Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween on Vulcan: The 2000s

In 2009, Rubie's went Star Trek crazy!  They released a line of costumes for Star Trek XI and also a new line of TOS costumes.

In addition to the Vulcan ears we discussed last week, Rubie's released three different versions of the adult Spock costume.  A standard version, a deluxe version and a "Grand Heritage" version.  The latter is obviously the best of the three.  It features a separate undershirt while the first two are just dickies.  It also includes a plastic delta shield emblem rather than the embroidered one on the first two.  Rubie's also released a plus-sized version of this costume.

Rubie's also released three versions of the Spock costume for children: the standard version, deluxe and an "action set" that includes a quilted "wig" and a belt for prop attachments.  They also released a nifty baby romper.

For their TOS line, Rubie's created a new pattern than the one they used in the 90s.  This one is very form-fitting and rather than making a collar that sticks up slightly (like the actual uniforms) they created a collar that is more like a V-neck T-shirt.  Observant Vulcanologists will also note that the rank braids on these are simply the silver bands used on the Star Trek XI costumes and not the gold type that should appear on a TOS costume.

That brings us to the end of the offerings for Halloween on Vulcan (for now).  I hope you've enjoyed this series of posts and I hope you have a happy Halloween!  LLAP.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween on Vulcan: The 1990s

In 1992, Rubie's purchased Ben Cooper and picked up the Star Trek license. Ben Cooper had already released a series of TNG costumes with their trademark plastic mask and smock.  Rubie's stepped up the design by creating fabric costumes.  They released both TNG jumpsuits and TNG tunic costumes and later released costumes for DS9 as well.

In addition to their TNG and DS9 offerings, Rubie's did release a series of fabric TOS costumes.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find photos of them anywhere!  That suggests they were not as widely released as the TNG and DS9 counterparts.

Rubie's also released a series of Don Post-style rubber masks.  These included Data, Picard, Worf, Borg, Cardassian and Romulan.  As collector tastes became more sophisticated, they also released Michael Westmore-approved make-up kits with either Ferengi or Klingon latex appliances.

For Vulcans, the 1990s were all about DIY costumes and make-up.  Simplicity released licensed patterns for both TOS and TNG costumes and Vulcan ear tips were available from companies like Woochie (discussed here).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween on Vulcan: The 1970s

The 1970s were big years for Star Trek.  The animated series premiered in 1973 and the original series was running in syndication.  Fandom exploded with conventions and fanzines and a company called Ben Cooper, Inc. released a number of Spock costumes in these years.  Ben Cooper was America's top Halloween costumer from the 1930s into the 1980s.  They were purchased by Rubie's in 1992.

The earliest Ben Cooper Spock costume I've found is dated 1973.  On this first version, they made the same hole-less mouth as the first Collegeville mask in 1967.  It's also interesting that this was packaged as a "Super Hero" costume. Later, Ben Cooper would have "Science Fiction" packaging as well.

The next version was released (I believe) in 1975.  It featured a new costume with the 1973 mask; only this time, the mask had a punched out mouth hole. This version was packaged in the science fiction box I mentioned above.

The 1976 version used the same costume and mask as the 1975 one but by this time, Star Trek was so popular that it had its own branded packaging.

The 1976 version was also released for Halloween in 1977.

In 1979, Star Trek began a new chapter with The Motion Picture.  Ben Cooper released a new Spock costume for the film.  This one had a brand new mask sculpt (without the mouth hole) and a bright new plastic costume.  It was also released with new TMP packaging.

I expect that there were all kinds of variations of these that I haven't discovered.  Different versions of the costume and mask were no doubt sold in different versions of the packaging depending on warehouse stock and the region they were sold.

Ben Cooper wasn't the only one with the Star Trek license.  In the mid-70s, Don Post Studios created five classic Star Trek masks: Kirk, Spock, the Gorn, the Mugato and the Salt Vampire.

The Kirk mask, famously, became the symbol of Halloween when John Carpenter used it in his 1978 film.  Kirk and Spock continued to be released into the early 1980s.  After The Motion Picture, Don Post also released a Klingon mask with the new ridged forehead.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween on Vulcan: The 1960s

Today we head back to Star Trek's origins in the 1960s.  The very first commercial Spock costume was released in 1967 by Collegeville Costumes.  It seems to me that most of these plastic costumes from the 60s, 70s and 80s are just advertising for the show.  Rather than looking like the character you end up looking like the packaging!  This costume is pretty rare.  I've seen one or two on eBay in the past two years (that's where these images come from).

Though the costume may not be spectacular, I really like the mask.  It's possible to find these in fairly good condition without to much warping or tearing.  The likeness is quite good and I love that they included the blue eye shadow that is often omitted from Nimoy/Spock likenesses.

If you compare the top and bottom images you'll see the bottom one has a punched hole in the mouth where the top one does not.  Either the top one is there and hasn't been punched out or there was a second run of this costume which added the hole for better breathing.  I guess it would be bad to have kids suffocating to be Spock.

Watch for Halloween on Vulcan: The 1970s!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween on Vulcan: The Ears

The first thing most people think about when they hear "Vulcans" is the distinctive pointed ears.  Those ears have been re-created many times as Halloween products going back to Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. In the 1960s and 1970s, the closest we got were full face or head masks.  Here are some ears from my collection.  Please let me know if there are any I'm missing!

In 1979, Aviva Enterprises released a set of Spock ears for The Motion Picture. I haven't been able to verify if these were out for Halloween 1979. The film was released in December so they may not have been around until Halloween 1980. These I only discovered two weeks ago. I bought them on eBay but they haven't arrived yet so this image is from the eBay listing.

In 1982, for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Don Post Studios had the license to create "Star Fleet Collectibles." These included uniform insignia, Khan's pendant and Vulcan ears. I think the shape of these is perfect. The sculptor obviously paid close attention to images of Spock while working.

In the 1980s, Rubie's also released a set of ears. From the artwork, it's clear they're Spock ears but Rubie's didn't have the Star Trek license until 1992.

In 2009, Rubie's created a series of ears with two different sets of packaging. The first were packaged as Star Trek XI ears and the second were packaged as TOS ears. The sculpt is obviously the same.

For those who wanted a less cumbersome piece, Rubie's also created sets of ear tips. In theory this is a great idea since the screen-used ears are just tips as well but these are designed pretty poorly. They are usually warped and the colouring is not very authentic. Once again, the same sculpt was packaged for both Star Trek XI and TOS.

Also in 2009, Rubie's released a rubber Spock wig, complete with ears. These are just good fun.  I've seen several kids wearing them at conventions.

Over the years there have also been a slew of non-licensed ears. There are various generic ones of different colours so they can be sold as "alien ears" or "elf ears" or "devil ears" or whatever.

The best of these are the ear tips made by Woochie. These are the type that I have been using since I first dressed as a Vulcan in 1996. They come in different sizes and the edges can be pretty well blended to your skin. They are a bit more pointy and less curved than I would like but they're perhaps the most "professional" ears available.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween on Vulcan: Anovos

October has always been my favourite month of the year.  The weather is ideal for my tastes and it's got my favourite holiday: Halloween!  Over Star Trek's 46 year history there have been many products created specifically for Halloween and cosplayers.  I thought it might be appropriate to run down some of the Vulcan items.

I'd like to begin with the most recent and most fantastic entries.  These come from a company called Anovos.  Anovos was founded in 2009 and they were first given the license to re-create uniforms from Star Trek XI.  Later, their offerings expanded to include the rest of the Star Trek franchise and also Battlestar Galactica.  They do meticulous research for all their pieces; even sourcing original patterns and fabrics.  In my opinion, their work is masterful.

Right now, Anovos is accepting pre-orders for season three-type Spock uniform tunics.  These are made from the original double-knit fabric used on the originals.  I always thought the season three uniforms looked better than the velour versions from the first two seasons.  Priced at about $300 these are definitely not for casual fans or kids' Halloween costumes.  They're targeted to adult collectors.  I think the price tag is quite reasonable for the quality.

For those fans who would prefer the velour fabric, Anovos is currently working on them.  You can sign up for updates on their website.

The first tunics Anovos made were from Star Trek XI.  Though I don't love that film I think Michael Kaplan did a great job of updating the uniforms.  I really like the two-piece construction and the patterned fabric is pretty cool.  These are, sadly, no longer available but they will be again some day.  Keep watching the Anovos website for updates.

Stay tuned for more Halloween on Vulcan!