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There’s an interesting story developing out of Pax South 2016 last weekend. Glitch Gaming – Apparel had a booth at the event and was displaying and promoting a prototype psycho bandit mask that they were telling convention goers Glitch Gaming – Apparel would be selling later this summer. The booth even had the voice of Claptrap, David Eddings, come by the booth and put the mask on for a picture. Funny thing is though, many Borderlands Cosplay fans  at the convention noticed that the mask looked a lot like one of Steven K. Smith‘s Psycho Bandit Masks. In fact, not just a lot like one of SKS Props masks, but EXACTLY like one of SKS Props masks.

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There is one thing in the cosplay prop making community that is pretty much unforgivable is re-casting someone else’s work and selling it as your own. It’s a very touchstone topic for prop makers and things tend to get very hot, very fast when it comes up. Doing it can get you cast from the prop making community and put on black lists for prop makers to avoid when looking to buy. Reputation in the prop making community is important and getting caught re-casting can quickly utterly destroy one’s reputation.

Back in 2012, prop maker Adam Savage did an episode on Tested that explained, explored and discussed re-casting and is a great starting point for anyone wanting to know more about re-casting and why it is such a touchy subject.

Now that you’re up to date on what re-casting is, let’s look at what went down at Pax South. Here’s a post on Glitch Gaming – Apparel’s Facebook page of the mask:

@david.eddings aka #claptrap at the #glitchgear booth with the #psycho bandit mask by #glitchgear #borderlands2 psycho…

Posted by Glitch Gaming-Apparel on Sunday, January 31, 2016

There was also this Instagram post:

They hit all the usual Social Media outlets including some tweets about their new prototype mask:

Now let’s hear from some of the people who were at Pax South and recognized SKS Props mask.

Please don’t buy from Glitch inc. they’ve taken one of Steven K Smith Props’s psycho mask and are claiming it as their…

Posted by Nisha Yagami on Sunday, January 31, 2016

As this post from Nisha made the rounds Steven Smith posted this picture and statement to The Replica Prop Forum Facebook page:

12622063_1122107081135204_7717094606488083447_oFriends and fans I need your help. Please spread this around so that everyone can see stealing work is not ok.

During Pax South this past weekend there was a booth by Glitch Gaming-Apparel that was offering a new “prototype” Borderlands psycho mask. However it turns out that it is one of mine and they were videoed claiming it as their creation and how they plan on mass producing it.

First off no I didn’t ever give them permission and no I don’t have a license with Gearbox to make psycho masks. Gearbox has featured me and my props on their website countless time. I was the cosplay community badass several months ago in the Gearbox forums featuring my work. Plus Gearbox actually hired me to make Psycho masks for them last year for Pax East and Twitter giveaways. I am known for my Borderlands cosplays and my masks especially are unique in my artistic representation of the psycho.

As you can see from the photo there is no mistaking my look. I started this build back in December 2012 and you can still find all of my walkthroughs on the Replica Prop Forum. The Borderlands cosplay community has been great banding together on this and I love them so much! I am not a big company mass producing these. Each and every one was made by hand because I have pride in the finished product. Any of you that have seen my masks in person know exactly what I am taking about
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All I want is for Glitch to apologize for the situation and to leave my work alone

These guys may have a license to sell Borderlands gear, but they have no right to steal art and recast it as their own. That is the only argument here that matters. Help keep the community honest.

Feel free to find them on
Facebook Glitch Gaming-Apparel
Twitter @glitchgearinc
Instagram @glitchgear

Video of the Glitch rep talking about the mask at Pax South will be in the comments

Smith lays out his case fairly well, he mentions that Gearbox Software Forums did a nice write-up on him and his masks, you can read it using this link. Other Prop makers are chiming in. Volpin Props, a well-known and respected prop maker had this to say:

I saw this mask at PAX South this weekend and immediately recognized my friend Steven’s work. When I asked a rep about…

Posted by Volpin Props on Monday, February 1, 2016

The question here is not that Glitch Gaming – Apparel is going to sell a Psycho Bandit Mask, but that they are claiming that they made the mask which is clearly one of SKS Props masks, and not one of Glitch Gaming – Apparel’s own creation.

If you go to one of the social media posts, you’ll find people asking Glitch Gaming – Apparel to provide some pictures of the masks creation. Taking pictures during the prop creation is a standard way of showing your work. Much like your math teacher didn’t just want the answer, but how you got to that answer. Prop makers love to share techniques and the prop during construction pictures are often used to do that as well. In fact, it’s often more curious, and damning, if someone doesn’t have those pictures to share.

There are a couple of things we should note. Glitch Gaming – Apparel’s website doesn’t have the Psycho Bandit Mask listed for sale. Although the person working the booth says that it will be out this summer and that same thing is said numerous times with social media posts. So far, Glitch Gaming – Apparel has not commented on any of the social media posts that we could find. When we has a response we’ll post it here.

How is this thing gonna end? Most likely someone at Glitch Gaming – Apparel will play the someone got “confused” card and say the mask was only there as an example and not a prototype. If that happens, it’s a good bet that really it is only because they got caught before they could re-cast the mask in quantity to sell. It will all be a game of face-saving at this point for Glitch Gaming – Apparel, although for the prop making and cosplay communities it will most likely be too little too late. As we said earlier, getting caught re-casting, or in this case getting caught planning to re-cast, is the one unforgivable sin.

Hopefully Glitch Gaming – Apparel will do the right thing, apologize, make their own mask, and move on. Better still, apologize, pay SKS Props for the rights to reproduce the SKS Props mask, and move on.

***UPDATE: 

Steven K Smith has updated his post with this message:

glitchmaskIt looks like the parties involved have come to an agreement. One even better than we’d imagined… except for the apology part.

Category: Nerd Culture

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