Changes to New York Comic Con 2014 Weapons/Prop Policy

a-NYCC You may or may not know this, but New York Comic Con changed their weapons policy for the 2014 event. Unfortunately, they did a terrible job explaining the new policy and also failed to send out emails to notify fans to keep some of their props home. If you go to the NYCC “rules” page, you will notice there is no mention of a prop/weapons policy. If you go to the FAQ page, then scroll a decent way down, you will find a small mentioning about props.

“The following items are forbidden at New York Comic Con:

If you’re bringing, buying or selling something that could maim, damage or cause serious bodily harm, we’re going to take issue. The following items are forbidden at NYCC:

Functional firearms (including air soft guns, BB guns, cap guns, paintball guns and pellet guns)Realistic replica firearms (including reproduction, fake or toy guns that can be confused for functional firearms)Functional projectile weapons (including blow guns, crossbows, long bows, silly string, slingshots, water balloons and water guns)Sharpened metal-bladed weapons (including axes, daggers, hatches, knives, kunai, shuriken, swords, sword canes and switch blades)Explosives (including firecrackers and fireworks)Chemical weapons (including mace and pepper spray)Blunt weapons (including brass knuckles, clubs and nunchaku)Hard prop weapons (including props made of metal, fiberglass and glass)Instruments that cause excessive noise levels like vuvuzelas, grenade whistles and grenade hornsWhipsAerosol mustard

Prop weapons will be allowed providing they are composed of foam or cardboard only. Prop firearms are allowed only if they cannot be mistaken for real weapons. The barrel of all prop firearms must be covered with brightly-colored caps. Prop bows will be allowed providing all arrows have soft tips.”

Hear that, fans? Don’t be an idiot. I have a better one – NYCC, don’t have inept people write your policies. Get someone with a basic understanding of English and the human mind and you will have a policy that makes sense. This policy is oddly vague while being incredibly specific at the same time. Prop weapons must be made of foam or cardboard only – but what defines a prop weapon? A gun? A staff? A bat? A bow and arrow? Cosplayers! How many of you use only foam and cardboard to construct a prop? I don’t think I have ever used cardboard to construct a prop. Why would I? It will flop around and fall apart within minutes. So I took to Facebook and did some investigating. Apparently some people were shocked when I shared this information. Others sought out responses from NYCC staff. One person I know was told she could not bring her prop because she used wood to build it (the prop was a bow and arrow). Now she is in a panic because she’s not sure how to make a bow out of foam and cardboard. Another person emailed NYCC staff and was told wood props were ok. So apparently NYCC doesn’t understand their own prop policy. I went and sent an email as well, specifying my Sailor Pluto staff as the prop in question.

“Hi Liz, Thank you for the email. Apologies for the delayed response. At NYCC, our number one priority is the safety and security of our attendees. While the events over the weekend are under the umbrella of NYCC, there are many parties involved in determining the best policies in place to maintain that safety. Thus we don’t always have the final say in the decisions. The new prop rule of ‘cardboard and foam’ is a decision from all these different organizations involved. As long as your prop is not obviously made of wood (or any other blunt material) and it can’t hurt another attendee using moderate force, your prop will not be confiscated. Based on the picture you sent, your staff should not get confiscated. We will work hard to craft a more appropriate policy for next year. We hope for your continued support of NYCC. Apologies for the inconvenience. Please let us know if you have any other questions”

I’m not too sure how you guys feel about this response, it seems like I have the ok to bring my staff… but why is this policy so confusing and poorly put together? Take one from San Diego Comic Con. Literally, just cut and paste their weapons policy and put it into your page and just follow their procedure. If you want to have a policy to police props, have an inspection table and give cosplayers an official tag to put on their prop to show that it has been approved. If it doesn’t meet the requirements, allow them to check the prop so they aren’t forced to take it home. If you’re not capable of doing this, don’t bother posting a prop policy at all.   New York Comic Con takes over the Javits Convention Center from October 9th to the 12th, 2014.

14 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Rebecca Fastiggi ♛

    I saw your post and decided to email the NYCC staff as well. I’m going as Deathstroke and have several “firearms” (literally $10 fake pistols from the Halloween store with bright orange caps). I wrote them a long elaborate email and attached pictures. They responded with “Those will not be allowed. Thanks.” I’m furious so I’m going to try giving them a call tomorrow.

    I also noticed how SDCC did the tag thing and I was hopeful that NYCC would do it as well. I feel like NYCC is seriously screwing over so many of us. Why would I make something out of cardboard? And if it’s foam why does it need an orange tip? I don’t know, but I really am pretty upset about this.

    • Avatar
      lizzzzzzzzzz

      Yeah, I agree… it’s absurd. I don’t understand why they would need us to put orange caps on cosplay guns that are… cardboard? How would you make a prop out of cardboard anyway! I can’t imagine this will be enforced very well anyway. You could take a chance with them and see what happens.

      • Avatar
        Rebecca Fastiggi ♛

        It’s just so confusing! I wish I had gotten a nicer response like what you got from them. They’re just being so blunt.

    • Avatar
      BlazingDawn.

      Not even guns, I asked them about lightsabers…
      Q – Would the lightsaber be allowed if it was only the handle, or a handle with a foam blade?
      Their A – No. They are not allowed at all. Thanks, Customer Service
      Thanks for telling me that my cosplay that I spent my money on is now going to be useless.

      • Avatar
        Rebecca Fastiggi ♛

        They’re kind of being absurd. I’m in the same boat as you though. I spent a lot of money on getting everything ready. Why didn’t they make an announcement about this? Like Liz, I had to dig through the NYCC website to find the weapon policy, and it’s so confusing. I’ll attempt to call someone today and update if I get a clearer answer.

  2. Avatar
    Keith D. Mitchell

    So I wonder how far they thought this out. I mean surely someone who also realize that they also would be selling “props” inside the event and they wouldn’t be subject to these “rules” since they were purchased at the event. And if I remember correctly the last time I was at NYCC, they had some stuff there that could do some real damage compared to a foam sword.

    Geez…..

    • Avatar
      Rebecca Fastiggi ♛

      That’s what I was thinking! Haha, they sell knives and swords inside and they won’t allow something plastic or made of wood as part of someone’s cosplay? I got another email back saying that the weapons are going to be allowed inside at the discretion of whoever is checking them at the event. I’m so confused.

      • Avatar
        Keith D. Mitchell

        So basically they aren’t exactly enforcing it but who gets in with their props will depend on the person who are checking you in. Lord forbid that person is having a bad day, PMS’ng or any other various reason to be selective or pissed off.

      • Avatar
        Rebecca Fastiggi ♛

        That’s what it seems like…I replied to them asking, if I painted my weapons would they be allowed in? My color scheme is black/pink and the “guns” are black but if I have to paint them then I will. They replied with: “That may be ok. However the show team on site will have the final say on what is allowed.”

        So, will I not know if I can get in until I get there?! I mean, it’s so confusing.

      • Avatar
        Keith D. Mitchell

        This is something that if not addressed now, will cause a huge issue going forward. The cosplayers need to take action and get some legit answers from the front office and see that the deal is and what can be done to get this officially documented and an actual FAQ created.

      • Avatar
        Rebecca Fastiggi ♛

        So, I just got off the phone with someone. The lady was kind of patronizing. She basically said anything that resembles a weapon will not be allowed. I asked her what IS allowed? She was like “Well, go on our website and look under FAC’s (yes, she said FAC) and you’ll see over 12 sentences of what we do and don’t allow.” In this kind of condescending tone. I am very unhappy, and it looks like Deathstroke’s going to have to carry some foam pistols in her holsters. I swear if I see anyone get in with plastic, I will be furious.

      • Avatar
        lizzzzzzzzzz

        I am sure you will. This is so inconsistent and I’m sad that people aren’t blowing this up on twitter and other social media. NYCC needs to start respecting the people who purchase their tickets!!!

  3. Avatar
    MangaTherapy

    Today, I saw photos of trash cans with swords (including a Keyblade) and baseball bats and staves. However inside, I saw people with guns, swords, and even a Ryuko cosplayer (from Kill la Kill) had the scissor blade that looks blunt.

    I even took a photo of someone with a replica submachine gun and a baseball inside the con.

    I don’t know what that tells you. I think they are just picking victims at random because a lot of people have props.

    • Avatar
      lizzzzzzzzzz

      Yup. I saw the same thing. It seems like it’s all at random and there is no system in place. Inside I saw people with wooden bows… yet I saw trashcans with wooden bows and heard that people had to throw away their wood props. My props are staying home.