13 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN: A BEN COOPER A DAY

13 tricks. 13 treats. 13 days.

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Where do you stand on candy corn? I like it but only this time of year. And I can’t eat too much of it in one sitting without feeling a little sick. But I don’t understand the weird hate some people have for it.

But that’s not why I’m here.

I’m here to sing the kitschy praises of Ben Cooper, the erstwhile purveyor of cheap, allegedly flame-retardant, frequently wildly off-model Halloween costumes that most famously came in a brightly colored window box.

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Now, for three years running I posted a selection of 13 Ben Cooper costumes you could find on eBay. (Click here for last year’s.) Readers seemed to dig it as much as I do and I was ready to do the same thing this year until I saw cartoonist Chris Ecker (Knight Watchman) post some costumes on Facebook.

And I’m telling you, the dude has a serious addiction:

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So I contacted him and he agreed to let me run pix of 13 of his costumes this year. But I’ve decided to take it a step further and post a costume a day to really get into the Halloween spirit with 13 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN: A BEN COOPER A DAY.

Every day from now through Oct. 31, we’ll be spotlighting a particular costume with particular commentary.

Ben Cooper was an essential part of mid-century kidhood and I had my share of outfits. I’ll get into that as we go along too because I imagine a lot of your faves will pop up, as well.

We begin with the world’s first superhero, Superman:

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According to Chris, this 1959 outfit started his collection and it came in an a nifty, illustrated box with an 8-page Superman comic.

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Looks very Wayne Boring to me.

In the early ’70s, I had a similar one but it wasn’t shiny and was made from a heavier-duty cloth. There are two things I remember about it:

This somewhat chilling disclaimer on the hem of the shirt (which you can actually see above)…

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… and the time I wore it into a field near the Tagliaferris’ house and I came back covered in ticks. I was told by my babysitter Marilyn and the older kids that they were drawn to the red cape. Could have been an old wives’ tale.

NEXT: The Visible Man. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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