1. So why Halloween? What is it about that special holiday that made you want to open your business with that one single night in mind?
That’s an easy one, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Ever since I was a kid, Halloween has always been the one night of the year I couldn’t wait for. In fact, I put up all my decorations in September so that I get to enjoy the vibe for a couple of months. I love look of Halloween, the smell, the feel--everything about it.
2. And as far as being in the Halloween product industry: there are so many different things for us to buy, so why did you choose masks to be your focus?
I chose masks because I felt the biggest market opportunity was there. I did a ton of research before I started this business and talked to a number of retailers and distributors. Almost all of them expressed a frustration with the quality and originality of masks. In fact, they said the mask business was all but dead and expressed disappointment regarding that fact. When I heard those comments, it was clear to me that there was potential for a mask company that, for lack of a better phrase, could “bring back Halloween.” In other words, a company that could bring back the classic designs, high quality and good pricing of the Golden Age of mask making, which took place during the '70s and '80s. Everything seemed to drop once those great companies decided to move production to China.
3. Do you have a personal collection of masks yourself?
Yes I do. I love masks and I’m very passionate about them.
4. If so, what are your favorite ones and what is it that you love about them?
Well I’m a big fan of the Halloween franchise and I think it's pretty safe to say that I have one of the best collections of replicas from each of the movies. There is something about the simplicity of that mask that makes it so cool. I also have quite a few Don Post masks from the '70s, Topstone and Distortions Studios masks. All of those masks bring back a classic look and feel that I liked so much as a kid.
5. Some movies now have gone the way of CGI, but tell us a little about your favorite practical masks from cinema.
Michael Myers takes the cake for sure, but I also like the Jason's hockey mask.
6. Speaking of masks in cinema, some of my favorites are the ones from Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. Any hope of you guys doing some reproductions of these Don Post classics?
Those masks are fantastic. I have all of the originals except the Pumpkin, so if you know anyone selling one tell them to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would love to do those masks and I’ve made a number of inquiries about them, but there seems to be a lot of red tape regarding who actually has the licensing. I’ll stay on it though, and maybe one day we'll come out with them.
7. So I read in Horror Hound that you were working on a Universal Monsters license. Do you have any updates for us on that?
We should have something done with them soon. There are a handful of B-Level horror movies they’ve done that we’d love to do masks for, but unfortunately I can’t publicly announce the names because my competitors would try and grab them from us (something that has already happened once before). But I should have the deals inked soon and we’ll make sure to tell you.
8. What about some new licenses -- any exclusive juicy bits of info you'd like to bestow upon HalloweenOverkill?
Sure, we recently signed a deal with Mr. Scenes to do the first ever mask based on Dr. Deadly. He is a very famous character from line of horror model kits series from the '70s. We’re going to be doing a mask based on Michael T. Gilbert's Mr. Monster, the world’s greatest monster fighter. And just tonight we signed a deal to do masks based on the famous characters of Johnny Ace. We're also going to be releasing a handful of new Eric Pigor's Toxic Toons and David Hartman's Sideshow Monkey Characters.
9. For the fans who have no idea how masks get produced, once you have the idea down on paper what are the next steps?
Justin Mabry, our Art Director, would probably be better at answering this one than myself, but I’ll take a stab at it. After the concept has been drawn out from all angles, the mask is sculpted in clay. Once the clay sculpture is finished, a tooling master is made so that multiple molds can be made. From there, latex is poured into the mold and we develop a paint master of what the finished mask is going to look like. Both the tooling and the paint masters are shipped off to our production company and they deliver three production samples for us to approve. Upon approval, we place schedule production and the finished masks are shipped to our warehouse, waiting for delivery to our customers.
10. Do you have any plans to get into facial appliance type masks or are you guys sticking with the actual full face and head masks?
Appliances are not on the calendar right now, but we’re definitely going to get into full costumes and props.
11. So where should us “Ghouls” (what I call my followers) be looking for your products this year?
This year we are in a handful of costume stores across the world. Next year that number will expand significantly. Of course you can always go to our website, www.trickortreatstudios.com and order them directly from us. We’ll even throw in a couple of cool stickers ;-)
12. Anything thing else about Trick or Treat Studios that you'd like to mention?
Just want to thank all of our customers, fans and supporter. These masks are for you and as Ozzy Ozbourne would say, “I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!”
There you have it! An amazing interview with Mr. Zephro from "Trick or Treat Studios". Please click on any of the links or the banners above and below to visit their website. Check out some of their awesome masks and order one in time for Halloween! For the sake of length I will be posting the contest as a separate post tomorrow afternoon. But as a word of warning I will say if you want to win this contest you better be back here tomorrow because this is going to a very short contest. Why you ask? Well you'll see when we post it tomorrow, but let's just say we need to shorten this contest so that the winner receives his/her gift in time for Halloween.