Okay, who wants the realistically sized gummy frog’s legs…


By Shawn Robare



I was planning on holding back any Halloween commentary until October when I’m going to go temporarily insane and try and post at least once every day during the month. Heck, most of the stores around here, even though they started putting up Halloween stuff in August, have mostly only begun stocking candy, but after I saw this product on an end-cap at Target I just couldn’t help myself…



First off, Holy Crap! I have never seen a piece of gummy candy quite this big or quite this unique. This Mad Lab Frog Dissection Kit is part of the Target distributed branding this year, which is using the main characters from the Edgar and Ellen book series to push their Halloween products (at least a section of their candy.) I was pretty impressed with a lot of the Target specific candy last year, and this year is no exception, though I’m not so sure about using a set of established characters in the branding.

So what’s inside the package?



The set comes complete with a super large gummy toad (which judging from the acrid smell wafting up it’s probably green apple flavored), a package of gummy flies (I assume to be placed in the stomach of the frog, which I’ll talk about more in a minute), a plastic scalpel (read orange plastic picnic knife), and a pair of plastic tweezers. So, just how big is the frog gummy?



When I picked this set up I was hoping that the frog was solid, much in the same way that I hope all of the chocolate bunnies are solid during every Easter season, and like the bunnies, it was far from solid. Honestly, I don’t think I’d really want a solid gummy the size of my hand, but some disturbing part of me can’t help wishing it were. Actually, what would have been really cool was is there was a separate section that filled the body cavity that had all sorts of organs and stuff (much like the similar at home fake frog dissection kits you can buy and make), but instead we get a package of gummy flies to insert in the hole, so I guess that’s just as cool. Actually, the only thing that would really have put this set over the top as the coolest gummy ever would have been the inclusion of a packet of like cherry flavored sauce so that kids (ahem, cough, and me) could pretend that it was a big bloody mess of a dissection. Sure, real dissection frogs don’t have blood, but this is Halloween after all.

The set sells for $5, and is part of a Lab themed section of candy products including plastic beakers full of pixie dust, test tube sets with liquid and dust candy, and a few other odds and ends. I think there is even a stuffed ‘Pet’ from the character branding that has his one eye full of candy. Here’s a close-up of the characters…



This is actually the mark of an interesting (and kind of sad) sort of Halloween candy evolution. Products like this are meant for the immediate family, and certainly not for sharing with kids that come trick or treating, which has for the most part been the focus of the Halloween candy industry for years. It seems that the one main observation I’ve heard over and over for the last few years is that less and less kids seem to be out trick-or-treating, and it’s certainly been the case in the various places I’ve lived over the past 10 years. I think I’ve gotten a total of 5 kids at the door since my wife and moved in together back in 2001, though granted we live in an apartment complex. I think my friend, who lives in a pretty nice are in a decent sized neighborhood has also seen a decline in kids coming by.

So I guess what I’m getting at is that it seems like there might be a shift in the way the holiday is celebrated, possibly moving more towards Christmas or Easter, or maybe even something in the realm of a birthday party, only with less getting older and more dressing up and eating candy. Is this the future of Halloween? Private parties for kids like the ones adults tend to hold? No more roaming the streets at dusk with pillowcases of candy, no more lazy folks who feel obligated to leave a bowl of candy outside of their dark houses, no more gutters overflowing with unwanted apples and the husks of smashed jack-o-lanterns? Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but I still have to wonder…

  • Jay

    Truer words were never spoken Shawn. Halloween has gotten so much different over the years. Even before 9/11 I noticed a huge decline in how many people come to trick or treat. The world is a much more paranoid place now. How much fun did we have as kids during Halloween?