Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Countdown to Halloween: Sainsbury's Does Halloween

Sainsbury’s can usually be relied on to put a good dollop of effort into Halloween, turning their seasonal isle orange for the month of October and stocking a fine range of tat. I don’t know if it really is a good seller for ‘em or one of the top brass as Sainsbury’s is just a particularly large Halloween fan and has been abusing their power to make sure us Halloween nuts are well catered for, I kinda want it to be the latter. This year is not an exception to the rule, though I was a little disheartened to see that the very end of the seasonal isle is filed with Christmas stuff already (I LOVE Christmas but it’s fucking October, can’t we have Halloween and Bonfire Night first? Are you really going to lose that significant an amount of sales if you don’t’ get the Chrissy stuff out ‘til November 6th?) but to make up for that they hung a giant fluffy spider above the self-service tills:

That makes up for a lot of things, actually. So anyway, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Cheap Shit
I have no idea what the logic in this stuff is, it’s not like Halloween party bags are a thing – they’re not right? I mean we haven’t turned Halloween into another gift-giving holiday have we? Please say we haven’t? OK, hopefully Halloween party bags are not a thing so I question the logic in making party bag-like items in Halloween flavours but given how half-empty these boxes always are they must sell well, maybe just the desire in adults and children alike to simply own Halloween themed cheap shit outweighs any logic? Or for £1 parents can shut their grabby little brats up with a rubber bat or a plastic skeleton – speaking of which Sainsbury’s has some great plastic skeletons this year, you can see them on the second row from the top? There’s some translucent ones and then some that come in Hot Green, Hot Pink and Glow-in-the-Dark, I did think £1 was a bit expensive but I am happy to accept the argument that ‘nothing is too expensive for a hot pink/green skeleton’ .

Cute Shit
Sainsbury’s, despite being a supermarket aimed at families, actually has a surprisingly low amount of training wheel Halloween items this year, just this small section sandwiched between the cheap crap and the costumes, and most of it less ‘cutesy’ and more ‘cartoony’. I’m particularly fond of the HUGE eyes, and no they’re not anything other than HUGE eyes, they’re just HUGE eyes you hang up your wall so you can have HUGE eyes staring at your Halloween guests. They’re so wonderfully pointless and yet so wonderfully necessary for all Halloween hallways, they’re also sparkly. A lot of the Soft Toys were really tempting, even for a tenner each (I’ll remind you that’s two-thirds of a life-size plastic skeleton in Wilkinson’s), the ghosts and pumpkins especially reminding me of the toys that’d I’d get at Halloween when I was wee, so why didn’t I buy them? Well other than me having way too many soft toys for a heterosexual adult male they played… Let’s Twist Again. Y’know the Chubby Checker song? Let’s twist again, like we did last sum-mah? That one? Wanna know something about Let’s Twist Again? It’s not scary! It’s not spooky! It’s not all-together ooky! It’s not a Halloween song in any way, shape or form. Now the toys do spin but so what? They’re ghosts and pumpkins first, spinning toys second surely and are you telling me you couldn’t afford to licence Monster Mash, Zombie Dance or the fucking Ghostbusters theme? If these’d played Monster Mash it’d’ve bought one of each.

Elite Shit
Sparkly and ‘tasteful’ stuff for the sort of moms who own Pandora jewellery and have every room themed and furnished from Ikea; this ‘tasteful bling’ shit does nothing for me and never will – it’s not ‘tasteful’ it’s gaudy and the glitter gets everywhere.  HOWEVER the bottom row somewhat saves this section, black candelabras are rarely a bad thing and those are some great lanterns, when lit they project giant spiders onto the walls, sadly at least one of my friends is a horrendous arachnophobe and while everyone deserves a good scare on Halloween giant shadow spiders would be less ‘a good scare’ and more ‘ending in a referral to an institute’ so I decided to forgo purchasing them, I decided to forego purchasing the candles next to them because they looked to damn edible and I wouldn’t’ve been able to control myself.

Fluffy Shit
Look how adorable they are! Trick or treating becomes the happiest pastime this winter with Fluff O’ Lantern the delighted bag of joy.

Party Shit
Something I haven’t gone into yet, but I have an endearing fondness for party supplies – paper plates, napkins, cups, etc. it’s totally because it takes me back to my childhood and anything that reminds of a time when I wasn’t ill and thus depressed all the time is a welcome thing. I don’t collect it anything (though so do, and fair play to ‘em) it just makes me momentarily happy when I see it – and as I usually see it in supermarkets – which are boring, cold, sterile and filled with people – that little moment of happiness is even more welcome. Everyone’s doing the Halloween party stuff this year and as someone who’s held parties for 30-50 people they’re really useful in practice even if there aren’t any kids around. Also in this shot are Halloween crackers (why?), a Halloween chips ‘n dip bowl that I did in fact wear as a sombrero while in the shop and an inflatable pumpkin drinks cooler – I’ve ssen a couple of these around and something I haven’t gone into yet but I have an endearing fondness for inflatable toys, sadly I don’t drink and I felt spending between £8 and £15 to keep my lemonade cool for one night was a big excessive.

Awesome Shit
Sainsbury’s clearly believes in saving the best ‘till last. Though their awesome shit levels are nowhere close to Wilkinson’s they do have enough that I’d not sure where to start, no I’m kidding I know exactly where to start, Halloween Wreaths:

This is a thing now? Or did Sainsbury’s just decide to see if they could make a few quid by repurposing some Christmas items? I hope this is a thing, and a thing that catches on, not because it really has much in the way of ties to the Samhain traditions of old but just because I like wreaths – they mix Christmas and funeral and that appeals to me – the eyeball arrangement is particularly snazzy don’t you think? It’s like something the denizens of Halloween Town would make. What next, oh yeah – HALLOWEEN GNOMES:

The price of these put me off a little, I had a feeling that the novelty of a Halloween gnome would wear sooner than would be acceptable after spending £7 on one, but HALLOWEEN GNOMES!! They’re so precious. I’m not sure I understand any of the thought process that went into green-lighting these (unless it was simply ‘HALLOWEEN GNOMES! SO CUTE!) and I don’t think Sainsbury’s has sold a single of them (because they’re £7, if they were a fiver I’d’ve bought one) but HALLOWEEN GNOMES!! 
And finally 20-odd inches of plastic skeleton – in a natty hat:

I don’t think I need say any more about this fellow, only that I want him on wheels so I can take him around as my small person-sized travelling buddy.  Also the green hand there - that spins and plays a tune, again not sure what the thought process was in creating it (“what else can we put this mechanism in?” maybe?) but whoever had said thought process is a mad genius.

Just Shit
This upsets me on so many levels; I didn’t know you could make something that was this obnoxious for something as awesome as Halloween.

And that’s our tour of the Halloween isle of a supermarket, our FIFTH tour of such a place, I hope this isn’t becoming repetitive and/or boring – nah, what could be boring about reading about stuff you can’t buy in another country to where you live – if you existed. 

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