The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 18, 2012

‘Monster High,’ ‘Avengers’ among top Halloween trends

By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor

JOPLIN, Mo. — There is one costume so in demand at Spirit Halloween, in Joplin, that the store has had to trade with local affiliates in order to meet the demand. Because it’s a tie-in with Marvel’s “Avengers,” which were featured in a larger-than-life summer blockbuster, it should be no surprise that the high-demand costume is a superhero.

Here’s the surprise: It’s Hawkeye.

“We’ve had requests for that more than anything else,” said Eric Myers, manager of the seasonal store. “We had to trade with Springfield and Branson stores just to get enough in.”

If kids haven’t chosen a costume for Halloween yet, the clock is ticking. With about two weeks remaining, parents have plenty of options to help meet kids’ demands.

The costumes trending locally somewhat match what’s getting bought around the rest of the country:



Superheroes

Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor and, yes, Hawkeye have been big movers during this Halloween costume-buying season. Propelled by “The Avengers,” residents can expect to see plenty of superheroes at their front doors.

Thanks to the movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” there are also plenty of Batman costumes being bought. Myers also mentioned heroes from a past era who are getting a revival.

“(The Mighty Morphin’) Power Rangers are making a comeback for kids,” Myers said.



Real characters

While girls have only one Avengers option (Black Widow), they can be Draculaura, Cleo de Nile, Clawdeen Wolf or Frankie Stein from “Monster High,” a Mattel toy franchise that looks like a Barbie makeover of legendary monsters.

“Every girl knows something about ‘Monster High,’ and they all have their favorite characters,” Myers said.

“Monster High” costumes are in big demand around Joplin. The toys are featured in an animated series and a young-adult book series.

Also picking up steam are characters from another cartoon: “Adventure Time.” Finn the Human and Jake the Dog should be easy to spot this year.



True colors

While most costumes today have a surprising amount of detail, a popular line of costumes feature just one color. Skin suits, or morph suits, are basically a skintight, full-body suit in a single color.

Some of the skin suits come with minimal accessories related to a theme, such as a crash test dummy or Rastafarian. But the suits themselves are a hit -- even for non-Halloween purposes, Myers said.

“Over the weekend, a couple of guys ran in wearing them, then ran out,” Myers said. “It was a practical joke. It looked a little odd.”



Appropriate?

Sharp-eyed parents may note that hemlines and necklines on girls’ costumes appear to be receding -- especially on costumes intended for younger girls.

Myers agrees. But there are plenty of ways parents can make a questionable costume more appropriate, he said.

“They do seem to be a little shorter this year,” Myers said. “The ’tween customers are looking way more adult every year. But we have ways to make costumes less revealing. I don’t think I’d feel very right about it, if there weren’t ways to do that.”



Price points

Eric Myers, manager of Spirit Halloween, said costumes can be found ranging from about $10 to $25. After accessories, an average costume price can reach about $45.