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Tag Archive: Syfy Channel cosplay


Heroes of Cosplay competition

By Elizabeth C. Bunce

Last week Syfy premiered its new reality series, Heroes of Cosplay, which follows a group of hardcore hobbyists on the convention and competition circuit.  borg.com readers will know that cosplay (costume play) is a branch of the costuming hobby that’s all about dressing up as your favorite genre characters, from fantasy, sci-fi, gaming and especially anime.  Frankly, we were a little skeptical—another reality competition series? And, will they make the costuming community look like buffoons?  But we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed it.

As is the norm with reality series these days, the pilot featured a fair amount of drama, melodrama, psychodrama, and a little bit of cosplay.  Filmed at Wizard World in Portland, Oregon, this February, the episode offered tantalizing glimpses at a number of recognizable and wish-we-knew-what-that-was awesome hand-crafted character recreations.  The culmination of the episode was Wizard World’s first cosplay competition, featuring our intrepid stars and some unidentified cosplayers from the con, and their amazing and prize-worthy work.  The wonderful, giant My Neighbor Totoro costume (which made third in the competition) was not by one of the cast members but may just have to be added to the borg.com list of best ever cosplay costumes at a Con.

Judges and Merida on Heroes of Cosplay

The main cast is made up of a number of hobbyists and aspiring professionals, and helmed by famed professional cosplayer (yes, evidently there is such a thing!) Yaya Han.  The inclusion of Han, now a judge instead of a competitor, offers a much-needed stability and authority, and she seems to fill the role of unofficial series host.

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After a crazy day of an insane volume of fans storming Bartle Hall in Kansas City Saturday for the biggest Planet Comicon event in more than a dozen years of events, it seemed like everyone came back Sunday for Day Two with aisles jam-packed again.  And for fans of all things borg like us, it was a banner day, meeting up with the original Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner, and the current writer on Dynamite’s Bionic Man series, Aaron Gillespie.

First up–Bionic Man cosplay.  The idea was inspired by my own large-sized action figure as a kid.  Originally planned by DW and me for SDCC 2012, it seemed a great fit for a borg.com tie-in, too.  Always looking for something original for other fans to enjoy, we’d never seen anyone re-create Steve Austin, the Bionic Man, at any convention ever, or posted online anywhere.  As the idea developed we decided it needed something more–and we moved from the character to the 1970s action figure itself.  With bionic eye, inserted arm circuitry, a pair of classic red and white striped Adidas Dragons, the classic red track suit, and the key identifier–the patch that was used as the official fan club badge and stuck on the chest of every Bionic Man action figure, which makes sense for the toy but would never make sense on the show–we had all but one thing left.   Decades ago you could find plastic hair at costume or theatrical shops but go searching and you’ll come up empty.  So we searched for full face masks that could be altered and came up with a JFK mask that could be cut and repainted, which seemed to do the trick.  Add some spirit gum (which may never ever come off my face) and temporarily lose the goatee, we found contact lenses from a UK retailer, made the patch from transfer paper using Web images and interfacing, and temporary tattoo material, and we have the Six Million Dollar Man large-sized action figure.  We got some good reaction to it at the Elite Comics Halloween event last year, and when we saw Lindsay Wagner as a guest of this year’s Planet Comicon it was obvious I was going to wear it to the show.

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