— -- A California farmer's creation will blow your neighbor's jack-o-lantern off the porch this Halloween -- if you can afford one, that is.
Tony Dighera's organic pumpkins are grown in the likeness of Frankenstein. And they're very realistic.
Called "pumpkinsteins," the creep-tastic pumpkins are being sold for as much as $125. Dighera said he sells them top retail for $75.
"Some places sell them for as little as $74.99 just to get the advertising," he said.
If the price tag seems high, it's reflective of the expense Dighera's put into his creations. each tooling machine used to make the molds costs $100k, and he has two of them. But he says he'll make all his money back in this first year selling the pumpkinsteins.
"Everything is made in the U.S.A.," he said. "I'm very proud of that."
The process of getting the pumpkinsteins just right is long and complex. "There's nobody to ask questions," Dighera said. "You're the pioneer."
It's more than perfecting the perfect mold. There's that of course. But there's also the material the mold's made from. If it's not right, it can accelerate the rotting of the fruit. There's also the timing of mold placement. It has to be done with the fruit's small enough to fit inside, but there's a risk the fruit will turn during it's growing process and snap away from its stem.
"Then you;re done," he said. "You have to wait another year."
Dighera's well aware that $75 and up for a pumpkin is really pricey. "I wouldn't pay for it," he said. "But there's plenty of people with an income of 200k or more who will."
Indeed. Pumpkinstein is so popular he's thinking ahead to future holidays.
Expect heart-shaped watermelons in time for Valentine's Day, and skulls using white pumpkins for Halloween 2015.