Coolest Landshark Costume



It’s funny how the smallest thing will inspire you. I was fortunate enough to work at an art store, and we were throwing out foam frame corners. I immediately thought “Wow, those would make great teeth for a land shark!”

Having participated in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade the previous year as “The Merminator, M-800″, I decided to make this land shark costume the improved model of Merminator, dubbed it “Merminator 2, M-1000″…M-2 for short.

I used Silver Line Plastics PE-3408 1/2″ plastic tubing for the frame of the M-2, held together by small wooden dowels inserted through the frame (using a 7/16″ drill bit) and secured with plastic zip ties  (using a 1/8″ drill bit to make the holes). I was originally going to use hula hoops, but they proved too weak to support the structure, and too expensive to buy in bulk. The Silver Line plastic tubing was cheap, and came in 100′ rolls for about $13 each  (I used two rolls).

For the first version’s skin, I used reflective car window shades. I used miniature LED flashlights to illuminate the eyes, which were automotive stop reflectors. The foam teeth were covered in duct tape, and spray painted shiny silver before being mounted on more of the tubing.

To support the frame inside, I used 3/4″ PVC tubing, running vertically from the top to the bottom of the frame. I then secured 3″ cargo straps across the frame, securing me to the frame, allowing me complete control of the puppet. As for the jaw, I attached two small hinges to the top of M-2 with more zip ties. I used another PVC pole as the “Puppet Bar”, inside the front of the “face”, allowing the jaw to move up and down   (what good is a land shark if it can’t snap and bite, right?)

After using this version for the Mermaid Parade of 2010, I brought it out again for Toms River, New Jersey’s 2011 Halloween Parade. This time, I used sheet styrene to make the dorsal and tail fins, and covered the frame with a giant tarp, cut into “scales”  (I was originally going to paint the scales gold, and make a Killer Goldfish, but I felt the silver was scary enough).In placing the scales to make a “view port”, I discovered that when turned to the front, the land shark looked like a giant SKULL with a gaping maw.

After using this version for the Mermaid Parade of 2010, I brought it out again for Toms River, New Jersey’s 2011 Halloween Parade. This time, I used sheet styrene to make the dorsal and tail fins, and covered the frame with a giant tarp, cut into “scales”  (I was originally going to paint the scales gold, and make a Killer Goldfish, but I felt the silver was scary enough).

In placing the scales to make a “view port”, I discovered that when turned to the front, the land shark  looked like a giant SKULL with a gaping maw.

 







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