Now that Labor Day has come and gone and the weather is starting to cool down, it's only a matter of time before the leaves fall to the ground and those awesome shops like Spirit Halloween and Halloween City start sprouting up all over the country. To me, there is nothing more glorious than a massive building filled with cheap plastic costumes, fake spiderwebs and rubber rats, and I think you'll agree that it just doesn't quite feel like Halloween until you've stepped foot inside one of those seasonal shops and walked out with a whole lot less money in your wallet. Blowing your rent money on giant inflatable lawn decorations and horrible looking Michael Myers masks is just a part of the annual Halloween experience, whether you like it or not.
Though a large portion of the inventory in those shops is recycled year after year, there are always exciting new additions added to the mix, just waiting for you to discover them and take them home. Today we peek into the crystal ball for a glimpse at ten of those new items that you'll soon be able to find at your local Halloween shop, including masks, decorations, costumes and accesories.
(Before we begin, it should be noted that you won't find any of Trick or Treat Studios' awesome 2013 mask offerings on this list, since we already covered those last month. If you missed that post, hit the link and check it out!)
If you're asking me, the most underrated mask in Jason Voorhees' collection is the burlap sack he wore in Friday the 13th Part 2, before Shelly gifted him with his iconic hockey mask in the following installment. Inspired by the 1976 film The Town That Dreaded Sundown, Jason's sack-head mask was quite a bit creepier than the one he became most known for wearing, and this officially licensed replica is going to be available this year. True, you could just cut up a cheap pillowcase and tie a rope around your neck, but I think it's pretty cool that we're finally getting this version of Jason's mask, after so many years of the hockey mask lining shelves. All you need is a pair of denim overalls and a blue plaid shirt to complete the look, and stand out from all the other Jasons in your town!
One of the more interesting horror films released this year was Texas Chainsaw 3D, a decades-later sequel to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre that was pretty much universally hated by horror fans. Personally, I dug it quite a bit, and despite its many flaws I appreciated it for bringing something different to the table. I was also a big fan of the new mask Leatherface rocked in the film, a gruesome bit of patchwork that he literally sewed directly onto his face. That mask gets the Halloween treatment this year, along with a complete Texas Chainsaw 3D costume, for both children and adults.
Though not officially licensed, these 'Smiling Woman' and 'Smiling Man' masks are quite clearly inspired by The Purge, another 2013 release that I was a big fan of. Though incredibly simple, the masks worn by the main villains were highly effective and creepy, the generic smiling faces taunting their victims with a false kindness that masked the pure evil underneath. If you want to put together an inexpensive Halloween costume this year, these masks are a great way to do it.
Probably the most memorable Kaiju in Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim was Knifehead, a badass shark-looking monster with four arms and a giant sharp nose, an appendage that could cut through Jaeger armor like a hot knife through butter. In addition to a couple of different Jaeger costumes, this year Rubie's Costume Company is putting out this Knifehead mask and gloves, allowing you to become the killer Kaiju. I'm not sure how you'd go about completing the costume, which is a daunting task to say the least, but the mask and gloves make for pretty cool display pieces, if nothing else.
Though I've got a lot of love for the cheaply made plastic Freddy Krueger gloves that have been hitting Halloween store shelves for the last several decades, there's no denying that they simply can no longer compete with the incredible gloves fans have been making for themselves of late, which look and feel like just those from the movies. I think it's safe to say that Morbid Enterprises understands that, which is why they decided to put a unique spin on the typical Freddy glove with this offering, inspired by the syringe glove seen in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. This is the first replica of that glove I've ever seen anyone make, and the company even put LED lights inside the syringes so that they glow. Makes ya want to get high, doesn't it?
Speaking of Freddy, this awesome prop also comes out this year from Morbid Enterprises, which just might be the coolest piece of Nightmare on Elm Street merchandise ever made. One of my personal favorite moments from the franchise was when Freddy was eating the 'soul pizza' in Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, a pie that featured human heads as meatball toppings. This incredible animated prop recreates that disgusting pizza pie and features both pulsating and sound effects. Click play on the video above to see it in action!
I'm not sure there's ever been a more badass zombie killer than The Walking Dead's Daryl Dixon, portrayed by the super-cool Norman Reedus. In one of his most badass moments, Daryl cut the ears off a couple of walkers in Season 2 of the show, fashioning them into a crude DIY necklace. Though none of us will ever be as cool as Daryl no matter how hard we try, this latex replica of the zombie necklace is a damn good place to start... and it's a perfect companion piece to the replica of Daryl's vest that will also hit stores this Halloween season. Here's to hoping we get Merle's knife-arm next year!
This Spirit Halloween Exclusive would not at all be out of place hanging up in Daryl Dixon's home: an animatronic wall-mounted zombie head that comes to life when it detects motion. As an animal lover, I've always been highly disturbed by the fact that hunters like to display the severed heads of their kills, but this is one piece of taxidermy I can get behind. Just keep your fingers away from this guy's mouth, because those chompers can keep on chomping, as long as the brain is still intact!
If you're hosting a Halloween party this year, chips and dip are as essential as pumpkin beer, spooky sounds and slutty costumes, and I can think of no cooler way to offer up those treats to your guests than with this two-piece server: a rotten corpse that's emerging from the dirt, not to feast on your friends' brains, but rather to allow them to scoop salsa out of his empty head cavity. See? Not all zombies are mean and nasty. This is another item that you'll only find at Spirit Halloween.
We round off the list with one of the only new costumes this year that caught my attention, inspired by the hit TV show American Horror Story. Though I've unsuccessfully tried to get into the show on several different occasions, I can't deny that the marketing imagery has always been impressive and attention-grabbing, and this awesome costume is inspired by the creepy nun from the second season. Unfortunately the costume doesn't include the mask, but blank white masks are easy to come by in Halloween shops, or you could even just go with white and black face paint to complete the look.
Which of these new items will you be picking up this year? Leave a comment below and let us know!