TDmonthly Magazine!
January 2006 | Vol. V - No. 1


Licenses, Sexy Costumes Rule Halloween Show

Playboy Costumes Is One Line That Struts Its Stuff

“Halloween is one of the few seasons that is continually expanding.” Ron Kushner, Sunco
Halloween 2006 falls on a Tuesday, which suggests that it’ll be more of a children’s celebration than an all-night grown-up kids’ fest. But that hasn’t dimmed the spotlight on sexy adult costumes, according to manufacturers and retailers who attended December’s first-ever International Halloween Show in New York City put on by the Toy Industry Association. Also playing leading roles will be costumes that transform kids and adults into pirates, rock stars, monkeys and other characters from upcoming movies.

“One of the biggest trends right now is sexier adult costumes,” Ryan Rothchild, president of Pony Express Creations, told TDmonthly Magazine. A major Halloween industry supplier, Pony Express was among the annual trade show’s exhibitors and co-produced the event with several other big manufacturers in conjunction with the Toy Industry Association.

At the show, the company unofficially launched Playboy Costumes, a partnership with Playboy Enterprises that will emphasize 30 sexy costumes of such generic figures as cheerleaders. Packaging and promotions will feature actual Playboy Playmates.

Pirate costumes for adults and children were also dominant, attendees said, thanks in large part to 2003’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” now on DVD, and the movie’s sequel, scheduled for release in July. Ellen Buzinky, an associate merchandise manager with Party City, the nationwide party store chain, also saw lots of costumes and accessories based on the “Power Rangers” and “Ninja Turtle” film and TV franchises, and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” The latter is scheduled to be released on DVD in the fall, in time for Halloween.

For younger girls, fairy princess costumes in sheer fabrics and pastel colors were abundant. Edgier, almost Goth-like witches and other figures were available for tweens and teens.

“We’re not going to miss out on any of these areas,” Buzinky said.

Representatives of Party America, another major retail chain, spotted lots of get-ups fashioned after the “Curious George” and “Superman Returns” movies slated for 2006. The chain’s executive vice president, Alice Tang, also noticed a higher quality in generic costumes.

“There was more accessorizing with little pearls and rhinestones on the fairy princesses,” Tang noted. “Those types of added details and nicer fabrics are the way of the future.”

Outrageous humor a hot category especially popular among boys and men was represented by such manufacturers as Rasta Imposta, whose promotions included licensed costumes based on the upcoming Jack Black rock 'n’ roll comedy, “Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny.”

“We have a scary, devilish rock-and-roll demon [costume],” said company president, Robert Berman. “We also have … a licensed Baby Bunting outfit for babies that makes them look like a loaf of Wonder Bread.”

Funworld, a division of Easter Unlimited, likewise went the cute route for toddler girls with a polka-dot series featuring a cat, witch, clown and ladybug. In the humor realm, it’s peddling a new Zombie Doctor costume that’ll make wearers look like they’ve contracted a flesh-eating disease, said executive vice president, Alan Geller.

Not to be left out in the cold, Sunco came out with its first line of lawn decorations featuring giant, inflatable glow-in-the-dark spiders, bats and pumpkins. The company has been producing inflatable beach balls and similar items for 30 years.

“The lawn decoration category was up almost 23 percent this year over last,” said Ron Kushner, national sales manager for Sunco. “Halloween is one of the few seasons that is continually expanding.”

The following products are just a few that will be available for Halloween 2006.

MSRP: $59.99
Age Range: 18 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Halloween Merchandise

This costume from the Funworld line of Easter Unlimited capitalizes on the popular outrageous humor category. It's a doctor who looks like he's contracted a patient’s flesh-eating disease.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6137      (added 12/21/2005)

Age Range: 18 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Halloween Merchandise

This miniskirted outfit from the Funworld line of Easter Unlimited exemplifies the sexy adult costume trend. It is made with velour velvet.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6138      (added 12/21/2005)

The nationally-distributed Pony Express Creations line features traditional baby costumes, boys’ outfits with tattoos built into the sleeves, and a high-quality Enchanted Garden collection of girls’ attire. “The ones that are on a little bit of a higher level do very well in specialty stores,” marketing director Sherri Klaus of Pony Express Creations told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6139      (added 12/21/2005)

Writer's Bio: Zan Dubin Scott is president of ZDS Communications, a public relations, marketing and writing agency specializing in sustainable business, healthcare, arts and entertainment. Zan was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times for 10 years and continues to report and write for the newspaper and other publications. Read more articles by this author


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