Tag Archives: Halloween masks

Today in Halloween: Collegeville costumes sign


During the month of October, you’ll find a few references to Collegeville and Ben Cooper Halloween costumes in this blog and many other spots on the Internet.

As much as I enjoy the wide array of Halloween costumes and decorations and makeup and … well, stuff in general that’s available today, none of it has the charm and nostalgia that most of us of a certain age feel for the two top Halloween costume makers for a half-century, Ben Cooper and Collegeville.

Here’s a sign, not unlike you’d find in a Woolworth or W.T. Grant or some other store, advertising Collegeville Halloween costumes.

Collegeville, operating out of Collegeville, PA, was maybe the lower-rent of the two companies. Ben Cooper costumes were officially licensed and featured characters from “Star Wars” and comics and TV shows.

Collegeville costumes were a little cheaper – still the standard rubber mask with a string, but a little more generic – but just as dear to our hearts.

Halloween wouldn’t have been the same without finding this sign at your neighborhood store, letting you know that the promise of finding the perfect costume for trick-or-treating was just down the aisle.


Today in Halloween: The ‘Buffy’ dummy

ventriloquist dummy mask

Is it just me, or does this Today in Halloween look like something from one of the best ever episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer?”

Maybe it’s just me, but I swear this ventriloquist dummy mask I spotted tonight in a Halloween store is very suggestive of the ventriloquist dummy masks worn by the henchman of the dancin’ demon in “Once More with Feeling,” the musical episode of “Buffy.”

buffy once more with feeling dummy

Okay, maybe it is just me.

Anyway, looking up details of this very special “Buffy” episode reminded me of things I’d forgotten.

Did you remember that it aired Nov. 6, 2001, less than two months after the Sept. 11 attacks? I didn’t.

Today in Halloween: Marvel Madness

hallow marvel costumes ad

I intended to wait until Oct. 1 to begin this year’s crop of Today in Halloween posts, but I jumped the gun a little when I came across this vintage Marvel comics ad for Halloween costumes at the great Blog of Monster Masks.

I’m guessing this was sometime in the 1970s considering the prices – $3.19 for Spider-Man and Hulk costumes! – and the reference to Marvel writer/editor Marv Wolfman in a joke we could totally see coming.

As someone who perused every page of my favorite comics, this kind of exclamatory ad is so familiar from Marvel back in the day.

And bonus: The costumes are flame retardant for safety!

I hope to post something Halloween-related here every day. And you can check out the past couple of years’ worth of posts by clicking on the Halloween tag.

Today in Halloween: More creepy costumes, decorations

It’s spooky how close we are to Halloween. So it’s time for more iPhone photos of cool Halloween masks, costumes and decor.

Above is one of the coolest pieces of decor I’ve seen this year. There’s plenty to find creepy about clowns. But this freaky skeletal horror clown is enough to give anybody nightmares.

Aww, it’s a … Halloween vampire jack-in-the-box featuring a vampire. Hmm.

What would we do for a cheap Halloween costume without Michael Myers masks? Or should I say William Shatner masks?

Here’s a strange one. Slobbering dog. You provide the slobber, buddy. I guess this is for those parties where you want to be called a “dawg.”

Oh my god! They’ve killed and scalped the Hulk! Oh the humanity!

While we’re in the cranial portion of the Halloween costume shop, how about them zombie brains? How have them zombie brains been treating you?

If you’re a fan of Marvel Zombies, I’d suggest pairing the zombie brains above – and a loin cloth – with this mask for your pal: A zombie chimp. You could go as Zombie Tarzan and Zombie Cheeta.

Finally, werewolf hands. As in, “Get your damn werewolf hands off me.”

More next time.

Today in Halloween: Who’s a cute little Frankenstein?

Could. Not. Be. Any. Cuter.

Seriously, our latest dip into vintage Halloween costumes is probably the cutest picture yet.

The devil on the left is pretty doggone cute.

But the Frankenstein on the right? Wow.

Maybe it’s the cute grimace in the mask. Or the cheesy tunic.

But I personally think it’s the upraised hands, fingers curled in monster-ific fashion.


Bonus points if anybody can identify the costumes. I did Google image searches to see if the costumes were from Collegeville or Ben Cooper, big makers of kids costumes in the 1950s and beyond, and didn’t come across them.

iPhoneography: Cool Halloween stuff

Has it been a year already? Can it possibly be the weeks leading up to our favorite geeky and spooky holiday?

It’s twue, it’s twue. It’s not all that long now until Halloween.

And that means it’s time for our first 2012 installment of iPhone photos of freaky Halloween stuff.

If you remember from last year, I snap iPhone pics of fun, cool and unappetizing Halloween costumes, masks and decor. Considering that I saw my first Halloween stuff in the stores in July this year, I think I’ve demonstrated remarkable restraint in waiting until September.

Anyway, here goes:

Let’s start with the Zombie Baby pictured above. Remember Zombie Babies? I saw them for the first time last year and was immediately taken (and taken aback) with how twisted they were. Really. A co-worker put one in another co-workers chair last year. This year I’m waiting to see if anyone is brave enough to surprise a new parent with a Zombie Baby (like Freaky Frankie here; yes they all have names) in a playpen. They make quite a strong visual impression.

Ah, the classics. You can’t go wrong with a Michael Myers motif, copying the killer from John Carpenter’s classic “Halloween.” The original was apparently a modified William Shatner mask.

And speaking of classics: This officially sanctioned by Universal Studies mask of the classic Frankenstein monster is beautiful. This photo doesn’t do justice to how detailed it is.

Another classic, more recent: Pinhead from the “Hellraiser” movies. The pins are rubbery, of course. No need to worry about what damage you’ll do to the couch when you fall asleep, still wearing it, after the party.

And classics, part three: For decades, Don Post masks have been Halloween standards. Tor Johnson, anyone? (Remind me to do a special Don Post … er, post … in the coming weeks.) This one – Old Lady with Scarf – isn’t top-of-the line Don Post, but it’s nice to see the brand in Halloween stores.

How about a black rubber fetish mask? (The zipper doesn’t work; sorry.) How about standing in a dark room, after everyone else has gone home, wearing a black rubber fetish mask? How about someone calling 911 for me?

If you’re interested in something a little more light-hearted, you could do the time warp clear back to the 1970s with these sideburns …

Or this tambourine. Be cool, man. Some of us were alive during the ’70s.

If you prefer something of a more recent vintage. I imagine Eminem fully sanctioned and licensed this “White Rapper” mask.

As I’m sure that Tupac’s estate approved this “Thug Life” mask.

Getting away from masks for a moment: This scary clown piece would be perfect to hang in the aforementioned dark room. Now with extra creepy!

Last but not least for this time around: Pizza face for your coffee table.

More next time.

iPhoneography: Halloween stuff part two

As promised (warned?) another installment of my visual tour of Halloween stores.

In each of these entries, I’ll touch on some of the most eye-catching masks and decor.

And a belated warning: Some of this stuff is gory. The bloody body parts and the like aren’t my favorite type of Halloween decorations — my tastes lean toward cardboard pumpkin window cut-outs and tissue-paper ghosts — but I’ll include some of the more unusual examples of the yucky stuff.

To start things off on a ghoulish note, here’s an example of the gory stuff. Spirit Halloween stores offer Zombie Babies. They’ve got a million different kinds, all of them slightly queasy-making. This one is apparently called “Giggles.”


Here are some cool gargoyles from Target. I think these would look good on a bookcase year round, don’t you?

Of course, the sexy Halloween costumes for women are the big deal these days. This one is kind of odd, though. I definitely don’t remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles looking like this.

Here’s a suit that any of us with a big, cluttered closet could put together free of charge: The leisure suit.

Now is the portion of the blog in which we present the mask that’s most likely to give us nightmares. Can you imagine waking up and seeing this at the foot of your bed?

That’s it for now. As the old “Tonight Show” bumpers used to say, “More to come.”