Last Updated: 03-10-2015
My parents are pretty crunchy granola and didn't want us to have video games growing up, so I never really played them until my brother bought the original Playstation when I was 14. We only had the demo CD that came with the console and spent months obsessively re-playing the one level of Crash Bandicoot on the disc. Our favorite part was the tribal mask, which we called "Ooga Booga!" My Dad took pity on us and bought us the entire Crash Bandicoot game for Christmas, which said the mask's name was Aku Aku, but he'll always be Ooga Booga. I've wanted to make Aku Aku for a long time, and decided to dress up as Crash's sister, Coco Bandicoot, to go with my mask. I LOVED wearing this costume around the con, and was so thrilled to have people shout "Ooga Booga!" at me wherever I went. They were more excited to see Aku Aku than me, and I am totally OK with that. Ooga Booga is the best.
The costume itself is pretty straightforward; the shirt, overalls, and shoes were store-bought and I sewed pink buttons onto the overalls which matched Coco's shoes. I got a bright yellow ponytail wig for Coco, but I did make her hair flower from worbla. After it was bent to shape I spray painted it with iridescent blue and purple paint, added a glass gem to the center and glued a clip onto the back. Orange Ben Nye face paint and a lot of liquid eyeliner completed Coco's look. Her laptop is my old Apple iBook spray pained pink; it's the oldest laptop I own (circa 2005) and it hasn't worked in over five years so I wasn't worried about it getting damaged. The most important part of this costume, however, was the Aku Aku mask. I drew him out onto posterboard and cut out the shapes for his mask and features, and once I was happy with the sizes and shapes I used the poster board pieces as patterns to make the mask out of real materials. The mask itself is two pieces of thick foam board which I painted light brown and then went over with darker and lighter paint to create the "wood grain" texture. For his face I cut all of his features out of craft foam to give them a three-dimentional look, and hot-glued them down. The eyes are yellow craft foam with orange painted highlights, but I then cut a plastic clear Christmas ornament in half and glued each half over the eyes to give them depth. The feathers are painted poster board. I then placed a wooden dowel between the front and back panel of the mask, and cut pieces of foam board to fill in the middle, gluing everything together so that the mask is solidly floating on the dowel. I LOVE HOW THIS CAME OUT SO MUCH. When I shake the stick and say "Ooga Booga!" all of the headdress' feathers flutter and it just looks so cool. This costume was extremely comfortable to wear, though the mask and the laptop do get heavy to carry after a few hours.
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