For the first time in eleven years, America’s children have told their parents, “I want to be Harley Quinn this year, Dad, not stupid Elsa. Get off my back!” Princesses, after a long reign, are no longer the most in-demand costume on the market, and they’ve been replaced by caped crusaders.
Can we blame them? After a year of TV and films that emphasized the power and glamour in female superheroism — Supergirl moved to The CW, Captain America: Civil War promotions actually included Black Widow for a change, and Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn stole viewers’ hearts — the image at the forefront of every little girl’s mind is a female character who’s trained in combat and saves people. Characters like Batgirl and Wonder Woman have finally captivated kids with enough force to knock the sisters from Frozen, the reigning Halloween costume property, down to the seventh most popular spot in sales.
According to the National Retail Federation, the children’s costume pre-purchase rankings for 2016 include general superheroes in the number one spot, Batman-related characters (including The Joker and Harley) at spot number four, and both Marvel superheroes other than Spider-Man, and Spidey himself, round out the top ten rankings at the bottom of the list.
Meanwhile, in adult costumes, Batman characters (again, Joker and Harley) are a clear top sell, though the rankings include Deadpool, Spidey, Wonder Woman, and Superman as well. In order to stand out this Halloween, comic book fans might want to try lesser known characters, or put in a whole lot of prep work to be the far and away best looking Harley in a sea of Harleys.