Trick or Treat Bags

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I am always on the lookout for different trick or treat bags, in case you have an interesting bag that you don't see here.

     
     

The cloth bags, usually from the 1950s, are the earliest. Popeye and Casper are rare, being famous cartoon characters.

My book on Halloween Costumes is available. It is called "Halloween Costumes and Other Treats" and features costumes, trick or treat bags and much more. It is illustrated with about 700 color photos, a price guide, and history of the items. Autographed copies are available from me for $25.00 plus postage.

A great 1950-60s advertisement for raisins. These kids are goin for the loot with pillow cases for their TOT bags.

Good Halloween bags are actually very hard to find as kids dragged them along the ground ripping out their bottoms or they were ripped apart by the young trick or treaters and afterward, thrown out. But even though they are tough to find, the most expensive Trick or Treat bag may only sell for $50 and the majority sell for under $20. This is a good example where rarity does not translate into dollars.

Below is a selection of hard-to-find bags from the 1960s. The first three in the top row below are made of the same material that Halloween costume masks are made from, vacu-formed, thin plastic. The Casper is an unusual paper bag from the 1960s, put out by the Swell Gum Company.
 
 
 
Halloween mask-like, vacu-formed plastic, 1960s 
Halloween mask-like, vacu-formed plastic, 1960s  
 Halloween mask-like, vacu-formed plastic, 1960s  Super Casper bag with decorated side panels, about 14" tall w/handles
Looks like a Rocky & Bulwinkle illustration, plastic, 1960s
Plastic, late 1950s to 1960s
Looks like a Rocky & Bulwinkle illustration, plastic, 1960s 1950s to 1960s Ring 'n Treat Pirate bag

Trick or Treat Bags are one of my favorite things. I guess it is the imagery and the memories of trick or treating that appeal to me. My favorite images are those showing kids in costume and stylized images that reflect the time they were made. One of the great bags shows kids in costume and was made by Ben Cooper Co. - the costume company. It shows a few of their costumes on kids trick or treating. In collecting ToT bags, you can collect by age of the bag, theme (ghosts, scarecrows, witches, kids in costume, comic characters, product or store names, etc.), or just go all that you can find. Generally, the earliest bags were made of cloth, so I would date those as late 1940s to early 1950s with a few being made as late as the early 1960s. Cloth Popeye, was actually made in the 1960s and is an especially desirable bag sought by comic character collectors as well as Halloween collectors. After the cloth bags, the smaller bags with a strap handle appear and were made in the 1950s to 1960s. You can recognize them in that they seem to have a single strap going up from the middle of the bag. It is actually going from front to back.

Trick or Treat Bags from the 1950s and after. The strap going up the middle was the earliest handle, usually found on bags from the 1950s to about 1960.

 
 
Ben Franklin' store
Ben Cooper bag showing their line of costumes
Lots of great images
Kahn's hot dogs
Frisch's Big Boy Hamburgers
Made of sewn cardboard
Variation one
Variation two
For Goblin's Loot - great slogan
Kids trick or treating

 
 
Ghosts & Spider webs
Lots of Ghosts
JOL head witch & owl
Jujy Fruits
Rare bag from Walgreens
Great image of Trick or treaters
Available in a shorter version
Great "Shell Out" slogan
Orange Crush soft drink
Early 1960s

By the early 1960s, the bags were small shopping bag size with a typical shopping bag handle (rolled brown kraft paper) attached at two points on each side of the top of the bag. Also made during this time, the semi-ridgid plastic bags with the raised image on the outside and the red or green plastic (Reminds me of Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons in design). Remember Jujy Fruit candy? Those gummy little pellets that could rip out your braces or a loose tooth. If you bought enough, you got a free Trick or Treat bag. It is a long bag (only half shown above here) and not very inspired.

 

 
Simple goodie bag style, but large - 8.5 " tall
Early 1960s
Late 1960s
Early 1960s
Late 1960s
Late 1960s
Great costumes - Late 1960s. This is a great bag, since the kids carry a bag with this bag's design and that bag ...
A rare bag - Late 1960s - very sweet
Late 1960s - non-scarey cat
Late 1960s - non-scarey cat

The bags get larger in the late 1960s and thereafter

Late 1960s
Late 1960s - color the owl
1973 rare Dairy Queen
Late '60s or early 70s
Late '60s or early 70s
Late '60s or early 70s
Late '60s or early 70s
Late '60s or early 70s

Late '60s or early 70s
Late '60s or early 70s
Late '60s or early 70s - 2 sides of the same bag
Late '60s or early 70s
Late '60s or early 70s
Late '60s or early 70s - 2 sides of the same bag

In the mid-1960s, you begin to see a large shopping bag style trick or treat bag and a few heavy plastic bags appear. The 1970s was a strange time for bags. The stores began to emphasize their advertising rather than the trick or treat theme and although bags were made, there are very few memorable ones. The 1980s saw the death of nice Trick or Treat bags, but a few were made and sold in party shops and stationary stores that have some charactor (see my book, Halloween In America for examples). The 1990s-early 2000s was almost all thin plastic bags with a few interesting bags coming from McDonald's restaurants, Bloomingdales, Movies, and party or stationary stores.

 
Scary tree bag, 1960s
Clown bag, 1960s. Clowns are always pretty scary.
1960s-1970s General Mills Bag 1960s Two-faced witch bag

13 inch w/o handle,1960s Moon ship bag. With great graphics it is among my favorite bags. Isn't this every mother's dream - "Mom, we're going to the moon with a witch, in her spaceship."
In the 1950s TV spaceman shows became popular. This early 1960s Martian bag reflects that time. 13 inches tall w/o handle. It is among my favorite bags.
A group of kids Trick or Treating while a witch flys above, 12.5" tall, from the late 1950s

 

A nice pair of ghosts on a 1960s bag. 13" tall w/o handle A squiggly pair of ghosts on a 1960s bag. 13" tall w/o handle A superb, early 1970s TOT bag with a hippie, psychodelic design. 1960s clown shopping bag-sized bag. Clowns creep me out!

Three scarecrow bags in a row.

A JOL headed scarecrow 13.5" tall, from the 1960s A JOL headed scarecrow 14.25" tall, from the late 1960s. A great Scarecrow design on an early 1960s bag. A group of kids Trick or Treating, 17.5" tall, from Holiday Service Stations, from the late 1960s

1993 Nightmare Before Christmas TOT bag
Bloomingdales' Little Brown Bag. Only made for one year in the mid-1990s.
Harry Potter Trick or Treat bag from 2001.
A Haunted Mansion movie TOT bag from 2003.

2009 Hannah Montana TOT bag
Pirates of the Carribean TOT bag
2009 Spongebob TOT bag

A 1960s Bell's Burgers bag
1990 White Castle TOT bag came with a Pez dispenser. Looks like '50s
1964 McDonalds arches TOT bag
1964 Archie McDonald for McDonalds 1960s silvered pumpkin man

McDonald's 1990 Vinyl Trick or Treat Bags

Go back to Halloween Museum, page 1

Parties and Decorations, page 3

Halloween History, page 4

Crepe Aprons from 1910s to 1920s, page 5

Halloween - Jello Sculpture instructions & my graveyard fence, page 6

The Pirate and Retirement Home Parties, page 7

The Black & White and Pajama Parties, page 8a

The Hippie and Jumpsuit Parties, page 8b

The Hobos, Togas and Murder Mystery Parties, page 8c

The Famous Couples Party 2013 and the Day of the Dead Party, page 8d

Vintage Halloween Costumes for Sale, page 9a

Vintage Halloween Costumes for Sale, page 9b

Vintage Halloween Trick or Treat Bags for Sale, page 10

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