A Visit to Malabar

We’re planning on attending a couple of Halloween parties, and we didn’t want just any old costume. Luckily, there’s a place I’ve been going to since the 1980s, and it’s also one of our favourite stores in Accordion City:


Malabar! Located at 14 McCaul Street, just north of Queen and just south of OCAD, it’s where you go when you want costumes, from the cheap and disposable, to something that’s ready for stage or screen.

The room by the main entrance has the stuff for sale, and if you need a quick costume, they’ve got plenty, and they’ve got a bigger variety than you’ll find at your local department store or Walmart.

I had no idea that there were commercially-made Napoleon Dynamite character costumes:


You’re just a kit away from turning into Jake or Elwood Blues (black jacket not included):


As the photo on the packaging shown below indicates, even a reject from Jersey Shore can become Aragorn with this sword! You can even use it to keep the “grenades” at bay!


Want to be “V” from V for Vendetta for Halloween (or take part in an anti-Scientology demonstration)?  No prob – they’ve got the hat, cape and Guy Fawkes mask here, along with Princess Leia hair buns, Batman utility belts, Jason Voorhees’ goalie mask and machete and accessories to turn into into just about any pop culture character.


They’ve got a nice selection of costume hats. They’re cheaper than the real thing, and while probably not durable enough for everyday wear, they’re perfect for those costume occasions.


They’ve got wigs aplenty, too!


And a wide array of glasses, from the ordinary to the way-out:


Off to the side is the rental room, which has a big assortment of more substantial costumes:


They come in all sorts of genres, shapes and sizes:


I rented the steampunk costume that I wore to Cory Doctorow’s wedding here!

They have all sorts of costumes, including animal mascots:


Have you always dreamed of going as Doctor Zoidberg from Futurama for Halloween? You can – when I was there on Saturday, the lobster head hadn’t been booked yet. Pair it with a lab coat, surgical scrubs and a pair of orange oven mitts and you’re good to go!


As for the costumes we got? I’ll save that for a later blog entry.


The Definitive Collection Of Awesomely Bad Wolverine Costumes


Dork Shelf, a blog devoted to Toronto and nerd culture points to’s collection of photos of guys in so-bad-they’re-good Wolverine costumes. My favourite one is Jewish Wolverine, complete with adamantium menorah claws.

If you’re looking for costumed adventurers who really are “from the Tribe” (such as Kitty Pryde, mentioned recently in this blog entry), look no farther than Comic Book Religion’s catalogue of Jewish superheroes. The oddest one is “The Acidic Jew”, whose touch can dissolve anything.