Big Bird Costumes Hot Sellers for Halloween

Big Bird Costumes Hot Sellers for Halloween

(AP) Big Bird costumes hot sellers for Halloween
LEANNE ITALIE
Associated Press
NEW YORK
Can’t figure out how to dress as a binder full of women for Halloween? There’s always Big Bird, the other star of the presidential debates.

The Yellow One is flying off the shelves after Mitt Romney’s threat to do away with government support for PBS. President Barack Obama kept the Halloween dream alive Tuesday night when be brought up the bird again during their second debate.

At 6 feet, Angela Betancourt volunteered for Big Bird duty among a group of friends riffing on Sesame Street for a couple of Halloween parties and a meander along Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. She’ll likely carry a suitcase as she passes out the popular kid character’s resume.

Halloweencostumes.com sold out of several takes on Big Bird almost overnight after Romney’s remark during the first presidential debate Oct. 3, said a company spokesman, Marlon Heimerl.

Disguise Inc., Sesame Workshop’s official costume maker, said interest is up among the thousands of retailers it services. The sellers of unlicensed Big Bird, especially sexed-up versions, beware.

Betancourt went for sanctioned, sassy Big Bird in a yellow, flapper-style feathered dress and a dainty head piece. Shannon Ziegler of suburban Detroit will be Big Birdesque in a sexier mini with mesh cutouts, ringed thigh-highs and a fluffy hat that has google eyes.

Ziegler, another 6-footer, hadn’t decided between a sign that reads: “Big Bird for President” or one imploring: “Don’t Use Me.” An American flag may also be involved.

For the record, Ziegler’s a Republican who said she’ll probably vote for Romney.

Kimberly Wick, vice president of Costume World based in Deerfield Beach, Fla., also saw sleepy seller Big Bird become a hot seller overnight. The company sells and rents costumes of all kinds and has four stores around the country.

Wick was madly trying to replenish sold-out Big Bird looks among several the company carries for infants to adults. So who’s buying _ Democrats, Republicans or those pesky undecideds?

Sara Gaugl, a spokeswoman at the Bellevue, Wash., headquarters for the large thrift store chain Savers and Value Village, said sales of all Sesame Street character costumes picked up significantly after the first debate on Oct. 3. Managers of the nearly 300 secondhand stores across the United States and Canada were also busy helping customers put together DIY Big Bird, she said.

Cheryl Kerzner, vice president for product design and marketing for San Diego-based Disguise, said her retailers have also been clamoring for more Big Bird since the debate.

Tim Waters, national political director for the United Steelworkers International Union, put Big Bird on the road at voter registration and other election-related events soon after the Oct. 3 debate, when Romney uttered these words before moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS: “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually, I like you, too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

The 8-foot-2 character has been a huge crowd-pleaser, Waters said.

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Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie


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