Rubie’s Costume Company’s tag line is “the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of costumes,” but it might as well be “Halloween starts here.”
The company’s costumes fill the shelves of stores ranging from Walmart to temporary Halloween shops, in addition to Rubie’s megastores in Melville, Westbury, and Richmond Hill, Queens. It’s a costume king — a global giant that virtually owns the holiday the way the NFL owns Sundays.
“This year is a superhero year for Halloween,” the company’s blog says.
It all started with Rubie’s Candy Store, founded in 1951 by Rubin, aka Rubie, and Tillie Beige in Queens, selling comic books, candy, and novelties. A decade later, they renamed the shop Rubie’s Fun House and began selling hats, costumes, accessories, wigs, and masks.
In the 1970s, their son Marc Beige changed the name to Rubie’s Costume Company, became president, and grew it into a licensing and costume giant. His brothers Howard and Joel and sister Maxine help him run the family business, which is now headquartered in Melville.
A family owned and operated business for nearly 70 years, its costume catalogue — yes, it includes outfits for pets — is the size of the telephone book for a large city. The founding family’s third generation is now involved in the company that, if it doesn’t own Halloween, owns a lot of the licenses that fuel the holiday, from classic to current properties.
The company is now a superhero when it comes to costumes, with new 2019 licenses including Aquaman, Men in Black, and Captain Marvel characters. Those are the latest in a long list of licenses. Popular lines and licenses include Harry Potter, Stranger Things, Where’s Waldo?, and Star Wars characters as well as Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and more.
Girls are going for Jojo Siwa costumes with a nod to Nickelodeon and DC Super Girls costumes including Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Batgirl.
For the family behind Rubie’s, the trick to their success is obtaining the rights to characters in demand and making the right costumes at the right price. After that, the business is a treat — for the company and its customers around the world.