As our FOTM contests began to pick up speed, we noticed something was a little off.
WHERE ARE ALL THE MEN?!
So, we shook up the taco fest with a gent’s only contest this month. May’s theme “Bigger, Better, Stronger” challenged anyone who identified as a male to enter a cosplay that not only showed off their craft but made them feel confident and stronger than they normally feel they are.
Remember, guys have feelings too! And being left out of the cosplay world in favor of their bigger chested female counterparts has all but stripped cos-guys out of the running for just about any contest. Though the number of entries was certainly smaller than the co-ed “Sweet But Deadly” theme, we certainly got our point across and were praised for pushing awareness.
We held the judging segment differently this time as well. Instead of hunting for Facebook likes and letting the numbers pick the winner, we picked the winners ourselves based on how well they crafted their cosplays within a set budget. Handmade Cosplays had the smallest budget. Store Bought Cosplays had a slightly larger budget. And the Commissioned Cosplays had the biggest budget. Of one of these categories, only one could win the Best in Show grand prize! Best in Show went to the cosplayer who most exuded the entire character profile regardless of budget.
This month's prizes included $10 gift certificates for all the winners and a spot in our secret product photo shoot held at the wonderful SquareWine & Spirits in Long Island City. Each winner had the opportunity to pose in front of our new photography crew, Playing With Matches Photography, with a custom pastry inspired by a cosplay of their choosing.
Let’s meet our winners!
Grand Prize - Best in Show:
Donuel Benedetto as Gambit (X-Men)
In his damn near screen perfect Gambit cosplay, Donuel won the hearts of the staff with his incredible likeness to the X-Men famed character. Each piece was carefully planned out and created with a reasonable budget. So much of this cosplay made our team gasp in adoration. Most notably, his coat. It’s made with a special fabric that allows for generous breathing within the fibers and floats effortlessly during Donuel’s theatrical poses and spins, creating an eye catching effect on camera. All this and it still has the look and feel of a heavy leather coat!
Bringing his wife as Rogue and adorable baby son (Who just so happens to be named Xavier!) to the shoot, a family of cosplayers strut their best poses in front of our cameras... and Hannah went crazy with the Photoshop possibilities!
Khalil Crocker as Ken (Street Fighter)
Chris Watson as Genderbent Yang (RWBY)
Khalil is most known for his spectacular "Street Sonic the Hedgehog" cosplay featuring his spike blue wig, cute furry ears, and the best painted denim jacket you’ll probably ever see. This time around he won the handmade segment with his Ken cosplay. A simple cosplay but not always easy to pull off.
Still, that didn’t stop him from showing up as his staple Sonic to the photoshoot! We captured some really cool photos showcasing Khalil’s alter ego personality and once again, Hannah went crazy in editing.
Chris is a breath of fresh air in a cosplay world of negative views towards men gender-bending character cosplays that aren’t for gag purposes. He walked right into this contest with a killer photo of his Yang cosplay in what we call an “Herbal Essences Moment”.
What makes us a fan of this hand made cosplay is the detail in the armor. Upgrading from a simple cardboard and foam set up to a thick eva foam crafted by a friend and himself really sold us on the effort it takes to commit to his character.
Then there is his personality. Chris just radiates confidence during the photo shoot and it certainly showed in editing.
Store Bought Cosplay:
Steve Sokuul as Seitama (One Punch Man)
Justin Wingate as Kamen Rider
He was nervous about entering his Seitama cosplay but we are totally stoked he did! Steve’s cosplay isn’t an “on the hanger” cosplay you would find in any store. Instead, he purchased each piece of his Seitama cosplay and altered it as needed. This gave him some bonus points for creativity
Trading up the power of one punch for a cool red cape and a hybrid tonfa sword, Steve came to our photoshoot in a spectacular Stryder Hiryu cosplay. It was fun reversing the roles and placing this budding photographer on the opposite side of the camera.
Each piece was either purchased to wear or purchased in pieces to put together. Using a Naruto headband as a piece to his cosplay impressed us the most. Reusing items and sparking imagination is really what cosplay is about.
Justin unfortunately could not make it to our shoot but we definitely won't leave him out this post! This is the second time he has entered a Flavor Of The Month contest with it and we are so happy he won a place in this round.
All of our winners had a wonderful time at our secret product photoshoot at SquareWines and Spirit in Long Island City. Check out the sweets inspired by them below and expect to see their custom treats in the webstore soon!
Donuel’s custom pastry is a hand painted sugar cookie of his likeness as Gambit. We added in 4 mini card cookies to complete the 5 piece set. Look for his cookie box “Lucky Draw” to get your hands on it.
Khalil’s custom treat is a painstakingly crafted set we call “Sweet Chaos”. You’ll be able to purchase the entire set of 7 differently flavored and colored candy emeralds in one beautiful box or each piece individually.
Chris’s “Lemon Meringue Yangs” are a multicultural cupcake experience we hope you’ll enjoy. Each lemon spiked butter cupcake is filled with a honey plum tea jelly and topped with a hand torched fresh meringue dotted with lemon juice and bitter candied orange peel.
Steve inspired this “Midnight Strider” cookie set featuring a hand painted cartoon likeness of his cosplay. 4 abstract decorated cookies make this 5 piece set a feast for the eyes and the tummy!