Expect to see a lot of action heroes and heroines at your front door this Halloween.
“The Avengers and Wonder Woman are big this year,” says Sue Copeland, owner of Costume World in Michigan City. “And because there’s a new 'Star Wars' coming out, a lot of kids will want to be Darth Vader and Chewbacca.”
Copeland, who has about 1,200 costumes in her inventory, many of them adult rentals, said trends in Halloween costumes tend to follow what’s popular in the movies and on television.
With more than 179 million Americans planning to celebrate Halloween, up from 171 million last year, spending is slated to reach a record high, according to a study by National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association. Since 2003, NRF has conducted an annual Halloween survey to determine what the major trends will be.
This year, with consumers expected to spend $9.1 billion, up from $8.4 billion in 2016, the top costume picks for children are action heroes or superheroes. For adults, it’s a witch, while 10 percent of consumers will be dressing their dogs as pumpkins.
NRF said more than 3.7 million children plan to dress as their favorite action character or superhero; 2.9 million are planning on transforming themselves into princesses; and 2.2 million will becomes some type of animal mainly cats, dogs and monkeys.
The combination of superheroes being a major trend and the release of the "Wonder Woman" movie this year means hordes of Wonder Women, which according to the NRF survey, is the No. 1 choice for girls. For adults, Wonder Woman is No. 10.
Copeland said she sees many kids who come in wanting the trendiest of costumes but then decide to go with the boy’s Colonial selections like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
Older kids will be going against the trends. At least that’s what Daniel Shade, a sixth-grader at Discovery Charter School, will be doing.
“Little kids will be superheroes,” he said, noting that he’s going to be a Steampunk-style mad scientist. “Last year we had two girl Ghostbusters and three boy Ghostbusters. I like to be something different that no one else will be.”
Seventh-grader Owen Sasak, of Chesterton, said he’s dressing up this year as Rainbow Batman. The backstory on this character? Robin hurt his arm and Rainbow Batman wore a rainbow costume to distract people from knowing that Robin and his alter ego, Dick Grayson, were the same person.
“Last year I went as a Monster Cuts Anime DJ and wore really big headphones,” Owen said.
“I encourage my kids to be creative when it comes to Halloween,” said Rebecca Sasak, Owen’s mother.
Some kids like to keep their costumes simple. Ghost costumes are in the top 10 this year as well, according to NRF.