In the last fifty years, dressing up on Halloween as your favorite action figure has gone from being totally unknown to relatively obscure to a big percentage of what you see trick or treating. It’s not exactly a mystery why — kids like toys, toys look cool, and so kids enjoy dressing up as the things they already have in their toy box.
Costume companies, on the other hand, have the tough decision on choosing what toy characters fickle children want most to trick or treat in. Sure, things like Transformers and Star Wars might be gimmes, but only a few companies get those costume rights. The rest are left to fight among each other for the rest… including the dregs. Here are six examples of really awesome toy-based Halloween costumes, and six of examples of toy costumes that most likely didn’t sell that Samhain (we’ll start with the saddest, because we’re assholes that way).
6) Captain Action
Captain Action isn’t necessarily a bad toyline or a bad character, but
the very essence of the toy is that he’s a superhero who puts on
costumes to become other, cooler comic characters like Spider-Man or
Steve Canyon (look him up). This caused confusion among children, who
suffered heat exhaustion after being forced to wear a Captain America
costume over their Captain Action costume on Halloween night.
5) Super Ninja from Chuck Norris and the Karate Kommandoes
While being a ninja is never really a bad thing in of itself, the ninja
foes of Chuck Norris even get laughed at by Shredder’s Foot Ninja (at
least they have the design sense to wear a mask over their entire
heads). And god forbid you you run into the scary, hyperactive kid
dressed as Chuck Norris while trying to trick-or-treat.
4) Gor: King of the Terrons
When Hasbro morphed G.I. Joe into the space-traveling Super Joe, few kids really noticed, and that’s sad because Star Wars
was the biggest movie ever in 1977 and there wasn’t an action figure in
sight. Super Joe should have been a hit, but instead it was largely
forgotten. So going out that Halloween as not Joe but his even lesser
known nemesis, Gor, who is naked and apparently royalty, isn’t doing any
kid any favors.
3) Tex Hex from BraveStarr
Filmation’s late ’80s attempt to cash in some He-Man magic didn’t quite
set the world on fire; kids weren’t into Space Westerns and they
probably never really going to be. And if this list proves if there is a
certain dignity to choosing to dress the hero of a middling toyline for
Halloween, there is only misery in being their soon-to-be-on-clearance
villain figure that will likely be available at stores until you are in
2) Maxx Steele from Robo Force
Robo Force was series of action figures that looked like they had
dryer ducts for arms and cardboard box bodies. While they have a certain
kitsch value now, they looked like — well, cardboard boxes and duct
tubes next to Transformers toys back in the ’80s. Suffice to say, only
the shame of having a Robo Force Halloween costume instead of a
Transformers Halloween one was greater than having Robot force toys
instead of Transformers.
1) Rubik’s Cube
Dressing like a prized action figure or doll might not make a tremendous
deal of sense, but dressing like a puzzle isn’t probably the most
streetwise thing in the world. This choice would likely regretted by
your third encounter with a handsy adult with a creepy mustahce who
tries to “solve you.”
The good stuff is on the next page.