A Horrifying Licensing Opportunity

Halloween costumes have long been a key licensing category, especially for entertainment/character properties. Halloween makeup kits have also been on the rise of late, sold by not only Halloween costume companies but increasingly by theatrical makeup marketers and suppliers of replica armor, swords, and other realistic costume supplies. Products range from packages for casual trick-or-treaters and party goers to more sophisticated and realistic kits aimed at two growing market segments: year-round cosplayers and adults who take Halloween seriously.

Some examples:

  • Mehron, a marketer of professional performance makeup, licensed Resident Evil 2 from Capcom for a limited-edition Zombie All-Pro Makeup Kit that includes the supplies needed for a realistic zombie look, as seen in the video game, as well as an instruction booklet and a poster. The kit is touted as being useful for cosplay, zombie walks, Halloween, and “everyday special effects.”
  • Leading Halloween licensee Rubie’s provides makeup kits to complement its costumes, including for properties such as Beetlejuice, Pennywise, The Joker, Harry Potter, and Edward Scissorhands. The kits include items such as makeup trays containing appropriate colors, gel blood, wounds, tooth black, liquid latex, and applicators.
  • Medieval Collectibles, an online purveyor of Medieval, Celtic, and Renaissance weapons, clothing, armor, jewelry, castle décor, and the like—including licensed items tied to properties such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings—sells wound accessories (gashes, cuts, and fractures) inspired by AMC’s The Walking Dead.
  • Trick or Treat Studios, which makes masks, costumes, and props under a wide range of horror licenses, offers a full makeup kit for The Walking Dead, featuring six makeup squares, plus a brush and two applicator sponges, as well as a Michael Myers “dead eye appliance” from the Universal Studios film Halloween 2018.
  • Graftobian Make-Up Company, which specializes in theatrical and special-effects makeup, sells a KISS kit featuring cream makeup in white, black, silver, green, and red.
  • Suit Yourself, the Halloween costume brand owned by Party City’s Amscan division, creates licensed makeup kits including the Suicide Squad Adult Harley Quinn Makeup Kit, which includes cream white makeup, a black makeup stick, lipstick, four colored makeup squares, and two eye shadow squares, as well as an applicator and sponge.

Speaking of Halloween, sales of ugly Halloween sweaters are also on the upswing, offering consumers the opportunity to dress the part without the effort of assembling a costume. While licensing activity is nowhere near as vast in this segment as it is for ugly Christmas sweaters, there are some examples. They range from Beetlejuice and Nightmare Before Christmas versions from Halloweencostumes.com’s FUN Wear division to Her Universe’s Disney Hocus Pocus sweater, sold exclusively at retailer BoxLunch.

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