According to a 2003 poll conducted by the consumer research group NPD, 87 percent of American adults participate in Halloween-related activities. This unofficial holiday trails only Christmas and Chanukah for home decorating, with sales of Halloween decorations totaling almost $600 million in 2003, according to the National Retail Federation.
For adults, Halloween means parties—the holiday is now the third most popular party occasion after New Year’s Eve and Superbowl Sunday. Cheryl Stoughton of Pumpkin Masters (ToyDirectory) is banking on this trend. “Halloween falls on Sunday in 2004, and this means lots of parties,” Stoughton says.
Pumpkin Masters plans to launch a line of party products—including spreaders, appetizer forks, swizzle sticks and coasters—all featuring the well-known designs of the company’s popular pumpkin-carving products. The Denver-based company also plans to introduce a kit for decorating Mini Pumpkins. With the kits, the tiny gourds can be made into votive candle holders or fancy beaded decorations. For kids, Pumpkin Masters offers a Fun House Carving Party kit, which contains all the supplies for six kids to create their own jack o’ lantern.
At the Halloween Show held in December, fiber optic decorations were a big hit. New Creative Enterprises’ Lighted Glow Flags lend a soft, spooky light to Halloween festivities. For a creepier display, Dynamic Design’s popular line of Freaky Flyers—life-sized head-and-shoulder foam-and-latex busts with 5-foot flowing black capes—will send chills down the spines of trick-or-treaters.
Funworks/Designworks (ToyDirectory) plans to feature their popular line of decorative toy skeleton and pumpkin “Boingers” again this year, as well as their best-selling Flashing Halloween Earrings and Pins. Concept Marketing’s best-selling Sneaky Kids props look like real trick-or-treaters. The 24-inch pumpkin, ghost and witch can stand by a front door to greet partygoers.
Although Halloween will always be about kids and candy, the new emphasis on adult parties and decorative displays will only enhance the appeal of this increasingly popular holiday.