What is Cosplay?

If you happened to be visiting New York City over the weekend, you might have been privy to many characters standing in line at Starbucks or other eateries in the city. You may also have seen an increase of pictures on Twitter or Instagram – all thanks to Cosplay.

While not all have heard the word “cosplay” before. It is the combination of play and costume – hence the term “Cosplay”. It sees those engaging in it dressing up as characters from their favourite video games, comics, movies, manga television or anime.

The story on this is that the writer and founder of Studio Hard, Nov Takahashi had been assigned to attend the 1984 World-Con science fiction convention and was impressed by those attending who were dressed up in elaborate costumes. Upon his return to Japan, Takahashi coined the word “cosplay” based on what he had observed.

Fans of Comic Con love Cosplay

Many who attend Comic Con are fans of cosplay, and this weekend’s expo in New York was no exception. There were literally dozens of people dressed up as Iron Man, Wonder Women and Batman, let alone others such as Japanese amine characters and even some from the 90’s such as Hey Arnold.

The design and quality of the costume differed in intensity. Some are more resourceful than others and use props within their costumes. Others however simply went with over the shelf costumes versus those that went to extremes.

There are many costumes you can purchase that will not break the bank. This includes Her Dragonball Z, it retails for a mere $21 online. Yet, others often will go to online stores such as Cosplay House or Milanoo. The Dragonball Z jumpsuit was on clearance this weekend for just under $200, a small investment that can be used multiple times.

Those wishing to take it up a notch will hire others who are costume specialists to create unique one of a kind costumes. Many of those offering that type of service sell their wares on Etsy and all you need to do is send in measurements, pictures of the character you like and any special instructions.

Remember, buying costumes can become an expensive hobby. What is most important is to remember that you need to factor in the cost, the time and the quality of the costumes you want. If you want to look good, then it is going to cost you to do so and as many are only allowed one costume per event, putting thought into this is critical.

A recent panel that was put together to talk about Cosplay included Lindsey Celak. She describes to those attending the sticker price shock she felt several years ago when wanting a Giselle costume from the animated Disney movie “Enchanted. After requesting a quote, she learned it would set her back over $850. Commenting, Celak stated, “If you’re going for accuracy of the character, you’re going to pay for it. Close enough usually suffices.”