Oct 19, 2020

Halloween Web - Change the Color Toys

It's artist week for Halloween Web interviews!
Our first one may be someone you recognize...

Thanks for coming by, please tell the folks about yourself.

Hey! I’m Nikki aka @change_the_color_toys on Instagram. I’ve dabbled in many creative avenues over the years - graphic design, gallery work, illustration - but currently becoming increasing obsessed with custom toys. A year ago, I dove headfirst into the toy collecting community and it’s starting to intertwine with my artsy background. I’m currently writing and illustrating a series of children’s books, which I hope to accompany with toys of the characters, much like Wuzzles back in the day. 

How was Halloween for you growing up?

Halloween in Bucks County PA, a suburb about an hour from Philly, was incredible and much like that in the movies. Our development flowed into three or four other large developments of single homes spaced out just enough you could conquer 100 homes or more running lawn to lawn. Only a few houses were “black-outs” unlike today where it seems that’s more popular where we are now. Booooo! (thumbs down boo, not scary boo). The neighborhood crawled with kids of all ages for hours. There was always the Raisin House, although my favorite was the Soda House! By the time we got around to the swankier neighborhood, the homes were larger and the lawns became wider to cross. You get pretty thirsty sprinting from house to house for a few hours, so a lukewarm Acme soda was just the best thing ever. 

Do you have any special Halloween memories?

I was lucky enough to have a whole crew of girlfriends my age all within 2-5 houses from mine but when I was about 4 (the new kid on the block), I hadn’t gathered a trick-or-treatin crew. It was just me and my dad. Our own street was long and by the time we’d gotten to the top, we reached the house on the cross street that had set up a few dummies during the month of October. Obviously we passed the house coming and going and I knew the dummy scarecrow and clown or whatever it was that was set up. So I went up to the door while my dad waited at the street...but it was the ole bait-and-switch. I reached for the candy and one of the damn dummies came alive and scared the crap outta me. I’m pretty sure that was the last house for the night but I had a full bucket anyway, so all good. Now that I’m a “growns-up”, I copied that idea and set myself up as a dummy on our driveway alongside a few real stuffed ones. As a kid, this is cruel, but as an adult it is such a freaking delight to scare munchkins (and some wussy teenagers). 

What about favorite costumes?

I was costumed from less than a year old til a few years after college but as an adult, haven’t dressed up much. I still was dressing up even in High School. Out of our class of about 700 kids, I was one of three dorks who still participated. I don’t think it was even made clear if we were allowed or not. I was Lisa Simpson senior year, of course. My mom stitched almost all our costumes but E.T. as an 8 month old was pretty dope.

How do you celebrate Halloween today?

Our fam decorates the house and we take my daughter trick-or-treating. Nothing crazy compared to the days of bar-hopping in costumes down Main Street in Manayunk back in the day… Nowadays, I usually dress up as a skeleton and stay home to give out candy. My husband takes my daughter around. Did you know you can hang out with your neighbors and drink beer and give out candy while scaring little kids?! And I thought Halloween was great when I was young!

Do you have any must watch movies or specials for the season?

Movies - yes! Obsessed with Hocus Pocus. My daughter is 7 and even though she’s outgrown Curious George, I still make her watch the Halloween special every year. #guiltypleasure

What is it about Halloween that makes it special?

For a lot of us, I think it is the nostalgia of the magic that is Halloween night (and possibly Mischief Night as well) as a child. Ever go back visit an old school? One of your reactions is probably ‘this is much smaller than I remember!’ As a child, experiences seem more intense and epic so all the fun and terror and thrill during the Halloween season is exponentially penetrating. It’s a visceral holiday as well. Itchy hayrides, sweaty costumes, candy bellyaches. For me, the thrill of running around town with friends in the dark, anonymously, whew - can’t beat it! I mean, I guess this could have been any other night if I wasn’t a nerd.

Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was Laffy taffy.

My favorite thing to get was 100 Grand

My favorite monster cereal is uh, cereal is my jam but never had any monster cereals! Does Lucky Charms count…? Leprechauns are creepy…

A monster-sized thanks to Nikki for chatting with us today. 
Please check her art on Instagram @change_the_color_toys

Click the image below to see all the participating Countdown bloggers!

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