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Unread 01-14-2015, 03:12 AM   #1
Eldi
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Are more popular characters favored?

In your experience, are more popular characters more likely to win costume contests, as opposed to ones the judges have never heard of? I'm thinking of entering my first contest at a local con, and I know pretty much nothing about contests! (so I'm sorry if this is dumb or has been asked already) On the con website there is a picture of the winners from last time, and it looks like most of them are from extremely popular/recognizable sources (ie. pixar, marvel, final fantasy, etc.). It may be a coincidence though since those are the things people are most likely to cosplay too! I'm just wondering if it will be a disadvantage if the first time the judges see my character is in the reference photos provided- if so I might want to reconsider which costume I'm entering. I'm normally not a very competitive person and wouldn't care, but since there's cash prizes I sort of want to maximize my chances.
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Unread 01-14-2015, 11:01 AM   #2
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I don't compete, and I've only been to a few cons, but from my experience most of the awards go to cosplays of characters I've never seen or heard of. I've only seen two characters I'm familiar with win awards, and even one of them I didn't know until I watched the anime after the con.

Obviously the judges should be fair with all entries, regardless of their preferences, but I imagine two different scenarios - either they're more biased towards entries from series they know, or as hardcore fans they might be more critical of those entries and more inclined to nitpick.

I think you should go with whichever cosplay you feel you did the best job on (if they're all equally amazing, then go with the one you love the most). Just because that series may not be mega-popular like Final Fantasy or anything from Marvel, that doesn't mean the entire judging panel is going to be unfamiliar with it. Who knows - you might be surprised to find that one judge does in fact know that series. Regardless, it's your first contest, so at least have fun with it and get experience.
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Unread 01-14-2015, 01:00 PM   #3
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Generally speaking judges base their choices on technical execution of the costumes as well as accuracy of the costume. As opposed to popularity of the character or series.
You see Final Fantasy and Marvel as pervious winners because those costumes take a lot of technical skill and accuracy to pull off. Tiny details that non-competitive cosplayers may not care or even know about.
If you want to maximize your chance of being in the winners circle you need to pick a character that you like, make sure the costume is something you can accomplish in the time you have, get as many reference images as possible right down to the tiniest close up shots of small details like trim, build the costume using as advanced a technical knowledge you have, and document the process you went through, make sure the fabrics and materials you use are appropriate to the character.

The last thing you want to do is pick a character you don't like and has some crazy elaborate costume that you have no hopes of completing by the deadline. A poorly don't popular character with an elaborate design is not going to stand a chance as a lees known perfectly executed costume.

Good luck!
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Unread 01-14-2015, 04:12 PM   #4
TitanSlayer000
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I once won a cosplay contest at a con where not a single person there knew who I was. It was very small, but still. If you have excellent craftsmanship the character shouldn't matter.
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Unread 01-14-2015, 04:33 PM   #5
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Agreed. I entered a very difficult costuming contest at NYCC last year- half the comic entries- yes, HALF- were Guardians of the Galaxy, myself included, mostly due to the difficulty, yet, the winner in our category was Zod from the Superman movie. And the overall winner was from Eragon.
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Unread 01-14-2015, 08:21 PM   #6
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Popularity has NOTHING to do with what the judges pick. At least not the good judges who know their construction and reward well-made costumes.

If it appears like the winners are all from popular media, that's just what was entered at that competition that day. Sure, if a series or movie is really popular, that means there's a higher chance that someone (or, like division-ten mentioned, EVERYONE) will enter costumes from it, but it has zero bearing on whether it will win.

Considering my first best-in-show was a pair of non-playable background characters from a rather obscure JRPG being entered at a sci-fi convention where I can guarantee you nobody had even heard of the game let alone the characters? Popularity is not where it's at.
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Unread 01-15-2015, 01:32 PM   #7
Eldi
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thank you everyone for the input! it's good to know that popularity shouldn't matter.. i'm just going to pick whichever of my costumes looks the best by that date. probably one of the newer ones since i can make better construction choices instead of trying to fix past mistakes!
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