BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA
From the 1930s to the late 1980s, Ben Cooper Inc. was one of the three largest Halloween costume manufacturers in the United States. The company’s inexpensive plastic masks and vinyl smocks were an iconic symbol of Halloween.
Despite Ben Cooper Inc.’s success, the company suffered heavy financial losses and in 1991, the owner, Ben Cooper, filed for bankruptcy. Just one year later, the company was purchased by Rubie’s Costume Company. Under this new ownership, a new costume mega-giant was born.
Rubie’s may now be an internationally-recognized brand, but the costume store had humble beginnings in Queens as a small mom-and-pop shop. The first location opened in 1951 as Rubie’s Candy Store in Woodhaven by Marc Beige’s parents – Tillie and Rubin. Back then, the original store sold everything from newspapers to cigarettes.
With dreams of growing the business, Beige’s parents decided to take a leap of faith and give the Halloween costume industry a shot. They started off small – selling knickknacks and plastic masks, but soon realized the potential of the industry.
Just a few years later, in 1959, the Beiges moved a block away to a larger location and renamed the store to Rubie’s Fun House. Their mission slowly started to change and overtime, Rubie’s began manufacturing costumes for rental companies.
In 1972, Rubin Beige passed away, leaving the company to his wife and his son, Marc, who was only 23 at the time. Expanding on his father’s vision, in 1973, Marc, now president and CEO, and his mother Tillie continued to grow the brand by offering customers full-length costumes.
Today, Rubie’s Costume Company is the world’s largest designer, manufacturer and distributor of Halloween costumes and accessories. While the company has seen tremendous growth, Rubie’s remains true to the iconic Ben Cooper brand and legend as the premier one-stop-shop for all your costume needs.
The 60-year-old family-owned business has an extensive line of products for people of all ages. Their vast collection extends far beyond Halloween by offering unique costumes suitable for Easter, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas festivities. Rubie’s also has a large variety of costumes for animals, ensuring your furry friend can partake in the all the fun.
Whether you want to be Superman, a 1920s flapper, a Barbie doll, a princess from a far away land or an astronaut this Halloween season, Rubie’s Costume has you covered. The company is always evolving and is dedicated to creating trendsetting costumes that keep up with ever-changing demands.
Rubie’s Costume Company has a number of store locations throughout the country, including two locations in Queens. Both of these Borough locations are located conveniently close to a train station, giving locals easy access to their stores.
In addition to its many retail stores, including locations in Canada, Rubie’s products are distributed wherever Halloween and masquerade costumes are sold.Rubie’s licensed costumes can be purchased in Asia, Australia, South America and Europe.
Rubie’s Costume is located at 120-08 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica and 1 Rubie Plaza, Richmond Hill. For more information, call (718) 846-1008 or visit www.rubies.com.
Reach Natalia Kozikowska at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @nkozikowska.