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Magic Pumpkin

Dumpster Fire
by yo go re

Back in the year 2006, a phrase began circulating on the internet: "dumpster fire," describing a situation that's an utter disaster. It took the place of calling something a "trainwreck," and we're still trying to make "orphanage collapse" happen. In 2018, "dumpster fire" was added to the dictionary (alongside the other term we've been pushing, "embiggen"), so it's definitely a phrase people know.

In 2016, LA-based artist Truck Torrence made a cute gif of a smiling dumpster with flames shooting out its top; three years later, he turned it into a soft vinyl toy. Then 2020 happened, and the toy started selling like mad, leading to any number of variant colors and themes (including one wearing a facemask, because even dumpster fires can recognize the importance of self-responsibility). The first release for 2021 is the "Magic Pumpkin Glow-in-the-Dark" edition.

Trick or Treat? Trick: everything sucks. Remember how Halloween 2020 was on a Saturday during a blue moon and we were all stuck inside giving trick or treaters candy through a f*ckin cardboard tube or whatever? Yeah, me neither.

All the lil' Dumpster Fire vinyls share the same mold, because that's how vinyl toys work: it's a square dumpster with a slanted top, and one side of its lid thrown back to allow the internal flames to reach high. Four wheels are sculpted underneath, along with the "100% Soft" company logo. There are shallow indents on the sides, and rounded bars representing the bits the waste truck would grab to lift and empty the dumpster. The two halves of the lid look like they should be functional, but that's just the sculpt.

Matching the aesthetic of all 100% Soft's product, Dumpster Fire's fire is simple and smooth, with five major "spikes" of flame sticking up like anime hair, and two small spikes in the front to create an illusion of depth. They get to be a different color on every release, and for this one, they're lime green at the base and fade up to white at the tips. It makes a great contrast against the orange body and black lid. The face - a pair of perfectly circular dot eyes and a happy mouth - is molded in and painted brown (or at least in a black that's not thick enough to keep the orange from showing through).

Like the name says, Magic Pumpkin Dumpster Fire glows in the dark. Specifically, the flames do. They're a nice bright spot, even with just a little charge, and the color is a cool greenish-white. I'm glad they turned out nicely, because they're the reason I bought this little guy.

I first learned about 100% Soft's Dumpster Fire toy from Monkey Boy - he do like the vinyls, after all - but I didn't particularly favor one color over another, so executive disfunction kept me from ever getting one. Then Entertainment Earth got a purple "Evil Trash" edition that I really liked... and it sold out before I could get one. When EE offered a cute Halloweeny version, I went for it. It may not have arrived in time for Halloween, but it'll definitely be ready for this year's decorating.

-- 05/12/21

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