Party Delights is the new Party Store in Romford, and had the good courtesy to put itself in the former site of another party store, so no one had to work out where the new shop was. It opened earlier this year and I’m not sure if it’s a chain store but it’s a really good party shop, it’s not excessively expensive either. The best way to describe being in it – you know in Toys ‘R’ Us where they have toys stacked form floor to ceiling and you stand there completely dwarfed by rows of toys and feel a little overwhelmed and a little excited? Same thing except with party hats. I wasn’t sure if they would have a problem with me taking pictures but thanks to the whole floor-to-ceiling thing they couldn’t see me anyway, actually that’s another nice thing about the shop, the privacy it’s layout affords you, if you’re a bit self-conscious about dressing up you can choose your shit in relative comfort, I like that, although it does mean that the shop isn’t exactly packed with costumers all the time, which is bad for shop really innit?
ANYway, PD (that’s it’s DJ name) had given over a whole isle (both sides) and a whole corner and end of isle to specifically Halloween stuff and they’ve actually had them up before October, I normally moan about this but I’ll let it slide with Party Delights, they’re a party shop, it’s all they do, this is their biggest time of year and it’s their livelihood, they’re allowed to jump the gun a little and make a bit of extra bunce, especially if it means they’ll stay open another year. Their Halloween isle is kind of like a walk deeper and deeper into the holiday, at the beginning it’s all cute and fun but by the corner its all blood stained organs and undead clowns.
For the Most Adorable Halloween!
Again I’m rather drawn to the cute Halloween stuff, I know some people don’t like it and think Halloween should be scary and scary only but I’ve come to see this stuff and entrance-level Halloween, Halloween
training wheels, you may be folding your arms and sucking your teeth at Party
Delight’s range of nonthreatening skeletons, friendly ghost, friendlier jack o’
lanterns and monsters who are really total sweeties but this shit is training
the next generation of Halloween fans, it’s making the next generation of us.
I hadn’t seen these before Party Delights opened but I am now a confirmed fan of Air Walkers, if like me you’d never heard of them before: they are foil balloons that go up to about four feet in height that when filled will float around the room like they’re just wandering around your birthday party and you can drag them around like a pet. I really want the Monster High one but buying a four foot inflatable teenager just looks too pervy – even for me. These are some of the Halloween edition Air Walkers featuring some super-cute Monsters Inc. style beasties that, yeah, I want to make friends with. Also pictured is a larger ‘SuperShape’ Balloon which I think are just off-brand Air Walkers. I took this just because I like ‘em but then – they had them walking around! I actually knelt down and patted the head of the little orange official Air Walker, he just looked so scared! As if he was running from the far end of the isle (and there was some scary shit down there, especially for cute monsters). The SuperShape Cycloposaur (my name) was also loose by all the Sexy Costumes looking way happy about being able to stand near so many pictures of so many scantily clad lovelies, I think he’s adorable.
The Tasteful Kids Arts ‘n’ Crafty Section
This is very much your high-end Halloween decorations shop, not pretending to be high-end like Asda or Wilkinson’s but actual good quality, very little costs under a fiver and all of it feels like it’ll last you a good few Halloweens. I took this just to show we’re progressing out of cute but now I look at it want to know – does that bag in the middle really contain a whole cartoon witch? How big is she? How old is she supposed to be? How did they fit it in there? Weird.
These Paper Lanterns just needed a closer shot. They’re just so…lovable. It’s like they’ve dressed up for Halloween themselves and are hanging around (pun?) hoping no one will notice they’re not Halloween decorations but only in disguise. I have zero use for them (other than to make them my gang of minions), seriously my ceilings are so hard drawing pins actually flee at the sight of them, but I really wish I did, I’d pay over a fiver for three conspicuous paper lanterns. I also like that whoever was in charge of the packing looked at the decorations to the Lantern Boyz’ right and thought ‘I have no fucking idea what these are’ and just called them ‘Fluffy Decorations’ and then bothered to put ‘Deluxe’ on top thinking “If I say they’re deluxe maybe more people will overlook that they have no idea what they are and buy ‘em anyway”
Día de Muertos
To signal that we’ve moved away from the kids and their McBool Pail idea of Halloween is an entire section dedicated to Day of the Dead themed crap (you can also see their wall of Halloween costumes for hire in the background there). No one celebrates Day of the Dead over here, not even the clubs (because it’s shares a day with Halloween) but its art and name have absolutely become a fad and I am thoroughly sick of it. I have been completely overexposed and I want it to all fuck off and die in a hole. Well almost all of it, I want all those party plates and napkin and things, just for everyday use.
The Orange Section
Acting as a bridge between ‘suitable for everyone’ and ‘only for Rob Zombie fans’ is this whole section themed around Jack O’Lanterns! Anything and everything that could possibly be made in neon orange is seemingly here including – OH YEAH! – pumpkin rubbish bags! I have been so jealous of how easy it is for you Americans to get pumpkin trash bags and now we have multiple local retailers stocking them! Local baby, no being put off of getting some because I have to ponce a lift to a garden centre, I can get a bus to these rubbish bag! Also here are a bunch of Pumpkin Decorating Kits but these are glorified stickers, nowhere near as cool as Asda’s 3d plastic Pumpkin Push-Ons kits, though I would like to combine the wings from these with said set for the full Mr Potato Head effect.
The Skeleton Section!
The Plastic Skeleton Connoisseur approves! Even if they do in fact not include any plastic skeletons, but this is now the ADULT section and ADULTS like severed limbs, not 50p rubber skeletons. What I found…
alarming pleasing sexy
life-affirming noteworthy is most of
the people I know would wear the clothes on sale in this section as normal
clothes – there are girls I’d know who would drool a puddle over that Black
& Bone jacket and petticoat dress and I wish I was skinny enough to pull
off that Black & Bone hooded top mid-way down. Also you want to know the
difference between Slutty version and Sexy versions costume-wise, it’s here –
this shit is sexy, THIS shit is slutty:
We start with the legitimately creepy shit now, there’s still the odd bit of fun with the cartoon haunted house table displays and the comedy labels for your mixers but it’s outweighed by the unnerving, this is where the people who take Halloween Party decorations seriously (like me) can start to look for things to really set the mood for shitting up their guests. That plastic 3D relief disturbs me, it’s not even that realistic it’s just freaky, it looks like an undead Rolling Stone is coming out to get me - but it’s nowhere near as terrifying as the CLOWN MORPH SUIT! What sort of sadist would make such a thing? Think of the children! Think of my nightmares!
Carnival of Souls
Who would make a clown morph suit? Clearly the same set of fuckers who’ve made ALL OF THIS. On a serious note the Evil Carnival themed line seems to be the big new range this year for party shops and I couldn’t be happier, it’s easily the best stuff in THIS shop and some of the best items I’ve seen around town, certainly the best quality. Few things are as guaranteed to unnerve people as clowns and few things give a scarier ambiance and old, dilapidated and haunted circuses and fun fairs, taking the haunted and associative aspects of a haunted house and mixing it with corrupted images from childhood - it just works. And it makes me genuinely sad that I’m not holding one of my big Halloween bashes this year (it’s been so long…) because this is the sort of Halloween party theming I fantasize about being able to use for such events, instead I’m doing a small-scale Halloween gathering with a tacky theme this year and that means I won’t be able to use any of this wonderful stuff. Yes I am stroking the screen. Also I may have been hasty last post by saying that Wilkinson’s toilet sticker was the best I’d seen, the clown one is just horrifying and far, far more realistic.
Obligatory Zombie Section
I’m so sick of zombies, but immensely popular they remain and I can’t fault Party Delights for giving over a whole section to them, especially after they gave sections to skeletons and evil carnivals. If you’re under the assumption that the Zombie obsession had passed then I present the above photo – notice it’s the only section with stuff sold out? This was all in stock less than a working week before I took this picture aaaaaand some of this stuff is so good even someone as fed up with zombies as me wants to plaster it all over his house: the window and door decorations especially – look at those zombies peering through the blinds or the smashed in door (about centre) and tell me your sphincter doesn’t tighten just a little bit.
And as we reach the end of the isle all pretence, shame, and good taste is gone and we have blood covered horrible shit – although this is far more juvenile than the rest it is certainly very horrific, in fact if you could almost be accused of trying too hard if you went with this section alone. Everything’s blood stained, everything implies multiple homicides have happened in every room in your house, everything is pretty damn spiffy really. And the foam body parts and organs are REALLY selling well, I’ve actually used these before and can vouch for their effectiveness, though you might need some extra blood (we did) – because I’m sure you care about my stamp of approval on fake organs but if you do (and you should, fuckers) you have it.
I didn’t take any pictures of the corner of costumes (well except the one with the blow-up dinosaur in it, I think that’s made my priorities in life clear) because I honestly couldn’t give a shit and even if I could I would have been burnt out by a corridor of ever-more-disturbing Halloween decorations. Rest assured though they had a fuckton of them, ranging from terrifying to tasteful to revealing to sexy to slutty to just fucking inappropriate for that age (Slutty Versions Costumes for tweenies, ick). Oh no, I tell a lie, I did take a picture of one costume – because it was the cutest thing in Romford and you should look at it and go ‘aww’ any time you feel sad:
And I’m done for the day; you can go for a pee now – but watch out for clowns obviously.