The line between cosplay and actual superheroes is blurring thanks to uber-Batman fan Julian Checkley, who managed to fit a world-record 23 working items into a custom batsuit.
Checkley’s feat will be recognized in the 2017 Guinness World Records 2017 Gamer’s Edition. The model maker and art director-turned creature effects specialist told Guinness he had been interested in cosplay since making a paper-mache Darth Vader outfit when he was seven years old.
His batsuit, which earned the official title of having the “Most functional gadgets in a cosplay suit,” features a slew of contraptions from the Arkham Origins video game, including a folding batarang and a grapnel gun. Also figuring significantly into the suit are a fireball shooter and a pneumatic tranquilizer gun. To earn the Guinness title, Checkley had to ensure all gadgets were integrated into the costume: none could be freestanding.
Cosplay has become a significant part of geek culture, with increasingly elaborate costumes on display each year at San Diego Comic-Con and other conventions. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently made an appearance in Rio de Janeiro as Super Mario to help hype the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Enthusiasts cite cosplay as a fantastic form of self-expression, and even performance art.
The Guinness World Records 2017 Gamer’s Edition will be released Sept. 8.