I took my children to a community Halloween party, and I was surprised at the homogeneity of Halloween costumes among toddlers and young children. About 8 in 10 boys were dressed as Marvel Comic superheros, and 9 in 10 girls were dressed as Disney princesses. Previously I had believed that Disney’s purchase of Marvel Comics was intended to bolster box office revenue, but maybe an unintended consequence is that the acquisition gave Disney a near monopoly in the Halloween costume industry.
Gone are the days when children dressed up as witches, goblins, ghosts, vampires, and Frankenstein monsters. The costumes that I remember as a child are now but the exception. Most years my mother helped us put together homemade costumes. What they lacked in glitter and sparkle, they made up for with charm and durability. Disney should be satisfied with itself for creating a very lucrative niche within a rich holiday tradition.
Of course, Disney does not have a true monopoly, because consumers have other options for Halloween apparel, it is just that most choose almost exclusively to support the movie company when purchasing costumes for toddlers and young children. I was happy that my son, who was wearing a turtle costume, received the most attention at our Halloween party, perhaps because it was a great and original costume, or perhaps because he is a really cute kid.
Brian King, Mesa, AZ.