to read the MCM Costume Weapons and Props

Last Updated: 07 February 2014.
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MCM Events – General Rules
Attire & Costume Rules
Mundane items e.g. umbrellas, walking sticks
Melee weapons e.g. swords, keyblades, scythes.
Guns and Projectiles e.g. pistols, rifles, bows
Contact Information
MCM Events – General Rules
An MCM Comic Con is a family event that encourages costumes. It is necessary to balance the
desire of some of our attendees to accurately portray characters or display items from their
collections with the safety of our attendees of all ages, the concerns of the police and local
authorities, the terms of the venue, and conditions of the insurers.
Compliance with the MCM Comic Con Costume, Weapons, & Props Rules is a condition of entry
for all MCM Expo Ltd. events, including:
MCM London Comic Con
MCM Midlands Comic Con
MCM Birmingham Comic Con
MCM Belfast Comic Con
MCM Scotland Comic Con
MCM Ireland Comic Con
MCM Manchester Comic Con
The following must not be brought to MCM Comic Cons:
Any weapons or replica weapons that are either banned outright or subject to any restrictions from
being carried OR sold in this country should not be brought to MCM Comic Cons by attendees
regardless of any special licences, club memberships or training.
If such prohibited items are sold at the MCM Comic Cons, the sale is conditional on the items
remaining bound in their packaging and hidden from view.
MCM reserves the right to consider any weapon or prop to be breaking these rules if deemed to be
unsafe or likely to cause a nuisance. Dangerous or otherwise inappropriate behaviour by attendees
means that that items permitted under normal circumstances may be treated as breaking the rules.
MCM further reserves the right to grant dispensation for a costume, weapon or prop usually
forbidden by these rules to individuals. Such special permission may by given to an exhibitor or
sponsor for a promotion. Breaking the Costume, Weapons, and Props Rules on the basis of what
you have observed at the event will not be accepted as an excuse.
MCM reserve the right to withdraw access to their event and cancel the tickets, without refund, to
anyone deemed to be breaking these rules. At their discretion, MCM may alternatively allow the
attendee who is deemed to be breaking these rules to remain on the condition that:
• the offending item is confiscated (in cases whereby this would resolve the matter);
allow the attendee to return to the event having made adjustments to or having left behind
their attire, weapons, and / or props that broke the rules.
Remember there are also restrictions from venues, police, and local authorities. If attendees have
any queries regarding the display or transportation of a weapon or prop outside of the hall, it is their
responsibility to contact the relevant authority. Police may have confiscated items destroyed without
warning. Attendees bring items to an event at their own risk.
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Attire & Costume Rules
Attire and costume must be suitable for a family event. Nudity is not permitted, nor are fake,
costume, or prosthetic genitalia allowed on display. Some adult fetish attire such as extreme BDSM
gear should be checked for suitability with the MCM Cosplay Team by emailing a description to
[email protected] before wearing it to an MCM event.
Skimpy costumes are permitted. Concessions to accuracy are recommended if costume or attire is
skimpy to the point where it provides negligible coverage. An amount of coverage comparable to
typical swimwear is fine; contact the MCM Cosplay Team by emailing [email protected] if you
have concerns over the suitability of your costume. If planning a skimpy or delicate costume it is
recommended that you take extra precautions beneath the costume to avoid exposing yourself.
With regards to costumes, please note that:
It is the responsibility of the attendee to ensure that a wristband or handstamp (at MCM's
discretion) can be placed directly on the appropriate location. Take this into account with
designs or adjustments to the costume.
The maximum dimension (height, width, or depth) of a costume is three metres. This
excludes fabric trains and any parts that collapse to a smaller size, such as wings that fold
down to within the size limits.
If a costume is bulky, made of hard materials, or includes parts outside of usual human
dimensions you should have at least one person with you to assist with warning people
nearby and guiding you to avoid accidental collisions. You must ensure edges are rounded
off and padded, and no dangerous parts attached e.g. nails or blades.
Examples include full fur suits, armour, wings, and robots.
Costumes, props, performances, and displays must not involve or create naked flames,
explosions, nor arcs or bursts of exposed electricity.
Gas canisters or any other vessel containing gas held under pressure are forbidden,
regardless of what gas is contained. Common items such as deodorant are unaffected.
Note also that MCM may need to take action at the request of the venue or to manage a
disturbance caused by attire and costumes contrary to good taste. While not banned, please note
this with regards to attire or costumes with the following: profanities or sexual acts; inciting of hate
or crime; and uniforms, emblems, or flags of organisations responsible for crimes against humanity.
Mundane Items
Items that people normally carry in public such as umbrellas & walking sticks, as well as light or
small mundane items such as vegetables, small pans, rolling pins, & racquets are allowed.
Heavy bats and paddles such as metal or wooden baseball bats and cricket bats are forbidden. A
lightweight plastic or foam equivalent is fine, these can be modified for an accurate appearance.
Roller skates, roller blades, skateboards, scooters, and similar wheeled items are not forbidden by
MCM but venues often forbid them. If in doubt, assume any part of a venue under a roof or cover
forbids their use.
Heavier items that could be used to bludgeon people such as heavy rolling pins, large cast iron
pans, golf clubs must be secured to your person so they cannot be easily drawn. If this is not
possible they must be stored in a bag and removed only in controlled circumstances.
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Melee Weapons
Any metal melee weapons including knives, daggers, swords, clubs, batons, and axes regardless
of whether they are sharp or blunt and bokkens (a hard, curved, wooden sword) are forbidden.
Melee weapons (except bokkens and metal ones) up to a length of 1.5m with edges are rounded
off and ends padded where appropriate and no dangerous parts attached (e.g. nails or blades) are
permitted with the following provisos:
If the weapon is made of lightweight material such as plastic or foam or has delicate
decorations then it can be carried in hand. Care must be taken especially in crowded
situations; do not carry the weapon slung over your shoulder nor dangling from your hand
creating a trip hazard;
Wooden and otherwise solid melee weapons (excluding bats and paddles which are banned
as noted in the 'Mundane Items' section) are allowed but you must take steps to ensure you
keep hold of it and take extra care in crowds.
If a weapon exceeding 1.5m can be made smaller by e.g. the handle disconnecting into two pieces,
then it can be carried if put together only for photo shoots in a clear area or MCM organised
cosplay events. An exception is staves or large walking sticks, which are permitted up to a length of
180cm as long as the attendee consistently holds them upright.
Scythes are a particularly difficult item to carry safely. As such, they must be made to disconnect
into two parts for carrying, and put together only for photo shoots in a clear area or MCM organised
cosplay events.
Shields are allowed as long as they do not exceed 1 metre in height or width, and any hard edges
and corners are suitably rounded off and padded.
Theatre items such a hollow aluminium retracting swords with no sharp edge are permitted.
Foam weapons built round a core such as those used for live action roleplaying are permitted.
Melee weapons that do not meet these restrictions must be stored in a bag and removed only in
controlled circumstances for photo shoots or MCM organised cosplay events. This is not an
exception to the overriding rule that any weapons or replica weapons that are either banned
outright or subject to any restrictions from being carried OR sold in this country should not be
brought to MCM Comic Cons by attendees.
Why not give permits or allow inside?
A common question is why MCM do not grant permits to responsible people or allow
more items (especially realistic replica guns) inside. Logistically, this would be
challenging to manage and would create further delays for the majority of people trying
to enter the event for the benefit of those few who want to carry such items openly.
More importantly, it would not meet the reasons why these rules are necessary- that it is
a crowded family event, which has to cater to the needs of attendees, the venue, the
local authorities, and insurers. Other attendees may also take their lead from what they
see, and not realise or adhere to the restrictions. These rules try to balance these many
variables as best as MCM are able.
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Guns and Other Projectiles
Unrealistic and toy guns such as those suitable for children's programming (made of brightly
coloured plastics, with flashing lights and stickers), or that are clearly science fiction based
(phasers, plasma guns, blasters), and foam firing toys are allowed as long as they do not exceed
1.5m in length.
Realistic replica guns such as accurate plastic pistols or rifles, airsoft guns, BB guns are allowed
with a brightly coloured tip on the end of the muzzle of the gun OR if they have significantly brightly
coloured portion. This does not have to be permanently fixed to the item and can be removed for
photographs if fitted back in place afterwards.
Please do not draw replica handguns suddenly or in front of children who may be excitable or
easily scared. Threatening or intimidating behaviour with realistic replica guns is also forbidden.
Note that some venues are close to airports; keep such items packed in bags when not at the
venue including for photo shoots or travelling to hotels or restaurants.
Replica rocket and missile launchers, mortars, and other anti-aircraft or artillery props are not
sensible items to transport or bring to the event. If you do so, they must be stowed out of sight
while outside.
Bows and crossbows are allowed if unstrung, or if strung with weak elastic that cannot feasibly fire
projectiles. Prop strung bows shaped to look like a bow without being under tension are allowed if
not contrived somehow to fire effectively. Many actual bows simply look like sticks without string
and may therefore be unsuitable for use as part of a costume.
Metal tipped arrows and bolts are forbidden.
Slings and catapults are allowed but must never have ammunition loaded.
Caps, incendiaries and any ammunition that can be fired from a gun are not allowed. Magazines,
compressed air chambers, and batteries for weapons should be left at home.
Contact Information
Please contact the MCM Cosplay Team by emailing them at [email protected] if you want
further clarification describing the item fully, with a photograph of the item if possible.
Thanks for reading!
Further questions or feedback?
Email: [email protected]
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