Wednesday, October 7, 2009

HALLOWEEN HIJINKS: Ben Cooper Costumes!

B-Sol here, filling in for an extremely under the weather BJ-C. In a way, it's a good thing I'm here tonight, because I can weigh in on the whole "Halloween Hijinks" thing in a way that only an old man like me can do.

Tonight, our subject is that pop culture classic, the Ben Cooper costume. If you were a kid in the '60s, '70s or '80s, then you definitely know what these were. In fact, you probably have grown to be quite nostalgic about them, yet in your heart you know they were really utter crap. See, kids these days don't know what we had to go through. If you weren't making the costume at home from scratch yourself, then you were wearing one of these atrocities.

A cheesy plastic mask with a white rubber band that snapped with the slightest amount of pressure. Combined with what can best be described as a plastic smock featuring a picture of the character whose likeness the costume represented. Yes, because heaven forbid that the plastic smock in question could actually be made to resemble the attire of the character in question. No, see, instead of looking like Bugs Bunny's body, the smock would sport a ridiculous illustration of Bugs Bunny himself, with--just in case you weren't sure--the words "Bugs Bunny" plastered above it.

This mask and smock would be packaged in a cardboard box, with the mask facing out through the plastic window on top, so you could see Superman or Woody Woodpecker or He-Man smiling out at you from the shelf at your local discount store. You would peruse the shelves until you came across the character you wanted to be, and then ask mommy or daddy to buy it for you.

For some reason, these mass-produced, sorry excuses for Halloween costumes were what dominated the market for decades. From what I understand, they were still being made into the 1990s. Yet somewhere between then and now, they vanished. Maybe kids now are more sophisticated and that's why Ben Cooper could no longer peddle his boxes of mediocrity. Of course, what happened with them also is what seems to happen with just about anything from our childhood--they became retro-chic items of hipster nostalgia.

Yes, I get it. I wore my fair share of them: Charlie Brown, Batman, C3PO, E.T. and Darth Vader amongst them. But even then, when it was pretty much the only option for kids, I knew they were uber lame. As I looked at myself in the mirror, even then, at the tender age of four, I could tell that aside from the mask, I looked nothing like Spider-Man. I knew that Ben Cooper costumes sucked.

I'll admit, there is a certain fondness to remembering those costumes, particularly thanks to the Halloween memories associated with them. But let's all be honest and admit to ourselves that they were awful, shall we? Kids now have it all over us in the costume department, there's no way around it. I hope you're all thankful, you little shits.

Anyway, this is B-Sol signing off from Day of the Woman. And don't worry, because I have it on good authority that the online Mistress of the Macabre will soon be back with a vengeance, with a brand new Bitch of the Month, and lots of other great stuff. So hang in there, will ya?

4 comment(s):

prof. grewbeard said...

maybe you should have switched to the Collegeville brand!...

http://magiccarpetburn.blogspot.com/search?q=collegeville

RayRay said...

Dude, you are so right. These costumes bit it, and bit it hard. I was Chewbacca once, and mask aside, I felt like I got beat. Ben Cooper costumes sucked, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Totally stupid, snarky piece. So sorry someone as "cool" as you was subjected to the torture of a Ben Cooper costume when you were a kid. Pathetic.

DJC said...

I hated those costumes, though the Darth Vader one wasn't so bad. It was just evil how you could only see the mask in the packaging, and then when you opened it at home you saw the lame or outright embarrassing shirt with a picture of what a good costume would look like. They're the main reason I was a ghost almost every year.

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