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ToyXpo Brings the World Series of Cosplay Qualifier to Santa Clara

The ToyXpo came to the Santa Clara Convention Center in August. The three-day event featured numerous celebrities along with photo opportunities, vendors, a custom toy contest and discussion panels — not to mention a Geek Fashion Show and the World Series of Cosplay Qualifier.

The Bay Area Toy Expo puts on the event and, over the years, it’s grown to welcome nearly 20,000 people over the course of the weekend.

The World Series of Cosplay Qualifier featured 18 participants. While the costumes included scary creations — such as a Weeping Angel from the Doctor Who television series — they also included a gender-swapped character. Araceli Lopez from San Jose transformed Darkseid into Lady Darkseid. The judges complimented Lopez on her costume, her idea behind it, and also on the level of detail that included the skulls on her knees and the complexity of the details on the costume.

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While all of the costumes showed an exceptional level of detail, the judges could only select one overall winner — Lord Zed by Jason Aulicino from San Bruno. Lopez’s Lady Darkseid came in second and Captain Cold by Chris Johnson from Willows took third place. The judges pointed out the outer layer of Johnson’s costume saying it wasn’t just a comforter cut to fit, but that Johnson had done the stitching himself.

Aulicino’s Lord Zed earned him the Cosplay Championship belt, two VIP Tickets for ToyCon Las Vegas in March 2019 as well as hotel accommodations, and automatic entry into the World Series of Cosplay. The second and third place winners received cash prizes and commemorative medals.

One of the other most popular events was the Geek Fashion Show where attendees and contestants took part in what was described as the “ultimate fandom event and fashion display.”

The Gross Card Con featured a discussion panel with artists discussing Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages and trying to “out-gross one another.” Several Topps Artists participated as well as artists from Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages, co-directors of “30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story” — a Garbage Pail Kids documentary — and Tom Bunk from Mad Magazine, who was also the Garbage Pail Kids’ original artist.

Celebrities who made an appearance included professional cosplayers Joo Skellington as Captain Jack Sparrow, Ani Mia, and Raychul Moore. Netflix’s Stranger Things actors included Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Mark Steger (Demogorgon), and Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler). Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox from the television show CHiPS; Gil Gerard from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; Katy Townsend, the voice of Suvi Anwar from Andromeda Mass Effect; Janeshia Adams Ginyard, a stunt person from Black Panther; and WWE Superstars, Paige and Becky Lynch also attended.

For more information about the ToyCon in Las Vegas, visit vegastoycon.com, and for more information about ToyXpo 2019, please visit bayareatoyexpo.com.

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