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Monster Korner Vintage Hobby Shop

on September 23, 2008 - 11:48pm

gumball machine prizes
I was playing around on flickr when I came across toyranch's account. It's a fun collection of vintage (1940ish-1980ish) toys and ads of monsters and Halloween. For example, there is an entire album dedicated to monster gumball toys (pictured right).

There are two other pictures that caught my eye (more, actually, but these were my favourites). Scanned from the Amazing Figure Modeler Magazine (issue #38, to be precise), here's a photograph that makes me wish I could step back in time. The caption beneath it reads:

Rich Palmer ran the nation's largest volume hobby shop in Parsippany, New Jersey. Aurora hired him to organize its Monster Customizing Contest in 1964. Aurora received national television attention when the CBS Evening News visited his shop. Walter Cronkite and Palmer held a conversation in the "Monster Korner" of the store. Big Frankie occupies the top shelf in the Monster Korner.

My Board Game "Soul Snatcher"

on September 22, 2008 - 1:23pm


A few years ago, I created a board game to play at one of my parties. It's acrylic paint on canvas (3 feet x 2 feet).

I made the playing cards to be shaped like toe tags, and even made little simple figurines to use as player pieces (these are currently in a box in the basement, so no pictures right now, sorry). I'll probably pull it out this year for my party.

In case anyone wanted a closer look of any of the pictures posted, I've uploaded larger images as well. Just click on the image you want to see and a bigger picture will load in a new window.

Zombies in Condoland

on September 21, 2008 - 9:45pm


At sundown on October 4th, a Toronto condominium construction site is being taken over by zombies. And you can be a part of it.

Modern zombies are mindless monsters who are undead: neither dead nor alive. They travel in groups, hungry for humans. People who are bitten are infected and transformed into zombies themselves. Because they are dead, zombies look terrible, and usually move slowly and awkwardly. They are incapable of communication, and have no individual personalities. Zombies are metaphorically associated with the working class and consumers.

Condos are apartments, some luxurious, which are rising in popularity in major North American cities. Some can be found in convenient clusters, often in areas which artists and other less wealthy groups have helped to establish as safe and/or hip. People who can afford the expensive housing units are flocking to condos in droves, like zombies.

The Creative Genius of Dave the Dead

on September 19, 2008 - 1:46pm

Lawrence
When it comes to haunters, I have a small group of personal favourites. Of those few, there are only a handful whom I would say I admire. Dave the Dead would make that short list.

I pause when I call him a haunter, because really Dave is an artist. His approach to monster making is unique and his attention to detail should be envied. He starts with the most basic materials and lovingly turns them into creatures to be coveted by ghoulies like me. Lawrence, to the left, is a perfect example of this.

Dave can be found on Haunt Forum where he inspires everyone who stumbles across his work. You can do a search for all his posts to find his 'How-To's and attempt to recreate his masterpieces.

If you already hate him for his talent, let me give you more fodder for the fire. Dave is very supportive of other haunters, giving advice to anyone on the forum who asks. He also donates some of his projects to groups in his local community. And he's humble about his talent. Jerk.

Russian Politicians Seek to Ban Halloween

on September 19, 2008 - 11:02am

Russian Flag
When Canadian politicians spend time and money on issues that seem irrelevant, I always think they have too much time on their hands and have lost their sense of purpose. Not sure if banning Halloween and Valentine's Day would be considered high priority in Russia, but I'm going to assume there are more pressing issues that should be dealt with.

An article from USA Today reports that:

The State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, will consider a measure this month to guard students from what the government considers destructive Western influences, such as the two festive celebrations that are growing more popular in Russia.

Nothing Says Halloween Like SLÄTTHULT

on September 17, 2008 - 6:42pm

Picture Frames
Not that I needed another excuse to shop at IKEA, but on my last trip to the great Swedish empire I found these: a collection of peel and stick picture frames.

I'd seen it on CityTV being promoted as a 'back-to-school' item, but wasn't really paying attention. It wasn't until I saw it in person that I recognized the potential for haunters.

It's a flat peel and stick item. You place your picture on the wall with the frame over top. When you're done, you simply peel it off (leaving no holes in the wall as opposed to using real picture frames). Not sure if prolonged use will take paint off or leave a residue, but it seems fairly harmless. Will let you know after Halloween this year.

You get over 20 full frames and a smattering of the corner sets in a package (that's less than a dollar a frame). The largest one is almost 2 feet in length and they all are very beautiful.

Tick Tock Goes the Halloween Clock

on September 16, 2008 - 4:40pm

13 hour clock
How I wish there were 13 hours in a day, at least at this time of year. I'm behind, ladies and gentlemen, and trying to make up for lost time.

I'm going to be adding a collection of articles in my Halloween Party Planning section. Hopefully, by the time October hits, all of you will be armed and ready to tackle the season.

The first article is "My Maniacal Money-Saving Manifesto". It details my shopping traditions while I share some tips for when you're out and ready to drop some cash on items for Halloween. The second is based on an earlier blog post about how to store your props.

Homage to Peekaboo Plant

on September 14, 2008 - 1:09am


They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. If this is true, I am humbled by the flattery that has come as a result of my Peek-A-Boo Plant prop.

The first came from KellieG on Haunt Forum. She used ivy leaves for her plant.

The second (seen later in this post) can be found on Haunt Space by Spookymulder76.

I think they are just great, and I love seeing someone else's interpretation of the same item.

If you have done your own version of Peek-A-Boo, I would love to know about it. Send me a picture or a link and (with your permission) I will add it to this post.

And hey, let me know if you happen to spot one too! Added Sept 17th 2008: by ghost37.

Vintage Halloween Noisemakers

on September 13, 2008 - 10:11pm


While strolling through the web, I came across a Vintage Halloween website with some lovely examples of old fashioned Halloween noisemakers. I thought some of my readers might enjoy them as well.

I have a fondness for vintage items, but haven't begun collecting them (beyond some items made in that style), but at some point (when I'm not spending my money on prop building and current decorations) I hope to have a proper set of vintage items.

If you follow the link at the top of this post, they give a simple example of how to make your own.

Meeting Alton Brown

on September 11, 2008 - 8:58pm


Earlier this year, Alton Brown was promoting his recent book for his "Feasting on Asphalt" series. An event was held in Atlanta where the cost of admission basically equalled the cost of the book (of which you got one copy), plus an hour Q & A session with Alton, and draws for door prizes.

I'm a big fan of Alton Brown (not so much of the American version of "Iron Chef" - the original Japanese show is superior), and was even more impressed when he signed the zombie cartoon of him I'd found online by Cheyenne Wright. Alton has a dark sarcasm that I instantly felt at ease with, and he was amused when presented with my print out.

I also walked away with a crazy Kershaw utility knife that I won (was a bit concerned about bringing that back across the border - for all my American readers, it's easy to bring knives/weapons into the States but not so much into Canada) and a "Good Eats" bandage dispenser (with G.E. bandages). All in all, a great time.

And now this image hangs on my office wall, framed.

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