I'm a Halloween grinch; I confess! If there's a festival/celebration/call it what you will, that's been totally hijacked, it's Halloween. I loathe it and I will NOT be putting a carved pumpkin outside my door so that other people's kids can knock on it begging for sweets!
However, I appreciate I'm very much in the minority and that there are lots of kiddies and grown-ups, up and down the land, who are getting very excited at the prospect of dressing up and going out Trick or Treating.
Clintons - yes, the 'card people' - sent us a few of their Halloween bits and pieces which we duly handed over to one of our PlayPennies parents to try out.
Pretty Witch Costume
Aren't Halloween witches supposed to be ugly old hags? That's what I always thought, just goes to show how out of touch I am with Halloween! Luckily for us, Tracy is much more clued up on ugly hagness, or lack thereof.
The Clintons Pretty Witch costume retails for £4.99 and comes with a skirt, top, and a witch's hat. The hat is plain black and didn't impress Tanya much at all.
"The point on the hat does stay up but not as well as I'd like, it tends to flop down as you move and walk. Not only that," she continues, "it's...boring! There's no colour or sparkle in it at all."
The costume comes in three parts - hat, top and skirt - and Tanya goes on to reveal that the skirt is made from a similar canvas type material as the hat; the base skirt is black and is covered with brightly coloured layers of netting.
"The top is VERY thin. The fabric so thin that if you sent your child out in this she would get hypothermia," says Tanya, and recommends that you put a long-sleeved top on underneath.
We always look forward to Tanya's reviews as we know she's going to really put everything though its paces.
"I pulled at the sleeves on the top, really hard, to see if they would break. There as a bit of a cracking noise but the stitching withstood my yanking it around," she reveals.
Tanya also put the Pretty Witch costume in the wash, even though there weren't any washing instuctions; it survived well and didn't seem any the worse for the laundry ordeal.
We asked her to give us some plus and minus points, here's what she says:
- Good price for a full witchy costume
- Good quality withstanding yanking, pulling and washing at 40 degrees
- You can mix and match it with things in your existing wardrobe (like long-sleeved tops!)
- I have bought more exciting costumes for the same price before - like a flashing one from Woolworths for £5
- Boring hat
Clintons Neon Pumpkin Bucket
Clintons Neon Pumpkin Buckets come in green, orange and yellow and cost £2.99. A face is 'carved' on the front and they also have a handle.
They can be used for storing your child's sweetie Trick or Treating sweetie haul in or, if you're throwing a Halloween party, for presenting food and drink in.
"My pumpkin bucket is orange and I LOVE it," enthuses Tanya, "I think it's a decent price for a big bucket that will hold plenty of sweets dished out when trick or treating."
Typically, Tanya wasn't content with that so she filled the bucket with fruit to see how it coped with heavy loads.
"The handle stayed attached," she says, "although I wouldn't recommend doing this on the day as it's not really designed for this. I do, however, think it will cope with carrying sweets only for years to come."
Ever forward thinking, Tanya also took the Halloween Pumpkin Bucket to the beach; she wanted to see if the smiley face would translate onto the sand. "It sort of did," she tells us, "and just shows that while you will spend £3 on the day, you can still use the bucket during the year for other things."
Tanya's Pumpkin Bucket Pluses
- Big enough to take the sweets dished out on the day
- Great colour choices
- Average to fair price point
- Can use it as decoration and for going out trick or treating
- Love the face
- Lots and lots of fun and has the child attention grabbing factor
Tanya's Pumpkin Bucket Minuses
- Not the strongest bucket in the world, so don't overfill it with heavy things
- When all is said and done, it's still plastic tat.
Clintons Vampire Blood
"Cheap as chips and tastes disgusting, I warn you now!" was Tanya's opening gambit for the Vampire Blood. "If you pour this over your face and mouth be prepared with some chewing gum to hide the flavour."
Apart from tasting foul, Tanya tells us that, as fake blood goes, it's okay, "I used this when I dressed up as a zombie the other day [as you do!] and found that, compared with the other fake blood I was given, it was actually rather good. It isn't the quality you'll find on a movie set of course. It is a bit too red and watery for that. However, if you are in a badly lit room (like I was) it has a rather horrific effect that I loved. "
The Vampire Blood costs 99 pence and sets fast on your face. If it sets fast, does it wash off fast?! Can you imagine going into work the next day looking like you've just drained the office junior of all their blood!
"It says it washes off," Tanya reveals, "It promises you that it will. But we all walked around with strange red stripes on our faces for about two days. This stuff STAINS!"
How badly it stains your skin depends, apparently, on your skin type. Tanya's face was red for two days whereas her husband only looked like a blood-sucking freak for one.
"It does wash out, just not very fast," Tanya continues, "I tested some other fake blood too and it would appear that this stuff will stain regardless of the brand."
- Dries fast
- Only costs 99 pence
- Is better than some other fake bloods
- Doesn't wash off quickly
- Tastes VILE!
There are lots of other Halloween bits and pieces available at Clintons - costumes for adults, costumes for kids, costume accessories, party things and even Halloween cards!
When did people start sending cards for Halloween?! Mind you, when did a bright lime green Borat Mankini become remotely Halloweeney?
If you're a fan of commercial Halloween, however, then Clintons looks to be a reasonably priced one-stop-shop for all your spooky needs.