Sales of balloon-boy costumes take flight

Oct. 22, 2009 at 11:57 PM

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A Canadian company says its new "balloon-boy" costumes are practically flying off the shelves in the days leading to Halloween.

Plantraco Microflight, based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is selling the costumes online for $19.99 each, says the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

It didn't take much of a flight of fancy to dream up the idea after watching the helium-filled, flying-saucer look-alike take off from the yard of a house in Fort Collins, Colo., said Bud Kays, Plantraco Microflight's managing director.

"It's a scale model of the balloon-boy's balloon," said Kays, speaking of 6-year-old Falcon Heene, who, it turns out, never left the ground.

The company specializes in miniature, remote-controlled airplanes and blimps, so it had no trouble making a few adjustments to a balloon it already sold.

The mini silver helium balloon attaches with a string to the gondola-like compartment -- a cardboard box kids cut holes into and put over their heads.

The company's Web site offers reassurance to parents considering buying the balloon-boy costume: "It has the same chance of lifting your 6-year-old as the one you may have seen on CNN or MSNBC TV."

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