To be or not to be Dracula for Halloween again. That is the question.
As All Hallows’ Eve rolls around this week, procrastinators are pouring over the leftovers at costume shops and department stores, looking for the best outfit or mask.
Just like clothing or hair, Halloween costumes are susceptible to trends. Here is what is hot this year.
“For boys, it’s the characters from ‘The Avengers’: The Hulk, Captain America,” said Alex DeJoseph, who owns Party Scene in the Pebble Creek Collection retail plaza.
And although she doesn’t carry the costumes, DeJoseph said lots of young girls this want to be characters from “Monster High,” a line of ghoulish but fashionable dolls that has spawned TV specials.
While customers trickled into her shop Monday, DeJoseph showed a reporter monster headwear that resembled a muppet.
“It’s a monster but it’s kind of sassy,” she said, adding it was selling briskly.
The old standards always seem to do well, of course, too, DeJoseph said. The adult female police officer, the corresponding prisoner getup for her date, for example, are big.
But if you think Lady Gaga might be a big hit in 2012, you’re behind the cool curve.
“That was last year — no, two years ago,” DeJoseph said. “More girls want to be Katy Perry than Lady Gaga.”
Spirit Halloween, which has a location at The Shops at Wiregrass, bills itself as the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in North America. Spokeswoman Lisa Barr said characters from the animated TV show “Adventure Time” are hits, along with Power Rangers, "Monster High," the Ted costume from “Hunger Games” and superheroes such as Spiderman, Batman and the Avengers.
When it comes to presidential masks, Barr said, President Barack Obama is leading sales with 60 percent, with the other 40 percent going to challenger Mitt Romney.
DeJoseph noticed one other trend this year at her shop. She motioned to the fishnet arm warmers made famous by Madonna nearly 30 years ago.
“You know what’s popular?” she said. “They want to dress up like the ‘80s.”
So, Land O' Lakes residents, what will you, and your kids, be this Halloween? Tell us in the comments section. Also, be sure to check out our Halloween costume contest. Just upload photos of you or your kids in costume to that story's gallery for a chance to win $5,000.