The Chronicle-Tribune –

Oct 20, 2018

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TRICK OR TREAT:Halloween bags and costumes hang on a rack at Kids Kraze.

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FRIGHTFUL FACES:Makeup and other Halloween accessories are also available at Kids Kraze.

BY Emily Rachelle Russell – [email protected]

At the height of October, the skies are an eye-catching blue, the air is that just-right level of crisp and cool, and the holiday known for fun and fright is just around the corner. With the approach of Halloween will come an entertaining display of the creativity and imagination of friends, family and neighbors as depicted in their costumes.

Lyndsey Goff, owner of children’s store Kidz Kraze on West Eighth Street, said the most popular choices for costumes depend on the wearer’s age. Kidz Kraze sells costumes for children ages infants through teenagers with a wide variety of choices.

“Disney is always a top seller,” Goff said. “Toy Story and Alice in Wonderland and a lot of the princesses … People love Disney. Kids love the movies and the characters, and that’s what they want to be.”

Babies, toddlers and children up to ages four or five especially go for Disney character costumes. Starting at ages six or seven up through the preteens, though, children start to prefer scarier costumes. Some fictional characters win out, but as a trend, the scary looks are the favorites.

Once children become teenagers, they tend to desire a more unique look. Teenagers often want vintage costumes and shop more creatively for their Halloween ensembles. They aim to create a costume no one else will have.

Another high-selling item is face painting kits. Face paint offers more flexibility and choices than pre-made costumes and is especially popular with parents of multiple children. One paint kit can create several looks, Goff pointed out.

Internet search data analyzed by Google in its report “Google Trends: Frightgeist 2018” gives insight into the most popular costume choices across the United States. Nationally, the top three favorite searches are looks from the popular online video game “Fortnite,” Marvel superhero Spider-Man and the sparkly, magical unicorn.

In Indiana, Fortnite still stands at No. 1, with ninja and dragon next on the list. Other searches in the U.S. top 10 include classics like witches, dinosaurs – also Indiana’s No. 4 – and pirates and princesses.

Pinterest, a website for collecting ideas in a visual format, and Lyst, a fashion-specific search engine, came together to compile their own list of predicted top 2018 costumes. Their research showed ice skater Tonya Harding from the film “I, Tonya,” characters from Netflix show “Riverdale” and 90s icons like fictional Buffy Summers and celebrity Britney Spears in the top three popular spots.

Other predictions on their 2018 list included looks inspired by the “Black Panther” movie’s fictional country of Wakanda, “The Incredibles” character Edna Mode, real-life artist Frida Kahlo and even cows and flamingos.

One surprise Goff has seen is an unexpected decrease in sales of Kidz Kraze’s “Star Wars” costume choices. She has some quality costumes from the franchise that have been at the store, unsold, for two years. Google’s Frightgeist report backs up that trend: characters Princess Leia and Darth Vader, both in 2017’s top 100 costumes list, are nowhere to be found in the 2018 data.

The most popular time for costume shopping is broken into three busy periods, Goff said. When stores first announce and start selling costumes, usually in early September or late August, there’s an influx of costume shoppers. The next busy time is the first week or two of October. The biggest upswing in costumes sales, though, happens during the two full sale days before Halloween; Goff estimates about 80 percent of Halloween sales occur in the last days of October.

Goff enjoys seeing the bonding experiences and creativity inspired by Halloween.

“I just think that it’s really a lot of fun to get to work together with your friends or family … to create a unique look,” Goff said. “(It’s fun to) take one day a year to be whoever and whatever you want to be.”

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