Cosplay Competition

Planet Comic Con 2019 Cosplay Contest

Stay-tuned for 2019 Cosplay Competition rules and information.

This year’s cosplay contest is set for Saturday evening of the Planet Comicon Kansas City weekend. It will start at 7pm.
Always entertaining, colorful and dramatic, the Cosplay Contest at Planet Comicon is not to be missed! This year’s contest is presented by Cosentino’s Downtown Market and US Toy Magic and Costume Shop! Please consider patronizing both of these local partners!

Talented crafters will be subjecting their cosplays to the scrutiny of the judges for a chance to win $1000.00 and the coveted ‘Planet’ trophy! This year’s judges are exceptionally talented cosplayers in their own right. Laura Benfer of Another Castle Creations , Carley Bossemeyer and Victor VonCrowe from Strangecat Cosplay and Charles Xavier Conley of Ebony Warrior Studios will each bring their experience and vision to help us sort out the winners!!


Online Entries will open on December 20th, 2018 and close on February 9th, 2019 or until all spots are filled.
Fun?! Passion?! Prizes?! Whatever drives you, we’ve got the contest for you! We want our contest here at Planet Comicon 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 audience in the spirit of a true competition. After all, this is a contest!

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 special class specific trophies commemorating your big win at Planet Comicon 2019? 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 a best in show.  In addition, judges may recognize other worthy contestants with a judge’s choice award!


Best-in-Show – Overall Champion of the 2018 Cosplay Contest $ 1000.00
Best Needlework- Best in each class: Novice $ 150.00
Journeyman $ 250.00
Master $ 450.00
Best Foamwork: Best in each class: Novice $ 150.00
Journeyman $ 250.00
Master $ 450.00
Best Non-Traditional: Best in each class: Novice $ 150.00
Journeyman $ 250.00
Master $ 450.00
Best Group Cosplay: One winner will be recognized. $ 450.00

Additional prizes
Judges’ choice awards: Each judge may award a judge’s choice award! Maybe you didn’t win a mainstage prize, but you left a major impression on the judges in some way, so we want to recognize you!


This year, Planet Comicon will accept up to 55 entries to compete in the main stage cosplay contest.  First come first serve. What is new this year is the introduction of new competition categories. We have been looking around the country at how the biggest Cosplay competitions have recently reorganized contest categories and we are moving our contest in a direction that we believe is in line with the cutting edge for cosplay competitions! Contestants can enter as a single individual or as a duo for the Needlework, Foamcraft  or Non-Traditional categories.  Groups from 3-6 may enter the Group category. Contestants will be judged  on techniques, finish, performance, and overall impression.


Read about the classes and categories  below and pick the ones that best suit you! Then, when filling out your online registration form, please designate your chosen class and the category you are competing in.  Read each class description first and make note of the requirements to enter!  Also, due to past years experience and frequent requests, we will allow duo’s to compete in the  contest. If you choose to enter as a duo, submit only 1 application (do not choose “Group” for your class.) and fill in the information requested for BOTH competing persons. Duo entries will be eligible for 1 prize only. When you go thru prejudging the judges will average the scores of the two cosplays to yield a single score.  Members cannot win prizes individually since they count as 1 entry in the contest. Grab your best friend or partner and get them onstage with you!


While there are individual categories focusing on different skills, your cosplay will also be evaluated on overall impression as well as how well all elements of your cosplay were crafted. Contestants may enter one of four different categories for this year’s contest.

Needlework: For costumes created predominantly by sewing, embroidery, and fabricraft. Sewn leather costumes may enter this category as well.

Foamwork: For costumes created predominantly from foam products, be that eva foam, rigid foam, expanding foam, or foam that has been heavily modified. Worbla-covered-EVA foam cosplays would also fall in this category.


Non-Traditional: For cosplays that feature animatronics, prosthetics, special effects, or a variety of materials such as plastic, PVC, leatherwork, metal and latex. If you are using worbla or other thermoplastics without much use of foam underneath, this is the category for you!


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! This category is for groups of 3-6 cosplayers.  


-Up to 4 wireless microphones can be provided for any group on-stage dialogue. Please make note of this on your application if you would prefer a mic.


MUSIC: background Music requests are  not available at this time.


NOTE: You may select the category you wish to compete in however,  the cosplay contest committee reserves the right to move your entry to another category if the committee deems it appropriate.


Note: the classes are now full. You may check on Saturday the 17th at 10am at the cosplay registration table outside room 2214 to see if any additional spots have opened up.

Novice (20 spots)
If this is your first time entering a costume contest,  or you’ve never won a category award before at any other con, this is the category for you! 50% of your costume must be made by you.
Journeyman (15 spots)
If you’ve won 1-2 category awards at any con, this is your category. 60% of your costume must be made by you.
Master (15 spots)
If you have won 3 or more category awards in a cosplay contest,  if you have taken best in show at any cosplay contest, or if you make or sell cosplay props/costumes professionally please enter this category. 75% of the costume must be made by you.

Group (5 spots) You will be judged on your costume construction during pre-judging. Your performance and overall group chemistry will be judged on stage. 50% of each costume must be made by at least one member of the group.  There are no class level distinctions for groups; group entries will be judged as a collective whole.


That’s entirely up to you! We have only a few restrictions on certain entries, which will be listed  within each class description (see also “Integrity of the Show”). 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!




This contest is about balancing fun with true competition. We discourage “sandbagging”, 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, you may be placed into the appropriate category/class at the discretion of the judges and cosplay contest directors.

You may not enter with a costume that has won first place either at Planet Comicon or another convention/cosplay contest.  You must select Master Class if you make and sell anything professionally that is prop or costume related.



Contestants will sign up using an online registration form beginning on December 20th. The limit is 55 entries–15 for Masters, 15 for journeymen, 20 for Novice and 5 groups. Online registration will close after all spots are filled, or by February 9. If there are still spots available after the deadline, you may stop by the cosplay registration table in room 2214 on Saturday morning from 10:00 am to 11:00 am to inquire about signing up. On-site availability is not guaranteed, so if you would like to sign up, please make sure you do so online!



Friday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Cosplay Registration Table in Room 2214. This is a mandatory check in for everyone who has signed up. Please arrive between these times so we can make sure you’re registered. This will include verifying that you are present and plan to participate, as well as filling out your onstage contestant card. If you do not check in by 6pm Friday the 16th, your spot may be given to another attendee. This is not your pre-judging time-slot. See below for details on pre-judging.

If you cannot show up to your judging time slot and/or need to drop out, please contact us ahead of time, otherwise this may prevent you from entering in future cosplay contests at Planet Comic Con.



Each class will have a designated judging timeslot. Please arrive 10 minutes early so you can be lined up and ready to go! You will have a limited amount of ti

me to explain how you crafted your cosplay to the judges (single entries will be given 3 minutes, while duos will be given 4. Group entries will be given 5 minutes, so be sure to practice describing the highlights and best parts of your cosplay!).

You are required to bring a front and back reference photo for your work, as well as 3-5 Work In Progress photos. We will allow you to bring digital copies, however paper copies are strongly encouraged and work to your advantage when the judges are deliberating. Volunteers will be standing by to help line you up, and handle your photos if needed, so no worries! When the competition concludes, you may pick up your WIP pics at the judge’s deliberation area.


Novice Pre-judging

Please show up in costume to room 2207 by 10:45 am to be lined up. Bring your printed or digital reference photos and your work in progress photos for the judges. You will then be lined up to begin pre-judging by 11:00 am.


Journeymen Pre-judging

Please show up in costume to room 2207 by 12:40 pm to be lined up. Bring your printed or digital reference photos and your work in progress photos for the judges. You will then be lined up to begin pre-judging by 12:50 pm.


Masters Pre-judging

Please show up in costume to room 2207 by 2:05 pm to be lined up. Bring your printed or digital reference photos and your work in progress photos for the judges. You will then be lined up to begin pre-judging by 2:15 pm.


Group Pre-judging

Please show up in costume to room 2207 by 3:35 pm to be lined up. Bring your printed or digital reference photos and your work in progress photos for the judges. You will then be lined up to begin pre-judging by 3:45 pm.



The contest is divided into 2 parts: Craftsmanship judging, and Stage judging. For Craftsmanship judging (in the categories of needlework, foamwork and Non-Traditional), contestants will meet at the designated time and location and will meet with the judges to talk about how you made your costume. Be prepared for judges to check your seams, paint job, wig work, and other elements. They will ask you about how you created the piece. You will be judged on technique, finish, how well it stays together, and overall impression.  Single entries will have 3 minutes for judging, while pairs will get 4 minutes, and groups will get 5 minutes total to talk about their work. This is to make sure we can get everyone judged in a reasonable amount of time and everyone can enjoy as much of the convention as possible. With that in mind, do not be late to your judging time slot, or you may be disqualified from the competition.

Please note that if you are entering any of the categories with more than one person, each of you will be judged on craftsmanship/participation individually, and the scores will be averaged.

During the stage performance portion of the competition, you will be judged on your stage presence, commitment to character, as well as the overall impression. Single and duo entries will have a total of 45 seconds on stage, while groups will have up to 3 minutes.



  • Cosplays that have won category or class prizes at other conventions are not eligible to compete.
    Con Staff and volunteers may not enter the Cosplay Competition.  Headlining and invited Cosplay Guests are not eligible to enter the costume contest.
  • Only Cosplayers 15 years of age and up may enter the Mainstage Cosplay Competition. Children 14 and under are not eligible to enter the mainstage contest unless they are part of a Group entry.
  • You can have someone model your costume, but you, the craftsman, must register for the Costume Contest and be present for pre-judging to answer the judges’ questions.
  • No nudity, profanity, anything deemed racially or culturally offensive will be allowed. No politically charged or discriminatory cosplays or props will be allowed.
  • No liquids, messy substances, glitter, confetti or anything that may pose a danger is allowed on stage.
  • No pyrotechnics, fireworks or open flames. No fog machines.
  • All electronics must be self-contained. There are no electrical outlets onstage.
  • No weapons that violate Planet Comicon’s Weapons Policy or Bartle Hall’s weapons policy or local laws, including but not limited to: realistic-looking firearms without an orange muzzle cap; live steel; projectiles of any kind; unsheathing of bladed weapons without clearance from the Contest Director. Due to safety concerns, minors may not perform combat simulations. (See Weapons Policy here).
  • No throwing things into the audience, including yourself.

Violating these rules will disqualify you, and possibly result in escort off the premises.

Contestants agree to allow video recording and photography of their costumes for future promotions of Planet Comicon.



Thanks for signing-up! We are thrilled to have your entry  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 status on or before  February 1st, 2019. Applications will be accepted on a first come first serve basis, however the cosplay contest committee will review each application for compliance with the contest rules and to prevent excessive duplications. Make sure to enter sooner rather than later, as space is limited! If you have any questions, please email the cosplay contest directors at

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