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This is one of the best-selling Halloween costumes of all time—here's why

The T-rex costume that rules them all.

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You’ve likely seen the inflatable T-rex costume. Or, to be more accurate, you have seen the: Rubie's Adult Official Jurassic World Inflatable Dinosaur Costume, T-rex—though, at the time, you probably didn’t think of it in that way. Instead, you probably thought something like, “Huh, cool. An inflatable dinosaur suit.”

For the past few years, this T-rex has been kind of everywhere, in varying forms and to varying degrees of exposure. Videos of a T-rex (or, you know, a person in a T-rex costume) doing ordinary things like ice skating and shoveling the driveway go viral on Twitter and Facebook every now and then. Once, someone wore the suit on American Ninja Warrior. At every Halloween costume party, gathering, or parade, you can usually spot at least one person in the dinosaur suit. Why is it secretly (or not-so-secretly) all over the place, and why does it bring onlookers such joy?

Of course, one answer to the joy-related question requires little investigation: Dinosaurs (especially T-rexes), as any five-year-old-and-up who has ever visited a natural history museum, seen a film in the Jurassic Park franchise, or even the Ben Stiller vehicle Night At The Museum will tell you, are awesome. They’re big, scary, and, most importantly, extinct, which lends them a mystical kind of allure that is only strengthened by the various media that surrounds the creatures. And this costume—which gives the T-rex a cheery, expectant fanged grin and wide, shocked-looking eyes set in place of a head that tends to loll back with any forward movements—possesses a perfect mix of anatomical accuracy and goofiness that elicits a chuckle out of even the most dinosaur-agnostic among us.


You can get an inflatable dinosaur suit from a few different brands. But the suit that gets the most coverage is made by Rubie’s, a costume manufacturer based in Melville, New York that bills itself as the largest manufacturer of costumes in the world. This checks out—if you aren’t a Halloween costume merchandiser, the brand name “Rubie’s” might not mean much to you, but if you search for a costume online, whether it’s Wonder Woman to Baby Shark, chances are pretty good that a Rubie’s costume will be among your first results. Their inflatable dinosaur costume comes with an internal, battery powered fan that pumps up the suit while you’re in it. Rubie's started selling the suit in 2015, and it's licensed by the Jurassic Park franchise—so, in addition to the T-rex costume, you can also get a Pteranodon, Veliciraptor and, Triceratops—and, according to Rubie’s Executive Vice President and owner, Howard Beige, is the “most popular to date” inflatable costume sold by the company. He wouldn’t reveal exact sale numbers, but he said it’s in the top five of the brand’s costume sales of all time. It sells all year, too, with a “mild” peak around Halloween.

Beige also has a pretty solid theory as to why the costume is a hit, which basically boils down to what makes Halloween fun in the first place: A chance to cast your boring, everyday identity aside for a new one, all for the relatively cheap price of $44.19. (Or, if you’d like to think of it in more concrete terms, years of fun for something that costs less than two pizzas or SoulCycle classes.) This particular costume covers up the wearer’s face almost entirely—there’s a clear panel beneath the chin that allows the person inside to peer out—making it seem as though there might just be a funky-looking reptilian creature bounding around town. And this is, unsurprisingly, extremely funny. “The large head bobs up and down, the tail can sway from side to side, and the short arms add to the hysterical look,” Beige says. “Everything the consumer does while dressed in this costume is naturally hysterical even if it’s an everyday chore.”

And, indeed, people do wear the costume for everyday chores—and more. Take a look through the dinosaur suit review photos on Amazon, and you’ll see photos of customers who wear the suit for everything from walking their dog to walking down the aisle. Google “inflatable dinosaur suit,” toggle over to the “news” tab, and you’ll see stories of people who wore it to races, to welcome loved ones back home from overseas deployments, and even as a maid of honor outfit.
dinosuit

The costume can double as a maid of honor dress.

I reached out to Christina Meador, the woman who wore it as the maid of honor in her sister’s wedding. She told me her sister had told her she could wear “anything” to the wedding, so she pitched the the dinosaur suit to test “anything’s” limits. After some back-and-forth between the dinosaur suit and a regular dress, she decided on becoming a T-rex for the ceremony. It went over well—the photo she posted of the event garnered 12,000 likes and 39,000 shares on Facebook, and even earned her some outfit requests for other weddings.

“I've been asked to wear it at several other weddings, but I gave it to the happy couple as a wedding present,” Meador says.

Something to note about the costume: though it is inflated by a fan, you should not expect it to keep you cool. In fact, Meador, whose viral appearance at the wedding happened in early September in Texas, says her experience in the costume was more like being in a “sauna” than next to a fan with a cool breeze, because the costume is so tightly enclosed and traps heat and humidity within it. “The humidity outside made the clear plastic rectangle you look out fog up some, and it wasn't easy to clear the fog with the little arms,” she says.

Still, she has no regrets. It was easy to move around in the suit—that is, aside from walking through small doors—and overall, a pleasant experience. “It was extremely fun to wear and the novelty and joy of wearing it was worth it,” Meador says.

So, it seems, the original thesis holds true: Dinosaurs, as it turns out, are the kind of fun that never goes extinct.

Get the Rubie's Adult Official Jurassic World Inflatable Dinosaur Costume from Amazon for $44.19

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