Pictured above: A photo of an Ebola costume.
*With Halloween only a few short weeks away, costume outlets are ablaze with what kind of dollars they can bring in from the latest costume craze. What will it be this year? A superhero? A scary monster? A hazmat suit? An Ebola victim?
Social media buzz is leaning towards the last two.
Oh yeah, remember “Breaking Bad,” the super-popular TV series with Bryan Cranston as chemistry professor-turned-drug-kingpin “Walter White” and Aaron Paul as the lovable, strung-out-junkie-turned-sidekick, “Jessie?”
Well, costume sellers say they still have left over yellow jumpsuits, rubber gloves and masks from last Halloween, when that costume was the sh*t. This year they predict some of you Breaking Bad cult members may want to re-purpose those digs to display your take on Ebola.
For anyone who thinks that might be cool, I’ll bet you wouldn’t if it hit closer to home.
There’s nothing like a first-hand account of what if to help you make a firm decision – in the event you’re still on the fence about this. Just listen to Philadelphia physician’s assistant Maria McKenna, whose co-worker was recently diagnosed with the virus.
You’ve heard about her.
The 26-year-old Dallas nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola here in the United States after she had helped care for the Liberian man who recently died at her hospital.
McKenna, who works with post-surgical patients at a hospital, said the idea of riffing on the crisis for Halloween “definitely rubs me the wrong way.”
Below is someone’s take on an Ebola costume.
“Normally I think that irony and humor is funny, but this thing with the costumes, is it really that funny? I mean, Ebola’s not even under control yet,” she said Monday by telephone.
Costume seller, Ricky’s in NYC, implies it may still be too early to tell if an Ebola costume will actually take off in real dollars-and-cents-sales. Right now, its still a lot of social media fluff.
“I wouldn’t say we can see an uptick in sales. I’d say it’s still chugging along because it’s a good seller no matter what,” said Ricky’s president Richard Parrott of the ‘Breaking Bad’ look. “But people are definitely asking about an Ebola-type costume.”
Even if such a costume has yet to see any break-out sales, that’s not a deterrant for the site BrandsOnSale, who is selling an “Ebola Containment Suit Costume” for $79.99 (shown above), complete with white suit emblazoned with “Ebola,” face shield, breathing mask, safety goggles and blue latex gloves.
The online product description reads:
“You are sure to be prepared if any outbreak happens at your Halloween party. This will literally be the most ‘viral’ costume of the year.”
And although Johnathon Weeks, the company’s CEO only sold about a dozen of the costumes in the first week after its Oct. 8 launch – it was the most shared item on social media, to the tune of 7,000 times.
Word of the costume was greeted by some blowback from outraged members of the public, he said.
“We don’t stray away from anything that’s current or controversial or anything like that,” Weeks said from his 127,000-square-foot warehouse in Banning, California. “If I told you we had a toddler ISIS costume in the works, your mouth would drop.”
“I will definitely let you know when that goes on sale,” Weeks said. “I can tell you it will come complete with a fake machine gun.”