I've been a VERY lousy blogger. The damned holidaze came and went, but life just didn't seem to slow down. My job is like a runaway freight train, no end in sight. Just general craziness all around. I've has SO many blogs that I've intended to do, that just never quite materialized.
One cool thing that I've meant to feature, was my recent trip to the Halloween and Party Expo here in Houston. For those who are unfamiliar, this is a trade expo, not open to the general public, where vendors display their Halloween wares for buyers like Party City, Spencer's, Halloween Town, etc. Thanks to the fine folks at Trick Or Treat Studios, Chris Zephro and Justin Mabry, I wound up with a pass to the event! First off, I cannot stress enough how cool Chris and Justin were. The very fact that they took the time to visit with me, in-between meeting with potential customers, just shows how much they care about folks like us…the end-users who are collecting or wearing masks.
Not surprisingly, Trick Or Treat Studios had a MOST impressive display. They may not have been the biggest company there, but they certainly had the best quality masks!
Another company I was very impressed with was Ghoulish Creations. They had an impressive selection of masks, and the folks there were incredibly friendly. I noticed that this crew, the TOTS folks and the gang at Zagone costumes all seemed to get along famously. They had a genuine love of all things Halloween, and really seemed to have a mutual respect for their fellow mask-makers (the same could not be said of some other vendors *cough*Rubies*cough*cough*)
Of course, Home Haunters were not forgotten here! Morbid Enterprises had all sorts of fun decor:
I was extremely pleased to see the folks from Bucky's Boneyard! If ANYONE gets Home Haunters, it's these folks! In fact, I'd say they truly grasp how important the DIY folks are to Halloween. They seem to really value the guy who makes zombies in his garage or basement every bit as much as they do the big-budget Haunted Houses. Their display was small, but jam-packed with ghoulish goodness:
Halloween "lifestylers" also were represented! A small clothing company called "Iron Fist" had lots of cool accessories for the ghoulish gal in your life! As a lifelong Fiend, I was totally diggin' the fantastic Misfits high heels and purses! I just don't think they make those heels in my size, damn it! ;-)
Probably my biggest "geek out" moment for me was when I met Edward Douglas of Midnight Syndicate! This came as a HUGE surprise, as I had NO idea anyone from the band was going to be there! I've blogged about my love of the Syndicate before, but it bears repeating: they just make the best Haunt soundtracks around! Edward was an INCREDIBLY nice guy, and was gracious enough to sit and chew the fat with me for quite a while about all things Halloween. It's wonderful when you meet someone you admire, and discover that they completely deserve your good will! Edward showed me artwork for their upcoming CD, shared some insights into the band's history, and told me about a few projects they have in the pipeline. A HUGE thanks to Edward for being so friendly and accommodating.
Speaking of accommodating, this brings us back full-circle to Trick Or Treat Studios. Justin shared some "in-progress" pictures for the Halloween II mask...as well as a few things that he has in the works for the future. While I was sworn to secrecy, I will say this: TOTS has BIG plans for 2013 AND 2014. This is really only the beginning for them, and I can see them becoming a major name in the mask/costume world. The very fact that they invited someone who is basically just a fan to the show, and took the time to indulge me by answering questions and sharing behind-the-scenes stories and pics...well, that just says a whole lot about who they are as people. They truly care about their customers, and it really shows. MAJOR thanks to Chris, Justin and the entire crew of Trick Or Treat Studios!!!
And, on that note, I'll leave you with a few more pics of the TOTS merch for this year. Below is Justin modelling the Bela Legosi & They Live masks:
Here's a couple of pics of their Halloween II coveralls (with screen accurate Spruce green! Not the blue color that SO many costume companies churn out! The coveralls in the first film were charcoal, while in the second they were spruce!), as well as their face mask and economy HII masks. These were displayed alongside their excellent HII releases from last year:
...and, finally, a sneak peak at the new 2013 catalog: