Tips & Tricks Transporting costumes and props

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by RogueRebel, Feb 5, 2005.

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  1. RogueRebel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Hello, I'm going to Celebration 3 and I may have a Stormtrooper costume with me. I'll be flying out of Miami to Indianapolis and will have to take the costume with me on board. My question is, What are your experiences taking costumes and props on airlines?What about the fakes stormtrooper blaster I will have to take? What kind of packaging should I put it in?

    Last year at Dragon*Con, I remember seeing large plastic tubberware like boxes with costumes in them in the lobby of the Marriot. That looked like the popular way to transport costumes.
    I got alot of questions! :)
  2. Jedi_Kai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2001
    star 4
    Yes, it is a popular way to transport trooper armor, especially. This has been discussed a lot on various threads....here's one
    Plane Problem
  3. CaptKieranFlar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2001
    star 4
    You can transport replica weapons and props on airlines as long as they are in your checked luggage. I would HIGHLY suggest taking before and after photos.

    I transported a pair of swords via American when I went back to college this semester. I had packed them in a long rectanglar box that I filled with packing foam used to transport computer components at my Dad's work.

    The box got opened and checked before it got on the plane, in one of the random searches. Unfortunetly though it seems one of the TSA inspection agents decided to take a few swings with my sword, and there are now quite a few nicks in the blade, and a gash in the sheath. American and the TSA though say none of their agents would do such a thing and that I probally didnt pack it well enough, which is bull, as the sword was surrounded by at least 3-4 inches of packing foam on all sides.

    Also, since you are shipping props that look like machineguns, I would HIGHLY suggest calling the airport ahead of time, saying you are transporting a non-working prop weapon and you want to know any special procedures that airport has.

    Sometimes they might have you check it in a seperate location. Just be sure that your bags and boxes can be opened and sealed up again fairly easily.
  4. Arsinoe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 3
    Recommendation...Treat all replica weaponry as if it's the real thing. Pack it according to the TSA regulations, then leave plenty of time for check-in at the airport. You'll have a lot less hassels this way.
  5. ZOOfo-Dyas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2004
    star 6
    The best thing to do , is take your bags up to the check-in counter, and before checking the bags, tell the agent that you are transporting movie props... Mark all bags accordingly with signs that say "Movie Props" on it.

    Great Big Rubbermaid containers sealed with duct tape is the way to go for transporting costumes of any kind, but especially anything in danger from crushing. Just remember to bring the duct tape w/ you to seal them AFTER they have been inspected by TSA. Also, DO NOT TAKE DUCT TAPE ON BOARD! Stuff it in your checked luggage before going to your gate... Trust me, you DO NOT want that hassle [face_laugh]
  6. iycis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2002
    star 3
    You could probably use bungie cords instead of duct tape for your containers.
  7. Arsinoe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 3
    hmmm I've had bungies come loose in the back of my car before. The tape idea might work better - just remember to ditch the tape before going through security. Security really frowns on tape in carry-on luggage.

    If you really want to test if something will hold, pack stuff that you don't care about that is of similar weight into the container. 'Seal' by the method of your choice then toss the container around a bunch while pretending to be a grumpy baggage handler. ;) See what holds and what doesn't. :)

    Unfortunately, locks are a no-no on most forms of luggage since security has to be able to inspect everything after they x-ray your stuff.

  8. Darth_Larsen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2004
    star 1
    check with the airline on there oversized ludaged.. and see if your stuff will be oversized.

    im going to have to drive down to a few garrison member (a state away). and have them take it when they drive cuz it would coast me 80 dollars each way to get it there... and thats my vader stuff that i dont trust them with.
  9. Jedi_Kai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2001
    star 4
    TSA approved locks have been available for a while now.

    However, I just use zip ties on my luggage.
  10. mgmcpa Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2001
    star 1
    Last Celebration we tried those footlocker trunks for transporting our trooper armor ... bad move. The trunk took a blunt blow to the side on the way home (thank goodness it was on the way home and not going) and the shoulder straps snapped in two.

    I have seen the rubbermaid approach, but is duct tape really ok with the airlines. 501st ... can someone who has done this comment please. Also, is there an exact rubbermaid model number that works better than others.

    As for replica weapons, I've flow with various types on various airlines, key is label them clearly (consider putting a photo of yourself in the costume as well to help them understand) with "TOY / REPLICA WEAPONS" and tell the person when you check-in with the airline. Don't take anything questionable on board with you in your carryon. Some people will claim it doesn't work, but I've done it many times post-9/11 with no real issues other than damage.
  11. mgmcpa Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2001
    star 1
    Anyone have any comments on the rubbermaid bin approach? I need to get luggage this weekend for our trooper costume and others, and am really worried that the airport is not going to like rubbermaids wrapped in duct tape.

    Are you guys sure this is up to code?
  12. Squier Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    I'm also going the rubbermaid route to transport my armor and could use some info from anybody who has done this. As a sandtrooper I could possibly cover up any beating that the armor might get but my fear is that it's going to get lost. Or worse yet that I'll get turned away while getting it checked because the container was not up to par.
  13. Arsinoe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 3
    Call the airline you're using and ask if a rubbermaid container wrapped in duct tape is okay.
  14. iycis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2002
    star 3
    Don't bother with duct tape. Drill small holes in the rim of the container and feed velcro ties though them to close it. That way they can open it easily if they need to and reclose it.
  15. jedimelis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 2
    Most of my costume is soft goods and now.. indestructible rubber.. my concern is the MR lightsaber.... has anyone tried to take one as a carry-on? I was thinking about putting it in a poster tote.... would that fit in an overhead compartment and would the airline allow it?

  16. mgmcpa Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2001
    star 1
    Great idea about the small holes and velcro, they make some really industrial stength velcro that just may work. I will also call the airline as suggested by another.

    THANKS and see you at C3!
  17. MiraxTHorn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2000
    star 4
    When we flew with armor, my husband drilled a series of small holes all around the top of the tub, through both the lid and the rim. Then, at the airport, we waited until after it had gone through the TSA inspection, repacked it in front of security and used zip ties through each of the holes to close it. No chance of those popping open. :)

    Just make sure you pack a pocket knife or small scissors in your other CHECKED luggage so you can open the tub at the hotel.

    Regards,
    M.
  18. Jedi_Samantha Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    Most of my costume is soft goods and now.. indestructible rubber.. my concern is the MR lightsaber.... has anyone tried to take one as a carry-on? I was thinking about putting it in a poster tote.... would that fit in an overhead compartment and would the airline allow it?

    My friend did that. Its a pain in the butt to try and explain to the TSA what a lightsaber is. They spend 15 minutes inspecting it after destroying your tube trying to open it since they dont let people help.
  19. Arsinoe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 3
    MR lightsaber in a poster tube, nope....You'd have better luck getting it on the plane if it was in it's original logo splattered offcial packaging.
  20. jedimelis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 2
    Alright, its decided... original packaging it is.... I had considered packing it in luggage in the pakaging for easy identification. But this will be better. It serves as the perfect label as to what it is, isn't it... you sure are right about all those logos!!!

    Thanks for the suggestions, guys!



  21. harpm1 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2002
    star 3
    What about handmade lightsabers with no packaging? I'm just wondering if they'll X-ray my bag and see this suspicious looking cylindar and tear apart my bag. That would stink!!
  22. Zoom_Cthooga Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2004
    star 6
    Someone here had that problem last year while travelling home from Starfest in Denver. They thought the lightsaber hilt she was carrying was a pipe bomb. [face_plain]
  23. Squier Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Just put it with your checked luggage. That's what I'm doing.
  24. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
  25. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
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