A compilation of random and interesting things, musings, musics, videos, and more. Brought to you by a UChicago student with a penchant for procrastination.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Target Dollar Spot

I haven't been at my local Target in a while, yet whenever I get a chance to go to one it really is a festive occasion - especially if it's a Super Target. The reason I bring this up is simply because I feel the need to voice how utterly amazing I find the 'Dollar Spot' section of Target to be. While for the most part the store remains one of the best around for really cheap food stuff and shoes, without getting the Walmart stigma attached to it, the one dollar section really puts it over the top as one of the best supermakets/department stores around. And ... well, I have to admit, I guess I'm a bit enamored by it.

As you walk in the door and are greeted by the red - everywhere - the dollar section is right there, beckoning you to it with the promise of really cheap and completely random objects. I think the fact that you never know what to expect is really one of the biggest draws for me. Well, alright ... you know you can find seasonal objects there - like Easter rabbit ears or little stocking stuffers. But the completely random knicknacks, gadgets, or whatsits are truly what its all about!

Case in point: wind-up, head-bobbing, tail-waggling triceratops. Both absurdly painted, both completely random, both exotic Chinese creations ... yet only ONE dollar!

I call this one Pinky.

But yes, while I may be easily amused by these toys and drawn into purchasing things I may not necessarily need - there can be practical finds in the dollar section as well! For that I turn you attention to the 50 cent "toy" toaster, with pop-uppable plastic toast. While its hard to image this having any sort of use beyond simply popping toast over and over ... and over again for my sole amusement, it does make remarkable holder for my iPod video! Seriously, this may very well be one of the most perfect and completely original iPod solutions, but hey - if you've found something weirder or more inventive than this - let me know.

Aaah yea - getting some toaster-Video iPod-the Office action

But indeed, I'm beginning to think that Target is seeing the potential for expanding its line of completely useless objects even outside the dollar section of the store. Sure plastic toasters and wind-up triceratops-es are one thing, but while walking through the 'seasonal' section of the store just this past week I began to notice a preponderance of completely random looking objects - which, while seemingly having a practical purpose, were overwhelmingly of the same mettle as the design-heavy knick-knacks I had come to love in the dollar spot.

I really was caught quite offguard when I happened upon these "Owlford Owl" watering cans. Yet apparently they're just one part of Target's plans to further a unique and fun aesthetic, which individuals like myself can't get enough of.

"Summer is a fun and exciting time and Target believes the theme of ‘Happy Summer’ truly captures the spirit of the season,” said Gina Sprenger, senior vice president, merchandising, Target. “The collection offers guests easy and affordable ways to decorate and celebrate in style this summer season.” [Target press release, 2007]

Designed by David Kirk, the illustrator and creator of such children's classics as Miss Spider I'm glad to see these fun products appearing in more mainstream areas and appealing to greater numbers of consumers. Although ultimately, I guess it made sense then that these items were primarily being marketed under the SunnyPatch kids collection ... but really, Target - I would have seriously considered purchasing a pair of owl garden boots if the price was right ... and they actually came in sizes larger than children's. Think about it! I know I haven't!

All in all then, I guess I've given voice to this persistent affliction of mine. It's no wonder I'm so drawn in by garage sales and Chinatown - but now Target too is helping to further this fond habit of mine. And while I should probably be condemning them for this, with some last remnant of my reasonable mind ... I can't ... Target, thank you for the Dollar Spot and your random design aesthetic!

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