Monday, February 4, 2013

Halloween Expo 2013

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:












9 comments:

Guillaume said...

Hey, great tos ee you blogging again! And I LOOOVE the masks!

Halloween II was a let down for me. I worship the first movie, but never liked any of its sequels. If I ever write a fanfic, I would disregard them.

Yellow Phantom said...

Thanks for all the coverage from the show. It sounds like it was a blast!

Guillaume said...

And strange to think there has already been a Halloween expo in 2013.

Dr. Theda said...

You have a great blog good Sir.... Been a follower of the "Yellow Phantom" for some time now ...have a great day...
...the Doctor

Dr. Theda said...

I posted a "Shout-Out" about your great blog good Sir... ( I do Not know how to do "links") here at the "Crypt"... with a special mention of the You Tube clip..."Hallways"... this video helped to lift our spirits on this dark day ..Thank You ...the Doctor

The Gill-Man said...

Guillame: Thanks man! Yeah, it's a bit strange, but I understand why it's so early. This allows buyers time to order products, vendors to get stock in and shipped, and get an idea of what level manufacturing needs to be set.

As for Halloween II, the only reason this mask is licensed from that film is that the license for the first film is currently held by Rubie's costumes (and their version is HIDEOUS). It's a clever way for TOTS to be able to legally produce a Michael Myers mask, since that film utilized the same one used in the first film. As for the film itself, I have majorly mixed feelings on it. While I like certain things about it, I feel that it lacks the punch that the first film had (but then this is usually true of horror sequels, especially those that try to follow up classics). If you ever want to read what I consider to be the true sequel, pick up a graphic novel called Halloween: Nightdance by Stef Hutchinson. He doesn't invalidate the sequels, but he does de-emphasize their importance by taking the character back to his roots as "The Shape". He's depicted as a truly evil, methodical "bogeyman" who truly enjoys killing, and in creating terror (in other words, he writes him the same way Carpenter did).

@Yellow Phantom: Hey, thanks for reading! It was a lot of fun, especially since I'd never been to anything of that nature.

@Dr. Theda: Thanks SO much for the compliments! Glad to have you reading! Yes, I'm a big fan of YP's great blog as well! Glad you enjoyed "Hallways". That clip has become a fave of mine!

Doug Roos said...

I wish I owned all those masks. Fuckin awesome!

Doug Roos said...

Oh, and thanks for sharing these! Such a shame the general public can't go to that. I'd love to just walk around there and look at all the masks (and buy as many as possible).

The Gill-Man said...

Yeah, I completely agree. I understand why they limit it, but I know it drove me nuts knowing that was going on in my city, but I was unable to attend! I'm SO grateful to the Trick Or Treat Studios folks for getting me in this year.