This year's inspiration for Halloween costumes isn't coming so much from movies as it is from smartphones. Yep, that free smartphone app Angry Birds, where players launch birds at pigs, is appealing to all ages this year.

"Kids, teenagers, parents -- they all seem to be buying the costume if they use a smartphone,'' said Jim Berg of Twin Cities Magic and Costume in St. Paul.

From the movies, anything Harry Potter is still popular, but no one's itching to wear Thor's loincloth, Captain America's tights or a "Planet of the Apes" suit, although the "Green Lantern" costume is more popular with kids than the movie was, he said. Kids are snapping up Nickelodeon's "Monster High" costumes, including Frankie Stein and Draculaura.

While ABC's "Pan Am" may be descending toward cancellation, the iconic blue uniform worn by Pan Am flight attendants has already sold out at many stores. TV characters such as Snooki, the Situation and other "Jersey Shore" characters are also selling well, said Dian Lowe, manager at Halloween Express in Maplewood.

The most popular celeb mask so far? That train wreck Charlie Sheen, said several local store owners. Add a bowling shirt and few catchwords ("warlock," "tiger blood," "7-gram rocks") and you're the new sheriff in town (another Sheenism).

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633