What do Super Mario, the Cookie Monster and Spiderman have in common? Okay, yeah, well other than being fictional characters, they have costumed counterparts in New York City who have committed some pretty nasty offenses in attempts to get paid by tourists. What is this world coming to when our superheroes are the ones committing the crimes?
A Cookie Monster gone rogue may finally precipitate a crackdown on costumed characters in New York's Times Square, making the crossroads of the world safe for toddlers once more.
Dressing up as popular kid-friendly characters such as Dora the Explorer or Hello Kitty and posing for pictures has been a booming sub-sector of New York’s tourism industry for a couple of years now. Dozens of enterprising folks who make their living this way stroll around Times Square day and night, wearing low-quality knockoff outfits that often look a little deranged but nonetheless have a magnetic appeal for those under the age of five or so.