Saturday, October 22, 2011

An October Visit to Fantasy Costume Headquarters

Fantasy Costume Headquarters is by far Chicago's largest and longest running costume and mask shop. The building itself occupies almost a full city block and is massive. Within FCHQ, there is a large room dedicated just to masks. The masks are lined six high, from ceiling to knee level, and wrap the entire room. My conservative estimate is that 600 masks are on display. It's truly monster mask heaven!

I tend to take two or three trips a year to Fantasy Costume Headquarters, and at least one of those trips takes place during October. My first fall trip of 2011 took place this past Thursday...
A few of the many painted windows at Fantasy Costume HDQ

This year there was an abundance of Trick or Treat Studios masks on display which was great to see!  As always, FCHQ, had a huge selection of Zagone monster masks. Zagone, and even some old Be Something Studios masks, are always well represented here. It's especially cool with Zagone being home-grown in Chicago, as well as being the last mass produced mask made in the States. My favorite part about any trip down to FCHQ is the odd assortment of old masks which occasionally make their way out of the warehouse, and out to the display for sale.

While perusing the selection, I found a Distortions Unlimited "Ancient Evil" mask buried on the bottom row in a back corner well out of sight. The mask must have been smashed for sometime, as it was warped, so I got him at a really nice discount on him. After getting it home, I spent some time working it over with a heat gun I managed to get the shape back. Here's what he looks like now...
Distortions Unlimited - Ancient Evil Mask
I also snagged up a Zagone Studios Dorian mask. I've wanted one of these since it was released back in 2007...
Zagone - Dorian Mask
In addition to these scores, Mrs. Phantom was kind enough to snap a few photos of the mask room to share...
This is about one quarter of the mask room
A sample of of the Zagone selection


  1. What a great Halloween treat, Phantom! This is a great post. I'm lovin' your "Monster on the Street" news stories! I can see you pitching a cable show -- instead of "Man vs Food" it could be called "Man vs Monster Mask"!

  2. Wow! That is one fantastic place, such an amazing collection of masks. I really like that Dorian mask, great sculpture and stunning colours.

  3. Great post Phantom! What a marvelous store. I've got to get a visit there sometime. Did any masks go home with you that day? :)

  4. I want to live in that store, lol. I love this blog!

  5. What an incredibly cool shop! You just don't see costuming stores on that scale anymore!