Sunday, September 7, 2014

The 2014 Holidaze Halloween Countdown!

It's the Most.. Wonderful Time.. of the Year!!

Welcome to the 2014 Holidaze Halloween Countdown!  Yes, believe it or not, it is that time of year and I'm more than ready to let the Fall season take over.  While many of you are already having Summer withdrawals, I'm over here waiting for the temperature to drop.  While many of you may be thinking it's too early for Halloween, I'm over here starting even later than I did last year.  In 2013, Yummy Mummy had already made his Holidaze debut and the countdown was well underway.  But this year, I got a late jump and have already missed out on a few days of what I consider the two-months of Halloween.  In part, I blame that on the extended Summer we're having in New Jersey, but it's also due to work and real-life getting in the way.  If you remember, I had the same issues last year and it hindered our celebration.  However, this year, I can promise you that The Holidaze will be updated regularly and we will, together, take this season to new heights.

When I first launched The Holidaze in 2011, it was a way of sharing my likes and interests with all of you.  In the beginning, I barely logged more than 10 readers a day and I'm pretty sure they were all family members who felt bad for me.  I didn't know what I was doing, but I wanted to connect with like-minded people.  I'd always been a huge fan of Halloween and all that comes with it, but there weren't many others in my life who shared the same passion.  After reading so many other related blogs, especially X-Entertainment, I learned that there was no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed for being a grown guy who just so happens to love Halloween candy, limited-edition food, holiday scents, spooky music, or haunted houses.  I realized there were thousands, if not millions, of people out there who shared my enthusiasm for these things and I wanted to connect with them.

In 2014, I've expanded stats and have been able to do just that.  No, The Holidaze isn't the greatest site on the Internet.  It's not making any money or breaking records, but that's not what it's for, anyway.  I never launched The Holidaze in hopes of finding internet stardom, I simply wanted to enjoy the 'daze with those of you who were in it with me.  If I can have my articles and art shared along the way, then even
better.  That's why I'm excited about the 2014 Halloween Countdown. 
We're going to have a lot of fun!

When it comes to what I write about, you're usually going to see the same on other sites and, even I'll admit, it may be more informative or entertaining elsewhere.  That comes with the blogging territory.  But what I plan on doing is separating myself through the use of creativity.  To bring my small portion to the Halloween dinner table, I'll attempt to do what I did with The Holidaze HI-C Horror Boxes.  Those seemed to make many of you Horror fans happy and, in turn, I couldn't have been any more pleased.  This year?  I have a few ideas in mind and, if given the time, I think many of you will be entertained.  In addition to the typical candy / food / event posts that you're used to, I'll also be bringing you The Holidaze Horror POP's! inspired by the Funko Pop! line of vinyl figures.  In a perfect world, I'll post one on every day of October but, until then, here's the first character!

Billy Loomis - Scream

Scream is one of my all-time favorite Horror movies.  I've seen it close to, if not over, 100 times since 1996.  No matter how many times I watch it, I never get bored because it never gets old.  While Ghostface is the selling point and goes down as the "killer," the original man behind the mask, Billy Loomis, is one of my favorite horror villains.  The part was played so incredibly well and the visuals made for beautifully horrific imagery.  So, to kick-off the Holidaze Horror POPs!, I wanted to feature Loomis in his infamous bloody t-shirt and feathered arm.  Although by this point in the movie he was slinging a shotgun, I decided to go with his iconic "Ghostface" knife.  While I'm not the greatest digital illustrator, I do think this line of art work with bring you enjoyment, get your imagination rolling, and possibly lead to even better designs and, hey, maybe even a few new characters in the actual Funko POP! line!

This Halloween, I'm looking to be more interactive to increase my connection with readers and social media followers.  While the blog is fun and it's where the meat of my countdown will take place, I've really taken advantage of Twitter and Instagram to increase activity and enhance the experience.  This October, I invite you to take The Holidaze Halloween Instagram Challenge!  For 31 days, simply post a photo on Instagram relating to the daily topic.  It's quick, it's fun, and it's simple.  I've seen many photo challenges online, but wanted to design my own to truly grasp the full range of Halloween.  This welcomes you to think outside the box, share your favorite moments, get personal, be creative, and dabble in various aspects of Halloween.  With this one, it's not just all about Horror, but the season itself.  So even though I'll be reposting this image as we draw closer to October, here's a heads up!  Start thinking!

What else can you expect this year on The Holidaze Halloween Countdown?  How about a contest!?  That's right, for the first time ever, I'll be featuring the first contest in Holidaze history and it'll be for that glorious piece of cloth and plastic you see above - NECA 8-Bit Jason inspired by his appearance in the NES video game, Friday the 13th.  How I'll be giving this $30 figure away has yet to be determined, but it WILL be happening and it won't be long before Jason can be yours.  In fact, this may be one of many contests taking place this year so stay tuned to The Holidaze for further details, especially @Holidazeblog on Twitter and @Holidazeblog on Instagram!

But, of course, The Holidaze would be nothing without our meat and potatoes - the seasonal products!  While I don't think 2014 will top 2013 in terms of what we find on store shelves, I do believe we're going to come close and certainly beat out the years prior to Frute Brute's return.  I've already seen so many amazing products with more yet to be found.  Target, as usual, is later than usual in my neck of the woods, but I'm sure that will turn around, soon.  In the meantime, let's wrap this Holidaze Halloween Countdown intro up in traditional form with an orange and white bow!

When it comes to Halloween, there's nothing that makes me happier than seeing companies go the extra mile in terms of promotion.  What makes this season so special is the novelty that comes with it.  During any other time of year, so many of these things are ignored.  When was the last time you bought a bag of Hershey's candy?  I can tell you it hasn't been since Christmas, for me.  I'm just not interested in traditional chocolate, especially when it's not worth writing about.  In a nutshell, it simply doesn't put me in a "daze."  But during the months of September and October, everything changes.  The ordinary becomes extraordinary.  The boring products put on their Halloween costumes in an attempt to seek our attention and trick-or-treat for money.  It's traditional business, but when done right, it can be completely new, every time.  This year, Hershey's hits a home run with Hershey's Candy Corn!

This time of year, everything is pretty much flavored one of three things - pumpkin spice, caramel apple, or candy corn.  Now, if you think that upsets me, you're sorely mistaken.  Those three flavors signify the beginning of Fall and the end of Summer.  Out with bathing suits and in with sweatpants.  Out with t-shirts and in with hoodies.  So long leaves, it's time for you to fall and crunch beneath my feet.  Oh yeah, so much of what I love arrives with the return of those three flavors and I couldn't be happier with what Hershey's has done with this new candy.  The white bag and stripes of candy corn coloring stands out much more than you'd think.  On shelves, it separates itself from the other bags of candy and screams Halloween.  Reese's Pumpkins have their place, but that place is no longer first.  Hershey's Candy Corn is looking to take the throne!

The bag states that this isn't white chocolate, but actually "Candy Corn Creme."  That alone would have been more than enough for me, but Hershey's didn't stop there.  Oh no, they took things even further and decided to add in candy bits!  Now, I can't be sure if these are Candy Corn bits or simply just candy, but they sure as hell look like Candy Corn and, in appearance, these things are beautiful for that very reason.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of white chocolate so I'm happy to read these are supposedly different.  The proof is in the taste, but I think I'm already sold.

Absolutely delicious!  The flavor is very unique and quite different than what I expected.  It still has a hint of white chocolate flavoring, but its strays from what I traditionally remember and leans much more toward Candy Corn than anything else.  In addition, it kinda tastes like cupcake icing.  The good thing about that is it must be Candy Corn flavored cupcake icing.  It's creamy, it's soft, and it's great.  The candy bits are still unknown, but I really think they're tiny pieces of Candy Corn and that's what I'm sticking to.  That would only make sense and that's what I taste so I'm just gonna go on record and say these Candy Corn candies are filled with Candy Corn bits.  But either way, these are perfect for the season.  There have been many Candy Corn flavored products over the years, but this one takes the championship title.  We're only one day into the countdown and, already, we're finding winners.  That's a great sign!

We have a long two months ahead of us and I'll do my best to bring you everything I can to enhance your Halloween experience.  The fun can come in many forms and I'll try to capture it all and bring it to you.  In return, do me the favor of watching that awesome intro video if you didn't already.  My cousin, Meghan Ianiro, edited the audio and footage to truly represent all of Halloween.  In addition, a wonderful voice over artist by the name of Jasen Anthony provided the thunderous voice over recording.  They're both amazing and I can't thank them enough for helping me kick off the countdown in style!  

Once again, welcome to The 2014 Holidaze Halloween Countdown!
Indulge, if you dare!!


  1. Loved the intro and super excited to see the Halloween countdown returning. I need to really get going with my Halloween product scouting here. The recent way-too-hot-when-is-this-humidity-going-to-end weather has really curtailed my Halloween shopping. That is all going to change this week though. First thing's first, I am looking for those Hershey candy corn bars (and I don't even like candy corn!) just an example of how much you can get into the spirit!

  2. Awesome job Cliff, looking forward to the rest of the Countdown!

  3. Great post to kick things off. Might just take up the Instagram Challenge, as well. Here's to a great Halloween Season ahead!

  4. I'm with you on the weather. It's been pretty hot here, too. It's finally starting to change, but I'd take another 10 degree drop for good measure! I appreciate your kind words and your continued support. You're one of the first Holidaze readers I had back in 2011 so I'm certainly grateful for your time and compliments :)

  5. Thanks, Joe! Definitely join in on the Instagram Challenge. I think it's going to be a fun one! Cheers!

  6. Much appreciated! As usual, thanks for reading and joining in the conversation!

  7. Ohh yeah I love everything about that film and the franchise! I actually watched Scream 2 today and it still holds up!

  8. I hope you cover all the movies in the countdown. Curious about your thoughts on 3 & 4.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...