For those of us who grew up in the 1960-70’s, September was a bittersweet month. Summer ended and school began. Shorts and days spent swimming and riding bikes under a sun that seemed to stay bright until midnight gave way to coats, scarves, and homework. The only bright spot would occur around the 2nd or 3rd week of the month when, magically, the local five and dime would, seemingly overnight, be filled with Halloween treasures.

We didn’t know it then, but those were the golden age of children’s Halloween costumes. Prior to the 1950’s virtually all children’s costumes were homemade. Then mass produces children’s costumes by companies like Halco, Ben Cooper, and Collegeville cam onto the scene and changed the world of children. The costumes were virtually all licensed characters, Mickey Mouse, Bullwinkle The Moose, Little lulu, Batman, and thousands more. They were a simple often just a plastic mask and a flame retardant smock with a picture of the character you were supposed to be. It was a bit like crib notes for adults in a way, they might be unfamiliar with Spider-Man, but by simply reading your smock they could greet you with a “Oh, you are such a scary…uh…Spider-Man”.

Because the costumes were cheaply made, they would almost self-destruct after Halloween was over. This has in turn made them rather rare, and some, like the 1965 Ben Cooper Spider-man can command over $1000.00 if it has its original box.

Inspired by a love of these classic costumes, New York based Mezco Toyz has recreated their magic with a twist. They have blended them with their world famous Living Dead Dolls line to create three retro costumes that are wowing fans of both genres.

Explains Mezco’s Director of Special Projects, Mike Drake: “The simple costume in a window box is something we all grew up with. I think my very first Halloween costume was a Ben Cooper Frankenstein. What Mezco has done with these retro costumes is taken 3 of our most popular Halloween themed Living Dead Dolls, Calavera The Skull, Pumpkin- The Jack O’ Lantern and Gabriella- The Ghoul, and recreate the masks the dolls wore as adult size masks. Then we had artist Dave Cook design a special Living Dead Doll Halloween shirt to take the place of the ever present flame retardant smock, and packaged it in a great retro box along with a doll wearing the original outfit! In other words, you not only get the mask but the doll it was based on. Looking back, I can’t help but be amazed that Ben Cooper, Collegeville, and the others never thought to include a toy with their costumes.”

Having inspected the retro boxes first hand I can say without reservation that Mezco’s award winning design team has outdone themselves yet again. They have the look and feel of the 1960’s boxes. They even replicated the rubber stamp printing with the name on the bottom of the box. Truly, this was a labor of love. A labor that has paid off.

Demand for the costumes has skyrocketed. After costumes collectors on Universal Monster Army and other websites became aware of the costumes they reached sold out status almost instantly.

Iconic New York based comic book shop Forbidden Planet is getting calls about them daily, reported one harried clerk, “I keep telling them they won’t be in stock until October and to call back then, but they keep calling!”

Philadelphia based costume retailer Nick Smerecki has a similar situation; “Our top costumes are usually things like Sexy Witch and Sexy Nurse, lots of stuff by Leg Avenue. But now everyday we have people coming into our locations asking about these. Its crazy!”

One unnamed source has even hinted that Mezco’s costumes may make an appearance on the Most Popular Costume list of the National Retail Federation.

Of course, the cache of being a limited edition has helped fuel the flames of excitement. “There are only 500 made of each mask set. Worldwide.” Explained Mezco’s Drake. “There are fans of the Living Dead Dolls all over the world, there are retro Halloween mask collectors all over the world. What we’ve done is unintentionally start a battle between the two over 500 sets of masks”.

What should you do if you can’t get a Living Dead Doll retro mask set of your own this year? Well, there’s a guy in Philly who may have some leftover sexy nurse outfits…

– John Charles is a freelance writer and collectible enthusiast. He has contributed work to and other toy websites, including now, Infinite Hollywood.

2 Responses to Retro Halloween Costumes Are A Treat For Mezco Toyz

  • Halloweenfan says:

    Just pre-ordred one of these at Halloweentown! Loving it!

  • Sam Haim says:

    Truly an amazing concept! How is it in over 5 decades nobody ever combined a collectible toy with a costume before! Concept of the year!

    Glad to hear these are virtually sold out worldwide!

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