As preparations continue, we realized we had a shortage of skeletons this year. (I’m not really sure how that happened, as I seem to keep adding to the bone pile year after year.)
So Gabe and I hit the stores (well, those still open after 8PM) to find some. We didn’t fare all that well.
Its not entirely unexpected, given the economic state of so many of us, that we jsut aren’t buying and so stores just aren’t supplying. Its a really telling tale going down the halloween isles of your favorite stores. About all you can find is candy and kids costumes. Decorations? Rather sparse.
This year its expected that consumers will only shell out the bare minimum for the holiday. Candy to pass out, and costumes for the little ones.
Walmart’s selection is just sad. What they do have is rather overpriced (with the exception of one item i’ll get to in a minute) for the quality it is.
Target, usually my savior in these things, has a better selection but its still rather scaled back from years past. At least their price-points are more inline with what I’m willing to pay for the quality of the goods. It’s clear their buyers did a better job than Walmart’s, as they managed to get some quality stuff at a price people would actually afford in the current market. In fact there is a couple of things I think I’m going to have to head back for next payday.
They had some skeletons, but they were too large for our purposes (we need smaller ones for the tree of the dead). So no luck there, though I did find this guy:
(Sorry, my cell has issues with lighting… so the detail isn’t all there… he has a rather draconic visage, so naturally I had to have him.)
We’re looking around about to leave and Gabe asks “Is there anything you see you can’t live without?”
Of course I’m standing next to this guy, so I put my hand on him. A slight roll of the eyes and some comment about needing another Gargoyle like I need another hole in my head… but he loves me and let me make the buy… provided I allowed him to use it in the graveyard outside. Deal!
What can I say… this one wanted to come home with me. Assuming he can devise adequate security, I’m thinking I’m going to be placing a lot of the gargoyles outside this year, on the porch’s railing. (We’re a little concerned, especially in these desperate times, of people walking off with the cool things we have on display…but I just happen to live with a home security and life safety engineer, so I’m going to be well covered.)
Discouraged we grabbed dinner at In-N-Out before hitting up some drug stores on the way home. Finally found what we wanted at the Walgreens. Though the bone color is a little off though. Looks like we’ll need some antiquing gel to fix them up to their proper horrific conditions.
Of all the places we went too, Walgreens’ selection is the most comparable to what they had in seasons past, although even they have scaled down a bit. Where they used to have a descent selection of lights, its now all candy. Overall, a lot less shelf-space devoted to the things I spend my dollars on for Halloween. (I don’t know why, but costuming is always so last minute for me.)
We did get home to discover a bit of a surprise in one of the acquisitions we made along the way. I try to expand my animatronics each year with a new piece, but these are a tad pricey and I’ve been resigned to not being able to grow that the past couple of years. The one thing I found at Walmart was this winged reaper (truly an angel of death). We were talking on the way home and given the quality of the similar items on display, felt it was priced close to right, but slightly more expensive than it should have been. Seemed like a $15 item, not a $20 one. Well, I was wrong. I knew it lit up and made noise, what I didn’t realize is it also moved. (It’s also appears to be a bit higher-quality fabric than its companions on the display shelf.)
So I got to add a new animatronics to the mix this year after all, and at a real bargain. Any other year, I’d have expected to pay at least $40 on something like this thing.
I’m hoping to get some video of things this year to post, so I’ll try and make a point of filming him.
If you’re in the market for decor, though, don’t waste time on Walmart (unless you want a winged reaper). Target has a few nice things reasonably priced, but in general the pickings are slim this year.