I’ve worked within the Halloween and costume industry for a decade and I’ve had the opinion for several of those years that there really aren’t enough video games costumes readily available. To put this into perspective, the official licensed Super Mario costume for adults has only been available since about 2010 when Rubies Masquerade acquired the license for worldwide distribution. A character that everyone knows and first gained prominence in 1985 had to wait some 25 years before Nintendo could cash in and meet the demand.
Today, if you scour the Internet or head down to your local costume or party store you will be able to find a selection of outfits that will more than likely be able to give you an option of a video games costume to wear for Halloween this year. However, if you are thinking along the lines of Mega Man or Kratos you may be disappointed. You’ll only be able to get your hands on the major characters, such as Ryu, Lara Croft and Sonic.
What’s New for Halloween 2012?
Although the pickings may indeed be slim, there has been a select number of new costumes released in time for this year’s Halloween season.
So far, there are four Mortal Kombat costumes in the official range. These include Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Mileena and Kitana. The women’s costumes are very sexy and wouldn’t be out of place at Comic-Con.
The World of Warcraft range has been strictly restricted to masks at this stage. Goblin, Worgen, Illidan and Draenei are now on sale at various websites and look really quite impressive. I’m not sure on the price tags though, as they too can be described as impressive. The masks are made from vinyl and are crafted in a sturdy fashion that would mean they should be relatively hard-wearing.
I’ve had people asking about how to make an Assassins Creed costume for years now. So it’s about time that an Ezio Auditore de Firenze costume was made available to buy in the shops. Available in a typically not that useful one-size-fits-all design it does look really cool and is as close to an exact character replication as you could ask for.
Blue Spartan and Red Spartan costumes have been released this year and although are expensive for what they are, they essentially include a jumpsuit with moulded parts and a face mask. They do look good – with both available in multiples sizes and, also come in regular and deluxe versions.
UK manufacturer Smiffys have recently procured the official license for Street Fighter. Although the designs seem to be lacking the edge that former US costumes giant PMG had crafted previously, these new costumes tend to lean more toward being true to the video games. Currently characters like Akuma, Blanka, Chun-Li, Ryu and Ken can be purchased in a store near you.
Gap in the Market?
I would like to see more video game costumes readily available to buy. Although many people do take pride in creating intricate costumes to wear, some of us just don’t have the time or know how to create our own costumes. I’d like to ask both video game makers and costume manufacturers to step it up and meet the demand.
At this stage, I am surprised that there has never been a Solid Snake costume. Personally I loved Metal Gear 1 to 4 and am looking forward to the release of Metal Gear: Rising when it finally comes out. Snake’s sneaking suit may be a little dull, but according to Google keywords there are over 1,000 searches per month globally for Solid Snake costume, so there’s obviously a demand for a mass-market product that people can wear to a Halloween party or convention.
Filling in the blanks, so to speak, are some excellent cosplay outfits that have been hand-crafted by various dedicated fans of the franchise. The very best, arguably, are the creations by Omi Gibson. Kotaku have a Metal Gear feature on her that includes some superb photos. Take a look.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever dressed in a Video game costume for Halloween or a costume party? What did you wear? What would you wear if you had the chance? Leave a comment below.