Back in our day, trick-or-treating meant hunting for full-sized candy bars with an empty pillowcase, an orange UNICEF box, and a coveted Ben Cooper plastic costume. Sure those masks had no ventilation and the coats our moms made us wear ruined the effect, but man, those were the (spooky) days. Here’s a look back at some of the best ensembles from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Which one did you have?
Jem from Jem and the Holograms.
“Show’s over, Synergy!”
Beep, beep! Can’t catch me!
Remember these little guys? Did we ever figure out if they were actually teddy bears with tails?
“I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world.”
Even the Lasso of Truth won’t be able to save you from this trainwreck of a mask.
The force was strong with this costume, but good luck fitting a cinnamon bun hairdo under that mask.
Who could resist those (pound) puppy dog eyes?
Cabbage Patch Kid
So that’s where cabbage patch kids came from!
By the power of Greyskull! Now that we’re older, we definitely have a deeper appreciation for built-in abs.
Unfortunately, the costume didn’t come with that special inner glow.
This was the costume if you had a pesky big brother and constantly felt like the smartest person in your family.
There was obviously no tougher costume than the Karate Kommando himself.
It was flame retardant, so that’s a relief.
Isn’t this costume smurfy?
Luke, you sound just like your father.
The Real Ghostbusters
Animated TV series, not the Billy Murray film
This is MMMMMMMMaaaaaxxxxx.
Six Million Dollar Man
We can rebuild him.
Planet of the Apes
Cornelius or Zira? Who knows, we could never tell them apart …
Frequently mistaken for Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan by those answering the door.
The irony was, you couldn’t fit ANY sandwiches in your mouth through that mask.
Were you Team Munsters or Team Addams Family?
Based on the Marvel comic, not to be confused with the Lou Ferrigno/Bill Bixby TV series.
If this post makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and nostalgic, we’re happy to report there is a cult following for vintage Ben Cooper costumes on eBay, so have at it. When your kid complains about how “itchy” their $90 Plush Minions costume is, you can break into a righteous “When I was a kid …” speech with the goods to back it up.
— Jacqui Boland & Abigail Matsumoto