There are probably a lot of reasons why the Ben Cooper-style Halloween costumes went out of vogue over the last twenty years, but Retrocrush is more than happy to remind us of our dorkier days-gone-by. Bruce Zalkin has a pretty extensive photo collection (he sold the real ones off in 2003) of these chintzy reminders of a simpler time when kids could publicly humiliate themselves by begging door-to-door for Bit-O-Honey while dressed like Twiki from Buck Rogers. Of particular interest for SciFi Squad readers are the unintentionally funny interpretations of beloved characters found on the Sci-Fi, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Superhero pages (although there's still something kitschy-awesome about that Alien costume with the picture of the Alien's head on the smock).
Kids today will never know the distinct please of having your plastic mask break during a regular trick-or-treat session, and then having your face stabbed for the remainder of the night with a jagged plastic shard from the broken edge--all because you wanted to be Aquaman (a character who doesn't even wear a mask) for one night. My blood for a handful of Smarties? Totally worth it.
Being a theatre person, my mother always opted to make a costume for me or use make0up to transform me into whoever I wanted to be that year. She never bought me any of this crap, which I thought was impossibly cool at the time, and I was always a little jealous of the kids that got to run around the neighborhood in this plastic junk. Now, I can thank my mother for preventing me from wearing a V.I.N.C.E.N.T. costume and setting myself ablaze by passing by the open flame of a jack-o-lantern. Thanks, Mom!