Hoping to escape election mania this Halloween? Think again, some Long Island costume shop managers warn.
Expect to see plenty of Donald Trumps and Hillary Clintons knocking on your doors and flooding your Halloween parties this year, according to Rubin Beige, vice president of operations at Rubie’s Costume Company.
At a Rubie’s store in Westbury, a shelf is piled high with politically themed masks and apparel. The rubbery replicas of both presidential candidates hang on hooks beside those of Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Barack Obama.
Customers at the store stopped to gawk at the politicos’ smiling faces, some even pulling a mask down from the shelf, slipping it on and posing for selfies.
Although Clinton may be winning in some polls, Trump has the lead in this year’s costume contest at some shops.
“If you like Trump, I think he makes for a good Halloween costume,” Juliana Gallo of Locust Valley said from behind one of Rubie’s latex masks of the candidate.
According to Beige, the Clinton and Trump masks are both selling well this Halloween season, but the Trump masks are “definitely doing better as far as sales.”
“We think more men tend to dress up in masks for Halloween than women do, and it’s obviously much easier if you’re a man to dress up as the male candidate,” Beige said.
In addition to the company’s masks, which sell for $24.99 each, the company also sells a Trump “billionaire wig,” made of wispy, golden locks parted to the side.
“Halloween’s all about fun, and I think it might just be a little more exciting to dress up as Trump,” Beige said, adding he doesn’t believe Trump’s popularity on the shelves is at all correlated to his standings in the polls.
Trump masks are also edging out Clinton costumes at the Ronjo Magic and Costume Shop in Port Jefferson Station, the store’s manager, Peter Albertson, said.
Ronjo sold out of its plastic Trump masks earlier this week, according to Albertson. However, customers have shown “very little interest in Hillary,” he said.
“Some people seem to be doing it because they just like Trump better. Other people do it as a satirical thing,” Albertson said.
Sharon Tiskowitz, manager of Long Island Costume in Hauppauge, says costumes of both candidates have been “equally popular.”
Tiskowitz said the store sold out of all its candidate masks as well as its Trump wigs in the days before the first presidential debate, which was held near the end of September at Hofstra University in Hempstead.
She added that this year’s political circus has caused some consumers to purchase more tongue-in-cheek get-ups. One customer bought both Clinton and Trump masks and plans to carry them around while dressed as the Headless Horseman, Tiskowitz said.
Cheeky election merchandise is also available at national chain Spirit Halloween’s pop-up shops, according to a Spirit spokeswoman. A “Cry Baby Trump” mask, which shows the Republican candidate with his brow furrowed and his mouth agape, and a “Cackling Clinton” mask, which shows Clinton wide-eyed and laughing, are both available for purchase.