Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is proving to be so “huge” this Halloween season that costume manufacturers and retailers are having trouble keeping up with demand from revelers of all ages.
Rubie’s Costume Co., the world’s largest maker of Halloween costumes and accessories, has ramped up production at its factory in Mexico (which Trump has promised will pay for the wall he wants to put on the U.S. Southern border), of the two Trump masks it sells, according to Howard Beige, an executive with the company.
“I am definitely surprised by the demand,” said Beige, whose parents Rubin and Tillie founded Rubie’s in 1951. “We will be in production until the last few days before Halloween on these items. … At this point, we’re behind demand.”
Beige’s view was echoed by Fred Haijar, who runs Michigan-based Costume Agent, a wholesale distributor and manufacturer. He told CBS MoneyWatch that demand for Trump merchandise has been “quite overwhelming.”
His company sells a Trump wig ($9.95); a set with the wig and a “Make America Great Hat” ($14.95); a full Trump custom, complete with a suit jacket and red tie ($29.95); and a “Mexico Will Pay” jumpsuit ($29.95).
“When Obama was running, his mask did really well,” Beige said. “I would say the Trump line is almost double the sales of that.”
Anyone thinking of dressing up like the Donald can’t afford to wait much longer, or else they might be disappointed.
“The second week of October, it’s going to sell out,” he said, referring to Trump merchandise. “Anyone trying to get in at the last minute -- I don’t think any would be available. It is definitely surprising that it’s doing this well, this early.”
Beige cautions against extrapolating too much about the outcome of the election based on Halloween sales. For one thing, far more Trump masks are available than those of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. That’s partly because men are far more likely to don masks that cover their entire faces than women.
Also, many people are buying Trump gear intending to mock the real estate tycoon, he said.
Even so, Clinton merchandise is selling a brisk pace at Halloween Costumes.com, said Leigh Wendinger, the site’s inbound marketing manager.
“Hillary is still going to be a popular choice, but we only have a few costumes,” she said, adding “Women aren’t super-excited to dress up in a pants suit,” the signature fashion statement of the former Secretary of State. Wendinger also said the “adult billionaire” wig that people use to dress up as the former star of “The Apprentice” has already sold out multiple times. It retails for $12.99.
Trump, who is scheduled to face Clinton in their first debate on Monday, is now in the same Halloween league as President Richard Nixon, the only politician with a better-selling mask at Rubie’s, according to Beige.
“Tricky Dick was always a phenomenal seller for many years before he was in office,” said Beige, “and after he was in office.”