October 28, 2012

Fantasy, superheroes Halloween winners

Popular choices for kids will be princesses, Batman and Spider-Man, a survey says, while adults favor couples costumes with ninja and Freddy Krueger themes.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Politics aren't on everyone's mind this Halloween.

While presidential candidate masks are popular with a certain set of folks, they don't come close to being the hot costume choices.

The most popular choices for children will be more about fantasy and superheroes than about political figures.

Based on a survey of 9,393 consumers in September, the National Retail Federation predicts that princess costumes will be the No. 1 choice for children, garnering 9 percent of the responses.

Based on the same survey, the federation says that time-tested superheroes Batman and Spider-Man -- both subjects of recent films -- will take the No. 2 and 3 spots on the children's hot costume list.

Rounding out the top 10 on the federation list are: witches, Disney princesses, action heroes, pirates, vampires, zombies and ghosts.

Spirit Halloween, a nationwide chain of Halloween stores, has come out with a top 10 costume list that is more about licensing. The Spirit list, in no particular order, is predicting that the most popular costumes this year will be mostly from movies and TV.

The Spirit list includes: "The Avengers," "Adventure Time," "Monster High," "Power Rangers," Batman, Spider-Man, "The Hunger Games," "Ted," "Angry Birds" and plain old zombies.

Locally, the trends are similar, says Deede Dunbar, consignment operator of Spirit stores in South Portland, Waterville and Bangor. Dunbar said princesses and witches are big for little girls, while licensed action heroes are big for boys.

But she says zombies are also becoming really popular with girls, from grammar school into high school.

For adults, there's an odd trend, Dunbar says. Her stores are selling fewer "sexy" costumes for women and more couples costumes. And most of the couples costumes are decidedly not sexy.

For example, Dunbar says, Spirit has male and female ninja costumes, as well as male and female Freddy Krueger ("A Nightmare on Elm Street") costumes.

"We have killer couples, or a couple that dresses up as Batman and Robin," said Dunbar. "It seems to be a really growing category."

Nothing like Halloween to bring folks together.


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