Our buddy Robert at Retrocrush has up a great collection of awful costumes of the sort the less fortunate kids had to wear when I was growing up in the 70s.
I've picked my three favorites here, but there're plenty more worth checking out at RetroCrush.com
First up, The Leather Man from the Village People. I was so innocent when The Village People first appeared. It never once occurred to me that they were gay. What could possibly be gay about cops and sailors and cowboys and Indians and construction guys and... um... leather men?
I can't imagine any kid wanting to be Tattoo from Fantasy Island. Of course, I can't imagine Tattoo wearing a tux with his own picture on it either. How bad is a costume when it needs to announce in print what it is?
For the record my mom made us great costumes from scratch and would never send us out in one of these plastic jobbies. She seemed to view it as child abuse to let a kid be seen in one of these. If only we'd known they'd someday be collector's items.
My favorite costumes made for me by mom: Ghostbuster (not Sexy Ghostbuster, just Ghostbuster) Cowardly Lion (won some contests with that one) and my favorite- DEVO (my mom didn't realize that once I got to school I would use Vaseline to make my hair look plastic. Getting Vaseline out of long 70's hair = no fun.)
The Asteroids costume just begged for abuse, after all, what is the object of the video game? Shoot the asteroids. And in my neighborhood rubber band guns were ALMOST as popular as video games. Come to think of it, BB guns were fairly common as well.
These cheap plastic costumes seem to have disappeared in this country. I wonder if you can still find 'em anywhere? I'd love to be myself some Halloween, with a plastic mask of me and a plastic costume with my own face and name printed on it.
Happy Halloween everyone. And thanks RetroCrush for continuing to be such a great source of awfulness from the past.