Cosplay Competition

Cosplay Competition information will be posted soon.

Submissions for the competition are now closed. Accepted Contestants will be contacted with further instructions by 04/16/17. Thank you!

Cosplay Competition (Ages 15+)

Planet Comicon Kansas City recognizes excellence in all aspects of cosplay — as workmanship and as performance art. We expect 2017 to be the biggest year yet for cosplay fans at Planet Comicon.

Register for the Cosplay Competition

What's this all about?

Fun?! Passion?! Prizes?! Whatever drives you, we've got the contest for you! We want our contest here at Planet Comicon Kansas City to showcase the skills of both local and visiting cosplayers, as well as a contest that rewards the crafting and overall presentation of the characters being portrayed. We also want to be as inclusive as possible for a variety of skill levels, while still maintaining minimum requirements for entry that give everyone a chance to have their work appreciated by our judges in the spirit of a true competition. After all, this is a contest!

What can I win?

All kinds of awesome prizes! Need some cash to help recoup the cost of your new costume? We've got lots of it this year. How about sponsored gift cards and extras, as well as custom, class specific trophies, designed by Butthead Studios, commemorating your big win at Planet Comicon Kansas City 2017? We have those too! Here are the following winner categories and a brief description of each. We don't do a simple 1st, 2nd, 3rd system because we don't want to value one skill set or element more than another. That is why we pick 1 over-all winner for each class, followed by various other equal winners. Later, once you decide on your class, you will see how many winners of each there are and what prizes you can win!
  • Best-in-Show - Master class only; Overall Champion of the 2017 Cosplay Contest!
  • Best-in-Class - Novice, Journeyman, Group winners; 1 for each class.
  • Craftsmanship - all classes; Regardless of your medium (foam, needlework, leather, worbla, make-up f/x, technology) we want to honor your outstanding work!
  • Showmanship - all classes; We want to see characters come to life for those bold enough to wow the judges and audience on stage! We don't allow time for full skits, but have you fully become your character? How well can we see that? Shout to the crowd! Show us!
  • *Best Original - tentative category for all classes; Must have a minimum of 5 original entries per class to give out this award. If your costume is an original creation or original mash-up you brought to life, you can sign up for this when you fill out your online application. Original costumes are not eligible for Best-in-Show as it is impossible for the judges to grade them on the same scale of character accuracy as they would a recreation. However, you can win craftsmanship and showmanship awards. You will be contacted before the show if there aren't enough original entries.

How do I enter?

Read about the classes below and pick the one that best suits you! Then, when filling out your online registration form, please designate your chosen class and if your costume is an original creation or recreation of  an existing character.  Read each class description first and make note of the requirements to enter!  Space may be available to sign-up the Friday and Saturday before the contest, but don't wait 'til then! There will most likely be no spots left!

Which class should I choose?

That's entirely up to you! We have only a few restrictions on certain entries, which will be listed below within each class description (see "Integrity of the Show" below). We want you to have fun and not be afraid to compete! It's not just about winning but this year we have increased the cash prizes for all of our winners, regardless of which class you pick! However, the biggest bucks, extra goodies, and title of Best-in-Show will be on the line in the Master Class only! So get to crafting and dream big!

Novice   -  Accepting 25 entries

Is this your first costume ever? Did you only make a couple pieces of your costume? Are you just getting into cosplay or like to do it simply for fun?

Requirements for Entry:

  • 25% of your costume must be made by you!
  • Bring 1 PRINTED reference photo with you to the contest for the judges!
  • No pre-judging required. You will be evaluated briefly onstage by our judges!

Winners and Prizes:

  • (1) Best in Class: $100 Gift Card; Trophy
  • (1) Craftsmanship: $50 Gift Card; Trophy
  • (1) Showmanship: $50 Gift Card; Trophy                                  

Journeyman  -  Accepting 30 entries. Pre-judging onsite will reduce to 15 finalists.

Do you love making costumes? This isn't your first cosplay and you're still refining your skills, but you're not a novice either! Do you love showing off your work but haven't won an official cosplay contest before?

Requirements for Entry:

  • 50% of your costume must be made by you!
  • Pre-judging onsite is required. Please bring the following with you:
  • Bring 1 PRINTED or DIGITAL (on phone, tablet, camera, etc.) reference photo, AND
  • Bring 2-3 PRINTED or DIGITAL work in progress photos for judges’ evaluation.

Winners and Prizes:

  • (1) Best in Class: $400; Trophy
  • (1) Craftsmanship: $200; Trophy
  • (1) Showmanship: $200; Trophy 
  • *(1)Best Original: $200; Trophy

Master   -  Accepting 30 entries. Pre-judging onsite will reduce to 15 finalists.

Calling all makers, fabricators and builders! Have a great new build you want to show the world? Need an audience of others who truly appreciate the time and work that went into that full suit of armor or intricate dress? Are you new in the game and looking to make a big impression on the community while having fun in the process?

Requirements for Entry:

  • 75% of your costume must be made by you!
  • Pre-judging onsite is required. Please bring the following with you:
  • Bring 1 PRINTED or DIGITAL (on phone, tablet, camera, etc.) reference photo, AND
  • Bring 2-3 PRINTED or DIGITAL work in progress photos for judges evaluation.

Winners and Prizes:

  • (1) Best in Show: $1,000; Trophy
  • (2) Craftsmanship: $ 400; Trophy
  • (1) Showmanship: $ 400; Trophy
  • *(1)Best Original: $ 400; Trophy
Note: You must select this class if you make and sell anything professionally that is prop or costume related. You must also select this class if you have taken first place in a cosplay contest before, either at PCKC or another large con. Winning costumes from previous Planet Comicon Kansas City contests will not be eligible for top prizes.

Integrity of the show and the spirit of competition

This contest is about balancing fun with true competition. If you believe your costume is borderline between two classes, and default to the lower we completely understand. That said, we discourage "sand bagging", i.e., intentionally placing your Master Class quality costumes in the Journeyman or Novice classes to increase your chances of an "easy win". For the integrity of the contest and at the discretion of the director and judges, these situations will be evaluated (should they arise) and we will work to appropriately place you into the proper class prior to the show. Featured Planet Comicon guests may not enter the competition.

What about the Group contest?

Don't worry, we didn't forget you! This year we want groups to feel more like a team and require at least (3) people to be part of eligible groups. Each member of your group will be subject to pre-judging in their costume and in your performance. Your stage and performance time needs to be [3 minutes] or less. Come prepared to showcase your skit during pre-judging, as only the top 3 groups will be kept to go on stage and be eligible for prizes. You will be judged on your costume construction, performance, and overall group chemistry. There are no skill level distinctions for groups. Group is all one class of its own, so everyone is encouraged to try! Read more below!

Group  -  First 8 entries. Pre-judging onsite will reduce to 3 finalist groups.

Does the stage call your name? Do you truly love becoming the character(s) you're cosplaying? Show us your team chemistry and costume making skills in a beautiful blend of performance and costume art!

Requirements for Entry:

  • Must have 3 or more people in your group.
  • 50% of each costume must be made by people in your group.
  • Pre-judging onsite is required. Please bring the following with you:
  • Bring (2) PRINTED or DIGITAL (on phone, tablet, camera, etc.) reference photos, AND
  • Bring (3-4) PRINTED or DIGITAL work in progress photos for judges evaluation.

Winners and Prizes:

  • Best in Class: $300
  • (1) Craftsmanship: $250
*We must receive minimum of 5 group entries to hold the Group contest. You will be notified prior to the show if there are not enough entries.

Now that I’ve signed up, what's next?

Thanks for signing-up! We are thrilled to have your interest in the contest this year for what we believe will be the best one yet! You will be contacted via e-mail confirming your entry in the contest, or letting you know that space has run out. Make sure to enter sooner rather than later, as space is limited due to the large time requirements for pre-judging and the show itself. See our list of important dates and times below and please note them for later reference!

Important Dates and Times

Thursday, March 9

Registration for the cosplay costume contest now open. NOTE: The Masquerade Parade has moved to Friday night, April 28 at the Party on Barney at approximately 7:30pm.  Come strut your best stuff in front of a great audience and no judges!  It’s a PARTY!  Watch for more details. Young Fans’ Showcase will be Sunday, April 30, at 1:00pm (Check program guide to confirm) on the performance stage in Hall A of the main exhibit floor.  This is an opportunity for young fans, ages 3-13, to have fun and show off their work.  This is not a judged event, and there are no prizes awarded, but there will be a large, supportive and appreciative crowd!

Sunday, April 16

Online registration for the cosplay contest closes.

Friday, April 28

12:00 pm - 7:00 pm

If contest entries are not full by this date, you may stop by the central information booth at the show, in Hall B, and inquire about signing up. You can get answers to general contest information while at the booth.

Saturday, April 29

12 pm - 3 pm

Contest Entry Inquiries. If contest entries are not full by this date, you may stop by the contest check-in table , Room 2211, and inquire about signing up. Early Check-in (optional) and General Contest Information If you have been accepted into the contest already, you may check in early before your scheduled pre-judging, Room 2211. This will include verifying you are present and plan to participate and filling out your onstage contestant card. This is not your pre-judging. You will still need to participate in that, so find your class and time slot below.

2:45 pm

Journeyman Class Pre-judging (mandatory). Please show up in costume to Room 2211 by 2:45 pm to get checked-in and fill out your onstage contestant card (mandatory). Bring your printed or digital reference photo and your 2-3 work in progress photos for the judges (mandatory). You will then be lined up to begin pre-judging by 3:00 pm. Volunteers will be standing by to help you with costume needs and handling your photos if needed, so no worries! Our goal is to have you done and out of line in less than an hour so you can take a costume break if needed.

3:45 pm

Master Class Pre-judging (mandatory). Please show up in costume to Room 2211 by 3:45 pm to get checked-in and fill out your onstage contestant card (mandatory). Bring your printed or digital reference photo and your 2-3 work in progress photos for the judges (mandatory). You will then be lined up to begin pre-judging by 4:00 pm. Volunteers will be standing by to help you with costume needs and handling your photos if needed, so no worries! Our goal is to have you done and out of line in less than an hour so you can take a costume break if needed.

4:45 pm

Group Class Pre-judging (mandatory). Please show up in costume to Room 2211 by 4:45 pm to get checked-in and fill out your onstage contestant cards (mandatory). Bring your printed or digital reference photos and your 3-4 work in progress photos for the judges (mandatory). You will then be lined up to begin pre-judging by 5:00 pm. Volunteers will be standing by to help you with costume needs and handling your photos if needed, so no worries! Our goal is to have you done and out of line in less than an hour so you can take a costume break if needed.

6:30 pm 

Pre-Show Lineup (mandatory) Please be back at the east lobby outside of the Great Hall (Room 3501A-F) in costume by 6:30 pm so we can begin the lineup phase prior to the cosplay competition. The on-stage order of the show will be as follows:  Novice Class first, Journeyman Class second, Master Class third, and Group Class will go last.

7:15 pm - 8:30 pm

Cosplay Contest The contest is inside the Great Hall, Room 3501 A-F and will officially run from 7:15 pm until roughly 8:30 pm*.  All finalists that were chosen to compete will get to walk on stage and show their stuff to the audience and judges once more. Once everyone has gone, the judges will take a brief recess to make their final deliberations and select this year's winners for each class! Times subject to change pending panel finalization, but final time will be posted on website prior to the convention and in convention printed program.

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