With one day left to buy that perfect Halloween costume, perennial favorites like “Casper the Friendly Ghost” and the “Wicked Witch of the West” continue to lose out to the newest celebrity lookalikes and stars of best-selling movies and videogames -- with a little TV fantasy thrown in.
Think "Captain America," retailers told our station in Los Angeles KNBC, and not so much "Toy Story 3."
Kids are flocking to Angry Bird costumes -- based on characters in a smartphone app -- according to Sunny Kohli, manager of a Halloween store in southern California.
The same trend is proving true in the Bay Area.
“The Angry Bird costume is brand new and in high demand,” he said.
Many bite-sized trick-or-treaters, he said, are also donning the mustache, plump nose and baggy overalls of the Mario Brothers of videogame fame.
When it comes to teenage girls, Kohli said, there seems to be a real hunger for the fright-tights favored by teenage ghouls on the web hit, “Monster High,” which prides itself on being the place “where freaky just got fabulous!”
As for adults, many are borrowing their preferred rags from the “Walking Dead” of AMC’s hit zombie series, according to retailers, or are squeezing into the hip-hugging uniforms of the high-flying blue belles on ABC’s “Pan Am.”
Captain America’s star-spangled duds are also very popular this year.
Some retailers had sought to capitalize on a particularly well-known "warlock" this year, stocking racks of Charlie Sheen masks and tee-shirts. But that's been kind of a bust.
“The entire Charlie Sheen section isn’t doing so well,” said Jack Conway, manager of the Spirit store at Glendale Market Place.
Instead, many would-be bad boys are decking themselves out as less scandalous hellraisers - like those who haunt MTV’s Jersey Shore, according to Conway. Sheen, he said, is being upstaged as a Halloween doppelganger precisely because his real-like persona has become so weird.
“Our buyer didn’t even think it was a good idea to order Sheen’s costume,” said Robert Golden, manager at Halloween Adventure in Sherman Oaks.
Despite the apparent rejection of Sheen as a costume idol, consumers still seem to be gravitating toward outfits that relfect pop culture and celebrities. The top getups from last year included Lady Gaga, characters from the movie "Avatar," and singer Katie Perry.
Why is this happening?
“It’s just what kids and teens are exposed to,” Golden said. “Everyone has a smart phone or computer these days so flocking to the pop-culture craz comes naturally.”