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The Most Popular Halloween Costumes, Then and Now

October 29, 2014

What are you going as this year? If trends hold, probably Elsa.

  • Popular Halloween CostumesAccording to the National Retail Federation, the most popular Halloween costumes this year are characters from Frozen, the hit Disney animated film from last year that never quite went away. Approximately 2.6 million kids are expected to dress up as Elsa (the ice queen), Anna (her sister), or Olaf (the snowman). Other favorites: the perennially popular Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • The most popular kids costumes change from year to year based on pop culture trends—not so much for adults’ costumes. According to the NRF, “witch” has been the bestselling adult costume for the past five years, with vampire, pirate, nurse, and Batman always close behind.
  • In 2013, Despicable Me 2 was the most popular kids movie of the year (until Frozen came out). That meant that the cute little yellow “minion” monsters from the movie were the most popular Halloween choice. So was Batman.
  • In 2012, girls wanted to be Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games and boys wanted to be Bane from The Dark Knight Returns, or Batman.
  • Let’s go back 20 years or so. In 1993, kids and adults were dressing up like new kiddie TV sensation Barney, and it was the first year for a half decade or so that Princess Jasmine from Aladdin dominated costume sales for girls. Batman was also a top seller.
  • What was a hot costume for the first time in 1989 that never faded from Halloween popularity? Yep: Batman.
  • Let’s go back farther, to 1985. Can you guess what oh-so-1985 costumes were flying off the shelves that year? For little boys, it was He-Man. For adult men: Hulk Hogan.
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