Cosplayers’ prop weapons swiped at entry

by Woods Fines

The prop check team at the Manitoba Comic Con & Sci Fi Expo was careful about what kind of weapon props they allowed into the convention last Saturday.

14-year-old Adrian Peters cosplayed as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad at the con. To complete her costume, Peters brought a baseball bat to the event, but was not allowed to bring it into the arena.

“Somebody could have used the bat or I could have used it, but I wouldn’t have,” said Peters. “I thought it was kind of unfair.”

Security gave Peters the option to store the bat somewhere else, but Peters settled with giving it to the prop check desk instead, where she could later retrieve it. C4 Central Comic Con’s website contains a weapons policy that states the prop check desks have full authority to approve or deny entry to all props resembling weapons.

Dan Fedoryshyn wrote C4’s prop weapons policy in 2015, and ran security at this year’s Manitoba Comic Con. Fedoryshyn said that his security recognizes the effort that cosplayers put into making their costumes, but sometimes their prop weapons are clearly unacceptable.

“I had one come in with a real baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire from The Walking Dead,” said Fedoryshyn. “It just doesn’t occur to people that you probably shouldn’t carry that around in public.”

Nathan Barraclough cosplayed as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII at the convention. Barraclough’s costume included a sword that was taller than himself, which he made using a wooden core wrapped with cardboard. Barraclough said security decided that Barraclough could bring the sword on Saturday, but in the future, the sword will need to be modified.

Nathan Barraclough dressed as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII poses with the half wooden, half cardboard sword which security almost deemed too heavy to be allowed in the Manitoba Comic Con & Sci Fi Expo on Saturday, April 1. THE PROJECTOR/ Woods Fines

“They said you have to retouch the sword because it could potentially hurt someone and it’s too heavy,” said Barraclough. “But they said, ‘We’ll let it slide for this con.’”

Barraclough has brought the sword to other cons in the United States, where they didn’t have a problem with the sword’s structure or weight. Despite that, Barraclough understands why the Manitoba Comic Con & Sci Fi Expo’s security standards seem higher than elsewhere.

“The security does seem stricter,” said Barraclough, “but only because they’re doing their job and keeping the con safe.”

After enjoying the rest of the con, Peters was able to pick up her baseball bat from the prop check desk. Peters said she won’t be bringing it back next year.