Thursday, October 11 2012 00:00

31 Days of Halloween: 1979 - A Great Year for Halloween Costumes at Woolworths & Woolco!

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There's a good reason why I chose to feature that STAR WARS "Darth Vader" Halloween Costume in the header for this article. Long before The Rock Father... I believe I wore that very costume three years in a row - sometimes as an alternate (one costume for trick-or-treating, a different for school, etc.) - though I had Luke Skywalker's green RETURN OF THE JEDI lightsaber instead of the proper red one.

In second grade, some obnoxious kid tore my cape while walking through the gymnasium at Beacon Hill Elementary School in Chicago Heights, Illinois on a costume walk. A couple years later, that same kid moved into the house across the street from me in Park Forest, Illinois. His name was Jeff, and he became a friend for several years to follow. Oddly enough, he introduced himself to me as ''the kid that tore your Darth Vader cape at school.'' Personal anecdotes aside, 1979 looks like it was a great year for costumes at the local Woolworth and Woolco stores.

The BEN COOPER Halloween Costumes are out in-force, with STAR WARS, MARVEL & DC Superheroes, and some other assorted ghouls in there - all for ''rock bottom prices'' of only $2.38-$4.17. Check out the commercial below and see if you spot anything you once roamed the neighborhood in.


Come to think of it, we had a Woolco store in nearby Matteson, Illinois growing up. That place is long gone at this point. I wonder if my daughters will look back on Halloween 30 years from now and find that many of the stores we have in 2012 are long gone by 2042? 

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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