MOST IMPRESSIVE FANS: THE BEAUTIFUL STAR WARS TOY PHOTOGRAPHY OF INSTAGRAM’S @SGTBANANAS

Most Impressive Fans is a feature highlighting the amazing creativity of Star Wars devotees, from cosplay to props. If there’s a fearless and inventive fan out there, we’ll highlight them here.

classic Jedi cosplay costume child version

While some collectors labor over whether or not to remove an action figure from its pristine packaging, the approach of Johnny Wu — a.k.a. @sgtbananas on Instagram — is decidedly more Tarkin-esque.

His collection hierarchy is broken down by which figures he doesn’t mind melting as he sets off small explosives and fireworks nearby. This is part of the rigorous practical effects that have accidentally customized some figures by fire or resulted in other lost limbs as the toy photographer manically snapped away with his digital camera. The battle scars are all for the love of art, as Wu captures hyper-realistic Star Wars scenes for his Instagram followers or promotional images for the likes of Hasbro and Sideshow.

“The realness, the rawness of that actual explosion. It would be very, very hard to recreate that in Photoshop,” Wu says.

With ingenious hacks — like subbing in flour for freshly fallen snow — and utilizing the natural elements near his northern California home, like a young Jyn Erso sending Stormy on adventures through Lah’mu, Wu crafts creative storylines, battle sequences, and epic quests for his menagerie of plastic soldiers.

He recognizes not every collector would be comfortable with his approach. “A lot of toy collectors…once they read that that’s not Photoshop and that those figures are actually getting water on them? And flour? And now they’re going to hear about the fireworks? They’re going to cringe…’oh no, I could never do that with my figure!’”

But in the style of the model makers who first brought Star Wars to the screen, Wu prefers practical effects over CGI with minimal touch-ups to add the glow of a lightsaber to his images or omit a wire that needed to be in place to keep a figure in mid-air during the hours-long photo shoot. “Everything else that you see in the photo is actually happening through the camera,” he says.

 

classic Jedi cosplay costume adult version

That tangibility adds to the feeling that the toys are real people in real situations. “Even as nerdy and dorky as it might sound to some people…I wish I could go to Tatooine,” Wu says. “I wish I could go to Mos Eisley. I wish those worlds were real. I want to go to space and I want to hang out with these people.”

Call to action

Wu, 31, has had a lifelong love of action figures, although he admits there was a point in his young adult years that he thought he’d outgrown the children’s toys. “Growing up, I’ve always been fascinated by toys, action figures. And that never stopped.”

Just three years ago, after rediscovering collecting characters from his favorite films and TV shows, Wu had an idea. He set up a cardboard box as a mini-studio space, then propped a few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures inside — haphazardly taping a Mondo Gecko figure into place doing a skateboarding move while other characters cheered — and took a few shots with his iPhone. “It was so bad…” he says now.

It wasn’t long before Wu’s girlfriend, Crystal Nuccio, handed him a higher-powered Canon camera and taught him how to use it, spurring his new hobby. “It’s like a loophole to playing with toys even though you’re an adult,” he says. “I’d go everyday. It’s all I think about. It was like the two things clicked like a perfect storm.”

 

Kylo Ren Cosplay Costume

Although he has a collection including vintage figures from the Power of the Force era, Wu primarily shoots the multi-jointed six-inch-tall figures from the newer Black Series line or the incredibly detailed sixth scale versions from Hot Toys. The former are best for battle sequences, their poseable limbs giving them flexibility akin to a real soldier in combat, although he prefers the latter, immaculately painted with precision down to the tiniest freckle, for quieter moments and the end of a zoom lens.

“I’ll do a lot of closeups of their faces,” Wu says. “One thing is those are easy to make look like they’re really people. I had one photo with a Hot Toys shoretrooper on a beach and I’m not tooting my own horn but it looks real. The weathering on the suit…it does look like a real person.” (See above — it’s hard to argue.)

Their craftsmanship and $200+ price tag doesn’t always keep them out of the line of fire. “I’ve used fireworks with some of them,” Wu says. “When I do I try to be very careful.”

Like a legion of disposable clones, Wu typically leaves the dirtier work to his Black Series figures and, as many a Star Wars hero has learned the hard way, sometimes that means losing a hand. “I’m more lenient with what I’ll put them through,” he says. “I have like a drawer full of troopers from the Black Series.”

Don’t panic and at all times carry a suitcase full of action figures

Any photographer will tell you, getting the perfect shot isn’t always as effortless as the final piece suggests. “People just don’t know how long this stuff takes,” Wu says. “Sometimes it literally took a minute and it comes out cool, but other times I really have a hard time. I’ll take as many photos as it takes to get the shot.”

Just to get the right angle and lighting on a close-up of a stormtrooper carrying Jyn’s Stormy doll required 100 different takes, he says.

About 95 percent of his shoots are outdoors, leaving his craft and his collection to the mercy of the elements, which he recognizes makes some collectors wince. “And I don’t blame you in that,” Wu says. “Hot Toys are works of art. That’s their grail. The highlight of their collection. Why would they ever take it outside and spray water on it?”

On a trip to Hawaii, a Black Series sandtrooper lost an arm when the plastic snapped in the sweltering heat. “I had two other sandtroopers with me so that was okay. I brought far more toys than was necessary.”

But the mistake also allowed Wu some creative license, spawning the #SadTrooper series with several decidedly non-canonical shots of the soldier trudging around head down, carrying his own appendage. “Since I’m doing a battle scene, I’ll just make it so his arm broke off,” Wu figured.

Another series with Chewbacca showing off his karate moves? Also not sanctioned by the Lucasfilm Story Group.

Wu’s quest for the perfect backdrop has also complicated his travels. “When I’m going somewhere far, like a vacation or something…I try to bring as much as I can because I never know if I’ll see an environment that’s perfect for whatever character I want to be able to capitalize. I bring so many toys.”

Trial and error

Closer to home, the introverted Wu tries to time his shoots for days when the beaches are less crowded, since a man painstakingly posing action figures in the sand is bound to attract some attention. “Usually they’ll walk up, put their head down, squint a little bit like they’re trying to figure out what exactly I’m doing. They look…they look and they look and then they just keep going.”

Occasionally a fellow fan will stop to chat. “It’s cool but I’m pretty shy in real life,” he says.

And like a Jedi Master, Wu won’t disclose all of his techniques or camera settings even to other aspiring toy photographers. “You’ll appreciate it way more when you have to sit there and figure it out. If I give you the answers to the test, you don’t learn anything. What’s that saying? It’s about the journey, not the destination.”

So much of Wu’s success has come from trial and error, he stresses.

He travels with a spray bottle to make it rain, and has learned to use a dusting of flour to make it appear like his figures are trekking through snowy Hoth.

“I usually take different perspectives. I’ll move around the figure like 360…the light comes from a different direction and it hits the figure.” His initial concept isn’t always what turns out best in execution. “Sometimes I end up finding that a different angle is way more interesting.”

 

Darth Vader Cosplay Costume

Wu used to conscript a team of friends to help with the shoots, but with the assistance of a wireless remote shutter and a tripod, he can take the picture while also alighting the special effects. It’s better than trying to explain his vision to a friend, he says. “Okay, can you kick sand over here or can you sprinkle some flour…or can you light this firework? When it’s my idea, I know exactly what I want. When I have full control over the photo, that’s the best for me.”

And Wu is constantly challenging himself to top his best work.

“I’m very competitive with myself. I’m always searching my next favorite photo. So if I take a photo today and I like it, if you were to ask me a week later if I like that photo, I’d probably say no. I feel like a lot of artists can relate to that. They’re their worst critic.”

 

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This Incredible ‘Death Note’ Cosplay Should Hold You Off Until Adam Wingard’s Film

We cannot wait to see what director Adam Wingard (You’re Next) does with his adaptation of the manga series Death Note. But while we wait, let’s check out a truly awesome bit of cosplay!

The central character of Death Note is of course Ryuk, and cosplayer Grellish so impressively turned himself into the Shinigami that we just had to share. Photographed by Keyaroscuro, the full body costume makes a pretty good case for the character being practically brought to the screen, though we assume he’ll be entirely computer-generated in Wingard’s film.

Willem Dafoe is voicing the character in the live-action adaptation.

But enough yapping. Check out the badass cosplay below!

In Death Note

A student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone begins a crusade against evil in order to rule the world as a benevolent human god. Then a deadly game of cat and mouse begins when a reclusive detective begins to track down the young man, attempting to end his reign of terror once and for all.

How to cosplay ? What character do you wanna be?

What an amazing year for cosplay! Hot dam,n you are all so talented and clever and creative it almost makes us mad. But we love you and all the great cosplay we saw this year. So as a tribute, here is a collection of our favorite cosplay moments from 2014.

They Live Wonder Woman, photo by Victor Gamez. Spotted at SDCC.

Edge of Tomorrow suit, Getty Images photo by Daniel Zuchnik. Spotted at NYCC.

Labyrinth Family doing Little Shop of Horrors. Image from the Deconstructress Designs Facebook page (where the family sells rad costumes). Via Halloween roundup.

The insanely talented Phi Phi O’Hara’s four amazing costumes for Halloween 2014. Left to right: Pizzazz from the Misfits, Greta Gremlin, Yzma, and Lydia Deets. Via Halloween roundup.

UPDATE: MODOK (sorry!) via Getty Images. Spotted at SDCC.

Mojo Jojo, Flickr image by Steven Leung. Spotted at NYCC.

Demona, photo by Dave Nelson. Spotted at Dragon Con Masquerade.

HAL by commenter SeanHurlburt. Via io9 Halloween Costume show!

Choose Wisely on your Last Crusade. Photos by Mooshuu. Spotted at SDCC.

Apocalypse, p hoto by Mooshuu. Spotted at SDCC.

Every Johnny Depp, Getty Images photo by Daniel Zuchnik . Spotted at NYCC.

An impressive Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth created by Frank Ippolito, via tested.com and frankippolito.com. Via Halloween roundup.

The most Batpeople ever in one spot. These folks from Calgary won theGuinness World Record for “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Batman.”

Bizarro Superman via SDCC.

Photograph from Jordan Hoffman. Spotted at Star Trek Las Vegas.

Bumblebee,photo by Undiscovered Photography/Seattle Geeky Girls.

Sick Jack Nicholson Joker, via Davann Srey Photo on Flickr. Spotted at Long Beach Comic-Con.

Battle-Ready Wonder Woman, Flickr image by Richie S. Spotted at NYCC.

’80s Game of Thrones IRL! Inspired by Moshi Studio’s Game of Thrones art, recreated in real life by Kuiosikle Industries and Ginger Lamb Photography. Spotted at Dragon Con.

Walking Nightmare Cheshire Cat, created by Articus12. Via Halloween roundup.

Battle Princesses, via io9.

Gravity Falls‘ Bill Cipher, Getty Images photo by Daniel Zuchnik. Spotted at NYCC.

Ronald McThor, photo by Graymalfa416 via Dorkly.

LEGO Avengers, Flickr image by Steven Leung. Spotted at NYCC.

Batman: The Animated Series Cosplay, photo by Erik Estrada. Spotted At SDCC 2014.

Captain Eo, from Davann Srey Photo on Flickr. Spotted at Long Beach Comic-Con.

Dwarf Women, spotted at SDCC.

Steven Universe‘s Opal, photo by Meredith Woerner. Spotted at NYCC.

DS-9 and Wormhole, photograph by Jordan Hoffman. Spotted at Star Trek Las Vegas.

Face Mask. Created by Sandra Holmbom.

Rogers Crossing the Delaware. From the design, costuming, videography, and marketing service Contagious Media. Original photo by Pat Loika.

Lady Death Star rocks a 20-pound dress. Damn. Photographed by Jessie and Courtney at Undiscovered Photography. Spotted at Edmonton Expo.

Garrosh! Spotted at BlizzCon 2014 Costume Contest via Wowhead News.

Do you have any clue about Halloween ?

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Tiny Pennywise Will Make You Want to Float Too

All Photos courtesy Brooke Tilghman

If you’re scared of clowns, it’s probably thanks to It. The Stephen King book and miniseries made an entire generation terrified of painted faces and oversized red shoes. The fear is so bad that the upcoming reboot is apparently putting real clowns out of work. But none of them have met the scariest Pennywise of all: a pre-schooler.

Louie Tilghman is a three-year-old Mississippi kid who spends his free time doing cosplay photo shoots with his 17-year-old brother, Eagan. The latest shoot they did is an homage to It’s new Pennywiseplayed by Bill Skarsgård. And damn, they did a solid job. This tot is terrifying.

Eagan has been doing cosplay shoots with his younger siblings for several months now. Previously, he’s had them dress up as the Joker from Batman, Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming, and even Count Olaf from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. (More Pennywise, as well as more of Eagan’s creativity, can be seen on his Instagram.) Eagan told me he does all the makeup and costumes for the photo shoots, usually pulling whatever he can from closets around the house.

  “I don’t really plan them that much,” Eagan said. “I’ll just throw together something around the house.”

But for those clutching their pearls because “the children are the future,” don’t worry, Louie doesn’t actually know what he’s dressing up as. Eagan said Louie occasionally remembers that his name is Pennywise (mostly he calls him “the clown”), but he’s not going to be allowed to actually watch the movie.

I even asked Louie himself what he knows about the Clown, which happens to be his favorite costume that Eagan has put him in. His reply: “Nothing!”

by Beth Elderkin

‘It’ Buzz: Pennywise Actor Describes Deleted Scene

It

Bill Skarsgard stars as the terrifying villain known as Pennywise the Clown in It. Recently he talked to Variety about a scene that was cut from the smash hit movie.

Skarsgard says: “There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise]. The scene turned out really, really disturbing. And I’m not the clown. I look more like myself. It’s very disturbing, and sort of a backstory for what It is, or where Pennywise came from. That might be something worth exploring in the second one. The idea is the ‘It’ entity was dormant for thousands and thousands of years. The [flashback] scene hints on that.”

The actor hinted that the scene might appear in the sequel. We heard previously that some scenes were cut from the script before filming and director Andy Muschietti has also talked about his plans for the sequel, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

It

Young actor Owen Teague plays Patrick Hockstetter, a menacing neighborhood bully in It (above, second from left). Now he will join Gary Oldman in the supernatural thrillerMary, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Oldman stars as the captain of a doomed boat; Teague will play his second-in-command, a surf punk who follows Oldman out to sea. Michael Goi will direct.

Mama

Jessica Chastain and It director Andy Muschietti worked together on horror thrillerMama, which brought praise for both. More recently, Chastain voiced her support for Iteven before it was released.

It opened to a record-breaking weekend at the box office and has continued its reign at the top of the theatrical charts. Though it’s not yet official, a sequel is expected to be announced very soon. Naturally, speculation about casting the adult roles has arisen, with many talking about the possibility of Chastain portraying Beverly Marsh, played by young Sophia Lillis in the first movie.

Andy Muschietti told Variety recently: “Jessi is an amazing actress and very good friend and I would love her to play Beverly. …  She loves the movie and it feels like the planets are aligned in that sense, but we still have to make that happen. There are a lot of ideas for the rest of the cast that I’m playing with, but it’s a bit too premature to say those names right now.” We look forward to the inevitable casting process for the It sequel.

via Peter Martin

Why you love Harley Quinn ?

At the very beginning , I watched suicide squad just because the BGM ,Heathens by Twenty One Pilots .This song was awesome , so I decided to check it out. I thought it was quite boring until she , Harley Quinn dressed up.

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Everybody stared at her , she was confused: “what????!!!!”

So did I , My eyes lighted up !!!She is so gorgeous , hot , and unique . For me , she might be the heroin of the movie. And she is my goddess . Because of her ,this movie was not boring no more .

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Some people love her because the true love between her and Joker . I don’t , not at all . I like her with no reason . She is so different. Simple-mind but a little bit lucky . she always mocked the other members of the suicide squad ,”pussy !” then she moved forward . She never thought too much for what to do ! Maybe that’s why I like her.

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http://coshd.com/batman-arkham-knight-harley-quinn-dress-cosplay-costume.html

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress- The best anime of 2016 Spring Animes?

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2016 has been a great year for anime so far. But, with “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress” we now have an anime that we had no idea we needed in our lives to this level. It’s addictive and full of thrills. And, if we go by first half of the episodes that have been aired so far, it definitely looks like the best anime of 2016 till now. From zombie action to solid characters, to the steampunk appeal of it all, Kabaneri universe packs in all the punch, plus gore and drama into one hell of a plot. It’s all you can ask for in terms of high-octane action. But, what is it that makes “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress” so great? Hmm, let’s see…. Continue reading “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress- The best anime of 2016 Spring Animes?”

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress vs Attack of the Titans: Parallel Universes or Worlds Apart?

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Attack of the Titans is tentatively coming back with its second season this year. But, little did we expect it to face tough competition from another anime that is being brought by its very makers! Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is the unexpectedly popular anime this season and it’s ready to take on its predecessor. However, even with all the goodness that Kabaneri brings to the table there are similarities between the two series that goes beyond just having the same team working behind the scenes. The two worlds are eerily similar if you give it a closer look. So does Kabaneri gain all its strengths from mimicking all the things done right in the Attack of the Titans? Well, yes AND no!

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Soul Eater’s Most Badass Weapons and Meisters

In the world of Soul Eater, there exists meisters and their weapons – humans with the ability to turn into supernatural weapons – protect humanity from the Kishin from the madness it’s spreading. With a premise like this, you can already tell that the anime is action-packed and filled with adventures, and you it is just so. The anime is just filled with lovable characters that you can’t get enough of! So here are the show’s most badass weapons and meisters of Death City:

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The Top 10 Anime Characters that are Popular Amongst Cosplayers in 2015

 

 

The year is ending and we have a list of the most cosplayed characters from animes that aired in 2015. These characters have been cosplayed several times in different conventions and it’s not a surprise if you run in to two or three of them. Needless to say, these cosplayers nailed it. Is your favorite on the list?

Continue reading “The Top 10 Anime Characters that are Popular Amongst Cosplayers in 2015”