I made this costume to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my all-time favorite video game: Spyro the Dragon. Since I am sadly not a dragon, I did a lot of thinking about how to interpret Spyro’s character in a humanoid way. I knew I wanted the wings, horns, and tail to be really clear, but I wasn’t sure at first how to build the rest of the look. I thought about bodysuits and armor, but they just didn’t make sense for this scrappy, spunky teenage dragon.
Since Spyro spends a lot of time gliding and doing aerial stunts, I settled on styling him like a star flying ace. I trawled the internet and thrift stores for an aviator cap, uniform pants, combat boots, a turtleneck, and a biker jacket that could all be painted, dyed, and altered to fit the look.
I also went material hunting for the wings, harness, horns, and tail. These pieces I knew I would custom make, and it took some digging to find materials that were right for the job, and that I could snag in my tight 2 week timeline.
By the end the whole rig had some combo of hot glue, fabritac, cardboard, armature wire, neoprene, vinyl, styrene, styrofoam, powernet, and spraypaint holding it together. It was important to me that the wings didn’t look flimsy, so they required the most engineering – a cardboard tube core, wire armature, and carefully layered neoprene padding were the way to do it.
I have so much fun every time I wear this costume and feel awesome running around as my favorite dragon. It’s amazing how iconic this character actually is and how many people share the love of this purple dragon’s story. Even really little kids who weren’t around in 1998 for Spyro’s debut ran up to me and asked for pictures and hugs. It is so cool to bring their virtual friend to life!