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Published: Wednesday, 10/29/2003

Superheroes out for truth, justice, and Milky Ways


Superheroes will rule the streets this Halloween, taking a break from battling evildoers to go in search of candy.

Just hand over the treats and don't make them angry. You wouldn't like them when they're angry.

The big, green, scary-when-mad Hulk is topping the list of trendy children's costumes this year, area costume retailers said, although the streamlined Spider-Man is not far behind.

“Superheroes are always really popular,” said Alicia Foshag, sales associate at the Halloween USA store in Monroe. “This year, the Hulk has been selling well.”

Adults want their own swanky hero costumes. Several stores reported that black-robed Matrix apparel is a big seller.

But don't be fooled into thinking that good has finally defeated evil. Uber-fiends Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street and Jason from Friday the 13th are starring together in a new film, Freddy vs. Jason, and their costumes have become hot commodities.

“What's on TV and what's in the movies is what people ask for,” said Gregg Kerns, owner of Costume Holiday House in Fremont.

Wizard of Oz costumes are still going strong in the adult market, followoing the classic book's 100th anniversary three years ago, and Johnny Depp's acclaimed performance in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has breathed new life into traditional pirate garb.

Princess costumes for adults and children are selling steadily, retailers say, especially those that have a Renaissance flair.

Some old favorites are making a comeback. The Care Bears, those colorful plastic bears with the painted stomachs that were wildly popular during the 1980s, are in style again.

“We keep having to order more Care Bear costumes,” Ms. Foshag said. “Care Bears are back in.”

Other formerly cool costumes have fallen out of favor.

“SpongeBob SquarePants isn't selling that well, which was a little surprising, since he's still pretty popular with kids,” Don Clemens, manager of Party City in Toledo, said.

The Halloween USA store in Holland is stuck with a bunch of Scream masks. Those ghostly faces seem to have lost their appeal since the teen movie trilogy slipped out of the spotlight.

Scream seems to be really, really out this year,” store manager Dannielle Ackley said.

Costumes of all kinds will be on display during parties and trick-or-treating in area communities this week.

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