Joey Hanson


When trying to come up with a new cosplay I was looking for something that I haven't seen done before. So I started going through all my childhood memories and thought about The Brave Little Toaster. I checked the internet and found only one cosplayer from the movie, a man dressed up as Blanky, and a basic Halloween costume of the characters. It would be a unique cosplay but the movie is obscure, would anyone recognize it?

I did worry about that so I asked my youngest friend from conventions if she knew who the Brave Little Toaster was. Since she replied, "Oh my god YES!" I decided to go through with it. Originally I dressed up as "the Master" and had only Toaster and Blanky with me. The first convention I brought them to was Kollision Con, about 3 or 4 years ago, and the reactions were crazy. People were uncontrollably freaking out with excitement. Making people that happy is why I love cosplay so I decided to take this further and build all the main characters.

I wanted to have them all done by C2E2 2014. To build them, just like with Toaster and Blanky, I had to find appliances on eBay that looked the most like the movie version. I've spent many hours searching but after that it was mostly a matter of putting faces on them and painting. Toaster's face is just color paper for the eyes and mouth, sharpee for the eyebrows, and color pencil for the pupils. Blanky's face was built out of cardboard and drawn with a sharpee.

The others were more challenging. Lampy was actually the lamp from my art desk painted yellow. I made the base out of cardboard and Gorilla Tape and used clay to mold the facial features. Kirby the vacuum had major facial reconstruction using thin sheets of foam from the children's section of Jo-Ann Fabrics. I couldn't find the right color bag, he came with a red one, so I made that from scratch reusing the old zipper. I also had to make Radio from scratch because I could not find a radio that came even close. He was constructed out of the same foam sheets and a radio antenna from Radio Shack that I bent up.

I've brought this cosplay all over the Midwest and to both SDCC and NYCC. It's been a big hit everywhere, in ways I could have never imagined. When you remind someone of a classic movie from long ago you remind them of a moment in time from their childhood, a moment that helped define who they are today. With that in mind the reactions I've gotten were priceless. People have been in tears, shaking in excitement, and running across the convention to get a photo. Not specifically because of the costume but because of what the Brave Little Toaster meant to them. I hope someday the creators learn of my cosplay and see how much their characters still have an affect on people 30 years later.

Ducky from The Land Before TIme

After a couple years of doing this cosplay though it became time to do something new again. Keeping the same formula of something that is nostalgic and not done yet I came up with the idea of making a Ducky cosplay from The Land Before Time. I never done something like this so I watched a handful of Furry tutorial videos for ideas. I ended up making the head, feet, and basic shape out of upholstery foam and hot glued it all onto a onesie. The process involved a lot of trial and error, re-dos, and burning myself with hot glue. But the end result turned out pretty good and people can quickly recognize it.

It is a lot of fun to walk around in a full dinosaur costume, its just fun being something other than a human. While Land Before Time isn't as obscure as Brave Little Toast the costume still triggers that childhood connection and results good memories for people. The reactions have also been very inspiring and hopefully I'll find a way to bring Ducky out to SDCC. But before I figure out how to get it there I'll first need to find a way to make it cooler. That California heat will be quite a challenge to overcome inside what is basically a giant stuff animal.

-- Joey Hanson (Chicago, IL)

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