1019 – Ben Cooper Costume Catalogs
- Self-Selling Promotional Box
- Jiggle and Wiggle on a String
- Star Wars
- Sesame Street
- James Van Der Beek
Notable Talking Points:
- One of the Most Mundane Pieces of Humanity I’ve Ever Seen
- A very cheap plastic mask
- Hopefully this hat model got more work
Episode 1019 – Ben Cooper Costume Catalogs
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, autumn-based beings, it’s time for a cornucopia of lulls, patrons, that you make possible. It’s time for Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever is keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts, things you’re thinking about on your mind that you say…thoughts, feelings, so anything you’re feeling physically. Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, changes in time or temperature. I’m gonna go off-topic and get mixed up for sure. So, those are a couple things. I already got mixed up, actually.
I was thinking about…something else popped in my brain, interrupt…this lulling, soothing thing interrupted. I’m not even kidding; I was just…I’ll apologize to everybody listening. I have no idea what just…I know what happened. I just…I don’t think I was dialing it in. My brain was telling me about this other thing I gotta…it started talking to me while I was talking. So, it was telling me hey, don’t you have to do this later? I apologize mainly for listening to it instead of saying excuse me, I’m in the middle of recording a intro. I mean, I did realize that whenever I just went off-topic, I said excuse me Scoots, we…I don’t even know what you’re…you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing here. That’s really my most important job.
I’m gonna restart the intro, but just if…in case you’re new, I apologize every once in a while ‘cause I get…just like everybody, I get distracted. So, this is a safe place. I’m here to take your mind off of stuff and put you to sleep, but in a very indirect way. So, whatever’s keeping you awake, I’m gonna try to take your mind off of that, like I said, whether it’s thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations. Obviously, some…I had some thoughts. They weren’t even that intense. It was just some part of my planning…judgemental planning brain. The old JPB…judgemental…judgemental is just one word. JPB. I put out an APB for my attention. But so, there’s thoughts, feelings, physical sensations keeping you awake, I’m gonna take your mind off of that so you could fall asleep.
The way I do it is I send my voice across the deep, dark night. I use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones. Hopefully I started…restarted the intro in the right place, ‘cause I don’t…I really don’t know…so interesting. When we’re in a neutral place like I am now, I can say wow, we’re really…you can be really distracted and have no idea where you are, even in a podcast you’ve recorded over a thousand times. That’s okay; I’m not saying it in a judgemental way. I’m saying huh, that’s interesting. I was in a bit of a fog. I wasn’t in a fog, though. I guess that’s the only way to describe it. I was totally paying attention to someone else, my JPB brain. It was…I kinda said…I guess I’m repeating myself, but it said okay, so, what are we gonna do about…? ‘Cause, okay, I’ll be totally…I’ll even be more frank with you.
There’s an episode that was recorded that I was unhappy with the results, and so I said, what am I gonna do about this? This was not in the moment, though. This is just on my general board of things to think about. For some reason, my JPB brain’s…wait, it said oh, perfect; now that I…can I have your attention for a few minutes? This is the perfect time for us to discuss this. I fell for…the funny thing is, I fell for it. Instead of saying could you wait ‘til later when we’re walking the dog or trying to fall asleep? Said nah, let’s just talk about this now. I got a great idea. I’ve been think…we gotta think about this ‘cause it’s unresolved. I understand that part of you, JPB brain. You wanted things to be resolved, but sometimes things have to wait, and that’s…can be tough.
So, yeah, I’m here to keep you company, too, until the point when we have an opening in the schedule, which is probably at least three weeks away to get that taken care of, so let’s try to look at that in two or three…two and a half weeks, okay? So, if you’re new here though…so, I’m here to keep you company while you fall asleep. Now, a few things to know from a lot of input I’ve gotten…or feedback over the years; if you’re skeptical or doubtful, that totally makes sense. Like, why wouldn’t you be? If somebody’s telling you they’re gonna put you to sleep and take your mind off of stuff, of course you’d be skeptical or doubtful. So, that’s one thing. I say well, that makes a lot of sense that you’re skeptical or doubtful, because yeah, what am I saying? I’m gonna put you to sleep? That doesn’t make any sense.
Or you’ve tried other things or you’re like, this guy’s just talking? Did he just apologize to his brain? Was he…he was in a few…he may have been in a fugue…I wasn’t in a fugue state. It just feels like a fugue state. There’s also a part of me that’s trying to come up with metaphor…excuses in metaphors at the same time. I applaud that; I know. So…oh, so, this is a pod…it’s very different. That’s what I was saying. It takes two or three tries normally to get used to this show because of two things; this is a podcast you don’t really listen to. You just kinda barely pay attention or you listen to it in a loose, almost passive way, like TV coming through the walls or a radio broadcast you could just barely hear, carrying across the river or something. So, that’s one thing, it’s a podcast you barely listen to.
Also, it does not put you to sleep. I’m here to keep you company, and then all of a sudden you wake up tomorrow or you fall asleep. So, I’m just here to be your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-cuz, your bore-bestie, your neighbor or your bore-bor. I guess your bore-bor would be…who cuts your hair? Well, my bore-ber. Whatever it is, I’m here to keep you company while you drift off, to take your mind off whatever’s keeping you awake, so that can also take some getting used to. But that’s also why the show’s over an hour, is so you have plenty of time to fall asleep. I’m gonna be here to keep you company whether you’re awake or asleep, so if you can’t sleep for whatever reason, I’m here for you. I’m here to barely keep you entertained. So, those are two things that can throw new people off.
What else can throw people off? Structure of the show…more importantly is why I make the show. I make it twofold. One, I have all those things; trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, waking up or whatever, all that stuff. So, I know how it feels and if I can help alleviate some of that dread or bedtime anxiety, that would be my honor. But I also truly believe you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a place you can rest, where you could get comfortable, and you could fall asleep so that you could be rested tomorrow to live your life. That is very, very important. If you can be in a place where you have some more resources tomorrow and then you start to have a bedtime routine and more and more resources and you can flourish, that is a good thing. That is…makes our world a better place to live in.
Your world’s better, my world’s better, everybody’s world’s better when you’re flourishing or just rested. So, that’s important to me, so that’s why I make the show. Been there, and I know you deserve something…some place of comfort. If the pod…this podcast doesn’t work for you, sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou, you could find out more. So, those are two things. Oh, the other thing that could throw new people off is the structure of the show, so let me run through that. This show has a very different structure than other podcasts. It starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, so you feel seen and welcomed in. Pretty important for a sleep podcast.
Then there’s support…listener support and resources, and then there’s support for the show via Patreon and sponsors. Then there’s the intro, and the intro is different than those two things. The intro is really a show within a show where I try to explain what the podcast is, and then I…I’m unsuccessful and I go off-topic or in this case, I was already distracted and I was in a state that was similar to a [00:10:00] fugue state, but not a fugue state because I was talking and I wasn’t in some general ether. I was having a conference call with part of my brain. So, most of the intros, you say how come you can’t just explain your intro in like, two sentences? I say well, I’m not good…it’s not my style, not my forte. My forte is Will Forte, of course.
It’s just not something that I’m good at, and it doesn’t really…it’s not conducive to this style of sleep podcast ‘cause this is the style of sleep podcast that go…never gets started and is always running. But the real reason the intro goes on and on and on is for most listeners, it’s a part of their wind-down routine, whether they’re getting ready for bed, they’re doing some sort of mundane or chilled-out activity, or they’re in bed. The intro is not the podcast proper, though for some listeners, it is. Some people fall asleep during the intro, but it’s like a lead-in, a long lead-in ‘cause you got your daytime, you got your pre-bedtime, then you have your wind-down intro time. ‘Cause at least for me, I don’t just fall asleep. It takes some prep and some winding down. Also, just to be honest, the intro’s kinda supposed to be fun.
Usually it’s not written with apologies, but even these apologies are fun. Where else do you get to…be…where else do I get to put my humanity on display? I mean, these…you say, that’s like a…most mundane pieces of humanity I’ve ever seen. I say yep, that’s what I’m here for. I’m here to glam…Hollywood does not give glamour to those parts of us where you say hm, probably should be doing this later. I’m sure some person’s like, gotta mow the lawn in a week or two, and maybe you drift in and out of thinking about mowing the lawn. Maybe you’re gonna do a new technique. You say, I’m gonna go from mowing vertically to horizontally. Maybe I’ll do…maybe I’ll start mowing on…maybe I’m gonna give up the whole X, Y axis. I say, go for it. I say try it out. Grass will probably grow back, maybe.
But someone else might have some other opinion about it. That’s the only thing. But you know, do some stripes. Your kids will at least get a kick out of it. So…oh, what was my point? The intro goes on and on and on. Yes, it does, ‘cause I get a lot of people that say that in a strong way, and I say yeah, it goes on and on and on. It’s here for you. It is a show within a show. It’s not part of the housekeeping or anything. It’s part of the house-sleeping. Housekeeping? This is house-sleeping. Say Scoots, that doesn’t make any sense, but it does. I say yeah, that’s the key to Sleep With Me. So, that’s the intro. Then there’s business. Again, that’s how the podcast comes out twice a week for free, and that business is key to that happening.
Then there’s our story proper, where tonight it’ll be a little bit of an autumnal Holly…it’ll be a Halloween-costume-themed episode where we’re gonna look back at some 1980s and earlier Halloween costumes, some catalogs and some history. So, that’ll be fun. Oh boy, if you can’t sleep, you’re in for a treat, really, because there’s some misspellings in there that really cracked me up. I can’t remember them now. I’d like to tell you; can…is it okay if I spoil things for you? Because they…I honestly don’t know. I thought Darth Vader was V-A-D-E-R. In the costume catalog, they spelled it V-A-D-A-R. Now, it makes sense later on when you hear the history of the costume company, because they were getting things to market before they knew they’d be popular.
There was also…I think Yoda they called Yaga or something, or Yodle…Yoder. There was one or two other ones. This was pre-Ewoks, too, so I don’t know if they would have spelled Ewoks…oh, Baba Fett. That was the one. I can’t remember…Yoder. Maybe it was Yoder or Yol…it wasn’t Yolo. But they definitely said Baba Fett. I said yeah, that’s who raised Boba Fett, you know? Good old Baba Fett. I remember reading that book as a child. That’s who baby Oso needs, is a little Baba Fett. Go live with her for a while out in her cottage in one of the…in the Outer Rim, probably. I mean, talk about a useful place. She probably knew more than Yoda did, Baba Fett. Anyway, I gotta get back to this sleep podcast I make. So, the intro goes on and on and on, then there’s the store…oh, then there’s business, then there’s the story.
Tonight it’ll be kind of a historical catalog-look-type episode. Then at the end of the show are thank-yous. That’s the structure of the show, that’s why I make the show. Hundreds of thousands of people said give it a few tries. It takes a little while to get used to. So, I’m just telling you that to try to say oh, okay, let me just see how it goes. But if it doesn’t work, sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou is there for you. But I’m glad you’re here. I work really hard, I yearn and I strive, and I really hope I can help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple ways I’m able to be here for you free twice a week.
Alright everybody, this is Scooter here and this is gonna be an…a diff…little bit different episode. It’s a combination of a couple styles. So, because the season of…I guess we can say Halloween season, and…when kids dress up in costumes. I did want to look back. I know I did a episode, Costumes of My Youth or something like that that was a personal essay style episode a few years ago. I probably did some research at some point about…it seems like there was just this one company that made the majority of costumes…of this one style of costume that was the main go-to other than homemade costumes, at least in my mind, in my memory. It did become this weird sort of self-perpetuating thing.
I think there was the convenience of…so, this would be costumes that kids would wear from age three to age…I don’t even know; twelve, thirteen, if you didn’t have a homemade costume or you made one yourselves. I kinda talked about my mom; there were years where my mom would make a costume and then there was years when I got into…maybe sixth grade or fifth grade was the first time I made my own costume. Maybe…but in-between those years you would wear one of these plastic…it came with a very cheap plastic mask and then a vinyl kind of apron. So, we’re gonna read a little bit about that, look at a couple catalogs, and yeah, take a look. So, the first thing I’m gonna look through is a article from 2017. 10-29-2017 by Charlie Moss. It was published on thrillist.com.
I’ll be paraphrasing and…it’s a interesting, bizarre story behind those old-school string Halloween masks. They interviewed Jon James Miller, a costume historian and child of the 70s who grew up loving those nighttime strolls. His three favorite costumes were three…there was three…C-3P0 — that’s hard for a dyslexic — Spider-Man, and two DC…oh, no, no; one Marvel and one DC superhero whose names can’t be spoken in a sleep podcast, I just realized. As I said, they came with a…oh, they were sleeveless vinyl smocks, and the plastic masks that fit over the face with a single, thin rubber band. At some point they went from a rubber band though to like a…now I’m remembering it would get caught in your hair and stuff. But it went from a rubber band to a elastic with some sort of material.
They vaguely represented the characters, and I loved them. They were all from the Ben Cooper costume company. For three decades, from the 50s to the late 80s, they provided all the pop culture icons. They had an uncanny ability to predict what was going to be popular, and it became…Ben Cooper Incorporated became synonymous with Halloween, a trendsetter for kids looking for something more than just a generic…I think it also kinda is interesting how…I guess in some sense, it shows the positivity of play, ‘cause when you think about when a real…even a poorly-made home costume would have looked better than one of these, but one, because it was popular, but also because of the suspension of disbelief, [00:20:00] and in some healthy way, I think…whatever your costume, joining in this sense of community, play…it didn’t really matter.
I don’t know, I guess it goes both ways like everything in life. It’s a gray area. But it was inexpensive, fostered children’s imaginations, there you go, and as more adults began taking part in more elaborate costumes, they couldn’t compete with this more child-focused model. Oh, it was also on a podcast episode, it looks like. It was founded in 1937, originally a Vaudeville and masquerade company, founded by Ben and Nat Cooper, two siblings, in the garment district. Let’s see, Ira, Nat’s son, worked with his father and was an outside salesman from ‘76 to ‘80. Now is a English…at the time of this article, an English schoolteacher in New Mexico. The company Ben Cooper Inc. went after was Walt Disney in the ‘30s and the ‘40s. That was where they got started. It’s interesting; just like Nintendo did those cards.
Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Mickey Mouse. Then once they had them, they were able to license other emerging characters from radio at first. As the company’s catalog expanded, so did Ben and Ira’s imagination. Trying to innovate, they came up with different…their own IP stuff and inventions. The 70s became…they took advantage of the popularity of Marvel and DC, Hanna-Barbera, then Star Wars. It says…this is a quote, “They were always right ahead of the trends and it still boggles me how they were able to allocate resources and effort on something that was not guaranteed it was gonna pop up by Halloween.” But they got the Star Wars license before anybody else.
While they…the deal with the Kenner toy company was legendary, the costume rights were easier to negotiate because it was before cosplay and high-end memorabilia. They would begin production of stuff ten to…eight to ten months beforehand. That meant anticipating the excitement around something like Star Wars. But they were already forty years old at that point, their company, but they were ready while Kenner was not for the demand of the 1977 holiday season. But they weren’t laughing because of the flood of money coming in, Ira says at the time. The company had no idea how it was gonna meet demand. When you’re in a rush to pursue something timely, you don’t necessarily increase your profits by increasing the volume. You have to be…you have to have experienced crews.
Then in the 80s, some people…there was a kinda change in trick-or-treating versus home parties, and then that slowly changed to more adults celebrating Halloween, and that’s where people wanted high-quality cloth costumes. Well, Ben Cooper Inc. did have closs…cloth coupons. Not closs coupons; cloth costumes. Claus coupons; good for one Santa Claus. It proved to be too expensive and too complicated for the company to handle. Unlike their inexpensive boxed costumes sold at toy stores and seasonal department stores, pricier cloth costumes were sold on hangers which took up more room. It meant less room for merchandise and required customers to try them on. Yeah, that was the other thing; these were all one-size-fits-all. Or maybe they came in small, medium, and large. We’ll find out as we dig into the catalogs.
Thirty years later, the shift that took place in the 80s has ultimately helped them, because Halloween isn’t for kids anymore. Miller and Ira are using that to their advantage. Together with Ira’s daughter Shafira, they’re resurrecting it. They required the brand back. I guess they’re capitalizing on nostalgia. Yeah, it looks like…oh, this is a exhibit at a museum. But yeah, people are selling them on eBay a lot. Oh, I guess they have new merchandise. So anyway, that was one article. Let’s just see what Wikipedia has to say about it. Ben Cooper Inc. started in 1937, defunct in 1992. Yeah, they show kinda the corporate history, which we covered. Let’s see, 1940s, 1970s and 80s…then yeah, then the 80s, kinda a lot of stuff changed. Increasing sales in the 80s were not enough though to stave off the decline of the business.
Collectibility; they do remain collectible, boxed costumes with a box the most. So, that’s the Wikipedia. I have downloaded some other ones here. I guess let’s start with 1986 or ‘80…oh no, that’s not a Ben Cooper one. Let’s start with…some of these are from plaidstallions.com which I used for stuff, and then I have a couple other ones. Okay, we got a ‘68, a 70s…let’s start with this one. Okay, this is from…oh, 1980. So, it opens; it’s got a real picture on the cover. It says Ben Cooper. Number 1 copyright costumes, ponchos, masks, over-the-head rubber, and even ones that have stuff that looks like hair. Has the address for their office and factory. It has a kind of…on the front, it has a famous Halloween character. Then on the first page of the catalog, it says Halloween 1980. Number 1 sales traffic-builders.
It has a cartoon drawing of kids, so not real kids. They’re not exactly realistic, but the kids all look like they’re dancing. Or the kid in the middle looks like he’s dancing, and the kid on the right does, but the kid on the left is faking being…well, I guess it makes sense why they don’t have…’cause it…these drawings of kids are one-size-fits all. Then you don’t see where…that the kids are behind the mask. So, the first one is Superman, Big Superhero. Then Hulk, TV Superhero. So, this was I guess when The Hulk TV show was on. The Hulk was wearing purple pants. A lot of times, because the mask didn’t make sense, they also have a picture…like, the Superman character looks like Superman’s outfit, though it always had gaiters around the calf to the floor, where you say…I don’t know, ‘cause you just wear your regular shoes.
But the Superman does have…it looked…kinda looks like bluejeans more than a Superman outfit. But then the Hulk has purple pants like the Hulk would wear, but the Hulk had purple shorts. But purple jeans…I don’t know if Bruce Banner wore purple jeans. Then…purple jeans and the Purple Rain. But it has a picture of the Hulk on the shirt. Then the other one is Darth Vader. So, it has a picture of Darth Vader. It says Star Wars, then black pants. Darth Vader does have a cape; so does Superman. Short…all are short-sleeved. I don’t know, is that spelled right? Darth Vadar. D-A-R-T-H V-A-D-A-R. I thought it was Darth Vader. But what do I know? Then Page 2, we have…wow. Page 2 is interesting, or Page 3. Exclusively ours; Number 1 characters kids love.
The first one is an interesting famous Halloween person, but they have some curly hair, kinda like a perm, and then their name on the shirt. They say oh, yeah…I sing the song Transylvania 6-5000. Then they have purple pants as well. Then we have one with a dress. I’m not…oh, I guess it’s a smock. Strawberry Shortcake. My sister may have had this one. Maybe not in 1980, ‘cause she would have been…she wouldn’t have been in a costume yet. Or no, I guess she would have been four. But it has Strawberry Shortcake. This one’s not a closeup of Strawberry Shortcake, though. She’s kind of…she has her cat, some strawberries, and she’s kinda digging through a strawberry briar. Then the Mickey Mouse…it’s in quotes; it says “world-famous.”
[00:30:00] Mickey has his hands up like a surprise, but he has eyes that look like he’s trying to hypnotize you. It’s not a very good look, I’ll be honest. Mickey has, for some reason, a checkered vest like you would see…kinda like a checkered cab. Yellow and black checks, red pants, but then underneath the vest and a bow-tie that says Mickey Mouse is Mickey Mouse below it in a red…red pants and a checkered vest. So, I don’t know. Okay, then sales power for our Number 1 superheroes. So, this one has three superheroes. None of them have their pictures on their shirts or their chests. I definitely had the third one…either my brother or I had, because it’s very silvery. So, we’ll get to it. But the first one is our friend that…the hero of the webs. Web Hero.
I think that says TV superhero, so I think that was when…I think…wasn’t our webbed friend on a show…like on an electric company or something? So, I don’t know if that was it. Then we have Wonder Woman; TV super heroine. Her outfit looks…except they still have the same jeans with the red lower section of the pants. Then they have Robin’s sidekick, Bruce Wayne, but his outfit is not even like the one on the TV show. It’s silver…I remember it was silvery instead of grey. He has a cape as well, Robin’s sidekick. I don’t know, I think either my brother or I had that one. Okay, next. Now we go to not color anymore in the catalog. We’re the first in promotional all-vinyl tiny tot costumes. They have…is it Casper or some non-branded Casper? Oh boy, and then another one, a bit like Lady Witchbeard.
Maybe somebody in my family had that one. They had 1001 box assortment and then a hanger form assortment. Oh, this is forty-eight pieces of boxed assortment. Oh, this is probably a pretty good deal. I wish they had the pricing, the wholesale pricing. But let’s read this. If you get the 48-piece boxed assortment or the 20-feet…24-piece hanger assortment, a popular economy promotional line of costumes. Traffic-builder; you won’t be undersold. These are designed by Ben Cooper experts and smart, Color Brite colors. Vinyl costumes are vivid-colored, heat-sealed for durability, windproof, waterproof, full-face duro-vinyl masks, 2-piece window box, or on hanger forms. Tiny tot sizes are three to five. So, these are costumes for three to five-year-olds, or sizes three to five.
There’s also a bunny who…in the cartoon is dancing, a little fairy who looks more like a princess ‘cause she has on some sort of robe, a kitty cat who is…the kid is doing a kitty cat, and then a C-L-O-W to the W-N. Okay, Page 2 has another assortment set. This is probably different sizes, though. It has…these are non…so, it has another Casper lookalike, another sing…a different style costume of Transyl…singer of Transylvania 6-5000, a Frankie who’s dancing. That one looks kinda cool. Yeah, this is the hang…this is a 1201 boxed assortment, or you can get the hanger one. Budget lines…same thing. You can get them in small, four, six, medium, eight to ten, or large, twelve to fourteen. That also came with a C-L-O-W-N. What is that one? I wish it wasn’t covered up. It was a Lady Witchbeard-type-style one.
There’s somebody that looks like they worked with Get Besos back when they ran that startup under the…in Middle Earth. Okay, and then the next page is…we’re the Number 1 biggest in copyright Halloween costumes, the most famous television comic strip heroes that kids know and kids love 52 weeks a year. Oh, they have a Doctor Strange. Wow, they were so far ahead of their time. The Thing from the Final…the…what do you call that? The Fabulous 4? Fantastic 4? Captain America. Then, my brother had this one, right next to Captain America. It was a really great one, really bright colors. That was Captain America’s nemesis, who then had to work on that weird planet in one of the Avengers movies. Let’s see, the…all these assortments are thirty-six pieces. So, you’d buy a set of them.
That’s pretty smart, though. Full-faced masks, heat durability, self-selling promotional box, different sizes. I think it’s…Doctor Strange; I mean, talk about…holy cow, no wonder this stuff’s worth money. Then they have a page of I guess…oh no, more…so, they have a Disco Dazzler. I don’t know if that was a show. It looks like it was some sort of IP. Then they have a Woman of the Web, it says. Somebody else…I can’t tell what they’re doing. Oh, Ponch and Jon, I think, from CHiPs, maybe. Then the Lone Ranger. Then we got another page. Yogi Bear, Carrie from Little House on the Prairie, Raggedy Ann…this is interesting. I mean, some of this stuff doesn’t make any sense. Raggedy Ann does not look comforting to me. But she has on what looks like a dress, and it says Raggedy Ann. It has her picture.
Then Yogi Bear has the…the cartoon child is touching the bow-tie. It has a bow-tie…or maybe that’s a collar, then a tie with a picture of Yogi Bear on it. Then Carrie, Little House on the Prairie, has a dress with pictures of the fam…other family members of Little House on the Prairie, and something that says Carrie from Little House on the Prairie on there, so you don’t have to…that’s pretty smart in some sense, ‘cause if people don’t know who you are, then it says it on there. Then it just says Flintstone. Again, this one is not comforting. But then it says…it looks like the picture on the chest of the child says Fred Flintstone. But Fred looks like he had way too many ales at whatever, the Moose Lodge; like, 5,000 ales. Then a famous Bozo. Then it says Tom and Jerry, but it’s just Tom. He’s doing a cat dance.
Bozo’s doing some sort of dance. So, a lot of fun people having…these drawings. Then they say super tots, ours alone. So, they do have Jerry on this page, but it just says Tom and Jerry. Then another Bozo, Cinderella, Mini Mouse, another Raggedy Ann. These are the Super Tots collection. Super-Boy, Donald Duck…holy moly. I’m surprised; Disney must not…this is like…you should look up this Donald Duck ‘cause it does not look like a duck, and it does…it looks like…I guess what Donald is…if I imagine what Donald’s inside life is like, this mask of Donald the Duck looks like that. Oh cool, now we get into another page here. This is another assortment. Tinkerbell, Snow White, Cinderella. So, Tinkerbell does look cool, just not like a Tinkerbell. She looks kinda like…more like a forest sprite. You say Scoots, Tinkerbell is a forest sprite.
I say okay, well, this costume then portrays her in a way…Vincent from Black Hole, which was like BB-8 before BB-8 was even a twinkle in R2-D2’s eye. Vincent from the Black Hole, then another Donald Duck who has a star-spangled vest on, and then Donald Duck on the chest. That one does not look like Donald Duck, either. It kinda looks like some sort of…it looks like something out of a Simpsons, like where it’s some duck like Donald that’s been out too late. Then they have Mickey Mouse. [00:40:00] I’m not kidding; the Mickey Mouse in this catalog has a five o’clock shadow. It has kind of a sorcerer’s Mickey on the chest, and it’s waving. All of the…the two princesses, Snow White and Cinderella, are doing the princess wave. Then they have their first characters with hair.
My brother had one of these with hair. I don’t remember which one it is. Bigfoot, Puppy Pal, and then a Transylvania male and female. Transylvanian male and females with hair. This was a 24-piece assortment. For scaredy cats, it says. Those all come with hair. From Monster Profits, it says. Oh boy, here’s some other cool ones; King Kong, Godzilla, though Godzilla’s wearing pants, and King Kong, and Frankie. It’s interesting that they’re on the pages together. That’d be pretty cool if one of the Godzillas had a full-size…like a 40 or 400-foot Frankie. Godzilla’s actually spewing…well, the Godzilla’s spewing fire, but it…say technically, that’s not correct. Oh my gosh, we’re getting into more stuff here. So, then they have Buck Rodgers. This is all before my time, or a lot of it is.
Then Robin’s sidekick, the Web Buddy, Hulk, Mork from Mork and Mindy, and then some sort of Superman. There must have been a Superman reboot or something. This is in black and white, but it’s a blonde Superman, it looks like. Oh, and according to…Plaid Stallion pointed out that Mork is doing a Vulcan hello. Then we have another web person. Let’s see. I’m trying to think of some of these…how I can say them. Super Girl, Wonder Woman, super-selling heroines. Annie; that’s pretty cool. Strawberry Shortcake, and then someone that you’d expect with Robin. She had a motorcycle, I think, on that show. Nobody’s sidekick, she would say. Plastic Man. Now, I remember seeing that show. I don’t know if it was an add-on cartoon. Micronaut; never heard of Micronaut. Isis, like, one of the Egyptian goddesses.
Oh yeah, it says according to Plaid Stallions, Isis and Plastic Man were still stars in the 1980s while Holly Hobbie and Biotron were stars of the…so, Holly Hob…there’s Holly Hobbie. Never heard of Micronaut or Isis. I mean, not in a fictional form. Then we have tiny tot superheroes. This is funny ‘cause it’s tiny tot superheroes. So, they have Superman, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, R2-D2, and R2-D2 on this one looks like they just put a trash can…I think they probably changed around that mask, or it’s not…and then a couple other of the other ones. Then back for 1980, Star War. It has half of the thing from…it says Empire Strike Back. Star War heroes return in science-fiction’s giant runaway best-selling costumes. They have C-3P0, R2-D2 who looks…R2-D2’s thing looks like…I don’t know.
It’s reminding me of something from some other piece of fiction. Yado. On this one it says Yado. So, this is like…where the thing said; they were trying to stay ahead of things. I’m also not making it up. Yado. Good old Yado. They have Chewbacca, Darth Vader, a trooper, and Baba…does that say Baba Fett? It does. It says Baba Fett here. Good old Baba Fett. I wonder what he would think about that now. We now have Star Wars most-wanted costumes. So, that’s interesting. Baba Fett and Yada. Can’t make this…oh, Sesame Street. You have Big Bird, and Big Bird does have stripe…Ernie; Ernie…again, some of these just look like somebody stayed up…whoever drew these must have been drawing them in the 60s and the 70s or still living in that era, ‘cause there is a sense…but I guess these weren’t…this wasn’t marketing material.
This is for stores that were buying the…it wasn’t for consumers. So, I guess it’s a whole…maybe it was supposed to be more fun. The Count…Cookie Monster. I remember somebody having a Cookie Monster. Grover and the Grouch. Not Oscar; just the Grouch. But it does say Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster on their things. You say, who are…? What is that? But Cookie Monster…my brother Ted was Cookie Monster. He had one of those costumes, and probably not ‘til like, ‘83 or ‘84 at least. Then more copyright exclusives, kinda the same ones. The other…some alternative Superman that we’ve seen. Then these ones are ponchos. Mean big sales on our copyright exclusives. So, I guess if this was raining or something? They have Hulk, Mickey Mouse poncho, and you could get a rack or hanger for them.
They had a eight-dozen rack. Came with a dozen Hulk, a dozen Mickey Mouse, a dozen of Robin’s sidekick, one dozen of Darth Vadar. I mean, I could be spelling that wrong, but I think it’s V-A-D-E-R. This is V-A-D-A-R. Frankie, Transylvania 6-5000, Superman, Web Buddy, a dozen of all of those. Vinyl ponchos that can be worn all year long as playwear. Some come with a mask and hood. All ponchos are waterproof and they’re made from vinyl. There’s more here. Some sort of…the Transylvania, Frankie. Those are the 1900 poncho pack. Holly Hobbie got a poncho, Darth Vadar, Superman, a couple other heroes whose names we won’t say. Oh, and then add-ons. They had different figures you could buy. What are these? Ben Cooper superhero exclusive TV hero favorites. I don’t know, are these action figures?
Realistic, hand-detailed action figure on a string. Seen fifty-two years…weeks a year on TV. Comes in display box. So, I don’t know if that’s a costume or what, or a toy. Then they have Super Birds on their own string. Wiggly figures kids love. This Halloween, the Super Birds are coming, and they fly on their own string. Oh, these…maybe these were decorations. They had other ones. Realistic, lifelike jiggle and wiggle on a string. Yeah, they have Transylvania 6-5000. Oh, Doctor Strange. Captain America’s nemesis, the Thing, soft vinyl action figures that are exclusively ours and jiggle and wiggle on a string. Okay, then we get into other add-on things and blister packs. Specs…so, they had different kinds of disguise glasses. Neither one of these looks like Groucho Marx, though.
These are both already priced at a dollar. Then a 2-in-1 disguise kit with a beard or a moustache, a masquerade kit. Oh, I lost my page there, which I had…oh, I think I bought one of these one time. You could be a pirate, you could have teeth, you could have nails. Then a style-it-yourself long hair wig, or one yard of hair disguise kit. More popular disguise kits. I definitely bought one of these. Different sets of teeth with finger…like, fake fingernails, glasses. Popular half-masks, Ben Cooper trick-or-treat bags. That’s, I guess, a easy add-on or giveaway. Super Friends, a trick-or-treat with Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Snow White’s nemesis. Then the Flintstones. [00:50:00] Wait, was that dog a Flintstones dog? Oh no, it’s Hanna-Barbera ‘cause I see Yogi Bear, Fred Flintstone, and then the Jetsons’ dog.
Then some more masks. I don’t know if it’s a recap or this…you could just buy masks only. But they had Mickey…these are actually pictures of the masks. Mickey…not sure who that is; some sort of Marvel super heroine. Captain America, the Thing. Maybe…no one wanted to be any else…any other member of the Fantastic 4? Jerry, Tweety Bird maybe, or some sort of bird. Road Runner? I don’t know who that is. Donald Duck and Raggedy Ann. Oh, adult hand-sculpted masks. That was what we’re looking at. Then they have Vadar, they have Sand Person, C-3P0, Chewbacca, and just a regular, generic trooper. Then they have Galactic Hero. So, this is Battlestar Galactica fakeout, Galactic Hero.
So, I guess that was the other move; they’re like, we’ll just make masks…we can either sign a agreement with you or make masks like your characters. I guess they didn’t have a deal with Universal ‘cause they have a lot of stuff that looks like Universal, but I don’t see anything. Then more Wonder Woman. What is that one? Some sort of robot. It’s the night Biotron. Then some more with hair. Sculptured masks, man. Ben Cooper’s adult with hair. They have different ones, different styles or different things. You could use them for Mardi Gras or teens and adults. Then they have different racks you could put your masks on to sell them. Oh, these were expensive. These have the actual prices; $249 for a 22-and-a-half dozen rack.
No, one, two…if it’s a dozen…oh, I guess…but each one holds…then $214 for a 15-dozen rack. Then $171 for a 12-dozen. Our racks are ready, man. Still selling. Then they had rubber ones. These are actual pictures. My dad…like I said in that episode, he would buy a new rubber mask every year. That was one of the few indulgences he ever had. He never took us with him, though. It was always a mystery. He would come home a little bit before Halloween with his all picked out, so it was kinda one of those things where you’re like oh, you have this kind of secret life we’re not a part of. So, let’s pop over to the 1970…what year is this one? 1986 Ben Cooper catalog. This one has everything for Halloween. We put it all together. This one has actual people, though.
I gotta get it open here, and I got 3% battery, so this will be interesting, as always. This is all color photos. So, let’s see. The first page has the top vinyls. They have Casper, a bunny, a fairy, a cat, a C-L-O-W-N, and a Lady Witchbeard. Then below it, they have the next size up. They have it in a different order, so you can’t really compare. Oh, I guess the Casper is not real Casper. It’s like a…so, that must have been what they did. They say oh, you don’t want to advertise? You don’t want us to license your mask? Okay. Then they have I guess the next level up or something, ‘cause they have another Lady Witchbeard one. Oh, these are half-masks. Maybe they’re paper masks? I don’t know. Head-topper, they call them. They have different ones; Frankie, a fairy, some that are like…you can’t even believe.
Then they have the ponchos. A poncho would not be a very good costume ‘cause you couldn’t hear. I don’t remember anybody having a poncho costume. Then, let’s see what other ones we have here. Oh, some from the comics, the…this purple comic book character, Punky Brewster. Robotech even, and then Raggedy Ann. Some sort of wireless warrior? I don’t know. I don’t have full…I’ve got a little pixelation. Mr. Potato Head does not look like…Mr. Potato Head must have briefly had…Dottie Dog. Wheeled Warrior, that says. Okay, then Mickey Mouse, Donald, Tinkerbell. Those costumes, I’ll be honest, these ones are awful. Looney Tunes ones…it looks like the…Disney also did something, because their masks are not masks; they’re drawn on. That’s this…or maybe the masks were just so bad.
But then they had ones from He-Man. They had He-Man, He-Man’s nemesis, the magic thing that floated around. I don’t know if that was good or bad. Let’s see, some other characters I don’t even know. Oh, I think these are He-Man’s…maybe those are characters…like I said, I wasn’t a big He-Man…or maybe I never said it yet. I said that in a future episode. These are other He-Man people? I don’t know. Masters of the Universe. Then they have another set of hair costumes. Those ones are pretty cool. I would wear one of those now. Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny. What else do we got here? So, these ones were new. ThunderCats…two different ThunderCat ones, a Voltron. The kid with the…that’s playing Voltron though, his shoulders are slumped. Also one of the ThunderCats.
Some other ones that…oh, mask…remember, there was kinda like…oh, then G.I. Joe, Hulk Hogan, She-Ra…she’s still around, She-Ra. G.I. Joe, some sort of…some really interesting…oh, Pound Puppies. Gummy Bears…I loved that show. Flippy Dog…I don’t know, but they had two of the Gummy Bears; Cherry and somebody else. They have a My…two little My Little Ponies, a purple one and a yellow one. A couple of Care Bears, somebody else who…oh, Glow Worm and a cabbage patch. You could go as Glow Worm the Goodnight Pal. Oh, Popples. I kinda remember that show. Another She-Ra, probably some sort of She-Ra’s rivals, Dream Glow Barbie. So, this was their decline. It seems like because they were probably paying out so much in licensing fees.
They had Muppet Babies; Baby Kermie, Baby Miss Piggy, Baby Fozzie Bear. They had some plush costumes, then they have Fraggle Rock, Dozer, and then a couple other…the Fraggle Rocks. You got Sesame Street. This time, Grover’s dressed up like a cowboy. For some reason, Oscar the Grouch has a bowl cut. I don’t remember him…I guess I do. I don’t know. Cookie Monster looks good. No Bert. How come nobody wanted to be Bert? Then we had more pajama costumes. That might be good to put your kid right to bed. Those are kinda generic. Teddy bear, a bunny, a tiger. The heck is that one? Popple? Another Glow Worm. Muppet Baby Kermit. That’s a winner. Then, yeah, they were getting into fabric costumes like that article said. Oh, and then they even have adult ones which are all kinda ridiculous.
Say, no wonder…it’s like being a child of the 80s; you say okay, well, yeah. This was how we were…this was the environment we were raised in. They have makeup, they had dress-up sets for all ages that came in plastic bags. Some one-piece suits, different capes, and yeah, different makeup kits. I remember when this got popular. Then you could get some wigs, [01:00:00] kinda like we covered, and then the over-the-head rubber masks. Funky’s…Punky’s…the Punky’s. So, they have different ones. Carnival-style ones, Mardi Gras-style ones, topper, comic opera ones, fantastique over-the-head, long, plush hair. Yeah, ones with hair there. Hats, sateen fabric and giant hats, derby hats. The guy modeling the hats really put a lot of work in. He’s making a lot of different faces. Hopefully he found work after this. This is worth it.
I’m not even kidding. I love this. I have a new hero. Maybe me…I should reach out to the guy with the pizza at McDonalds and see if we can track this guy down. Okay, you have to look this up; so, this is the 19…go to plaidstallions.com, 1986. What is this, the Ben Hamper or whatever catalog? Then go to the pages where they have the different hats. So, he’s in one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve…he looks like the guy on Dawson’s Creek, James Bleeker, or what was his name? That’s definitely not his name. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to the actor. He had a show where he played himself recently.
I mean, it’s not the same person anyway. But so, the guy’s making faces in every single picture and he’s acing it. He brings joy and amusement to everything. He also looks a little bit like Dominick that was on Lost and was also one of Frodo’s people. A little bit like that. Then, yeah, it finishes up with kinda the stuff we saw last time. So yeah, that’s a little bit about…I can’t even remember the name of the company, though. The Ben Cooper catalog, and a little Halloween costume journey for you this season. Goodnight, everybody.
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