A Mitt Romney mask is seen in Halloween Headquarters, a Halloween supply store, in New York, October 27, 2012.
Scandals, political gaffes and rivalries are inspiring Halloween costumes this year, from elaborate store-bought designs to do-it-yourself disguises that need little more than a stapler and a wicked sense of humor.
At New York Costumes, a President Barack Obama mask is slightly outselling a mask of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said store manager Tony Bianchi.
Big Bird is sold out, flying off the shelves Romney vowed to defund public broadcasting in a presidential debate earlier this month, said Bianchi and also Ereka Dunn, spokeswoman for Ricky's, another New York costume store.
"Everything is television-driven or scandal-driven," Bianchi said. Costumes go for as much as $250, he said.
Sales of the Joker, the Batman movie villain, dropped below the newer villain Bane this season, likely a result of being outdated than blowback from the deadly Colorado theater shooting by a gunman dressed as the Joker, salespeople said.
Ripped-from-the-headlines costumes are popular among do-it-yourselfers who lack cash but have a wealth of ingenuity.
One costume creator featured online made a mask to look like "The Beast Jesus," the famously botched fresco retouching done by an aging parishioner at a Spanish church. A photograph of the costume posted this month reportedly got 750,000 hits in two days.