rarely see gargoyle figurines that are really doing anything other than snarling, so as goofy and "topical" as these are, I do like seeing some more serene 'goyles. It's their day off!



OUIJA SIGNS

ULTRA goth! You have your choice of a wooden skull with most of a Ouija board printed on it, or an oversized decorartive planchett with a spooky eye. Both are neat for their own reasons, and they ideally go together as a set, but I think the latter is the classiest and coolest looking.



ZOMBIE CANDY

Whoa, I remember these! I last saw them in probably 2004! That's a pretty damn long time to hide out and crop up again just like that, especially for anything seasonal. Of course, only one of the two designs appears to be a zombie, the other being some sort of Nosferatu-style vampire. Both look great! The vampire is simple, but I love its pale grey-blue skin, googly eyes and bony contours. The zombie is meanwhile remarkably gory for a candy topper toy, with a knife in its head and those great looking red eyeballs, gums and tongue. Both of them make screaming sounds when the button is pressed, and of course their eyes light up!



PUMPKAT AND SHEET GHOST

I actually didn't notice these until a return trip, and am squeezing them in here a couple days late. The cat formed from black pumpkins is an all-around excellent, unique new design I just adore, especially with a face that ONLY has eyes. Meanwhile, there's something equally enticing about the simple, rustic sheet ghost. I actually strongly want both of these, but I've spent enough money (not just on Halloween! IMPORTANT STUFF!!!) that I can't entirely justify buying either one of them.



MINI YARD GHOST

I like this light-up character, because it looks kind of like it's just a little person in a ghost costume, but a complete human body wouldn't really fit under there and it also wields a scythe. You don't see a lot of sheet ghosts with scythes. That's usually the domain of their bigger, hooded phantasm or reaper higher-ups.



MINI YARD PUMPKIN

Scythe Ghost's partner in crime is a pumpkin that not only has arms and legs, but bat's wings! I don't see a lot of winged pumpkins at all! It's also showing off a tiny little sheet ghost at us, so I'm going to go out on a limb here and say these are actually a couple of pint-sized demonic parents very proud of their new even tinier son.



PUFFY STICKERS OF EYEBALLS GETTING EATEN BY SPIDERS

I love puffy stickers, I love eyeballs, and I love spiders. It would be even better if they were combined into eyeballs that are spiders, but a whole sticker set of spiders simply capturing and consuming eyeballs in a giant web is perfectly acceptable as well. Perhaps even preferable for some situations. I'm also loving the colors they picked out; the pastel pinks, greens and blues are eye-catching and pleasant as the backdrop to these grisly scenes!



BIG SKELETON FROG

This looks like a Crazy Bonez item, but I somehow missed its existence; it's much larger and very SLIGHTLY more realistic than their other frog or toad offering, whose skull matches the shape of a living amphibian a bit too closely. While not perfect, this toad is significantly more convincing, and I think it looks especially nice against the store's cracked, concrete floor. I don't know if anyone is weirded out by a grown adult crouching down to position and photograph a fake dead frog in the middle of a supermarket, but I do know that they can mind their own damn business is what they can do.



PUMPKIN GHOST LIGHTS

These probably aren't a Fred Meyer exclusive, but I could be wrong. $9.99 is pretty steep for how small they are, but when activated, they emit extremely convincing imitation candlelight, flickering a brilliant yellow-orange. While they work just fine as standalone decorations, the idea here is to use them in place of the usual candles or tealights inside of your Jack O' Lantern, and that is absolutely ADORABLE. I am ADORING the idea of an entire miniature ghost as your pumpkin's light source.

Plus, they've got a timer function. They'll glow for four hours once you switch them on, which is pretty adequate for most Halloween needs, but then they switch themselves off for twenty hours and start over again. That is actually awesome. My one problem with battery-powered lights is always that I forget about them and let them run out of energy if I remember to turn them on at all. I guess these really are worth the price, but I'd kind of want a few of them, and then we're starting to talk prices like thirty or forty bucks, and I'm back to "I can live without these." Maybe ten bucks for a set of two to three of them and you'd have me right where you want me.



LIGHT-UP SKELETON VULTURES

While the skulls on these are pure fiction, I immediately appreciated the more accurate-than-usual wing bones, as well as the fact that they're made of that lovely injection-molded hollow plastic. Why do I love that stuff so much? Why do I just love handling anything made out of it?


What really sold me, though, was how the vultures look when you switch on their internal LED lights. You can get a general idea of their corpsey, grey-green glow here, but it's SO much more gorgeous in person. I wish they were bigger. I wish they were like eighty feet tall.



SKELETON FROG AND GECKO

I don't think these are Freddy's-only either, but I also don't think they're Crazy Bonez brand. Whatever they are, they are beautiful sculpts that come even closer to the real thing and make perfect little wall hangings, decor or just kickass toys. I know I'd have loved actually playing with the frog when I was a kid, possibly interacting with my Ghostbusters figures. Actually, that goes for a crapload of this year's Halloween stuff, making me kind of mad that I can't be a kid right now and also that The Real Ghostbusters can't be a thing all over again.



SKELETON GLOW PENDANTS

Can you believe one store has three totally different frog skeletons in the same year?! Not only that, but yet another lizard skeleton and brand new takes on a bony scorpion and spider! I've seen lots of glowstick holsters in my day, but these are by far the raddest looking for Halloween or for any time of the year that you might want a glowstick. The sculpts are just excellent for such cheap items, and the green glow looks amazing through the thin, plastic bones! If only these could glow forever, or were in fact part of a plug-in string light set. Maybe I could just rig that up myself?? Stick them over some generic holiday lights?? ...It just wouldn't be the same, though. There's nothing quite like a spooky green glow stick to fill your skeleton's holes.


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