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Saturday, October 13, 2007

1st Anniversary Week, Part 6: Ben Cooper Halloween Costume - 1967

sgWelcome to Year Two of the Aquaman Shrine!

Back in December, I listed this item as one of my Holy Grails of Aquaman Collecting:
"This is the Aquaman-Halloween costume by manufacturer Ben Cooper from the late 60s/early 70s. It comes with one of those masks that made you gasp for breath as a kid. And since of course a mask of just a blonde-haired guy isn't too exciting, they added a little orange domino mask just to make it completely baffling as to who you might be dressed up as.

I've seen this surface this a few times on ebay, and one time I almost had it, except I was outbid at the last moment. I had dial-up at the time, and now that I have high-speed, I will make sure that doesn't happen again."

...and that's exactly what happened--er, didn't. When I saw this come up for sale on ebay about a month ago I knew A)I had to have it, and B)it would make the perfect post for the second-year kick-off to the Shrine. A few tense moments and excessive bidding later, it was mine.

I guess the domino mask makes sense, but since Aquaman is depicted right there on the tunic, I don't really think it was necessary. But hey, I'm just glad Aquaman made it as halloween costume, a true indicator of mass pop-culture appeal.

The box only features one DC character, and that's Wonder Woman on the side. Was Thor ever really a Halloween costume? It makes me smile, watching the big stars of the Marvel Universe introduce Aquaman like that.

...and that concludes our 1st anniversary week. I thank every single person who checks this blog out, links to it, and especially those who contribute. Knowing other people are enjoying my mad obsession pleases me to no end.

Back when I started this, I wasn't sure how long I could keep the Shrine going, but just when I think I see a definite end of stuff to post, I find a whole bunch of new things--I knew Aquaman had made deep inroads into the culture, but I had no idea how deep and I've learned quite a bit about my hero.

And even though I've already gone through a lot of great stuff, I do have some other surprises in store and I'm hoping this second year will be even better!
Your humble blogger.


Rick L. Phillips said...

congrats on your anniversary. It is being celebrated at two of my sites today. The costume takes me back to when I was a kid. Actually the mask looks like a mask of Green Lantern whom I went as one year. Maybe I'll tell you about that for your other site Hey Kids Comics.
I guess they saved money by using the same mold as GL's mask. They probably had a Superman costume and could have used that mold and made the hair blond. Oh well I am happy that you finally got this and thanks for all the fun Aquaman stuff and the memories.

Scurvy said...

Congrats on the annual-versity! Your site has (for quite some time now) been on my list of daily must see's. You are a true fan, and I have really enjoyed reading your insights into these items. Thank you for helping me feel like I'm not the only Aquaman fan in the world and showing some great items I never (in many cases!) new existed.

nice pic of yourself btw. :)

Siskoid said...

Congratulations on your blogiversary and here's to a fishy second year (that's meant in a good way)!

Anonymous said...

Very cool!

Boy, I would have loved to have gone Trick or Treating as Aquaman! Unfortunately, on Halloween 1967 I was one day away from my 1st birthday so I guess that wasn't meant to be. Unless they had toddler sizes. I could have been Aquababy!

Anyway Rob, I've really enjoyed the first year of the Aquaman Shrine. Though I don't always comment, I do visit everyday. It's nice to know that there is someone out there who is as obsessed with the Sea King as I. Keep doing what you're doing Mr. Kelly!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on picking up a Grail, Rob! I know you're a worthy custodian - an "Arthur(Curry)-ian Knight Templar," as it were.

Man, do I remember the Ben Cooper/Collegville days! But the classic comics characters were so simply designed, that we kids all hated the changes:

Geez - produce a decent Batman mask & cape... then put a big red "HERE COMES BATMAN!!!" pic on the front! (Or the like.)

-Craig W.

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary, Rob! Sure, they said it was insane and it'd never work...but so WHAT if they were right? You had a dream. A wet dream of...

No, wait. That doesn't sound right...


Anonymous said...

This is awesome, Rob! I had forgotten this costume existed. Great to know you got it. Looking forward to another fun year!

Kidbilly said...

Hey Rob, I'm getting my Aquaman tattoo on Oct 20th. I'll be sure to send a pic of it to you! I'm so psyched!

rob! said...


awesome! i definitely want to see it!

Diabolu Frank said...

I hate to break it to you, but I strongly suspect Aquaman and the lesser Marvel characters were just cheaper licenses. This was a bit before my time, but I do recall one Halloween spent in a freakin' Spider-Man pancho costume with the aforementioned rigid-plastic death mask (try breathing in sultry Houston, my friend. Forecast for Oct. 14th: low of 67°F, high of 87°F, 63% humidity...)

chunky B said...

I love the fact that the mask has the same pattern as his shirt, that's how you can tell it's Aquaman!

Here's to year two!