By Janee Law
Rubie’s Costume Company, which has a location in Melville, is the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of Halloween costumes and accessories. But that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t have to adapt to the ever-evolving season.
“The way Halloween used to be celebrated was with children trick-or-treating and adults having their friends over for parties,” said Rubie’s co-owner Howie Beige. “Today, these parties have actually become family events.”
With that, more and more families are dressing up together in a theme, whether it be as Minions, Wizard of Oz characters or a gang of superheroes, he added.
The 10,000-square-foot Rubie’s location at 540 Broadhollow Road in Melville has stocked up on all of those costumes, and more, along with decorations, props and the usual Halloween needs, he said.
For toddlers, ages 2-4, this year’s trending costumes are characters from Nick Jr.’s “Paw Patrol;” Shimmer and Shine from Nick Jr.; PJ Masks from Disney Junior; and Baby Groot, from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”
As for boys, ages 5-10, this year’s popular costumes include Spider-Man, thanks to the release of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” earlier this year; Batman in anticipation of the upcoming “Justice League” film; and characters from the popular “Five Nights at Freddy’s” video game series.
For girls in that same age group, popular costumes include Wonder Woman; characters from Disney’s “Descendants;” and Harley Quinn of DC Comics fame.
The superhero bug is also biting adults. Batman and Spider-Man are popular with male adults, along with Flash, thanks to CW’s hit television series. For adult women, the Wonder Woman costume is also at the top of the list, along with Harley Quinn and Supergirl, also from a hit CW show.
Families aren’t leaving their furry friends out of the equation, Beige said. While characters from Paw Patrol and Wonder Woman are also trending, along with a lion’s mane costume, he added.
But the holiday isn’t being completely dominated by superheroes.
Other trending costumes have included an inflatable T-Rex costume, a la “Jurassic World,” and horror film-themed costumes like Pennywise from this year’s hit horror film, “It.”
The Melville Rubie’s store also offers a wall filled with accessories from the company’s mix and match, Do It Yourself (DIY) accessory line. Beige said the line is popular among millennials and allows the consumer to put together their own unique costume.
Beige, of Manhasset, who co-owns Rubie’s with his siblings, is following in the footsteps of their parents, who first founded the company in 1951.
And the job is plenty of fun, Beige said.
“My job is probably one of the funniest jobs in the world. We get to be very creative. We get to work with the studios and be on the forefront of all these major films and major TV shows that come out,” he said. “We get to design the product, have it approved by the studios, and offer it to consumers all around the world.”
With 50 percent of Halloween sales done seven days before Halloween, Beige advises customers to get their shopping done early to avoid chaotic shopping and long lines.
Rubie’s in Melville is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and will expand its hours as Halloween gets closer. There are also other locations in Bay Shore, Westbury, and Queens.