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WonderCon Anaheim 2016 Masquerade

Avengers: Age of Ultron Hulkbuster”—Winner of the Best Re-Creation Award, shown onstage at the WonderCon Masquerade 2016. Worn and made by Daniel J. Trevizo. Photo: R. Manahan © 2016 SDCC


Syfy Presents the WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade

Click here for a WonderCon 2016 Photo Gallery, featuring all the contestants and prize winners!

Ashley Eckstein will be the WonderCon Anaheim 2017 Masquerade Mistress of Ceremonies Saturday night. You know her as the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, but she is also well-known as the founder of Her Universe, the groundbreaking fangirl fashion company and lifestyle brand. (Phil Foglio regretfully had to cancel.....but you will see him at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July.)

Costuming not only has a large presence among the attendees at WonderCon Anaheim, it plays a vital role in nearly all the popular arts, bringing to life characters and settings in movies, TV series, comic books, Broadway shows, video games, fine art, and even pop music. It’s an artform stretching far back into history and in cultures worldwide, and yet still awes us with new ideas, new technologies, and new designs. To celebrate this unique popular art, WonderCon Anaheim’s onstage costume show returns for a 13th year with an evening of fun, surprises, and great costumes crafted by our attendees. Why call this costume competition a Masquerade instead of some sort of fashion show? Well, “to masquerade” means to portray someone other than yourself, and our contestants bring to the stage as much imagination as they do skilled workmanship, by portraying characters and creating inventive presentations with drama, mood, humor, and sometimes a mock battle or two.

Not a dance or party as the name might imply, it’s a stage show, featuring theater-style lighting, enhanced sound, and a giant high-definition video screen displaying great close-up views of the many astounding and entertaining costumes our attendees create. Most of the costume presentations are accompanied by specially selected music, some with effects and elaborate choreography. Our Master and Mistress of Ceremonies introduce each presentation, and the panel of guest judges selects the winners in various categories. Last year’s audience numbered 3,000, and the line for choice seating started forming long before the doors opened.

Some of the costumes presented will be impressive re-creations from the genres of film, television, anime, comics, fantasy, stage shows, video games, and history; others will be completely original designs from the imaginations of our attendees. Some will be solo entries, others will be groups with a shared theme. If you've crafted a costume you think our audience would like to see up on the stage, we encourage you to sign up and share your work, create lots of smiles, and perhaps take home a trophy or other award as well. Costume entries must NOT have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained, but be of original construction or show significant modification of pre-existing materials. All genres are welcome, as are all levels of experience, from the novice to the seasoned convention costumer.

WonderCon 2016 Masquerade Photo

“DC Superhero Girls”—Shown onstage at the WonderCon 2016 Masquerade. Winner of the Judges’ Choice Award. Worn and made by HelloKoko, Unfragmented Decoy, Natalie Atkins, Arielle Cosplay, Kymoaster, and Flying Octophant. Photo: R. Manahan © 2016 SDCC


The Masquerade event will be held Saturday, April 1 at 8:30 PM in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, where it was set in 2015. The event is free to participate in, or to attend as an audience-member; only a WonderCon Anaheim attendee badge valid for Saturday is needed. Doors will open for audience seating at 8:00 PM, and the event will run about two-and-a-half hours. Special seating will be available for the disabled, selected press approved in advance, and for special guests of the convention. Audience tickets are not used for this event since our large venue has plenty of seating. The line for front-section seating usually begins about 2 hours before the doors open, but if you can’t arrive early, no worries, you can still arrive at showtime and find good seats.

During the judging intermission we’ll have some fun Star Wars-themed live entertainment from a return visit of the Saber Guild performance group that you won’t want to miss.

Click here to download the official Advance Entry Form for contestants with complete information and rules!
The deadline for advance entry is March 17, 2017.

You can also e-mail the Masquerade Coordinator at to request a copy be e-mailed to you.

A limited number of contestant slots are available, so interested costumers should obtain the rules and entry form to request a contestant spot as soon as possible. A photo of the costume or costumes you are entering will also be required for confirmation of eligibility. Entries are now being accepted and its best to enter sooner than later. The dDeadline for advance entry is March 17, 2017. After that date, contestants can sign up at the convention Friday, IF any slots are still available. Once we fill up there will be a waiting list to fill openings from cancellations. Our volunteer staff has been running Masquerades for over 20 years, and we’ll do our best to provide you with a great time. Why just be a spectator of the arts, when you can be a part of them? The WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade stage on Saturday night is there for you to shine on, so it’s time to get started on that great costume idea!

No flash photography is allowed at the event, and any photos or video taken are intended for non-profit personal use only. There will be a special posing area (where flash photography is allowe) with a backdrop in a nearby room where the contestants will go after their stage presentations, but spaces are limited, and photographers who wish access to the Photo Area should reserve a spot in advance by writing to the e-mail above. Credentialed press that would like front section seating in the audience should also write to the Coordinator in advance.

Remember that WonderCon Anaheim attendee badges sell out fast, and you’ll need a Saturday badge to participate in, or just attend, the Masquerade, so purchase your badges as soon as you can once they go on sale. Badges for WonderCon Anaheim 2017 will go on sale soon.

WonderCon 2016 Masquerade Photo

“Hawkgirl” (from Justice League Animated)—Shown onstage at the WonderCon 2016 Masquerade. Worn and made by Angi Viper. Photo: R. Manahan © 2016 SDCC


Awards and Trophies

Trophies will be awarded by our panel of guest judges to outstanding entries in categories of:

  • Best in Show
  • Judges’ Choice
  • Best Re-Creation
  • Best Original Design
  • Best Workmanship
  • Most Humorous
  • Most Beautiful

Winners in these trophy categories will also receive complimentary 3-day badges to WonderCon Anaheim 2018 as an added thank you for all their hard work and talent! If a group entry wins a category, up to 4 free badges will be given to that group. There will be a special workmanship judge for close-up evaluations of contestants who request it.

In addition to the trophies given by the WonderCon Anaheim judges, some participating companies and organizations will present their own generous prizes to winners they select. They will be added between now and the convention, so be sure to check back regularly for the latest award additions to include:

Frank & Son Collectible Show of the City of Industry, California, “The first and last stop for ALL your collectible needs”, will present a generous $500 cash prize to the costume entry they deem to be the audience favorite!

DC Comics will award a specially selected DC Collectibles item from their store to what they deem to be the best re-creation of a character or characters from the DC Universe of comics and movies, as selected by a DC Comics representative.

Costumer's Guild West, Inc. will be presenting a full scholarship and one night's hotel (valued at $300) to their weekend conference, Costume College, held the last weekend in July at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California, awarded to the entry their representatives select as showing the most promise. Costume College provides educational lectures and workshops in every aspect of costuming. More info is available at

The Motion Picture Costumers, Local 705 is pleased to announce their first year presenting an award at the WonderCon Masquerade, and will be bestowing a beautiful custom trophy and a generous fabric Gift Certificate. Their technical award is seeking entries whose skillful execution, creativity, and attention to detail most highlights an imaginative adaptation of the source or a custom design. Local 705 is the Labor Union supplying movie and TV studio costume departments, costume rental houses, and made-to-order costume houses with artists and craftsmen and is part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, AFL-CIO.