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Foam Rubber Pumpkin Heads

October 15, 1987

The OH Lantern family, a kind of Garbage Pail Kids of Halloween, makes its debut this year, and excited retailers are gearing up for a rush.

"They were the hottest selling thing at the L.A. Gift Show this year. When that happens, you know it's going to be big," said a representative of Jay's Luggage and Gifts in Topanga Plaza, which plans to display the pumpkins as a mall centerpiece on the two weekends before Halloween.

Special effects artist Todd Masters ("Poltergeist II," "Predator") created the eight ugly OH Lanterns in his Sun Valley studio using himself as a model. He simply contorted his face and the resulting grimaces, leers and scowls outdo anything the average trick-or-treater might accomplish.

The soft, foam rubber pumpkins, which are the size of a large cantaloupe, have names such as Jesabell OH Lantern, Jesse OH Lantern and, of course, Jack OH Lantern.

"Jesse spent a large portion of his life working with the vegetable underground," reads the promotional material on one family member. "He was also involved with the 1942 Zucchini Massacre. He was indicted, but never served time."

The pumpkins are manufactured in Ohio and retail for $9.95 each.

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