Holiday Hodgepodge #2!

HEY: There’s a new feature up, highlighting fifteen treasures from the 1998 Sears Wish Book!

Another busy week lies ahead, but if the rumors are true, Dino Drac should be kicking the holidays into high gear by the end of it. I hope so, bruddah. You complete me.

Here’s another attempt to make up for lost time by cramming as much Christmas shit as possible into one entry. I have a feeling that I’ll be doing this a few more times between now and THE BIG DAY, so let’s go ahead and make that “Holiday Hodgepodge” title an officially recurring thing. Picture me pushing the button that makes it so.

This is Holiday Hodgepodge #2! The one with the red and green fish! I didn’t realize it while taking the photos, but everything here could be construed as “stocking stuffers.” If you’re slated to fill a giant sock by Christmas morning, keep these baubles in mind.

#1: Pepperidge Farm Holiday Goldfish.

Neither red and green “Holiday Goldfish” nor Pepperidge Farm’s adorable mini-cartons are new for 2012, but I think this is the first time they’ve ever been paired together. The results are outstanding, and the jury that is collectively me will never again accept a Christmas stocking that doesn’t include a tiny carton of red and green Goldfish.

Check out the fishy mascot on the carton’s side. He’s really proud of that hat. I’d be prouder of trailing a psychedelic rainbow of neon paint wherever I swam. The hat’s pretty tame compared to that.

#2: Batman.

It’s Batman, and nothing else. I know the weird “winter white” batsuit is impossible to ignore, but no, this really IS just “Batman.” Not “Arctic Blast Batman,” or “Weapons-Enhanced Winter Batman.” It drives me crazy, because the spot where they wrote “Batman” obviously had space for a more memorable name.

Target was selling similar Batman figures for Halloween, but that time, the highlighting was in orange. I actually prefer this bizarre Christmas version, which if not for the cybernetic additions could easily pass as Batman’s ghost.

Batman’s best feature is his cape. It’s all white and made from a pleasantly soft fabric — not that scratchy-sparkly shit most action figure capes make do with.

Batman’s worst feature? His legs. In strong contrast to his impressively muscly torso, Batman’s legs look like they belong to a sick, stunted camel that hasn’t eaten in four months. From the waist below, Batman is Sick Camelman.

#3: Icebreakers “Bubble Breeze” Ice Cubes.

I wish I’d found these earlier. It would’ve been natural to write about this gum and that Candy Cane Peppermint Eclipse at the same time. They’re obviously partners in crime, seeking to establish co-leadership of Christmas Stocking Kingdom.

I gushed pretty hard about the candy cane Eclipse, but this gum is even more striking. They’re Icebreakers Ice Cubes. Each piece is intended to represent a block of pink ice. Note the snowman on the wrapper, made from those very bricks. Quite possibly the best snowman to join Club Existence in a good ten years.

With the presentation being so great, I really don’t want to say anything bad about the flavor. I will say, however, that what’s essentially bubble gum mixed with minty gum is a bit of an acquired taste. By the time I got used to it, I didn’t have enough pieces left to recreate the snowman from the label. And that made me sooooo. Mad.

#4: WWE Squinkies, which don’t seem Christmassy but were sold in Target’s official Christmas aisle.

I thought Squinkies were kind of a dying fad, and maybe they are, but there sure are a lot of “stocking stuffer” two-packs out right now. Good ones, too, covering so many shows and movies, or as is the case with this one, pro-wrestlers.

I debated between the WWE two-pack and another starring Itchy and Scratchy, but in the end, I just couldn’t say no to a one inch Undertaker. They gave him a tiny little death hat and everything.

Also: I’ve long felt that if anyone could get away with inserting the word “duh” into their “small parts” warnings, it’s the makers of Squinkies. I’m unreasonably infuriated with the idea that buyers wouldn’t realize that without a written warning. Admittedly, my head is still way out of balance about not getting to make my gummy snowman.

#5: RoseArt’s Holiday Color Blanks.

I won’t make a big deal about this, because I already wrote a review of the extremely similar Halloween versions. RoseArt’s Christmas Color Blanks come in assortment of styles, or at least the two that I saw: This one, and another that looked like Santa.

Santa was neat, but you can’t blame me for choosing the guy with a present for a head.

You know the deal with these. Color them, toss a few stickers on, and brag brag brag. In under five minutes with diverted attention, here’s what I came up with:

Yeah, I got a little lazy. Thing is, it really isn’t easy to color a Color Blank’s body. It takes a long time, and it’s one of those processes that’s boring enough to feel like it’s taking ten times longer than it actually is.

I thought the stickers would help mask my uninspired coloring, and largely, they did. I am now the proud father of a gift-headed monster with a bell for a nose and a cheek that grows poinsettia. Go me, it’s my birthday.

If the previous five words survive the final edit, it means that I am dead.