Super-Rare Item Sells on eBay
The rarest "official" DS collectible sold on the eBay auction site April 26, 2006: the Barnabas Halloween Mask and Costume fetched a price of $693. When I conducted research for The Dark Shadows Collectibles Book about 10 years ago, I was only able to locate one collector with a costume, making it the rarest item that was officially licensed while the show was on the air -- so this is only one of two copies I'm aware of. (Of course there may be more out there, stuffed away in someone's attic.) I have seen other masks (without the costume or box) sell over the years, for around $200.

It's really difficult to assign a value to such a rare item; ultimately something like this is basically worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it, so in a way, an eBay sale like this helps establish a "fair market value." In my opinion, this set is well worth the nearly-$700 selling price, if not more -- especially since it came in the original box (with "Barnabas" stamped on one end), and from the photos, the costume, box, and mask all appear to be in excellent condition. READ MORE ABOUT DS COLLECTIBLES.

The mask pictured above left was manufactured by Don Post Studios in the '70s, and was sold by mail order. (Ads for it appeared in Famous Monsters magazine for years.) It was referred to as the "Old Vampire Mask," but any DS fan could see where its inspiration came from. (See the House of Dark Shadows still, above right.) On the TV show, Barnabas was briefly aged, but in the film, the makeup man really earned his paycheck (and Jonathan Frid spent many hours in the makeup chair). Barnabas really resembled a 175-year-old coot (or at least what we assume someone at that age would look like.)


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