Science Fiction Returns to Primetime in NBC’s Hit Show Grimm. With a variety of characters, the show will bring good inspiration for costumes based on fairy tale characters.
In case you have not seen the show, let us tell you a bit about it. One of the most unusual primetime hit shows in 2011 was ABC’s Grimm. Grimm is a unique blend of science fiction, fantasy, and crime drama that immediately drew a strong cult following. NBC announced in spring 2011 that the series had been picked up for another season based on both the rising ratings and the critical reaction to the show. Grimm’s success is impressive given that it occupies one of the toughest time slots on TV airing Friday nights at 9PM. Friday night shows are notoriously difficult to get high ratings for because it’s generally not a time when a lot of people are watching TV. Despite the challenges of airing on Friday night Grimm has managed to draw steadily increasing audiences and NBC is hopeful that the show’s blend of dark fantasy and crime drama will become a Friday night anchor for viewers.
Grimm is set in Portland, OR and shoots in Portland primarily. It is the story of Portland PD Detective Nick Burkhardt and follows him as he solves homicides in Portland and discovers his birthright as a Guardian. Guardians are people who have the ability to fairy tale monsters called Hessen who inhabit the shadows of the human world. After a visit from his aunt Marie Nick finds out he is the descendant of the Grimm family that the fairy tales the Grimms wrote about weren’t fairy tales at all but accounts of different types of Hessen. The Grimms were Guardians who studied and fought Hessen to keep them from wreaking havoc in the human world. Nick’s Aunt Marie is killed before she can tell him all she knows about their family history but leaves him her small trailer which contains a complete arsenal of arcane and medieval weapons that they Guardians have used for centuries to fight various types of Hessen, along with hand written manuscripts that act like a creature directory giving background on each type of Hessen along with what type of weapon will kill it.
Nick is confused by the revelations of his aunt and by the information and weapons he finds in the trailer but he has very little time to explore because he is immediately a target for the Hessen now that his aunt is dead. His work for the Portland PD brings him into contact with Monroe, who is a werewolf like creature that has sworn off killing and reformed into an upstanding citizen. His knowledge of the Hessen and the shadow world the Hessen live in becomes an invaluable resource for Nick as he struggles to do his job and come to terms with his own fate as a Guardian. What Nick doesn’t know is that the police captain is somehow involved in the shadow world and is aware that Nick is a Grimm. Throughout season one viewers get to see glimpses of a much bigger and more organized shadow world than Nick knows about and in season 2, which premieres in August 2012, fans will get to go with Nick even deeper into the dark fairy tale world that exists alongside the regular world.
G.I. Joe The Real American Hero
G.I. Joe was the first action figure ever produced, and one of the first dolls made to be marketed specifically to boys. When Barbie dolls were first introduced they immediately became popular, but there was no toy equivalent to the Barbie doll in size and scale for boys. The idea of a military based doll was introduced by a toy creator who was inspired by the idea of the military to create a doll for boys based on the armed forces. Citing the 1945 movie The Story of G.I. Joe the toymaker decided to call the doll G.I. Joe, or Government Issue Joe, which was a slang term for Army soldiers. The original G.I. Joe was based on a WWII infantry soldier but had a uniform and gear that blended the styles of WWII and the Korean War. Originally four different versions of the doll were made, one for each branch of the armed forces. The dolls, which were called “action figures” to make them more appealing to little boys, came with a uniform and a few pieces of gear but most of the gear was sold separately in action packs. One of the most prominent pieces of G.I. Joe’s gear, his gun, was sold separately which angered many parents.
After the Vietnam War created a highly anti-military sentiment in the general population the marketing team of the G.I. Joe action figures started focusing less on the military aspect of the dolls and focused on rebranding the figures as part of an “Action Team” that was created to fight the evil Cobra Command who were trying to take over the world. After the rebranding the G.I. Joe franchise became more popular with the public. When action cartoons became popular in the 1980s an animated G.I. Joe series was created as a merchandising vehicle for the action figures and the gear sets which became some of the most popular toys of the 1980s. In 1985 the marketing team again rebranded the line going back to the military roots of the figures and portraying the G.I. Joe team members as Special Forces type operatives who were caught up in a classic Good vs. Evil battle to save the world using super secret military training and cutting edge weapons. The size of the figures was reduced from 12 inches to about 3 inches to make them competitive with the popular Star Wars action figures that were selling out of store shelves all around the world. With the reduced size and then new storyline the G.I. Joe franchise became popular with an entirely new audience.
In the early 1990s interest in G.I. Joe was still strong but waned as the decade progressed. Until the 2009 G.I. Joe live action movie there was relatively little interest in the figures or in the franchise. The live action film renewed interest in the franchise for both older generations who grew up with G.I. Joe and with younger audiences whose first experience with G.I. Joe was the 2009 movie.
iCarly is one of the first kids shows to embrace modern society and reflect the everyday technology friendly lives of teens and tweens. iCarly is a TV show about Carly Shay, played by Miranda Cosgrove. Carly is a teen who has her own popular webcast show talking about issues that teens face and having adventures with her friends which then are broadcast online and watched by friends and classmates. Many of the adventures are related to school and include teachers and other students as well as Carly herself. Samantha Puckett, Carly’s best friend, is the co-host of iCarly and is a key player in the adventures that take place. Freddie Benson is also Carly’s best friend and he does all the technical work for the show. Unlike most of the teens on TV shows today Carly is looked after by her 26 year old brother, Spencer, who is her legal guardian. Also frequently appearing in the plots of iCarly webcasts is Nevel Papperman, Carly’s 11 year old nemesis who runs a website devoted to critiquing webcasts and singles Carly’s webcast out for criticism quite frequently because he has a crush on her.
iCarly first appeared on TV in 2007 and quickly became a huge hit. Kids loved the show because it accurately reflects their daily world complete with email, webchats, and webcasts of TV shows. Parents like the show because it reflects family diversity, which there is not a lot of when it comes to kids shows. Parents also like the show because it is a platform they can use to talk to their kids about Internet safety, how to protect themselves online, and what types of Internet communication are age appropriate. Because so many teens and tweens use the Internet as part of their daily lives it’s very important to parents to discuss Internet safety with their kids and the iCarly shows give them an easy way to do that. Parents can also use the iCarly website as a resource for information on protecting kids online, how to talk to kids about online security and privacy, and how to set up parental controls for the computers in the home so that kids don’t end up in places where they shouldn’t be.
iCarly also has an interactive website, where there are videos from all the cast members in character, a community chat and bulletin board, and a space for kids to upload their own videos and graphics. Since so many laptops and kids computers come equipped with digital webcams it’s easy for kids to take videos of themselves performing songs from the show, acting out the skits, or sending in their own story ideas and experiences. Miranda Cosgrove sings the theme song for the show as well as several other songs that have been featured on the show, and fans can get her music videos and other music on the iCarly website. There are also interactive digital books and ebooks that parents can download and read with their kids, and print books too for kids who still like to read paper books.
Nick Jr, a subset of the Nickelodeon TV channel that has programming directed towards younger kids, became a force to be reckoned with in the children’s TV world when it started airing Yo Gabba Gabba in 2007. Almost immediately upon airing the show became a hit. Kids instantly loved the unique mix of programming styles that were all incorporated into the show. The show is hosted by DJ Lance Rock who acts as an MC through the many segments of the show. Some of the segments are live action, performed with actors in costumes or puppets and human guests. Others are animated sequences featuring familiar characters to the kids watching the shows. Music and dancing are featured in each show which gives kids the chance to get active at home while watching the show and to feel like they are participating in the show. The brilliant mix of programming styles is ideal for keeping children engaged and interested through the course of the show and parents love that the content is age appropriate and fun for kids but also has inside references and jokes for parents who are watching.
Besides DJ Lance Rock the other recurring characters on Yo Gabba Gabba are a red cyclops named Muno, a pink flower named Foofa, a small green hairy monster named Brobee, a blue dragon named Toodee and a yellow magic robot named Plex. Because of the show’s fun format and unique style a lot of big name guests have appeared with DJ Lance Rock and the cast including comedian Jack Black, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood, R&B singer Mya, country stars Sugarland, and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. The show, and the guests, are carefully crafted to be modern and appeal to kids today while still retaining the type of educational and functional format that made shows like Sesame Street such a vital part of children’s lives. The show is broadcast in more than a dozen countries around the world and has won numerous children’s programming awards including awards from parent’s groups who praise Yo Gabba Gabba as what children’s programming should be.
Yo Gabba Gabba often features independent musical artists and cultural artists and appeals to modern parents who don’t have mainstream tastes. The show has also found a captivated audience among college students who often watch it just to see the musical performances of their favorite indie rock stars. One of the creators of the show is also a founding member of indie music group the Aquabats and has a strong commitment to showcasing a wide range of musical artists and styles on the show. Because of the cult following that Yo Gabba Gabba has among college students it’s not all uncommon to see college kids and their younger siblings dressing up as popular Yo Gabba Gabba characters for Halloween. Parents who don’t have cable TV can buy Yo Gabba Gabba DVDs for their kids so that they can still have access to this award winning programming.
Even when it is not Halloween season, there are many costumes that are popular all year. A good example is Star Trek gear. Here are some of the newer costumes released this year.
Nintendo put out one of the first popular gaming consoles but was overshadowed by the arrival of technologically advanced game consoles in the first part of the decade. Nintendo fought back with one of the most popular video game consoles of all time, the Wii. These days kids love playing Wii but their parents probably played their first video games on one of the early Nintendo gaming systems that only played one game or had clunky game cartridges. Originally Nintendo was a playing card company that had relatively good success for many decades. As card games became less and less popular with the public the company started to flounder. In the early 70s when the company was in real danger of going under developers started working on electronic game consoles, joysticks, and video games. In the early 80s Nintendo dropped all its other products to concentrate on developing new video games.
Video game characters are great Halloween costumes and can be a great way to come up with family costume ideas. Nintendo game characters from both the early days of Nintendo gaming and today’s current Nintendo smash hit the Nintendo Wii can be the basis for many different fun character costumes. Kids today might not have grown up playing Super Mario Brothers, but it’s a good bet that their parents did. Super Mario Brothers costumes are still popular for Halloween because Mario and Luigi are now classic gaming characters who are widely known. ( Mario Bros.Mario Adult Costume ) Here are some other great ideas for Halloween costumes based on Nintendo characters:
Yoshi – In addition to Mario and Luigi costumes Yoshi costumes from the Super Mario Brothers are very popular. To make your Yoshi costume a real hit start practicing your flutter jump and trying to copy Yoshi’s unique speech pattern so that you stay in character all night.
Donkey Kong – Old school gamers will love dressing up as Donkey Kong, the original video game bad boy. Even though Donkey Kong was originally a character in the Super Mario and Mario Brothers games he was spun off into his own series of more than 20 games. If you are going out Trick or Treating with your kids have one of your kids dress as Donkey Kong Jr and one dress as Mario to have a fun family Halloween theme.
Princess Zelda – In the Legend of Zelda series of games Zelda gets into trouble in many adventures. She was one of the first major female video game characters and was the role model for many of today’s female characters. In the Legend of Zelda series she is usually rescued by Link, her longtime suitor, who fights the evil Ganon for Zelda’s freedom time after time.
Pokemon characters – Pokemon is still wildly popular with kids and the characters and species from the Pokeman games make great Halloween costumes. Pokemon costumes usually need a lot of accessories in order to pull off the complete look so don’t forget wigs, makeup and other accessories that will transform you or your child into a beloved Pokemon character.
Disney costumes are always popular for Halloween. Young children and adults equally love to dress up like Disney characters at Halloween. It isn’t hard to figure out why. Disney characters are archetypes of characters that speak to everyone. Little kids love to play make believe and use their imaginations and the fairy tale like characters from Disney movies inspire kids to dream. Adults love Disney characters because they are reminded of happy childhood memories like singing along with The Jungle Book movies or waiting for Mary Poppins to show up and take them into a chalk drawing on the sidewalk for an adventure. Disney characters have changed over the years to appeal to modern audiences but fairy tale appeal of Disney’s heroes and heroines has never died down.
Some of the most popular Disney Halloween Costumes are:
Snow White – Snow White costumes and Wicked Stepmother costumes, along with costumes of the Seven Dwarves, are always in high demand at Halloween. Snow White has a very unique look among Disney characters. Her jet black hair can be created with a wig or with temporary Halloween hair dye. If you don’t have blue eyes you can copy hers with colored contacts. A Snow White Halloween costume will provide the iconic blue and yellow dress that Snow White wears in the Disney movie. The sweeping Wicked Stepmother costume is regal and intimidating and instantly recognizable.
The Little Mermaid – Ariel, the mermaid who wanted to be human in order to be with her prince, is a classic Halloween costume. Little girls and grown up girls alike identify with this mermaid princess who is willing to sacrifice everything for love. Mermaid costumes are also a lot of fun to wear, which is part of the reason why Ariel is seen all over on Halloween.
Tinkerbell – The little fairy from Peter Pan is almost more popular than the boy hero in that story. From toddlers to tweens little girls love to dress like fairies, and Tinkerbell is one of the most memorable fairies of all. Wings, pixie dust, and other ethereal accessories can finish off a Tinkerbell costume in style.
Prince Charming – Prince Charming appears in many incarnations throughout Disney stories but he is always dashing, always romantic, and always swoops in to save the day. Men like dressing as Prince Charming, but little boys may prefer to dress like the pirates from Peter Pan or the Lost Boys instead. Men who don’t think they fit into the Prince Charming mold might also like wearing a Captain Jack Sparrow costume from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Jasmine – The lovely Eastern princess from the Aladdin story is beloved by millions of girls. Jasmine’s harem pants and top, along with some sparkly makeup, are a fun costume for an active little girl. Adult women also love dressing up in Jasmine costumes because of the exotic clothes.
There is a Disney character costume to suit everyone’s personality. Old or young, everyone has at one point or another dreamt of being the hero or heroine of a Disney fairy tale. Halloween is the perfect chance to create your own fairy tale with a Disney costume.
See more Disney Costumes
Finding the perfect Halloween costume for tweens can be tough. Some costumes are still too mature, but some are too childish. Negotiating a costume that you approve of but that your tween likes can be a tricky business. Compromise is key when it comes to finding a great tween Halloween costume. To give you some ideas that might make your tween happy this Halloween here are some creative costume ideas that are appropriate for tweens but fun too:
High School Musical costumes – The characters from High School Musical are sure to be out in large numbers this Halloween. The good news for parents is that High School Musical tween costumes are age appropriate but also fun, so you and your tween can both be satisfied with the costume. Sharpay costumes and Gabriella costumes are going to be very popular, so if your tween wants something a little different choose a High School Musical cheerleader costume or a costume based on one of the supporting cast.
Hannah Montana – A Hannah Montana Halloween costume is also a popular tween choice. Tweens can have all the fun of dressing like a rock star without actually wearing any of the revealing clothing traditionally associated with rock stars. This wholesome version of a rock star is a costume you can approve of that your tween girl will really want.
Harry Potter costumes – Now that the characters in the Harry Potter movies are starting to get older tweens want Harry Potter costumes for Halloween. Ron Weasley costumes, Jeannie Weasley costumes, Hermione Granger costumes, Draco Malfoy costumes and of course Harry Potter costumes are going to be some of the hottest costumes this Halloween following the summer release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. If you are going to take your tweens trick or treating this year you can dress as one of the Hogworts teachers to go with your tween’s costume.
Transformers costumes – For tween boys the perfect costume this year is a Transformers costume. Your tween can choose to be an Autobot or a Decepticon and can use makeup and other accessories with a Transformers costume to turn into a robot for the night. There are a lot of characters to choose from when choosing a costume from the Transformers movie so start talking with your tween now about which costume he wants.
Shrek and Princess Fiona costumes – Shrek costumes and Princess Fiona costumes are still popular, and they are the perfect costumes for tweens. More grown up than traditional fairy tale characters Shrek, Fiona or any of the characters from Shrek are updated, modern, fun versions characters usually associated with children. Your tween will like being able to choose a more grown up costume while you can hang onto the nostalgia of seeing your little girl dress like a princess again.
When it comes time for your tween to choose a Halloween costume sit down with your child and set some costume ground rules. Letting your child choose his or her own costume, as long as they follow the ground rules, will help your child learn to be more independent and make decisions.