Cosplay has experienced a boom in the past few decades, becoming a huge part of pop culture fandom. Starting in Japan, the subculture can be seen at events and conventions across the globe.
Cosplay conventions have them all, from low-cost costumes to expensive and intricately-designed suits. The price doesn’t necessarily reflect a build’s quality, because it all boils down to the talent of the artist who’s making the costume. However, there are some cosplays out there with a hefty price tag that truly capture some of the most popular characters in fiction.
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Here are some of the most beautifully crafted and expensive costumes ever created:
Steampunk Iron Man
Cost to make: $4,000
Image credit: Geeky Tyrant
This Steampunk version of Iron Man first graced the halls of comic cons in 2010. It’s easy to see why it won the Marvel Costume Contest at New York Comic Con. The fusion of steampunk and Iron Man is nothing short of inspiring, and truly a thing of beauty. The costume was built by Matt Silva of Penny Dreadful Productions.
Trivia: What’s fascinating about this suit is that it was recycled from a costume used in Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man – a short film that featured the non-canon back story of the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man. The suit underwent a lot of modifications that cost around $4,000 to become a highly detailed steampunk version of Iron Man.
Metal Gear REX
Cost to make: $7,000
Image Credit: DeviantArt
Metal Gear REX is one of the mechas (robots with a pilot) used by villains to defeat Solid Snake — the protagonist of the critically acclaimed Konami game Metal Gear Solid. The outfit is quite possibly the most accurate cosplay ever built in honor of the mecha. According to the suit’s creator, Ruby Taki, it took her several trucks, 3 people, and at least 8 months to move and assemble the parts.
It isn’t easy to move around in the costume either. In order to maneuver it, the wearer needs to stand on two-foot stilts and bear the weight of the heavy metal.
The creator speaks: Taki states that one of the best compliments she received for her Metal Gear REX was an online comment that said, “It’s CGI; it’s not real.” She also finds it fun when people don’t realize that there’s actually a person inside the costume.
Cost to make: $30,000
Image credit: Insider
This is quite possibly the most expensive costume ever constructed in the history of cosplays ever. At Comic Con 2018, a Reinhardt cosplay, which stands at 9 1/2 feet tall and weighs around 100 pounds, graced the event and wowed the fans of the videogame Overwatch.
The costume was made by Thomas DePetrillo, a veteran costume maker who made impressive Hulk Buster and Bumblebee cosplays for previous Comic Cons.
How to get a Reinhardt costume like this: Three ways come to mind in order to obtain a costume like this: The first way is to learn from experts like DePetrillo, and use a different set of materials in order to lower the cost of making the suit. The second way is to win the lottery. Lottoland details that America’s two biggest lotteries have a minimum jackpot of $40 million. That would be enough to buy any cosplay, including this highly detailed and expensive Batman costume created by special effects designer Julian Checkley. Lastly, you can work hard until you’ve saved $30,000 to buy the high-end materials for the costume.
The thing is that while these cosplays are extremely well made and beautiful, the cost of cosplay isn’t important. It is the dedication and love of the fans that make cosplaying so special.
*Article contributed by Guest Geek Brayden Scott*
PS – If you are looking to create a cosplay and not break the bank, check out my Amazon Finds page, where I post shoppable cosplay pics, showing everything that went into creating the look.