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Halloween Costumes
"Ben Cooper and Collegeville"
By Euphrates
Halloween Costume I was out for a walk on a late autumn night a few years ago, when suddenly I was struck by the memory of the moisture that collects inside of a plastic halloween mask and the way the rubber band that held it to your head would pull the back of your hair. I am always looking for something goofy to collect, especially if it was part of my childhood, so this seemed like an omen to start accumulating some halloween costumes.

My initial research taught me that there were three major halloween costume makers: Ben Cooper, Collegeville and Halco. I also learned that they have been making costumes since at least the late '50s and that Ben Cooper was still making costumes as late as the early '90s. Most of the costumes are based on TV and movie stars but some are generic like a pirate, witch or a devil.

The great thing about collecting costumes is that they are affordable, often $15-$30 and they are a great representation of pop culture. The downside is that most of the vintage costumes that are available have been worn by children staggering up and down the street in the dark. While it is common to find the costumes with their original boxes (An interesting note: it is not uncommon for the costumes and the boxes to be mismatched. I believe that these are factory errors since I have seen many old store stock mismatched examples.), it is equally common to find them with the nose of the mask bashed in, the rubber band strap broken (ouch!) and the cello torn. This is because you can NEVER get the costume folded back in the box flat enough for the lid to fit on the box again. This is a great way to tell if the costume has ever been worn or not! They are as flat as notebook paper when you first buy them. They are like folding a wet tent after you remove them once.

Here is a partial list of some of the costumes that I have seen from the top three manufacturers. I add this not to show you everything ever made but rather to inspire. Surely you were one of these characters in your tender years, weren't you?

Alien
Alf
Archie Andrews
Astronaut
Atom Ant
Baby Huey
Banana Splits
Barbie
Barnabas Collins
Batgirl
Batman
Battlestar Galactica
Mrs. Beasley
Bewitched
Big Bird
Biker Mice from Mars
Bionic Woman
Blondie
Broom HIlda
Buck Rogers
Bugs Bunny
Bullwinkle
Cabbage Patch Kids
Captain America
Care Bears
Casper the Friendly Ghost
CHIPS
Chip and Dale
Cinderella
Clown
Dennis the Menace
Devil
Donald Duck
Dr. Doom
Dukes of Hazzard
Ed Grimely
Elephant
E.T.
Evel Knievel
Family Affair
Fat Albert
Felix the Cat
Fireman
Fireman Clown
Fleabag
Flipper
Fonzie
Fred Flinstone
Freddy Krueger
Funky Phantom
Garfield
G.I. Joe ('60s)
G.I. Joe ('80s)
Glo Worm
Go-Go Girl
Godzilla
Green Hornet
Gremlins
Gunsmoke
Gypsy
H.R. Pufnstuf
He-Man and She-Ra
Heckle and Jeckle
Hercules
Hippy
Hobo
Hotwheels Driver (multiple versions)
Houndcats
Huckleberry Hound
I Dream of Jeanie
Ironman
Jem
The Jetsons
John F. Kennedy
Jackie Kennedy
Johnny Astro
Josie and the Pussycats
King Kong
KISS
Land of the Lost
Laugh-In
Laurel and Hardy
Little House on the Prairie
Little Orphan Annie
Marry Poppins
Mickey Mouse
Micronaughts
Mighty Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Mork and Mindy
Mr. Bug-A-Boo
Mr. Peanut
Mr. T
Munsters Family - very popular!
My Little Pony
Oscar the Grouch
Pac Man
Pee Wee Herman
Peter Rabbit
Pink Panther
Pixie
Planet of the Apes
Porky Pig
Princess
Puffalumps
Raggedy Andy
Raggedy Ann
Rat Fink
Rescue Team Nurse
Robo Cop
Santa Clause
Sesame Street
Shari Lewis
Shazam
Shogun Warriors
Sigmund the Sea Monster
Six Million Dollar Man
Sleestack
Slinky The Elephant
Smurfs
Space:1999
Spiderman
Star Trek Characters
Star Wars - Admiral Ackbar
Star Wars - C3PO
Star Wars - Chewbacca
Star Wars - Luke
Star Wars - Princess
Star Wars - Darth Vadar
Strawberry Shortcake
Supergirl
Superman
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Addams Family
The Archies
The Beatles
The Blue Falcon
The Catanooga Cats
The Gong Show
The Green Hornet
The Incredible Hulk
The Lone Ranger
The Monkeys
The Mummy
The Munsters
The Simpsons
The Waltons
Tom and Jerry
Underdog
Wolfman
Yogi Bear
Zorro

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