Target stores are dropping their Halloween goods this week, and by far my favorite items are the Ghoulish Garden monster plants. They are all teeth, tongues, and eyeballs and so darn eerie and delightful. They remind me somewhat of the singing flowers in the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland, or Audrey II from The Little Shop of Horrors. Sadly, they are all out stock around my stores and online so not sure if I'll get one this season but my stems are crossed and rooting for good luck.
Every year Target seems to screw over Halloween fans one way or another. They are the last retailer to put spooky goods on shelves and when stuff is finally available, it's rarely well-stocked. The shelves this year were Exceptionally (note the bold) sparse, with many items displayed on their site as "not available online" turning out to be not available in stores either.
For example, the Ghoulish Garden was advertised well in advance by Target and they even listed release dates on items. Fans across the internet chatted about these wicked plants and waited patiently for the items – to never show up in stores. When I contacted customer service a couple weeks after launch, they said the entire line was sold out. The management at the store I usually go to was very apologetic, indicated many irate customers and that corporate remained rather mum on the whole affair. So, it was poor planning and buying decisions. I took one look at those plants and knew they would be top sellers, but of course, they don't consult us Halloween experts.
If you really want a Ghoulish Garden plant, they are all available on eBay but prepare yourself for the ultimate shock. Some savvy entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the supply-demand issues and have listed these items at a 300–500% markup. Yup, the plant shown here that retails for $35 is currently listed at $75–$99. YIKES. That is certainly ghoulish.
I don't have a crystal ball (it was also sold out) but I'm certain these will make a second appearance next year. And if previous experience holds true, many other retailers will also jump on the bandwagon and offer their own wicked plants next year.