Norben Products, named for its founders Norman Katz and Ben (family name unknown), originally specialized in children’s wear. Norman Katz, noticing the lack of competition in the Halloween costume market, would then buyout Ben’s shares and move Norben Products into the Halloween costume market. Norben Products would manufacture products in-house: including blow-molding, injection-molding and vacuum forming. The company would see annual revenue in the tens of millions. Norben Products would also act as a Canadian distributor for a variety of companies, such as Collegeville Costumes, Don Post Studios, Topstone and Ben Cooper.
The 1990s would see aggressive market competition from overseas and U.S. based companies such as Rubie’s Costume Company. In response, Norben Products would reduce its domestic manufacturing and a focus was placed on lower cost, imported goods. Following Norman Katz’s passing in 1993, the company would continue to operate under the guidance of Norman Katz’s sons, Allen and Barry Katz. Allen Katz would retire in 2001, and Barry Katz would later pass in 2004.
Norben Products is best remembered for their extensive range of Halloween costumes. Licensed properties included Disney, Looney Tunes, Star Wars, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, Pokemon, Spiderman, Dilbert, My Little Pony, Mortal Combat, Spongebob, Barbie, The Simpsons, and many others. Additional products included plastic banks, candy pails, decorations and window clings.
Information courtesy of Allen Katz via phone interview.
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