No tricks, all treat.
One of the most exciting parts of Halloween when you were a kid was going to, say, Woolworth’s or a similar economy department store, to hunt for the Ben Cooper costume you so desperately wanted that year.
There would be a big wall of selections — some rifled through, some with smashed boxes, of course — and you’d stand there staring up, scanning every mask until you found the one you wanted. Or if the boxes were stacked on their sides you’d look for the name: Batman? Spider-Man? The Bionic Woman? The Village People?
You’d do this with fingers crossed, too, because it wasn’t enough to have your character; they had to have the right size too.
If the Halloween goblins were smiling upon you, you’d make your big score… and then have to wait allllllll the way to Halloween to wear the darn thing. (“You don’t want to tear it already, do you?” asked every Mom everywhere every year.)
Well, after an interminable wait, those of us weaned on boxed, allegedly flame-retardant costumes, can experience the thrill all over again — though at a smaller scale.
See, as we’ve been writing, Ben Cooper — now a Rubies brand — has made a return with adult costumes that recall the originals. This year, there’s Batman, Superman, the Flash, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Gremlins. (In the past, they did Star Wars.)
In the box is a mask and a one-size-fits-all smock top, sans pants (which is just as well).
You can get them online, but where’s the fun in that? This demands an old-school experience, so you can do what I did: Go to your local Spirit Halloween store and check out the Ben Cooper shelves. (Spirit is the exclusive retailer.)
It’s likely to be a fairly small display — these are niche items these days — but there’s still that thrill of seeing those wonderful Ben Cooper boxes waiting to be taken to a loving home.
The box designs may not have ’70s kitsch value and each set costs about $30, but the whole experience is worth it, if only to see that little Ben Cooper logo right there on the front.
I picked up Batman and Superman but had to order the Flash online. Two out of three ain’t bad.
Meanwhile, I have yet to take them out of their boxes. After all, I don’t want to tear mine weeks before Halloween, do I, Mom?
HOLD ON, I’M NOT DONE: Hey, Ben Cooper folks! See that T-shirt I’m wearing above, based on the original Ben Cooper Batman logo? I had it custom-made years back. But I gotta tell you, you’d make a mint if you sold them, along with, say, Superman. I promise!
— 13 Groovy BEN COOPER Designs That Would Make Great T-Shirts. Click here.
— At Last! BEN COOPER Superhero Costumes Return For Halloween 2022. Click here.