I have a passion for collecting vintage Star Wars merchandise from the late 70's. Action figures, comics, trading cards etc - anything related to the first Star Wars movie. But why only until 1980? It's not that I don't love The Empire Strikes Back and beyond (I really do), but there is something about that first wave of Star Wars mania that really grips me, back when it was all fresh and exciting...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Star Wars Halloween

Well, Happy Halloween, folks! Couldn't really think of much to do for a Star Wars Halloween post, but I recently came across this ad in the December 1978 issue of Marvel's comic featuring a bunch of Ben Cooper stuff and put it aside especially. I don't know why this was printed in December. Either the ad was left over from 1978's season, or this is mightily early promotion for 1979.

Ben Cooper Inc. pretty much had a monopoly on Halloween costumes in the 70s. Ultra cheap to produce, the costumes usually consisted of a plastic mask and some sort of vinyl smock. Licensed characters including superheroes, movie monsters and film and TV personalities were popular. Rather than faithfully recreating the outfits of these pop icons, Ben Cooper costumes famously had the name (and sometimes the image) of the character printed on the front of them, presumably to make sure people knew exactly who they were looking at.

I don't have any of the stuff featured on the advertisement, but I managed to pinch a few pics from the net. Later, more characters were added to the line (like Leia and R2).

Here are some prime examples of the 'mask and smock' combo that one could expect from Ben Cooper Inc.

Another variation for that year was the 'poncho' look.

The Chewbacca 'disguise kit' looks intriguing. I've seen those teeth many times since used as parts of vampire costumes, but I wonder what the wig looked like.


Jay said...

That Threepio mask is cool!

Will Errickson said...

I had these! I went as Vader, my sister was C3PO, probably 1977 or '78.