For a very long time indeed, they were the preserve of SAS units, terrorists, Formula One drivers, and of young children with dramatically over-protective parents who didn't care all that much about how their poor child actually looked. Now however, balaclavas are slowly creeping back in, to the extent that even gamers are being targeted.
Take, for example, the Pac-Man Plush-Head helmet. On sale in "limited numbers" at the ClubNAMCO shop. An adult version of this garish headpiece will set you back $29.99 (£15 / €22), while a matching one for your no-doubt-thrilled-to-bits child comes in at $24.99 (£12 / €18).