(USA Today) -- Everyone wants to be Big Bird for Halloween. But if you are hoping to be a part of the fad, you're going to have to be creative.
Popular yellow bird costumes vary from big, puffy tops to sexy, skimpy mini dresses. No matter what the take on Sesame Street's iconic bird, the adult costumes have one thing in common: out of stock.
Big Bird costumes have been flying off the shelves since Mitt Romney's comment about cutting funding for PBS at the first presidential debate.
"I like PBS, I love Big Bird," Romney said in a quote that riled up the Twitterverse.
The costumes are so popular that stores can't keep them on the shelves, and the manufacturers don't have anything left to give them.
"I have one lonely Big Bird costume looking at me right now," says Marilynn Wick, president of the Costume World chain. "We have only got one left and all of our other stores are out."
Big Bird has been a top-selling item at Costume Worlds in Austin, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Deerfield, Fla.
"There is a sexy big bird now, too," Wick says, referring to a new Sassy Big Bird costume for women. "We are out of them. Completely out of them."
Retailers nationwide are saying the same thing, says Cheryl Kerzner, vice president for product design and marketing for Disguise, Sesame Workshop's official costume maker.
"It's been insanity. It's just crazy," she said. "We absolutely are sold out of Big Bird. We have had tons of requests from everyone, all of our retailers. We cannot give them more. We are sold out."
Although adult Big Bird costume sales have skyrocketed, Kerzner says Romney's comment didn't move the needle on kids' costumes.
Kerzner says buys for this season happened last January, so they won't be able to produce and ship any more costumes for this Halloween.
"We work about a year in advance, so we are starting to sell for 2013 right now," she says. "It's gonna be hard. People will be disappointed because they can't get the costume. You are going to find people selling them on eBay."
Big Bird hopefuls might have to make their costumes themselves because more readily available unlicensed costumes, produced by someone other than Disguise, could also be on their way out of reach.
"The only costumes authorized by Sesame Workshop are with our licensee, Disguise, and we are working with our legal team on having the others removed from the market," said Ellen Lewis, a spokeswoman for Sesame Street.
Despite the dearth of costumes, people are still out shopping with big yellow hopes.
Halloween Adventure in New York City sold out of the costumes immediately after the first debate, but people continue to come in asking for Big Bird.
"We have all the other Sesame Street characters, but everyone only wants Big Bird," cashier Tiffany Padua says. "We have just been telling people buy the Mitt Romney mask and put a beak on it."