My youngest daughter loves Mario brothers and wanted to go as Princess Peach so to stick with the theme I decided to try my hand at making a costume instead of buying one so I decided to try to make a "man in cage" costume with a Nintendo theme.
Here we have Bowser carrying Mario trapped in a cage. The hardest part was getting the cage right. I tried it with cardboard and pvc pipe but couldn't get the stability so I made it out of wood with foam board top and bottom (a small section of the bottom I cut out to fit myself). The problem of getting it balance on me without using hands I solved with a wooden slate in the back that rested on my shoulders and another underneath that rested on my stomach.
Bowser's Head was made from a modified pattern bought at a craft store for a childrens dragon costume. the body is simply an XXL shirt filled with poly fiber. The gloves are work leather gloves, the pants had to be made and made a little large to make it look like it was more than me in the costume. I actually safety pined in a couple of plastic bags filled with poly fiber to give Bowser an actual butt!!
The feet are simply yellow sports sock (very tricky to find in stores). The collar/arm bands were made from magnetic poster board like stuff I bought from a local company that sell it by the yard (normally used on cars for advertisement - I cut it up and made my orange 1984 VW Vanagon look like a pumpkin). The spikes were made from old photographic printing sheets rolled up and hot glued on.
I did purchase the Mario outfit. It was my Plan B in case I couldn't get the rest of the outfit together in time.
Once I had the right design the costume was actually pretty easy to make. The lumber was $.77 a 10 foot strip x 4, the joining metal plates were <$1 x8, the shirt was $13 from Fred Myer, the fabric for the pants / head was $34, the Mario costume.... I forget but ~$30+ and I already had everything else so not a bad price.
I didn't tell my daughter what I was and she loved it. We have been playing with the pieces for the last week (she loves to be Princess Peach in the cage and have me save her as Mario).