Photo by Nate Zimmer

Buzz Lightyear

(Toy Story)

Buzz Lightyear is my first costume to ever go viral. It is still the 'iconic' costume of mine whenever anyone mentions that I do cosplay.

The costume was made mostly in 2011 and first worn at PAX that fall, and again at ECCC in 2012.

The costume was heavy, uncomfortable, and left bruises. But to this day I've never had a reaction like this costume got at conventions.

The costume both building it and wearing it taught me a lot about cosplay and comfort. After this costume I would make huge changes to the comfort of my costumes both to make it easier to wear and faster to put on.

The costume was sold (see below) and has changed hands a few times, I know it's also been cleaned up and rebuilt a little bit here and there.

Materials Used: PVC Foam, styrene, eva foam. Epoxy Putty. Painted with Montana Gold Paints.

Photo by Cameraarch

I always found myself doing 'heroic poses' as it ended up being the only comfortable way to wear the costume.

The shoulders as designed.. never quite worked right.

I ended up selling the costume to the TV show Cougar Town where it was worn by Ian Gomez. This was just a surreal thing.

I started off by building the chest piece, this would be my last 'hard plastic sheet' costume. I patterned the pieces out of scrap cardboard and used pvc-foam to build it.

The chest plate was built seperate and attached. I used some epoxy putty to fill in the cracks. yes, this costume got heavy

I always forget that the base of the entire costume was actually an old Starcraft II Spectre costume I had made and only wore once.

The Jetpack. I tried to go for a more 'realistic' look to it.

You can see here how the jet pack attached to the chest piece. I then added more epoxy putty.

This is when the chest actually started to look complete. The costume however never quite fit right, and had to be heavily padded to be comfortable.

The costume primed with a few first layers of paint.

The pvc-foam sheets I would heat mold into more costuem parts.

This costume began a long tradition of using old shoes in the boots. The shoes are then strapped onto foam pads underneath adding about 2 inches to my height.

A test fitting of the leg pieces. The feet were eva foam. I should have made the whole thing out of eva.

Getting primed and painted up. The paint was tough to source, but eventually I found some Montana gold Lime paint.

One design note, is that the upper legs were only loosely attached by foam on the inside of the foot. This was enough to stabilize the upper leg, but allowed me to stretch my legs out side to side.

I added a glowy bit!

The second hardest to find part of this costume was white leather gloves. You may think it's easy to find them, it's not. These are golfing gloves, I had to buy two.

The first test fitting.

The number one question I was always asked for YEARS was where to get the clear plastic dome. I had actually spent over 150 dollars getting custom domes online. A friend then found a 20 dollar thin plastic dome at a local display shop.

I did some final weathering and grunging up. I always intended it to be a battle-armor Buzz, but that aspect never quite came across.

Yes, the dome worked! One of the best tricks to show off.

I had to do a lot of modifications to the wrist pieces as I wore the costume. The first version was so tight it cut off feeling to my right thumb for a month.

A good tip for big costumes. Is figure out your range of motion, put the straps out of sight in a place where you can reach. This was in the very back of my waist.

Good strapping is an art form, this is not good strapping. But it worked. Note that only one side is attached to the armor. I need it to hold in place only.

I wore this costume 3 or 4 times before I sold it. I fixed, modified and rebuilt several parts of it, and I never got around to adding 'ANDY' to the foot until the night before I shipped it off.