Ben Cooper Costumes - Title

These Vintage Ben Cooper Costumes Were A Surprise

Friends, of course those of us of a certain age remember the Ben Cooper line of Halloween costumes well. Perhaps best known for just how wide Ben Cooper threw its net in regards to merchandising. Finding one of these delightful costumes in the wild never fails to bring a smile to my face. Especially when I dropped by my local Vintage Stock and discovered they not only had three Ben Cooper costumes for sale – but they also were still in their boxes.

Ben Cooper actually got his start designing sets as well as costumes for the legendary Cotton Club. With the Great Depression however, the entrepreneur noticed that Halloween was still popular. So he decided to go for the licensing of Walt Disney characters beginning in 1937. Thanks to partnering up with Fishbach’s Spotlight in 1942, Ben Cooper costumes became super popular. Sears, J.C. Penney, and Woolworth’s carried the easily affordable costumes and helped cement the company as a household name.

[Via] Cool Old Videos

Now as soon as I stepped through the doors of my local Vintage Stock. It was indeed like my eyes were magnetically drawn to the display of vintage costumes. Thankfully the staff as always were kind enough to let me start snapping photos of them all. Almost as if they are used to me doing such a thing, right? First up is Gary Gnu from 1981’s The Great Space Coaster.
Ben Cooper Costumes - Gary Gnu

[Via] TGS Coaster

Next up is an icon I am pretty sure doesn’t really require any introduction. In the early 80’s it isn’t like Pac-Man wasn’t a worldwide phenomenon!
Ben Cooper Costumes - Pac Man - Mask

However that does not mean of course I won’t remind you of the Diary podcast. Although in this case the featured game was 1982’s Pac-Man Plus.

What of the third Ben Cooper costume though? Do you recognize this charming adventurer?
Ben Cooper Costumes - Frank Buck - Mask - Bring 'Em Back Alive

Frank Buck. The world famous big game trapper and collector of wild animals?
Ben Cooper Costumes - Frank Buck - Bottom of Box

You will recall I mentioned that Ben Cooper was known for licensing pretty much any pop culture icon. In this case that does include the main character from 1982’s Bring ‘Em Back Alive.

[Via] Ran 5900

Which I should add if you don’t check out that intro to the short lived series is none other than Bruce Boxleitner. Also appearing in the show was his co-star from TRON, the beautiful Cindy Morgan. I am not sure if her character was available as an costume option for Halloween that year, but it wouldn’t shock me if one was available.

How about we close this out with this vintage 1978 Woolworth’s TV commercial? Featuring quite a few of Ben Cooper costumes I might add.

[Via] William Presley

Emmet Otter Outtakes - Title

These Emmet Otter Outtakes Will Make Your Day!

That might indeed seem like a bold statement, but I truly do believe that the Emmet Otter outtakes below will make your day better. Think about it. The Jim Henson company has created thousands of hours of entertainment. New generations are daily getting their first encounters with the magic that the Henson company has created. Movies as well as of course television specials. For my money, one of the greatest of the latter is Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas from 1977.

Emmet Otter Outtakes - Jim Henson - Don Sahlin - Jim's Red Book

Image of Don Sahlin and Jim Henson, courtesy of Jim’s Red Book.

By the way, the special was shot and indeed released to Canadian television in 1977. It wasn’t seen by American audiences however until HBO picked it up for ’78 and ’79. In fact it was in 1980 when I first saw the special for myself, when it aired on ABC.

[Via] The Museum of Classic Chicago Television

Every single one of the Henson Company productions show a lot of heart. However I think that Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas has an extra helping of it. The special was based on the 1971 book by Russell and Lillian Hoban. But one of the reasons I believe the show stands out so much is the beautiful music by Paul Williams.

[Via] The Jim Henson Company

Jim Henson was well known for believing in hard work. But he felt that very work could certainly be filled with smiles and laughter as well. Perhaps one of the ways the puppeteer was able to accomplish this feat was to surround himself with like-minded performers. In the case of these Emmet Otter outtakes that includes the late and great Jerry Nelson as Emmet and Dave Golez as Wendel. In addition to Eren Ozker as Hetty Muskrat and of course Frank Oz as Alice Otter.

[Via] The Jim Henson Company

Now, it has been nearly 41 years since Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas was first aired. And I am so very pleased that we all can still be entertained with “new” footage after all these years.

I saved the best of the Emmet Otter outtakes for the last!

In this incredibly funny segment you will see how performers Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson handle a drum that won’t behave. A short moment in the film…that took 233 takes to get right.

[Via] Ruth Hill

Wild At Heart - Collector's Edition

Shout Select: Wild At Heart Collector’s Edition

In 1990 when Wild at Heart was originally released on VHS it became a thing at my High School. As in of course, if you hadn’t seen it you were looked down on. At this point in my life I had seen two David Lynch films. 1980’s The Elephant Man and 1984’s Dune. In fact there was a poster for Blue Velvet hanging in the Drama room at school. Before I had a chance to experience Wild at Heart however I knew David Lynch best for Twin Peaks!

[Via] Helene Vienna

I think it is indeed safe to say that I wasn’t quite ready for the experience of Wild at Heart. Although very much like Killer Klowns From Outer Space it was a case of love at first sight. Although the films couldn’t be any more different tonally.

The story for the film revolves around what would appear to be a couple of star crossed lovers. Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) and Lula Fortune (Laura Dern). To say that Lula’s Mother, Marietta (Diane Ladd) doesn’t want her seeing Sailor, that is indeed an understatement. Lula and Sailor are soon on the run, a fact that causes Marietta to hire a P.I. to hunt them down. To hedge her bets she also hires a hit man to make sure that Sailor is permanently out of the picture.
Wild at Heart - Nicolas Cage

In Lynch films, I feel he continuously shows us a mirrored version of the world. Fascinating to be sure but also certainly terrifying. That fits the character of Bobby Peru to a T. Played by the esteemed Willem Dafoe – he is a living nightmare in his scenes.
Wild at Heart - Willem Dafoe

Of course with this being a Shout Select release, you are getting some extras. While I of course wish there could have been some commentary for the film. The fact we get 76 minutes of deleted as well as extended scenes is incredible:

  • NEW Interview With Novelist Barry Gifford
  • Extended And Deleted Scenes (76 Minutes)
  • Love, Death, Elvis And Oz: The Making Of Wild At Heart
  • Dell’s Lunch Counter: Extended Interviews
  • Specific Spontaneity: Focus On David Lynch
  • Lynch On The DVD Process
  • Original 1990 Making Of EPK
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Image Gallery

Wild at Heart will be released at better dealers tomorrow. Although you can certainly hop on over to the official Shout! Factory site and pre-order your copy today.

Now then, how about some vintage interviews from the set of Wild at Heart? Courtesy of none other than Entertainment Tonight!

[Via] Some Little Devil

It's About Time - Title Card

Have You Ever Heard Of 1966’s It’s About Time?

Here is the truth of the matter. There have been so many television programs, good as well as bad over the years that I am bound to have missed a few. Case in point 1966’s It’s About Time. Which aired for only one season on CBS for a total of 26 episodes. I find it odd that I had not heard of it before as the show was created by Sherwood Schwartz of Gilligan’s Island fame. Furthermore, did I mention that It’s About Time concerns…time travel?

[Via] PI Mannix

As you can plainly tell from that intro. The story indeed concerns two Astronauts who are stranded in the prehistoric era. The hapless voyagers, Mac McKenzie and Hector Canfield, were played by Frank Aletter and Jack Mullaney.
It's About Time - Mac and Hector

Things might have becomes serious for Mac and Hector if not for help from a cave family. Filled with legendary character actors like Joe. E Ross who played Grok. As well as Imogene Coca who portrayed Shad, who was credited as Shag in the first episode. However, I am going to assume you will know Ross best for his role in Car 54, Where Are You?. Imogene is probably best known as Aunt Edna in 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, having said that she was certainly a Broadway legend.

[Via] Jamias Qualls

I should add that the show not only was created by Sherwood Schwartz. It in addition borrowed sets and props as well as incidental music from Gilligan’s Island. When it originally debuted on September 11 it did quite well. However after a few weeks the showrunners and network noticed ratings were dipping fast.

Schwartz was a smart cookie. He realized a couple of things were hampering It’s About Time. And they all revolved around the fact that Mac and Hector were stuck in prehistoric times. It was caught in a series of repetitive situations.

So with the 19th episode entitled “20th Century Here We Come”, the duo return to modern times…with a few cave people in tow. The intro not only had new animation but of course new lyrics too.

[Via] Television Vanguard

Now while the show only last the one season, it certainly had some merchandising. Better yet the entire series was released on DVD in June of 2017.
It's About Time - lunch box

How would you like to hear Sherwood Schwartz talk about creating It’s About Time?

[Via] Foundation Interviews