Original ”Star Wars” Lightsaber Prop & Other Props Being Auctioned

If you’re a #costumer or #cosplayer who has a few hundred thousand dollars laying around, well guess what! The original lightsaber prop that was used by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the original 1977 #StarWars film is being auctioned.

The prop, which taught millions of kids to make “zjoom zjoom” noises, is being sold for an estimated value of $150,000 – $200,000 by Hollywood auction house “Profiles in History” as part of a “Blockbuster Hollywood Treasures” auction that includes other items from the “Star Wars” franchise, as well as other classic film franchises as well.

Other items up for auction include:

  • C-3PO’s hands from “Return of the Jedi,” estimated value of $40,000 – $60,000.
  • Imperial Scout Trooper helmet from “Jedi,” estimated value of $100,000 – $150,000.
  • An original “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Stormtrooper helmet signed by Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Hamill, Daisy Ridley and other cast, valued at an estimated $80,000 – $120,000.
  • The green tunic worn by William Shatner’s Captain Kirk in the third season of the original “Star Trek” TV series, estimated to sell for $60,000 – $80,000
  • The leather Jacket, pants and custom Reebok high-top sneakers, plus the Pulse Rifle and Flamethrower props worn by Sigourney Weaver in James Cameron’s “Aliens,” at an estimated sale price of $300,000 – $500,000.
  • Other props being auctioned are from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Terminator 3,” and the “James Bond” film “You Only Live Twice,” among many others.

The auction is from Dec. 11-13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

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RIP Stan Lee

#RIP. We want to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of a comic book legend: Stan Lee, who died earlier today at 95.

While Stan Lee wasn’t a #cosplayer himself, he was the co-creator of many #MarvelComics characters. Literally thousands of #cosplayers & #costumers around the world have worn the #costumes of the characters that Stan Lee helped to create, not to mention the tens of millions of children who have dressed as these characters at Halloween for many many years. These characters include:

  • #BlackPanther
  • #SpiderMan
  • #XMen
  • #Thor (The Mighty Thor)
  • #IronMan
  • #FantasticFour
  • #IncredibleHulk
  • #Daredevil
  • #AntMan
  • #DoctorStrange
  • And many more.

The impact that Stan Lee has had on the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, comic books and cosplay are immeasurable. He will never be forgotten, but he will be deeply missed.

Our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues & his many millions of fans throughout the world, including all of the cosplayers & costumers that he inspired. May he rest in peace.

Stan Lee (1922 – 2018)

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The Appropriateness of Sexually Suggestive Cosplays & Fursuits

A recurring question that faces the #costuming, #cosplay & #fursuit communities involves the appropriateness of sexually suggestive #costumes. We touched on this subject last year when we blogged about the rules regarding #costuming & cosplay. While many #cosplayers, #costumers & #fursuiters don’t believe or aren’t aware that this hobby is subject to any rules, that’s actually not true. As we discussed in the aforementioned blog post, there are many laws pertaining specifically to indecent exposure at various levels of governmental structure: city, state (or provincial), federal (or national), etc.

Because the term “indecent exposure” is a legal term, it is subject to varying definitions depending upon which jurisdiction(s) oversees the particular location where a person currently is. A general definition is given below:

Indecent exposure is the deliberate exposure in public (or in view of the general public) by a person of a portion (or portions) of his or her body, in circumstances where the exposure is contrary to local moral or other standards of appropriate behavior.

Social and community attitudes towards the exposing of various body parts, as well as laws covering what is referred to as indecent exposure, can vary significantly between different countries, states, cities, or other jurisdictions. Laws range from outright prohibition to prohibition of exposure of certain body parts. The exposure of body parts that are most likely to be viewed as indecent are genital areas, buttocks and breasts (usually women’s breasts only).

But it doesn’t stop there: venues and conventions may have additional rules regarding what is allowed or not allowed with regard to the exposure or representation of body parts that would otherwise be regarded as indecent.

Responsibilities of Costumers, Cosplayers & Fursuiters

So, before you decide to wear a particular costume, cosplay or fursuit that either exposes body parts that are generally regarded as being indecent or includes visual representations of those same body parts, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the local, state, provincial, federal or national laws pertaining to indecent exposure where you intend to wear the costume, cosplay or fursuit?
  • What additional rules (if any) does the venue or convention have pertaining to body parts that may be regarded as being indecent if exposed or visually represented?
  • Will any underaged children be present at the venue or convention where the costume, cosplay or fursuit is going to be worn?

If any of your answers to the above questions are “yes”, then you might want to consider altering the appearance of your costume, cosplay or fursuit to be more acceptable with regards to local, state, provincial, federal and national laws, as well as to venue and convention rules or if children are going to be present.

Responsibilities of Venues and Conventions

Like costumers, cosplayers & fursuiters, convention managements also have to be responsible by ensuring that attendees stay within the rules of both the convention and venue. To do otherwise would open the possibility of the convention losing its contract with the venue for future conventions. Thus, it’s in the best interest for both the convention and attendees to comply with all of the applicable rules and laws.

When a convention representative is required to address an issue caused by an attendee that is violating the rules or laws, it’s not only in the best interest of the attendee to change what they’re doing, it’s also in the best interest of the convention to either make the attendee leave if needed to get into compliance or to not permit the attendee back in if the attendee refuses to comply. While that may sound harsh, conventions have disappeared and shut down when they have permitted attendees to do whatever they want, including breaking multiple rules.

Potential Consequences for Indecent Exposure

Any costumer, cosplayer or fursuiter who refuses to follow either the rules or laws governing indecent exposure faces potentially very serious, long-term negative consequences.

Simply put, anyone arrested and later convicted of indecent exposure (especially in front of children) will likely become a registered sex offender. Not only could this potentially mean that the individual could be banned from attending conventions or joining costume clubs; more seriously, this would likely make it impossible for the individual to become gainfully employed. Is that truly worth the risk?

A Recent Real-World Example

Earlier this month, a female fursuiter who attended Alamo City Furry Invasion (ACFI) was seen wearing a fursuit that included very large, oversized furry & foam-filled breasts. This resulted in the ACFI convention staff receiving at least 11 complaints (including from the hotel) because young children were present at the time when the fursuit costume was being worn.

ACFI staff then asked the fursuiter to only wear the costume “after hours” to reduce the likelihood of young children seeing the costume. Their statement is listed below:

On a down-tempo note, we should stop and address a rumor floating around. It seems silly to say it, but no, ACFI didn’t start banning female costumes. We’ve never banned a costume at the con, although this year we did ask a fursuiter to hold off on wearing her costume until the “after dark” side of the con after getting at least 11 complaints (including comments from families, women and men, and the hotel, but excluding staff and vendor concerns.)

Naturally, not everyone was happy with how this particular fursuiter was treated, but given that so many complaints were received about the particular costume, the ACFI staff didn’t have a choice. Below is a video shared by fursuiter Bolt Mutt containing his own views on what occurred:

Since it’s not clear whether ACFI had any written rules regarding the types of costumes & fursuits that would be permitted at the convention, this incident may prompt them to write rules to reduce the likelihood of a similar situation from occurring in the future.

What’s important to bear in mind here is that whether you agree or disagree with the decision that was applied to this particular fursuiter because of the representation of large, exposed breasts, the following rules still apply:

  • Attendees must abide by the written rules of the convention and/or venue.
  • Attendees must abide by local, state, provincial, federal or national laws pertaining to indecent exposure.

While the costume breasts were not real breasts, they were, nonetheless, representations of exposed breasts and they were being seen by small children. Given the sexualized nature of the costume, is it an appropriate costume when small children are present? If ACFI staff had chosen to permit the fursuiter to continue wearing the costume in spite of the numerous complaints that it had received, how would the fursuiters have reacted if the venue then refused to permit ACFI to return in the future?

Something that every costumer, cosplayer and fursuiter needs to remember is this:

Wearing a costume, cosplay or fursuit does not mean that you are above the law or above the rules. The same laws and rules apply whether you are in costume or not.

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Ray Park & Daniel Logan Both Quit the 501st Legion Costume Club

Only hours ago late yesterday (Oct. 5, 2018), #StarWars actor Ray Park (who played #DarthMaul) announced on his #Instagram account that he has quit being a member of the #501stLegion. (The “501st Legion” is the largest & oldest “Star Wars” #CostumeClub and Ray Park has been an active member for many years, as has actor Daniel Logan.)

On his Instagram, Mr. Park wrote the following:

“iamraypark #announcement I AM NO LONGER A 501st legion member. Reason: Disappointed!! However, A certain or a certain member spoiled it for me in Edmontont, 501 legion. I AM A STAR WARS FAN. I AM A FAN BUT NOT A FAN OF THIS! #sithlife #raypark #cancelled

Ray Park's Announcement Quitting the "501st Legion"

This same message is also posted on Mr. Park’s Twitter account:

Ray Park's Announcement to Quit the 501st Legion on Twitter

In response, the “501st Legion” on its #Facebook page issued the following apology:

“Ray Park, please accept our most sincere apology, from the almost 14,000 members of the 501st Legion. You deserve the utmost respect and courtesy, always. We hope that you and Daniel Logan can help us make this right. Thank you.”

"501st Legion" Apology to Ray Park

After learning about this, “Star Wars” actor Daniel Logan (who played the young Boba Fett and is also a member of the “501st Legion”) announced his solidarity with Ray Park Instagram and that he, too, was quitting the “501st Legion”:

Daniel Logan's Announcement Quitting the "501st Legion" on Instagram in Response to Ray Park

While not all of the facts have been publicly presented (but there’s a lot of hearsay), a recent article on Yahoo that was published only in September, 2018 may shed light as to the nature of what may have caused Ray Park to decide to quit:

“Ray Park, the British actor who first played Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, has defended his appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story after receiving “a few fatty comments” about his return to the role.

Maul made a surprise cameo in Solo where it was revealed that he had survived his “death” in The Phantom Menace, and was behind the shadowy Crimson Dawn crime syndicate that looms over the spin-off film.

On Instagram Park says that, although he doesn’t care about the comments and he doesn’t need to justify his appearance in the film, he “worked his butt off” to play Maul once again. He’s also shared photos of himself looking absolutely ripped to silence the haters.

Unfortunately, Mr. Park removed that Instagram post to which the article referred, but we are definitely appalled that anyone would “fat-shame” Ray Park.

One individual wrote the following on Instagram. While we cannot verify it’s accuracy, it’s description is aligns with some our and others own experiences:

Unverified Statement

Since we first created our Facebook page and, later, this WordPress blog, we’ve posted numerous times about toxicity and bullying that occurs “behind closed doors” within costume clubs, and that includes the “501st Legion”. This situation with Ray Park and Daniel Logan is the most public display of just how toxic some superfans within these clubs can be. Poor & weak costume leadership is clearly a factor, which is something else that we have discussed in the past:

As we posted on our Facebook page on January 22, 2016 (also linked above):

“Being part of a costume club can be an enormously rewarding experience, but it can also turn into one of your worst nightmares in the blink of an eye. As long as things go smoothly and morale is high, you can be an active member for potentially years. But if things go awry with conflict & drama, regardless of how much time and effort you have invested into being an active member of the club, you have to know when it’s time to quit. This can be an extremely difficult reality to accept, especially for anyone who has been a member for years and invested considerable time and effort into the club. The key to remember is this: if the conflict & drama is causing a significant amount of stress for yourself, what impact is it also having on your family? We have witnessed several marriages end due in large part to unremitting costume club drama that one spouse is unwilling to step away from. Is a costume club filled with drama more important than your family? Probably not. Try to keep that in mind that sometimes the only realistic solution for yourself and the well being of your family is to walk away from the club. Not being a club member isn’t going to inhibit you from continuing to be an active costumer or cosplayer; but it will very likely restore it into being a fun an rewarding experience again.”

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Sexy “Handmaid’s Tale” Costume Pulled After Sparking Outrage

Outrage over a sexy #HandmaidsTale #costume produced by Yandy.com has forced the company to pull the costume from further sales. In the tale, #handmaids are used as sex slaves to repopulate society in the Hulu series and book. Critics claimed that the costume made light of the characters’ plight.

In “The Handmaid’s Tale” TV series and Margaret Atwood book, the outfit worn by the handmaids is a very conservative looking red dress and cloak with a white hat.

handmaids-tale

Yandy, which branded the costume as “‘Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume”, altered the outfit to be far more revealing:

Yandy’s “Brave Red Maiden Costume”

After images of the costume went viral on Thursday (Sept. 20, 2018), many people expressed their concerns that the costume was both inappropriate and degrading. In response, Yandy decided to remove the item from sale and issued the following statement on their Twitter account:

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While Yandy’s costume did not violate any laws (as we have discussed in an earlier post regarding the rules of cosplay), by being deemed inappropriate, it falls into a class of inappropriate & unacceptable costumes & cosplays that we have also previously posted about.

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Hat Worn by Harrison Ford as “Indiana Jones” Sells for Over $521,000

Quite possibly one of the most famous hats in cinematic history, the fedora hat that was worn by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in #RaidersOfTheLostArk sold for a record breaking £393,600 (or $521,362) during a Prop Store auction in London on September 20, 2018.

The hat was originally designed by costume designer Deborah Nadoolman and was made by the Herbert Johnson Hat Company. It was then treated with dust and bleach to give it a slightly battered, weathered and well-travelled appearance. (Many #cosplayers & #costumers know all about weathering!)

It’s unique markings meant that it could be screen-matched with many of the film’s most famous moments.

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RIP Steve Ditko, Co-Creator of Spider-Man & Creator of Doctor Strange

We want to take a moment to say #RIP Steve Ditko. The comic-book writer & illustrator co-created #SpiderMan with Stan Lee in 1961. He has died at age 90. Steve Ditko created Spider-Man’s look — the costume, the web-shooters, the red and blue design, which has inspired so many #cosplayers & #costumers to wear that #costume ever since.

Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy No. 15. and was an unexpected hit. This lead to the spin-off The Amazing Spider-Man. Ditko also helped create such Spider-Man characters as Doctor Octopus, Sandman, the Lizard and Green Goblin.

In 1963, Ditko created Doctor Strange, who debuted in Strange Tales No. 110. Ditko continued on that series until issue No. 146 in 1966.

After a dispute with Stan Lee in 1967, Ditko left Marvel Comics and worked for DC Comics and several others before returning to Marvel in 1979. where he worked on Machine Man and the Micronauts. Among his last creations was Squirrel Girl in 1992.

During his period away from Marvel, Ditko created Mr. A in 1967. He also created The Question, Hawk and Dove and the Creeper for DC Comics.

May he rest in peace.

Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko (1927-2018)

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