Wednesday, August 28, 2013

'Heroes of Cosplay' Recap: MegaCon

Riki checks in as Rocketeer
BY MELISSA HARKNESS

I'm glad to say this third episode of Heroes of Cosplay was the most enjoyable one so far. I hope this less drama ridden theme continues for the rest of the season. This week's convention is MegaCon in Orlando, Florida. Our cosplayers this week are Becky, Riki, Holly, Jessica and a brief appearance by Yaya Han.

Yaya is in Los Angeles for a little while getting herself turned into an action figure for her store. While she's in town she briefly pays Riki a visit before leaving for the J-Pop convention in Denmark. This means she won't be a judge at MegaCon.

So what are our Heroes dressing up as now?


Becky decides to channel Taffyta Muttonfudge from "Wreck-It Ralph." Only after meeting up with Victoria and hearing about the disappointing results at Emerald City, she decides that she really needs to make Taffyta's car. There's just one little problem, she has no idea how to do that. This is where it comes in handy to have handy friends. She enlists the aid of Lance to make this very important prop.

Holly and Jessica meet up with Chloe and after some friendly trash talking, decide to compete separately for the first time ever. Jessica has dreams of being a kickass Tank Girl. While Holly wants to be Laliari from "Galaxy Quest," complete with a large tentacled alien head prop. They seem quite nervous at the prospect, but decide it will help their business as well.

Riki is determined to make a light up costume this time around to finally get some recognition for her skills. So, she decides that she will cosplay as a Betty Page version of "The Rocketeer." This should be a hit; she's not wearing any pants.

Will our Heroes finish their costumes?

Becky and Lance decide to make the car so that she can wear it with a harness as if she is driving it. They seem a little perturbed, but Lance manages to get it made out of a lot of cut styrofoam pieces. Becky hand makes Taffyta's very pink ensemble in between helping Lance with the car. The finish up and head off to Florida. Only there's a small problem with the very large box that the car is packaged in. It seems that the box was opened to be inspected. The inspector left a piece out. That's right folks. They can't put the car together, because it's missing a piece. This prompts an emotional breakdown by both Lance and Becky. Not seeing a way to fix the car without this very important piece, she decides to scrap it and just go with her costume.

Holly and Jessica are getting on each others nerves having to share a workspace while working on separate costumes. They both have issues working without the other one, and feel a little lost. So they each enlist their husbands to keep them company. Jessica and her husband Graham go shopping for her costume, which she finds depressing without Holly. But she gets him to pay for the supplies, so that's a plus! She really, really wants to do an authentic bald Tank Girl from the comic. Holly and her husband Ross are having trouble with her equipment as she tries to make her giant tentacled alien. She is finding things difficult without her bestie to remind her that this is supposed to be fun. They both manage to finish their costumes alone and get to MegaCon only a few hours before the contest. Since they are sharing a room, they have to get ready together. This engenders a little cattiness between the friends, as they get costumed up.

Riki has also roped her husband into working on her costume. They have a bit of snippiness when he discovers that the rocket pack has an ugly seam. She gets a little adamant that it was his fault and he needs to fix it. He still helps her get her rocket pack to light up though, that's love ya'll. They get to MegaCon with all of their props intact and ready to go.

Will our Heroes win this time?

The MegaCon judges are: Ellen Dubin (from "Elder Scrolls"), Gigi Edgley (Chiana from "Farscape"), Orlando Pagan (Pop Culture Artist), and Brian Rehka (501st Legion). The top prize tonight is $1000. Not too shabby. The two Runner Up positions also get a little money. Keep your fingers crossed that we get a winner two this convention!

Without her car, Becky has to rely on her acting skills to really sell herself as Taffyta Muttonfudge. She skips onto the stage with a big smile leaving a trail of pink glitter.

Holly gets a last minute touch of stage fright as they call her name, but finally makes it out in front of the judges. Her Laliari gets a lot of cheers from the crowd. She even does the squawking speech when one of the judges asks her a question. Afterwards she felt that judge didn't really like that.

Despite Jessica's fears, her Tank Girl is a big hit. She clomps up on stage in her combat boots toting a big foam bazooka. For someone who felt she was just Holly's sidekick, she did a good job pulling off Tank Girl's signature attitude.

Now it's Riki's turn. Riki looks really good in her Betty Page as Rocketeer costume. Though it helps that she's not wearing any pants. She is really proud of her completely handmade costume, from the helmet all the way down to the buttons on the leather jacket. She did buy some vintage style underwear though. Remember that Riki is also trying to get her skills noticed to build up a business. When the judges quiz her on the making of her outfit she blanks at first, but ultimately recovers well and probably gives them more detail than they wanted.

So who won? Well, Jessica and Riki both take Runner Up awards! Holly's has a big smile for her friend, but the decide they will never do that again. It was just too stressful.

As I said earlier, this was a much better episode of Heroes of Cosplay. They left out some of the contrived drama this time and replaced it with more of the actual making of the costumes. This was definitely a step in the right direction. I only hope that they can hang on to this format and keep this up for the rest of the season. I for one enjoyed this episode so much more with the changes.

The next episode of Heroes of Cosplay, “Anime Matsuri” airs Tues. Sept. 3 at 10PM ET on Syfy.

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