How's that for a costume choice?!
I'm sure there was never a doubt that Joseph would want some kind of Lego Ninjago costume for Halloween this year. We were secretly hoping he'd follow through on his musings of wanting to be Sense Wu, the old, bearded Spinjitzu Master. I would have put money on him settling on Lloyd, the fated Green Ninja, Master of all Elements, that saved Ninjago from the evil forces of Lord Garmadon. But he thought and thought long and hard and scoured every page of the Ninjago Character Encyclopedia before deciding he wanted to be Cole, the ninja who harnesses the elemental power of earth. And not just any Cole, but specifically Cole ZX. The characters undergo many uniform changes as they train to reach their full potential, and Joe Joe was smitten with this one with all the armor.
I gave Joseph the choice if he wanted to be a person dressed in a uniform that looked like Cole's, or if he wanted to look like the actual Lego mini figure. He chose the latter, and I had my work cut out for me.
The last thing in the world I wanted to do was send my kid out on Halloween dressed in a cardboard box, which is what the internet seems to prove the vast majority of people do. I somehow managed to create the same effect entirely out of felt and heavy duty fusible interfacing, which was much more comfortable and flexible yet incredibly durable. It's a pretty darned literal interpretation of the toy! For the sake of functionality I did decide to forgo making Lego type hands and legs. I wanted him to be able to sit, walk, and enjoy trick-or-treating!
I had started work on a separate headpiece that Joseph was not happy with, because he didn't like his nose and mouth covered. I can't blame him - felt doesn't really smell that great. The best way I came up with to rework it but still have it look like the character was to turn a black hoodie sweatshirt into a headpiece with a mask.
The sweatshirt also helped hide any traces of the white interfacing that lined the inside of the costume. That stuff was almost stiff as a board and really gave the costume the dimension it needed.
Someone incredibly observant, like my son, would notice that Cole is missing his silver shoulder pauldrons that protect his upper body. I must have tried 20 different ways to make those things, but they all just looked so fake compared the rest of the costume and I was forced to scrap them. To atone for that I made good on a request for an actual Scythe of Quakes, Cole's signature weapon. Believe it or not, it's just a blown up picture of a sticker I scanned and mounted on poster board. Crazy that it came out with such good resolution, and it's pretty cool that it's double sided. At the last minute I also whipped up a quick trick-or-treat bag with Cole's earth icon out of leftover felt.
Cole is known to be a bit gruff, but he is also strong, focused, and reliable. Joseph played the part incredibly well - he made that serious face in every single photo I took - and I think he truly loved his costume as much as I loved making it for him.
I spent so much time working on it though, that I never did get around to doing anything for myself. But I gladly reprised one of my favorites from about 8 years ago. Willy Wonka returns!