Carving a pumpkin, wearing a costume, and collecting tasty candy are really the only things a child dreams about during the month of October. One of my absolute fondest memories of Halloween growing up was picking out my costume.
I was lucky enough to have been of trick or treating age in the late seventies through the eighties. Costumes at this time, at least for budget conscious parents like mine, were usually found in cardboard boxes with a cellophane window revealing the day glow goodness inside.
They usually came with a plastic jumpsuit having the consistency of a trash bag, a thin, brightly colored, vacuformed plastic mask with eye-holes, and a rubber band that was notorious for snagging your hair to hold the mask in place. I still remember to this day the wafting smell of strong plastic as my brother and I would open our boxed delights to try them on.
Ben Cooper Inc. was one of the three largest Halloween costume manufacturers in the U.S. from the 1950s through the mid-1980s. Halloween was synonymous with Ben Cooper products for many children. The variety and simplicity of the little synthetic outfits, paired with the company’s savvy licensing division, made them staples of the season, until an early ’80s damper that brought on a decade of financial woes and eventually bankrupted the company.
Ben Cooper costumes are still highly collectible and very retro cool. The fact that this company shares my name is pretty cool too.
I miss the good old days. Happy Halloween!