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if we're not willing to pay much, all we're going to get is the low quality stuff we're complaining about. businesses will buy what gets them the best profit margins, and the cheap stuff gives a bigger margin even when it's discounted 90%. they can buy it for pennies and sell it for 400x what they bought it for, and we'll buy it, because even if it's $3, if they bought it for $.03/10 units, they're making a good profit. a normal pricing formula for something retail is (supplies + labor) x (2 to 2.5) = wholesale ; wholesale x (2 to 20+) for retail.
they're making a logical business decision.
No, the thing is, these stores are not selling things for haunters. They are selling things for people with more money than time and skill. That's typically not us. That's people who are having a party and will throw all of this stuff away on November 1.
 

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that's true, but how many people, realistically, are haunters versus the ones who have a party and are done?
probably not a big percentage of the population. they're offering what will sell.
 

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I usually pick up a few smaller props but thought some were actually really cool. Pirate ship, Cagey the Clown, Looming Laura. I do modify them to my liking by adding mouth movement and different voices. Some of these voices are just plain cringeworthy. It is really surprising how you can change a prop buy just changing the voice.

I did not like any of the bigger Spirit props and never have.
 

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Tis the Season that we have dozens of posts regarding Halloween merchandise so I thought I would add one more. After making the rounds to the Halloween specialty stores, the big box stores and a few smaller one's I must say I was completely, totally, utterly and undeniably disappointed in the Halloween merchandise that was available for sale this year. Usually Spirit, Home Depot or Michaels (I expect advertising checks from each of you) have a few new pieces that are interesting and new. Or at the very least they completely ripped-off, mass produced, branded and packaged based on what a home haunter created the year before. I guess they are running out of ideas to “steal” (I mean borrow). Did anyone else notice the lack of creatively new stuff available this year?
 

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that's true, but how many people, realistically, are haunters versus the ones who have a party and are done?
probably not a big percentage of the population. they're offering what will sell.
Exactly. And you can only buy what someone makes.

I’m not thrilled with the majority of merchandise out there but according to my Visa bill I CLEARLY didn’t have issues buying. I did manage to get quite a few props even though I swore I was done.

I think I’m going to land on with this topic... was I absolutely thrilled with this year’s offerings in general? No. But, I’m happy items are on shelves cause a lot of those items sparked more google searches and ideas which helped me either make my own or manipulate something else.
 

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Tis the Season that we have dozens of posts regarding Halloween merchandise so I thought I would add one more. After making the rounds to the Halloween specialty stores, the big box stores and a few smaller one's I must say I was completely, totally, utterly and undeniably disappointed in the Halloween merchandise that was available for sale this year. Usually Spirit, Home Depot or Michaels (I expect advertising checks from each of you) have a few new pieces that are interesting and new. Or at the very least they completely ripped-off, mass produced, branded and packaged based on what a home haunter created the year before. I guess they are running out of ideas to “steal” (I mean borrow). Did anyone else notice the lack of creatively new stuff available this year?
 

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I'd like to see more traditional Halloween themed merchandise like Dracula, Frankenstein, werewolves, black cats, Freddy Kruger, Chucky, Headless Horseman, Bride of Frankie, etc. I really don't understand Target's skeleton DJ, all the skelly animals, dragons and unicorns. To me, those items just don't scream Halloween.
 

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I'd like to see more traditional Halloween themed merchandise like Dracula, Frankenstein, werewolves, black cats, Freddy Kruger, Chucky, Headless Horseman, Bride of Frankie, etc. I really don't understand Target's skeleton DJ, all the skelly animals, dragons and unicorns. To me, those items just don't scream Halloween.
It’s so funny you say this and being a traditional Halloween lover it’s all witches and Frankenstein and such.

It is not that I don’t appreciate the DJ. In a way I do. Can you imagine that monster mash atmosfx, some fog and a disco ball in a garage with that DJ? I bet some little ones would be dancing along with it.
 

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Tis the Season that we have dozens of posts regarding Halloween merchandise so I thought I would add one more. After making the rounds to the Halloween specialty stores, the big box stores and a few smaller one's I must say I was completely, totally, utterly and undeniably disappointed in the Halloween merchandise that was available for sale this year. Usually Spirit, Home Depot or Michaels (I expect advertising checks from each of you) have a few new pieces that are interesting and new. Or at the very least they completely ripped-off, mass produced, branded and packaged based on what a home haunter created the year before. I guess they are running out of ideas to “steal” (I mean borrow). Did anyone else notice the lack of creatively new stuff available this year?
Agree! I haven’t seen anything this year that has “blown me away”. Although, I usually try to steer clear of the mainstream stuff and diy as much as possible. Only when I’m in a time crunch or just can’t seem to get the look I’m after do I resort to purchasing decor or costumes from a big box store. (Of coarse basics like fog machines and skeletons are a must!) I enjoy crafting though so Halloween is my excuse to release all my creativity at once! 🤯🤪 I enjoy sites like this for inspiration. (Although some of you are beyond my abilities...Wonderful work!) Thanks everyone for sharing ideas.
 

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I've also noticed a smaller quantity of items that stores have as well.
My Home Depot only has 1/2 the floor space as they usually have and only a dozen tops of each item.
Skeletons will be sold out pretty soon I bet.
Unless they are holding stock off the floor but I don't think they've ever done that before.
Lowes even less (and they put out all their Christmas stuff on the same day).
Big Lots only a small shelving unit....
Target last year had very little and what they had was all small and childish.
It's been getting less and less each year.
Maybe online buying might be making up for it?
 

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All this merchandise seems like a relatively recent thing. Since I was little, the fun of halloween was coming up with stuff yourself. Back then it seems like there just wasn't a lot of stuff available mass market. It's nice you can now get a decent skeleton for less than an arm and a leg, but most of the stuff just doesn't seem worth it, and I've passed on getting it year after year. I find the stuff people make themselves much more inspiring, so I welcome the merchandise disappointment; get out there and make something better.
 

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It's nice you can now get a decent skeleton for less than an arm and a leg...
I see what you did there.... :LOL: :LOL:

Yeah, as a kid in the 70s/80s I wouldn't have EVER seen a skeleton in a store unless it was a medical supply place, science class or the doctor.

My biggest complaint is that we now have to share shelf space with Christmas. Even if you aren't a haunter, if you're a "normal" you have to buy the stuff now or it won't be here come October 1. At many stores they'd skip Halloween & go right to Christmas if they could but there is some money to be made off Halloween so they can't.

I understand that Christmas makes more money, but it's still a bummer. I'm always telling my "normal" friends that if you don't buy some of that stuff before October you won't find it again or you will pay a premium for it.
 

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I bought a prop from Spirit Halloween and gave her a top to bottom makeover View attachment 720722 View attachment 720722
...
It never occurred to me before but with a bit of black eyeliner, and maybe some white paint depending on the actual skin tone you could easily turn her into the Grudge Girl.

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I've also noticed a smaller quantity of items that stores have as well.
My Home Depot only has 1/2 the floor space as they usually have and only a dozen tops of each item.
Skeletons will be sold out pretty soon I bet.
Unless they are holding stock off the floor but I don't think they've ever done that before.
Lowes even less (and they put out all their Christmas stuff on the same day).
Big Lots only a small shelving unit....
Target last year had very little and what they had was all small and childish.
It's been getting less and less each year.
Maybe online buying might be making up for it?
I noticed somewhat the opposite.

Home Depot had about the same amount of floor space as usual. Not sure about number of stock. The shelves were full. No idea if that was all their stock.

My Lowes actually devoted more floor space then they have in the last several years.

Big Lots - None anywhere near me.

Target was still stocking but that was the same experience as yours. Practically nothing. Costumes hadn't been stocked yet so maybe they will put more out?

Walmart - The same as target. Next to nothing. They were still setting up as well, but that was my "once every 6 months" trip there, so by the time I get back there it will be almost spring.
 

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I'd like to see more traditional Halloween themed merchandise like Dracula, Frankenstein, werewolves, black cats, Freddy Kruger, Chucky, Headless Horseman, Bride of Frankie, etc. I really don't understand Target's skeleton DJ, all the skelly animals, dragons and unicorns. To me, those items just don't scream Halloween.
I thought the same thing with Big Lots' CB. Who thought that was a good idea? Who thought that ridiculous haunted computer at Target was worth making? I shake my head at most things you see in stores anymore. I don't mind the skeletons because at least they're in the ballpark, but it seems that if you can paint something orange or black, it's suddenly Halloween. No thanks.
 

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I've also noticed a smaller quantity of items that stores have as well.
My Home Depot only has 1/2 the floor space as they usually have and only a dozen tops of each item.
Skeletons will be sold out pretty soon I bet.
Unless they are holding stock off the floor but I don't think they've ever done that before.
Lowes even less (and they put out all their Christmas stuff on the same day).
Big Lots only a small shelving unit....
Target last year had very little and what they had was all small and childish.
It's been getting less and less each year.
Maybe online buying might be making up for it?
Not sure where you are, but here that's just not the case. Home Depot has exactly as much space for Halloween, they use the exact same part of the store every year and it's full. Same with Lowes. In fact, I'd argue that they have more inflatables this year than ever before. And the skeletons at both HD and Lowes are already sold out. Big Lots has two entire aisles of Halloween, same as always. Target has a huge spread and even though I wasn't interested in any of it, it's there. My Walmart is small so it's only a single aisle of stuff, but other, bigger Walmarts have half-a-dozen aisles. A lot of it is costumes, but what do you expect? You sell what people want.

There's the same, or maybe even more floor space devoted to it every year. The props are getting bigger every year. I don't know what to tell you.
 

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All this merchandise seems like a relatively recent thing. Since I was little, the fun of halloween was coming up with stuff yourself. Back then it seems like there just wasn't a lot of stuff available mass market. It's nice you can now get a decent skeleton for less than an arm and a leg, but most of the stuff just doesn't seem worth it, and I've passed on getting it year after year. I find the stuff people make themselves much more inspiring, so I welcome the merchandise disappointment; get out there and make something better.
I agree but there was what I call a "golden age" of Halloween merchandise around 10 years ago.
All stores were jam packed with costumes, lights, figures.
Target and Walmart had so much after stock I could browse for a few weeks after Halloween had ended and I was able to find stuff to use. (I know, stores never want excess inventory)
Party stores devoted half their space to Halloween costumes and accessories.
There were other temporary Halloween specialty stores that sprung up like Spirit that have never returned.
Walgreens and even CVS has some interesting selections.
Home Depot and Lowes really hadn't jumped in on the action yet.

I understand that every company went lean during the recession and online shopping has taken off since then too but I was like a kid in a candy store back then. Now it's a little disappointing.

On the other hand there have been some really good innovations and changes.
I love the led lights now, especially the spotlights. I used to have those large and usually hard to find red and green spotlights that got really hot and were bulky and I had to strategically place in my yard, now I have dozens of cheap led spotlights all over the place even hanging up by wire and tape.
Less power use too. I tripled my lights and I'm not even close to tripping a circuit like I was before.
Skeleton prices are way down. 10 years ago they were $80 $90... now $25 or $35 (now with lights in the eyes and they fold up nice!).
A lot of costume masks now are fantastic, better fitting, jaws move, eyes are covered with one way black fabric....
I hate inflatables but even those are pretty good lately.
Not technically Halloween but also waterproof bluetooth speakers that can be placed anywhere for creepy sounds and music in the yard.
Lots of good higher quality clothing online now too. I think the popularity of GoT, Cosplay, Renaissance festivals, Vikings shows and the like have helped with that.
 

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Not only am I disappointed in the lack of new things, but in the quality of the things they carry. Is it just me or do things seem more cheaply made this year? I haven't dug out my 3 foot skeleton yet that I bought after Halloween in 2017, but I swear it was a bit wider than the 3 footers out now. I know I had to replace the head of the one I bought in 2017 because it was too small and just didn't look normal with the rest of the body. It looked more like a shrunken head. But this year the small heads don't look quite so abnormal to me and they are still tiny heads.

I don't usually buy any of the animatronic props as I can build my own for less and have them last longer. But I do like to buy some of the skellies and lights and other small decor. Most of the small decor currently out is stuff that I already have and don't need more. Not much selection in the lighting as well and I will wait until things go on sale to buy more skellies. Not going to pay full price for poorer quality.
We noticed that the quality was REALLY down on everyone's skellys this year. Not as detailed. One item that we do think is A+ is the headless butler that we bought at Spirit. I'd say he's above average for animatronics that we've purchased from there in the past.
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