Monday, October 30, 2017

Hills and Kmart Halloween Ads – Oct. 19, 1967

It's a tradition here on the blog to see what kind of Halloween costumes the department stores were selling in Lorain in days gone past. This time we'll take a look at 1967 – 50 years ago.

Perennial movie and TV favorites Bugs Bunny and Popeye dominate the Hills ad above, which ran in the Lorain Journal on October 19, 1967. Unfortunately the Bugs mask is probably the worst likeness of the wascally wabbit I’ve ever seen. Here’s a look at the actual mask.

I suppose the vertical slit (provided for ventilation) came in handy if the trick-or-treater wanted to sample a Necco wafer.
Popeye’s likeness is a little better, although he is sporting an impressive five o’clock shadow that would look more at home on his nemesis Bluto (or Brutus, if you prefer).

Although Bugs Bunny and Popeye would appeal to little boys, what about little girls? For them, Hills offered a Samantha costume. Bewitched, starring Elizabeth Montgomery as the beautiful witch married to a mortal, had been on the air for three years and the character was a natural to be featured as a Halloween costume.

I don’t remember Samantha wearing an actual witch’s outfit too often, although her cartoon likeness wore one in the show’s opening sequence each week.

We watched Bewitched regularly in our house (at least until the “new” Darrin arrived). We even had a Bewitched jigsaw puzzle that we labored over on at least one New Year’s Eve.

Courtesy WorthPoint®
But getting back to the Hills ad.

At least this time (unlike other years), I didn’t have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the other costumes were. Most of them are represented in this page from a vintage Collegeville costume catalog. 

Thus we know that right behind Popeye in the Hills ad is the Bride, Demon Devil and an obviously public domain Cinderella. (Why pay royalties to Disney if you don’t have to?)

Some of the same costumes featured in the Hills ad – including Bugs Bunny and Samantha – are shown in this Kmart ad, which ran in the Journal the same day.

However, we get a few that are unique to Kmart, including Secret Squirrel (one of the lesser Hanna-Barbera creations despite his voice by Mel Blanc), Green Lantern and a generic kitten.
We also get another TV character designed specifically for the girls: Jeannie (which I assume is supposed to be from I Dream of Jeannie although the costume looks pretty generic).
Strangest of all is a creepy clown, identified in the ad copy as Bozo. However, instead of the well-known and popular Bozo, he’s actually one called Bubbles.
Bubbles was ahead of his time in the sinister clown department. Just take a look at the deranged, nightmare-worthy image of him on the clothing part of the costume.

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