Oct 3, 2015

Halloween 2015 LEGO Set 40122

Chances are you already know about the latest series of LEGO blind bag minifigs titled Monsters which is a glorious 16 figure set that is pure Halloween magic.

But did you know that LEGO stores usually carry an exclusive holiday set as well?

The set doesn't have an official name, but I'd say it's Trick or Treat! 
It has 133 pieces and retails for $9.99.

The pieces build two minifigs: a skeleton and a little girl dressed as a witch. There's also a spooky tree with a bat and a front door/porch area. It also has a few pumpkins, but sadly they have no faces. I think that would have added a little bit more Halloween to it.

Here's a slightly different shot of the house front. I'm not sure if the grave on the left is a Halloween decoration or if the family pet is buried there. Either way, it's a neat little touch to the "yard." It would be fun to have a little skeleton LEGO dog.

And here's a better look at the tree and trick or treater. The little girl is cute with her freckled face. Her torso is printed on the front and back which is something simple but is a nice touch.

For $10, you can't go wrong. If you're traveling to a LEGO store to pick this up, definitely snag a few of the Monster minifigs to hang out around the house too!

Before you run off to check out all the Cryptkeepers at Countdown to Halloween, don't forget today's Halloween Mix: Blood Suckers.

Oct 2, 2015

Halloween Web - Barbecue17

I had such a blast doing the Halloween Web series of interviews last year, I decided to resurrect them for another year. So here we are kicking off the 2nd Annual Halloween Web!

For the people that may not know you, tell us a little about yourself.

I'm Barbecue17 and I review action figures daily on my website ActionFigureBarbecue.com. I'm also a co-host of the Collection Agency Podcast on Geeks With Wives Radio along with my good friend, Brad Bell. I started writing about Halloween stuff on a former site I worked on, The Epic Review, which was part of the Countdown to Halloween in 2013 and 2014. You may also know me from the Confirmed Epic Podcast which lasted for around 40 some episodes.

What was Halloween like in your neighborhood as a kid? 

We moved quite a bit when I was a kid but my most vivid memories come from growing around Streamwood, IL. (kindergarten to grade school) and Hendersonville, TN (middle school through college). For me, holidays were always the most magical times of the year and for me, barring the religious significance of Christmas and Easter, Halloween was the most pure fun! While I was a bit of a scaredy kid who didn't watch a true horror movie until I was in 7th grade, I loved everything about Halloween and fall in general: Pumpkins, ghost stories, treats, and dressing up in costumes! My parents worked very, very hard to make Halloween as special as it could be and they absolutely indulged me. We carved and painted pumpkins galore! In Illinois where we lived there were multiple pumpkin farms and we'd go to each one. Multiple times. In a heartbeat my parents would take a Saturday and jump in the car with cups of apple cider and drive around to multiple pumpkin farms, go through haunted houses, listen to Halloween songs or ghost stories on cassette tapes, go to places like Six Flags: Fright Fest or the Halloween events at Opryland (RIP Opryland!) and overall just have a fun, spooky time. As I got a bit older and started to spend time hanging around with friends, I remember that my dad would happily come out and tell ghost stories in the front yard (one time he surprised us by actually dressing up as some menacing specter), host a Halloween party, or drive me and friends around to haunted houses (and sometimes driving us straight back home or to Blockbuster if we decided that "we didn't really want to spend the money" (were too afraid to go in!).

We'd also decorate our house as much as possible.Here's a great picture of the homemade Halloween display my parents and I made one year. My dad used to do a lot of wood working and he could easily crank out fake tombstones and stakes like nobody's business. We'd fill the yard with tons of crazy stuff! Heck, we'd actually drive around to look at people's Halloween decorations the same way that normal people drive around to look at Christmas lights (which we also did). While Halloween itself was always fun, it actually always paled somewhat in comparison to the amazing things my parents and I would do in preparation for it!

Do you have a particularly fond/funny/scary Halloween memory?

I do! One of the best things I remember was that not only could my parents be talked into almost any Halloween activity, but my grandparents could be as well. Here are some awesome tombstones my grandma helped me make as a little kid.

I also have a vivid memory of one year on Halloween that, before beginning Trick 'r Treating, my grandma dropped a new TMNT figure in my Trick 'R Treat bag (Mike, the Sewer Surfer, for those wondering). I also always loved the Halloween parades at my elementary school! Definitely my favorite day of the year to be in school!

Any favorite costumes from Halloweens past?

I always wanted to be heroes on Halloween and I can only think of about two or three years where I dressed as something scary. My personal favorites were my Ghostbusters costumes and my TMNT costumes.

What do you do to celebrate now, out in the real world?

Quite a bit! Now I have a two year old and It's vitally important for me that Halloween is as fun for her as it was for me (she just said Halloween for the first time today!). While she's still limited in what she can do we still go to pumpkin farms, corn mazes, and look at decorations at stores. I also make treks to haunted houses with any friends I can scare up. I also decorate as much as possible (as much as my wife will allow, actually). I still dress up for Trunk or Treat at my church and Trick 'r Treat with my little one. Heck, I dressed up every year before, too, just for fun! I also watch a steady diet of horror movies, read a ton of horror novels, and review lots of horror themed toys on my website!

Do you have any yearly rituals?

My biggest are that I must watch Halloween and Trick 'r Treat, I must carve a Jack O' lantern (and not blow him out until after midnight), and I must go to some sort of corn maze or haunted house. Oh, and I listen to Werewolves of London like nobody's business.

A friend and I also developed a new ritual a few years ago called Re-Halloween. He was having a rough year and Halloween just didn't work out for him, so we decided to redo it one week later. We pretended that the following Sunday was Halloween so we made sure to wish each other a Happy Re-Halloween, ate candy (that we bought on clearance), carved a Jack O' Lantern, and watched horror movies. Our Re-Halloween celebrations have been so successful that we're looking to launch Halloween this coming May 31st. Tell your friends! It's a real thing!

What do you think it is about Halloween that keeps it in our hearts as we get older?

To me, Halloween is the ultimate celebration of what it means to be a kid: It's about wearing funny costumes and pretending to be something you're not, and getting stuff that's taboo (boatloads of candy), and putting up tacky decoration, and of course it's about confronting your fears. When I walk out of a haunted house, or read a particularly scary novel or comic, or watch a horror movie, in so many ways I feel like a kid again. There's a sigh of relief that I've done something that challenged me a bit and that maybe, just maybe I couldn't have done the previous year.

Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was Raisins.

My favorite thing to get was Sixlets. The only time of the year I ever eat a Sixlet is Halloween night. They're usually all gone by November 1st.

Thanks for joining the festivities this year! Where can people find you online?

At actionfigurebarbecue.com and the Collection Agency Podcast.

Before you run off to check out all the Cryptkeepers at Countdown to Halloween, don't forget to grab today's audio treat - Full Moon: The Curse

Oct 1, 2015

Build-a-Bear Halloween

Welcome to October 1st, the Countdown to Halloween has begun!
Every post this month will have a special treat of a Halloween mix at the end of it, so be sure to stick around to the very end!

Weather permitting, I'll be at the annual Salem Haunted Happenings parade when this posts. There may or may not be photos at a later date. They never seem to come out well.

If you'd like to watch, it will live stream starting between 6-6:30pm Eastern.
Salem Parade Live Stream

To kick things off, I'm going to go over this year's Build-A-Bear Halloween offerings because they have knocked it right out of the park this year! They've had some great things in the past and the seasonal animals usually sell out by, if not before, mid-October.

But this year, they have three different animals!

First is the 16" cuddly zombie bear. He's still smiling even though he's missing an eye, a piece of an ear, and has stuffing coming out of him. On the right is the corresponding zombie costume (sold separately) which you could also use to dress up a non-zombie animal to look like they've been living on the streets.

 Next is the 16" Boo-riffic Bat with glow-in-the-dark ears. So cute!

A-oooooo! What's that? It's a pair of Werewolves! The 17" Howl-o-ween Werewolf is similar to last year's Moons-A-Glow Werewolf that I missed out on because I waited too long to get him. But Moons-A-Glow has been reincarnated this year into a smaller Build-A-Bear Buddy. As you might guess, both have glow-in-the-dark ears and feet.

If I get the larger Werewolf, I think I may have to get the Zombie costume for him to make him look like he recently transformed.

If for some reason none of these appeal to you, you could still get a Halloween outfit for any Build-A-Bear creation.

But if one of these seasonal spookies does appeal to you, I'd recommend getting them as soon as you can to make sure you don't miss out. Don't have a Build-A-Bear near you?
 Shop online!

Sadly, for me, this post was in no way sponsored by Build-A-Bear.

Before you run off to check out all the Cryptkeepers at Countdown to Halloween, here's the first of the audio Trick or Treat mixes called Score Returns.


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