* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
I bought the Spongebob costume for Hollie last year when she was tasked with going into school dressed as her favourite television character - Spongebob isn't actually her favourite, but the teacher had specifically banned princess dresses in an attempt to get the kids flexing their imagination a bit. Well, I was baffled - she was just turned four and it was ridiculously hard to find anything relating to her two actual favourite characters, Peppa Pig and the Bubble Guppies. She ended up as Spongebob thanks to a special offer on a foam costume in B&M, where the costume in the size I needed (3 - 4) was reduced from £18 to £5.99 - I snapped it up not caring whether all the other kids turned up in the same costume, it was a solution.
For the price I paid I'm happy with it - I'm currently sorting out the house as we're due to move soon and the costume is still in good enough condition that I've put it in the box destined for my sister's nursery rather than bin it. I'm not sure I'd have been so impressed if I'd paid full price for it as it's kinda basic and not the most brilliantly thought out costume I've ever come across. It's basically a slimline cube of thin yellow foam with a hole for the kiddy to stand in, a head hole and two arm holes. It's very crudely shaped and if it weren't for how generically cute a four year old looks when dressed up as this (kinda creepy) little character then I'd have had it labelled as a bag of crud from day one - the foam isn't cut right so bunched up around Hollie's shoulders, this spoilt the look of Spongebob SQUAREpants and instead turned square into a rotund little cylinder-cum-rectangle shape. On a more positive note, the stitching is all neat and strong with none at all visible on the outside of the costume - the bottom edge of the back of the costume doesn't seem to hang straight, but I can't work out whether that's because of bad sewing in that area or a symptom of the poorly shaped shoulders!
The face and shorts detail are printed onto the surface of the costume and are well done in that they look great and have lasted well over the last eighteen months. None of the colour has rubbed, peeled or faded away and the actual yellow of the foam is as vivid as the day I purchased the costume, I'm massively impressed by this as I find these faux vinyl style prints to be very delicate and not usually the best choice for kids play clothes. The print itself is done strangely and doesn't completely fit the yellow of the costume; so you have a blank yellow back (not even shorts printed) then the shorts and face printed into the *centre* of the front of the costume, with thick yellow bands at either side. It's not awful and doesn't wreck the look of the costume, it just appears... weird...
With the costume you also get a pair of full length yellow gloves, all the better to emulate Spongebob with his strange ill-fitting printed detail, and a pair of black shoe covers. I was a bit miffed with the shoe covers to be honest as the way they were shown on the costume packaging made it look like they were full leg length, but really that little boy is wearing matching black trousers and what you get are soft fleecy booties to go over your child's normal shoes. Stupid, stupid. The nod towards durability was to give the sole a sateen texture, but take three steps outside and they'll have a hole in them - a fact proved by Hollie when she decided to wear them to walk to our car, which is parked less than four feet from the front door, and both shoes developed tiny holes already which just got worse over her school day. The gloves are good, they fitted Hollie beautifully in both length and finger size for the whole time she had her costume - it went down a hit at school (surprisingly there were only two other little Spongebobs there) and she's since worn it several times just to play around the house in.
It's sponge clean only but highly porous so you do need to take care if your little one is eating or drinking while wearing it. Hollie spilled a glass of apple juice down hers the last time she wore it and that ended up being a sticky pain in the arse to clean, eventually I slung it over the garden washing airer and drenched it with the hose until every trace of juice had disappeared - then I went back again once it had dried and did it again when I noticed I'd missed a bit!
While Hollie has enjoyed the experience of owning such a bizarre Spongebob costume, I don't think she'll miss the costume now it's going. She likes to look nice and recently she's started taking offence if she thinks she's being ridiculed - at almost five, although the costume still fitted perfectly, I think she was starting to feel a bit silly while wearing it and it was taken out less and less until eventually we never saw her as Spongebob again.