UPDATE: Inflatable Hippo Costume Sells Out Thanks to Pandemic-Friendly Hug

Hundreds of air-filled hippo suits are selling out, possibly because they provide extra protection for folks to hug their loved ones ... as demonstrated by one loving daughter on TV.

The hippopotamus ballerina costume is ballooning in popularity, and the latest display was featured on the news at the Fox Trails Senior Living Home in Stephens City, Virginia last week.

A daughter dressed up as a large gray hippo in a tutu in order to embrace her mother living at the residence ... while still protecting against COVID-19. The nursing home staff reportedly came up with the idea to use sterilized suits so family members can hug during visits.

Inflatable costumes like the ballerina hippo are in high demand right now, too. This particular suit has been getting scooped up by consumers since "social distancing" became a thing ... in fact, there are only a few left in stock at top online costume retailer HalloweenCostume.com.

We're told the company sold around 75 of the same hippo ballerina costume in 2019, but this year ... 450 suits have pranced out of its warehouse, so far.

The item’s the third top seller on the site right now, even after doubling its original price tag to $120 thanks to popularity and white-hot demand.

Holding the top spot is the "Jurassic World" T-Rex inflatable suit, which is currently out of stock. OwnerTom Fallensteintells us only 20 of the air-filled $89.99 dino costumes were purchased in 2019 ... but it came roaring back this year with 600 units sold.

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