Dollar Stores are an amazing place. While they’ve been a blessing to many who have struggled based on the economy, they’re also a key source to items worth far, far less than a dollar – items you can’t find anywhere else. In my new column, Just A Buck, I’ll be showcasing a few of my favorite finds.
Would you be willing to spend a dollar to be the proud owner of items such as…
1. Inflatable Face Mask
Now, keep in mind that I didn’t bother looking at the back to see if this thing had straps that actually went around your face. My guess is that it doesn’t. Second question: What is this thing? A perfume bottle? A sumo wrestler? A planet?
Friends, I spent a solid 4 minutes staring at Inflatable Face Mask trying to figure this out. I was almost tempted to buy it just to try and answer this question in the sanctity of my own home. I feel like it should be obvious, but it’s just not. (Then again, I never mastered Magic Eye Puzzles, so maybe someone else can identify it immediately.) This wouldn’t even be a good last-minute Halloween idea, since you’d have to explain yourself every 5 seconds. Your best response would be “I’m A Person With An Inflatable Face Mask.” Guys? I once sewed a paper plate onto a t-shirt and told everyone I was a Care Bear, and that was eons better than the former.
I must point out that Inflatable Face Mask is not a flotation device. So please be careful if you bring Inflatable Face Mask to the beach or pool. Thus, Inflatable Face Mask will in no way save your life. It doesn’t include a warning about haunting you in your dreams, but I’m sure that’s something you might want to be cautious of.
2. Travel Game
They won’t tell you what game it is, but it has pieces – therefore, it’s a game.
What I love about Travel Game is that it’s completely non-descriptive. While it shows a red piece jumping out of the blue plastic chip-casket with blue “movement” swoops, that’s all you’re getting from the front of the box. Once again, I didn’t bother looking at the back of the packaging – for me to do that would require effort, and I need to be enticed at some level to provoke any kind of effort.
My best guess is that you need to somehow get rows of colors to match up, but I’m not sure how jumping game chips would fit into that equation. My second best guess is that you throw the game chips at the driver of the moving vehicle, and the winner is the person to get the driver to pull over and scream at you first. Chances of this idea being the actual game rules are slim, as someone might get severely injured during the process.
3. OOPS! Fake Spill
From a faraway glance, I figured this find was a mini bottle of spilled ketchup. Later, I realized that it was Nail Polish-brand Nail Polish. This being said, I can’t agree with the “Looks Real!” all-caps claim.
I get it – it’s all a joke. I feel like kids have a one-year gap of wanting to buy either jokes or magic tricks, so the Dollar Store’s selection of “OOPS!” items is sure to appeal to a crowd.
However, I spill nail polish all the time, and nobody has ever freaked out (besides my Mom once, but – it was on the carpet. I understand. There was just nothing funny about it.) While “spilled nail polish” is more plausible than the famous “fly in the ice cube”, I’m not sure if I’d spend a dollar on a poor prank that’d perhaps fool a child for 3 seconds.
Even with the aforementioned age gap, I can’t imagine anyone being at the dollar store begging for their parents to buy them fake spilled nail polish. If you can prove me wrong, I guess I stand corrected.
4. Detective Kits
And the winner for “Most Tempting of Terrible Things To Buy At The Dollar Store This Week” is… Detective Kits! And yes, I’m 27. What can I say? I got bummed out that the local “Detective Agency” was really just a company that happened to monitor any weird night activities in my neighborhood. I figured the “Detective Agency” was out solving real mysteries, like people disappearing and “Who stole my bagged lunch?”
But, it’s still odd that the dollar store is offering children a profiling kit. While fingerprints are always a cool concept in kid-land, drawing sketches of robbers was never in the same realm of imagination. Since the kit is from the dollar store, it looks like all suspects can have one of four face shapes, and one of four hair styles – all short. One short with a shine in front (see bottom right).
I’m also loving how one package labels itself as “Secret Detective” gear, while the other is “Undercover Spy” gear. These seem like career advancements for The Sims. “Congratulations! You’ve been promoted to Undercover Spy. You need to maintain 5 friendships and gain 3 charisma points for your next promotion.”
If it weren’t for a few screaming kids in the Professional Detective Equipment Aisle of the Dollar Store, I would have been willing to write my next column about fingerprinting my doorknobs and bathroom sink. Maybe next time.
Stay tuned for more great dollar store finds. If you’ve stumbled across any hidden gems, or happen to be an owner of any of my finds of the week, please share your experiences in the comments!
Main Image Credit: http://www.featurepics.com