Costume Contest signups are now open!
See below for information on how to enter.

Step into the Limelight

Enter your handmade costume in our Costume Contest to win great prizes! We’ll be giving away $500 cash for First Place, $250 cash for Second Place, $125 cash for Third Place and $100 cash for Best Novice. There will be a limit of 45 entries. The show is currently scheduled to begin Saturday at 6:30PM and will run until approximately 7:30PM.

How to enter

We will need the following:
  • A color reference image of your character must be submitted in advance digitally or a hardcopy brought in person to the convention.
  • A participation waiver-parental consent form must be completed if entrant is under 18.
  • Read and agree to the Contest Rules below.
Check-in and pre-judging will take place on Saturday from 11AM-4:30PM for both online and onsite entries. Each contestant should be prepared to answer the following questions:
  • How long did it take you to create your costume (e.g. hours spent)?
  • Are there any components not created by yourself; were there modifications to existing pieces?
  • What part of the costume are you proudest of?
  • Are there any details or hidden components that might not be immediately obvious or visible onstage?
Online entrants who have not checked-in by 2:30PM will be removed from the contest as no-shows to allow for additional entries.

Enter now by filling out this form!
Download Adult Waiver
Download Minor Waiver

Waitlist Signups

Held from 2:30PM-4:30PM on Saturday at the Kraken Con Cosplay Station. Those who did not sign up online or missed one of the 10 open slots onsite may check back for availability during this time.

Is my costume eligible?

  • Costumes can be based on video game, comics, animated cartoons, fantasy and sci-fi series. The country of origin does not matter. If you wish to enter as a unique / original character, please note that you will only be able to do so if you provide a full color picture of the character.
  • Costumes must be hand-crafted. Costumes purchased or rented from a costume shop, seamstress, eBay or other auction website (Taobao, Yahoo Japan, etc), or any other costume store or online resource are prohibited. “Found Item” costumes are allowed and the only exception to this policy as long as clothing is heavily modified. Basically, a costume built by collecting various appropriate pieces from normal clothing stores and heavily modifying them through sewing, gluing, painting, etc. Due to the nature of "found item" costumes, "found item" costumes will not be eligible for the First, Second, or Third place awards.
  • Costumes must not have been entered in previous Kraken Con Costume Contests - whether it won an award or not.
  • Costumes that have won awards at other convention contests may enter.
  • One unique entry per person. Multiple entries worn by the same person, or an entry worn by multiple people at different times, will not be allowed.
  • All props must conform to Kraken Con’s Costume, Prop/Weapons & Dress Code Policies. Limited exceptions are provided in extreme cases such as large mechas, multi-person costumes or excessively large props.
  • All costumes must be family friendly. Costumes must fall within a PG-13 rating. Costumes derived from “adult content” will not be allowed. Costumes deemed too skimpy or inappropriate for children must comply to cover the offending area prior to contest participation. Failure to do so will result in disqualification and possible ejection from the convention.
In the event of a dispute, the Head of the Cosplay Department’s decision is final.


This is a strictly WALK ON competition. No skits, monologue or any sort of dialogue is allowed. Contestants should prepare three poses for the approximately thirty seconds onstage.

Skill Divisions

We understand that not everyone necessarily has the same skill level or experience, so we will be sorting craftsmanship entries into divisions.

NOVICE: Have made 3 or fewer costumes and/or haven’t won a major award. Only Novice skill division entries are eligible for Best Novice.

EXPERIENCED: Have made 3+ costumes, and/or won a major award, and/or demonstrated advanced techniques. Only Experienced skill division entries are eligible for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Please note that your division may be changed at the Head of the Cosplay Department’s discretion if your craftsmanship skill is more comparable to a different division.


Craftsmanship judging will take place on Saturday from 11AM-4:30PM at the Cosplay station. Judging will be first come, first served. Please see above for the questions you should be prepared to answer.

Entries will be categorized as individuals or groups. Group entries will be judged as an entire group, with their score averaged over the entire group.

CHARACTER REFERENCE IMAGES ARE MANDATORY! Please bring an image of your character to the craftsmanship judging.

Judging will be done using a point scale on four factors:
  • Hair and makeup 10% – Styled wigs, face and/or body makeup.
  • Accuracy to Reference 25% – How well the costume matches the design replicated, including color and scale.
  • Difficulty 15%– Functional buttons, hidden pockets, or lining adds to the degree of difficulty. Props, armor, wings and other accessories also adds to your difficulty score.
  • Ensemble 50%– Is the costume solidly made and fit well? Does it look good?


Awards Include:
  • First Place - $500 cash
  • Second Place - $250 cash
  • Third Place - $125 cash
  • Best Novice - $100 cash
Other merit-based awards will be given depending on entries received.

Contestants should be prepared to stay for the whole duration of the show. Certificates will be presented on stage. Prizes must be claimed after the contest no later than 5PM on 10/1/2017.

Prop Weapon Guidelines

Please see the Costume Props/Weapons Policy for more information.
  • Any weapon permitted at the convention may appear on stage, subject to the same conditions it was given when it was peace-bonded. For example, a sword that was peace-bonded by zip-tying it into its sheath may appear on stage as long as it remains in the sheath. Weapons prohibited at the convention will not be allowed on stage.
  • No functional bladed or projectile weapon will be allowed on stage, including temporarily disabled airsoft guns.
  • Weapons must not be brandished or pointed towards anyone not on stage. (e.g. the audience)
  • All weapons carried on stage must be approved by the Head of the Cosplay Department during sign-in.
  • No throwing of weapons (or anything else for that matter…) will be allowed on stage. This also includes things like glitter, fake blood, confetti, feathers, or sand. Leave the stage the way you found it. Tossing an object in a controlled manner (e.g. flipping a coin, juggling) is allowed, but must be cleared with Head of the Cosplay Department beforehand.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact our Head of the Cosplay Department.