Are cosplay swords legal?
So you’re probably super hyped for a convention that’s coming up. Your cosplay is ready, and to go above and beyond, you want to bring your cosplay sword with you to complete the best look possible! However, you may be wondering, “Am I allowed to bring this sword to the convention? Will I get in trouble if I do? What are the rules regarding swords at cosplay conventions?”
If you are in this dilemma, then I am here to help you out. I am going to answer all the questions related to bringing cosplay swords to a convention.
Are cosplay swords legal at conventions?
When it comes to cosplay swords, bringing a real sword made out of steel is illegal and prohibited at almost every convention. This is due to the safety issues involved with such a dangerous weapon (accidental or not). However, that doesn’t mean you cannot bring a replica sword made out of softer materials. As long as you check-in your crafted sword with convention staff and practice safe measures, you can bring along your sword with your cosplay during the convention.
In this article, I’ll give you 5 things you need to know about cosplay swords if you want to bring them to a convention. That way, you can fully enjoy being in cosplay without needing to worry about breaking any rules.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Real swords are big no-no.
If you’re thinking of a bringing a real sword that’s made out of steel/metal, then you should think again. Bringing a real a sword is a big no-no, as they are dangerous to others and will not be allowed into the convention center, and you will be prohibited from entering.
This is not just real swords in general; anything else that’s considered sharp or dangerous (e.g. firearm) will not be allowed.
There may be some exceptions though. Some conventions MAY allow you to bring a real sword if it’s in the sheath (i.e. the pouch that holds the sword) for the entire time. But other than that, bringing a real sword probably won’t fly.
In either, this isn’t a big deal to be honest. Because if you want to cosplay a character that wields a sword such as Link from The Legend of Zelda or Marth from Fire Emblem, then there is a better alternative…
2. Make a replica sword instead.
Just because you can’t bring a real sword, that doesn’t mean you cannot make a replica. Not only is a replica much lighter than a real sword, it’s also a lot safer as well.
The best material to use to make a replica sword is foam, as the material is light and very durable. My Marth sword is made out of light materials and very easy to carry.
If you want to learn more about how to make cosplay props, click here. And if you want some cosplay prop ideas, I have a list here as well.
3. You always need to check-in your cosplay sword at the convention.
No matter the type of material you use for your cosplay sword, you will always need to check-in before you enter the building.
For every convention, there is an area for weapons check where the staff ensures that every cosplay prop, weapon or accessories is safe to walk around with. So you definitely need to make sure that the sword you’re bringing is okay with the convention. In today’s world, safety and security is everything. Even when I cosplayed Sebastian from Black Butler, I had to go to the weapons check for my forks and spoons that are part of his cosplay. So if my utensils had to be cleared, then for sure a replica sword needs to be vetted.
Usually, when the staff approves of your weapon, they’ll put something on it to verify that it’s been already checked. It could be a sticker or a small tie or knot on it.
4. Things to know while carrying a cosplay sword around a convention.
Just because your cosplay sword has been approved inside the convention, doesn’t mean you can be careless with it! For your sake, as well as the attendees, you’ll want to take good care of your cosplay sword while at the convention.
Here are some tips when you’re at a con (based on my experiences):
- Always carry your sword downward. You don’t want accidentally whack or hit anyone with your sword, especially when the convention is very crowded.
- Avoid putting your sword on the ground. With a bunch of people walking around, having a sword on the ground is asking for trouble. Having someone step on your sword can damage or break it, so do NOT put it on the ground. If you need to rest your arms, then lean it against a wall instead.
- Don’t just let anyone play with your cosplay sword. Just because your sword is made out of foam, it doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. I’ve had people who broke my Marth sword because they were swinging it around recklessly. That is why you always hear about cosplayers reminding everyone to ask permission first, especially when it comes to touching cosplay props (more info on cosplay rules here). Therefore, make sure no one touches your cosplay sword unless they get your permission and you can trust them.
5. If staff asks to see your cosplay sword at the convention.
Do cooperate with them and show them that you already went through weapons check. For the most part, you should be fine because all the staff have a generally good idea of what’s allowed and what’s not allowed for cosplay sword. But as long as you’re not carrying a real sword made out of metal/steel, then you’ll be fine.
To summarize, here are the 5 things you need to know about cosplay swords:
- Real swords are big no-no.
- Make a replica sword instead.
- You always need to check-in your cosplay sword at the convention.
- Things to know while carrying a cosplay sword around a convention.
- If staff asks to see your cosplay sword at the convention.
And there you have it; everything you need to know about the question, “Are cosplay swords legal?” This will ensure you can bring your cosplay swords around the convention safely while following the rules.
Which cosplays are you planning to do that involve a cosplay sword? I’d like to know! Let me know in the comments below!
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!