Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Kid Design Geniuses - Vintage Halloween Costumes







There were other mediums besides old cartoons that used to be good to kids and understood how strange kids' tastes are.

#1 rule of kid stuff. All kid products should be weird and make no sense. Logic is the enemy of fun. Any executives listening?

Toys used to be cool. Golden Books, comics and other related products all had their own styles and strange design customs.

One of the greatest kid design mediums in history was the Halloween Costume. I don't know who these designers were, but they all shared some traditions and odd ideas.

The basic concept that held all the infinite design variations together was this:

A costume has to be a character who wears a drawing of himself on his shirt. I wish I knew what genius came up with that inspired idea! Wouldn't you love to have a shirt with a picture of yourself on it? I know Eddie would.
It's even better if the character wears his friends on his shirt.

Another variation of the concept: The picture of the character on the shirt has to look different than the mask of the same character. It really helps if the colors also don't match.

I have a feeling that the guys who made the masks never met the guys who made the shirts. Maybe they were outsourced to different continents?





I wonder where the patterns on the shirts came from? Were they inspired by medieval knights' costumes?



Every little kid in the 50s and 60s looked like they were on the Children's Crusade on Halloween. Is that what Halloween is? A holdover of the Crusades?


KNOCK-OFFS ARE GOOD TOO

I love when companies just steal characters and do weird versions of them and give them funny names. This works for all toys and merchandise.
Here's a great site with lots of cool costume fun!

http://retrocrush.buzznet.com/archive2003/costumes/




and for the girls...
http://retrocrush.buzznet.com/archive2003/costumes/girlstoys.html

As with everything, the modern version of this product category has completely degenerated.
OLD = COOL
NEW = POO
In the late 60s everything that was once cool went to Hell.Lumpy, bland, puffy brown stuff for kids.
Imagine going on a crusade dressed like this? The infidels would know how weak western children have become and destroy what's left of our civilization in a flash of fire and blood.



The 50s and 60s was a Golden Age for kids. So what did the kids who had all this fun do when they grew up? They became dirty hippies and then corporate executives and ruined everything so that no more kids could ever have fun again!

They took the prizes out of cereal, the violence out of cartoons, the fins off cars, played soft rock, went to Cal Arts and created reality shows.

The end of the world is nigh.

69 comments:

Dan! said...

Haha! Beetle Bailey has boobs, that's great!

Yeah, those older costumes look much better than what kids have today. I never liked when a costume had a hat or a hood instead of an actual mask.

"They took the prizes out of cereal" Yeah, that's pretty sad. If anything you might see a DVD or computer game, but no cool toys or anything. What really gets me though, is when they take the cartooniness away from the mascots. Have a barfbag ready and click this: http://www.boontdusties.com/inkstand/images/blog/chocula.jpg

"the violence out of cartoons" Ugh!

"created reality shows." Yuck! I hate those spoiled brat/idiot exploitation shows that are so popular. On The Lot is the only reality show I watch.

Sucks that everything has become so degraded nowadays.

angello ///// said...

the truth is that they are a little ridiculous
:*

kate yarberry said...

I actually think the curious george kid is cute, because his face is actually just as boring as his mask. So sue me.
He looks just like the cartoon monkey on his mask and actually he might be better off if he just gave the mask to someone else. He could then make up some sort of clever lie about what he actually is masquerading as. Such as, " I'm a peice of poo! What are you Timmy?"

Trevour said...

I'm glad these survived into the '80s. Definitely some of my fondest memories come from Halloween. I think I wore my Mickey Mouse costume for 2 or 3 years straight. My family didn't have much money. Actually I remember my mother dressed my brothers and I up with JUST the masks (after we OUTGREW those awesome vinyl suits), but then trying so hard to make a fabric costume to go with it - nothing sewn, but just thrown together from stuff around the house. My Mickey costume included a black sweatshirt and black tights, along with red shorts and some plain white construction gloves with 3 marker lines on each. My older brother was Woody Woodpecker and my younger brother was Tweety.

Those masks were SO great - the rubber band got tangled in your hair. I remember it being so cold that the mask might shatter if you took it off too fast. And then that little breathing hole for the mouth - I would eventually stick my tongue through it, only to get it caught every time. Back then our masks were pain devices! And if that rubber band came loose, you just stapled it back on.

Do they even make costumes like that anymore? Back then you could get a whole costume for like 5 bucks! And there'd be a whole rack of 'em. We'd get them at Pamida or Woolworth's. Now it seems like parents need to take out a loan to dress up their kids in these elaborate plush eyesores like those Bugs and Shrek examples above.

Aar!! said...

ahahaha i can't tell whether this entire post is sarcastic or not! i actually think it's kind of horrific to have a character wearing a picture of himself but hey, to each his own. i think the only plus side is, if you lose the mask, you can always dress up as a hardcore fan of the character?

Matt Blasi said...

Correct me if I'm wrong: this is a critique of unimaginative CHILDREN'S costumes posted by an ADULT.

Do (would) children really prefer the older costumes? Or are the costumes of today driven by market demand and customer feedback? What do CHILDREN think and want? If possible, can you point us to some real data about WHY and HOW the markets have made such shifts?

Because while the new costumes depicted are clearly bland and unimaginative, the old ones are also hideous eyesores: clashing, vibrant colors and derivative ideas and designs. I recall not wanting to go as a Batman rip-off on Halloween, but as BATMAN; not as a vinyl-suited bunny with painful pastic masks, but as Bugs, etc.

Jon Brown said...

Hey John,

I would like to ask you a question that I have been wondering about for awhile. You write alot on your blog about the various reasons why modern cartoons cannot compare to classics. I would like to ask why you think this is also true for movies as well. What do you think the specific reasons are why modern films seem so much worse than the older stuff?

Also, when you talk about hippies, what do you mean by that? I thought you liked The Beatles and all those bands. Are you opposed to the social activism and anti-war attitudes? Why specifically do you think hippies have contributed to decline in our culture?

JohnK said...

>>Correct me if I'm wrong: this is a critique of unimaginative CHILDREN'S costumes posted by an ADULT. <<

An adult who made weird imaginative stuff for kids and who has been imitated by blander people ever since.

JohnK said...

>>
Also, when you talk about hippies, what do you mean by that? I thought you liked The Beatles and all those bands.<<

I liked them until they became hippies. Everything they did after was pretty awful.

>>Are you opposed to the social activism and anti-war attitudes?<<

I'm opposed to mushy mystical thought. I like common sense.

>>Why specifically do you think hippies have contributed to decline in our culture?<<

Isn't that pretty common knowledge?

Aar!! said...

Looking at this post again, the older costumes may have been a bit outlandish for my taste but the new ones aren't any better. They're really boring to look at... Bugs Bunny for instance could do way better in terms of likeness and maybe even attempt to portray him having some sort of emotion. Also, if they were going to try to improve the design, why didn't they bother to make big floppy feet you could put over your shoes? They could do it for Shrek but not Bugs? The Shrek one seems to be made of a felt material which is weird because I don't remember Shrek being fuzzy... nor do I remember him being the size of a scrawny human child. Maybe Shrek's costume should come with pillows you can use to stuff the costume into the actual shape and size of Shrek. And extending the neck to make room for the face...? A little extreme if you ask me.

Kali Fontecchio said...

"Why specifically do you think hippies have contributed to decline in our culture?"

Here's an example:

I have a class at school called advanced concepting, where we make mind maps, and find the deeper meanings behind why we like to eat hot dogs, and watch Daffy Duck. This class is a direct result of the hippie counter culture, which in turn has now devoured our culture, and has been fused into mainstream media and ideologies.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Oh I forgot to comment on the actual post!

I WANT THAT SOUPY COSTUME! Seriously.

A.M.Bush said...

Oh man I used to think those were so ugly when I was little. One of my friends had a Rainbow Brite costume where the eyeholes were cut into the top of her head. I always made my costumes with my mom.

The costumes that you posted are pretty funny though. I think the ridiculousness and nostalgic aspects make them more appealing to adults. I would have never worn one as a child.

There's a good chance I'd wear one now though.

Shawn said...

Wow! Those are cool! I remember when Halloween costumes were like that even when I was a kid. That Buzzy the Crow mask is weird...a side view of his face! You only get one eye-hole, and have to bump into things while you beg for candy.

P.S. fuck hippies.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Good, good point! I love kids media and I particularly like the kind that bend logic. Kids shows where spaceships can fly to other galaxies and back, Donald duck being different in the cartoons than in the comics, weird Halloween costumes, none of this bothers me.

Sean Worsham said...

Screw both kinds of costumes they are all eyesores. When I was a kid I liked making my own. I did have a small period of wearing the eyesore stuff when I was 5-7 but started making them afterwards. That in a nutshell was way more fun and grabbed more attention. I remember nearly winning a contest with one of my costumes at school.


I see what you mean John, but the right message to send is to get kids to protest and make their own stuff. The best memories I had was when I made a robot costume with my Dad using boxes, old vacuum cleaner parts and aluminum foil. That in and of itself rocks any of these commercial eyesores.

Art F. said...

i remember wearing that bullwinkle costume!

Colter said...

I'm not into the whole costume thing. But that executive tree looks like where I work.

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

Great! Just great! Don't forget the toxic plastic smell that was released as soon as you opened the box. Nothing like a high 6 year old. Those were the times.

-David O.

DavidMcG said...

Am I the only one who thinks both the new AND old kids costumes suck ass?

Peggy said...

Dude. Those kids in the newer photos have two faces - one human face, and one weird stuffed animal face. That's just about as fucked up as the sixties model of an off-model mask and a differently off-model picture of the character on the tabard!

I remember when that kind of costume first started appearing and I thought it was the coolest thing ever when I was eight or so. I had a giant inflatable bat head bobbing around on top of my real head. What kid wouldn't love that?

R said...

Hi John,

Those old costumes brought back a lot of fond memories! I remember the eye-holes hurt and scratched. The inside of the mask got all sweaty and steamy. I'm sure they must have been made in China with lead paint!

I work for a company that uses licensed characters on its products. I'll tell you exactly why they printed the characters and their names on those Halloween shirts. The executive said, "I'm paying a royalty for this character and I don't want there to be any confusion as to who this is supposed to be." Perhaps they knew that many of their masks were virtually unrecognizable.

I had the pleasure of meeting Charles Schulz at his Santa Rosa office a few years before he passed away. He gave me a Charlie Brown t-shirt with a big zigzag and a big Charlie Brown face on the back. Mr. Schulz said he didn't like it either. I know the people at the shirt factory thought their customers were too stupid to recognize a yellow shirt with a giant zigzag across the belly.

I encounter that mentality all the time. Believe me, artists want to do cool things but very often we're not allowed to.

Adam said...

I had a Scrooge McDuck costume one Halloween. I remember it didn't have a full vinyl shirt, it was more like an apron or a halter top, with a string you tied behind your neck and one around your waist. I remember my mother took photos of me wearing it before I went out trick or treating.

It's funny to think now that at 6 years old I somehow managed to relate enough to a Scottish industrialist millionaire cartoon duck enough to want to pretend to be him for a night, and that my mother's photos of me in that costume where my face is completey obscured and the flash is glaring off the cheap plastic of the mask are treasured memories.

I'd like to clarify.

Back to nature, rugged, survivalist, paranoid, libertarian hippies = good.

Let's all love one another no matter what, you're ok I'm ok, let's get high and let someone else worry about it hippies = bad.

Kris said...

They were still making costumes like these in the late '80s and early 1990s when I was a little kid. I had one of Tweety Bird, complete with the drawing of Tweety on the chest of the vinyl suit and the uncomfortable mask that looked very little like Tweety.

I remember being very disappointed with it. My mom helped me make costumes after that.

Mike White said...

It's been so long since I saw these great costumes, I forgot they existed. Thanks for taking the time to post! I'd love to find some of these vintage costumes to photograph in a new context...

Mitch K said...

"took the the fins off cars"

What a shame! I hate today's boxy cars.

I never liked, as a kid, to wear the picture of who I was supposed to be on my shirt... I wanted to actually BE the cartoon character. Looking at these now, they're pretty wicked, and make so much more sense than wearing the head of who you want to be on your own head. Those new costumes are bizarre. I don't... I can't... I have no words for them.

Paul said...

I'd like to start out by mentioning that the Shrek costume seems to be eating the child inside. For me, that would have been nightmare fodder.

Thinking back, I wish those Yogi, Buzzy, Bugs, etc. costumes had existed when I went trick or treating all those years ago. I also wish that I wouldn't have been afraid of being beaten senseless by the unimaginative bullies in the neighborhood because I wasn't dressed like Predator or Freddy Kreuger.

It seems like those vintage costumes were the results of adults listening to kids for ideas, because those would have been the kinds of things I'd have made if I had the ability. Kids want weird stuff, but for some reason manufacturers insist on telling kids what they like, rather than asking them.

I'm all for presenting kids with stuff that won't traumatize them, and I don't want to spoil children, but for Pete's sake, when we're going to make stuff to entertain them, how about we make stuff that, you know, entertains them? As a kid, I hated watching "moral of the story" cartoons. I wanted to see the good guy win in the end, but I didn't want a diatribe about the evils of leaving the water running and not recycling. I wanted heros, villains, comic reliefs, Bob Clampett-esque dream sequences, cartoony violence, and funny voices. Not zip-zip posed cliches telling me to invest in the electric car.

What's amazing to me is that the old Warner Brothers cartoons, which were originally made for adults (my parents will still watch when they come on), transferred so well into kids' entertainment. Nowadays, adult and child programming are exclusive. I wouldn't take my kids to see Shrek, nor would I want to suffer through Dora the Explorer. What happened to cartoons that came from the imagination, not the checkbook?

Same with the dang costumes! The old ones are fun to look at, and I'm sure they're a blast to walk around in. The new designs were drawn by committee. "We don't want any lawsuits, make sure there are no rough edges. You want to get taken to court over some kid gettin' a rub burn from a chafing suit? Not a chance!"

So thanks, John, not just for making fun of hippies, but for showing these old costumes. I remember the occasional brave kid that would walk around my neighborhood in a costume like those. His father was usually with him, obviously happy that his old Woody Woodpecker suit found favor with his offspring. It was touching.

Any chance you'll be wearing one of these next Halloween?

Paul said...

Whoops, it was the Bugs Bunny costume that's eating the kid. The Shrek costume seems oddly content in having a small child poking through its Adam's apple.

Colter said...

"The old ones are fun to look at, and I'm sure they're a blast to walk around in."

Sure, if you like feeling the condensation of your own hot smelly breath smearing against your face. Or maybe the rubber band yanking the hair out of the back of your head as it rolls and tangles.

Dume3 said...

"I liked them until they became hippies. Everything they did after was pretty awful."

Your wikipedia page says you like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. I found that kind of hard to believe considering they dressed like uber-hippies from outer space. Then again, niether of them ever had any hippie political/environmental agenda (at least not Zeppelin), so it was just a facade--the only things they cared about were making money and music. That's why I never could stand the Beatles or the Woodstock bands--they focused too much on philosophy and not enough on notes. They're politicians masquerading as musicians.

Rob said...

Ooh, these costumes really bring back the memories! I think I had the Yogi Bear one (this is 40 years ago folks), I thought the costumes shirts with the gold paint on it was awesome!

One other thng is that they were terrifying! My younger brother would not come into the room when my friend came over in one of these costumes, he was crying as if he saw Santa Claus.

xyling said...

I pleaded with my parents for a store -bought costume instead of a home made one and got C3PO from Star Wars which, of course, was a C3PO mask and plastic jumpsuit with picture of C3PO on it. I was appalled (eight, but I had logic and taste) so my mom got some gold fabric and made a jumpsuit and my dad did accurately transcribed all the parting lines, joints and details with a sharpie on to it. Much better. I come from creative stock and the next year let my mom and dad hand make me a jawa costume with LED eyes that my dad wired up.

Colter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Benjamin Hall said...

When my father was young, he had a store-bought Davy Crockett costume and was upset that it had the name "Davy Crockett" emblazoned across the chest because it got in the way of his make-believe.

I however loved the crap out of my store-bought Casper costume and wore it for many years in a row.

While I think the costumes today are of higher quality and are safer, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the beauty of these older cheap mass-produced oddities.

David Byrne recently commented on his journal about how much safer New York is now than when he was younger and while a safer city is definitely better, he still feels nostalgic for the dangerous old days... which sums up how I feel about these costumes.

Chris S. said...

>>Correct me if I'm wrong: this is a critique of unimaginative CHILDREN'S costumes posted by an ADULT. <<

Whenever people give me shit about my love of cartoons, they always throw the "adult" thing out there. What?!!! Everything for kids is created by adults. I would hope that said adults actually liked what they create as well as have an understanding of what it's like to be a kid! God, I hate when people say that.

>>I'm opposed to mushy mystical thought. I like common sense.<<

Well said!

Chris S. said...

Oh! I'm a stock-keeper at a warehouse and occasionally I come across the same vinyl that was used on those old costumes ... and for a brief moment I'm happily adrift in fond childhood halloween memories! That smell will never die.

Matt Blasi said...

John,

I'm interested in your responses to some questions posted here. I'd like to write an article about your blog; beside this comment forum, is there an email addy that I can send you a few questions to? Or you can simply email me:

mattblasi (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks for your time and assistance!

Chris said...

When I was a kid in the 70s I hated all the Halloween costumes with character’s faces on them. I wanted to pretend to be Fred Flintstone or Snoopy. I didn’t want to wear a Fred Flintstone shirt! I already had one of those to wear the other 364 days of the year. Fortunately my father is an artist and he would buy me a mask and then make the rest of my costume. Still, it’s fun to see these old costumes. Thanks for the reminder!

akira said...

um there weren't many people over 30 at calarts when i went there in the 90s, so i don't know about that part of your theory...

i think if you compare stuff today with stuff from the 70s or 80s we're not doing THAT bad.

i think a combo of inflation, modern art and television f'd art education in this country up pretty badly. but if you graph the quality of cartoons, it has been on an incline since the 80s..
and yeah maybe we (calarts grads) work on crappy shows but you worked on your share of them too, right.

maybe your problem with calarts grads is that some of them think that graduation from calarts means they're special.. ? but you sometimes put it in such a way that you imply going to calarts is a negative thing...

can you honestly say that if a person hadn't gone to calarts they would be better off?..

for instance if aaron springer, or craig mccracken or gendy tartakovski had not gone to calarts would the quality of animation today be higher? trust me if i could have chosen between calarts and the John K school of animation, i'd have gone to your school if i could pass the entrance exam. at least they still emphasize drawing over computers at calarts

lastangelman said...

Geez, I think I remember a lot of those 'stumes. I loved wearing the pajama part but the masks were hell to wear - the eye holes were never right, and you were breathing hot breath onto a plastic mask that ricocheted back at face. Good ol' 8 year old ingenuity finally solved problem after four years of Halloweens of mask suffocation - I had Mom cut out the bottom of mask and I used make-up on my mouth and chin to match the mask, which made it weirder. I think I got the idea from a tv program.
AS for cereal companies: I remember when there was a balloon racer toy for the Wacky Racers or Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines - one box of cereal didn't have the prize, so I made a fuss. My Mom, bless her, contacted the cereal company in strongest possible manner for a Mom with an upset kid, and hey!presto! six to eight weeks a box from Battle Creek, Michigan arrived containing the ENTIRE collection. How cool was that? Try getting that kind response from a cereal company today ... !

lastangelman said...

Off-topic: This a fun link form joe cartoon web log - fun fishing lures for guys and gals - very cartoony and one of a kind, sadly

http://www.finkbuilt.com/gallery/index.html

mike f. said...

Wow, what a cool post!

I went to the Retrocrush website to look at more vintage costume designs - that's where I learned that they all came from the same collection. (A guy named Bruce Zalkin used to own them, although apparently he has since auctioned them all off.)

Just as I was thinking, "Why didn't he publish a book?" - I looked him up on Amazon on a whim, and guess what?
He did publish one, and it's still available. (What's even better, the book cuts off at 1970 - so no stupid PacMan or Ewok costumes to spoil all the fun.)

For anyone who's interested, here's the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Costumes-Treats-Schiffer-Collectors/dp/0764314106/ref=sr_1_1/002-8356086-4130460?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189018196&sr=1-1

mike f. said...

...and just check out the cool "conjoined twin" converging skulls facemask of Laurel & Hardy that's pictured on the front cover!

Cool, eh what?

Chris Rank said...

"They took the prizes out of cereal, the violence out of cartoons, the fins off cars, played soft rock, went to Cal Arts and created reality shows."

Don't forget CRACKER JACK! Same thing! that was the whole point. Eat until you got sick and then you had a prize awaiting you for your trouble!

I never got "cool" costumes such as these. We were too broke, so my mother insisted on MAKING my costumes and we came up with wonderful wierd things. She dressed me up as a hobo using found objects around the house. We used her makeup to paint my face,etc. As a kid i felt like an outcast, but her ideas were FAR more CREATIVE and wonderful- looking back.

Kyle said...

awww man, I had a bugs bunny similar to one of those shown. it was basically a mask with a table cloth sized piece of plastic with his picture printed all over that would drape over my head. I hated it. I wanted to look like buggs bunny, not like buggs after getting stuck in a blender.

I didn't pick the costume, it was bought for me.


as for the other type of costumes you posted, those were equally annoying to me. nothing irks me more than seeing a costume with two heads.

trevor said...

hey john:

why can't we email you? didn't we used to be able to or am i romanticising the past?

- trevor.

mistery said...

"They became dirty hippies and then corporate executives and ruined everything so that no more kids could ever have fun again!"

yes but that has been happening since the dawn of peoplekind --- the so-called gap between kid-makers and kids; that kid-makers constrain the freedom of kids; and that kids grow up to be kid-makers who constrain the freedom of the nextgen of kids...

I'll defend hippies to my dying breath---their legacy is enormous and world-changing. Think of the music, just for starters


portal to the multiverse
wicked and sick
manic memes
pathetic poetry
mumbo jumbo
very short stories
ATLF: authorised bulletins

Pete Emslie said...

Those recent costumes of Bugs, Shrek and Curious George look not so much like costumes of the characters themselves, but rather, like human-sized Pez dispensers! I half expect the kid head to fall out of it, only to be replaced with another kid head.

Dan! said...

Oh, John. The way you mentioned the children's crusade reminded me of the animatic for "Life sucks". How's that going? Was there more you were doing with it?

John said...

The astro boy one was the best!its like if you fused astro boy and superman you'd basicly get that.But Quite honestly I always thought you would hate astro boy.

metroidprime said...

as much as I love ren & stimpy, I disagree with your philosophy on Halloween Costumes. When I was a kid, and I loved to dress up in halloween, I thought costumes that had the mask of the character; PLUS the drawing of the character on the shirt were completely ridiculous and cheesy. (and this is coming from a me that was 6 years old at the time) : I thought "You're supposed to be the character, wearing that t-shirt totally breaks the illusion that you're the character". Man, I'd never wear a shirt with my face on it. In fact, I thought that all PRE-FAB cartoon character commercial crap was horrific and should be disposed off store aisles. I always made my own costumes with the help of my mom. All of them were non-descript, no one could tell if I was 'this character' or 'that'. They were my own inventions, and it felt pretty badass to wear them. Last year I in halloween I became MEXICAN DEATH NINJA! And all I did was wear an all-black Mexican wrestler mask, a loose black hoodie, super huge black pants with straps (made from a cut up pair of black pants) that went around the calfs and forearms and voila! pure DIY joy...

Colter said...

hey john:

why can't we email you? didn't we used to be able to or am i romanticising the past?

- trevor.


You probably could e-mail him before, but he probably got swarmed with e-mail.

Probably tired of people sending him crappy drawings.

andrewdmortlock said...

you've got it right john

pappy d said...

Hallowe'en is almost as over-commecialised as Xmas.

When I was a kid, we understood the religious significance of the holiday.

We tore around the streets wild & unsupervised, extorting candy under the protection of our costumes. Kids were even more repressed in those days & it was a thrill to be evil. Our parents stayed home & passed out treats like they were supposed to. If someone went to a party that night or turned out the lights & pretended not to be home, they'd have their windows soaped or their porch TP'd.

The streets belonged to the us!

Jon said...

I'm not sure that you really looked all that hard for children's costumes. While it does seem that the "character has swallowed a child" look is in for fuzzy or non-humanoid characters, the market of superhero costumes has never been better.

I particularly liked:
Kim Possible costume
Buzz Lightyear costume
And while it's not a children's costume (it's supposedly for "teens")
Judy Jetson

Mr. Semaj said...

They used to have the cool costumes when I was little. Dunno if they still have them.

The real tragedy behind Halloween today is that Trick-or-Treating is dead. :(

Jeff Read said...

Oh don't worry. You can always dress your kids up as pimps and hos for Halloween.

Maybe I should go as a hippie? I'll wear a vinyl shirt with a marijuana leaf on it and instead of "Trick or treat" I'll regale the poor neighbors with Gramscian philosophy about industrial capitalist exploitation and cultural hegemony.

Speaking of which, I read in Spy magazine a few years back an editorial in which the editor's kid wanted a bag of Gritty Kitty Litter for Christmas to squish between his toes and then eat, just like Stimpy. The editor determined that Grape-Nuts was about the right texture and consistency. Post was sitting on a gold mine; by repackaging it as Gritty Kitty they could have sold that nasty stuff to millions of kids; as it is Grape-Nuts is still thought of as that healthy cereal only your grandma eats.

Jeff Read said...

Also, that Astro Boy costume cracks me up! It reminds me of the old NES Mega Man box art! No one does little robot kids in cast iron underpants quite like the Japanese!

Barbara said...

I grew up in the nineties, and I can attest. I wanted my mom to make all of my costumes when I was a kid, because they would always look cooler than the cheapo store-bought stuff.

Alex Dukal said...

Whatta nice stuff! Thanks to be here John!

Severin said...

Both costumes are kinda crappy in thier own, unique way. :)

Jason said...

I'm another who liked making my own costumes more than buying them from a store. My mom was great at crafts and stuff like that so we had a good time doing that stuff. But I really enjoyed decorating the house more for others to come by. We would do stuff like put creepy fake tombstones on the lawn, and take hammers and hatchets and put red paint on them like blood and scatter them around the porch, put fake spiderwebs and bugs everywhere, and all that jazz.

As a kid, I like dressing up as a ninja,, or batman, or something either scary or tough. The only light hearted thing I ever dressed up as was a clown. I always took to horror/scary side of halloween to heart, and didn't think of it as a time for cartoon characters and all that jazz.

purecostumes.com said...

I agreed that both costumes are crappy. Just go to a costume store and pick one up. Halloween Costumes Store has one has a decent for under 35 bucks.

Jack said...

Halloween Costumes have come such a long way in the past few years, I am surprised that the vintage costumes are not worth much still, I see that there is a vintage star wars costume on ebay for just $26.00, I will be bidding as I am a collector, hopefully one day my collection will be worth something.

izumi said...

Hi,

You have a great blog. I am writing to find out

about what possible advertising/sponsorship

opportunities you can offer on your blog. Please

get back to me at danica.parker777@gmail.com so

we could make arrangements.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best,
Danica

Colonel Havoc said...

OK, we were trying to convince our adult children that these costumes actually existed when we were growing up. They were incredulous at first.

Your site was the first one that popped up on the Google.

Thank you for the nostalgic laugh, and for providing the evidence we required.

Point: Old People.

rachel_forness said...

i had the vinyl inflatable bat costume as well!!! i have been looking for it on ebay or anyplace else, but i cannot find it? does anyone know the name of it, or where i could buy it?

rachel_forness said...

peggy~

i had that inflatable vinyl bat head too! do you or anyone else remember the name of that costume or where i can find another? i've been looking for it on ebay and every other online search for years....please help!

best for halloween said...

Haunted House
http://bestforhalloween.com
Horror and Halloween Link Directory. Add your site for free. Horror authors, Halloween props, Halloween sound, Halloween costumes, Haunted houses, all horror related sites are welcome to join.Haunted House