The world of cosplay is made up of many different levels. There are beginners who just toss together what looks like some lame outfit and go on a lark. There are others who do their best with more elaborate outfits but often fail. And then there are the serious cosplayers who will spend months putting together their outfits with more care than a Hollywood designer. The results can be fantastic, showcasing a brilliant use of costumes and how well the player uses them.
The best are the cosplayers who tackle characters most would think can’t be cosplayed and manage to pull it off. They can even improve on some costumes to the point you think you’re seeing a movie version instead of a fan-created one. It’s always amazing to see this pulled off and become favorites on the circuit. Here are 20 cosplays that should have been impossible but were still pulled off to prove who can be masters of the craft.
20 Queen Of Blades
In Starcraft, Sarah Kerrigan is a human pilot who is transformed into the Zerg Queen. Some cosplayers go for her in her human guise and a few try to handle the Zerg transformation. Frela-Raven wowed everyone with her amazing take on a Zerg Sarah. It’s incredibly detailed with the huge wings, the unique “hair,” the contacts, the armored skin, and more. It looks stunning in a red backdrop but just as great in clear day to bring this epic look to life.
On the one hand, it’s an obvious mash-up: The ice-controlling ninja of Mortal Kombat and the snow-powered princess of Frozen coming together. But it’s tricky making a version that doesn’t look too “cutesy” for fans. Chibi Kitsnue pulls this off beautifully. It’s the classic Sub-Zero outfit and blank eyes but clearly Elsa’s hair and beauty. It truly looks as if she can fire off ice blasts along with some heavy blows to make this a terrific fusion of two chilly characters.
18 O.G. Mario
You can’t throw a rock at a cosplay convention without hitting someone dressed as Nintendo’s iconic plumber. But this one is just amazing. It looks like a perfect recreation of an 8-bit Mario from the old NES games and captures the blocky style wonderfully. That it’s movable is all the more impressive and it looks ready to stomp on some Koopa. A few attempts have been made to copy this style but few can top this version.
17 Changing Mystique
Most cosplayers have the X-Men’s shapeshifting enemy in her classic blue scaly skin. A few may attempt to do a bit of her changing into someone else. But no one has pulled that look off as brilliantly as Rebecca Lindsay. Amazingly, she had been cosplaying for just two years when she became the talk of the circuit with this outfit at the 2016 New York ComicCon. It’s hard to tell how much is cloth and how much paint as she nails the way Mystique changes shape to a military figure in a stunning visual.
16 Doom’s Day
Most cosplayers tackle Doom’s hero in the complex armor meant to handle monstrous alien demons. But this guy decided to design one of the demons themselves and did a masterful job of it. The head is perfectly designed with the horns, eyes, and gaping jaw that looks ready to lunge at someone. The huge gun is also perfect to make him even more of a threat. All he needs is saliva dripping from the mouth to make this a cosplay to terrify even non-gamers.
15 Mad MODOK
In Marvel Comics, AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is a group who fancy themselves super-scientists trying to “fix” the world. To do this, they create MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing and yes, AIM has a thing for acronyms), who is basically a giant head in armor. One would not expect that for cosplay but this pack at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con pulled it off. It looks exactly like the comic MODOK with the scowl and having a couple of AIM guys with him adds to it for a stunning presentation.
14 Fitting Together
Of all the games to cosplay, Tetris really doesn’t come to mind. While the classic puzzle game has been loved for decades, going around as differently shaped blocks doesn’t sound right. This pack of friends decided to do it and nicely pulled it off. The genius is how their blocks are designed so they can fit together in different configurations for photos. You expect to hear that music in the background and it’s far less frustrating than playing the game can be.
13 Get Away From Her…
One of the most iconic heroine sci-fi moments of all time is easily the climax of Aliens. To save young Newt, Ripley breaks out a power loader suit to face the monstrous Alien Queen. At the 2016 L.A. ComicCon, attendees were stunned to see SpideyNat in a full-scale recreation of the P-5000. She had specially ordered and customized the loader to fit her frame and actually be able to move around in. The only quibble: Where does she store this thing between conventions?
12 Power Chamber
Power Ranger cosplays are pretty easy to pull off with the costumes. Finding a great cosplay of their mentor Zordon is trickier. After all, the guy is just a huge head in a tube. Neil Consulea not only takes on the challenge but pulls it off. He actually carries a full-scale Command Center around him, complete with Ranger figures, consoles and flashing lights. The tube itself even lights up to mimic Zordon. Even the biggest Ranger geek must bow down to this incredible costume.
11 Anti Look
In the classic DC Comics epic Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Anti-Monitor is a monstrous being out to destroy the entire multiverse. He casually exterminates entire universes and easily holds his own against an army of heroes. The character is impressive for his look and this cosplayer does a wonderful job replicating that. He gets the oversized armor, the huge gaping mouth with massive helmet, the tubes, the boots and even the red cape all right. It’s a truly intimidating look to fit the chilling character.
10 Space Dragon, Ridley
You’ll see a few cosplayers taking on the challenge of going as Metroid’s wicked space dragon. Some will go to massive lengths to replicate the look. But this player goes the other way by wonderfully capturing the version of the character from Super Metroid. It looks just like a 16-bit game and ChozoBoy clearly had a blast interacting with cosplayers dressed like Samus. It’s a rare look for the character but shines well.
9 Form Voltron
Usually, when fans cosplay Voltron, they go as one of the Lion pilot characters. That’s because crafting a good Voltron outfit is very tricky. Brotherhood Props manages to pull it off nicely. He manages to make the multi-colored lions look just right in the design, not too huge but still very impressive. The head is also absolutely perfect in the design and color scheme and it honestly looks like five large pieces fused together into one amazing outfit.
8 Not The Movies
One would be forgiven for thinking this is a behind the scenes photo from one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies. But no, it’s four good friends perfectly recreating the Heroes in a Half-Shell. It doesn’t look like cloth, but purely natural with the skin tones and shells while looking flexible enough to move and fight in. All they need is some pizza and maybe a pack of ninjas to fight to make it a real-life TMNT adventure.
7 Stone By Day
Gargoyles is still loved as a gripping action cartoon that could be far more daring than you’d expect from a Disney show. Making it work for cosplay is tricky due to the characters but this brilliantly brings team leader Goliath to life. The color scheme is perfect, not too dark or light and the wings likewise aren’t too huge but still believable. The tail is also great and he even gets the belt buckle and hair right. You’d almost expect him to turn to stone in daylight as it’s so realistic.
6 Shark Style
Street Sharks was a blatant TMNT take-off as four brothers are transformed into half-shark crime fighters. It’s obviously a pretty tricky thing to pull off with the huge heads and muscled torsos, but this pack of friends does a pretty excellent job replicating the characters. The exaggerated bodies are well done and there are great touches from the huge tongue to one guy having an action figure for a hand. The cosplay is probably better than the cartoon ever was.
5 Geth Attack
In Mass Effect, the very first enemy the heroes meet are the Geth. A mysterious cybernetic alien race, the Geth are the foot soldiers the team must battle constantly. At first glance, this looks like a statue or someone’s artwork. Instead, Pixel Mecha expertly recreates the mysterious character, beautifully capturing its alien design and color scheme and even shapes the weapon correctly. One would think it truly came from outer space.
4 Colossal Feat
Shadow of the Colossus remains one of the most beloved PS2 games ever made. A recent PS4 remake gives new gamers the chance to challenge these monstrous beasts. Most cosplayers choose to go as hero Wander, but this person instead chooses to replicate the massive Gaius and does a masterful job of it. It truly looks like the huge walking rock creature in every way from the body to the massive sword. You almost expect to see a tiny Wander crawling over it to bring this monster to life.
3 Rao Kitsune
Many gamers forget the unique adventure Okami but those who played it loved its unique mix of creatures. A few have gone around as Rao but JimneyCricketMuncher takes the prize for this stunning view of Rao in a Kitsune form. The harness and tails weigh about 60 pounds and required a special harness to handle and can even sway as he walks. It looks absolutely amazing and while it requires a long berth to walk around in, it still stands as an incredible achievement.
2 Grabby Garuda
Every year, fans of Final Fantasy converge for a huge celebration of the hit role playing game. The highlight is the cosplay contest as fans try to outdo themselves bringing the characters to life. This amazing Garuda cosplay blows away nearly any attempt before or since. The mix of the wings and spikes is amazing as well as the lush detail in the shades of color. It comes together into a brilliant mix that easily won first prize that year and still an epic outfit.
1 Stunning Samus
There are a lot of cosplays of Metroids’ great heroine. Most fans go for the “blue suit” that matches her well and is very easy to handle. However, Talaaya Cosplay went to the classic by recreating the suit from the original 1987 game. It took five years to put together as she expertly crafted the incredible armor, perfectly replicating its color scheme and design. There are a few Samus cosplays out there but this puts them all to shame.