Saturday, October 12, 2013

Halloween Countdown: Cape Charles Fall Festival

Thanks to the weather, our original plans didn't work out today. Thankfully, Chelsea discovered that the town of Cape Charles was having a  fall festival today. We packed up the dog, made a little offering to the rain gods, and got on our way. It wasn't such a big festival, and was mainly situated in one building and a parking lot. All the businesses were open though, so we had plenty of places to stop in and look around. I was mainly looking for seasonal stuff, and I'm sad to report there really wasn't much in the way of fall or Halloween themed products or displays. The couple of things I did find though, more than made up for it.

This house was just down the street from the fall festival, and it's the only one I saw decorated for Halloween. And decorated it was. I hate to be a jerk, but I think the condition of the house only adds to the effect of the decorations. I don't know who lives there, but it looks like the kind of place my parents would drive by when they took me Trick or Treating. I like how they've draped the cobwebs over the bushes. I could almost believe they were made by real spiders. For all I know, they really were made by real spiders. That one spider to the right looks almost as big as some real ones I've seen around here.

Right out front we are told to "Keep Out!", and "Beware!". That all seems to contradict that happy skeleton next to the chair though. He looks like he's more than happy to entertain us, so why shouldn't we go in? I wish I could tell you what that thing is leaning against the chair, but I seriously have no idea. It's a Beaches sign, wearing part of a stocking, with a card that says "Kill" slid in there. As far as what's on the end of it, your guess is as good as mine. I got close enough to touch it, and I still couldn't guess what it was supposed to be. A murder weapon from a pumpkin massacre perhaps?

Over here we have more warning signs, as well as what appears to be a skull garden. Some folks have rock gardens, so why not? The tree is possessed by at least half a dozen spirits flying around here. I'm pretty sure the one in the back is a dog toy though. I wish I had inspected it a bit closer.

Further down the street, this old, abandoned storefront caught my eye. It looks like they're not quite finished yet, but I still think it looks great. I'll have to make the trip down here in a couple of weeks to see if they add more to it.

This is part of the display at the Cape Charles Coffee House. It actually caught me off guard, because a witch hanging out with her large pet crow was the last thing I expected to be starting out at me. I started looking around, and I realized they did both sides of the entrance.

This is the setup behind the witch, though I think they missed out by not making a fake fireplace with a monster coming out of it. Ooh..every year Sam Haim comes down your chimney to bring treats to the good kids, and tricks to the bad ones. I need to write that down somewhere. I'm still trying to figure out who the green head is from. It looks like it could be anything from a dead Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, or a zombie.

Speaking of Sam Haim, here he is in all his glory. He was hanging next to what appears to be a jack o' lantern wreath.

Here's the rest of the display from the other side of the entrance. It's interesting how they've decorated using fall and Halloween decorations. I guess that could be an evil scarecrow, but I doubt it. Of course, I might be wrong in assuming those are evil spirits back there. One thing I am sure about, that is one evil owl sitting in the front of that wagon. When have you ever seen an owl that black not be evil?

Make that a pitch black owl with red eyes. Yep, definitely evil. I'm also leaning more toward evil for the scarecrow as well. When in doubt, assume they're bad.

That's about it for this trip. I was a little disappointed there weren't more seasonal decorations to be seen, but then I don't think that was the point of the festival. At least it got us out of the house for a bit. I have another field trip in mind, but that isn't going to happen until next week at the earliest. Stay tuned..

Friday, October 11, 2013

Halloween Countdown: Lego Vampyre Hearse

Let me just get this out of the way; it really bugs me that Lego decided to spell it "Vampyre", rather than the way everyone has spelled it ever, "vampire".

That's the only nitpick I can really come up with on this thing. Otherwise, I'd would be willing to call this the perfect themed set. I'm particularly fond of the drapes on the back windows, as well as the oil lamps on either side of the cabin. I love the exaggerated proportions on this thing. They really give it a hot rod look. I wish I had captured it in a photo, but the car is set up to be able to pop a wheelie. The Vampyre needs to be able to move quickly in his search for the moonstone. Speaking of moonstone..

That's no hood ornament, that's the red moonstone! I really have no idea what that is, but apparently the monsters are trying to get their hands on all of them. I guess Vampyre isn't too concerned with losing his, because he's fastened the moonstone prominently on the front of his car. While we're at the front, would you look at the size of that engine! This hearse is definitely meant to move. It looks like a six femur engine. I'm not sure how that compares to a regular engine, but it has to be better. I can only assume that it runs on blood. That might explain why it has fangs on the front at least. Drive over one cow, and the tank's full.

The Vampyre hearse has a neat little action feature. Twist one of the blades on the side, and Vampyre's casket will raise up, lifting the roof.

Inside the casket is the man himself, the Vampyre. He has the classic Dracula look; nice suit, ruffled shirt, and slicked back hair. He also comes with a big ass sword. If you take the top off his casket and twist the blades on the side with enough vigor, he will fly across the room. It's a neat feature, but one that's hard to capture with the camera. Plus, the hearse tends to want to start to fall apart if you do it too many times in a row. The Vampyre has another neat little feature, that I almost forgot about...

His head glows in the dark. I didn't realize it until just a little while ago, when I noticed he had a bit of a green tint to him. He actually glows rather brightly, though he's a little small to light up a room.

Geez, I almost forgot about this too. The decal on the roof of the car glows in the dark as well. I like the looks of this one, but that line above its fangs makes it look like it has a goatee.

Who's that driving the hearse? Well, it was a zombie when I first put the set together, but I switched his and the daredevil's heads to make the Stunt Zombie. I think this guy just works better with the frightened look on his face. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be too enthusiastic about working for a guy that could decide to treat me like a cup of coffee at a moment's notice.

And who is this dapper gentleman with the bionic leg? Why, it's none other than Dr. Rodney Rathbone, and he's trying to get the moonstone back from Vampyre. He looks like he's ready for battle, with his jet powered motorcycle, sword, and dynamite. He's also wearing a stylish bowler hat, and has a smirk on his face that just dares anyone, living or undead, to try their luck. Dr. Rathbone may be a mere mortal, but I think Vampyre has met his match.

See what I mean? Vampyre is looking pretty stressed right now, as he should be. He's going up against a man that saw losing a leg as a chance to upgrade his body.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Halloween Countdown: Bloody Bites!

I shambled across these in my latest trip to Dollar General. They're plastic fangs packaged with packets of watermelon flavored "blood". 

I have to say, some of the dollar store candy makers are really upping their game when it comes to packaging. It used to be, you'd get a plain plastic bag, usually in orange or black, that would say something like "Halloween Mix" on the front. Now they're coming out with original creations, and adding some great artwork as well.

See what I mean? Looks like that green faced vampire is a bit of a sloppy eater. Either sexy lady vampire is much more careful with her food, or she hasn't had a chance to dig her fangs in yet.

Bloody Bites are distributed by a company called Bee International. However, for their Halloween candies, they've become ZomBee. If you look close enough, you can see that it's actually a zombified version of their usual logo. I also love their slogan, "Eating Brains Since 1970". I have to admire that they put so much effort in a detail people won't even notice.

Each pack contains a set of glow in the dark plastic teeth, and an oozing candy blood bag. Initially, I was under the impression that I was supposed to use the plastic teeth to bite into the blood bag, thereby releasing the candy into my mouth parts. It appears I was wrong, because I wasn't able to tear that bag with any amount of chewing. It goes without saying, I just had to give them a taste. I even filmed it so you can share in my pain.

I have a couple big things planned for the weekend, but it's only going to happen if the weather holds out. So keep your fingers crossed.

Oh, didn't I mention that the fangs glow in the dark?

Sweet dreams....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Countdown: A bad sign..

This is the last thing you want to see when the sun is going down, and you're still walking on a trail in the woods. There weren't any zombies this time, but next time I may not be so lucky..

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Halloween Countdown: Halloween Creative Dough

Dollar General has been my Halloween mecca this year. Where Wal-Mart and Rite-Aid have continued to let me down, DG has been there to lift up my spirits. It was on one of these days of disappointment that I found myself wandering through Dollar General's cramped aisles. I wasn't really looking for anything in particular, but then I came across this little bag of sunshine:

Holy carp! Check out the little blurb in the circle there. "15 x 1oz. cans of play dough". Play dough...Play-Doh..see what they did there? Regardless, that's a lotta dough. I can't remember the last time I saw Play-Doh release a Halloween themed pack. I'm not sure they ever have. Now that I think about it, I can't remember the last time I saw Play-Doh in a store. I guess that means Halloween Creative Dough, has the market all to itself.

I love how all the stuff on the front of the package actually uses figures and scenery made from the actual product. Then on the back, we get a few more ideas. I'm particularly fond of what appears to be a bunch of bones trapped inside a protoplasmic gingerbread man. That's not a bad rendition of Frankenstein's Monster, but it bothers me that the bolts are sticking out of his head. Weird..

I know the package says there were 15 cans, but when you finally get the bag open and spread them over a table top, you realize just how much dough is in there. They doubled up on the primary colors, so even though the set only includes 1 can of purple, you're given enough red and blue dough to make some more. Now if they could just find some way to allow you to separate the dough after the colors have been mixed..

Not only do the little guys around the side of the can look nifty, they're good for more ideas of what to do with your creative dough. I wish I had thought of that before I took all my photos and cleaned up everything last night, but now I know for next time. So, when it comes to crafting, I have what I like to call stupid fingers, so I recruited Chelsea to help me out. Here are a few of our creations.

This was the first one I tried. I was trying to get a feel for the dough, to see just how firm it was. Unfortunately, it seems a little softer than Play-Doh, so I wasn't going to try and get as detailed as the figures on the bag.  As for this guy, he's a round little green blob named Rodney. He has a prehensile tongue, and it's hard to tell, but it's actually standing up in this picture. If he appears worried, it's because he is. You see, Rodney's people's tongues are actually separate entities, and they've been known to just up and leave if they feel like it. Sometimes the tongue comes back, sometimes it doesn't. Rodney's been lucky so far, but it's a constant worry that he may wake up one day and taste nothing.

This is another one of mine. I call him Mr. Jangle, and he was supposed to be a skeleton. Sadly, he wasn't able to keep it together, and collapsed into a pile of bones. He's still a well dressed skull, and he refuses to go anywhere without his top hat. Also, for not having any skin, he as an amazing mustache.

This one is Chelsea's, and it appears to be a very surprised owl. Hmm..I didn't notice it before, but I think this owl has a beak and a mouth. Not anatomically accurate, but I'll allow it.

Here's another one from Chelsea. It's the one eyed, one horned, purple people eater. It's hard to tell, but I think he's a friendly fellow. He does look like he's ready to give somebody, anybody a great big hug. Even if it kills them.

Here's the last of Chelsea's creations. This time she went all out with a spooky scene. There's a pumpkin patch out in front, while the wolf howls at the moon from the hill in the distance. The bat silhouette was a particularly nice touch. There's one other detail in this one that I like:

That pumpkin is sporting a magnificent mustache.

The last one is my creation. He's a four legged alien named Brok. His race is closely related to our fiddler crabs, hence the reason why one of his arms is bigger than the other. The large yellow spot absorbs sunlight, meaning Brok doesn't actually need to eat to survive. That doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy a snack now and then. He's particularly fond of pistachio ice cream, but mainly because it's unnecessarily green.

So there you have it. The results\ of an hour's worth of arts and crafts. I hope you enjoyed the show.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Countdown- Brain Dead Zombies....That Grow!

Zombies have become insanely popular within the past 6 or 7 years. Between the hundreds of zombie movies, comics, novels, video games, and a hit tv show, they have invaded almost every sector of popular culture. There's even a new magazine that caters to the zombie apocalypse enthusiast. I enjoy a good zombie flick, but I draw the line at stockpiling actual food and ammo. Honestly, I was starting to get a little burnt out on zombies. When it comes to monsters, they don't quite have the panache as a Dracula or a Creature from the Black Lagoon. Then one day, I made a random trip into Dollar Tree and found this:

I was on my way out of the store, when I saw the card out of the corner of my eye. Most of the toys in the dollar stores look cheaper than they cost, and that includes their packaging as well. You're lucky if the toy makes it past the cash register before the plastic bubble starts peeling off the front, spilling your new action figure and all of its accessories on the candy shelves. But this little zombie, this looked legit. It's hard to believe that he only cost a buck ($1.05 w/tax).

Let's take a closer look at that cardback. Starting at the top, we have the yellow and black caution tape, a common sight in the world of zombies. Police are always taping up doors with the stuff, and curious people are always ripping it down so they can get a peek at the crime scene. Then zombies are ripping into their flesh because the people tore down the caution tape the police put up. Then the police have to put up more's a vicious cycle. Literally. In, the upper left corner we have a large, fresh brain, because zombies love them brains. Then we get down to the logo, and what a logo it is. "Brain Dead Zombies", with a suitably decaying "Zombies". I'm not sure we need the "Brain Dead" part of the title, since that's kinda what makes a zombie a zombie. Still, some folks take artistic license with what a zombie is supposed to be, so it's nice to know what kind we're dealing with here. We also get an arm thrusting up from the dirt, just to remind us that we're walking on dead people, everywhere, everyday. Sometimes they might get pissed off about that. After that, things get really interesting. "Grow a Zombie", it tells us. No exclamation points, no excitement. I would hesitate to call that a statement. It really comes off more like a command. I honestly believe it originally said "Grow a Zombie....Or Else". Right under there, a puzzling phrase, "Zombie Croissant". Wait, is this a figurine or a French pastry? The last item of note is the illustration of the zombie off to the left. It's actually a pretty good drawing, almost webcomic quality.

According to the package, this zombie will grow to 600% of its original size. I got really excited before I realized there's an important distinction between a percentage sign, and a multiplication sign. There go my hopes of having a zombie wingman for any Halloween party mixers.. See that little blurb to the right? The one that yells "Glows in the Dark!". Well, I didn't see it until just now. I've had this thing for over a month, and I completely blocked it out. I used to never care about things that would glow in the dark, but lately, I've become fascinated by things that glow. I bet you're curious to know what this thing looks like in the dark now, aren't you? I know I was..

This was after holding him over a light for a few seconds. Give it a couple of hours, and I bet he would light up a room. Charge him up after he finishes growing, and you can probably use him to read.

Okay, it's time to toss this sucker in some water, and start growing some zombie! When I ripped open the package, I was assaulted by the smell of mothballs. Random, I know, but there it is. This guy actually has some decent detail for what he is. It's hard to see some of the details on his arms and hands, but the face looks great. I especially love the bulging eye ball. You just know that thing is one stubbed toe away from popping out of his skull. You know, it actually reminds me of the old "Dawn of the Dead" poster.

It's not perfect, but I can see it. Going by the directions of the back of the card, the zombie will need at least 3 days of soaking for the best results. If we want the best results, it's going to take at least a week. So, pretty much the same as the Monster Eyeball from last year. Well, let's toss him in his new home for the next week, and see what happens.

Stay tuned..if you dare!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Halloween Countdown: Creepy Collectible cards

This will just be a quick post tonight. Don't look for a post first thing tomorrow, but there should be one by the afternoon.

These cards were part of the consolation prize I received from the Trash Man's second giveaway. After seeing how cool the consolation prize was, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll win the actual giveaway one of these days.

The Garbage Pail Kids were the only cards I was familiar with from my youth. I had a bunch of these cards stuck to my bedroom windows. I don't know where they came from, or who bought them for me, but I'm willing to be they're still stuck there today. I imagine they're a little sun bleached by now though. The cards pictured here a little tame compared to some of the one's I've seen in the past. The common theme on a lot of the cards was puke, pus, mucous and various other bodily fluids. I never really liked looking at them, which makes me wonder why I would have stuck them on my windows in the first place. My favorite out of this bunch has to be Salvatore Dolly, only because I always enjoy a good pun.

Next up, we have a pack of Dinosaurs Attack! cards. I had heard of Mars Attacks!, but I only found out about this series a few years ago. The cards tell the story of a group of scientists that discover a way to look back in time, and the first thing they do is peer back to the time of the dinosaurs. Apparently someone put a decimal point in the wrong place, because dinosaurs start materializing all over the planet. The dinos immediately start raising hell, plant eaters and carnivores alike. I wish they had made this series into a movie. It's like combining Jurassic Park with Night of the Living Dead. Except, the dinosaurs are still living. My favorite from this pack is the Nuptial Nightmare card, mainly because the back of it was a bloodstained wedding invitation. Crap, I should have taken a picture of that too.

This is my first time seeing the Weird Ball cards. I'm still trying to figure out the point of them, honestly. Some of them combine the sloppy puns and excess fluids of the Garbage Pail Kids with faces reminiscent of the Mad Balls. I liked Mad  Balls, and I kinda like GPK, but I'm not so sure they work well together.  As for my favorite from this pack, that honor has to go to Humugusaki. It's such an offensive character, that I doubt we would ever see anything like that released today.

So there you have it. A nice, short post about some creepy, disgusting trading cards. That's close enough for Halloween, right?
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