10/7/13

Godzilla, KOTM Vintage Halloween Costume! (Ben Cooper, 1978)

Halloween costumes have come a long way, which is an understatement.  When my parents were kids, you mostly had to make your own...you did good to find an old sheet, or the hide of a recently-slaughtered farm animal (just kidding about the farm animal).  These days, you can spend as much as you have, and the selection is endless.  The quality isn't exactly stellar, but you really can find just about anything.
But when I was a kid, costumes fell in between these two extremes.  We had to wear a vinyl coverall sweatbox (some of them had cloth pants).  It tied in the back, and split when you didn't want it to. You also were forced to wear a fragile plastic mask, held on by an even MORE fragile elastic string.  Your breath would condense on the inside of this shell, until your face was wet and it was dripping all over you.  Over the course of the night, the mask would crack, especially around the eye holes, causing torturous poking by plastic shards.....then the string broke.  It never failed.  And I didn't even mention the best part:  mostly, you weren't dressing AS that character, but merely a representation OF the character you wanted to be.  There were some exceptions, but more often that not, you were wearing a suit with a large picture of your choosen character. Confused yet, young folks? Let's take a closer look:

Ben Cooper was a company that was the undisputed king of the Halloween costume and mask world.  They even made some inexpensive toys too, but my theory is, they made their real money at Halloween.  According to Wikipedia, they went bankrupt in the late 80's, after which their factory burned to the ground.  That sucks!
You have to love the box art.  The box looks better than the actual costume.  Even though in the 1970's, hyper-merchandising was just beginning (thanks, Mr. Lucas), I always thought of this costume as a tie-in to the Hanna-Barbera GODZILLA animated series that was on Saturday Mornings during this time, although now I see that it's more accurate to say that the Marvel comic has a bigger influence.  Admittedly, the logo and artwork have much more to do with Marvel than HB. In the end, Toho is the only company referred to on the box, which is as it should be.
See what I mean?
"I am the Lizard King!" I don't know what this looks like, but it's sure not the Big G.
"Flameproof and well-ventilated"...I can honestly say, I never did set one on fire, so they have that part right.

In the end, though, it didn't matter to kids, because for that one night, you WERE your chosen character.  And, you got candy, too.
This is one of the final Holy Grails for my vintage Godzilla collection, and ironically, I won it right before Halloween!
One of the Godzilla Shelves at The Sphinx.

1 comment:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

That was the magic of Ben Cooper masks!