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January 2010

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Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun

The catchy 1960s jingle certainly has a valid point. “Double your pleasure, double your fun” rings even more true for both fun-seekers and party retailers this Halloween, as “dual” costumes are taking center stage this year. The idea of dual costumes is a complementary look that creates an overall unique and fun statement. Instead of one person dressing up for a night of fun, people in complementary attire can — you guessed it! — double the pleasure and the fun. Twin Billing Dual costumes — also known as group or couples’ costumes in the industry — are a simple concept that probably began with Adam and Eve, the perfect pair. While it can be fun to go to a party dressed as Adam, the look is more complete with an attractive-looking Eve to finish the punch line. So why are dual costumes so popular among consumers these days?…  » Read more

Editor’s Letter

Do you remember the popular Choose Your Own Adventure books of the 1980s and 1990s? Each story was written from a second-person point of view, with the reader making choices that determined the main character’s actions in response to the plot and its outcome. If you weren’t interested in one part of the story or the plot took a twist, you had the option to veer off one path and onto another. The risk might pay off, but, then again, you might not like the result. The good news? You could always start over and choose something else. And so it goes with the party industry and, actually, with retail in general. There are plot twists and turns that no one expects, but you simply choose your reaction and rise to the task, figuring out what works for you. With that in mind, this issue…  » Read more

Preteen Profits

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, tweens — that group of kids roughly between the ages of 8 to 12 — will number about 20 million in 2009, and are projected to reach nearly 23 million by 2020. All these tweens will be looking for the latest costumes come Halloween — something different from the others, but exactly like everybody else (you know how kids are). This can be difficult, as they’re too old for the “kiddie” costumes, but too young for the more adult offerings. The key for retailers is to appeal to both the parent and the tween, offering them a variety of options that both can agree — or at least compromise — on. And while boys may gravitate towards movie characters, musicians and athletes, many girls in this segment are both fashion and self-conscious. “Many of my customers are very young girls…  » Read more

Take Center Stage

They may have just celebrated their 29th Halloween in business, but back in 1979, Rick and Judi Cain of Center Stage Costumes & Magic were all dressed up with no place to go. Both artists by trade, Rick and Judi were anxiously awaiting the trick-or-treaters figured to arrive in their elaborately decorated yard in Gainesville, Fla. Sadly, they never showed up. A discouraged Rick began to peel off the latex he used to make molds for his sculptures — but on this occasion applied to his face. It came off in a single piece, causing him to triumphantly cry: “Look! I made a mask!” Fascinated by the newly discovered medium, he made a couple dozen masks by the end of the week. However, they didn’t exactly fit into any of the art shows they had scheduled for the fall. “I thought, 'there should be a Halloween…  » Read more