ReplayFX Cosplay Contest

Official Rules

Date: Saturday, July 30, 2016
Mandatory Pre-Judging: 3rd Floor Concourse, 2pm
Contest: Main Stage, 5pm
Cost: Free with ReplayFX admission
Prizes: $3,500 plus plaques
Contest Organizers:


All contestants must have a valid weekend or Saturday pass to enter the contest.

The costume contest is limited to 75 contestants. 50 openings will be reserved for those who preregister online. An additional 25 openings will be available during pre-judging on Saturday and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Competitors are encouraged to preregister in order to guarantee a spot in the contest. ReplayFX contest coordinators reserve the right to make any changes to the contest rules and guidelines if the need arises. ReplayFX staff, personal guests, and volunteers are not eligible to compete in the contest.


During the pre-judging portion of the event, judges will inspect each costume, inquire as to how they were designed and created, and answer questions contestants may have about the contest. All costumes must be pre-judged in order to be eligible.

Costumes from all genres (video game, comic book, anime, movies, television, ect.) are acceptable. Mashups and original designs are also permitted. The majority of your costume must be homemade, although found item costumes and modified items are acceptable.

Contestants are encouraged to bring a reference photo of the character they are portraying. The judges may not know the character in question, and this will help their ability to gauge the effectiveness of the costume.

Pre-judging will occur on the 3rd floor concourse the day of the competition at 2pm. All contestants must arrive by 2pm to check-in, although contestants will not be required to stay in the room for the full two-hour pre-judging period.

Contestants will be divided into 4 different categories during pre-judging. Contestants will be asked which category they prefer during pre-judging, although judges retain the right to bump a contestant into a higher category if they feel a costume deserves to be recognized at a higher skill level.


  • NOVICE: Someone who is new to costume making and/or has never won any contest awards.
  • JOURNEYMAN: Someone who has made a few costumes and/or won a few contest awards.
  • MASTER: An experienced costume maker who has won multiple costume awards.
  • GROUP: Two or more people.

Judging Criteria:

  • Percentage of the costume that is handmade
  • Attention to detail
  • Quality
  • Overall appearance
  • Likeness to the character
  • Maneuverability / functionality
  • Stage presence

The contest will be fashion show style. Contestants will walk across the stage as an emcee introduces them. Contestants are encouraged to be creative during their time on stage. Action poses, working with props, or calling out a character’s catch-phrase, where relevant, will all be viewed favorably. A positive stage-presence will be valued and appreciated by the judges, assuming it does not involve breaking any of the rules listed below.


All actual weapons and items that could be considered dangerous are prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, knives, tazers, pepper spray, BB guns, cap guns, airsoft weapons, paintball guns, water guns, martial arts weaponry, including wooden practice weapons, ect. Items resembling futuristic weapons, fantasy weapons, and non-projectile boffer weapons may be allowed provided they are not handled in a careless, threatening, or destructive manner against persons or property. Please check with staff if you are unsure about your prop.

Costumes, introductions, and actions on stage must be in good taste. No nudity, offensive language or unruly behavior is permitted. This is a family-friendly event!

While on stage, jumping, flipping, running, throwing items into the audience or any movements that could compromise the safety of any contestants or spectators is prohibited. Any of these actions will result in automatic disqualification from the contest.

The use of fire, glitter, liquids, or any other objects that will cause a mess are prohibited. Leaving any portion of a costume on stage will result in automatic disqualification from the contest.

We ask that all contestants display good sportsmanship to each other and the judges.


  • Four Judge’s Awards: $50 each
  • Best Stage presence: $100
  • Best Group: $300
  • Best in Novice: $300 + Plaque
  • Best in Journeyman: $300 + Plaque
  • Best in Masters: $300 + Plaque
  • Best in Show: $1500 + Plaque
  • To Be Determined: $500

Other non-cash prizes may be awarded at the sole discretion of contest organizers or festival management. Prizes will be paid by check, and appropriate IRS regulations for tax reporting will be followed. In the event the winner is not a U.S. Citizen, we will provide the appropriate forms.

  • Prize checks will be mailed to all contest winners within one month after the completion of the festival.
  • All winners must completely fill out a 1099-MISC form prior to receiving their check.
  • All winners must show photo ID to claim their prize.