How much do cosplay costumes cost and who makes them?

In (h) Cosplay Costumes Central by threetigersmedia

The wonderful world of cosplay.

Studies have been conducted on the world of cosplay and the number-one reason people participate in cosplay is for the social aspect. Meeting like-minded people. Starting friendships. Building relationships. Finding people who enjoy cosplaying like you do!

There’s something for everyone!

There are many genres for you and your friends to pursue cosplaying activities in. Back in the early days of cosplay or masquerading as your favorite character, choices were limited to characters from the science fiction world. But now, people are cosplaying across all genres, from anime, horror, superhero and the list goes on.

If you’re looking for your perfect cosplay costumes, check out one of our favorite suppliers and look through some of the best Adult Cosplay Costumes on Amazon.

When you’re doing something your passionate about, like cosplay, you’ll be more open to investing in all of the things that go along with it, like travel to a fan convention, collectibles and autographs, and, of course, a fantastic cosplay costume.

You’ll want to look your best!

Find the right cosplay costume could make or break your convention experience. With the cosplay industry net worth reaching around $25 to $50 billion dollars, cosplay is become more popular, stakes are becoming higher and costumes are become more complex and elaborate.

Fan conventions, or fan cons, offer cosplayers plenty of opportunities to show off their costumes. So, from masquerade contests to speed dating to meeting your favorite movie or TV star, you’ll want to look your best and sport an impressive and authentic-looking outfit.

The convention experience.

Attending fan conventions is becoming more popular every year. And the ultimate in fan cons, San Diego Comic-Con, attracts heavyweights in movie and TV entertainment. Talk show hosts tape their shows at Comic-Con. And huge Hollywood starts debut their latest blockbuster at the convention. There are cast appearances, contests, awards and plenty of merchandise to buy. Comic-Con is a must for cosplayers, whether they are fans of Japanese anime, Marvel movies or even sci-fi TV shows.

Zero Suit Samus Cosplay Costume ​

(Click image to check price on Amazon)

How much do cosplay costumes cost?

Really there are just two categories that we’ll cover.  High-End (Movie Quality), Mid-Priced (Off the Rack) and Economy (Homemade).  To be clear, just because we’re calling the third category the economy category doesn’t mean making a homemade Cosplay Costume will be cheap.  In addition to time, there are materials (molds, paints etc) you’ll have to acquire to put the costume together.  It CAN be cheaper however the expectation with Cosplay is to go above and beyond simple and massed produced costumes.    Cosplay really is the costume standard!

High-End (Movie Quality)

A full high-end movie-quality cosplay costume could cost you from around $500 to around $2,000. That may seem like a high amount. But you’re paying for the craftmanship of a costume made just for you. This high quality MTXC Men’s Mobile Suites Gundam Seed Cosplay Costume is selling for $2,349 on Amazon. 

Another example of a cosplay costume made available at Amazon is the MTXC Ghost Rider Cosplay Costume.  This costume is special order, hand crafted and made custom to the purchaser.  It takes approx. 40 days to deliver the costume but it comes completed with high quality material, made for the costumer and includes everything, even shoes!

That seems like a large amount of money for a costume but considering the quality and authenticity of the costume as well as potential ways to monetize (see farther below in article) it could be worth it!

When it comes to a quality cosplay costume, it’s precise and time-consuming work done by craftspeople in small shops or at home all over the world. Some close to home or some overseas from as far away as China. But, all of that work will be worth it. You’ll be the hit of the fan con in a hand-crafted movie cosplay costume like this. And you can be sure that no one will have the same exact costume as you!

Don’t forget, if you’re spending this money on a one-of-a-kind cosplay costume, you will want to hire a photographer for a profession photoshoot of you and your friends in your costumes!

Mid-Priced (Off-the-Rack)

A mid-priced, what I call, “off-the-rack” cosplay costume will run you between $50 and $500. These costumes won’t be as unique as they are mass produced in overseas factories, so if you want to stand out in a crowd, you may want to stick to a high-end costume.

A mid-priced costume will be offered in typical clothing sizes, so you could run the risk of your costume’s fit not being completely accurate. But if you want to get started in cosplay and you don’t have crafting skills, a mid-priced costume may be just the ticket.

Luckily, “off-the-rack” costumers help cosplayers look their best by offering sizing charts and recommending accessories. And you’ll get to read reviews by other cosplayers who have purchased the costume.

So, you won’t pay as much as you would for a high-end costume, but you will still end up looking great at your next cosplay event.

One example of a mid-priced costume to help you gauge how much Cosplay Costumes are going for is this Deluxe Jon Snow Game of Thrones Costume also available on Amazon and priced at just under $500.  Minus the sword, accent and long black hair this is authentic of a costume as you can this side of Westeros!

For those Star Wars fans out there and to continue to provide more examples and options for Cosplay Costumes there is also the approx. $300 Kyloo Ren Cosplay Costume available at Amazon.  This is another example too of how much the industry has grown.  Many of these costumes previously were only available at specialty shops or provided by small companies dedicated to the costume trade however as Cosplay becomes more and more popular there are many new entrants into the market and major distributors are working to make these costumes available to everyone!

If you’re an Avengers fan then you’ll love this Cosplay Costume.  This is an all leather authentic Cosplay Costume provided by COSSHOW but made available on Amazon, the Captain Carol Danvers Cosplay Costume.  This option includes everything from the shoes, belt, jacket, pants and you name it!  It’s priced reasonably at just over $300 but considering the high quality and craftsmanship put into making this cosplay costume you’re easily getting your money’s worth. 

Fun for the whole gang!

You and your friends will be able to participate in a group costume experience much more easily by purchasing mid-priced “off-the-rack” cosplay wear. The online shops are organized thematically, so your whole group could, for instance, decide to purchase numerous Star Wars costumes. You could have a lot of fun going to that next fan con as a group all dressed like fan favorites from the popular movie franchise.

This Chewbacca costume comes in two sizes: standard and XL, and runs for $399.99 at HalloweenCostumes.com. Besides the furry bodysuit, you’ll get hands, shoe covers, Chewie’s pouch and bandolier, and a full-head latex mask.  Chewbacca of course is a great costume for both men and boys alike. If you’d like more recommendations boy boys, check out our article and list of great Girls and Boys Halloween costume ideas.

Warning, Will Robinson!

But, don’t forget that if you want to enter that fan con cosplay costume contest, purchasing a costume, whether high-end or mid-priced, may not be allowed.  This is sometimes the case at various Cosplay conventions and events so please make sure to read up on your specific event beforehand. You may be required to construct your costume yourself, which is totally possible and with the number of materials out there today, along with YouTube videos, you’ll have no trouble producing a great costume. 

Economy (Homemade)

The great thing about making your own costume is that your costume will be totally unique. You’ll impress your friends and you may just have a shot at winning a convention costume contest.

You could spend as little as $10 on a basic costume or a few hundred for a costume that will wow the crowds at a convention.  If you’re looking for the right materials to make your Cosplay, Amazon actually has a variety of Cosplay Costume Making Materials that you can use.  This includes moldable or rolled foam, gauze for masks, gems for decoration, padding and paint and even moldable plastics.

There are many different ways you can make your own cosplay costume. Here are some tips for the perfect costume experience:
  • After you’ve got a cosplay costume idea, take a look at your local thrift shops, crafts stores and even your parents’ attic for clothing or accessories to create your masterpiece.
  • Get a glue gun; it’s going to be your best friend (I have two and I couldn’t live without them!)
  • Make sure you start your costume early enough. You don’t want to be sewing sleeves onto your costume at 3 a.m. the day before you need to leave for an important fan con.
  • As your grandmother always said: “Measure twice and cut once!”

And don’t forget to have fun!

(Click image to check price on Amazon)

Do cosplayers make their own costumes?

As I said above, most definitely. Many cosplayers spend months on their costumes! If you’re crafty and you have the time, you could construct a mind-blowing costume for around $100.  And, as some conventions only allow homemade cosplay outfits in the costume contests, you are going to have to make a costume if you want to enter a contest!

Here’s what you’ll need at minimum if you’re going to make your own costume:

1.      Sewing machine

2.      Glue gun

3.      Tracing paper to draw a clothing pattern

4.      Fabric scissors

5.      Decorations like feathers, buttons, lace, etc.

Those are a lot of items to buy, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Costumes can take months to make so wait until you need an item before you purchase it.

Start clipping coupons!

Ask everyone for their spare coupons. The big craft stores, like Joann’s and Michaels, offer coupons online and in weekly flyers.

Etsy, Amazon and eBay are also great places to find all the supplies you’ll need to put together a great costume.

And don’t forget the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Check them out for great deals on shoes, hats, clothing, etc. 

If you need cosplay costume ideas, head over to Pinterest. It’s a great place to find ideas for costumes and even free sewing patterns! YouTube is another great place for ideas for cosplay. Here’s a channel that gives you anime cosplay costume tutorials:  https://www.youtube.com/user/KleinerPixel

But, just remember, it’s not just about sewing a costume. You may need to purchase and style a wig for your character. And your character may require specific makeup application. 

(Click image to check price on Amazon)

Do Cosplayers make money?

Yes, you absolutely can make money as a cosplayer! Once you have that fantastic costume, you may want to move further into the world of cosplay. You could even make a career of it!

Here are a few ways to earn money as a cosplayer:

1.      Model cosplay wear for photographers

2.      Market autographed photos and other merch

3.      Make fan con appearances

4.      Start a YouTube channel (to earn advertising dollars)

The key to becoming a professional cosplayer is marketing yourself through social media. Gain a following. Respond to fans. Show up at fan cons. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, you too can make money as a cosplayer!

The future looks brighter!

With cosplay industry net worth figures in the billions, and there even being an actual cryptocurrency used in a massive cosplay online community, the world of cosplay is only going to get bigger. And, there will be more and more events, like movie openings, parties and fan cons, where you can wear a cosplay costume.

Maybe you are into cosplay for the camaraderie, crafting and conventions. Or perhaps you want to pursue a unique modeling career. Or maybe you want to star in and edit videos for YouTube. There are plenty of reasons to cosplay and the possibilities for great outfits are endless. The industry is wide open and the only thing that will limit you is your imagination.

So, get together with your friends and hatch a plan for some great group outfits. Check out some sewing and makeup tutorials online. And scour the thrift shops for some cool fabrics or space-age looking boots.

Open your mind to the possibilities and let your cosplay adventures begin!