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Scariest guy on the block
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Does anyone else feel let down by the current Halloween merchandise offerings available? I was at a seasonal "Halloween" store that opened up in a strip mall the other day and I was severely disappointed. Lots of cheap, overpriced costumes, really overpriced foam and gauze hanging ghosts, and assorted other useless junk. All the big box stores have junk too. How many glitter skull lovers are out there anyway. Just makes me glad the Halloween Forum exists so I can build my own darn props that are 1000x better than anything these retailers put on the shelves!
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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This sort of disappointment happens every year.

Two things are likely at play here;
One, the ghouls who haunt this particular internet graveyard are gourmets - any old corpse won't do. We have a rather high bar compared to the average shopper, and new members catch on to quality and sheer awesomeness if they hang around here. Like a miasma, floating among the tombstones, getting your shoes damp.

Second, there is a certain love of individuality here, to have something lurking on your porch or leering from the hedges that no one else has. Whether you decorate a little or build a full-fledged haunt, you want to offer something no one has seen before. So we end up where you are, Terror Tom, glad to have this forum and making props 1000X times better than the store-bought stuff.
 

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Maybe, this will perk you up a little. I was going to make a topic just for this, but wow are these things are AWESOME! The Creature from the Black Lagoon one is my favorite, but after looking at the prices, too much money for me. They want $77 for Freddy on amazon.

http://rubies.com/search/?s=grave+walker
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Besides, that I found 2 things I wanted this year. Maybe, it's not great if you are first starting off, but when every year, you find some things you want, 2 things is enough for me. I got a Dummy on a Tricycle animatronic from Kmart, and the big Jack Skellington from Walgreens.
 

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I mostly get let down seeing all the glitter everywhere. I've been seeing merchandise for a few years now that would be perfect for my needs, only it's been dipped to death in messy glitter. I'm not understanding the appeal or how it's supposed to get folks to buy more.
 

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The Kitschiest Kitsch
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I feel decent about most places. I've been buying for years, but just recently started buying the bigger, more pricey items, like life-size from Grandin Rd and such. But what happened to Walmart?? The last time I remember buying cool stuff from Walmart was back in 2002. They're great for filler, but they've really gone down hill in the past 10 years.
 

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I mostly get let down seeing all the glitter everywhere. I've been seeing merchandise for a few years now that would be perfect for my needs, only it's been dipped to death in messy glitter. I'm not understanding the appeal or how it's supposed to get folks to buy more.
I guess they figure that if they put glitter on everything we won't be able to see just how cheap and crappy their products really are.
 

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I felt sick to my stomach when I went in Halloween City this past weekend. All of the props looked like poles with sheets over them and they still wanted 100 bucks for them. They also had the same cheap recording. That's when I said "Wait a minute, I can make something a lot better than this for A LOT less money" and walked out.
 

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I think that Halloween is becoming a overlooked holiday for retailers. They seem to put their stuff out later in the season and when they do the selection isn't that great. I see Christmas stuff go up with the back to school stuff and Valentines days and Easter goes up right after Christmas. Halloween seems to go up anytime they feel like getting around to it in September. It seems that with Halloween there doesn't seem to be a rush to get it on the floor and when they do the good stuff is gone (if there even is any good stuff) and that's it. By mid October it's already gone or marked down in one small section at the back of the store. I do remember when stores like Spirit and other specialty Halloween stores opened late July or early August and you pretty much found anything you wanted there. Over the last few years it seems that all those stores carry is overpriced props and costumes. I'm tired of seeing the same light up skeleton strands that play the Saw theme or the dancing props.
There are still a few stores that seem to still carry unique stuff like Home Goods but you have to check them early and keep checking as they don't seem to put everything out at one times. Once September comes around your stuck with whats left. Yes this year is a disappointment because I noticed less Halloween merchandise in stores and less places even offering Halloween. Unless you look at Yankee Candle or Hallmark you wouldn't even know it was Halloween time at the mall. I think a lot of places are playing it safe with only offering "Fall" stuff this year.
 

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How many glitter skull lovers are out there anyway. !
ROFL!!!!! :) That is too funny. I guess nobody likes glitter skulls which is why there are so many left..

But I do agree. I thought I was the only one. I've been to Spirit 3 times and bought nothing. I went to Party City on Sunday and it was closed. CLOSED? Only just over a month until Halloween and they aren't open on Sunday? Walmart wants $20 for three lousy cheap tombstones. Value Village wants $5.00 for one of those tombstones and it's used. The Dollar Store just has the same old. And on and on.....
 

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I think that Halloween is becoming a overlooked holiday for retailers. They seem to put their stuff out later in the season and when they do the selection isn't that great. I see Christmas stuff go up with the back to school stuff and Valentines days and Easter goes up right after Christmas. Halloween seems to go up anytime they feel like getting around to it in September. It seems that with Halloween there doesn't seem to be a rush to get it on the floor and when they do the good stuff is gone (if there even is any good stuff) and that's it. By mid October it's already gone or marked down in one small section at the back of the store. I do remember when stores like Spirit and other specialty Halloween stores opened late July or early August and you pretty much found anything you wanted there. Over the last few years it seems that all those stores carry is overpriced props and costumes. I'm tired of seeing the same light up skeleton strands that play the Saw theme or the dancing props.
There are still a few stores that seem to still carry unique stuff like Home Goods but you have to check them early and keep checking as they don't seem to put everything out at one times. Once September comes around your stuck with whats left. Yes this year is a disappointment because I noticed less Halloween merchandise in stores and less places even offering Halloween. Unless you look at Yankee Candle or Hallmark you wouldn't even know it was Halloween time at the mall. I think a lot of places are playing it safe with only offering "Fall" stuff this year.
Maybe Halloween is on the way out? Not only is it politically incorrect but people are so paranoid about poison in candy and letting their kids go TOTing without the SUV idling at the curb.
 

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Since this is my first Halloween really being a part of this community, I agree with most of you. It's all incredibly cheap, unimaginative, and to top it all of, ridiculously priced. I've started gaining the thinking of "I can build better for less than half the price", and I have more pride in displaying it because of my hard work. And as mentioned, everyone will wonder where I got it.

This really is a great hobby, or, excuse me, Lifestyle :)
 

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The Kitschiest Kitsch
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I don't like the glittery stuff, but a *little* glitter doesn't bother me. But I know what y'all mean. One day I was in Homegoods and I yelled out, louder than I thought, "WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE GLITTER ON IT?!" I think everyone in the store turned around at the commotion lol
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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No, Halloween is getting bigger every year. Things are a lot friendlier towards the Holiday than they were in the 90's and early 2000's.

People love it.

What we're seeing is economic - stores aren't investing in much new stuff because seasonal spending is down and retailers are cutting corners left and right. One of the first things a company cuts back on when they want to save a buck is design.
Therefore, fewer new products.
Stores simply recycle last year's stuff.

Only Christmas is considered semi-safe, and even that can suffer when consumer confidence is down.

So don't get caught up in the doom and gloom. Just because a small town turns it into a socio-political football every now and then doesn't mean it isn't popular, and the poison/powdered glass/razorblade urban legends are dying off.

I remember entire neighborhoods dark and quiet on Halloween because of the Satanic Panic in the late 80's . I remember mile-long lines of kids shuffling around shopping malls for 'safe candy'. I remember every news station listing the nearest x-ray machine so treats could be scanned.
I remember when Halloween was half an aisle in the grocery store, plastic masks and bags of candy.

Halloween is doing fine.
 

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Maybe Halloween is on the way out?
To the contrary, reports say that Halloween continues to grow in popularity each year (especially among adults). Regarding stores' offerings, I think that it depends more on the quality of an area and, also, the managers, who ultimately decide when the items go out.

Some of the stores actually exceeded my expectations, but I am a bit disappointed overall (very much so regarding Kmart, Walmart, and Meijer).
 

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Another thing that bothers me is the duplication of what's out there. Walgreen's came out with a decent low-priced skeleton then everyone started carrying them; now they're all Poseys. This year everywhere you go you see the banjo players, the creepy dolls (I know, not new), short butlers, and some others that I can't think of right now. Once someone finds a good seller everyone sells them. If you've been to one store you've pretty much been to them all (with the occasional specialty, that everyone else will have next year).
 

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Kitchen/Green Witch
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Lol, I was just having a conversation on Facebook with some people about the ridiculous amounts of glittered Halloween items this year. It's never been this bad with all the glitter! Some indoor decorative items can look nice with a TOUCH of glitter, I have seen some I thought were nice on occasion, but I tend to not buy it because it just gets all over the place! You don't even have to touch it...just looking at it or being in close proximity to the item gets glitter all over you, lol. If they must add glitter, why can't they seal it somehow so the glitter doesn't come off?? I mean, really? No one has thought of sealing it before selling it?? Seriously, though, the majority of Halloween decorations do not even need glitter, lol. It's supposed to be creepy and spooky, for cryin' out loud!
 
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