Oct 25 2011
Commercials, movies, TV shows and games influencing Halloween costume decisions » Currents » The Free Press, Mankato, MN
MANKATO — come Halloween, kids often know weeks in advance who or what they want to be on the big night. For shoppers like 29-year-old Melodie Edwards of Mankato and 37-year-old Lisa Reiter of Le Sueur, costume choices are often a reflection of the TV shows, books and movies their children enjoy. “My son is really into Spiderman right now, so that’s who he wanted to dress up as,” said Edwards, who has a 2-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son. “My daughter really likes Yo Gabba Gabba and wanted to be Toodee.” Reiter also bought her 11-year-old daughter a costume based on her favorite character. “My daughter loves Pokémon, books, movies and the TV show, so this costume was very much influenced on that,” said Reiter. But for adults, picking out a costume isn’t that easy. Tom Fallenstein, CEO of Mankato-based Buyfun.com, said the last week before Halloween is his busiest time for last-minute shoppers who aren’t sure what character to portray that year. “People don’t know their plans until the week before,” he said. “They don’t know if they are going to go out or go to the party.” But this year, he added, if you are hoping to snatch up something really popular, you better get moving. “if you are looking to be a new hot trendy thing, the earlier the better,” said Fallenstein. this year there are a variety of top costumes that are quickly becoming harder to find as it gets closer to Halloween. Fallenstein said most of the top costumes correlate with some of the popular movies that were released this year. “we get previews of all of the movies coming out first, so when we buy for the next Halloween season, we’ll look at what the summer blockbusters are coming out,” he said. this year is no different. Green Lantern, Thor and Captain America are characters from recently released movies this year, bringing in a demand for costumes. Captain America is a popular one for both kids and adults. on HalloweenCostumes.com, which is owned by Buyfun.com, you can find about a dozen variations of Captain America costumes ranging from toddler size up to adult size in both male and female versions. Jack Sparrow remains a popular choice for kids and adults, while the release of the latest “Harry Potter” movie earlier this year has made the namesake character a top selection as well. this season there are also more 1980s comebacks. Super Mario is once again a top pick. And as a result of the animated movie release, the Smurfs character costumes are popular among kids. But it is angry Birds, based on the popular game, that suddenly became one of the best sellers this year for both boys and adults, said Fallenstein. “Everyone in the entire industry under projected what that (costume) was going to do,” he said. “Everyone sold out.” While Fallenstein said most boys are going toward costumes like angry Birds, many tween girls are attracted to costumes from Monster High, which are based on a series of dolls that have been brought to life in TV shows, books and video games. Fallenstein described it as “kind of like a gothic Barbie doll.” even with trends and pop culture, there are often costumes that become a success without any warning. Flo from the Progressive car insurance commercial left its mark this Halloween, by making a top-seller out of a wig that resembles the character’s hair. “we blew out of those in two days,” said Fallenstein. “Not something I thought would be popular though.” if you miss out on this year’s top costumes, there are many costumes that seem to never go out of style. No matter what age, you can never go wrong with “Star Wars,” “The Wizard of Oz” or “The Flintstones,” Fallenstein said. Also, it’s never too soon to plan ahead for next year. Fallenstein starts planning for the upcoming season Nov. 1. He has already started making projections about popular costumes to follow, including Nicki Minaj accessories, as well as characters from the new “Avengers” movie that will be released next year, bringing all of the superheroes together.