Kooky Spooks Inflatable Costumes
Back around Halloween 1979, I really felt like I'd graduated from the typical all-plastic costume-in-a-box to... um... another kind of plastic costume in a box. I remember a massive media blitz during local afternoon cartoon shows for Kooky Spooks - Halloween costumes that used beach ball technology.
You could get one of a handful of Kooky Spooks characters. Each outfit consisted of the inflatable headgear, matching poncho, makeup to conceal the kid's face, and also (the commercials made a BIG deal of this) a ten cent piece of reflective tape all of three inches long.
The commercials put Kooky Spooks forward as being safer than other costumes, The H.R. Pufnstuf proportions of the costume were super visible at night, using makeup instead of a mask meant unrestricted vision (though you can see the unintended blackface problem here...), and let's not forget to mention the life-saving scrap of reflective tape again.
The costumes were popular in my grade school - I was "Spacey Casey" of course. My fellow Kooky Spooks and I realized that none of us were going to win the school's costume contest with our voluminous vinyl getups. The concealing makeup got itchy and cracked off as the day went on too (the next year Kooky Spooks returned with creamier makeup, and the crappy stuff was sold as ancient mummy makeup. Quick thinking, marketing department!).
Kooky Spooks didn't stick around my neck of the woods very long. Kids either went back to the hard plastic costume-in-a-box, or they made their own. I'm surprised that no one has thought to bring back the safety-minded Kooky Spooks, given how sanitized Halloween has become. Now they'd probably include even more reflective tape and advertise how the outfit can be used as a flotation device.