Unleash your creative skills on the main stage and show off that cosplay you’ve been working on!

Welcome to the Sandbox Cosplay Competition! A vibrant arena for cosplayers who pour their hearts into crafting their cosplay. We’re excited to highlight your exceptional creations and talents!

Our Construction Competition is an opportunity for you to showcase your amazing creative cosplay skills and talents!

Online registration closes at 11:59 PM on Saturday, July 20, 2024.


Who can participate?

Anyone currently residing in New Zealand is eligible to join the competition.

For participants under 16, we require a Guardian Consent Form, including your guardian’s contact details. It needs to be signed and included in your registration uploads.


We welcome entries inspired by various sources such as movies, TV shows, musicals, anime, cartoons, manga, comic books, games, card games, figurines, and more. If your inspiration comes from something outside these categories, please consult with the judging team to avoid any potential disappointment. It’s essential to provide sufficient reference images for your cosplay. Entries without reference images will not be accepted.

 You are required to have made at least 75% of your costume(s) and props yourself. If you received assistance, please ensure to disclose this information in your registration form

If you’re unsure whether your costume fits the criteria, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

For more details, refer to the Guidelines FAQ below.


Online registration closes at 11:59 PM on Saturday, July 20, 2024.

The competition will be held at the Captain Bougainville Theatre in Forum North on Saturday, July 27, 2024, 3PM.

All registration forms, guardian consent forms and reference images must be submitted before the deadline. No exceptions will be made. Late submissions will not be considered.

Excited to join the fun? Dive into the details below and register online!


Submission Guidelines

What do I need to include in my submission?

You’ll need to complete the online registration form above, providing your(/your partners) contact details.

Towards the end of the online registration form, you’ll have the opportunity to upload all necessary materials as a single zipped folder. This may include:

  • Guardian Consent Form for entrants aged 16 or under.
  • Character reference sheets
  • Photo Progression Log (up to 10 pages): This is a collage documenting the construction process, highlighting details not visible on the finished costume. Feel free to include as many images as needed within the 10-page limit. You don’t need to provide a detailed build log covering every step.

Please ensure your character reference images include at least one high-quality image, with additional reference images consolidated onto a single sheet (rather than individual files).

Image files should be in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format. Judges will have access to your submission on judging day.

Does my costume need to be finished before submitting my form?

No, it does not. We understand that a significant amount of work can often be completed in the final week leading up to the event.

How will I know if my entry has been received/accepted?

Once you submit your entry, you’ll receive an automatic email confirming receipt. Then, after the entry deadline, you’ll receive notification regarding the acceptance status.

We aim to provide feedback within 2 days after the entry submission deadline, but please understand that unforeseen circumstances may affect this timeline.

If your entry is accepted, you’ll receive an email detailing your judging time and the schedule for the competition day.

Costume Guidelines

What guidelines apply to costumes?

When choosing your character or costume, consider your ability to move. 

Although we’ll make every effort to accommodate you on stage, please help us help you by making your costumes easy to manoeuvre in.

Sandbox Fandom Fest is a family-friendly event, so your costume should reflect this. Ensure that all body paint is securely sealed, and consider using coloured tights or body suits where possible.

Costumes depicting excessive nudity or gore are not permitted. While fantasy military or military-inspired costumes are acceptable, avoid wearing official uniforms of current military, police, or medical professions.

If you’re uncertain, please reach out to the cosplay organisers for assistance at (contact email here).

*Access to the stage will be accommodated for individuals with disabilities or mobility needs.

What are the guidelines for props?

We require all props to be constructed in a manner that ensures the safety of those around you.

  • Real weapons are strictly prohibited. 
  • Any props resembling firearms, including those with fantasy or futuristic designs, must feature orange safety tips (you can use orange tape on your completed prop). Realistic guns or firearms are not allowed. If you’re unsure whether your prop would be accepted, please email us for approval. Remember, safety always comes first.
  • Metal bladed weapons are also not allowed. Blades should be crafted from foam, pine, MDF, plastic, balsa, or similar materials and should not exceed the weight that the bearer can safely carry.
  • Projectile weapons of any kind are prohibited. While water pistols or Nerf guns can serve as a base, they must be permanently non-functioning. You must provide documented proof of how you have rendered the base non-functioning in your construction portfolio. Merely not loading projectiles is insufficient.
  • All props, including stage props, must not exceed 2 meters in length or width or weigh more than 10 kilograms.

If you have any questions about the acceptability of your prop, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s better to inquire before creating the prop than to be informed on the day of the competition that it cannot be used.

Ultimately, the safety of all participants is our top priority.

Is it acceptable to participate with a purchased costume?

Unfortunately, no. Our competitions focus on craftsmanship and construction, so only costumes that have been made by the contestant(s) are eligible for entry.

What portion of my costume must I create myself?

At least 75% of the costume should be handmade by the wearer. While we understand that crafting shoes or creating intricate wefts from scratch might not be feasible, we do expect that all components are either made or significantly altered by you.

Can I submit a costume that I’ve previously entered in another competition?

Any costume that has won a prize in cosplay or costume competitions in New Zealand or Overseas is not eligible for entry.

However, if your costume has been entered into a competition before but did not win a prize (including placing, judges’ choice, special mentions, etc.), you are welcome to enter it in the Sandbox Cosplay Competition.

Please indicate on the entry form if the costume you’re submitting to Sandbox has been entered into other competitions, and detail any alterations or additions you’ve made. Whether it’s through revisions, added trim, embroidery, or other enhancements, strive to make it the best costume possible and submit it!