Trendiest Halloween Costumes for Kids, 2012

By Christina Cheddar Berk, CNBC.com
Trick or Treat

Gone are the days when you could throw a sheet over your head and call it a Halloween costume. Halloween is serious business. Retailers expect Americans to spend about $8 billion on the day, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGinsight.

Of course, part of the fun of the holiday is coming up with a creative Halloween costume. About $1.1 billion will be spent on children's costumes this year.

For kids, there will be plenty of the traditional costumes: princesses, super heroes, witches and pirates. But even these popular themes are subject to interpretation.

We've taken a look at what the trendiest costumes are for kids this year. Click ahead to find out what they are, some may surprise you.

See the full slideshow: Trendiest Halloween Costumes for Kids, 2012

Fuzzy Owl CostumeFuzzy Owl Costume
Fuzzy Owl Costume

Suggested Price: $34

Give a hoot, this baby is cute.
Forget the ill-fitting vinyl costumes. These days, the selection of adorable baby and toddler costumes seems endless, so it will likely be a tough call when it comes time to select a costume for Halloween.







Baby PrisonerBaby Prisoner




Baby Prisoner
Suggested Price: $29

After trick or treating, it will be back to the pen for this guy. That is, unless, the warden gives the kid a break for good behavior, so maybe it'll be the play pen.




Super HeroesSuper Heroes
Super Heroes
Suggested Price: $29.99

This is expected to be a big year for super hero costumes. Halloween retailers expect both boys and girls to hop on board the trend.
According to the National Retail Federation's survey, Batman will be the second-most popular costume (behind princesses), followed by Spiderman in third. But Halloween costume retailers said the release of Marvel's Avengers has given new life to sales of super heroes that had tended to be less popular in years past.

They expect sales of Hulk costumes to rise significantly. Iron Man and Captain America also have new fans.

Costume manufacturers continue to broaden the array of choices of style. The super hero costumes pictured here are from Jakks Pacific's Disguise unit and have soft muscles and soft accessories, which are popular with little kids.

According to Cheryl Kerzner, vice president of design and marketing at Disguise, young kids tend to wear their Halloween costumes long after the holiday has come and gone. These costumes don't have hard pieces that could pose a problem if a child wanted to wear the costume to bed at night.


Panda & TigressPanda & Tigress

Panda & Tigress
Suggested Price: $39.99

Costumes like the panda and tigress, pictured here, are expected to be popular with teens. They are easy to wear to parties and demonstrate how manufacturers are beginning to design costumes that wear more like apparel than the flimsy costumes of the past.




Hunger GamesHunger Games




Hunger Games
Suggested Price: $49.99

With the huge popularity of "The Hunger Games" trilogy, expect to see lots of teens dressed as Katniss Everdeen and other characters from the series.





Katy Perry Candy GirlKaty Perry Candy Girl




Katy Perry Candy Girl
Suggested Price: $44.99

Katy Perry costumes were popular last year, but some were not that appropriate for Perry's younger fans. This "Candy Girl" costume, new this year at BuyCostumes.com, should hit the spot.










More from CNBC:
Trendiest Halloween Costumes for Adults, 2012
Hottest Holiday Toys
Halloween to Scare Up $8 Billion in Spending